The Committee expressed dissatisfaction over the absence of the Minister, Deputy Minister and NDA CEO. Members stated that this has become a routine for the Minister not to be present when required due to the Wednesday Cabinet meeting. The Committee should take a stand in holding the Minister to account. Further, the Deputy Minister is not a Cabinet member so clarification was needed why she was absent. They called upon the Chairperson to reschedule meetings including the present meeting to a day the Minister can be present. The Chairperson asked Members to allow the meeting to continue and assured them that the Minister will be invited to speak to the plans being presented and offer clarification were needed. Cabinet meetings clashing with Committee meetings on Wednesdays will also be considered.
The Department of Social Development said its strategic priorities are: reforming the social welfare sector and services to deliver better results; improving the provision of Early Childhood Development (ECD); deepening social assistance and extending the scope for social security; strengthening integrated community development interventions and improving household food and nutrition; and establishment of social protection systems to strengthen coordination, integration, planning, monitoring and evaluation of services. The major challenge they have with regards to achieving targets relates to financial constraints.
Members raised concerns over the lack of timelines for targets. Substance abuse, child support grants, foster care grants, universalisation of grants, social worker graduates and food programmes were also discussed.
The National Development Agency business case entails:
- Positioning the agency as the NDA was perceived by social partners and some government departments as not well positioned to deliver on its mandate.
- Focusing and establishing a niche: key stakeholders interviewed in both government and civil society organisations (CSO) sectors expressed the view that the NDA is duplicating activities done by other government departments and performing functions that should be performed by CSOs
- Institutional support structure as its structure and ability cannot efficiently and effectively contribute to its legislated mandate.
- Visibility and access to NDA by CSOs. The NDA is not known and this was a major concern for the agency.
Members were satisfied with the presentation and unqualified audit report with findings received by the NDA. They asked what measures are in place to avoid reoccurrence of these findings. They asked about the link between capacity development of CSOs and amendments to the Non-Profit Organisations (NPO) Act and its compliance rate.
Apologies were received from the Minister and Deputy Minister who were attending a Cabinet meeting and the NDA CEO who was meeting international investors.
Ms E Wilson (DA) said that the meetings of the Committee are always clashing with those of Cabinet. The meeting today is critical; the Minister is accountable for the Department and she is not here to clarify or answer to questions that will be raised. Can the dates be changed so that Cabinet meetings will not clash with those of the Committee?
Ms L van der Merwe (IFP) said the meeting should be rescheduled since the accounting officers are not present. This has become a frequent occurrence especially at Wednesday meetings. Can the meeting be rescheduled and different dates be scheduled so that the Committee can interact with accounting officers?
Ms V Mogotsi (ANC) said that the absence of the NDA CEO is not proper. Since she is new, it would have been good for her to be present. The Minister and Deputy Minister’s absence should be allowed. Most times they are not around and the meetings still go on.
Ms H Malgas (ANC) said that according to the PFMA, the appointment of the accounting officer should be in writing. Who is acting on behalf of the NDA CEO today?
Ms S Tsoleli (ANC) said that the apology of the NDA CEO is not accepted. The CEO is accountable and she instead prioritised the investors over the parliamentary committee and that is not acceptable. Last year, the Committee received a letter from the Minister appointing Ms Nelisiwe Vilakazi as the acting Director General of the DSD, as such the Committee should stick to that since no letter has disqualified that. The Deputy Minister is not a member of the Cabinet; clarification is needed on why she is absent from the meeting.
Ms van der Merwe said there is no leadership to account at today’s meeting. The APP is signed by three people who are not present today. This matter is not to be taken lightly. If people cannot be here because it is a Wednesday, then the day, time and date should be changed to when it is convenient for them to be available. Other DSD officials cannot be held accountable.
The Chairperson said that the points raised by Members are valid. She pleaded with Members for the meeting to go on and then plan accordingly for the next meeting.
Ms Wilson said she has no issue with continuing the presentation. However, Members will raise questions and it would not be fair to put the DDG and other officials under pressure to answer the questions. A meeting should however be organised to call the Minister in on the same report to account and give clarity to the Committee. The Committee should take a stand in holding the Minister to account.
Ms Mogotsi asked who Members should engage with if the DSD presents the APP.
Ms Tsoleli said that Committee should not be influenced by the occurrence that happened in another meeting [when the Select Committee refused to hear DSD the previous day because the Ministry was absent]. The Committee should look at its own precedent. In the past, Members have dealt with issues even though signatories were absent from the meeting. It is also important to get legal opinion in terms of consequences of moving forward or not with the presentation; sentiments should be avoided. The PFMA allows the DDG appointed as the Acting Director General to account to the Committee, whether in the presence or absence of the Minister.
The Chairperson said that time is of essence and pleaded to the Members to allow the presentation to continue. This plea does not exonerate the Minister from being absent for the budget and strategic plan presentation. The Minister will be invited to provide clarity.
Ms van der Merwe then said that if the Committee proceeds with the meeting in absence of the Minister, it is weakening its oversight role as MPs. This is the reason why the Committee routinely comes under criticism because it allows the status quo to continue. Next week’s meeting with SASSA is on a Wednesday. Is there any intervention to ensure that the Minister will be present next Wednesday? This is to avoid the same apology from the Minister and her Deputy.
The Chairperson said that if the Minister is not available for next week’s meeting, then the meeting will be rescheduled. She further pleaded for today’s meeting to continue.
Ms Tsoleli said that the Committee is aware that it is working on stretched timelines from Parliament.
The Committee Secretary said that the debate for the DSD Budget Vote is on 25 May which means that whatever arrangements the Committee wants to make, its report must be ready before that debate.
The Chairperson further pleaded for the presentation to go on.
Ms Tsoleli supported the plea.
Ms Wilson seconded.
The Chairperson then handed over to the Acting DG to make the presentation.
DSD Budget Vote, Strategic Plan, Annual Performance Plan 2017/18
Ms Nelisiwe Vilakazi, DSD Acting Director General, said that the briefing deals with the Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan of the DSD. She then handed over to Mr Buthelezi to make the presentation.
Mr Thabani Buthelezi, DSD Chief Director: Monitoring and Evaluations, briefed the Committee on the strategic priorities of the DSD:
- Reforming the social welfare sector and services to deliver better results
- Improve the provision of Early Childhood Development (ECD).
- Deepening social assistance and extending the scope for social security
- Strengthening integrated community development interventions and improving household food and nutrition
- Establish social protection systems to strengthen coordination, integration, planning, monitoring and evaluation of services.
Mr Clifford Appel, DSD CFO, spoke to the financial 2017 MTEF baseline allocations. There are baseline increases and baseline reductions. The baseline increases are due to reductions in compensation of employees, social worker scholarships, social assistance grants, payments for capital assets, adjustments to conditional grants and ECD grant. The baseline increases are in the establishment of an inspectorate.
Ms B Abrahams (ANC) said that the targets presented cannot be monitored by the Committee because there is no timeframe allocated them. Why is the presentation done without a timeline? When will the disability inequality index be developed? What are the criteria for the annual older person’s parliament? How will it be managed in provinces, who participates and what are the benefits for older persons? On the population policy, there are no real measures on how things are going to be done. There is no real target set by the DSD. Most of the targets have no dates attached to enable oversight on the part of the Committee.
Ms K De Kock (DA) said that universalisation of the grant for older persons and children is stated as a high-level output. Listing the universalisation of older persons and children grants as a high-level output creates the impression that it will be done by 2020. The target set for these people to be reached is not a universalised target and is also not linked to a budget. Is it correct to say that universalisation of older persons and children grants will not happen by 2020? Is the DSD serious about the matter or is it included in the presentation for political purposes?
Ms De Kock said the provision of scholarships is very important. Where will the scholars work after the scholarships? Most of the non-profit organisations (NPO) are non-compliant and do not appoint professional people. The scholars can neither work in the NPO sector nor the DSD, because the DSD has not budgeted for them. Where will they work?
There is a big problem regarding food and nutrition security. Instead of having an integrated food and nutrition security plan/programme, is it not strategic and effective to increase the grants? People know what nutritious foods are and where to buy them; the problem is lack of money.
Ms van der Merwe said that most of the targets are vague. There is no timeframe or list of communities that will be targeted.
The DSD inherited the gender based violence (GBV) programme when the previous Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities was collapsed into DSD and since then it has become an integrated programme of action in the DSD. Mr Buthelezi said DSD will ensure it is implemented which means that by 2018, it should have yielded a lot. The DSD focus a lot on the call centre and indeed it is working well. Statistics however have shown that there is no decrease in GBV. There is not enough access to shelters, what else apart from the command call centre is the DSD working on? Studies have shown that GBV is leading to school bullying. What are the successes of the integrated programme of action?
Instead of having three campaigns for awareness on substance abuse, is it not better to target interventions in hotspot communities?
Is the DSD working with the Department of Basic Education to curb teenage pregnancies?
How many children are adopted each year and how many are in the system?
Where will the social workers work after the training since there is no budget? What plans does the DSD have with regards to approaching Treasury? What is the thinking around where the social workers will work since most of the work of the Department hinges on social workers?
What is happening to ensure that government departments are meeting their minimum 2% employment of people with disability?
The Chairperson asked if the Acting DG engaged with the Minister on the plans presented to the Committee. Cooperatives are critical but the major challenge is implementation. Experience in the Free State shows there is need for DSD to review its policies on cooperatives including education. There is a lot of desire for cooperatives development and funding thereof.
What type of training will the teenagers be engaged in, since some of them are full time students? There is a need to have a balance between parenting training and their academic work.
On the issue of drugs, there are no village committees in most rural areas. The drugs issue has moved to muti. A master was brought to a traditional leader in Langa showing people practising it in senior secondary school. When the students were brought in and asked to perform, they did. Most of them turned into animals such as lions. Most of them live in the forest. One murdered two students and drank their blood. The issue of child protection is worse now and should be a high-level priority. When the students were asked why they are using magic, they responded that it is for protection against teachers.
The food programme is not working well. There should be self-revaluation of the model for feeding people. This issue should be raised with the Minister so that she can advise the Committee on it.
Ms Malgas said the Committee had received a policy report and annual performance plan from the DSD but no operational plan. Within the ambit of legislation, the three documents are supposed to be sent to the Committee. The vagueness of targets raised by one of the MPs would have been solved if there was an operational plan. The Committee cannot oversee the DSD properly without the operational plan.
It is expected that there should be a decrease in the number of war veterans but why is there a decrease in foster care grants and in the social relief of distress. What evidence does the DSD have that it will decrease?
How many social worker graduates can be employed with the money available?
What is the total number of ECD centres in South Africa?
Why is the DSD building capacity of the provinces on the Children’s Amendment Bill, when the Act has been amended? Is this another amendment?
Programme 1 is Administration but nothing is clear about what is happening in that programme.
What is causing the reduction of money in the compensation of employees? Is the DSD not aware of how many people it employs and the vacancies it has?
What is the R34 million office accommodation for? Is it for maintenance?
How will the money budgeted for HIV/AIDS be used?
The Chairperson asked that the DSD submit its operational plan to assist the Committee in oversight even though it is not the tradition of the Department to do so.
Ms Nelisiwe Vilakazi, DSD Acting Director General, said that indeed it is not the tradition of the DSD to submit its operational plan but it can be brought to the Committee at its next meeting. The DSD has operational plans and some of the questions asked will be answered when the operational plan has been presented. Budget cuts are to be found across all government departments, not only the DSD.
Mr Brenton van Vrede, DSD Acting Deputy Director General: Comprehensive Social Security, said that over the last two to three years there has been a decline in trends with regards to foster care. Most of the children in foster care are reaching the 18 year threshold. Not a lot of children are being placed in foster care, hence the decrease.
The Social Relief of Distress Grant is not like other grants. The demand for social relief of distress is greater than the budget the DSD has. The DSD can only supply according to its budget.
Mr van Vrede said the DSD Strategic Plan contains a broader concept of universalisation. The Annual Performance Plan contains what DSD’s performance will be for the coming year. The DSD released a discussion paper last year on comprehensive social security reform. The reform looks at the child support grant (CSG), old age plan, universalisation, disability and pensions. The comprehensive social security reform is a huge one and will take a lot of time to be fully actualised. The universalisation cuts across many departments. The universalisation also requires huge tax reforms.
The Chairperson asked whether the DSD has a programme that it runs and funds directly. The universalisation of children grants has an uneven arrangement especially orphans, fostered children, and children with poor parents. These issues do not require intervention from other departments. Children with poor parents have been abandoned as when they are 18, they have nothing. What policy limitation does the DSD have in addressing these issues since they are within the responsibility of the DSD?
Mr van Vrede replied the DSD will bring the Social Assistance Amendment Bill to Parliament and it will go to Cabinet within the next month. The Bill has been published for comments and comments have been received. In the Bill, there is an amendment that allows for an expanded CSG. It provides for poor orphans and child-headed households to be given a higher amount for CSG. The amendment allows 50% more on the CSG for the group mentioned. This change will not alter the provisions of the CSG but only that these groups will get a higher amount.
The Chairperson said that the Minister should be made to understand that this matter has been long outstanding. Children are the same in terms of need. The issue of foster children and child protection should be considered. The amount given to children helps them a lot but when they need it more, at 18, it is immediately cut off. This is not a question but a recommendation to the Minister. The upcoming budget must in some manner address this disaster.
Ms Conny Nxumalo, DSD Deputy Director General: Welfare Services, responded that the Older Persons Parliament (OPP) is used as a strategic forum for older persons to raise their issues with parliamentarians. This has been happening for the past five years. It is done at the provincial level and culminates in a national parliament. The Older Person’s Forum identifies the people who will speak on their behalf and they also identify themes and challenges, based on the Older Person’s Act. The criteria are set by the Older Person’s Forum at the provincial level. The Older Person’s Forum follows up on the resolutions that are taken at the debate. This year, due to budget constraints, the DSD will do just the parliament rather than the full package which includes parliament, choirs, a conference and golden games.
There are three campaigns on substance abuse. The APP in its quarterly targets talks about the campaigns and when they will happen. The first is on 26 June when the international day against drug abuse and illicit trafficking will be celebrated in North West this year. The second campaign is run during festive season. The DSD partners with the Departments of Transport (DOT) and of Trade and Industry (DTI) during this December campaign. The third is done at the national level with institutions of higher learning during January and February when the new students are coming on board. These are the three main campaigns. The reason there are three campaigns only relates to budget constraints. Provinces are also running campaigns at provincial level to prevent drug abuse. This programme is underfunded. DSD is investing in prevention because interventions are mostly very expensive.
The National Drug Master Plan is under review; it is reaching its final year. Within this financial year, the annual target is to ensure that the plan is finalised and approved by Parliament. The quarterly target in the APP clearly indicates what is going to happen each quarter in terms of the milestones undertaken to ensure it is approved. This will also be reported to the Committee.
The issue of local drug action committees has been raised continually. There is a challenge however, because the Act currently provides that the municipality must convene the local drug action committee in each municipality. Even though the DSD has engaged with SALGA and COGTA there are still some challenges because of lack of resources on the part of municipalities to enable them to run with this. The DSD is working on this because drug abuse is happening at the community level. There are good policies at the national level but the structures at the local level are not properly resourced.
On social workers, the DSD is busy with the supply and demand model. The model will address how many social service professionals, social auxiliary workers, community development practitioners, and social workers are needed in the country. This will enable the DSD to go to Treasury with a business case that addresses the model of service delivery and cadres for service delivery. DSD is sitting currently with a scholarship programme where there is a backlog of social workers who have graduated but are unemployed. The conditional grant of R181 million will permit only the appointment of 556 social workers this year. The intake this year was 500 but this had been reduced by half. DSD moved from 1400 last year because it has acknowledged that it makes no economic sense to keep on training and not appointing. By next year it will be reduced further so that those already in the system can be adequately supported. Treasury will also be approached to pause the programme for at least five years so that those in the system can be appointed with the money at hand.
On teenage parenting, the DSD is working with the Department of Health and Department of Basic Education on capacity building programme. The programme is for social workers, child and youth care workers and other social services professionals to be able to train teenagers who are mothers. The programme will ensure that the teenagers are properly supported to play their role as mothers and be children without neglecting their own children.
On adoption of children, the Children’s Amendment Bill created an enabling environment for adoption to be accessible. There had been confusion as to how social workers were defined in the legislation which did not allow government social workers to provide adoption services. With the passing of this Bill, government social workers can provide adoption services. Previously there were systemic challenges that were delaying adoption but now there are no further systemic challenges for adoption. The challenges were caused by the child protection register process. For 2016/17, the DSD facilitated adoption for 1 349 children of which 1 200 are national adoptions and 149 are international adoptions. Not all children require adoption. There are various alternative care options that the current legislation makes provision for and that are being implemented. The Children’s Amendment Bill mentioned in the presentation refers to the approved law which the Committee already interacted with.
On gender based violence (GBV), there are other programmes being implemented by the DSD which includes sheltering. The Programme of Action (PoA) is coming to an end. The DSD is reviewing the Programme of Action itself because it is coming to an end. The POA came into the limelight as a result of Inter-Ministerial Committee that was established and chaired by the Minister of Social Development even when the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities was still functional. It was not necessarily because of transfer of function. The function was not transferred but the DSD is continually doing what it is supposed to do as a department. The Minister of Women is still providing support; they are still part of the IMC and provide oversight in ensuring that services are delivered. Issues of GBV are delivered by various government departments but DSD was tasked with the responsibility of coordinating those departments through the IMC, hence the birth of the PoA. Whether the PoA was successful or not, there was a challenge because the way it was implemented was not the way it was supposed to be implemented. Various gaps were identified, thus, the Department of Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) has done a diagnostic review of the PoA to check what needs improvement. Moving forward, DSD is looking at how GBV is integrated into the planning of the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) and its outcomes. This is because it was not featuring in the plans of other departments. The diagnostic review outcomes will help the DSD moving forward with the improvement plan that Cabinet will consider and ratify.
Mr Mzolisi Toni, DSD Deputy Director General: Children's Rights and Persons with Disabilities, responded on disability. He referred them to the targets in the APP on page 58 where the targets for each quarter are outlined. On Social Development policies for persons with disabilities, there seems to be a confusion with that and what is contained in the White Paper. The rights of persons with disabilities is a transversal policy which looks at government. In the implementation plan, the role of each government department is stated. With regards to employment of persons with disabilities, the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) is responsible for ensuring that government departments comply with that mandate. DSD provides a coordination structure which expects the DSD to report on what progress has been made within its mandate. The DSD has a policy within the social sector and services to persons with disabilities. This policy is also addressing the things indicated in the white paper on the rights of persons with disabilities. There is also provision of policy clarity which defines the role of the DSD and the Department of Health.
The Chairperson asked for the report that stipulates the role of the DSD, the Committee or other departments. The issue of reduction on foster care, the DG should give information on the reason for the decline. People are complaining about registering children for foster.
Mr Peter Netshipale, DSD Deputy Director General: Integrated Development, responded about the food programmes. In the country, the outcomes the DSD want to achieve in food provision of food is obesity, malnutrition and hunger reduction. These outcomes are increasing in the country. DSD has a contribution likewise other government departments. DSD has targeted funds to implement the programme. On a national level, the DSD has developed a national nutrition, food and security policy, strategy and implementation plan. This can be made available to the Committee. In the plan, each department has a contribution towards the outcomes listed. The DSD has a broader role. It provides food at ECD, drop-in centre, and old age homes. This is contained generally on page 75 of the APP.
On cooperatives development, DSD does not develop cooperatives. It is the responsibility of the Department of Small Business Development. DSD collaboratively provide the market for the cooperatives that are already on the ground. DSD also provides some training that will support the cooperatives and make them stand on their own. The oversight in Free State is acknowledged and assistance is being provided. DSD also has a programme called the Household Food and Nutrition Security programme which is in its third year and DPME has been requested to do an evaluation. This will show the best way to implement food programmes in the country.
There is also one aspect of the programme called the Community Nutrition And Development Centre. This is for people between 15-59 years who are poor but cannot depend on food coming in. This entails community development to develop these people to be able to stand on their own and do something. This ‘something’ is not for the DSD to determine but for them to make the decision. DSD only provides an opportunity through a programme called Community Development Through Social Mobilisation. Here these people say what they want and the DSD makes it available to them (see generally pages 73-75 of the APP). DSD also implements outreach programmes. There are 27 districts in this country that have been declared by Cabinet as poor hence the DSD started from there. There is programme to develop people.
The Chairperson asked that the issue of food should be considered seriously. One programme cannot be used to solve the problem in all the provinces because the challenges and needs are not the same in each. DSD should learn from experience. There are places with infrastructure but they are not being used.
Ms Malgas asked for the total number of social workers not employed in South Africa. Has DSD taken into consideration the audit findings of the Auditor-General when doing its budget for this year? How is DSD going to address the AG findings and avoid them from reoccurring especially irregular expenditure? When will the underspending in quarterly reports stop? The operational plan should also be submitted so that the Committee can keep DSD accountable.
Ms Wilson said that if nothing is done about drug rehabilitation to help sort out the growing number of drug addicts then the country will be faced by a severe problem. In Limpopo children as young as 8 to 10 are drug addicts and there is nowhere to send them. Even though funding is an issue, what is being done to ensure that municipalities adhere to the rule of law?
The implementation of the White Paper on Rights of Persons with Disabilities was approved by Cabinet on 9 December 2015 and the same item is being presented in this May 2017 report. DSD is repeating targets even though some of the laws have been approved but have not been implemented. There are no indicators that can be measured by the Committee as no timeframe is given in the APP. On what grounds is the transfer of subsidies increase based on? Progress reports should be submitted on the Free State issue.
The Chairperson said that Ms Wilson should ask specific questions relating to what is presented.
Ms Tsoleli said that Ms Wilson’s questions fall outside of the APP. Some of the questions are not questions that can be answered now. Annual Reports are different from the APP. The Annual Report of this APP will only come at the end of the financial year.
The Chairperson said the Committee has not finalised its oversight especially on the Free State issue.
Ms Tsoleli said Committee members should align themselves with the expectations of the APP. In the APP, the validity and measurability of the targets is what is to be considered by Members when asking questions. The route taken by some Committee members is different. The APP should not be compared with the previous Annual Report.
Ms Malgas said that Ms Wilson’s questions should be more general. Questions should address how the budget will be affected. Annual Report questions should not be asked.
Ms Wilson said she is not comparing the two but showing a trend. Things should not be done in an insulated silo. Research should be done and trends pinpointed. This is the budget; however, it can be done at the Budget Vote debate if it cannot be done in this meeting.
Ms Tsoleli said that the Annual Report and APP are two different things, they do not speak to each other, especially the 2016/17 Annual Report that Ms Wilson is speaking from.
The Chairperson said that Members of the Parliament are free to have bilaterals.
Ms van der Merwe asked that Ms Wilson to be allowed to ask questions of clarity. The member cannot go to the Budget Vote debate without her queries being clarified. She should not be shut out.
The Chairperson said that Ms Wilson is not being shut out.
The Chairperson commented that the Minister has the obligation to attend another session because some of the questions need clarity. Members will be informed of the day the Minister will be engaged. Maybe on Friday 12 May following the SASSA presentation on 10 May, the Minister can meet with the Committee.
The Chairperson suggested that the NDA board chairperson should appoint one or two social workers in its social mobilisation programme. She then handed over to the NDA board chairperson.
National Development Agency (NDA) Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan 2017/18
Ms Judy Hermans, NDA board chairperson, noted that the decision of the CEO to be absent for this meeting was not lightly taken. The CEO was not disrespecting the Committee. Stakeholder mobilisation is the pillar of what the agency does thus it was important to attend the meeting. She apologised to the Committee for that. She then handed over to Mr Magongo Bongani to continue the presentation.
Mr Bongani Magongo, NDA Development Management and Research Executive, said the business case of the Agency entails:
- Positioning the agency as the NDA was perceived by social partners and some government departments as not well positioned to deliver on its mandate.
- Focusing and establishing a niche: key stakeholders interviewed in both government and CSO sectors expressed the view that the NDA is duplicating activities done by other government departments and performing functions that should be performed by CSOs
- Institutional support structure as its structure and ability cannot efficiently and effectively contribute to its legislated mandate.
- Visibility and access to NDA by CSOs. The NDA is not known and this was a major concern for the agency.
Mr Solomon Shingange, NDA Acting CFO, presented the financial MTEF Budget Allocation. For 2017/18, DSD transferred R201 million to the NDA which is an increase of 3.5% compared to 2016/17 (R194 million). In 2018/19 it will grow by 5.8% and in 2019/20 it will grow by 5.6% (R224.5 million). The agency will be efficient in the allocation of its budget. In 2017/18, Programme 1: Administration is allocated 83.7 million, 88.5 million for 2018/19 and R92.2 million for 2019/20. Programme 2: Resource Mobilisation is allocated R104 million for 2017/18, R110.3 million for 2018/19 and R117.6 million for 2019/20. Programme: 3 Research and Development is allocated R13.2 million for 2017/18, R13.8 million for 2018/19 and R14.7 million for 2019/20.
Ms Mogotsi asked what the audit findings were in the Auditor-General’s report? What measures are in place to avoid reoccurrence of these findings?
Ms Malgas asked if NDA has any projects it carried over to this year. What influence do the projects carried over to this financial year have on budget for this financial year?
Ms de Kock asked about the link between training, capacity building, development of CSOs, amendments to the Non-Profit Organisations (NPO) Act and its compliance rate.
Ms B Masango (DA) thanked the agency for the presentation. Has the organisation and the board at any stage seen any need for amending the Act? There has been a series of models or strategies that have been presented to the Committee in trying to deliver on the NDA mandate and on how to best deliver on it. The presentation shows a neater packaging of the mandate of the agency.
Mr Magongo responded about the Auditor-General findings, saying NDA had several audit findings about policies such as its HR and supply chain policies. The NDA was in transition during that period. What this means is that the policies had not been reviewed to align to what NDA is going to look like. This year the agency has reviewed policies and has started to implement them. There is an expectation that those policies might not be aligned at a certain point with the new operations since the agency started operating within the new framework. Some of the policies are still at the review stage especially the IT policies because the agency is moving to an IT system that can respond to its strategy. Most audit findings were around policies.
Mr Magongo replied about the CSO development model and how it deals with the improvement of CSOs and its link to the amendment of the NPO Act and its compliance. The NPO Act is a law that governs NPOs and is different from CSO compliance. The two cannot be equated, they operate within different legal frameworks. The one for CSOs includes NPOs, cooperatives, community organisations but those that need to comply and be registered whether as NPOs or as cooperatives have different compliance requirements. NDA deals with both, specific models are available for the NPOs and CSOs. The reason for non-compliance relates to lack of resources and capacity to actually operate. It is easier for most of them to register than to operate.
On the reason the NDA model was reviewed, Mr Magongo replied that the NDA was reviewed by DSD to know if it can do its work. The outcome of the review required NDA to make a business case to justify how it can do its work better to address the needs of CSOs and align itself to the Act without choosing area of expertise. The model was based on the assessment NDA did on its work. The agency had consultations with a lot of CSO stakeholders and government on how NDA should structure itself. The NDA also looked at best practice and then put all this together to come up with this model.
Mr Shigange responded about the funding model. The old funding model was that the Agency would fund a project over a cycle of 18-24 months but as the Agency approved a project, that money even though it would not be disbursed the same year it was approved, the money is reinvested to ensure no matter what happens that money is available to pay for the project. There are projects carried over from the old funding model but the money is still available. If a project is dysfunctional, the money can be withdrawn and be used to fund another project. When a project is funded this year, it will be for one year.
Ms Mogotsi commended the NDA. SASSA should draw lessons from NDA with regards to management of an entity, finances, and performance. The report is welcomed. It is not easy for a organisation, especially after changing its funding model, to come up with an unqualified audit.
Ms Malgas said the NDA must be conscious when using money that was planned for a project but then reprioritising it for another project. This is because it will require the NDA to report to the Committee when there is a change. She welcomed the presentation.
Ms Mogotsi asked the NDA to present its changed HR policy at its next meeting. When will the integrated report be done?
The Chairperson said that the presentation and responses shows that the Department of Social Development is not entirely bad as projected in the media. The Acting Director General should strategically work with community development so that they can be closer to the NDA.
The Chairperson commented that the Committee Oversight Report on the Free State is not bad but there are technical limitations. In Harrismith there is a support centre run by an elderly woman. It is not in line in terms of policy but it has great potential because it has accumulated infrastructure. There is a committed board, even though they have their weaknesses. They are strategically sited in Harrismith.
The Chairperson said it is incumbent on DSD to facilitate cooperatives even if DSD is not establishing them.
The Chairperson noted some recommendations:
- Whatever the nature of these cooperatives, DSD should join hands and bring better machinery, train the people from factories properly, train those with learnerships, especially those in green production.
- The rural permission to occupy land should be revisited. People should be given the incentive to work on their lands. This will help in the development of cooperatives.
- Some companies take land from people in return for food security. These companies promise to apply for SMME funding on behalf of the people. In this country, there is a mixed masala of land ownership capabilities in communities.
The Chairperson said the roles of the Director General and Minister should be clearly identified. When is the Minister accountable and when is the Director General held accountable? The Auditor-General has raised the issue of the distinction between the role of the Director General and Minister. The reason is that the Minister can be blamed for what the Director General has done and vice versa. Accountability has to be considered.
The second term Committee Programme was approved.