Department of Women in the Presidency on its 2016 Strategic & Annual Performance Plan

Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities

12 April 2016
Chairperson: Ms T Memela (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Department of Women in the Presidency 2016 Strategic Plan [198MB]
Department of Women in the Presidency 2016 Annual Performance Plan [197MB]
[For these documents email info@pmg.org.za]

The Department of Women in the Presidency (the DOW) presented its 2016 Annual Performance Plan and Strategic Plan. There had been some organisational structure changes. The DOW aimed to ensure alignment with the Minister's performance agreement. This Department focused on Government Outcomes 14, 13, 4 and 3. In the previous year the report on the Status of Women in the Economy came out, which gave a clearer picture of women's involvement in productive work in the economy. It also highlighted issues around access to child care, child development and violence against women and how they affected women's participation. That showed the Department the areas where it most needed to focus. The Department aims to ensure that women are placed at the centre of the development of the nine point plan, that they are beneficiaries of job creation, and have access to economic opportunities. The Department had cleared the backlog in reporting obligations and was taking a more systematic approach to knowledge and information gathering. It is looking at the framework around gender equality and gender mainstreaming, and the adoption of gender-sensitive planning. The outreach and awareness programmes of the Department remain a critical part of its work, and there would be engagements with municipalities and communities in this year.

The Department currently operated under three programmes which were described. Action to change attitudes and behavior in relation to gender issues will be done through six major gender campaigns, and it would develop  mechanisms to address identified gaps in the implementation of existing policies on women’s socio-economic empowerment. Mainstreaming of women's socio-economic empowerment and women’s rights was a major focus. Key achievements for the 2016/17 financial year included producing documents on a number of topics, working to an unqualified audit, improved financial management, recruitment and retention, assessment reports on other departments' attempts to empower women, and the Nine Point Plan. It was engaging with National Treasury for extra funding. In the new structure there were 134 posts but only 112 were funded. Its total budget was  R196.887 million. Included in this is the R69 million allocated to the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE). The programme breakdown of the budget was outlined.

Members were not altogether happy with the presentations. One Member expressed her dismay that the Minister was not present. Others said that they could not see that the Strategic Plan had changed much, despite the fact that the functions and mandate had, and emphasised that this Department was supposed to be more about monitoring others than running projects. They were worried at what they saw as too large a budge going to administration, rather than the core programmes. The targets in the strategic plan were vague, and the precise roles and delineation between this Department and the Department for Social Development were not clear, particularly in regard to gender based violence.

 Members asked whether skills shortages had been identified and how they would be addressed. They felt that the Strategic and APPs were not sufficiently aligned. Members asked if the Department had met with the UN Rapporteur, and how it was engaging on the programmes given its limited human resources. The plans seemed to set out the problems but did not specifically indicate what would be done to address them. Members wanted to know with which partners the Department was working. They pointed out that the issue of sanitary pads was mentioned “for health purposes”, but these were not merely for health purposes, since the responsibility of the Department is to enable the girl child to go to school, as those girls who do not have facilities are being held back by their poverty and illiteracy. They wanted to know exactly how many girls were being held back by this, and insisted that the Department should be monitoring compliance. They suggested it should lobby the Department of Trade and Industry to reduce taxes on sanitary pads and empower women's cooperatives to produce them. They asked for time frames and practical interventions to be specified. The duplication of duties between the Department and the Commission for Gender Equality were raised. Members also asked questions regarding the ownership of land by women in the Land Reform and Agri-parks programmes and how it was engaging with traditional leadership to address women's land issues in rural areas. They wanted more information on its position in regard to customary law. IN general, Members asked that previous recommendations also be revisited and asked that this Committee be more involved in the strategic plans. 
 

Meeting report

Department of Women in the Presidency: 2016 Strategic & Annual Performance Plans briefing
Ms Jenny Schreiner, Director-General, Department of Women in the Presidency, tendered an apology for the Minister of Women, who was unable to attend due to prior commitments. She introduced her team as Ms Mmabatho Ramagoshi, Deputy Director-General: Policy, Stakeholder Coordination and Knowledge Management, Ms Bernedette Muthien: Deputy Director-General, Social Transformation and Economic Empowerment, Ms Val Mathobela: Chief Director, Strategic Management, Mr Mbhazima Shitivi: Chief Director, Corporate Management, Ms Nomzikayise Masawa-Dlamini: Chief Director, Monitoring and Evaluation, Ms Camagwini Ntshinga: Chief Financial Officer, and Ms Bongi Mapalweni: Deputy Director, Office of the Director-General. The Parliamentary Liaison Officer, Mr Dan Sambamba, was also present.

Ms Schreiner noted that there were six areas that she wanted to reflect upon. The Department had drawn plans to  ensure that there is alignment with the Minister’s performance agreement which focuses on Outcome 14, which is nation building and social cohesion. It also focuses on Outcome 13 which is social protection, Outcome 4 which is decent work and addressing inequality in the economy, and Outcome 3 which focuses on health and maternal mortality. The presentations will show that links have been drawn between the elements of planning in the government to the work of the Department of Women (DOW or the Department)

She described the organisational transformation processes that the Department has been going through over the last year, starting with the structure to ensure the ability to deliver the specific mandate of the Department. Two significant events in the last year played a key role in the strategic direction of the Department, the first being the report on the status of women in the economy and the second being the launch of the report. This report gives the Department a clear picture of women’s involvement in productive work in the economy. It also highlights issues of access to child care, child development and violence against women, to the extent to which these affect women’s participation in the economy. This has given the Department a clear focus in terms of its monitoring and evaluation responsibilities as a Department. The Department aims to ensure that women are placed at the centre of the development of the nine point plan, that they are beneficiaries of job creation, and have access to economic opportunities as well as ensuring that the delivery of the nine point plan feeds back into women’s lives.

The clearing of the back log on international reporting obligations has been done and remaining processes are being engaged with. A more systematic approach to knowledge and information gathering has been put in place. The role that the Department is playing across government is to look at the framework around gender equality and gender mainstreaming, and the adoption of gender-sensitive planning. The outreach and awareness programmes of the Department remain a critical part of the work of the Department, particularly in terms of social cohesion and strengthening the nation building initiatives. Dialogues at district municipality and community level will be taking place in the 2016/17 financial year, as part of public education, awareness, and prevention of perpetuation of situations that make life difficult for women.

Ms Val Mathobela, Chief Director, Strategic Management,DOW, began the presentation on the Strategic Plan by noting the changes that have taken place within the Department. The Department initiated a major organisational transformation programme that led to a new organisational structure, Strategic and Annual Performance Plan, budget programme structure and placement of new staff. The Department now consists of three programmes: Administration; Social, Transformation and Economic Empowerment; and Policy, Stakeholder and Knowledge Management. The Department is in the process of developing a discussion document on gender mainstreaming.

Ms Mathobela gave the situational analysis of the gender situation in South Africa in the education and employment sector. The Department is responsible for contributing in terms of outcomes 2, 3, 4, 13 and 14. Action to change attitudes and behavior in relation to gender issues will be done through six major gender campaigns which will include girl learner and young women work exposure programme, and 16 Days of Activism for no violence against women and children. The Department will also develop mechanisms to address identified gaps in the implementation of existing policies on women’s socio-economic empowerment.

The priority of the Department in the next five years will be to ensure that women’s socio-economic empowerment and women’s rights are mainstreamed across all sectors of society. The establishment of the Department of Women led to the transfer of functions related to the rights and empowerment of children and people with disabilities to the Department of Social Development (DSD). The Department  accordingly redefined its strategic goals in support of its revised mandate.
She gave more details on the three programmes:
Programme 1: Administration, deals with the Departmental management, financial management and corporate management.
Programme 2 deals with economic empowerment and transformation, social empowerment and transformation, and governance transformation, justice and security.
Programme 3 deals with research and policy analysis, information and knowledge management, stakeholder coordination and outreach, and monitoring and evaluation.

The planned key achievements for the 2016/17 financial year include:
-  producing discussion documents on interdepartmental work on gender mainstreaming strategies, gender-sensitive annual performance planning, gender focal points and gender responsive budgeting.
- achieving an unqualified audit and improved financial management, recruitment and retention
- assessment reports on progress made on women’s empowerment in the implementation of departmental programmes
- a focus on the Nine Point Plan.

The Department  has engaged with Government Technical Advisory Centre on the development of a business case for additional funding to provide progressive growth of its services. The new organisational structure has 134 approved posts of which 112 are funded and 22 remain unfunded.

Ms Camagwini Ntshinga, The Chief Financial Officer, Department of Women, presented on the budget of the Department for the 2016/17 financial year. The total budget allocation for the 2016/17 financial year is R196.887 million. Included in this is the R69 million allocated to the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE). The Department  has been allocated funds from the RDP fund and the assistance of R6.8 million was given for gender based violence programmes. The Department has an operating budget of R126.887 million, of which R72.613 million is allocated to compensation of employees, R50.650 million is allocated to goods and services, R69.891 million is allocated for transfers and subsidies, and R3.731 million is allocated for capital payments.

The programme breakdown of the budget was R89 million for administration, R14 million for social transformation and economic empowerment, R23 million for policy, stakeholder coordination and knowledge management.

Discussion
The Chairperson allowed the committee to engage on the presentations given.
Ms L van der Merwe (IFP) was concerned and disappointed in the Minister’s absence from the meeting and does not remember the last time that the Committee was able to have engagements with the Minister. The way the Department had been set up is worrying because the bulk of the budget goes towards the administration and not the core programmes. The structure sets the Department up for failure, unless National Treasury will be giving the Department extra funds. The targets in the strategic plan are vague and this makes it difficult for the Committee to monitor the progress. The role of this Department and the Department for Social Development (DSD) on gender based violence is not clear. It looked as if the funding has gone to DSD although DOW is  still running the programme. She asked if the role of the DOW was not to monitor how other departments are doing in terms of failing victims of gender based violence? The Department has never reported on the ways in which its efforts have reduced gender based violence. What is the relationship the Department has with other departments? Has the skills audit enabled it to identify what the skills shortages are, and have they been addressed? Are the recommendations from the international organisations being implemented?

Ms C Majeke (UDM) asked what tangible results that the Department will have to show at the end of the financial year, in regard to South Africa being a capable state able to deliver in the public sector. How is the Department working with other departments to implement the nine point plan, and how does it plan on analyzing the nine point plan? How does the Department aim to align its strategic plan with its annual performance plan?

Ms G Tseke (ANC) commented that perhaps the Department should present the APP first because some of the questions can be answered by it.

Ms D Robinson (DA) said that she is concerned about the issue of violence against women. The UN rapporteur dealing with violence against women was in South Africa during the 16 Days of Activism campaign, but apparently no arrangements had been made by the DOW to meet with her. There was later an engagement in Bisho. She asked if there had indeed been engagements with the rapporteur?

Ms M Chueu (ANC) said that it was not clear from the presentations what the Department is going to do in the provinces and in local government, and she asked if there are programmes that have been identified in the provinces. If so, then she wanted to know how the DOW, with its limited human resources, would engage with them. The Strategic Plan  did not explain clearly how the Department is going to engage the private sector. Which departments are targeted for the economic empowerment of women? With the limited human resources, how will the Department monitor gender-sensitive frameworks in all the departments? Which are the identified partners that the Department will be working with to mobilise women and their involvement in the economy? The issue of sanitary pads was mentioned “for health purposes”, but they were not merely for health purposes, since the responsibility of the Department is to enable the girl child to go to school, as those girls who do not have facilities are being held back by their poverty and illiteracy. This should be in the APP. It does not require a budget, for the DSD has that, but the DOW must be monitoring compliance.  There is urgency on dealing with women’s issues, and it is frustrating that there is no progress on the part of the Department.

Ms N Bhengu (ANC) commended the Department for submitting the documents on time.  She asked about the progress report on the implementation, as per the Presidential directive, and which departments had been engaged with, to address women’s issues. What is the strategy to deal with the activities, and cost implications in the provinces given the limited human resources, and will the Department be working together with the gender focal points in each department?

Ms van der Merwe emphasised the importance of the strategic plan and APP being aligned to ensure that the mandate of the Department is executed. The Department must clearly show the time frames and practical interventions of how the Department is going to address issues that women face on a daily basis.

Ms N Tarabella-Marchesi (DA) said that when a strategic plan is drawn up, it is aimed at addressing the current issues that women are facing. She noted that nothing has changed in the planning that the Department has made from the time it still had the functions that were then transferred to the Department of Social Development. The present strategic plan could be a copy of the 2014  plan. Her main problem was that it did not actually state any strategies of how the challenges are going to be addressed, but simply showed the challenges. These issues were raised before, and it is frustrating that no changes have been made.

The Chairperson said that she wanted to know the Department’s position with regard to women who have been abused, and subsequently have children. Where the mother and child are separated, how is the DOW monitoring how the DSD is addressing the issues? Why is the Department so silent regarding the violent crimes against women? There are concerns about what the Department is doing, practically, to address the challenges that women face.

Ms Bhengu said that other departments have said that they have not met with the DOW. She wondered what is going to happen in the meantime to address gender-sensitive budgeting?
Ms Robinson asked what the Department is doing about Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBTI) issues.

Ms Schreiner responded by saying that the Committee can rest assured that the Department has not stopped engaging National Treasury in requesting a bigger budget. At the same time, the current resources are being utilised effectively, to ensure that the mandate is executed effectively. There is an awareness of the limited human resources, but partnerships are being used to mobilise extra funding and resources. The concern around the Administration programme has been noted, but in order for the Department to comply with good governance, the administration budget cannot be cut. The balance between the core business and administration programmes is difficult. The administration programme will not be increased.

The issues relating to violence against women will be addressed adequately by the programme presentations. The UN rapporteur met with the Department during her mission, and engagements between her and the Department took place. There is a connection between the socialisation of boys and men and violence against women and children. The issue of LGBTI-related violence is a critical element that feeds into that. The approach to this has to be a cross-department effort, also with engagements with civil society. The Department has engaged with DSD, CGE's development stakeholders and the private sector. The Department will come and present to the Committee on its monitoring and evaluation strategy when it is ready. The Sexual Offences Act is also being studied, to see what South African Police Service (SAPS) and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) can do differently to address the issues that women face.

The provincial level requires that the Office of the Premier should take its role seriously in relation to coordinating gender-mainstreaming and gender-sensitive budgeting. The Department does not have the human resources to be active in the nine provinces, but through the national dialogues at district municipality and provincial level the Department will have a presence in the nine provinces.

Mr Mbhazima Shiviti, Chief Director, Corporate Management, DOW, presented on the strategic plan for the Department’s corporate management. The new organisational structure was approved in 2015, and it resulted in corporate services downgrading from a branch to a chief directorate. The resultant Deputy Director General vacant post was allocated to a new core branch, resulting in all administration divisions at chief directorate level.

The implementation of skills audit outcomes through the 2016/17 workplace skills plan aimed to achieve gender mainstreaming, project management, financial management for non-financial managers, monitoring and evaluation, knowledge and information management, and advanced management development programme. The profiling and evaluation of all posts on the new organisational structure, a review on HR policies, acquisition of office space, and back up licenses and implementation of electronic records management for the Ministry will be achieved in the financial year.

The Chief Financial Officer outlined the budget allocation per sub-programme (see attached presentation)

Ms Bernadette Muthien, Deputy Director-General: Social Transformation and Economic Empowerment, DOW, presented on the programme's strategic plan for the financial year.  This programme aims to achieve assessments of child care provision and improved recognition of women’s productive contribution to household and community care work.  It also aims to improve women’s socio-economic empowerment through engendering government’s nine point plan. A women’s financial inclusion discussion paper will be produced. A discussion document on the strategy for gender mainstreaming and gender focal points, and a gender responsive budgeting framework will be developed.

The programme also aims to produce a discussion paper towards a national prevention strategy for integrated programme of action on violence against women and children, and further assess the impact of the implementation of the Sexual Offences Act.

Ms Mmabatho Ramagoshi, Deputy Director-General: Policy Stakeholder and Knowledge Management, DOW, presented on the programme's strategic plan for the financial year. The sub-programme: Research and Policy analysis, aims to promote the development of gender-sensitive research and conduct policy analysis to intervene in transformation for socio-economic empowerment of women and gender equality.  The focus is particularly on the land reform and agri-parks programmes and incentive schemes.

The monitoring and evaluation sub-programme monitors the implementation of government projects and programmes and their impact on women empowerment. This will be achieved through the assessment and analysis of strategic plans, APPs and budgets of economic cluster departments and whether their plans address the mandate of the President. The Justice Cluster will also be monitored on its planned programmes to eliminate gender based violence. Engagements with the Civilian Secretariat of SAPS will be held on the implementation of protection orders.

The international relations sub-programme is aimed at coordinating and facilitating bilateral relations with strategic countries, civil society, the business community and United Nations entities, to mobilise financial and technical resources to support the Department’s programmes.

The information knowledge management sub-programme is the gateway of information to socio-economic empowerment of women and gender equality.

Discussion
Ms van der Merwe said that she has been encouraged by the pro-active monitoring and evaluation interventions within Programme 3, but would like a specific time-frame within which a report will be tabled and presented. She said that she has a sense that people are not aware about the call-centre that the Department of Social Development has, to help people in emergency situations where they stand the risk of being victims of sexual crimes. She requested that engagements should take place with the Department of Social Development to ensure that people are aware of that service and have access to it. She requested to know what the Department has done on the case of a top politician who was charged with sexual assault. She asked about the exact figures of children who are excluded from the education system yearly because they do not have sanitary pads.

Ms Chueu  said that the sanitary pads issue could be addressed through the Department of Trade and Industry lobbying for reduced taxes on sanitary pads or the reduction of sanitary pads prices so that they can be easily accessible to women. The pads could also be made to be VAT- free. The Justice cluster should also be engaged on the writing of statements, the sentencing of women, and rehabilitation of female offenders in correctional services. The magistrates are still patriarchal in their approach. The land issue is important because women have been deprived of land ownership. It should be clear, in respect to the Agri-parks programmes, exactly what percentages of women will own the land. What is the position of the Department with the report on the CGE or  Land Bank financing of land.

Ms Majeke  asked a question about the ownership of land by women in the agri-parks programme, and the exact amount that is allocated specifically for women and disabled women, and their access to the markets.

Ms Tseke made a follow-up on the interaction of the Department with the provinces. What is the relationship with the Office on the Status of Women within the provinces and local municipalities, as there seemed to be a gap? There is a lot of research that has been done regarding Thuthuzela Care Centers, and she asked why the Department did not use this research instead of carrying out further research. She asked that the Department clearly unpack what it is going to do regarding assessments of child care provisions, and its position regarding the One Woman One Hectare concept that the CGE is advocating for. The monitoring and evaluation tools are not yet complete, so how does the Department monitor other departments without them?

Ms Tarabella-Marchesi  said that the socio-economic programme of the Department is duplication of other efforts and detracts from the budget for Programme 3, which in her view is more relevant to the mandate of the Department. She said that she is disappointed that a huge amount of the budget goes towards administration and as a result the budget for the core issues suffers. The Department  speaks about financial inclusion, but does not mention what its involvement is regarding programmes within National Treasury that deal with financing of women cooperatives. In attempting to empower women, why are women cooperatives not being funded to produce sanitary pads? Why are women allocated the least budget in departments that are aimed at empowering them, such as the Department of Small Business Development?

Ms Bhengu asked whether the police have a clear understanding on what must be done when a sexual assault has taken place, and when the opening of a case. The Department of Justice is not taking seriously the training in gender based violence at police stations, nor the personnel that deal specifically with such cases. She asked if there was a difference between the dialogues the Department seeks to have in the provinces with the legal clinics, to those that the CGE conducts?  What is the position of the Department regarding the one woman one hectare campaign? The Department  did not mention anything regarding the status of women with disabilities. What is the percentage of disabled persons in the Department’s composition?

Ms Robinson asked a follow-up regarding the sanitary pads and their distribution at schools. She further said the issue of land is particularly important, and more attention must be given to widows and their displacement. The plight of women with albinism is also of concern and must be addressed because of the recent muti killings in the Kwa-Zulu Natal Province.

Ms Tarabella-Marchesi asked about the amount of money that the Department spends on office rental, and the condition of the offices. The offices are not worth the price, so what plans does the Department have regarding the contract and plans to acquire other office space.

The Chairperson asked to know what exactly Programme 2 will be doing that is different, taking into consideration its limited budget. How is the Department working with the CGE regarding gender focal points, and the information that it generates from its legal clinics? Has the Department looked intensely into the grouping of crimes by the SAPS? She asked that traditional leaders should be taken to task regarding the land issue.

Ms Schreiner responded by saying that the issues regarding land and access to land that have been raised are concrete suggestions that have come forward. Interventions and strategies to address the issue of sanitary pads will be dealt with, as a matter of urgency, with the relevant departments. The public service policy of women having to use sick leave days when they have their periods must be addressed, as it is a biological issue.

The agri-parks programmes should empower women, and the exchange of concrete oversight information enables the Department to strategise  how to address the issues that have been raised. The monitoring and evaluation will not be complete until the framework has been put in place. The Department does not develop policies, but interrogates the policies that are developed. The Department ’s position regarding the one woman one hectare campaign is to ensure that women actually benefit from programmes aimed at increasing land ownership amongst women.

The research that will be conducted is aimed at raising the policy and implementation questions around it. The Thuthuzela Care Centre model must be amended to operate in the rural areas where the hospitals, police stations and social worker offices are kilometers apart. Victim support is not the responsibility of this Department, but there is a contribution in regard to the Sexual Offences Act, where the victim support model by the service delivery departments is not addressing the needs. The Office on the Status of Women within the provinces is being addressed, and that office must be located within the Premier’s offices. The concerns about the relationship will be addressed.

Mr Shiviti said that the lease agreement was inherited from the previous Minister, but the weaknesses within the lease are being engaged with and improvements have been made within the building. There is a building that has been identified which will cater specifically to the needs of the Department and engagements with Department of Public Works and National Treasury have been undertaken.

Ms Muthien said that the research conducted will lead to proposals that will be put forward to the relevant departments to address them from women’s perspective.

Ms Schreiner said that written responses will be forwarded to the Committee with specifics of information requested relating to the exact percentages of disabled employees composition, the number of children excluded from the child care system because of lack of sanitary pads, and the issue of office space. She said that the DOW values and will continue to consider the inputs of the Committee, and any assistance that the Committee can provide to address the issues that have been raised.

The meeting was adjourned.

 

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