The Department of Planning Monitoring & Evaluation briefed the Committee on its performance and financial information for the third quarter of 2017/18 financial year.
The Department finalised the placement of 99% of its permanent staff. On legislative reform, the Department has already drafted the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Bill and is consulting with Cabinet. The Department achieved and exceeded 23 of its 27 targets during the quarter.
Constraints are being experienced on the vacancy rate, which is at 25.5%, as well as delays in the production of the Water Sector Plan.
For programme one the department achieved six targets, two were exceeded, one partially achieved and one was not achieved for the quarter. For programme two, eight targets were for the financial year and three for the quarter. Two were achieved and one was not achieved; and for programme 7, which has three targets, two were achieved and one was not achieved.
On Human Resources, 57 posts were filled between 1 April and 1 December 2017. 28% of the vacancies were filled by internal candidates and this does not eliminate the vacancy rate problem.
On Employment Equity, the Department has an underemployment of coloured persons, there are more women than men, with women at 58.7% and men at 41%. On people with disabilities, the target of 2% was exceeded and achieved 2.4%. Learners in poor schools were assisted with nutrition through the National Schools Nutrition Programme.
The national unemployment rate has remained unchanged at 27.7% for most of 2017, as well as depressed levels of business and consumer confidence.
The Committee asked how the Department was planning to better the nutrition of school learners as well as for mother and child. It also enquired as to how the disabled community would be assisted because they are often not considered in meetings. The Committee requested a roadmap of the Bill.
The National Youth Development Agency achieved 96% of its targets, which is significantly higher than the 65% achieved in quarter two. The Agency has partnered with the National Students Financial Aid Scheme, as well as the KwaZulu-Natal government, to assist students and to better its outreach services.
The Agency assisted 681 young people with its Grant programme and 6529 young people through its placement initiative. The Agency established 11 new satellite offices. 58570 young people were equipped with new skills.
The Agency utilised 74% of its annual budget and 98% of its quarterly budget.
The Grant programme created either part time or permanent employment. A total of 300 jobs as well as 198 entrepreneurs were created. Some of the industries that benefited most are home services, entertainment and construction. After two years of receiving the grant, 48% of businesses were successful, 28% failed and 24% had a reasonable chance to succeed.
A Member asked the Department to account for the 28% failure rate, while the rest of the Committee congratulated the Agency on its report.
Statistics South Africa presented its report for quarter three. The report stipulates that for quarter three, 8.4% of the targets were delayed while 10.5% were achieved and 5.3% were achieved early. The financial performance indicates that the overall spending of the Department is at 72%. The various programmes performed differently, with programme five with the least achievements and programme six at 82% as one of the highest performers.
On Innovative statistics, value chain and efficiency, the Department is improving its delivery. The Paper Assisted Personal Interviews have been replaced with Computer Assisted Personal Interviews, which is cheaper. It will prioritise basic statistics, continue to produce Gross Domestic Product, rationalise its budget, and work on its legislative reform which is currently underway.
The Committee enquired about the impact of the financial shortages on employee payments, as well as on the general operation of the Department; asked whether the Department was keeping track of the skills that it is compromising; and suggested that the Department refrain from presenting the same problems every year and should make use of the recommendations made to it.
Briefing by Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME)
Ms Mpumi Mpofu, Director General, DPME, briefed the Committee on the performance of the Department in quarter 3. She outlined the milestones of the Department. In terms of finalisation of the organisational structure, the Minister of Public Service and Administration concurred to the proposed structure on 15 December 2017. DPME Minister approved the structure on 19 January. Placement of 99% of permanent placement of staff finalised as at January 2018. The budget mandate paper was approved by Cabinet in August 2017. The Department has drafted the Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Bill and commenced with consultations with centre of government departments. The Bill was also submitted through Cabinet process during the quarter. The Department’s risk management strategy has been approved.
The Department achieved and exceeded 23 of its 27 targets during the quarter.
4 targets were not achieved during the period, namely:
- Vacancy rate of 25,5% in Q3 of 2017/18, down from 29,8% on 1 April 2017. Although slightly improved, vacancy rate is above target of 10%
- Delays in production of the Water Sector Plan
- Non-tabling before Cabinet of an M&E Framework for the Youth Strategy
- Moderation of MPAT results, which was achieved but outside the reporting period
Third quarter performance against targets
For the administration aspect (programme 1) which had 17 targets for the financial year and ten targets for quarter three, six targets were met, two exceeded, one partially achieved and one was not achieved. For National Planning Coordination (programme 2), eight targets were for the financial year and three for the quarter. Two were achieved and one was not achieved. National Youth Development, programme 7, which has three targets, two were achieved and one was not achieved.
The Department filled 57 posts between 1 April and 1 December 2017. 28% of the vacancies were filled by internal candidates and this does not eliminate the vacancy rate problem.
On Employment Equity, the Department has an underemployment of coloured persons, there are more women than men, with women at 58.7% and men at 41%. On people with disabilities, the department exceeded its 2% target and achieved 2.4%.
Following a turbulent year in 2017, SA emerged from the recession. The country’s GDP rebounded by 2.5% in Q2 2017 and subsequently to 2% in Q3 of 2017. Both these figures reflect improvement compared to the 0.7 % decline in Q1 of 2017. During Q3 of 2017, the country’s Agricultural output expanded by 44.2%. The mining and quarrying industry increased by 6.6% and the manufacturing industry increased by 4.3%. Finance, real estate and business services slowed to 1.2%. Government services contracted 0,7% while the construction industry continue to show decline by contracting 1.1%.
The national unemployment rate has remained unchanged at 27.7% for most of 2017, as well as depressed levels of business and consumer confidence.
South Africa’s basic education system demonstrates an upward trajectory. The number of learners passing Senior Certificate (Matric) has increased from 334 718 in 2009 to 442 672 in 2016. In percentage terms, the matric pass rate increased from 60.6% in 2009 to 72.2% in 2016. This increased to 75.1% in 2017.The percentage of individuals aged 20 years and older who have attained Grade 12 has been increasing consistently since 2002, expanding from 21,9% in 2002 to 28,4% in 2016. A proportion of South Africans with post-school qualifications increased from 9,3% to 14,0% during the same period.
National Evaluation Plan
The National Schools Nutrition Programme (NSNP) provides lunches to poor schools for learners in primary and secondary school. The Department made the following findings:
- Great need for NSNP in all SA provinces.
- 72.7% of learners ate a meal on the day of fieldwork.
- High prevalence of unintended beneficiaries
(e.g. teachers, food handlers).
- 50.2% of schools visited served main meal with
3 food groups - starch, protein & vegetables/fruit. Food group most often not served was fruit/vegetables. Learners do not enjoy soya.
- Majority of schools did not complete feeding by 10h00 except in Limpopo.
- Late delivery main reason for not following menu and not serving meals on some school days.
- Increased enrolment, attendance and retention in education system is the likely. Impact on learner performance, but only likely where there is effective teaching and learning.
The Chairperson stated that some questions and answers would have to be in writing.
Ms D van der Walt (DA) asked whether school nutrition would be enhanced because if the food is stored for too long it loses its nutrients. She also asked how the Department betters nutrition for mother and child.
Mr M Khosa (ANC) asked whether there is consequence management for those who do not adhere to recommendations in municipalities.
Ms R Lesoma (ANC) thanked the Department for its presentation and asked for a roadmap of the bill.
A Member enquired about what the Department is doing to assist students with disabilities because schools offer them a curriculum that is in American or British sign language. The deaf community needs assistance. She also asked why the Department trains hearing teachers for posts that are for the deaf, and if the department tracks pass rates for deaf and other disabled students.
On nutrition, Ms Mpofu said an expert would be invited to come back with a comprehensive written response.
A report would also be brought back to the Committee about the question about learners with disabilities.
The Chairperson said that responses would be in writing.
National Youth Development Agency (NYDA)
Mr Waseem Carrim, Acting Chief Executive Officer; NYDA, briefed the Committee on the National Youth Development Agency’s performance and financial information for the third quarter of the 2017/2018 financial year. The Department had achieved 65% of its targets in quarter two and that has since increased to 96% in quarter three. The department has partnered with KZN government, which will provide it with six outreach vehicles to help facilitate the Agency’s outreach to young people. The Agency will also work with NSFAS to provide support and youth development. The Agency utilised 74% of its annual budget and 98% of its quarterly budget.
Quarter 3 Performance
For programme 1, the number of youth owned enterprises supported through the Grant programme had a target of 550 and 681 was achieved. The number of jobs facilitated through placement opportunities was targeted at 3750 and 6529 was achieved. This was due to partnership established with placement opportunity providers. The number of new satellite offices were established to make NYDA accessible to youth, five were targeted and 11 were established.
For programme 2, the number of young people skilled to enter the job market was targeted at 48375 and 58570 were skilled. The target was overachieved due to a catch-up plan that was implemented in quarter 3.
Quarter 3 Financial Performance
The annual budget was R457 863 681 and R340 156 433 was utilised. The third quarter budget was R347 696 851 and R 340 156 433 was used. 35% of the budget was for employee costs, 47% for projects, 16% for operations and 2% for CAPEX.
Grant Programme Impact Evaluation
The groups that were most convinced that the grant added significant value to their businesses were:
- Male or male and female businesses
- 21 and younger
- From Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth and Soweto
- Registered businesses
On job creation, because of the grant; about 50% of the businesses surveyed created either a part time or permanent employment. Thus, a total of 300 jobs as well as 198 of entrepreneurs were created. Some of the industries that benefited the most are home services, entertainment and construction.
After two years of receiving the grant, 48% businesses were successful, 28% failed and 24% had a reasonable chance to succeed.
Mr Y Cassim (DA) asked which grants were successful.
Mr S Motau (DA) asked why 28% of the start-up businesses failed.
Ms Lesoma congratulated the Department on the report and advised it to secure six mobile offices and scrutinise operational costs to avoid unexpected interruptions.
Mr Khosa asked why KZN was the only mentioned province in the presentation.
Ms van der Walt told the Agency to keep improving and also congratulated the Department on the report.
The Chairperson commended the Department on their report.
In response to the question about successful grants, Mr Carrim said that information is available on the NYDA site.
On the failure rate, the data will be presented during the next meeting.
The reason why KZN was mentioned is because it was the only province that was responsive to their proposals. Other provinces were also contacted but have not responded.
Mr Risenga Maluleka. Statistician General: Stats SA. presented the 3rd quarter performance of the Department for the years 2018/17. The accrued organisational performance from quarter stipulates that 43.8% of the schedules were achieved, 49% were achieved early, 2.8% were achieved late. Expenditure, Human Resources and Information are at 72.3%, women in SMS positions are at 40.7% and staff members with disabilities are at 1.2%. For quarter three, 8.4% of the targets were delayed while 10.5% were achieved and 5.3% were achieved early. The financial performance indicates that the overall spending of the department in at 72%. The various programmes performed differently with programme five with the least achievements and programme six at 82% as one of the highest performers.
Key achievements for the quarter
In terms of Innovative statistics, value chain and efficiency the Department is improving its delivery. The Paper Assisted Personal Interviews (PAPI) have been replaced with Computer Assisted Personal Interviews(CAPI). This method is much cheaper. The new geographic framework for reliability of information has serious but manageable challenges e.g. financial implications because there is no money for running parallel surveys.
Partners in Statistics
To strengthen international collaboration and partnership, the Department hosted the International Union for Scientific Study of Population in October 2017. Over 100 countries took part and scientists and policy makers took advantage of this opportunity. The Department also attended the 4th conference of African ministers responsible for civil registration. It is worthy to note that South Africa is one of the best countries when it comes to civil registration.
Key indicators at risk
The GDP, because of economic activity, employment as well as the dollar. Further, fertility and mortality as CPI are also at risk.
The Department will maintain basic statistics. It will continue to produce GDP notwithstanding the challenges because the Statistics Council will provide assistance. It will continue to innovate, modernise and rationalise the budget. Legislative reform is currently in motion. Another area of priority is the integrated innovative framework.
Mr Cassim asked how the financial shortage has impacted employee payments and will impact them during the year as well as what the Department is doing about it. He further asked how the budget cuts will impact surveys and reports and which ones may not be done correctly because of this. He asked whether the Department is keeping track of the critical skills that are being compromised.
A Member asked whether the Department keeps track of the performance of students that it funds and whether these students take part in initiatives such the Maths Olympiad amongst others. She also asked whether the Department monitors the drought in Cape town.
Ms Jongbloed asked whether the lack of staff plays a role in the delay of achievements in quarter 3 and what the Department is doing to improve its performance.
Ms van der Walt enquired about the fact that Stats SA has the same problems every year, and asked whether the department makes use of the recommendations given to it.
Mr Khosa enquired about student assistance, whether the students that the Department funds are studying towards a relevant qualification and whether it absolves those who have completed their studies. He further asked whether the Department has devised a plan to pay its employees.
Ms Lesoma agreed with Ms van der Walt about the issue relating to using the recommendations made to the Department. She also asked the Department to account for the delays in programme 3.
The Chairperson asked whether the Department has found cheaper ways to gather data because of budget cuts.
Mr Maluleke answered the question relating to surveys and reports. The survey system used in South Africa is very accurate. South Africa has one of the most modern systems that allows for easy retrieval of data that was captured previously.
On the gathering of data, changing to technology is expensive because technology is gradually changing.
The reason why the Department alerts Parliament and the public on shortfalls is because statistical practice mandates this.
On staff member implications, the Department has an overdraft because of additional employees that they had who were not given 3-year contracts. Some of these employees would damage Department property and it is difficult to track them down once they have resigned. There are approximately 300 vacancies and 145 are critical to fill. These are critical because they relate to economists who are necessary for the running of the Department. There are also 135 vacancies for fieldworkers, since 2015 only one vacancy has been filled.
On the drought, the Department measures outcomes while the Department of Water Affairs and Sanitation deals with inputs. This means that it looks at how the drought affects various households and related matters.
The Chairperson said due to time constraints other questions should be submitted in writing.
The meeting was adjourned.
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