The Minister and one of the Deputy Minister's ( Mr Mcebisi Skwatsha) apologised for their absence. The Deputy Speaker, Mr Solomon Lechesa Tsenoli, and the other Deputy Minister in the Department (Ms Candith Mashego-Dlamini) were welcomed to the meeting.
The Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation briefed the Committee on its assessment of the performance of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform against Outcome 7: Comprehensive Rural Development; and the on Management Performance Assessment Tool Reports. The slow transformation in land reform was cause for great concern. There had been very encouraging progress on restitution. As at 30 November 2015, 78 483 claims had been settled and 59 758 were finalised as from 1998. The Restitution Programme had to-date benefited 1.94 million individuals of 390 621 households. Of these, 136,968 households were female headed households and 885 were headed by persons with disability.
The Commission spent its entire budget every financial year since 2007/08 financial year.
A total of 144, 112 new land claims have been lodged since the re-opening of land claims on 1 July 2014. These claims were lodged in 14 lodgement offices of the CRLR, and in 6 mobile lodgement offices of the Commission. As at 31 December 2015 there were 7 584 land claims lodged.
Due to the considerable cut in the budget for compensation of employees, only unequivocally critical posts could be filled over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework
Members commented that what was seen was underperformance in terms of targets delivered, but it was clear from the report that the very institutions that were supposed to deliver those targets in terms of the National Development Plan were still all in the phase of implementation. Members expressed concern about the claims and were at pains to decide whether the Department had the capacity to settle them. The Committee asked for a progress report of the other provinces in connection with Sub-outcome 1; how human resource sections could be improved so that they performed well; what should be done to accelerate the process of transformation of land reform; if the Department depended on the information provided by Rural Development and Agrarian Reform, the Department and the Ministry, or additional information from stand-alone departments that had an interest in what the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation was doing; for an explanation of the statement that the Department was unable to recruit due to a full climate survey report; and 'targets' versus 'actuals' as depicted in the report.
The Committee was briefed by the Office of the Auditor-General on the review of the Draft Department of Rural Development and Land Reform Annual Performance Plan 2016-17. The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform made progress in addressing the findings and implementation of the Office of the Auditor General recommendations. Action plans had been developed by the Department to address the Office of the Auditor General and Internal audit findings. However these action plans were not fully effective as some repeat findings did occur and therefore more attention needed to be given to the actual root cause when developing these action plans. The biggest increase in the budget related to Programme 4: Restitution, which showed a 22% increase from 2015/16 to 2016/17.
The Ingonyama Trust Board briefed the Committee on its Annual Performance Plan 2016 – 2017.
The total proposed budget for 2016/17 was R115 664 236.93; the proposed budget for Rural Development for 2016/17 was R9000 000.0, and for Traditional Council suppor t was R30 771 310.82.
Members asked how the provision for training of traditional councils with the objective of creating jobs would unfold and if the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs was doing the same thing in training traditional councillors. It was explained that the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs started with different functions. The Ingonyama Trust Board was mainly concerned about land management on communal land under the Amakhosi (traditional leaders), so there was no overlapping of function as the focus was on land. With regard to training the Amakhosi about the provision of land, one had to look firstly at what the Provincial Special Framework said, and how to package land when it was allocated; so that investors could be invited to invest in the land, leading to job creation. The Committee was pleased that the Ingonyama Trust Board had made an effort to comply with the National Treasury 's format for Annual Performance Plans. The Committee asked if there were interface at the Ingonyama Trust Board with the Office of the Auditor-General around land valuation. The Committee was informed that such an interface was present.
Members asked for the latest news about the Board; if the Ingonyama Trust Board would add some graphics to its presentation on finance; if the Board complied with the graft standards in relation to the valuation of land; royalties that had to be paid back to the South African Revenue Services; the Board's policy about distribution to beneficiaries; why a car was bought by the Board; why the number of approved posts was the same at 25 for 2016/17; why the number of bursaries had increased from 100 to 110, for which institutions and at what cost; for progress on the five policy documents; the R9 million allocated and if drought was factored into this figure; and if the communication strategy had been finalised.
The Ingonyama Trust Board had to submit an Operational Plan, Bursary Policy and the five policy documents to the Committee.
The Commission on Restitution of Land Rights briefed the Committee on their Annual Performance Plan 2016/17. The provisional unaudited performance for 2015/16 showed that the Commission had achieved all its Annual Performance Plan targets. The Commission had spent its entire budget every financial year since 2007/08 financial year; and a total of 144,112 new land claims had been lodged since the re-opening of land claims on 1 July 2014. These claims were lodged in 14 lodgement offices of the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights, and in 6 mobile lodgement offices of the Commission. For quarterly performance targets in the 4th quarterly target, 150 land claims had been settled; 118 land claims had been finalised; 20 phased projects had been approved; and
389 claims were lodged by 1998, which had to be researched.
Members asked if budget cuts had reached the stage where institutional entitlements of claimants might be transgressed; what was going to be done about pre-1913 claims; if the Commission was risking a Constitutional challenge with its provincialisation processes, which could favour certain provinces; why the number of claims to be researched had been dropped from 2660 to1530 claims; the number of commitments it had currently; for clarity about interest paid; how the Commission planned to deal with the backlogs; and for clarity about mobile offices.
In 2016/17 there were about 5800 claims that had to be researched. The aim was to finalise research in the 2016/17 financial year. There would be a residue amount of + 500 claims. The Commission had to submit an Operational Plan to the Committee and were encouraged to engage actively with National Treasury.
The Minister and the Deputy Minister of Rural Development submitted an apology for their absence. The Deputy Speaker, Mr Solomon Lechesa Tsenoli, was welcomed to the meeting.
Briefing by Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation
Dr Tsakani Ngomane, Deputy Director General at Presidency, Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, said that Outcome 7 referred to Comprehensive Rural Development and food security, tracking performance since 2014. MPAT stood for Management Performance Assessment Tool and these reports for the DRDLR would be presented including the progress in the implementation of their recommendations. Through the development of the Medium-term Strategic Framework (MTSF), critical actions and key outputs aimed at putting the country on a positive trajectory towards achievement of the NDP were identified for delivery over the period 2014-19.
The slow transformation in land reform was cause for great concern. There was a commitment to allocate 10% of newly acquired hectare of land to people who lived and or worked on farms, and 50% to smallholders. The sector had however, under-performed on both targets.
There had been very encouraging progress on restitution. As at 30 November 2015, 78 483 claims had been settled and 59 758 were finalised as from 1998. The Restitution Programme had to-date benefited 1.94 million individuals of 390 621 households. Of these, 136,968 households were female headed households and 885 are headed by persons with disability.
- The Commission has spent its entire budget every financial year since 2007/08 financial year.
- A total of 144, 112 new land claims have been lodged since the re-opening of land claims on 1 July 2014. These claims were lodged in 14 lodgement offices of the CRLR, and in 6 mobile lodgement offices of the Commission.
- As at 31 December 2016 there were 7 584 land claims lodged.
Due to the considerable cut in the budget for compensation of employees, only unequivocally critical posts could be filled over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework.
Mr T Walters (DA) said the purpose of a report was also to tell one what was going wrong, so if he expressed criticism, it was not at the presenter who was merely helping him to add value. The report was quite good in outlining what was happening. What was seen was underperformance in terms of targets that were delivered, but it was clear from the report that the very institutions that were supposed to deliver those targets, in terms of the National Development Plan (NDP), were still all in the phase of implementation. He said he would like to see in the future, in terms of the land reform committees, how they were delivering on land acquisition targets as per the NDP. He would like to see the reports being formulated like that because at an aggregate level, he did not think one was getting a picture of whether the system, the institutions that were supposed to be delivering land reform, were in fact working.
Dr Ngomane replied that Honourable Walters had been correct in his observation but the report was related to specific sub-outcomes. Examples were related regarding consistence or concerning performance on land reform like consistent underperformance on land reform and consistent underperformance on transformation of smallholders in terms of their ability to access land and on labour tenants. But she felt the Department of Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) was on the right track by going back to basics where the Department and stakeholders, dealing with issues around land reform were now focusing on establishing institutions as required by the NDP - institutions for land administration, for land management and even for determining of prices. The Chairperson could recall that in 4th administration, the sector was inundated with the challenges around willing buyer, willing seller. Even in the third administration that had been an issue with the pricing restricting the ability of the country to perform on land reform. What that pointed out was the inadequacy in institutions to administer and manage land reform. The DPME was going back to basics through this medium term strategic framework with the first five years focused on establishing those institutions and ensuring functionality. Courage should be shown, parties should work together on the solution to ensure that the Department followed up and showed the functionality of the district land committees of the Agri parks as structures established to transform the sector.
Mr Walters was concerned about the claims and whether there was capacity and a budget to deal with claims. He asked what was going to happen with all claims registered up and till now; if the Department had the capacity to research the claims and thereafter settle them; and if one were looking at a projected 400 000 claims, did the Department actually have the capacity to settle them, and not just register them.
Dr Ngomane replied regarding issues around restitution, reporting on the claims lodged or reporting at Output level 7 would downplay the quality of the report. It was an issue that was noted for improvement. There was a process initiated in the DPME and the National Planning Commission to actually revisit and change the reporting regime. The targets had to be visited as they were set out in the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF). The DPME had reported on that which had been approved in the MTSF. That was in the reporting system and the DPME was working on improving this. She was encouraged by the observation that there was a need to strengthen the research capacity, as it was wanting.
The Chairperson said that the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights, not the DPME, would address some of these questions.
The Deputy Speaker, Mr Solomon Lechesa Tsenoli, and also Deputy Minister of Rural Development, Ms Candith Mashego-Dlamini, were welcomed to the meeting.
Ms N Magadla (ANC) asked for a progress report of the other provinces in connection with Sub outcome 1.
Dr Ngomane replied that all nine provinces had been engaged in this process so they understood fully what needed to be done to develop their Special Development Frameworks. Two provinces had gained more interventions with the DRDLR. The DPME was actually going to the North West and Gauteng provinces to sit and work with them. It was reported in the programme of action for the Department to do more of that kind of hands-on work.
Ms Magadla asked, in the MPAT level 2, as the DPME, how could human resource sections be improved so that they performed well.
Dr Ngomane replied that the DRDLR had developed an improvement plan to address the weakness in human resource management. The Committee should request this improvement plan from the Department. This was the DPME's approach in dealing with MPAT issues.
Ms Magadla asked what the DPME's opinion was of the fact that Programme 1: Administration, achieved only 33%.
The Chairperson said some of the questions would be raised when the DRDLR would be met with the following day, but the briefing by the DPME was an overall analysis based on the performance of the Department and the ITB. With regard to ITB today and the Commission today, the Department would present the report tomorrow, and the Department and the ITB would respond so some of the questions then.
Mr A Madella (ANC) said his question might be misplaced but he would still like to pose it. As an outsider looking in to the Department, specifically with regard to the slow transformation of land reform; he asked what should be done in order to accelerate this particular process.
Regarding the slow transformation, Dr Ngomane replied that she thought the whole issue of revisiting the institutions to administer land reform to control the runaway prices on the land that was put on the market was a critical issue that society at large had raised. It had been documented at various summits to deal with land reform issues. For the first time one could see willingness in action to go back and establish institutions and also amend the legislative frameworks to allow this. But this was actually work in progress. The NDP chapter 6 underscored the importance of setting up institutions.
Mr P Mnguni (ANC) said he preferred for all reporting the National Treasury format that had 'actual' versus 'targets'. The DPME sometimes just reflected on performance and it was very difficult to evaluate and quantify performance that was stated without reference to targets. The format of 'actual' vs 'targets' was requested at all times, and where possible also versus 'budget'.
Dr Ngomane replied that the issue around 'actuals' vs targets was noted and future reports would be addressed in that manner. The analysis expenditure vs performance, that was the work that the DPME was all about. However in some cases, the performance indicators on rural development as an example were not in line with the expenditure pattern because underperformance was evident in rural development and the expenditure was high and low under different circumstances. The DPME worked with National Treasury to look at whether the level of expenditure was consistent with performance on the commitments made by the Department on the MTSF. She urged Members to look at the slides again to identify those areas of discrepancy.
Mr Mnguni said he was merely making reference to the issues of the Department. On the narrative – the first part of the presentation perhaps even after the application of the MPAT 2 – he asked if critical assessment were permissible and if it could be integrated. He asked for more critical evaluation from the DPME. He said the information on page 26 did not look very good.
Dr Ngomane replied that regarding the area mentioned on slide 26, it was mentioned that the Department was not doing very well in all the performance areas on MPAT and the Department should be spoken to about the red areas on the slide. The red areas referred to Level 1 where the Department was non-compliant with legal/regulatory requirements.
Mr Mnguni asked if Dr Ngomane was able to check where there was talk of 27 districts and also talk of 44 districts. He asked if she had checked with the Department if there were a similar understanding about these two numbers. He was uncomfortable with this issue of 27 districts and 44 districts.
Dr Ngomane replied that the 27 districts were an approved number of districts that had been approved by Cabinet; that approval was informed by scientific determination of vulnerability in those districts. The 44 districts were what the Department of Rural Development had prioritised for Agri Parks intervention. The logic behind this had to be established. The DPME understanding of this was that all districts contributed towards Outcome 7 of the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) and all districts had areas of differential opportunity within them that based on scientific work done could contribute toward the Agri Parks and the Agri hub development initiative. Further clarity about this had to be obtained from the Department.
The Deputy Minister needed to clarify a few issues. The first issue was the 44 districts vs 27 districts. In terms of the implementation of the comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP), the poorest of the poor were the 27 districts where the Department was implementing the CRDP as co-ordinating the 26 departments in service delivery in those rural areas, districts and municipalities. When it came to Agri Park as a programme, it was felt that as a Department it could not really concentrate on the 27 districts. So it was extended to 44 because 44 were all the districts together with the metro municipalities in South Africa (SA). So now there were operations with the Agri Park programme in all the districts in SA regardless of whether they were poor or not poor. The Department's position was that it was creating a business especially in the districts that were really in the metropolitan areas because agriculture was not really working there and they needed to use technology to produce because they did not have enough land or space.
When it came to governance structures the district land committees had to be formed in all 44 districts so that at district level they had to decide and advise the Department on how to work with the pieces of land, how to utilise it and how to transfer it. This was the situation regarding governance, which was why even the Agri Park Committees were almost at 44 districts.
Mr S Matiase (EFF) said what was key was the source of information the DPME was using all the time to arrive at conclusions that they did. He asked if they depended on the information provided by Rural Development and Agrarian reform, the Department and the Ministry, or did they rely on additional information of stand-alone departments or institutes that had an interest in what the DPME was doing.
Dr Ngomane replied that the DPME used multiple sources to report on the targets set out in the MTSF and this became public knowledge once approved by Cabinet. So the programme of action reports were done quarterly, so the Department had to report progress against the Programme of Action. The other level was looking at research outputs from academic institutions, research centres, and from civil society groups on a particular sector on specific issues. The DPME also conducted evaluations in the Department. There was also a unit in DPME that monitored front-line service delivery where citizens' comments on key performance areas were taken into account.
Mr Matiase said the Department stood on various legs to pursue its mandate, one of which was the Restitution of Land Rights redistribution of land and land tenure reform. Perhaps it would be good to get the actual situation in the country and what the regime was around land tenure in the country. If the report could talk to such matters in its next appearance before the Portfolio Committee it would be very good, and not in isolation of all the critical areas.
On the issue of security of tenure the Deputy Minister said the Department was quite aware that it was quite slow in that programme. The situation now was that disperse groups of people were doing research on household profiling of all farm workers and farm dwellers, so that the land could be transferred quickly. This process started last month and plus minus 15 pieces of land - which was state land – was transferred and donated to farm workers. It was subsequently realised that the Department did not have a proper report in terms of household profiling and what was needed to make that land productive. The Department was undertaking a programme now to address this issue. It would start with state land and continue to purchase land to secure the tenure of farm dwellers. This would also alleviate the issue of farm evictions. This became very difficult on the side of justice because there was no permanent land court. The Minister was dealing with this to establish a permanent land claims court so as not to rotate judges and magistrates.
The Chairperson asked for an explanation on the statement that the Department was unable to recruit due to a full climate survey report.
Dr Ngomane said the Department could expand further on the Climate Survey Report; it actually looked at the gaps in the vacancy requirements of the country and the sector. It was a useful tool to show the areas of competency that were required to inform the skills development programme of government for a particular sector and what the gaps were.
The Chairperson said mention had been made of a lack of accuracy with regard to the figures. This made her think about the presentation made by AHLO (Agricultural Land Holdings Account). It was very difficult to get the data from the Department. She asked what the DPME's view was with regard to that.
Dr Ngomane replied that the difficulty in getting data was a simple administrative challenge around compliance on providing evidence. The DPME was strongly encouraging government to strengthen this aspect of their work.
The Deputy Speaker said he was brought here by nostalgia for the Committee work being done here. He was keen to ask about research that supported the settlement of claims. The answer might come from the Department when it presented, but he was asking it from Dr Ngomane as someone who scanned the environment operated in. It was known that in the University of South Africa – which used to be called Higher Education Research South Africa – there was collaboration with Parliament to work together. He wondered whether there was a discussion with them to see how in collaboration they could have a partnership with the Commission to deploy researchers under supervision to be able to fast track that programme so that that partnership had the multiple purpose to achieve/do the research to settle claims. This would also facilitate academic performance for those who were learning to do research under supervision, so government, universities and the department would benefit. He was wondering if there were any such discussions, because often the research capacity constraints were about money.
Dr Ngomane replied that this issue was most welcome as one could not overemphasise the importance of research based information in guiding policy. The situation was at that stage in the country to develop the research capacity and use the information generated to inform solutions and do so at a good pace. The case in point was about acceleration on restitution processes and settlement of claims using evidence informed by research. One of weaknesses was the disconnect between institutions of higher learning and government in terms of performing a complimentary role. Research themes were important especially in governmental inter state settings, where those research themes would be complimentary in nature. Dealing with land reform challenges, particularly around the acceleration of restitution and redistribution, this process had to be re-thought to see how best to strengthen this collaboration.
A unit had been set up in the DPME to drive the research agenda of government across outcomes. The Research Plan for the country would be presented soon. It would be presented, as was the case with the National Evaluation Plan, which would be approved by Cabinet. In that plan one would find the recognition to work in partnership to avoid duplication. So work would be done collaboratively. This Research Plan would be available soon and would articulate the research agenda and approach for the country. It would also underscore taking deliberate steps towards establishing and supporting centres of excellence focusing on key areas that sought to find solutions to areas of concern in the NDP.
Mr Madella asked the DPME to get involved in the area of farm evictions because it seemed that there were no clear statistics on this area. One was not sure if actual tables were the reality. At the public hearings it was evident that the numbers were much more than had been brought to the attention of the Committee.
Mr Madella addressed the DPME specifically and said on the political level, political champions articulated very well and very concisely a determined effort to ensure that the Department fulfilled all its obligations to people with disabilities as a vulnerable group, as well as women and youth. But at the implementation level the statistic did not match that kind of a commitment, so was a matter for concern. This concern was not only related to employment, it should cascade down to actual service delivery. The whole issue of beneficiation, and the services being rendered, so the DPME should advise the Department holistically with regard to that.
Mr Mnguni said the discussion point about whether another state organ could monitor and oversee others on performance was a healthy discussion that could help democracy and governance going forward. Although this would create a healthy tension the DPME should be able to oversee the performance and monitoring of other departments.
Dr Ngomane said it was important to understand the mandate of the DPME as a key department that helped the state, not only in implementing the NDP, but to monitor the performance thereof and do so in an objective manner. In this instance it became part of the identity of the Department to use data generated by other institutions, by other countries within the region, and internationally to inform its analysis. That was the approach being adopted as the DPME subjected and provided guidance, monitoring and evaluation. The DPME strived not to duplicate because it did not have that level of capacity, but to the extent that it was expected from the government of that ministry, they were actually evidence-based and used research generated by other sectors to inform its analysis. This was an ongoing discussion that involved this Committee and other committees as well.
Mr Mnguni raised the issue of 'targets' versus 'actuals' or 'targets' versus budgets. He was not referring to the broad areas, but was referring to where the narrative was being referred. One would have to bring the APPs of last year and all the documents of last year to know what the performance was; and then that performance would have to be measured against something. He requested that when the DPME reflected on performance, it was useful and user friendly to reflect it versus what was targeted; and also useful to reflect it versus the budget.
Mr K Robertson (DA) related a situation he had experienced a week and half ago on a personal oversight visit to the Department of Agriculture in Umzinti near Tsonga in Mpumalanga. When there he realised that the training facility was stagnant. There were 58 tractors, 53 of which were broken and not working at all. Those tractors were supposed to be assisting emerging farmers. Those tractors were not more than 3 or 4 years old. Those 53 tractors simply needed basic fixing and were waiting on the next budget. R150 000 had been wasted on bales of hay that had just been left in the rain and had started rotting. If one was serious about restitution and about what the Deputy Speaker had said about research, then it should be asked what one was actually doing in the field that would benefit our beneficiaries and benefit the economy, because from what he had seen it was a shocking display of maladministration.
The Chairperson said that issue would be referred to the Department of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) because it was their responsibility so that they could assist and follow up this issue.
Mr Walters said this specific instance should be taken up. The kind of failure raised by Mr Robertson related to the failure of a local institution driving land reform agricultural intervention and in this case drought relief. There was need for a register of rights; and that people living on land knew what their rights were. As much as subjective opinion was important, there was also a need to have a subjective factual basis in the background. Certain ecology needed to be in place to make sure that intervention by the Department was effective.
Dr Ngomane responded yes it was important to rely on data to inform decisions and find solutions, but the key word that was taken from this presentation and discussions throughout based on their engagement, was the importance of focusing on the functionality of interventions across the board. Functionality was the operative word and this would inform our work in the DPME.
The Deputy Minister spoke about the functionality of district land reform committees. They relied on the policy put together as a Department that it needed to strengthen first the Valuer General so that they could support the district land committees in terms of the land parcels that needed to be purchased in all the districts. The Department had established the office in the last financial year, so in this financial year it would bring a report to the Committee on how the Department was going to make those Committees functional.
The Chairperson said the DPME would be invited to meet with the Committee again as was requested by Members. A review of the method of reporting was very welcome as the issue of numbers and percentages sometimes made oversight work a bit difficult.
Briefing by Auditor-General South Africa
Mr Eugene de Han, Senior Manager: Auditor-General South Africa (AGSA) said the purpose of the briefing was to provide the Committee with audit insights on the interim review of the Department's draft Annual Performance Plan (APP) in order to add value to oversight.
With regard to the implementation of the AG recommendations and addressing of the AG findings identified during the 2014/15 financial year:
- Risk areas for the Portfolio Committee related to the following:
- Financial Statement matters
- National Rural Youth Services Corps (NARYSEC) expenditure
- Immovable assets
- Land reform farms
- Performance Information
ALHA (Agricultural Land Holdings Account) performance tracking to be included in App with clear objectives and targets relating to ALHA
The biggest increase in the budget related to Programme 4: Restitution, which showed a 22% increase from 2015/16 to 2016/17.
The Chairperson said that the questions would be raised with the relevant entities.
Briefing by Ingonyama Trust on its Annual Performance Plan 2016-17
Dr Fikiswe Madlopa, Chief Executive Officer (CEO): Ingonyama Trust Board (ITB) outlined the strategic objectives and annual targets for all three programmes of the Ingonyama Trust Board for the years 2016 to 2017. The Ingonyama Trust Board did not have any conditional grants; however transfer payments were received from the DRDLR based on a budget approval process.
Mr Amin Mia, Chief Financial Officer (CFO presented the budget for the 3 programmes of the Board. The ITB did not have any conditional grants; however payments were received from the DRDLR based on budget approval process.
The total proposed budget for 2016/17 was R115 664 236.93; the proposed budged for Rural Development for 2016/17 was R9000 000.0, and for Traditional Council support was R30 771 310.82.
Mr M Filtane (UDM) said that page 19 showed that provision was made for the training of traditional councillors with the objective of creating jobs. He asked how this would unfold and what skills were planned for the training.
Ms N Magadla (ANC) asked if Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) was doing the same thing in training traditional councillors.
Dr Madlopa responded that the training spoken of was on land management. COGTA might be starting with the different functions. The ITB was mainly concerned about land management on communal land under the Amakhosi, so there was no overlapping of function as the focus was on land.
With regard to the training of Amakhosi on land management leading to job creation, the issue here was about training the Amakhosi about the provision of land. One had to look at firstly what the Provincial Special Framework said, and how to package land when it was allocated; because sometimes with communal land there was just random allocation, even with land recognised as prime or even reserved as prime out of necessity so that investors could be invited to invest in the land, leading to job creation. So when investors came there would be development in rural areas. There was special planning/training in how land should be allocated, and also some of the legal provisions that existed had to be be made known.
Mr Madella said the Auditor-General's office had raised a concern with regard to the indicator 'not well defined and not relevant to the mandate and the goals'. On the last page, the performance indicator 3.2 was an MOU with 'Agribusiness Development Agency approved by the Board' and the objective was to improve economic development. It probably needed to be more defined so that one could see what the relationship was. He asked if it meant that the Agribusiness Development Agency would do that on behalf of the ITB. The issue was just that there had to be a linkage and probably more clear definitions in terms of the indicator and goal.
Dr Madlopa replied that it was based on the fact that that the ITB had primary production for certain projects in terms of agriculture and it knew that they were entities responsible for beneficiation of Agri-processing. So there was no reason why the ITB should move into the space of Agri-processing when there was another entity actually dealing with that. There was a list of projects that the ITB wanted to table for them to take over in terms of Agri-processing.
Mr Mnguni appreciated the attempt the ITB had made in complying with the Treasury format for APPs. He thanked the ITB for doing that.
Dr Madlopa replied that the comments were acknowledged.
Mr Mnguni said it would be interesting if there was an interface between the ITB, the Auditor-General on land valuation and whether it was planned to take place anytime soon.
Dr Madlopa said yes there had been an interface between the ITB, the DRDLR, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and the Director-General (DG). Based on this the ITB started at that level when it engaged with the AG as well as Accountant General moving forward in order to look at this land valuation issue.
Mr Mnguni asked what the latest news about the Board was.
Dr Madlopa said the Board had been extended until the final consultation process had been finished; which was anticipated to be done by the end of June.
Mr Mnguni asked, just as a test case on policy, if the Committee could get a breakdown of recipients, per district, by race, by gender, age, institution and disability in a week or two. He asked further for a policy document on bursaries to test the efficacy of the systems in the country.
Dr Madlopa said the bursary policy would be forwarded. It was approved during the third quarter of last year and was forwarded last year for 2015/16. For 2016/17 the ITB was in the process of processing some of the applications, so it would be work in progress but this was a target as well.
Mr Mnguni asked if the ITB could consider including some graphics to its presentation on costing for example. The ITB was asked to be consistent when reporting on quarters as sometimes it mentioned quarters and other times not.
Dr Madlopa noted this and said some graphics would be included in the ITB's presentation on finance.
Mr Mnguni was not aware which portion of the budget should deal with administration. He asked if the ITB was able to amend and unbundle the Administration budget, so that one could see the main cost drivers. This would allow one to see what the expenditure was at different points in time.
Dr Madlopa said that this would be done in the next meeting as well as for the cash flow projections.
Ms Magadla asked if the ITB complied with the graft standards in relation to the valuation of land.
Dr Madlopa replied that between the ITB, the CFO and the Valuer General, they were trying to look at it in terms of land valuation.
The Chairperson said while listening to the presentation of the AG, there were issues that were 'continuing matters of emphasis'. On the issue of valuation the ITB was starting to do something useful.
Dr Madlopa replied that they were dealing with the matter and appreciated the involvement of the CFO and the Valuer General, who even came to the province to assist the ITB with some of these matters. Based on this the ITB would take the process forward to have a meeting with the Auditor-General as well as the Accountant General.
The Chairperson asked for an explanation on royalties because the AG had recommended that the ITB should pay back the money to the South African Revenue Services (SARS). She asked for the reasons money had to be paid back.
Dr Madlopa replied that the ITB was being dealt with through the Mining Surface Lease Agreements not royalties. Royalties emanated from the past, the ITB did not take royalties now.
Judge Ngwenya, Chairman, Ingonyama Trust, replied for the sake of clarity, the issue that had been spoken about by the Auditor-General (AG) with regard to royalties; there was an issue that remained unresolved between the ITB and the Auditor-General which was based on the ITB's own legal interpretation related to the last chunk of royalties that were received before they were paid to the National Treasury. One of the qualifications of the past around royalties was that the AG would say that there was not sufficient evidence that royalties were paid because the ITB did not have a measurement to point to where it was requiring a certificate from the auditors of the mining houses. However even this was not adequate for the AG. But some of the mining houses – who had to wait for a certificate – paid the royalties late. That was why there was a specific amount that had to be paid to SARS. The ITB held the view that that money fell in the context of the threshold within the royalties that were payable to the Trust.
The Chairperson asked what the Board's policy said about the provision for distribution to beneficiaries.
Judge Ngwenya said he understood the Chairperson's concern about the distribution to communities and that the Board would distribute some income to communities. This remained so and if need be this could be explained further at a time when this Committee had time because this was a process that was evolving and would be better understood if more detail was given. In truth the mandate, even monies that sometime assisted with the purchase of assets, a process was involved with these communities and ultimately the communities would have to do what the ITB was doing for them. This was one of the reasons why additional councils had been trained. Once the land tenure policy had reached its maximum unpacking, this Board could only collect money through permission from the communities who owned the land. These were transitional measures that awaited broader government policy.
The Chairperson said that year the Committee had discovered that there was a car that the ITB had bought. She asked if the ITB could indicate for this budget how many cars it was going to buy and for who. She asked further if there was a need for the ITB to buy a car.
The Chairperson asked the ITB so submit an Operational Plan to the Committee which was costed, because this bulk figure R3 million was of concern. It was unknown if it was for community gardens, and if yes the ITB had to say where those gardens could be found and how much support was given to community for that project. If the ITB was going to buy cars, the Committee needed to know for whom, and what the fleet policy was. The ITB was asked to submit a fleet policy to the Committee so that it would know what the fleet policy was saying.
The Chairperson had been tracking the APPs for previous years. On the 31 March 2015 the secretariat had 25 out of 27 approved posts? This was still the same for the APP for 2016/17. She asked why this was still the same. She asked further how many posts the ITB was going to fill this year, at what level and at what cost.
The 2015/16 APP stated that the secretariat had three components. Now the ITB was saying that the secretariat had five components. She asked for clarity on this matter.
In the last financial year there were 100 bursaries, and in this year there were 110. She asked for clarity about this, at which institutions and at what cost.
The Chairperson also asked for progress on the 5 policies and if the Committee could have have copies.
Dr Madlopa said the policies that had been approved and would be forwarded to the Committee.
The Chairperson asked the ITB why staff numbers were the same every year.
Dr Madlopa said this process would be finalised once the organogram was finalised and when the ITB could review whether some of these people could be absorbed.
The Chairperson said that Rural Development 2015/16 had been allocated R9 million. There was drought now so did the budget talk to the challenges being faced, or was it an incremental budget, which meant it was not addressing the issues on the ground?
Dr Madlopa replied that if Members could recall, a portion of the R9 million was utilised for the purchasing of tractors and that left a small portion of the budget for the actual implementation. So this R9 million was for actual implementation on the ground as opposed to being used for capital equipment.
The Chairperson said that in the last financial year the ITB spoke of the communication strategy that was to be developed and finalised. Now the ITB was talking about the engagement strategy. She asked if this was the same. She asked further if the community strategy had been finalised.
Dr Madlopa replied that the stakeholder engagement strategy was being looked at here and referred to the Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act. The ITB dealt with more than one stakeholder. It dealt with the Amakhosi, mining houses and a variety of stakeholders; therefore it needed to have a way to deal with all of these stakeholders. Emanating from the Mining Imbizo held last year on all mining operations that happened on ITB land; it was identified in the report that came out of that Imbizo that a communication strategy was required.
The Chairperson said it was good that new indicators were presented as it did away with confusion. The ITB had spoken of four partnership agreements that had to be approved by the Board; then it spoke of the number of agricultural projects that would have to be approved by the Board. She asked what happened when the requests were approved. She asked if it was a request for funding or just to use the land. She asked further what happened after approval of the request.
Dr Madlopa replied that any partnership engaged in translated into what activities this partnership was trying to address and how that partnership could be monitored moving forward.
Mr Filtane said he was more comfortable with the quality of responses and it related to the new CEO.
The Chairperson thanked members and the ITB and said she was pleased with the improvement in their work. The ITB had to submit an Operational Plan; the 5 policies documents already promised and its Bursary policy. She was concerned that the ITB was still looking at applications for bursaries when applications should have closed around October so that students could be funded when they started their studies. The Administration budget should be part of implementation plan because a breakdown had to be done.
The ITB had to provide the Committee with a Progress Report, which could be contained in the Annual Report. The ITB also had to submit the asset register. The Committee was hoping to have another meeting soon after the 'EPC' to discuss some sensitive issues especially with regard to community development so that there was movement with the same understanding. Immediately after the EPC, the operational plan had to be discussed which would have to be aligned to the APP of the ITB and also to its strategic plan.
Briefing by Commission on Restitution of Land Rights and its Annual Performance Plan 2016/17
Ms Nomfundo Ntloko-Gobodo, Chief Land Claims Commissioner: Commission of Land Rights, said the Regulatory Impact Assessment; the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency; the Government Technical Assistance Component in National Treasury; and the South African Human Rights Commission report titled 'Monitoring and Investigating the Systemic Challenges Affecting the Land Restitution Process in South Africa' informed the situational context of the Commission on Restitution of Land Rights (CRLR).
The recommendations were:
Some of the important achievements attained in the performance delivery environment were:
Ms Francis McMenamin, Director: Department Rural Development Land Reform (DRDLR) provided the budget and expenditure analysis of the CRLR for some of its items which showed that the adjusted allocations in 2015/16
Restitution Grants was 2,116,010;
Compensation of Employees was 312,321;
Goods and Services was 159,494; and
Capital assets was 5,727.
For quarterly performance targets in the 4th quarterly target, Ms McMenamin reported that:
150 land claims had been settled;
118 land claims had been finalised;
20 phased projects had been approved; and
389 claims were lodged by 1998, which had to be researched.
Mr Filtane said his concern about budget constraints may be seen by the Commission as being of a political nature. According to the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) presentation yesterday, the budget cuts had now reached a stage where the Commission might be about to transgress the institutional entitlements of the claimants and it may not be able to meet its obligations in terms of Clause 25(7) and Clause 25(5) of the Constitution. He asked what the Commission was going to do about this situation and what the Minister was saying about this.
Ms Ntloko-Gobodo replied that when the restitution process was re-opened there was clear communication with National Treasury (NT) who was aware of this process and gave the green light about the new mandate that had been given and they ensured the Commission that it was funded by the fiscus according to the requirements of the Commission for each specific year. So for the next few years the Commission was confident about the allocation of resources to fit its needs and settle old claims.
Mr Filtane asked what was the CRLR going to do about the pre-1913 claims, those that had nothing to do with descendants of the Khoisan. He asked further if the Commission was going to push for an immediate policy change, which might have been influenced by the Presidents statements to press for policy change.
Ms Ntloko-Gobodo replied that the policy sought to have historic sites, heritage sites and historic landmarks; and this included everyone, meaning all South Africans.
Mr Filtane said the dangers of fiscal drain were lacking around the Commission. Through the Chairperson – he said he was thinking of the situation in the Free State. The minute one provincialised processes, one placed one province one or two-steps ahead of others. He asked if the Commission was perhaps risking another Constitutional Challenge here.
Ms Ntloko-Gobodo replied that this was noted and the Commission would be taking this into consideration.
Mr Mnguni related the story that he had in an article that said that crucial land records could be lost forever. He raised this because it was pertinent to the current situation, which could apply to most former homelands, but mainly former Transkei in the Eastern Cape. It also referred to the archiving issue for land claims. He urged the Commission to please prepare for this and to take note, as it did not want another extension beyond 2019. This matter was being researched at a high level and a very good scientific indicator to the problem.
The Chairperson asked if the Commission could indicate the progress on the Exceptional Policy.
She was worried because now the Commission had partnered with academic institutions. There was progress when one looked at the target of 2660 claims that was supposed to be researched in 2016. But her worry was that even though this partnership existed, in this financial year, the claims that had to be researched dropped from 2660 to 1530. She asked what informed this given that the Commission had lots of research capacity. Then the number of claims to be research would be high.
Mr Sunjay Singh, Chief Director: CRLR replied that if one recalled there were 7000 claims at research stage in terms of what was outstanding. If one did the maths on this for what was done in 2014, 2015 and 2015/16, and what was planned for 2016/17, it came to about 5800 claims. The aim was to finalise research in the 2016/17 financial year. There would be a residue amount of + 500 claims. Over and above that, the Free State, Northern Cape and North West, they had already completed their research. The only provinces that were outstanding now were KwaZulu Natal, Gauteng, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Western Cape and the Eastern Cape. The bulk of the outstanding claims, which were at research stage, were only focused in Limpopo, KwaZulu Natal and the Western Cape. Although the Commission indicated 1530 for the 2016/17 financial year, this was more for the financial year, but it would do it so that it could be finalised by the end of March 2017, so that it come back to the Committee having finished with the 1998 claims. The Operation Plan of the Commission evidenced this agenda with the additional capacity from institutions.
The Chairperson stated that the Commission had said that of the 1530 claims for 2017/18, there were 3098 claims that were supposed to be researched. She asked if these were new claims. She sought clarity about whether the 1530 claims that were going to be researched in this financial year were the last claims that were lodged before the 31 December 1998, and if the 3098 claims that would be researched in 2017/18 were new claims.
Mr Singh replied that the 3098 claims were not the new claims lodged. This projection was done four years ago. The figure for 2017/18 would be drastically lower. This meant that the Commission would be basically doing the residue amount. It would not be as high as 3098. if one looked at the project register now in terms of the claims identified for research for this financial year, one would see that it came to an amount of 1980. Now he was unable to provide the exact figure for 2017/18, but it would be the residue amount. In terms of the new claims at research stage, the Commission was unable to provide a figure for this just yet.
The Chairperson said in 2013/14 the Commission had said that it had 6 billion Commitments; she asked if the Commission could indicate how many Commitments it had now.
Ms McMenamin replied that as at the end of February the Commitments were at R2 billion, but payments were made during March so it would be known once the books were finalised what the latest balance was. The Commitment Register had already been brought down by R1.2 billion. R2.5 billion of that money was for grants that were approved before 2011. There was a process in progress with Recapitalisation to prioritise and fast track the post-settlement process and that would then reduce that Commitment. Also, 25% of the budget had been ring-fenced in order to pay the grants and then to clear the commitments in terms of grants in the Commitment Register. All the offices were currently busy reconciling all their projects, and where they had over committed on old claims, the funds were going to be declared and the Commitment Register would be reduced that way as well.
The Chairperson said the report said that the Commission had not budgeted for financial assets, but financial assets covered theft, losses and interest. She asked what would happen if something was stolen.
Ms McMenamin said according to the policies of government things like interest, theft and losses, could not be budgeted for, however one had to have savings in one's Goods and Services to cover any of those expenditures.
The Chairperson said whenever the Commission presented a budget it spoke to the interest paid, which could have been due the delays in payments for services or items. She did not know if it came from the Commission's budget or from the Departmental budget. If financial assets involved theft interest and losses, then it was supposed to be part of the budget. She asked for clarity about this.
Ms Ntloko-Gobodo said that the issue of interest would come about when there were issues of delays in payment or court orders.
The Chairperson asked about the backlogs as they referred to claims that had been settled but were waiting to be finalised. How was this going to be dealt with?
Ms Ntloko-Gobodo replied that all claims, old and new, were dealt with at the same time, so the strategy had always been that what was not dealt with in the previous year was also the focus, so that there was movement from settlement to finalisation for all of them.
The Chairperson asked for clarity about mobile offices.
Ms McMenamin replied that as part of the maintenance contract with the company that built and operated the mobile offices for the Commission, there was a comprehensive policy because of the cost involved of this facility.
The Chairperson thanked the Commission and noted that the Operational Plan had to be submitted so that there was awareness about what had to be done, especially with the research claims because that was where there were problems. She encouraged the Commission to engage with the National Treasury, which had anticipated and advised about problems regarding financial constraints.
The meeting was adjourned.
- Ingonyama Trust Board & CRLR on their 2016 Strategic Plans; Analysis of Department’s performance: briefing by DPME & AGSA, with Deputy Speaker & Deputy Minister am
- Ingonyama Trust Board & CRLR on their 2016 Strategic Plans; Analysis of Department’s performance: briefing by DPME & AGSA, with Deputy Speaker & Deputy Minister pm
- Ingonyama Trust Board 2016 Annual Performance Plan
- Department of Rural Development and Land Reform 2016 Annual Performance Plan
- Commission on Restitution of Land Rights 2016 Annual Performance Plan
- Commission on Restitution of Land Rights 2016 Strategic & Annual Performance Plan presentation
- Department of Rural Development and Land Reform 2016 Strategic & Annual Performance Plan presentation
- Department of Rural Development and Land Reform 2016 ENE allocation
- Ingonyama Trust Board 2016 Strategic & Annual Performance Plan presentation
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