The Department of Traditional Affairs and the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent briefed the Committee on its Strategic Plans and 2018/19 Annual Performance Plans.
The Department of Traditional Affairs spoke to its goal statements and Programmes, that of Administration; Research, Policy and Legislation; Institutional Support and Coordination; the National House of Traditional Leaders; and the National Initiation Guidelines. On the Budget, the Department flagged the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural‚ Religious and Linguistic Communities budget of R42.7m as being a large transfer portion of the total Department’s budget of R153m.
The Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent spoke to Goal 4, where there was a new Key Performance Indicator arising from a 2015 review to refocus the entity and address the challenges of contract management. Goal 4 sought to ensure sustainable improvement in municipal infrastructure delivery through infrastructure procurement, financing, contract management and development of institutional capacity of municipalities to procure and contract manage infrastructure projects.
On Programme 1: Administration, the entity apologised for the late tabling of the Annual Performance Plan.
On Programme 3: Infrastructure Delivery Management Support, the entity said the functions to be performed under this programme would be expanded progressively as capacity within the programme was created.
On Programme: Institutional Support and Coordination: One of the challenges identified during the assessment of the functionality of Traditional Councils was on the participation of traditional leadership in the IDP processes, which is one of their legislative functions.
On the Budget, the budget of Programme 2- Technical Support Services, had decreased from R326m to R262m. The Infrastructure Delivery Management System was a new programme with a budget of R12.5m. Total budget was R342m. The Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent was starting to employ technicians on a permanent basis and this would provide stability to the entity. The 2017/18 Annual Performance Plan was aligned to the new organisational structure.
The Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent said cooperation of municipal officials was a challenge but was mitigated by the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement on what was being implemented, on what their role was and what MISA’s role was.
Members said Programme 2 was the core focus of the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent. Given the Minister’s statements on 55 distressed municipalities and deploying the entity to assist these municipalities, the targets of Programme 2 were too soft. Members said according to the Annual Performance Plans, the entity would look at only one municipality’s water and sanitation plant, surely the number should be bigger. The same went for district backlog assessment and similarly, too, the target for the number of municipal sector plans developed which stood at only ten.
Members were concerned that the focus was on district municipalities, while the real issues of service delivery lay at B level municipalities. Members said the entity was setting itself a low bar whereas the goals should be stretching the Department. Members were not happy with the targets, notwithstanding budgetary limitations.
Members said the Department needed to play a role in revitalising towns. The spatial development and change of cities were still very minimal. Something had to be done and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs had to play its anchor role. Members hoped MISA would play a strategic role.
Department of Traditional Affairs (DTA)
Ms Reshoketswe Mogaladi, Acting DDG: Institutional Support, spoke to the goal statement of the Department. On functional and accountable institution of traditional leadership, the goal was that 75% of sampled houses of traditional leaders, kings’ councils, queens’ councils, principal traditional leadership councils and traditional councils comply with legislation and perform all their legislated functions.
On community development-oriented and sustainable institution of traditional leadership, the goal was that
75% of sampled Traditional Councils (TCs) support municipalities in the identification of community needs and facilitating involvement of community members in the development and review of the Integrated Development Plan (IDP).
On inclusive, transformed, stable and cohesive traditional and interfaith communities, the goal was that
75% of houses of traditional leaders, kings councils, queens councils, principal traditional leadership councils and traditional councils have a minimum of one third of women as members; that 75% of sampled kings councils, queens councils, principal traditional leadership councils and traditional councils have no traditional leadership disputes; that 75% of Traditional Councils that subscribe to initiation cultural practice have no incidences of injuries and deaths resulting from the cultural practices.
On a development-oriented, effective and efficient Department, the goal was that 75% of the sampled stakeholders in the satisfaction survey respond positively about Departmental services/ programmes; and that 75% of the sampled traditional communities’ participants in the survey respond positively about the work of structures of traditional leadership in their communities
Ms Mogaladi discussed the Department’s programmes. On the Administration Programme, the target was unqualified audit outcomes for both financial and pre-determined objectives performance and that the Traditional Affairs Research Agenda be developed.
On the Research, Policy And Legislation Programme, the target was that eight provinces be trained on the identification of core royal family members for senior traditional leadership; eight provinces be trained on the administration of disputes and claims; two provinces be engaged to develop Traditional Council Culture and Heritage Promotion Plans; and two provinces be engaged to develop Traditional Council Programmes for Protection of the Rights of Vulnerable Groups against harmful/ unconstitutional cultural practices.
On the Institutional Support and Coordination Programme, the target was that 60% of projects in the Traditional Leadership Capacity Building and Institutional Development Plan be implemented.
On Programme: Institutional Support and Coordination: One of the challenges identified during the assessment of the functionality of TCs was on the participation of traditional leadership in the IDP processes, which is one of their legislative functions. This target is aimed at improving relations between traditional leaders and municipalities by strengthening their participation in municipal IDPs. The target is part of the Department’s contribution to the COGTA B2B and government outcome 9.
On the National House of Traditional Leaders (NHTL), the target was that three projects in the NHTL Transformation and Socio-Economic Development Programme be implemented in ten Traditional Councils.
On the National Initiation Guidelines, the target was that one project be implemented, i.e. monitoring of National and Provincial Initiation Task Teams and initiation schools and that nine provinces be monitored on the implementation of the Initiation Schools Guidelines.
Mr Mashwahle Diphofa, Director General, then spoke to the Budget. He flagged the CRL budget of R42.7m as being a large transfer portion of the total DTA budget of R153m.
Mr K Mileham (DA), on target setting, asked how legitimate Traditional Councils were, given that the amendment to the Traditional Leadership Governance Framework Act had not yet been passed.
Similarly, he asked how legitimate Traditional Courts could be when the legislative context had not yet been established. He asked if there was a database of the genealogies of royal houses. He said the presentation appeared to be ignoring the Khoisan. Assuming the TKLB was passed, what steps were being taken regarding the Khoisan in terms of the TKLB and in terms of genealogies, structures and organisations. He said there was nothing on the remuneration of traditional leaders in the budget. The CRL budget was not insignificant and the CRL needed to hold their National Consultative Conference, which was a legislative mandate.
Mr Diphofa said the budget of the CRL was a transfer and the Committee needed to take up the issue of the consultative conference with the CRL.
The budget did not reflect the remuneration of traditional leaders because it was not done by the Department but by the provinces.
On the TKLB, the expectation was that once it was passed, the priority would be to have a Commission in place with the Department supporting this work and capacity building would follow. The Department had already made provision for restitution and the capacity building of Traditional Courts. Hence its presence in the APP was in anticipation of legislation being passed.
The Department was looking at customary laws of succession. There was not one central database. The Department had access to different sources but was moving to a position where it could build up an electronic database.
Ms Mogaladi said research work had been done on different branches of Khoisan and the Khoisan were in the operational plans of the Department.
Mr Diphofa said the debate at the opening of the National House of Traditional Leaders captured critical concerns of the sector. A lot of the issues raised in the debate mirrored those raised in the indaba, so a lot of focus would be in partnerships and dialogue to ensure with those issues like legislation, socio- economic development, social cohesion and governance were addressed.
The Chairperson said the Head of State would be relying on the Department and the Committee would be relying on the DG.
Mr Ntandazo Vimba, Acting CEO MISA, focused on Goal 4, where there was a new Key Performance Indicator arising from a 2015 review to refocus MISA and address the challenges of contract management.
Goal 4 sought to ensure sustainable improvement in municipal infrastructure delivery through infrastructure procurement, financing, contract management and development of institutional capacity of municipalities to procure and contract manage infrastructure projects. The strategic objectives were to provide infrastructure planning, procurement and contract management capacity and services to identified municipalities; and to facilitate effective and efficient municipal infrastructure procurement. He spoke to the Infrastructure Delivery Management System (IDMS) and said that facilitating effective and efficient municipal infrastructure procurement was already completed.
Mr Vimba spoke to the programmes of MISA.
On Programme 1: Administration, he apologised for the late tabling of the APP.
Programme 2: Technical Support Services, the targets were:
Number of assessments on water and waste-water treatment plants conducted - 1
Number of district basic service delivery backlog assessments conducted - 5
Number of municipal technical support plans developed and implemented – 81
Number of municipal infrastructure sector plans developed - 8
Number of Town and Regional Planning sector plans developed – 2
Number of Water Conservation and Demand Management Strategies Developed – 10
Number of municipalities supported through the MISA Regional Management Support Programme – 3
Programme 3: Infrastructure Delivery Management Support, the targets were
Number of municipalities supported to implement National Treasury IDMS – 3
Number of the feasibility studies conducted to address misalignment of bulk water and reticulation in Identified Water Services Authorities - 5
Functions to be performed under Programme 3 would be expanded progressively as capacity within the programme was created.
Total budget was R342m. The budget of Programme 2- Technical Support Services had decreased from R326m to R262m. The IDMS was a new programme with a budget of R12.5m.
In conclusion, he said MISA was starting to employ technicians on a permanent basis and there were now 51 civil engineers, 15 town and regional planners and 15 electrical engineers and this would provide stability to MISA. He said the 2017/18 Annual Performance Plan for MISA was aligned to the new organisational structure.
Mr Mileham said Programme 2 was the core focus of MISA. Given the Minister’s statements on 55 distressed municipalities and deploying MISA to assist these municipalities, the targets of Programme 2 were too soft. According to the APP, MISA would look at only one municipality’s water and sanitation plant, surely the number should be bigger. The same went for district backlog assessment and he was concerned that the focus was on district municipalities, while the real issues of service delivery lay at B level municipalities. And similarly, too, the target for the number of municipal sector plans developed which stood at only ten.
Mr Vimba said the figures appeared to be too low, but they were not. Regarding the wastewater treatment plant, while the target was one, the budget was R94m.
Regarding district assessments, the previous year there had been a target of 10. That ten was finalised so there was a target of five this financial year and five in the next financial year. Assessments had already been done in Vhembe. 15 sector plans were done the previous year. Most municipalities had sector plans and MISA were doing reviews of them and the figure of 10 were those relating to new sector plans that would be funded by MISA. Reviews were not included in the APP.
Mr Mileham said MISA was setting itself a low bar whereas the goals should be stretching the Department. He was not happy with the targets, notwithstanding budgetary limitations.
Mr Vimba said MISA was focused on the new sector plans. The reviews were not included in the APP because the reviews were dependant on the municipalities providing information to the Department.
The Chairperson said there were occurrences where the deployment of technicians and engineers were not accepted by town management. The Department needed to play a role in revitalising towns. The spatial development and change of cities were still very minimal. Something had to be done and COGTA had to play its anchor role. He hoped MISA would play a strategic role. Why were cities so dirty?
Mr Dan Mashitisho, COGTA Director General, on the urban revitalisation of cities, said the Department was engaging with municipalities on public safety in the integrated development framework to make cities clean and safe. There was a backlog of infrastructure development. From a financial point of view, out of the box thinking was required because the infrastructure was deteriorating at a fast pace. All DGs had been called in December and told that the budget would be cut by R35b.
The larger portion of the debt book on electricity of municipalities was residents who were not paying municipalities and the Department was considering new rules such as one in which residents could not open a clothing store account if they owed municipalities monies.
On clean cities, there was an initiative by the Minister and the Minister of Environmental Affairs, on 4 April, on how to embark on a campaign to clean the cities. Illegal dumping was mushrooming.
Mr A Masondo (ANC) said there was a perception that since the natives had taken over, things were going down the drain. On dirty cities, it was not just about the money, the art of doing things had not been mastered and this was normally because there was no accountability in organisations.
Mr Mileham objected to Mr Masondo’s words. He said he was a native of South Africa and Mr Masondo should retract his words.
The Chairperson said that was not what Mr Masondo had implied. He reiterated that cities should be beautified.
Mr Mashitisho assured the Committee that the Department would deliver on its plans and the plans were not limited to what was in the APP.
Mr Vimba invited the Committee to come for an oversight visit because municipalities would then understand that the work was not a MISA programme but was a government programme.
On the cooperation of municipal officials, it was a challenge, but it was mitigated by the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement on what was being implemented, on what their role was and what MISA’s role was.
The Chairperson said that one place would be put on the calendar for an oversight visit.
The meeting was adjourned.
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