DHA, IEC & Government Printing Works 2019/20 Annual Performance Plans; with Minister & Deputy Minister

Home Affairs

02 July 2019
Chairperson: Adv B Bongo (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Media Statement: Committee Calls for Measures to End Illegal Immigration

The Committee met to consider the annual performance plans of the Department of Home Affairs, the Independent Electoral Commission and the Government Printing works for 2019/20.

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) said it was fully committed to repositioning itself as a secure, modern department that must play an active role in citizen empowerment, inclusive development and national security. The draft White Paper on Home Affairs provided a policy platform that, when finalised and approved by Cabinet, would guide the development of policy and legislation going forward. A coherent policy framework, based on the full constitutional mandate of the DHA, had been used to guide the planning of the current 2019/20 APP. The finalisation of the White Paper on the repositioning of the DHA would enable the drafting of enabling legislation in the form of a Home Affairs Bill.

The State of the Nation Address (SONA) had set economic transformation and job creation as a priority, and had had the following impact on the DHA:

  • It would continue with the simplification of visa application procedures for selected investment and low risk countries, for them to benefit from visa waivers and/or relaxation of conditions.
  • The White Paper on international migration and subsequent legislation would facilitate investment and ease of entry for bona fide visitors, business persons and investors.
  • The DHA was investing in enabling infrastructure and the development of information technology (IT) systems that would enhance efficiency at the point of application, the processing of traveler movements, and provide for the verification of identity.
  • The development of the new biometric movement control system (BMCS) and e-permitting system were key enablers to achieving such efficiencies.
  • The latter part of 2018/19 and the 2019/20 financial year would see the prioritisation of a progressive rollout of these new technologies. This would also give way to the implementation of a pilot programme on e-gates at SA’s international airports, recognising trusted travelers and creating a seamless facilitation of migratory movement, while still maintaining a risk managed approach.

Members expressed concern regarding the capacity and staffing issues at the Department, which were causing long queues and poor service at DHA offices, and serious delays at refugee centres. They were worried that further budget cuts would exacerbate this situation further.  

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) referred to the approval of the Political Party Funding Bill, which required the disclosure of sources of party funding. Ahead of the local government elections in 2021, it faced the massive challenge of having to clean up the voters’ roll while at the same time having to deal with funding shortages. Its funding requirements included the replacement of the outdated zip-zap machines with new online voter’s registration technology, the deployment of technology to facilitate a real time live voters’ roll, an intensified social media response mechanism, with additional resources to rebut false information on social media, and enhanced training requirements for election staff and party agents.

Members were critical of the fact that the IEC had not alluded to any of the problems encountered during the recent general election, such as allegations of double voting, indelible ink issues, poor voting facilities and the lack of youth interest. They urged the Commission to take steps to avoid a recurrence.

The Government Printing Works (GPW) reported it had made significant profits over the past three years, and had been able to surrender a total of R400 million to its shareholder, the National Treasury. It was focusing on maintaining high quality standards to ensure South Africa’s integrity was not compromised through faulty passports and other government documentation. It was looking to expand its customer base both locally and internationally, and had set a target of at least 20 local customers and seven countries in the Southern African Development Community (SADC).

Members commended the GPW’s performance, and suggested that all government departments should be encouraged to make use of its services, rather than turning to outside printers which generally charged higher prices.

Meeting report

Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, Minister of Home Affairs, said the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) consisted of two main arms. First, the civic arm dealt with citizens and the processes of birth to death. Second, the immigration arm dealt with foreigners who wished to enter South Africa – such as asylum seekers, refugees, and study permits. He explained that somehow the DHA had become like Hollywood, and as many officials present held ‘acting’ titles, and were not permanently employed in certain positions.

DHA Annual Performance Plan Presentation

Mr Jackie McKay, Deputy Director-General: Immigration Services, DHA, reported on the status of filling the positions of Director-General and Deputy Director.

The post of Director-General (DG) had been vacated on 1 August 2018. A draft advertisement had been prepared, although it was never placed in the media as, during a meeting of the Forum of South African Directors-General (FOSAD) held in August 2018, a decision from Cabinet was announced, placing a moratorium on the filling of all DG posts until after the national elections and finalisation of the rationalisation of the public service.

The post of Deputy Director-General (DDG): Civic Services had been vacated on 31 August 2017. The post had been advertised, with a closing date of 23 October 2017. A selection committee, chaired by former Minister Malusi Gigaba, had short-listed four candidates on 8 October 2018. A selection committee chaired by former Minister Siyabonga Cwele, had interviewed the candidates on 4 February 2019. The recommendation of the selection committee on the appointment of a candidate who was nominated as suitable, had been delivered to the Department of Public Service Administration (DPSA), together with the relevant Cabinet memorandum, on 3 March 2019, and was due to be served before Cabinet on 27 March 2019. The matter, however, was not served before Cabinet, due to a decision from Cabinet to pend the filling of all DDG posts until after the National Elections and finalisation of the rationalisation of the Public Service. This submission was still with the DPSA.

The post of DDG: Immigration Services (IS) had been vacated on 31 August 2014, while the post of DDG: Counter Corruption and Security Services (CCSS) had been vacated on 18 December 2014. Since being vacated, various recruitment drives, supplemented by headhunting, had been undertaken to fill both posts, without providing an appointable candidate. The most recent recruitment drive for the post of DDG: was was closed off on 4 September 2018, with the approval of former Minister Gigaba to continue with headhunting. The most recent recruitment drive for the post of DDG: CCSS had been closed off on 5 October 2018, with the approval of former Minister Gigaba to discontinue the filling of this post under the relevant advert due to the time it had already taken to finalise the process, and to proceed with headhunting. The need to proceed with headhunting in respect of both of these posts had been confirmed by Minister Cwele during February 2019. Headhunting had been undertaken and a pool of potential candidates for both posts had been submitted to the Ministry during March 2019. Selection could not proceed due to Cabinet’s decision taken on 27 March 2019, to cease the filling of DDG posts until after finalisation of the rationalisation of the Public Service.

Mr McKay referred to DHA salary levels as at 31 January 2019. The only authorised/approved vacancies in DHA were four senior management service (SMS) posts – three DDGs at salary level 15, and one DG at salary level 16. In terms of the Human Resource Management Circular 30 of 2018, all vacancies were unfunded monthly. Rank code 99 referred to contract and statutory workers, and totalled 85.

An overview of organisational performance from 2012/13 to 2018/19 indicated that the main reasons for improvement could be attributed to improved governance, monitoring and internal control practices, which included:

  • Outcome-focused planning, with an emphasis on strategic priorities.
  • Cascading of the DHA strategy throughout the organisation.
  • Development of clear planning and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) guidelines, tools and capacity building in this regard.
  • Improved governance practices, such as the formation of planning and performance-related structures, and high levels of visibility and accountability for APP targets.
  • Increased emphasis on the importance of integrated planning to identify and address key dependencies and risks.
  • Intensified monitoring of progress in achieving targets.

A comparative analysis of audit outcomes for the last five financial years indicated improved internal controls, sound management practices and improved planning, which included:

  • The introduction of monthly checklists to be completed by all managers from Assistant Director and above, and all heads of offices, irrespective of rank.
  • Hosting of regular Top 1 000 meetings, to provide feedback and plan for audits.
  • Development and implementation of an audit action plan to deal with findings from the Auditor-General (AG) and the DHA Internal Audit.
  • Availability of relevant policies and procedures via internal communication channels.
  • Review of the process to deal with the payment of invoices within 30 days.
  • Presentations on compliance-related issues at various governance forums, such as the Minister’s Management Meeting (MMM), EXCO and the Departmental Management Committee (DMC).

Factors considered in strategic planning in the Annual Performance Plan (APP) for 2019/20 to 2021/22 included:

  • Results from audits conducted by the AG, DHA Internal Audit, the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) and the Management Performance Assessment Tool (MPAT). The DHA had obtained scores of four for both strategic and annual performance planning for the latest MPAT.
  • The current global and domestic economic outlook, especially issues such as the restrictive compensation of employee’s baseline, and cuts in goods and services’ allocations.
  • Addressing key dependencies on service providers impacting on strategy and operations.
  • The need for extensive and regular consultation and collaboration with stakeholders on the development and implementation of policies, programmes and plans.
  • The impact of the White Paper on Home Affairs would form an integral part of the DHA strategy going forward, and the development of the new strategic plan.

In the repositioning process and draft DHA policy framework for the DHA, the Department was fully committed to repositioning itself as a secure, modern department that must play an active role in citizen empowerment, inclusive development and national security. The draft White Paper on Home Affairs provides a policy platform that, when finalised and approved by Cabinet, would guide the development of policy and legislation going forward. A coherent policy framework, based on the full constitutional mandate of the DHA, had been used to guide the planning of the current 2019/20 APP. The finalisation of the White Paper on the repositioning of the DHA would enable the drafting of enabling legislation in the form of a Home Affairs Bill.

National and departmental priorities 2014 to 2022 included the Department’s contribution to the National Development Plan (NDP), a major focus of which was to confront the triple challenge of poverty, inequality and unemployment by achieving higher growth rates. The DHA had a critical contribution to make to the achievement of the NDP 2030 objectives:

  • The inclusion of all citizens in democracy and development was enabled by providing them with a status and an identity that gives them access to rights and services. This must be done in an efficient, effective, professional and secure manner.
  • A further priority for the DHA ws to facilitate the acquisition of the critical skills needed for economic growth and to build its own skills base.
  • The DHA must continue to drive integrated and coordinated border management to ensure the country’s borders were effectively protected, secure and well-managed.
  • The DHA could play a key role in enabling regional development by working with Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries to establish efficient, secure and managed migration.
  • The DHA was central to harnessing the fourth industrial revolution and building a capable state. The modernisation programme of the DHA could reduce fraud and the cost of doing business by enabling e-government, and this would attract more investment.

The State of the Nation (SONA) had set economic transformation and job creation as a priority, and had the following impact on the DHA:

  • It would continue with the simplification of visa application procedures for selected investment and low risk countries, for them to benefit from visa waivers and/or relaxation of conditions.
  • The White Paper on International Migration and subsequent legislation would facilitate investment and ease of entry for bona fide visitors, business persons and investors.
  • The DHA was investing in enabling infrastructure and the development of information technology (IT) systems that would enhance efficiency at the point of application, the processing of traveler movements, and provide for the verification of identity.
  • The development of the new biometric movement control system (BMCS) and e-permitting system were key enablers to achieving such efficiencies.
  • The latter part of 2018/19 and the 2019/20 financial year would see the prioritisation of a progressive rollout of these new technologies. This would also give way to the implementation of a pilot programme on e-gates at SA’s international airports, recognising trusted travelers and creating a seamless facilitation of migratory movement, while still maintaining a risk managed approach.

Another national priority was the maintenance of a capable, ethical and developmental state. In this respect, the repositioning programme of the DHA was a critical component of strengthening the capacity of the state. The DHA was central to e-government and realising the benefits of the fourth industrial revolution. The DHA could play a central role in improving efficiencies in general and lowering the costs of doing business. The DHA would develop a corps of skilled and professional public servants of the highest moral standards –dedicated to the public good -- through its re-skilling programme and recruitment practices as part of repositioning.

According to its mandate paper of 2018, priorities relevant to the DHA were:

  • An effective identity system for citizens and visitors.
  • The DHA population register and the electronic and card identification systems must include all citizens and be of the highest integrity.
  • Improved operational and information systems to help fight crime and corruption, but also government efficiency generally.
  • The unique identity number received at birth must be used to track and ensure receipt of all social protection goods and public services by government, but also link to the criminal justice system to root out criminals.
  • The DHA identification system must inform the information infrastructure for government’s service delivery, and physical service delivery must be extended and made accessible through cooperation between departments.
  • The integrated national identity system must be a core component in the fight against corruption and economic crimes.
  • Finalising the Border Management Authority (BMA) and the adequate deployment of South African National Defence Force companies to protect South African borders, and an integrated vetting strategy where critical positions needed to be filled.

Sections relevant to the DHA in the mandate paper for 2019 were shared services and better co-ordination. Services could be improved, and costs reduced where government departments shared services, resources and information technology systems and infrastructure. An ICT example would be broadening the use of the Home Affairs’ single identification card to other service areas such as drivers’ licences and social grant payments.

State-owned entities must be the preferred service provider for government departments such as South African Airways (SAA), the Post Office, Government Printer, Transnet, the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (PRASA) and must be used and contracted formally with government.

Revenue collection must be enforced in government departments. For example, there must be means-tested fees for South Africans and non-South Africans in health facilities across the country. The revenue collection drive must ensure all state entities collect all outstanding debt and find revenue-generation mechanisms in their operations.

Co-ordination initiatives such as the One-Stop Investment Centre championed by the DTI was another example of co-operation to reduce costs.

Administration budgets had been declining in recent years. These pressures should be used to embark on a process of public service modernisation that could substantially reduce the costs of doing business and increase the quality of life through improving processes and utilising modern information and communication technology.

A priority which was also central to fighting crime and corruption, was the electronic identification system of the DHA. This needed to serve as the basis for other electronic management systems, such as those for drivers’ licences and grant payments. This in turn could support service design and service delivery monitoring. Solutions had to be found for persisting crime problems ranging from the illicit flow of funds to cable theft.


Mr V Pambo (EFF) expressed displeasure that the Ministry was being treated with haste. He sarcastically told the Chairperson that he should not rush the Ministry in the same manner he had assumed his seat as Chairperson. He stressed that the Ministry should be given the necessary time they need to flesh out all the important aspects of their presentation in order for Committee Members to get a full picture of what was occurring in the Department. For the Chairperson to constantly remind them of the time was completely unsettling, especially for Members who were trying to listen and understand the information. He also said that even though Members had received the documents before the meeting took place, it did not mean that they had read and understood them in the same manner as when it was being explained by the Department. Fully understanding the reports would allow Members to pose questions based on not just on detailed information, but on explanations too.

Ms L van der Merwe (IFP) agreed with Mr Pambo. She said it felt as if important information had been skipped. She suggested that while the information was still fresh, it would be better to engage with the first presentation before moving on to the next.

Mr M Chabane (ANC) said that the Committee needed to appreciate that the documents had been sent well in advance for Members to peruse. He had been of the impression that more time would be given to engage with the reports, as they had been sent in advance so that when they met, the Department would focus on the key areas that needed to be dealt with.

Mr Q Dyantyi (ANC) agreed that engagement with the first presentation should take place before moving on to the financial reports. The presentation had over 90 slides and there was simply no way that the Department could do them justice in one day. Various departments and agencies had been called to present various details, which would be used to open up more questions and allow for more engagement sessions. He stressed that today would not be the only day for engagement, and that it was an ongoing process.

The Chairperson said that he would allow Members to engage with the first presentation before moving on to the financial aspect. While he sympathised with Mr Pambo, the Committee had agreed to hit the ground running and therefore they had to use the speed of a Mirage jet when dealing with issues. He emphasised that the presentations had been given days before the meeting.

Mr Pambo said that the Chairperson was making political pronouncements. While the Chairperson agreed to hit the ground running, philosophically it meant something else for him. He explained that thinking critically regarding information included that. Thinking and doing were both forms of working. Hitting the ground running did not mean quickly rushing over things -- it meant fully understanding things in order to make informed decisions. He expressed displeasure regarding the manner of time allocated for presentations. It was wrong to summon the Department to give their presentation, only for the Chairperson to limit them to a certain time frame – of which they were not aware. He would not tolerate it being done to him, and therefore would not stand for it being done to others. A good explanation was often needed in order for Members to understand information, such as the case would be when dealing with financial information.

Ms Van der Merwe referred to the prevention programme regarding the “War on Queues” that had been launched last year. She wanted to know how successful the programme had been thus far. There had been reports of pensioners having to pay R350 to jump queues, which was very disturbing.

The presentation had mentioned the world-class eVisa regime, but the reality was that desks at airports were often unmanned or had very long queues, with one or two officials at most. She understood that e-Gates would be implemented at ports of entry across the country, but she wanted information regarding the timeline for implementation, as well as the interim measures to deal with the lack of staff and long queues.

She admired the Ministers’ passion when he spoke about the revamping of Home Affairs, but said that a big problem with Home Affairs was the constant issue of systems being offline. People took time off from work to go to Home Affairs, only to be met by offline systems. She wanted to know if a system upgrade would be needed.

What was being done by the Department to prevent fraudulent marriages? It seemed that the Department was taking it slow to put in place adequate remedial actions to eliminate fraudulent marriages. She was aware of pending court cases and wanted to know how many cases had been reported, how many resolved and how many officials had been held responsible.

Regarding undocumented migrants, Ms Van der Merwe said that the 160 inspections done by the Department at various unregistered businesses seemed far too little in relation to the magnitude of the problem. She sought clarity as to the possibility of focusing inspections not just on the hospitality sector, but on various other sectors too, as undocumented foreign nationals worked in various sectors illegally.

Mr A Roos (DA) sought clarity with regard to the level of capacity in the refugee centers, particularly in Masina.

Mr J McGluwa (DA) said the challenges with regard queues, capacity and offline systems were enormous. A parent had informed him earlier of their child who had been off from school for three days as a result of Home Affairs. On the first day, they had queued the entire day. On the second day, they had been given a ticket but were not helped. On the third day, the Home Affairs systems were offline. The civic arm was a very important arm of the Department, so the challenges needed to be addressed urgently.

He expressed displeasure that a court ruling related to the amendment of section 34 had not been mentioned in the presentation. The lapse of a Civil Union Bill that had been passed by the Committee had not been mentioned either.

He said that Mr McKay had mentioned that years ago they had implemented the advanced passenger system which gave detailed information regarding passengers. He wanted to know if the system gave an advantage to prevent another Gupta landing issue.

Mr Dyantyi (ANC) said that he had four issues. Firstly, he understood that the Ministry was beefing up their office capacity, but no mention had been made of modernising trucks that could be used not only in rural areas and schools, but where offices could not be built. Secondly, he asked for a more detailed vacancy rate and list of unfilled positions beyond just DDG levels. He wanted to know when the proposed medium term strategic framework (MTSF) for 2019/2024 would be finalised. Thirdly, he complained that DHA offices were closed on Saturdays, on the day when most of the population would prefer to visit the offices. He wanted to know who the Department was open for during the week and what the problem was for not utilising Saturdays, beyond the issues of overtime and finances. Lastly, he noticed that APP targets had been reduced, and wanted to know whether it was due to a shorter year, a sign of success, or financial issues.

Mr Chabane (wanted to know what the relationship was between the Human Rights Commission (HRC) and the Department of Education, particularly where challenges erupted in admitting undocumented learners to schools. He said that the where Department of Education policy stated one may not admit undocumented learners to school, the HRC often overrode their authority and allowed undocumented learners to be accepted at schools. He wanted to know the synergy between the two institutions.

Regarding refugee centres, he wanted to know what the key areas of improvements were in terms of capacity and their management. He asked for more details on the Trusted Traveler System and the e-Gate system, he wanted to know what the limitations of the processes were.

Mr M Hendricks (Al Jama-ah) explained that on his recent to Home Affairs with his grandson, the service had been excellent, and they were in and out within 10 minutes. He joked that the ‘padkos’ was not necessary.

He said that there was going to be one Marriage Act with many doors, but he was worried that it would take many years to pass. In the meantime, his dignity was being infringed on -- from the cradle to the grave. He explained that his parents had been married under Islamic religious law and ceremony, and as a result of this, when he was born he was classified as illegitimate according to Home Affairs. Should he die, then his death certificate would say that he had not been married, as he too had married under Islamic religious law and ceremony. He explained that should his wife take his death certificate and try to get the house and car passed to her name; it would be impossible.

The previous Director-General had told him he had been instructed by former President Zuma to investigate the matter. They had been invited to draft a Bill to address the issue of the non-recognition of religious marriages, which they had done. He wanted to know what was currently happening with that bill, as after the DG had left it was most probably lying on someone’s desk.

He wanted to know what would be done in the meantime to recognise the legal consequences of religious marriages. He wanted to know why a Zulu couple, for example, could register their marriage with Home Affairs, but Jewish, Muslim and Hindu couples could not. Just like the African customs, he had paid his dowry and held a religious ceremony, yet he could not be afforded legal consequences of marriage.

The Minister wanted to know if Mr Hendricks had been referring to religious marriages, or specifically Muslim marriages.

Mr Hendricks responded that he had been referring to religious marriages in general. Muslim, Jewish and Hindu couples were all in the same predicament.

Ms T Khanyile (DA) wanted to know what steps were being taken to address the inadequate capacity within the Department. She wanted to know how many officials from Home Affairs had been located in Hospitals, as this would help address the issue of early birth registration before a mother and child left the hospital.

In her home province of Mpumalanga, there were a lot of undocumented learners at primary school levels who could not even access social grants due to not having a birth certificate. She wanted to know what the Department was doing about this, to ensure that officials were not running the Department like a “spaza shop.”

On 18 June she had received a call from a fellow community member in Govan Mbeki Municipality around 11am indicated that they were waiting in a queue because the offices were still closed. She had called the manager who had indicated that the offices were meant to open at 8am. The reason why it had not opened was because the official who had the key was on leave and was driving to bring the key, which would still take him another 30 minutes. She wanted to know if the Department was aware of incidents like those occurring across the country.

Mr Pambo said that he was concerned with banks being involved in the processing and issuing of smart ID documents. From a security point of view, he believed the relationship was a risky one.

Mr J Maake (ANC) said that the Department of Home Affairs was covered in complaints. Instead of the Committee interrogating the Department, they needed to find out the issues and offer assistance to the Department to help make their jobs easier. The Committee needed to have a hands-on approach to help instead of merely just reading the reports and interrogating them.

The Chairperson said that the questions and comments posed by Members would be noted by the Department to be answered now, and if not they would report back on them at the next meeting

Mr McGluwa agreed with Mr Pambo that questions posed to the Department needed to be responded to the Committee in the form of a report in order to get concise and accurate answers, based on research and proper information.

The Chairperson said he understood what Members had said, and announced that the meeting would end around 10pm so as to ensure proper engagement with the Department and other agencies present. When dealing with issues, time allocation was important, and where departments wanted four minutes, the Committee would perhaps give them three because of time constraints.

Department’s response

Mr Thomas Sigama, Acting Deputy Director-General: Civic Services, responded that with the “War on Queues” they had started with a strategy, working alongside the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) in order to identify some of the causes which had led to the “War on Queues”. The first was a result of unpredictable walk-ins -- when an office was opened, there was no indication as to the amount of people who would make use of the service. The second was a result of the discontinuation of working on Saturdays. This was a result of serious challenges raised by labour and unions. They had gone back to the drawing board and were planning to go back to the unions to discuss the issues.

Inadequate leadership in most of their offices was a major contributor. They had had to appoint people to act as office managers which affected the staff complement in their front offices, which was a big problem. Vacant positions were a major contributor flagged by the GCIS. Lastly, unstable and offline systems in their front offices led to serious backlogs and problems for which they could not answer, as once a system was down it would take a while before it would be online again. They were trying to combine their legacy systems with their new systems in order to avoid people standing in more than one queue. The automatic system required staff be trained and able to use the automated system, to avoid paper usage and long queues.

Mr McKay explained that the refugee centres were adequately staffed with regard to the reception offices that received applications from asylum seekers, and status determination officers. It was the appeals and review area which had backlogs. Two entities dealt with appeals and reviews.

The standing committee on refugee affairs dealt with those who sought to appeal against rejections of asylum. The refugee appeals board listened to cases afresh and made findings on whether to confer refugee status upon foreigners. They listened to cases as a board and could hear only a limited amount of cases. They consisted of five people, and needed a quorum. They were in the process of changing that in order to become more efficient, as it was a policy problem.

He said that the number of refugee claims had decreased dramatically in the past couple of years and when they briefed the Committee on that aspect, they would be able to show the drastic drop. They were working with the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) on dealing with the backlog cases in the refugee appeals board areas.

The advanced passenger processing system was an excellent system. It was able to offload the passenger at the point of embarkation before he came to South Africa. For example, someone at Heathrow airport coming to South Africa would scan their passport at check-in, the system would check the database of unwanted or prohibited people in South Africa, and if a person was on that list they would not be allowed to even board the plane.

The Minister said that the issue of overtime was a labour issue, and they were working to change the rules. There was an Act to make Home Affairs Department an essential service, like that of the Police Service.

Mr Sigama said that the Department administered three types of marriages - civil marriages, customary marriages and the Civil Union Act which was passed recently, which allowed heterogenous people to enter into marriage. The Department was currently redrafting the Act so there was one Marriage Act that factored in all the requirements of Muslim marriages. It had been presented once and sent back, and therefore was currently being worked on to include everything, even Muslim marriages.

Mr Njabulo Nzuza, Deputy Minister: DHA, referred to staff issues in the Department, and said there were almost 10 500 employees between levels 3 to 8 that were unfunded posts, while others were senior manager positions. The issues raised around queues were largely due to that. He said it could be dealt with in two ways. Treasury had put a cap on the salary bill of R3 million, which meant the Department could not exceed it. The Department needed to look at issues of efficiency and engagement with Treasury in order to increase the cap, as most of those posts were at the front end of service delivery.

The issue of the eVisa regime was currently at the functional testing state, and would be piloted in July with full production around November 2019. The beauty of it was that it was not dependent on staff, so someone abroad could apply for it online and if they were approved then they would be put on to the system so that when they arrived it would be printed for them, as they had been pre-approved.

Minister Matsoaledi said he was well aware of the court cases brought by the Wits Legal Aid clinic and had even visited the clinic to discuss how to help. However, he had been told that the clinic was proceeding with class action. He explained that there was a prevalence of fraudulent marriages, with the Department receiving around 2 000 cases per annum. Since 2018, there had been 2 132 cases reported, where 1 162 were fraudulent and as a result annulled, 643 were real marriages but couples wanted them to be annulled – which could only be done by a court of law -- and 326 were still being investigated. There was a scam for a fast move to citizenship, and this was by marriage. Therefore, it was something which needed to be addressed. He had suggested that they be called in one by one and some had disputed it, with many denied knowing anything despite their fingerprints being on the documents.

On the issue of trucks, two weeks ago there had been an international conference called ID for Africa, where they had displayed equipment and mobile machines which could issue smart ID cards. The DG had told the Minister that they could not just acquire them, but needed to go through supply chain management processes, which they had done.

The e-Gates worked with facial recognition and biometrics. The Minister explained that when he had tested it out without being listed as trusted, it had denied him access while others who passed through were listed as trusted.

He said that the capacity of acting positions would always impact on service delivery, and was aware of that. That was why he had mentioned it at the beginning of the meeting, and said that they were trying to resolve this challenge.

There were over 4 000 health facilities in the country, but only 1 445 could deliver babies. They had discussed with the Minister of Health that no South African should leave a hospital without a birth certificate, and this would be launched in collaboration with the Department of Health and Minister Mkhize. Unabridged birth certificates would be issued, and it would become the responsibility of the hospital and Home Affairs officials to issue them.

The Govan Mbeki incident was clearly misconduct, and he would seek more information on it from Ms Khanyile. It was was completely ridiculous and made the Department look very incompetent.

He assured Mr Pambo that only the Department could issue the smart ID cards. The banks believed that the smart IDs were very safe, and due to the limitation of the Department only being able to issue 3 million per annum, what the banks had done was that they had had their clients fill them out online, taken their clients’ biometrics at the branches, and then sent them to Home Affairs who checked all the formalities. From there it was sent to the government printing works, who were doing marvelous work. They printed the cards and sent them back to the office where the clients had applied for them. Doing it that way, they would avoid queues, and some banks had been willing to take it on at their own cost. Fraud occurred frequently, with banks losing over R50 million, but they believed smart IDs would help to reduce that

Mr Pambo said that he was not happy with the banks processing such critical information in regard to citizen’s lives. While it could just be ignorance on his behalf, he just thought it could be something for the Minister to ponder on.

The Minister said that the only manner in which Members would be put to comfort was if they were to visit the banks, the government printing works and Home Affairs, where they could see how things were being done. The only thing banks were doing, was increasing efficiency and avoiding queues.

Budget Overview and Pressures for 2019/20 to 2021/22

Mr Thomas Sigama, Acting Deputy Director-General: Civic Services, listed the pressures influencing the Department’s budget over the next three years:

  • Government was committed to remain within an expenditure ceiling.
  • No additional resources or funding were available for allocation over the MTEF..
  • Baseline cuts over the MTEF (2020/21 – 5%, 2021/22 – 6%, 2022/23 – 7%).
  • Depressed economic climate.
  • High unemployment.
  • Possible further downgrades by credit rating agencies.
  • Ceilings on the compensation of Employees (COE).

The budget cuts over the next three years -- 5% in the coming financial year, 6% in 2021/22 and 7% in 22/23 -- would put a strain on the Department to deliver its services.

For the year up[ to 31 March 2019, the Department had been allocated R9 billion and spent the full allocation, with a saving of R200 000 (0.02% of the budget), which meant they had spent the full budget.

Moving forward to the next financial year and the two outer years, the Department had been allocated R8.3 billion for 2019/20, R8.7 billion for 2020/21, and R9.6 billion for 2021/22 to perform its activities. Of importance was the reduction imposed by National Treasury. In the next financial year, the budget would be reduced by R193 million.

Mr Sigama outlined the budget breakdown for each programme.

Programme 1: Administration. This dealt with all the support departments and in 2019/20 they been allocated R2.3 billion.

Programme 2: Civic services. They had been allocated R4.7 billion for their activities. The money that gets transferred included R2.1 billion for the Independent Electoral Commission(IEC)

Programme 3: Immigration Affairs. The department was allocated R1.2 billion.

Ceilings placed on the DHA in the next coming financial year could not exceed R3.5 billion for the compensation of employees, R3.8 billion in 2020/21 and R4 billion in 2021/22. This was about a 3% increase yearly. If the salary increases were above 3%, then the Department would breach that ceiling and the only way not to do so was not to fill positions that became vacant.


Mr Pambo said that these vacancies could jeopardize the Department’s performance. When a vacancy was declared, the Department would not fill it because they were trying to balance their purse. The Department had reached the stage where they did not care about service, but rather balancing their purse.

Mr Maake wanted to check what was meant when it was stated that a post was an ‘unfunded post.’ He wanted to know if people were already in those posts or if those posts were not funded for, or if they were vacant, because if they were vacant, it was more than half.

He had always asked himself how Treasury came to a decision of deciding how much money to cut. If they looked at the figures, it would mean that no work would be getting done and he did not see how the Department would resolve the situation. He urged the Minister to talk to the Finance Minister. He wanted to know how the Portfolio Committee and the Department could sort this out together.

The only method he saw in order to reach certain targets with the budget cuts, was to reduce them. All in all, he felt that he was talking to himself because they could not answer the questions he was posing.

Minister Matsoaledi said that he would like very much to fill all the vacancies that needed to be filled. It was not their choice not to fill vacancies. It was dealt to them in the fifth administration by the Minister of Finance. When cuts were made, he was unable to fill vacancies -- which was what he had tried to do when he approached the Minister of Finance when he was the Minister of Health.

Whether a department would totally collapse or not due to the budget cuts was a possibility, but as a department, the DHA they had to sit down and see how to do more with very little by looking at the most essential components and addressing them. Budget cuts were a reality that needed to be faced.

Mr Pambo observed there were limitations that the Department faced with regard to the budget. The response for Home Affairs workers to be categorised as essential workers, did not arise from a security or life-or-death health situation, but was due to labour issues. He was not opposed to the categorization, but wanted to know the thinking behind it. Not every solution was to recategorise things. He was unhappy with the officials being mostly men, and no woman being present. This did not reflect the gender equality of 50% in the Cabinet of the President, and he stressed the need for it to be changed.

Mr Maake said that the Department needed more funds and if not, they needed to lower their targets. It was not something they were looking forward to, but it was something that was needed to be done. It was not wise for them to set high targets without the budget to reach them.

The Minister replied that he wished to correct the statement that they were making. Home Affairs was an essential service because it was huge and had many sectors, but they were rather talking about a specific group of workers who did specific work on immigration. Even in departments that were essential, not all workers were essential workers, but rather a specific group of workers.

Regarding cutting targets, when they revised their APP, they would cut them according to the money allocated. The targets they chose would be in terms of the money allocated to them. He had mentioned earlier that out of the DHA’s 412 offices, 193 were modernised offices, and they would have liked to have increased it dramatically, but were able to increase it to only around 200 this year. Had there been more money allocated then, it could have been higher.

The Minister referred to the gender of officials, and said it was the aim of all departments to move towards gender parity. What they would do was to look at the whole senior management service (SMS) level, as that was what the departments had been asked to do by Cabinet. Cabinet had asked to see the gender parity being reflected in all departments, and Ministers were accountable.

Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)

Mr Masego Sheburi, Deputy CEO: Electoral Operations, presented the IEC’s strategic plan for 2014/15 to 2019/20, and its annual performance Plan for 2019/20.

Giving an environmental analysis, he said the ruling by the Constitutional Court in June 2016 (Electoral Commission v Mhlope and Others) had had significant implications for the IEC. Two aspects of the judgment especially continued to have a very significant impact on the operational and strategic imperatives of the period covered by this strategic plan. They were:

  • That the Electoral Commission must by 30 November 2018 have obtained and recorded on the national common voters’ roll all addresses of voters that were reasonably available as at 17 December 2003; and
  • The Electoral Commission must obtain and record all available addresses on the voters’ roll for the relevant ward segments of the voters’ roll for the purposes of municipal by-elections.

The Political Party Funding Bill had been approved by Parliament in July 2018. The President had assented to the Act on 23 January 2019. The Act provides for the regulation of the funding of political parties, including requiring the disclosure of sources of party funding. The Commission would have to table a report on party funding annually to Parliament. The Act mandates the IEC to implement this legislation and regulations.

Public hearings on the draft regulations were scheduled for early August 2019, and on conclusion of the regulations, the Commission would publish the commencement date of the new party funding regime.

Some of the key challenges facing the IEC in the medium term include the voters’ roll clean-up. Since March 2016, the IEC had made significant headway in updating the voters’ roll to include the addresses of all voters, and had continued to work to narrow this gap by the November 2019 deadline.

There were also the current fiscal challenges and austerity measures which had come at a very difficult time for the IEC, which was facing its most significant budget demands since inception.

Among the funding requirements facing the Electoral Commission in the medium term are:

  • The replacement of the outdated zip-zap machines with new online voter’s registration technology.
  • Deployment of technology to facilitate a real time live voters’ roll.
  • An intensified social media response mechanism, with additional resources to rebut false information on social media.
  • Improved results and reconciliation processes to minimise mistakes as a result of staff fatigue.
  • Enhanced training requirements for election staff and party agents – the introduction of e-learning, videos, etc.
  • New strategies for outreach and democracy development.
  • Implementation of party funding legislation and regulations.

In August 2019, the new Commission appointed in November 2018 and key management from the administration would embark on a new five-year strategic re-visioning exercise which would form the foundation of the strategic plan for the next five-year period. Note should therefore be taken that the IEC would request Parliament to consider a new strategic plan and APP for 2019/20 soon after conclusion of the August strategic re-visioning exercise. The lessons learnt from the national and provincial elections (NPE) in 2019 had had a huge impact on the work that the IEC must do in preparations for the local government elections (LGE) in 2021.

The Commission’s strategic goals were:

Goal 1: Strengthening governance, institutional excellence, professionalism and enabling business processes, at all levels of the organisation.

Goal 2: Achieving pre-eminence in the area of managing elections and referendums, including the strengthening of a cooperative relationship with political parties.

Goal 3: Strengthening electoral democracy

Ms Andile Mbatha, Interim Chief Financial Officer, IEC, said the Commission wanted to highlight one of the key cost drivers for the local general elections in 2021, which was the online registration that they wanted to go to. The main issue with that was that they were looking at a shortfall of about R300 million, and were in discussions currently with National Treasury in this regard. The objective of the online registration was to replace their outdated zip-zap machines. The second was that they were looking at two registration weekends that would precede the local general locations coming up in 2021.

In looking at their budget, it was very important that it was not all a straight line. It was defined and driven by the activities they would be looking at or addressing for that year. For example, in 2018/19 the IEC had one registration for the NPE and had been allocated a budget of R1.963 billion, which was to facilitate that year. For 2019/20, which was the NPE year, they had a budget allocation of R2.052 billion. The next year was a one registration weekend, as well one registration for LGE, for which an allocation of R2.011 billion had been awarded. The final year of the MTEF, 2021/22, saw an allocation of R2.429 billion.

The key driver and significance of the programme related to the electoral operations of the budget. It needed to be mentioned that the past elections had been the most disrupted, and citizens expected the IEC to come up with solutions in order to deal with it.


The Chairperson said that the Committee seemed very pleased with the progress of the IEC and the work which they had done.

Mr Chabane said he appreciated the work done by the IEC. He wanted to know what the challenges and plans to mitigate the issues of security were, as well as what the IEC was doing to deal with the staff who contributed to mistakes occurring during the elections.

The Committee needed to take more interest in the allocation of the budget, which would help the IEC to function. The local government elections were coming up, and would be a very contested area. He raised the issue of demarcation and the challenges the IEC faced when conducting local government elections. In what areas did they require assistance from the Committee?

Mr McGluwa said that he was glad the IEC had mentioned their Constitutional mandate. When they operated in ministerial committees, would they not infringe on the constitutionality of the Committee? He wanted to know what would happen with the voter’s roll -- would it be a submission of an authentic voters roll to other bodies, as in the past there had been problems around copies of it.

It was a given that there were a lot of problems with special votes, and the system was completely misused. He wanted to know what would be done about that. The youth did not come out to vote in the last election -- what was being done to encourage them to do so? The IEC had stated that they wanted to fill 90% of vacancies -- why not 100%?


Ms Khanyile noticed that in many voting districts, the IEC hired teachers, and she wanted to know what the plan of the IEC going forward was. Would they be looking at hiring unemployed people by looking at the database of the Department of Employment and Labour?

She asked if the IEC could bring a report to the next meeting that indicated their target of voter registration, and whether they had achieved it. What was its plan regarding outreach programmes? She stressed the need to use social media, as not all youths listened to radio or watched television, but were very active on social media. The reports showed that a large number of youths did not vote in the NPE. It was also picked up that most members of the community did not know how to register to vote. She wanted to know why the current scanners were not able to pick up people who voted twice. Did the IEC think that if they had gone out to teach voters how to vote, it would have decreased the number of spoilt votes?

Ms L Tito (EFF) wanted to know if the IEC and demarcation board were working together on the voters roll in taking down the addresses of each and every individual, and where an individual was no longer a member of a specific ward, whether the IEC would inform the individuals that they were no longer part of that ward.

Mr Pambo said that the Chairperson should not do what he had done in accepting the presentation by the IEC and congratulating them on behalf of the Committee. The Chairperson should first hear the views of the Committee to see if some had dissenting views.

He said that on many platforms, the IEC had expressed an opinion about s24a regarding double voting. He explained that s24a was at least a result of trying to prevent double voting. The zip-zap machine did not indicate how many people voted, but was simply a toy to show if someone was registered or not. In the preparations for 2021, he hoped the IEC had procured a system to see if someone had already voted and how many people had voted - basically a live real-time system.

He was really concerned that the presentations had not fleshed out challenges in a real sense. In Business Day, it had been stated that the IEC had run out of s24a forms, and in the spirit of getting everyone to vote the IEC had allowed people to vote without a s24a. This was part of the reason he had cautioned the Chairperson to not speak so positively about the IEC, as they had many issues. The IEC was very important to the machinery of democracy, as if it collapsed it would sink the country into a civil war. They accepted the results, but the chaos was undeniable and that was why they had come forward and stated that they would not stand for some political parties trying to plunge the country into a civil war.

In the absence of s24a, the IEC had been unable to account for people who voted outside of their addresses, and that allowed a possibility of double voting. If the IEC continued on the path they were currently on, it was a not a good one. The issue of the ink was something to be blamed on both the IEC and the suppliers involved, but more so on the IEC, which had not ensured the ink was indelible, as it was a security measure to avoid double voting. He had not seen anything that truly touched on theses issues in the presentation.

Ms Van der Merwe said that she had been able to wash off the ink almost immediately after voting, without truly washing her hands. She wanted to know if the IEC and the Department would launch an investigation into the suppliers of the pens. There were a lot of issues -- the ink, the running out of s24a papers, the zip-zap machines not being able to pick up double voters. Her problem was that they had listed this in the context of their budgetary constraints, but had stated that their next challenge would be the addresses that needed to be collected. They never mentioned these issues as being a challenge.

The IEC indicated that they were already in a state of panic for 2021. She wanted to know what immediate measures were going to be put in place in the context of budgetary constraints, because she agreed with Mr Pambo that if they continued this way then the 2021 election would be a disruptive one. The past elections had been chaotic. There had been no communication to the media with regard to double voting, and various other lack of communications had led to the heightened tension and people’s fears, and many incidents had occurred. She wanted to know if a plan was being put in place, because the presentation had mentioned the key challenges but had not addressed how they would be handled.

She wanted to know what additional funding and capacity was needed to initiate the Political Party Funding Act, as well as if there were any plans to ensure that they received a clean audit instead of an unqualified audit going forward.

IEC’s response

Mr Sheburi replied that no single election was the same -- each was different, and they were complex -- but they learnt from their experiences. They acknowledged the assistance rendered by political parties and the challenges that had been identified. Perceptions in the elections were critical and important. There were a number of perceptions they were dealing with, and they would not run away from them. Instead, they would face them head on and accurately.

The first challenge was the issue of double voting. The IEC had not denied that many mechanisms in place had been breached, and he assured Mr Pambo -- as they had told him in their response to his office -- that they had followed up to get to the root cause of the matter. There were court cases in progress, with no convictions made thus far. He assured Members that the issues raised by them were taken seriously.

He said the issue of the s24a could not remain the way it was, and that they would be proposing amendments to it within the current year. He indicated that the zip-zap machines were never intended to do certain functions, and they were looking at a voter registration device that could, amongst others, look at real time voters coming to the voting stations.

Regarding local government elections, the issue of constituency boundaries was the most sensitive matter that needed to be addressed. This election was one where over eight million households of the 50 million population would not have a conventional address, and that was an area of work that they wanted those in government who dealt with address issues to assist, so that by the time they needed to come and do their work, they were clear about the challenges.

The issue of teachers as electoral staff had been true at some point in history, but it was not the case anymore. In the past election, 72 % of the people employed at voting stations were unemployed, and over 65% were younger than 35. They were alive to the issue of unemployment, but they also needed to balance that with the requisite maturity required to manage difficult proceedings at the voting station. He accepted that they should look at social media to attract the youth. His research had taught him that once registered, young people were more likely to vote, and therefore they needed to look at removing barriers to registration. They were working to pilot an app where they interacted with the youth on various media platforms.

He said that the IEC compared the voters roll on a monthly basis to the population register to remove non-SA citizens and deceased people, or add people who had acquired the status of citizens. They had already begun discussions with National Treasury on the plans they had regarding the device and the specs, along with the indicative cost price and the funding shortfalls for the device, which would be able to work using real time. By the end of the year, they would come before the Committee to sponsor legislative amendments to facilitate the improvements that would be necessary for the elections. The issues of indelible ink and those related to the safeguards would become irrelevant if they could get a live voters’ roll.

Regarding the Political Parties Funding Act, they had funding for the next two years and would publish a notice to call on interested parties to make oral submissions at the public hearings that would be convened. The Commission would finalise the resolution and the date for the Act to be brought into operation.

Ms Mbatha said that a clean audit was very close to the heart of the IEC. She said that the audit currently was not complete. Looking at prior years, they had set up an action plan and monitored it to ensure that they did not have recurring findings. Where they saw that there were processes that had deficiencies, they had gone back and put systems and policies in place to eliminate recurring findings.

The IEC would be able to give feedback on the outcome of the findings when they came before the Committee again.

Mr Sheburi explained that with ward demarcation, there were a number of dependencies. The Minister first published a formula in terms of which the Members of Executive Committees (MECs) would determine the number of councilors for each of the municipalities in their provinces. The Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) would then demarcate the number of wards because according to the law, half of the number of councilors in a municipal council must represent wards. There would be an occasion after the MDB handed the list of wards back to them in August 2020, that they would go into the communities affected by the ward demarcations so that they could reconfigure the boundaries of the voting districts to account for the new ward changes. They required the MDB to communicate their decisions while they made them, as communities could not find out only when they were doing the technical alignment of voting district boundaries.

For voting stations on private property, the pre-eminent consideration was to provide convenience to voters, choosing localities that were convenient with regard to the time it would take to access them and the amenities. The majority of the voting stations were on public property. When organising elections, security structures were always aware of the issues, and they were happy with the way in which things had been dealt with, despite a few incidents.

The law had been amended for political parties or citizens to raise awareness and objections to any person serving as an official, which needed to be received by a specific date.

Regarding not filling vacancies 100%, he explained that it had been made clear that there were some limitations that they had to deal with, but 90% was the minimum that they would be dealing with. Regarding the questions raised regarding scanners not picking up double voters, he was not aware of any cases where the scanners had not picked up double voters, nor had anyone been found who had done that. He was not saying it had not happened, and invited Committees to provide more information if they had it.

The Minister said that in order for the IEC to run free and fair elections, citizens needed to have identity documents (IDs), and therefore the Inter-Ministerial Committee would look into those issues when the IEC presented them. They would then approach the relevant Minister and ask him or her as to why they were not helping the IEC. In the case of the IEC, it would most likely fall under the responsibility of the Minister of Home Affairs, depending on the need.

He emphasised that the IEC needed infrastructure, and were not happy about elections taking place on fields or in tents. It could not provide elections without electricity, nor could they provide it themselves. He emphasised that elections needed stability, and this required security forces.

Regarding the budget, political parties were unhappy and had demanded new machinery and systems for the elections. If Treasury argued that there were insufficient funds, the Inter-Ministerial Committee would decide whether or not something was very important. If the Treasury was amenable, they would decide which part of the country’s budget they could utilise in order to help the IEC.

He said that in his home province of Limpopo, most of the voting stations were schools which had no access to water, nor electricity. It was for the Inter-Ministerial Committee to provide water and electricity were the IEC could not. It was their duty to facilitate that they IEC got what they were asking for, be it water and electricity or a road to allow people to get to the area the IEC chose.

Government Printing Works 2019/20 Annual Performance Plan

Ms Josephine Meyer, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO): Government Printing Works (GPW), said the entity was a government component reporting to the Minister of Home Affairs, with oversight by the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs. Having been established in 1888, it had over 130 years of experience in the government security printing arena. The GPW was mandated to provide printing services to all organs of state in South Africa. It was a self-funded entity and received no funding from National Treasury.

Its core services consisted of three arms. Firstly, security printing dealt with conceptualisation, design and production of face-value documents (passports, identification documents, examination papers, vehicle registration forms and firearm licences). The second arm dealt with non-security printing, which included layout, design and production of official government stationery and related documents. The third arm dealt with Gazette publication Sservices, which included the administration and publishing of the official government notices in the government gazette.

Its strategic outcome-orientated goals were:

Goal 1: Reposition the GPW business processes to ensure stability, sustainability and viability of the organisation as a critical national security facility.

Goal 2: Optimize processes and facilities to increase operational effectiveness and improve customer service.

Goal 3: Recruit, develop and retain effective and efficient human capital.

Among its 2019-2020 priorities, the GPW was committed to deliver on the following outcomes:

  • Reposition the GPW business processes to ensure stability, sustainability and viability of the organisation as a critical national security facility.
  • Continue to implement the MTEF strategic plan and APP commitments.
  • Ensure a return on investment, sound financial management and sustainability.
  • Long term vision – State security printer of choice that would allow the GPW to pursue South African Development Community (SADC) and African Union (AU) member states to utilize the GPW as a service provider for state and non-state printing services.
  • Capacitate and train the workforce to meet market and client demands.

A target had been set to detect 100% of the security vulnerabilities by security assessments implemented in line with the approval plan. Regarding ICT systems, a target had been set to achieve 99.5% system availability. There was a target to achieve 100% of their audits approved by the audit committee annually. It had set a target to get 80% of identified ICT service offerings implemented. They were confident to reach their target to implement 100% of the approved annual internal audit plan. This was broken down into 20% in q1, 25% in q2, 25% in q3 and 30% in q4.

Operations and Productions was the core branch of GPW. The first target was to deliver 100% of the identity documents/cards that conformed to client specifications. The second target was set to deliver 100% of travel documents that conformed to client specifications. The third target dealt with examination scripts and was set to deliver 100% of examination papers that conformed to the client specifications. Regarding the Government Gazette, the target was to publish 100% of Government Gazettes that conformed to client specifications.

The fifth target was a new one, as they had not printed security certificates in the past, so for the year 2019/20 the target set was to deliver 93% of high security certificates that conformed to client specifications.

The strategic management branch included a number of divisions. The first was marketing and strategy. The GPW tried to engage as many customers as possible locally as well as internationally. Their target was to engage at least 20 local customers. The second part was to engage with countries in the SADC region, and the target was set to engage with at least seven countries.

The first target of the financial services branch was to achieve a clean audit outcome for 2019/20. The second target dealt with maintaining three positive working capital ratios. This meant that for every R1 of liabilities they had, they needed to have three times as many assets in order to remain liquid, and their cash flow was monitored. In order to measure their profitability, they had set a target of achieving a 10% net profit, which had been exceeded in the last three financial years. Regarding construction, they had set a target to complete 100% of the GPW headquarters building and to complete 35% of the master plan construction.

Human Resources (HR) had set a target to have the GPW organisational structure submitted for approval by the Minister. The target was to fill 90% of the identified vacancies, and to have 50% of the total workforce trained as per the Workplace Skills Plan (WSP) identified training priorities.

In 2018/19, the GPW had made a surplus of nearly R533 million. In 2017/18, R300 million of its R525 million surplus had been surrendered back to National Treasury, and R100 million of the 2016/17 surplus of R592 million had also gone to Treasury. Once the audit for the 2018/19 financial year had been completed, they would be engaging with Treasury to determine how much it would take from the profit.

Members would notice that they had budgeted for 10% of revenue as profit. The main reason for this was the high amounts of capital expenditure that would only come through this year in terms of depreciation. Thee pavilion 3 plant that had just been completed for the examination facility, had come on board this during this year, so there would be leasehold improvement depreciation charges. There were also several pieces of equipment that had now been commissioned that were previously in boxes. Lastly, they would ensure the filling of 90% of all vacancies, so employee costs would be coming through.

Ms Van der Merwe said it was delightful and a breath of fresh air to meet an entity that had not taken a single cent from National Treasury, and even gave money back to it. She wanted to know why the position of CEO had been vacant for such a long period. She asked whether they printed all the APP documents for all governmental departments and if not, why not, as it would prevent expensive outsourcing costs. Lastly, she wanted to know if any update could be given regarding GPW’s business with SADC countries.

Mr McGluwa said that the presentation had mentioned the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA). He suggested that it would be a good opportunity to allow the SETA to present to the Committee what exactly it did with institutions in terms of their output and contributions. He wanted to know what the 50% of workforce training was about. Lastly, he wanted to know the reason for their forecast decline in profits.

Mr Maake wanted to know who determined the amount of money that would be submitted to Treasury. Was it Treasury, the GPW, or was there was a standing percentage that they worked with? He asked if all staff members were vetted, as the GPW dealt with information of national security.

Mr Chabane asked if the GPW had encountered any weaknesses in respect of their work with countries in the SADC region. He wanted to know what measures were in place by Treasury and themselves, should the GPW ever not make a profit.

Mr Pambo said that in perusing the presentation, he saw a repetition with regard to security and security information, so it was clear that they had experience with security. He wanted to know what the GPW had to say regarding the banks’ involvement in security matters. Since they were not funded or strengthened by the government, their opinion would be more comforting to him.
Mr Maake wanted to know what measures the GPW had to avoid SADC countries defaulting on payments, and if they defaulted, what would be done about it. He was thinking of Zimbabwe in particular, and using them as an example.

GPW’s response

Ms Meyer responded that they did not print for the entire Government. There were no regulations that forced the government to use the GPW, so in some departments they printed the APPs and in others they did not.

She said there were regulations at Treasury when dealing with the profits. All profits the entity made belonged to the shareholder, which was Treasury. By the end of July, they would go to Treasury and state how much profit they had made and how much of that they were willing to surrender, but Treasury could ask for another amount.

Regarding staff vetting, they had a service level agreement (SLA) with State Security and while there were delays, they now had a project manager assigned to the GPW for the purpose of vetting staff. They did not have specific numbers relating to that, but would provide them to the Committee as a follow-up.

A weakness they had encountered when engaging with SADC was that many of them already had contracts with other service providers. Many SADC countries had “forever green contracts” which automatically renewed itself unless one of the parties cancelled it.

She alerted the Committee that the GPW had met with Swaziland earlier that day regarding certificates for their Further Education and Training (FET) colleges. While Swaziland had engaged with them on passports and IDs, it already had contracts with European countries which were difficult to get out of.

Ms Michelle Modise, General Manger: Human Resources, GPW, said that the position of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) had been vacant since May 2017 and while they had advertised the position, due to the continuous changes in the Ministry, they had never reached a point where they saw the process to finality. Within the last year, they had conducted interviews, but the Minister of Public Service and Administration (PSA) had stopped the process, saying that other internal processes needed to take place before the Ministry would grant them the go-ahead. They were currently in the process of restarting advertising and recruitment.

Mr Kuberndran Moodley, Chief Director: Operations and Production, GPW, said that prior to 2015, their targets had included service delivery times. Each of their core business products were measured in three facets -- quality, speed and cost -- which were in line with world class manufacturing. Every business in their field had to choose which one would take priority, and while corporate organisations would choose cost or speed, the GPW chose quality. He explained that a defect in a passport did not affect only the passport, but affected the reputation of the country’s passports as a whole. It could lead to international reputational damage if South Africans were arrested abroad due to errors in their passport, which would have consequences in terms of their diplomatic relations. The turn around time was still measured, and was in line with the requirements of the Department of Home Affairs.

He responded to Mr Pambo that security was their core, and a part of their genetic strand. Their mandate was security conceptualisation, design and printing. Banks were merely landlords who provided space and electricity -- everything else was controlled by the Department. He stressed that there had never been an issue regarding the security of the process.

Ms Meyer said that the GPW were merely printers, and the policy lay with the DHA. The WSP was the Workplace Skills Plan that got submitted annually to the Department of Labour, and they had stated that they would do 50% of the training in terms of the WSP.

The Chairperson asked the Minister to explain how the government could make more use of the GPW in order to avoid expensive external service providers.

Mr McGluwa said that he agreed with the Minister of Home Affairs regarding the safety and security of the smart IDs. He wanted to know if the GPW were the only printers of them.

Ms Van der Merwe agreed with the Chairperson that the departments could utilise the GPW, who were assisting Treasury, instead of using external service providers who overcharged many departments. She said South Africa was experiencing tough economic times and utilising the GPW would help Treasury and the economy, as money went back to Treasury yearly.

Mr Maake said that he liked the idea of utilising GPW, and used the examples of Members utilising South African Airways instead of British Airways when traveling. Members needed to support government-owned entities.

The Minister said that he frequently supported South African Airways, especially because of the Voyager card, but it did not always work because they were not always there, or had stopped certain flight routes, or their prices skyrocketed to the extent that Members were forced to start using alternative airlines.

He had visited GPW, and it was a highly secure facility. He would find it very hard to believe if something from there was leaked. The facility assured him that their papers were more secure than university printers, which gave him the idea that universities should be approached to utilise the GPW.
He commented lightheartedly that South African Airways should spend some time with the GPW to observe the manner in which they did things and learn from them.

He said that he would be embarrassed to approach other countries to utilise the GPW, when they were not being fully utilised by their own country’s government. However, this was a way SADC region countries could save in the long run by not having to pay European countries, which traded at high exchange rates.

Replying to Mr Maake, he said that it would be a sad day if SADC countries defaulted on their payments to the GPW. They would pay European countries on time with no default, and the same should be expected for the GPW.

He was of the opinion that the SETA Act needed to be changed. SETAs were everywhere and that was why he would refer to them as “an elephant in the room.” He suggested there should be alternate methods to go about things, other than just going through SETA.

The Minister said that there was no decline, in profits but rather that the profits were different yearly. The Government Print Works never made the same amount every year. The reduction in profits was due to capitalization -- they were buying equipment worth R500 million in order to create more efficiency and more profits in the long run.

He said that neither the banks nor the GPW made policy, but were merely providing a service. The GPW were the only security printing service providers who printed the smart IDs. He promised that at their next meeting, if the GPW played ball, they would show the Committee how many young people were employed there. The appointment of the CEO would be done by him, as Minister of Home Affairs.

While there had been an attempt to turn the GPW into an state-owned entity (SOE), but for obvious reasons it had been squashed, and the Minister supported that. To turn it into an SOE would create problems which they wished to avoid.

The Chairperson advised the Minister to approach the leader of government, who could advise all departments to do their printing work through the GPW. The Committee would be visiting the GPW, the IEC and the Department, to see what was going on there.

Draft Programme Approval

The Chairperson informed Members that a draft programme had been circulated which needed to be approved. It was subject to change.

Mr Adam Salmon, Content Advisor, said that the programme was short due to the short term and plenaries. The only meeting time available for the Committee would be on 9 July. He said the move to paperless documentation would be done using the Parliamentary App. He advised Members that the budget debate would be on 10 July.

The Chairperson said that if the visits did not happen in the current term, they would happen when the Committee resumed after recess.

Mr McGluwa suggested that they adopt the report as it was, with the exception that the meeting of 9 July could start at 9h30. It had also been taken for the granted that the Legacy Report had been adopted by the Portfolio Committee of the Fifth Parliament. It should be remembered that many Members belonged to a cluster, and would have to sit in more than one budget vote.

The Chairperson said that if the programme was adopted, he would like to thank the Committee Members for their attendance. He thanked the Minister and Deputy Minister for not only attending the meeting, but for staying until the meeting had ended, which had run past the 9am-5pm working hours.

The Chairperson thanked the delegation and the media for the attendance and said that it was good to see that everyone was committed to their constitutional obligation of making South Africa better.

The meeting was adjourned.

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