Conditional Grant Reports: Early Childhood Development Grant, Human Settlements Development Grant & Disaster Grant

NCOP Appropriations

22 August 2018
Chairperson: Mr C De Beer (Northern Cape, ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Conditional grants are used in most decentralised systems of government to enable specified national objectives. The Constitution states that conditional grants must be provided from the national equitable share and that the division of revenue must recognize the role played by conditional grants within the national equitable share.

The Committee considered and adopted 3 draft reports dealing with the Early Childhood Development Grant, Human Settlements Development Grant and Disaster Grant.

The Members were concerned that the recommendation that Natural Treasury must assist the Provincial Departments is a recommendation that has been there over the years. The Members also noted that the recommendation in terms of late payments is also a recurring recommendation and that they need to be stronger because it comes up all the time.

Meeting report

Early Childhood Development Grant performance Draft Report

The Committee went through the document page-by-page.

The Chairperson stated that in the observations, they must include that the Minister was present in the meeting and also note the absence of the Eastern Cape MEC.

The observations and recommendations are the result of Members’ inputs.

Mr M Monakedi (Free State, ANC) proposed that in recommendation 9.5, they insert “in the spirit of cooperative governance and…”

Mr T Motlhashuping (North West, ANC) asked why they should include cooperative governance.

The Chairperson stated that the biggest problem in governance is intergovernmental relations.

Mr Mothlashuping stated that they should avoid tautology, because intergovernmental relations include cooperative governance.

Adv Mongana Tau, Committee Content Advisor, stated that the Constitution separates intergovernmental relations and cooperative governance; therefore Mr Monakedi is suggesting that they include the spirit of the Constitution.

The Chairperson put the report to the Committee.

Mr Motlhashuping moved to adopt the report.

Mr L Gaehler (Eastern Cape, UDM) seconded the motion.

The report was adopted with amendments.

Education Infrastructure Grant performance Draft Report 

The Committee went through the document page-by-page.

The Chairperson stated that supply chain is an issue throughout, in all meetings with Departments.

Mr Gaehler proposed that they should put a recommendation that Natural Treasury must assist the Provincial Departments; and that is one recommendation that has been there for years.

The Chairperson stated that it goes back to skills. Do the Departments have the right skills? That is why he suggested a diagnostic analysis be done.

The Committee Secretary advised that the word “must” should be avoided in recommendations; rather use “should.”

Adv Tau stated that the recommendation should rather state that National Treasury is to consult with the Department.

The Committee Secretary stated that the responsibility to consult should be placed on the National Department. So, the recommendation should read that the Department is to be in consultation with National Treasury.

Mr Gaehler stated that with regards to the recommendation in terms of late payments, they need to be stronger because it comes up all the time.

The Committee Secretary stated that when there are recurring observations and recurring recommendations they emphasise it by putting it in bold letters to show that that recommendation or observation is recurring.

Adv Tau advised that in addition, the Committee may consider calling a specific meeting where National Treasury presents their own observations on the matter; as this may not be happening in one grant.

The Chairperson stated that they need to find where they can fit that meeting in.

Ms Yolanda Brown, Committee Researcher, stated that the FFC submission speaks to that so it can be added as an agenda item in that meeting.

Mr Gaehler agreed and suggested that they include small businesses as well because they are also affected. Late payments affects SMMEs the most.

Mr Gaehler sought clarity on recommendation 9.8.

The Chairperson recalled that the Committee could not have that meeting. The meeting should have been with Public Works and Education.

Mr Gaehler said that the mandate of the Department of Public Works is to deal with infrastructure; the Education Department must inform Public Works. Public Works must come back and state when it is going to implement their mandate, they cannot keep on postponing and complaining about the lack of skills. There is a high rate of unemployed graduates and they had stated that they are employing them; therefore they must come and brief the Committee.

The Chairperson said that they can try and schedule that meeting before the the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement, because it is an issue.

Mr Gaehler proposed that the recommendation state that it is the core mandate of Public Works to do infrastructure, and not that of Education.

Mr T Terblanche (Western Cape, DA) acknowledged that they are dealing with the report but added that because Public Works is not performing, now all departments are adding little components and maybe that is something that could be mentioned in the recommendations. 

The Chairperson put the report to the Committee.

Mr Gaehler moved for adoption.

Mr Monakedi seconded.

The report was adopted with amendments.

Human Settlements Development Grant performance Report

The Committee went through the document page-by-page.

The Chairperson stated that at the bottom of page7, the third line where it reads “of the transferred funds…” that the words of the MEC were ‘the funds were dumped just before the end of the financial year”. That is why the sentence is there. That is what makes their work more sensible because they work in the Finance and Appropriations Committees.

Mr Gaehler proposed that, in the observations, there be added: “regarding the funds that we have dumped or transferred to agencies during the closure of the year.”

Mr Monakedi alerted Mr Gaehler to 8.2, as that point is covered there.

The Chairperson agreed that it is covered in 8.2.

Mr Monakedi proposed that in 9.2 where it states that “NT should submit the regulations which gave the receiving authorities…” should say “give”. What they meant was that there were regulations giving them those powers and as a Committee they recommend that they must prove those powers.

Mr Gaehler stated that they do not know how those funds were used. Therefore it should be added that they must give the Committee a report on the expenditure of the dumped funds.

Mr Monakedi replied that in terms of the submitted report, those funds were transferred but only some of them were spent. Those agencies had failed and they wanted to make it seem as if those agencies had done their job.

The second Committee Secretary said that 9.1 covers what the Members are raising. What Mr Gaehler is suggesting is covered in point 9.1.

Mr Gaehler noted that with regards to 9.5, it is the same finding as the previous one, and it is like that every year.

The Chairperson stated that it be added that “the Committee repeats its recommendation...”

The Chairperson put the report to the Members.

Mr Terblanche moved for adoption.

Mr Chabangu seconded.

Provincial and Municipal Disaster Relief Grants and Municipal Disaster Recovery Grant performance from inception to date Draft Report

Mr Gaehler proposed that 6.3 in line with 5.3 should include all provinces because there are other provinces with disaster fund issues. The OR Tambo District has disaster fund management issues as well.

Mr Monakedi responded that recommendations arise from deliberations in the meetings; therefore if there are other challenges that they have not discussed, they cannot be added in the recommendations.

The Committee Secretary mentioned that in the current third term programme there is a meeting about it, therefore when NT is invited they could seek more information on the OR Tambo issue.

The Chairperson agreed and stated that it will be dealt with in that meeting, on the 5th of September.

The Chairperson put the report to the Members.

Mr Gaehler moved for adoption.

Mr Motlhashuping seconded.

Minutes of August 15

The Chairperson put the minutes to the Members

Mr Chabangu moved for adoption.

Mr Monakedi seconded.

The Chairperson said his closing remarks and the meeting was adjourned.

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