The Western Cape Department of Local Government (DLG) briefed the Standing Committee on Public Accounts on the effectiveness of the Community Development Workers Programme (CDWP).
The role of the community development workers (CDWs) was to bring government closer to the people. They gave people access to government services and relevant information that could lead to economic empowerment. The programme had started in 2003 as a national initiative. In the Western Cape, the programme had emanated from a learnership programme. Some of the volunteers that had succeeded in the programme had been employed by the DLG on a permanent basis. Some CDWs were sent to colleges and universities to undertake courses, and this helped to enhance their effectiveness. The CDWP was not run in isolation -- the DLG works with other departments and role players to ensure effective service delivery to local communities.
Members raised questions on the effectiveness of CDWP in creating the desired economic development in disadvantaged communities. The appointment of CDWs from outside the community where they work was also discussed extensively. Members emphasised the importance of selecting CDWs from a given locality so that they could use their local knowledge to maximise the benefits of the local community, as well as their own effectiveness. The importance of preparing communities for the fourth industrial revolution received considerable attention, with Members urging the Department to ensure awareness of information communication technology (ICT) was given priority.
Other matters raised included the rationale for the deployment of CDWs to different areas, the fairness of the selection process, the extent of cooperation and support from other departments, and the need for a focus on tackling the scourge of substance abuse in the province.
The Chairperson welcomed everyone in attendance and introduced the agenda of the meeting, which dealt with an update on the Community Development Workers Programme by the Department of Local Government in the Western Cape Province.
Community Development Workers Programme (CDWP)
Mr Graham Paulse: Head of Department (HOD): Department of Local Government (DLG), briefly remarked on the importance of the CDWP, and called upon Mr Heinrich Magerman, Acting Chief Director: Governance, to make the presentation on the programme.
Mr Magerman said the national government had introduced the CDWP in 2003 to bring the government closer to the communities. In the Western Cape, the programme emanated from a learnership programme sponsored by the Local Government Sector Education Training Authority (SETA). In 2006, the DLG had created 200 posts for CDWs on a permanent basis. The DLG employed CDW staff, who were governed by the code of conduct for public servants. CDWs employed by the DLG signed performance agreements based on the Performance Management Information System (PERMIS). This helped to monitor their performance.
CDWs worked across the three spheres of government and their offices were mainly provided by the municipalities. 60% of them were allocated to the provincial and national spheres of government, while 40% were allocated to municipalities in terms of government programmes and memorandums of agreement.
The role of CDWs was to assist with improving service delivery and accessibility of service to the public, to assist with inter-governmental coordination, both within the local government line departments and the three spheres of government, to facilitate community development, strengthen interaction and partnerships between government and communities. and support participatory democracy.
The CDWP may achieve the objectives envisaged in sub-regulation (1) through regular communication of governmental and relevant information to communities in an accessible manner, provision of feedback to government regarding continuity experiences of service and governance, provision of early warning signals to government of any obvious reduction in service standards or performance that could lead to the collapse or significant impairment of the overall service function.
The CDWs were also empowered to report irregularities and corruption in all spheres of government, government departments, community organisations or private companies. They facilitate government assistance to community projects where required and appropriate, and facilitate public interaction with public works programmes. CDWs assist communities to engage with and provide input into integrated development plans and other programmes of the government. They assist in the coordination of inter-government programmes and programmes that involve more than one sphere of government.
They maintain communication with community-based organisations and initiatives of civil society. They promote the principle of Batho Pele and community participation. They facilitate the linkages between civil society and relevant public entities, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and private donors. They monitor and report significant trends within communities on issues related to health, social development, livelihood, security and impact of associated development projects. They also perform other functions that were consistent with the objectives of the CDWP, as may be determined by the CDWP Framework. The DLG works with other stakeholders in order to finalise the framework.
The CDWP annual performance plan indicators address support programmes to improve access to government services. This includes community outreaches, mobilisation for the Thusong Outreach Programme, the indigent grant subsidy, child support grant/ maintenance and social relief of distress. The performance of the CDWP was also measured in terms of support programmes to improve access to small scale economic opportunities. Important components of this indicator include food security, small enterprise development, tourism development, heritage development and environmental management projects. The DLG partners with various entities to facilitate various programmes.
Mr Magerman went further to give a regional breakdown of the CDWP. Cape Winelands District had two CDWs. In the Cape Winelands district, there were seven for Witzenberg, six for Drakenstein, three for Stellenbosch, seven for Breede Valley and one for Langeberg municipalities. In Central Karoo, there were five CDWs for Laingsburg, four for Prince Albert and nine for Beaufort-West municipalities. In Eden District, there were six, one, three, three, three, one and three CDWs respectively in Kannaland, Hessequa, Mossel Bay, George, Oudtshoorn, Bitou and Knysna municipalities. The City of Cape Town had 50 CDWs. The metro was the biggest beneficiary and most of the operations was focused on the City of Cape Town. In Overberg District, there were seven, three, two and two CDWs in Theewaterskloof, Overstrand, Cape Agulhas and Swellendam municipalities, respectively, while the Overberg district headquarters had one CDW. West Coast district headquarters had two CDWs. Matzikama, Cederberg, Saldanha and Swartland municipalities have four, eight, four and two CDWs, respectively.
On the regional level, Cape Winelands District had one regional coordinator and two CDW supervisors; Central Karoo District had one regional coordinator and one supervisor; Eden District had two regional coordinators and two supervisors; the Metro had two regional coordinators and four supervisors; Overberg District had one regional coordinator and one supervisor and West Coast District had one regional coordinator and two supervisors.
Regarding the CDWP skills audit, the province had produced 149 CDWs, 13 CDW supervisors, eight regional coordinators, and 12 provincial offices. Some CDW supervisors were engaged without the need for a learnership programme, so long they had the requisite qualification. This represents an improvement over previous practice, where the supervisors were mandated to go through the learnership programme.
The DLG partnered with the University of the Western Cape to build the capacity of CDWs. The programme includes five modules, including an introduction to local government accounting and financial management, public sector contracts and supply chain management, computer mapping and the Geographic Information System (GIS), communication and information management, and theories and approaches to community development. Some CDWs proceeded to further studies to get properly accredited by the institutions. The government spent R 3 069 150 on the programme.
The DLG had also invested R252 000 to train 20 CDW officials in the Municipal Middle Management Development Programme (MMMDP). The sponsored officials underwent approved MMMDP courses facilitated by the University of Stellenbosch. The DLG also planned to build capacity through a workplace skills plan and the Provincial Training Institute.
On CDW placement and institutional arrangements, Mr Magerman said that the DLG had entered into Memorandums of Agreement (MoAs) with 25 municipalities across the Province. The MoAs regulate the relationship between the DLG and the municipalities. The municipal facilities and Thusong Centres help to accommodate the CDWs. In turn, the CDWs provide support to municipal initiatives and programmes. Integrated strategies were adopted through regular local arrangements among the DLG and designated officials of the municipalities, to decide on how to harness various programmes with a view to enhancing service delivery to the communities.
The CDWP’s budget had been R58 245 500 in 2016/17, and R62 303 000 in 2017/18. In the 2016/17 financial year, the DLG had spent R53 609 500 on compensation of employees, R1 329 000 on goods and services, R3 123 500 on transfers and subsidies, and R183 500 on capital assets. In the 2017/18 financial year, it had spent 57 497 400 on compensation of employees, R1 605 000 on goods and services, R3 092 600 on transfers and subsidies, and R108 000 on capital assets.
Top three municipalities in terms of transfer funding in 2017/18 were the City of Cape Town (R1 036 000), Beaufort West (R204 000) and Cederberg (R167 000), whereas the West Coast, Stellenbosch, Knysna, Mossel Bay, Oudtshoorn, Cape Agulhas and Overberg municipalities received R56 000 each. In 2018/19, the City of Cape Town had received R1 036 000, Cederberg R167 000 and Witzeberg R148 000. The lowest value (R19 000) was recorded for Langeberg, Hessequa and Bitou municipalities.
The DLG had partnered with the Department of Economic Development and Tourism to implement an Occupational Skills Readiness Project in the West Coast. The DLG, through its system, had recruited 1 008 unemployed youths in the West Coast region for the West Coast Education and Skills plan. The DLG had achieved this through the recruitment of qualified youths from local communities. The CDWs had also offered the College of Cape Town a wide network of systems as an additional recruitment support system. CDWs had provided the College with a list of more than 100 potential candidates contacted to take part in a further assessment and training programme. This helped to enhance the skills base needed to grow the economy of the Province.
The DLG partners with Office of the Consumer Protector to strengthen corporate governance through the rollout of events, workshops and information sessions hosted by the Consumer Protector. The Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA) strengthens corporate governance by the rollout of events, programmes and projects hosted by the WCLA to keep communities abreast of latest developments. CDWs help to register those empowered through the Department of Agriculture. CDWs identified areas and households where beneficiaries can start food gardens. The CDWP co-operates with the Office of the Public Prosecutor of South Africa on all activities that take place at community level, such as workshops and the joint hosting of activities.
The Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning helps to encourage and capacitate individuals, households and communities at large to take control of their immediate environment. The Department explores means to achieve sustainable living, which translates into skills transfer and job creation. The Department of Home Affairs engages with communities to keep them informed about the latest developments in the Department. In certain cases, the CDWs help with the re-issue of documentation after fire incidents in informal settlements. The CDWs also help with those who have issues with the late registration of a birth.
The Department of Health informs the communities about the various programmes and interventions offered by the Department, like HIV/ AIDS and other health conditions. The Western Cape Branch of Epilepsy South Africa strengthens cooperative relations, to mobilise and engage communities to attend and take part in events, programmes and projects in collaboration with a partner. This helps to create awareness about epilepsy, especially in marginalised communities within the Province. Mr Magerman said that the activities of CDWs were predominantly in wards with poverty and a high unemployment rate.
Regarding economic opportunities supported in 2017/18, the DLG earmarked 33% of the budget on food security, 47% on local economic development, and 10% on youth development and early childhood development. The Department also contributed to early childhood development, which was an important process in human development. The DLG assisted in the registration of centres as required by relevant authorities.
Mr Magerman said that the Department did not have a specific budget for the contribution made to economic opportunities -- it only leverages on its partners to obtain funds required for the programmes. Some of the early childhood development centres supported by the Department were Emily’s Playschool Early Childhood Development Centre Project, Lizalise Learning Centre Project, and the Ithemba Learning Centre.
Ms M Maseko (DA) commended the DLG presentation, as it clearly spelt out the responsibilities of the CDWs. The CDWs served as a linkage between government and the community with the hope of exposing local communities to opportunities that could improve their lots. She sought clarity on how the DLG evaluated the cost-effectiveness of the programmes. How did it ensure that it gets value for money spent on programmes? How did the CDWs assist in combating substance abuse and excessive alcohol consumption in the Province? She suggested that the CDWs should interact more with communities, in terms of challenges facing education in the Province. She cited an example where a certain group of students could not integrate properly due to a disparity in language.
Mr S Tyatyam (ANC) questioned the usefulness of the programme in terms of those recruited into the CDWPs. Some CDWs did not actually come from the host communities. He sought clarity on what CDWs were doing to bring economic empowerment to communities. He said that some people were deprived of access to land that could be used for agriculture. He urged that CDWs should have a strong economic background that translates into economic development to prevent unwanted migration from certain communities. He asked about the plans of CDWs to reduce substance abuse in communities. He expressed concern about the inability of the DLG to get a return on its investment from the CDWP. He also expressed pessimism on the integration of the CDWP with other entities. He cited a case in which the police did not have any documentation on CDWs regarding their roles to curb women and children abuse in rural communities. It was common knowledge that women and children faced violence in rural areas, and such cases and the corresponding intervention by CDWs should be documented appropriately and made available to the public.
Mr T Simmers (DA) sought clarity on the allocation of CDWs to communities.
Mr Mitchell asked about the selection of CDWs who were trained. He was concerned about the CDWs-to-population ratio in certain communities. Six CDWs had initially been allocated to a particular municipality, but only two were left. Were there plans to replace those who had been fired, or were deceased? Were certain programmes associated with the CDWP were still active.
The Chairperson sought clarity on the person responsible for the distribution of allocated CDWs -- was it done by the DLG or the authorities in the community? What was the rationale for the 40% and 60% allocation respectively to municipalities and provincial/national spheres? How did the DLG plan to empower the CDWs in order to ensure effective service delivery to the community?
Regarding the cost effectiveness of the programmes, Mr Magerman said there were dedicated officials in each municipality who had a plan that guided the expected outcomes. The DLG had reviewed the economic and social impacts of the programmes. It added a lot value to host communities through its responsiveness and various partnerships. He cited an example of the development of eight towns in the Cederberg municipality within a short period of two weeks. This programme had commenced after the last local government election in the municipality.
In response to Ms Maseko’s question, Mr Magerman said that the DLG monitored the performance of CDWs using the annual performance plan and various associated indicators. The DLG also engaged the CDWs in personal discussions, and they were also assessed on a bi-annual basis. There were measures to deal with non-performing CDWs.
Ms Maseko expressed concern about the ability of the CDWs to deliver their mandates because the scope of the responsibility was wide. She felt the CDWs may not act effectively if they dealt with all departments simultaneously. This may affect the ability of the DLG to get value for money.
Ms Nozuko Zamxaka, Chief Director: Integrated Service Delivery, DLG, said that it was not easy to quantify the cost-effectiveness of the programme. In terms of the projects implemented in host communities, the DLG consulted with individual communities to identify areas of need. Thereafter, it formulated initiatives, strategies and plans to address the need. It partnered with other departments to execute the projects, and evaluated their value. The CDWs help the DLG to identify areas of opportunities. There were documents that reflected the results of the activities of the CDWs. The DLG also monitored the performance of CDWs through the performance agreement plan and PERMIS.
Ms Zamxaka said that the CDWP was a work in progress. The DLG supported the Department of Economic Development to bring economic opportunities to communities. She cited the school gardening project as an example of a project that facilitated both subsistence and commercial farming. The CDWs help to identify needs, organise information sessions to address the needs, and coordinate various departments to achieve the successful execution of projects. While some of the beneficiaries succeed in feeding themselves with the produce, some produced quantities sufficient to be purchased.
The DLG had vibrant partnerships with other departments and entities across the three spheres of government and those outside the government. She cited the partnership programmes the DLG runs with an NGO in the Cape Winelands and West Coast. It also interacted with the Department of Science and Technology to achieve specific goals. The Department had a hierarchical structure with the capability to deal with issues that related to land. It partnered with relevant stakeholders -- government departments and NGOs -- to deal with substance abuse in local communities.
In response to the question about the allocation of CDWs, she said that the programme initially targeted poor and previously marginalised communities. The insufficient number of CDWs in certain wards was due to retirement or death. The DLG had not filled some of the vacant positions mainly due to budget pressure and the employment ceiling.
In response to the question on the benefits of the CDWP to the host community, Mr Magerman said that the DLG partnered with other departments and stakeholders to improve the lot of community members. He cited an example of solar panel project, in collaboration with the Department of Energy. He also talked about community programmes delivered in collaboration with the Department of Health. Regarding the question on accessibility of farm land, Mr Magerman he assured the Committee that the DLG worked with the municipalities to make farmland available to qualified beneficiaries.
The Chairperson sought clarity on the 40/ 60 partnership agreement.
Mr Simmer asked why the number of CDWs was not commensurate with size of the community.
Mr Magerman said that there was discrepancy in the allocation of CDWs, because projects were prioritised based on needs. CDWs were not allocated on the basis of wards or communities, but were predominantly allocated to poor and previously marginalised communities, like Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain. The CDWs work closely with sub-council managers to bring development to host communities. The DLG meets with all sub-council managers to coordinate the work, as required by the partnership agreement.
Regarding the 40/ 60 partnership agreement, the DLG partnered with other provincial and national departments to achieve pre-determined objectives. The CDWs work closely with sub-council managers to ensure proper execution of projects. 40% of CDWs’ activity was offered at the municipal level, whereas 60% of the contribution goes to both provincial and national levels.
Mr Magerman said that the DLG had created 14 supervisory positions in order to facilitate accountability in the programme. It had funded the positions of the supervisors with funds saved from vacant CDWs posts. There was no special funding for the supervisory positions due to budgetary constraints and the restriction on head-count. He promised to give data of money spent on the programme for the past three years.
Mr Mitchell expressed concern over the allocation of CDWs. He said that some municipalities had excess CDWs, while allocations were not made for some of the poorest communities. How did the allocation work? He also expressed concern about the distance travelled by some CDWs to the communities allocated to them. He cited a case of a CDW who traveled about 70 kilometres to the Central Karoo to perform his duties. He challenged Mr Magerman’s explanation on budgetary constraints. He asserted that the non-allocation of CDWs to some communities was more of a priority issue than budgetary constraints.
Ms Maseko noted that the number of CDWs in certain communities did not match the multitude of problems the communities face. She also expressed displeasure about the non-performance of CDWs in some cases. The media hype given to the performance of CDWs may not be genuine, because the reality on the ground could differ in some cases. She cited a case where food parcels were distributed in Cederberg during a particular Christmas, and many people, including the elderly, did not get their portions. This had led to disciplinary action against those who had failed in their duties. Did the DLG have a plan that ensured effective service delivery from the CDWs?
Ms Zamxaka said that the programme starts with the admission of volunteers into a learnership programme. The DLG absorbs some of the successful candidates as CDWs. During the initial phase, the CDWs are selected from the host communities. Over time, vacancies occur, and the positions are open to the general public once they are advertised. The recruitment passes through the normal human resource (HR) processes and the most suitable candidate, in terms of job description, gets the job. Sometimes the DLG does not receive applications from any member of the host communities.
Mr Mitchell emphasised the importance of selecting CDWs from the host community. He expressed concern about a CDW who traveled from Beaufort West to a small town far from home. He questioned why a member of the local community, who had been trained for seven years, was not employed as the CDW.
The Chairperson corroborated Mr Mitchell’s concern. According to him, it was important that the DLG selects CDWs from the local community due to the potential of the person to know the people, community and the specific problems the community faces.
Mr Magerman said that all appointments of CDWs followed due process and were done in a fair, open and transparent manner. The appointment of the CDW from Beaufort West was aligned with the legal framework. On the other hand, the person from the local community had not met the requirements for the position, so he was not appointed. The CDW from Beaufort West would have to relocate to the area where he worked. There were sometimes discrepancies in the allocation of the CDW due to population growth. CDWs allocated to a particular community were shared within the various wards in order to achieve set goals.
Ms Zamxaka said that community development programmes occurred even in communities that did not have CDWs. In such communities, the CDWs allocated to the districts were engaged to provide solutions to identified problems. Langeberg was an important example in this regard. The DLG aimed to recruit CDWs to communities that did not have them the moment funding was available to fill such positions.
Regarding monitoring, Ms Zamxaka said that each district had one or two supervisors who monitor the activities of the workers under their watch. The Department trains the CDWs to maintain proper conduct in the discharge of their duties. This helped to curb misconduct and improper behaviour by the CDWs. Those caught in acts of misconduct were either disciplined or dismissed. There had been a significant decrease in the number of complaints reported in the past three years.
Ms Zamxaka said that about R18 500 was allocated to each CDW. The DLG was not responsible for the funding. The funding for operational costs like transport and stationery came from partner departments and other role players.
Ms Maseko sought further clarity on the allocation of CDWs. She urged the DLG to engage various NGOs to bring solutions to the challenges experienced in some communities. She stressed the importance of an appropriate number of CDWs in order to ensure effectiveness in service delivery. She specifically spoke about problematic cases of unwanted pregnancies in Langeberg, which resulted from prostitution. CDWs could intervene in such cases by proper identification of the cause, and devising measures to curb the problem.
Mr Tyatyam also expressed concern about the long distances travelled by certain CDWs to get to their workplace. How did the DLG ensure that such CDWs came to work at least twice a week? Was there any nodal point where the community mets with the CDWs? He commended the decision of the DLG to recruit based on merit. However, the CDW must be based in his/her place of assignment. He pointed out that the fourth industrial revolution was not mentioned in the courses received by the CDWs. It was noteworthy that the world changed very fast and the CDWs had to be trained in information and communication technology (ICT). This would empower them to bridge the gap between current practices and the fourth industrial revolution in the communities where they served.
The Chairperson, responding to Mr Tyatyam’s question on the distance travelled by CDWs, said Mr Magerman had already answered the question. Specifically, the CDW coming from Beaufort West had to relocate. However, it was difficult for him to relocate at the moment because the local community did not want him.
Mr Mitchell reiterated the importance of selecting CDWs from host communities, since the purpose, roles and responsibilities of the CDWP were community-based. He asked for the details of the employment of the CDW who came from Beaufort West. He also wanted to know the details of volunteers from the locality in question.
The Chairperson requested the DLG to supply the Committee with a list of all the CDWs, and when they had started, per municipality. Were they drawn from the new recruitment process or from the volunteer programme or project consolidated? He told Mr Mitchell that there was a paper trail to the appointment of the CDW from Beaufort West, and asked Mr Magerman to provide the Committee with the paper trail.
Mr Simmers requested a break down in pie chart form of the economic opportunities offered by the DLG in each district. He also requested a list of all beneficiaries of the food security programme of the DLG.
Mr Mitchell asked the DLG to submit the details of the Memorandum of Agreement. He wanted to know those involved in the recruitment process, and the person responsible for shortlisting.
Mr Tyatyam sought clarity about developmental initiatives of CDWs, especially in communities that lacked economic activities and where migration was prevalent.
Ms Maseko asked if the DLG kept track of the candidates who went through the occupational skills development programme. Were the candidates employable after the programme? She requested the DLG to supply answers to the question in order to justify the investment. Did the DLG coordinate effectively with other departments in the implementation of programmes? Did the departments act on the recommendations of the DLG? Who appointed the service providers?
Mr Magerman said that the DLG worked with other departments and relevant agencies to facilitate service delivery to communities. Service providers were appointed by various departments, depending on the project. The DLG had effective feedback mechanisms in place, which helped to monitor the progress of projects. He promised to submit detailed statistics of the sponsored college programme to the Committee.
He said the recruitment process was fair, open and transparent. It was a well-regulated process. The recruitment exercise occurred to replace CDWs that leave either by natural attrition or death. He emphasised the importance of community representation on the panel that appointed CDWs.
Economic empowerment of the community represented a serious challenge and efforts were geared towards integrated service delivery from all stakeholders. Some of the projects included development of solar panels and food gardening. The CDWs also work with the community to identify areas of need and develop initiatives to address those needs.
Mr Mitchell sought clarity about the municipal representation on the panel of appointment. Who appointed the municipal representative? Who was the municipal representative?
Mr Magerman said that the DLG worked with the municipal representative to plan and integrate activities. He assured the Committee that the recruitment process was fair and the integrity of the process was paramount to the DLGs approach.
Mr Simmers sought further clarity on the identity of the municipal representative. Who appoints the representative?
Ms Maseko emphasised the importance of creativity from other departments that work with the DLG. She asked about the approach of other departments to theDLG’s recommendations. Were the other departments reactive or proactive to the measures?
Mr Magerman said the response of other departments to the DLG varied, depending on the nature of the partnership. The DLG was ready to partner with other departments on a wide range of issues in order to provide solutions to poverty, unemployment and other social needs that may exist.
Ms Zamxaka said the DLG had two programmes -- the CDWP and the Thusong programme. The two programmes helped to access government programmes and useful information. Sometimes, the same partners operated on both the CDWP and Thusong programmes. In the Thusong programme for instance, the DLG had entered into an agreement with other role players like the Department of Economic Development and Tourism, in vocational skills acquisition on the West Coast. The DLG also had a partnership programme with the Department of Human Settlements. This programme helped to enlighten consumers of their rights. The success of the programme depended on the effectiveness of the agreement between role players.
She said that the DLG did not force its recommendations on a partner, especially if there were no official agreements. The physical absence of service providers in an area did not translate into inactivity for the DLG. Service providers were usually deployed from other municipalities to help municipalities or districts with no service providers. Local suppliers might be left out if they were not registered on the Central Supplier Database (CSD).
For the Thusong programme, the DLG helped numerous drivers to get registered on the CSD.
On the issue of funding, Ms Zamxaka said that there were appropriate funds for each recruited CDW. There were internal dialogues in terms of how the funding should be handled. All funding approved by the sitting government were found in the Gazette. However, funding approved during the financial year may not be found in the Gazette.
She said that the mission of DLG was also implemented by NGOs, especially where there was a lack of, or insufficient, CDWs. For instance, an NGO in the Cape Winelands helps to reduce the problems associated with alcoholism, substance abuse and other vices. The DLG partners with other role players to add value to the project. She acknowledged that the DLG could only try to bridge the gap but could not provide solutions to all the challenges.
Mr Tyatyam expressed concern about the economic benefits of the CDWP to people from host communities. He cited an example of the solar panel project, which did not result in economic empowerment of the local people. In some cases, the municipality failed to account for the proceedings associated with the project. There was an instance where the people fought with a Councillor because they thought he embezzled the money earmarked for specific projects. He acknowledged that the Thusong programme worked to curb the problems of alcoholism and substance abuse. He expressed concern, however, that some victims went back to the same habits, since they did not have alternatives. The DLG should intervene in such instances to ensure that people were empowered indeed.
Mr Magerman promised to submit the list of 20 beneficiaries of CDWP training to the Committee. He assured the Committee that the DLG was in active partnerships with other role players. The role players could come to give an account of their activities, if invited by the Committee. Regarding the fourth industrial revolution, he acknowledged the roles of ICT and artificial intelligence for future employment. The DLG was well-informed about this, and steps were being taken to empower the people of the Province.
Mr Paulse told the Committee that the activities and regulations of the CDWP had been reviewed in 2009, and another review was imminent. The review helped to improve the quality of services rendered by the CDWs. The recruitment of CDWs occurred in alignment with laws guiding recruitment in the public service. The restriction on head-count and other regulations limited the ability of the DLG to recruit CDWs beyond a given number. The DLG had measures in place to enhance the skills of CDWs, which would enable their migration to higher functionality.
There were discussions between the DLG, ministers and other role players on how the CDWs could be more sophisticated and strengthened to play a part in strengthening democracy.
The meeting was adjourned.