Developmental status of all Cooperatives funded by Department: Department of Small Business Development briefing

Small Business Development

01 March 2017
Chairperson: Ms R Bhengu (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Department said it could not brief the Committee on the subject matter due to inadequate capacity to collect the information from the cooperatives. Therefore, it proposed to be given time to come back to the Committee with the full report on the 400 cooperatives that it funded since its inception. Members were not happy about this proposal, and were in consensus that it seemed the Department had no idea about the importance of its role, because the mechanisms put in place were ineffective. Members shared concerns about the fact that it was completely erroneous and unacceptable of the Department to provide Co-operative Incentive Scheme (CIS) without due, thorough and proper mechanisms in place to monitor the funds given to cooperatives. Therefore, it seemed that it had no sense of understanding of its developmental role but posing itself as a funding institution when it was supposed to prioritise its developmental mandate.

The Department highlighted that only 47% of the cooperatives that were funded by it was the Department able to do post assessments and disbursement visits to, and it was able to do further work with another set of cooperatives. Before the Department funded a project, all projects were visited, so there were pre-assessments before disbursements of all the projects. That was basis the of providing funding, this provided that if the funding was given for fencing or equipment, the post-assessment or disbursement was to establish whether what the money was provided for was done. The Department had not progressed to the point where it went and measures the developmental status, when it presented the programme review to the Committee, it stated that there were certain projects which had to be restructured and up-scaled and so it was still in the process of changing the approach of dealing with cooperatives. The Department now established its own M&E unit in order to assist in facilitating its post-disbursement/post-assessment evaluation and monitoring function for all the CIS provided, because the M&E function that was supposed to have migrated to the Department from the Department of Trade and Industry remained in the DTI which made the processes much more difficult and virtually impossible for the Department to carry out its mandated duties.

Members asked about why the critical services and functions and capacity remained in the DTI when the SMMEs and cooperatives developmental duty was absorbed by the Department; when did the Department decide that it would not be able to present to the Committee;  how long did it need in order to get the presentation ready; the time frame between the pre-assessment/disbursement and the post disbursement visits;  what was achieved with the R139 million funding that was provided to the cooperatives; how was it possible to visit all 400 cooperatives prior to the disbursements and impossible to visit all of them after the funds have been disbursed; and where the Department lacked capacity exactly – in its personnel or in overall.

The consideration of the oversight draft reported was deferred by the Members to be considered in the next meeting due to time constraints. However, a Member noted that the report was indeed excellent and highlighted how the Department failed to carry out its objectives. 

Meeting report

Opening Remarks
The Chairperson stated that the Committee called the meeting to consider three items, which were the minutes of the previous meeting, the briefing by the Department of Small Business Development on the developmental status of all 400 Cooperatives funded by the Department since its inception and the consideration of the KZN January-February draft report on the oversight visit by the Committee.

Consideration of outstanding minutes
The Committee adopted the minutes dated 27 February 2017 with the proposed minor amendments.

The Chairperson thanked the Members, and moved for the second item of the agenda. She handed over to the Director-General of Department of Small Business Development, Ms Edith Vries.

Briefing by the Department of Small Business Development on the developmental status of all 400 Cooperatives funded by the Department since its inception
The DG asked for more time to prepare and bring the presentation, after a bit of work that the Department did on the subject matter, it was clearly indicated that there was still a bit more work that had to be done. For now the Department could present a sample of the 400 cooperatives that were funded, because it was not possible for the DSBD to go visit each of the Cooperatives. With that being said, the Department was of the view that if research was done properly and thoroughly, one could produce a reasonable estimation from a sample of the 400 cooperatives. Post assessments and disbursement visits for 47% of the cooperatives funded were done, and further work with another set of cooperatives. The Department regretted that it was currently unable to present the information as per the request of the Committee, and requested more time to come back and present a more detailed analysis.

Mr X Mabasa (ANC) said in view of the request placed before the Committee by the DG, he said he would move that the Committee accepted the request.

Rev. K Meshoe (ACDP) said whilst he agreed with Mr Mabasa, he acknowledged that it would not be easy for the Department to visit all the cooperatives. With being said, he asked how many cooperatives were visited to date and what their status was. At least there should be some information that could be shared with the Committee with the work that was done thus far on the cooperatives visited thus far.

Mr T Chance (DA) shared his disappointment about the fact that the Members would not be getting the presentation today, but asked when the Department decided that it would not be able to present to the subject matter to the Committee. Secondly, how long did it need in order to get the presentation ready?

Mr S Mncwabe (NFP) said that he did not support Mr Mabasa’s proposal, but he would have supported it if the DG submitted that she could only present a certain number because the information to furnish to the Committee was the developmental state of those cooperatives. Therefore, it should not be a difficult task to inform the Committee on the developmental progress of those cooperatives. Furthermore, he was not satisfied that the DG submits it was not possible to visit all of them but it funded all of them, which did not make sense because it could not dish out money for funding and not have mechanisms in place to ensure that it followed up on the funded cooperatives.

Mr N Capa (ANC) said the fact that this was a request from the Committee was what made the situation unfavourable right now. Perhaps the Committee should make it a directive that the Department must provide this information. Maybe the Department took it very lightly because it was a request not a directive, hence, it was unprepared to provide the requested information.

The DG said before the Department funded projects, all projects were visited, so there were pre-assessments or disbursements of all the projects. That was basis of providing funding; this provided that if the funding was given for fencing or equipment, the post-assessment or disbursement was to establish whether what the money was provided for was done. The Department did not progress to the point where it went and measured the developmental status, when it presented the programme review to the Committee, it stated that there were certain projects which had to be restructured and up-scaled and so it was still in the process of changing the approach of dealing with cooperatives. She said no new procedures were in place yet, but the Department was mindful that the current procedures were not adequate as inherited from the DTI.

The Department visited 169 cooperatives (47%) of the 400. She noted that she was not certain when exactly the decision was made, but the Department was in correspondence with the Committee to present the directive at a later stage. Also, it was indicated that it commissioned a study on cooperatives incentive scheme and other incentives that were available at the Department, but that information would only be available in November and it entered in a contract with a service provider and it could make that information available sooner. In addition to that, there was about 30 additional cooperatives that the Department engaged with differently, with the 12 in KZN and another few that were ready to participate in a different programme and there were some case studies on another 10 as well as qualitative engagements with about 30 cooperatives. So if the Committee wanted the Department to present on those 30 cooperatives, it could do so, and highlight some of the challenges, successes and lessons learned from those cooperatives.

Mr Chance lamented that words were failing him to describe his response to what he was hearing from the Department. The CIS was around for 10 years and billions of rands were dished out from state coffers, and the standard operating procedures which assessed the impact of this money were not yet developed. It would seem to be fundamental on state programmes that there were checks and balances already put in place by now of how the money was spent and an obvious reporting mechanism in place to make sure that the cooperatives funded sent information through to the Department on a regular basis. It seemed that the decision to not present to the Committee the subject matter was made this morning, which was an indication of crisis management in the Department and the DG’s inadequacy to manage things properly and inadequate systems in the Department. It seemed that the Department failed to every single cooperative (the 12 in KZN), if he had been in her position, he would cease all funding for cooperative until these problems were sorted out because one could not continue throwing money on the wall and hoping some of it would stick. The Chairperson should make a public statement that the Department failed dismally to carry out its mandate, and demand answers from the Department. It could not satisfy itself and the Committee in achieving its goals; it must be closed down.

Mr Mncwabe said that it was still not clear why the Department could not visit all the cooperatives, and the legitimate reasons should be provided in order for the Committee to come up with a resolution to assist where the Department was lacking capacity.

Rev. Meshoe asked about the time frame between the pre-assessment/disbursement and the post disbursement visits.

Mr Thulane said in the previous Ministry there was a specific unit that was tasked with the responsibility of post-disbursement assessments, evaluation and monitoring. Unfortunately, that unit was not migrated into the Department of Small Business Development; the team was currently working on this in the Department and had to be spread out to handle applications and post-assessment visits. There was a movement to get capacity in that regard as it was lacking at the moment. As for the time frames, it was 3 to 6 months once payment was made.

The Chairperson asked a follow up question about the mandate for development of cooperatives and SMMEs, and if that mandate migrated also meant that both human and financial resources had to migrate. It was very difficult to understand why, when that function migrated, half of the resources would not migrate to the Department but stayed in the DTI even though the DTI was no longer mandated to develop cooperatives and SMMEs. It seemed that it was a deliberate act to kill the cooperatives, because there was no actual work of development being carried out by the Department; to only provide funding did not suffice to development.

The DG said she was not part of the migration, but there was a process that was led by the Presidency and there was a formal procedure of how the split should happen. She noted that she recently had a meeting with the DG of the DTI to discuss this, and it appeared that the DTI held a view that this was a process that was overseen and not done by the DTI at its whim. There was a report of the process and how it unfolded, and the office of the DG requested that report. The fact was the DTI had an established research department and unit and its research capacity remained. The M&E that was conducted was done at the headquarters of the DTI research unit and the M&E capacity in there was that research unit that did the report on the survival of the cooperatives. The DSBD was operating under the ambit of the DTI, effectively from the 1st of April 2016 for the first time the DSBD established its own research and policy unit. It did not recruit any researchers and specialists from any other department, but it reassigned people most suited and with the qualifications. Various frameworks were developed and the Department did not have this function before, it was the issue of capacity and that unit had only about 9% of the Department’s total budget but it indeed did good work in establishing the framework for the unit.

The budget that the Department operated on was still the same one with the same increases; last year there was an increase in the budget for operations which was only meant for three programmes and so no extra money was received to increase capacity. The Department was still operating with the same budget from the DTI, and it was a capacity problem which took a long time to establish a department, and the fact that it now had a research unit it did not mean that it was ready immediately to execute its duties.

The Chairperson asked a follow up question about what was achieved with the R139 million funding that was provided to the cooperatives, and how was it possible to visit all 400 cooperatives prior to the disbursements but it was not possible to visit all of them after the funds were disbursements. The Department was not a funding institute, it was a developmental Department meaning that the CIS was one of the developmental tools, so what did the Department do after it provided the CIS to cooperatives. The Committee asked simply for a developmental status of those funded cooperatives, so was the money just down the drain and wasted.

Mr Mncwabe said during the SONA debate he stated that the development of cooperatives was very crucial towards the development and growth of the economy, and the speaking of radical transformation. In response, the President said that, on the national spending of Government, there was a percentage that Government had to purchase or procure from cooperatives. So he lamented that when the cooperatives that were funded by Government money could not be accounted for or was not yet at the state of readiness to supply to Government, how was that going to be possible. Seemingly, there was no understanding from what the vision of Government was and office bearers in the departments.

Mr Chance said that it should not be a big deal for the Department to go back to the DTI and ask it to sub-contract the services that the DSBD needed at the moment, which were initially supposed to be transferred to the DSBD to begin with, more especially the M&E capacity, and why was this not done. There was a lack of consequence about the under-performance of the personnel.

Mr Mulaudzi (EFF) said he was not surprised about the cooperatives’ issue currently persisting at the Department and the development of cooperatives was not something new within the ANC Government, but the way the Department was struggling to put in place proper systems and procedures was indeed worrying. One would recall that on the establishment of the Department, Mr Mabasa raised the issue of the name, that it was wrong and should be changed to include or insert ‘Cooperatives’ in it but it was not taken seriously and it seemed that it was now on the periphery. Personnel was given a mandate and it seemed they were not even aware of their own NDP, because it clearly stated that 90% of job creation was to come from SMMEs and Cooperatives, so there was nothing that was going to be achieved with such lazy officials in the Department moving at such a slow pace. 90% of the people who were in the Department came from the DTI, so they should be excelling because they now had their own Minister and mandate, from 2014 to the current year, people were still being taught. The budget from Treasury was not biased to the SMMEs and it was only providing R3.9 billion in the MTEF, so how could the development of SMMEs and cooperatives be fast-tracked and nothing would be achieved at this pace. Otherwise, the radical transformation that the President spoke of so highly was not going to be achieved at this pace because the purpose of establishing the Department was to fast-track that radical transformation. There were too many excuses being thrown around here, and he asked for the protection of the Chairperson to not be abused by being called to a meeting to hear excuses and under-performance.

Mr Capa asked about who was responsible for the Committee’s directive on the subject matter, so that they could be held accountable. Secondly, who did not have capacity exactly; was it the Department or the individuals assigned to execute the tasks. Lastly, what would be done by the Department differently to make sure that it presented the subject matter this time around since the DG was asking for more time.

Mr H Kruger (DA) said the problem with the Department was about the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators); it seemed that it was chasing numbers and dishing out money. Secondly, there was a lot of double-dipping happening at the moment, and it seemed the Department was happy spending a lot of money, and so the question was what was their strategy to stop this and the double-dipping, and how many of the cooperatives were known by the Department; was there a database kept by the Department.

Mr Mzoxolo Maki, Acting Deputy Director-General, Department of Small Business Development, said the Department was not structured to discharge the responsibility of monitoring the developmental status of the funded cooperatives. However, the DSBD now started a process to work with Small Enterprise Development Agency (Seda) to assist in pre- and post-investment support, and provide the information required by the Department on the developmental status of the 400 funded cooperatives. Once this happened, it would give the DSBD some space to free up some resources of personnel nature to focus on the Research and M&E on the supported projects. There was an exercise whereby the Department was currently undertaking to re-configure itself, and at the centre of that was to empower the Department to be able to focus on M&E specifically and checking the developmental indicators of cooperatives which would be determined through the M&E unit.

The Chairperson interjected to ask who would be responsible for developing the cooperatives if the Department was now going to be partnering with Seda to assist it in pre- and post-investment assessments.

Mr Mncwabe asked (in isiZulu) how did a Department start with dishing out the money without a proper and thorough evaluation of the recipient; it did not make sense that the Department only deemed it necessary to monitor and evaluate usage of that money after it gave it out.

The DG said the Department conducted visits with the resources that it had, but it also was the reason why it took so long to turnaround. Surely Members heard of people who applied for CIS two years ago, and were waiting to hear. It was the time involved and the people available to do that which was the problem, which translated to limited resources in the Department. In order to correct it, the Department started a process of getting Seda to do the pre-investment visits for the Department and took advantage of the fact that Seda had offices around the country and experienced business advisers and support staff and so this assisted the process. With regards to the post-assessments visits which the Department was planning to partner with Seda on, was something that the Department was considering doing in order to sharpen its monitoring and evaluation and push the entities to do the experimentation. Ultimately, the monitoring would remain the responsibility of the National Department, so some of the implementation roles would be transferred to Seda and the implementation of business support and post-investment visits was something that Seda could actually do. Currently, there was a document with a list of all the implementation programmes that the Department would transfer to its entities and what the modalities of that migration will be.

What became the next step in order to be more developmental, the Department began to put together a model of integrated support to cooperatives and engaged with Treasury and worked very hard to get the funding. The Department beat itself about how it failed the 12 cooperatives in KZN, in that it took the lessons that were crucial to strengthen the model of developmental approach. Just doing CIS alone was not going to enable the cooperatives to drive radical transformation in a manner that they were meant to, and this was something that the Department learnt and was working towards ensuring it provided more than just CIS to cooperatives.

The Department did an analysis of the 400 cooperatives; 75% of them were in the agriculture, 15% in manufacturing, and 10% in services sector. So it meant that if the Department worked with the cooperatives, it meant that the cooperatives would then be in a position to make use of the procurement facilities of Government’s R500 billion procurement budget for agricultural services, so this was the type of unity work that the Department was currently doing.

Mr Capa said that everything that was said by the Department did not indicate that what the Committee needed was going to be done. The key thing in these discussions was capacity; when was the issue of capacity going to be addressed.

The DG said the unit for Programme Design and Support was led by Mr Maki, and the person specifically responsible for the development of cooperatives was Mr Jeff Ndumo. With regards to market access and the driving of transversal agreements, which was being driven by one of the member’s in Mr Maki’s team. All of these units were incapacitated to support the Department; that fact was put out there so that the Department could receive the support it needed. Mr Ndumo’s unit that was driving the cooperatives development and driving the integrated model on cooperative support only had three people, and as well as the rest of other teams, they had small numbers. The Department comprised of 196 personnel or staff, and 105 were in administration across HR, IT, Finance and others and the rest of the staff was the personnel that was responsible for running the core business of the Department.

Mr Chance said his question was not answered about the Department sub-contracting the services it needed from the DTI in the interim, until it was fully managing to be on its feet to run its operations.

Mr Mncwabe proposed that the Committee should release the Department until further notice when it was able to present the information needed from it by the Committee.

Rev. Meshoe asked about the unit that was equipped to deal with the cooperatives at the DTI, what exactly was it equipped with in terms of capacity? How much money was allocated to it to execute its mandate, and what were the personnel? Secondly, from the 1st of April the 10% set aside was going to be implemented, so did the Department know of any cooperatives that were ready to take advantage of the 10% set aside. Lastly, he asked for the list of responsibilities of the staff members in the Department and what they were qualified to do.

Mr T Khoza (ANC) asked for direction from the Department in terms of what it was prepared to do in order to deal with its attitude in terms of its daily activities.

Mr Mabasa said it was known that Seda was over-outsourcing and it was in itself not internally resourced, so when the Department spoke of Seda assisting it and resolving most of its problem, did it picture Seda further outsourcing in order to solve its problem. Secondly, out of the 400 cooperatives, how many cooperatives funded were in Soweto. Lastly, when the Department came to report back it must note that the Committee was interested on impact as well as outcomes.

Mr Jeff Ndumo said the information could be made available, but that would mean that the Department must visit all provinces and the cooperatives to gather the raw data. But it was important to note that it was only a unit of three people, and there was some capacity in the division that dealt with incentives so maybe some of the personnel in that division could be deployed to assist in that regard, but it would take a bit of time. The Department would need a few months to put together that data. With that being said, there was a need in the Department to have restructuring or design that would enable it to execute all these duties. A proper value chain engagement was needed that would be able to assist in all these levels.

Rev. Meshoe asked for clarity on whether the restructuring mentioned referred to the restructuring of the entire Department or Mr Ndumo’s unit.

Mr Ndumo said the entire cooperatives unit needed to be re-designed and restructured in order to meet the mandate that was on the table in the discussion today.

Mr Mabasa said Mr Ndumo was working on cooperatives for over ten years, so this re-design of cooperatives was never mentioned before whilst in the meantime the people that needed this assistance were in poverty and in need of Government assistance, so this could not just be a thumb-suck thinking or decision.

The DG said that the teams were in the process of restructuring the Department, there was an interim rearrangement last year and it would be working with the DPSA on developing the new structure. When the Department was about to submit its structure in November last year to the DPME, it received feedback on the APP for next year on how the Department should change its role and on its mandate on developing SMMEs and cooperatives. This required the Department to re-work its strategy, and it developed it and it would present it to the Committee and its structure followed from that. The context of restructuring was all on that strategy. The DG appealed to the Members to be given more time to present on the subject matter, because there was still a lot of data that the Department needed to collect to formulate the presentation. As for the database, the Department was working together with other Departments to create a database that would ensure that double-dipping was eliminated across Government departments because it was across Government departments.

With regards to the number of the personnel in the department, the 105 staff members were the support staff necessary for the operations of the department, and the cost of that employment was less than 30% of the Department’s budget. The Department was currently in discussions with Seda regarding the modalities of outsourcing.

The Chairperson believed that the Department was failing to coordinate its entities, and actually develop the SMMEs and cooperatives as per its mandate.

Mr Chance said that it was time for a more fundamental approach if the Department continued to be given time. When the Fifth Parliament rose in 2019, things would not have changed. So it would make sense to end their torture now by ending the meeting, because they (as Members) were getting nothing from the Department.

The DG stated that the reason why the M&E function was not outsourced from the DTI was because the DTI was unwilling to provide any further support to the Department. The Department had a corporation agreement with the DTI to assist the Department in some of the minor support services, but that corporation agreement now came to an end. The Department was now working to building its own capacity and not have to rely on other stakeholders to carry it out mandate. Furthermore, she could not respond on how many cooperatives were ready to take advantage of the set-aside, but as soon as detailed information was available the Department would provide it to the Committee.

The Chairperson highlighted that the Departments withheld information from the Committee, and that as fundamentally wrong and unacceptable. Secondly, the issue of outsourcing needed to be addressed.

Mr Chance said the DG decided only on the last minute to not present to the Committee the information she had at her disposal because she believed it was not what the Committee wanted to hear. Secondly, the DTI had to be invited to the Committee to answer to why it had not availed itself effectively to assist the Department to carry out its mandate and account for itself in terms of why the functions of the corporation agreement were unilaterally withdrawn. He proposed that the Chairperson should send a letter of invitation to the DTI.

The DG said that the agreement with the DTI was not unilaterally withdrawn, it was a corporation agreement for the first few months and it was extended until the end of the 2015/16 financial year. The agreement ended on the assumption that the Department was ready to carry out its functions. The agreement with the DTI was to provide support services for Human Resources and it was only the M&E function that was not included in that agreement.

The Chairperson dissected that the Department failed itself by not taking advantage of the fact that the Deputy Minister was more informed about the services that were in the DTI designed for SMMEs and cooperatives development by not involving her, therefore it found itself in a position in which it was negotiating from a position of weaknesses. All the services that were essential to the Department for the development of SMMEs and cooperatives remained in the DTI, which actually sabotaged the Department because it did not make sense why those services remained there. Therefore, the Committee had the responsibility to inform the DTI that it actually sabotaged the Department by allowing services that should have migrated to the Department to remain in the DTI.

Mr Mncwabe pleaded that when the Department was not ready to make a presentation it had to write to the Committee in time and inform it accordingly, because now it seemed that the Committee was also contributing to fruitless expenditure with flight costs to come to Cape Town from Pretoria to only tell the Committee that the Department was not ready.

The Chairperson said lastly, there was no reason for the Department to go visit the cooperatives physically as a form of silo mentality because each cooperative resided within a Ward, and Wards were situated within municipalities and each municipality had an LED (Local Economic Development) office which the Department could make use of without spending money. The systems of Government were already in place, so the Department needed to begin utilising those systems, those LED offices were already capacitated and the people already paid. It seemed that the problem with the Department was outsourcing and getting into that habit without actually exploring Government structures that were already in place to assist it. Therefore, the capacity of manpower was already there but the issue with regards to capacity was the lack of strategic planning in the Department. So from now on the Department needed to take note that the Committee was in the process of getting the same information using the same structures, which meant the Department could not mislead the Committee on what was actually happening on the ground level.

Mr Mulaudzi said that what was actually happening here was very embarrassing, and the Chairperson tried to profusely explain and educate the Ministry on its role. He emphasised that 90% of the time the Minister and her Deputy were in absence in the Committee meetings whilst the Department was actually struggling to grow, therefore, the Minister and the Deputy did not show any seriousness about the mandate of the Department and in fact so was the people deployed here. Even in the cabinet there was a lack of seriousness, because Treasury was only going to consider the Department’s budget in the MTEF. He proposed that perhaps the Chairperson should put this issue in the agenda when she met with the NEC or the Executive, because this Department was established specially to uplift the poor people. Furthermore, the DG was totally lost; she spoke as an academic and said things that did not make any sense in relation to the subject matter and the framework and motive of the Department. Otherwise, she must fall.

Mr Mncwabe supported Mr Mulaudzi and made a formal proposal that the Committee recommended to fire the DG because it did not seem like she understood what the Department was established to do, and she oozed a lot of arrogance. Secondly, he agreed with Mr Chance’s proposal to invite the DTI and Treasury to account on their role in supporting the Department to achieve the 9 million NDP (National Development Plan) job target.

Mr Chance stated that it was not the Committee’s job to fire the DG, but its job was to call the Minister to come and account to the Committee because that was her job both politically and in terms of the management of her Department. It was absolutely clear that her absence progressively in the last few months was an indication that she was running away from the issues. These issues were not going to be solved if the Department or the Minister was in denial about them. There was a massive disconnect between the money allocated to the Department and what was expected by Government to do, and Mr Chance said he proposed this notion to the House yesterday, and pleaded with the Chairperson to have a word with her Chief Whip, Mr Jackson Mthembu, about this notion so that the disconnect between the money allocated to the Department and what it was expected to do, to be brought to sense.

Mr Khoza said that the budget allocation to the Department translated to the incapacity of the Department itself to deliver results, perhaps Treasury picked this up. Hence it did not allocate the appropriate and sufficient budget allocation.

The Chairperson said the Committee would have to invite the Minister to engage the DG and the Committee and discuss the under-performance of the Department. Furthermore, in closing, she advised that she would write a letter to the Minister to invite her to engage with the Committee on the under-performance of her Department.

Consideration of the draft oversight visit report in KwaZulu-Natal
Mr Chance stated that he read the report, it was excellent but a bit long-winded and repetitive at times, and as someone who had knowledge of what the issues were it pulled no punches. It further emphasized that the Department failed at what it was doing and all its objectives. The Department needed a fresh approach and the fact that it did not engage with the municipalities until the week before the Committee had its oversight visit, was just completely incompetence and unacceptable, as well as the fact the municipalities were not even aware of those cooperative was completely ludicrous.

The Chairperson stated due to time constraints, she proposed that the Committee defer the matter and prioritise it on the next meeting because if it was rushed now, it would not be done justice.

The meeting was adjourned.



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