The South African Council of Social Services Professions (SACSSP) was invited to speak about its funding, accreditation of training and the curriculum. SACSSP said that it had to compromise on some of its mandate as a Council due to limited funding because it relied only on subscription fees. However, with the high rate of unemployed social service professionals, its funding was limited. It appealed to the Committee to implement section 12(1)(c) of the Social Service Professions Act which also provides for appropriation of funding from government.
Accreditation of training and the curriculum had been standardised across colleges and universities. It noted that most if its professionals came from TVET colleges as not all universities offered social service qualifications. Irrespective of the standardisation, the Council found it difficult to ensure that the standards were being maintained due to financial constraints.
The NACCW discussed the success of the Isibindi model for child and youth care. However, the MOU between NACCW and DSD of its national rollout came to an end in 2018 and NACCW expressed its concern about the lack of support from government to include child and youth care workers in the social services professional space. They raised concerns about the state of unemployment of child and youth care workers due to either the lack of job opportunities available to them or the lack of financial incentive offered to these workers.
Members expressed concern about the need for Council independence; the misconduct of the original registrar and the Council wanting to depend on government for additional funding without implementing registration of all social service professionals. They asked if the Council had explored other avenues to collect revenue to enable it to function optimally. There was concern about the incident that had occurred between the Deputy Minister and the NACCW.
The Minister reminded the meeting about the fiscal challenges faced by South Africa. She knew that the Council had been knocking on the door of the Minister for many years to have a meeting. She was shocked that there were no meetings, there was no accountability and it resulted in financial mismanagement. She hoped that they were starting a new page for accountability for all of them. The meeting was concluded with the agreement that there was a need to establish the value proposition of the social service professions and the appropriate funding for this.
Council of Social Service Professions (SACSSP) presentation
Dr Maria Mabetoa, Council President, noted it was second time they were appearing before the Portfolio Committee since 2015. The Council was asked to focus on the funding, accreditation and training. They appreciated the support they received from DSD and they had also met with the Minister last week. The Registrar would present and as well as other members of the Council. They also had Exco members present and various managers and they would fill in as and when it was necessary.
Ms Langi Malamba, SACSSP Registrar, wanted to lobby the Committee’s support for the implementation of section 12(1)(c): "the moneys appropriated by Parliament for achieving the objects of the council" which talks to appropriation of funding from government. She said that the very same clause had not been taken advantage of since the establishment of the Council therefore, it comes very important that the portfolio Committee set out the initialisation of the appropriation so that Council would continue to excel in its mandate.
This was the Fourth Council established in 2016 in terms of the Social Service Professions Act. The Council consisted of 19-34 members as indicated in the Act, the professional boards, the executive board which today was serving concurrently with the board, section 10 committees, committee for preliminary enquires and professional conduct committee. Then there was the secretariat which was made up of the registrar and the administrative staff.
Funding of Council
As mentioned, in the Act, the Council could be funded in many ways. Currently the main source of revenue for the Council has been the collection of subscriptions. A table showed revenue and the income statement. From 2012-2018, there had been an increase in the collection of revenue. At the point where the Fourth Council came in, their database for social workers was at about 26 000 and currently they had over 33 000 social workers registered. Subscription collection in 2012 was R5 000 but by 2018 they collected almost R25 million, which at a glance might seem like a lot of money but it actually went into servicing the administration, ensuring that Exco and the Council can meet and the Council can further its aims and objectives. Other than membership fees, the other collection was from small fines. She explained why they had made surplus in 2013 and 2018. Council had to take a drastic measure to explore other avenues so that they could stretch the little budget that they had so they had made use of tele-calls, Skype meetings and any other form of meetings other than physical meetings because those cost a lot of money. This was part of the cost saving measures. In 2016 and 2017, there were huge losses. At the moment they were mainly collecting from their practitioners and that has been split taking care of operational expenses and ensuring their governance structures were in place.
There were challenges in the past of mismanagement and poor leadership, which were exacerbated by the accounting officer. This delayed the first Council in achieving the mandate and led to the collapse of the financial management system. There are no supporting financial statements for about three financial years, there were fraudulent activities, there was lack of funding and all these challenges prevented the oversight structures to do what they were supposed to do to ensure that Council would be able to collect revenue and Council would be visible. The structure was prevented from doing its work. The previous accounting officer made it more difficult for the Council to be hands-on. The result was financial mismanagement and funding from the Department was withdrawn.
The third Council employed the first risk and audit committee within its operations in November 2009. It employed internal auditors because it became apparent that there were problems. Part of their findings was poor reporting, the accounting officer was doing everything by herself so there was no finance division and no oversight because the committees would not have access to documents. The Council was compromised because of lack of accounting which led to loss of funding. The implication of no funding was that there was no ICT structure so people were travelling all over the country to come to the office to get a receipt instead of doing it online. They still had people sitting in offices where the overall structure was not enough. Ideally they should be having so many vacancies but the Council could not because of the implications of funding. There was an inability to implement section 14A(1) to establish of professional boards and to subsidise boards. They still did not have enough to subsidise the professionalisation of Community Development Practice because in the first two to three years they needed enough money to build mobilisation of communities so people could understand what it meant to be professionalised, what it meant for the community in getting services that were now professionalised.
The corrective measures were put in place by the third Council and the Fourth Council continued this. There was a vacuum in 2013-2015 year and the Fourth Council implemented its turnaround strategy. The Council had to do a lot of advocacy work to communicate the work, ensuring that they supported work out there that would reaffirm having the Council.
There were problems with how they were funded because as Council they had advocate and lobby so that NGOs get funding so they could retain their practitioners but the Council competed with NPOs for funding. They could fall under a NPO as the appropriation clause in the Act had not been implemented which would change the classification of Council. They had had to sit with Treasury to explain how they service the different directorates but had also started a business case model where they asked Treasury to look at how Council was funded. Without implementation of the appropriation clause, Council would always be asking for money to carry out its mandate. The costing model shows that Council would not be able to do what it is supposed to do.
Accreditation, training and curriculum
The Council ensured that there was standardisation of the curriculum and all facilities produced the same standard of work for learners. They also tried to ensure that graduates were not stagnant. They had been lacking quality assurance visits because they were very cost intensive. The other challenge was access to training as not all universities offer child and youth care work and development and not all offer the course online. They mostly rely on TVET colleges to train professionals.
Among the key challenges was that previously the Council did not meet with the Ministers and through engaging they could have prevented many of the issues that had been raised on the ground.
National Association of Child and Youth Care Workers (NACCW) presentation
Ms Zeni Thumbadoo, NACCW Deputy Director, said it was the first time they were given an opportunity to present to the Committee and it was really appreciated. She gave background to the NACCW and child and youth care work, adding that some of the most troubled children and youth resided at these child and youth care centres. She presented the Isibindi Model. ‘Isibindi’ was the Nguni meaning of courage. It aimed at creating circles of care around children. The Isibindi model was developed by NACCW in 2001 as a community based child and youth care work response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The model was initiated in KZN in partnership with the provincial DSD. The model grew exponentially over the years – into all provinces, mainly with donor funding. In 2012 an MOU between NACCW and DSD required NACCW to provide assistance to DSD for the national replication of the Isibindi model. The Isibindi rollout was a Ministerial mandate towards youth employment and the creation of ‘decent jobs’. The aim was to embed the Isibindi model in 400 NGOs in rural areas, train 10 000 mainly unemployed unskilled women as child and youth care workers (CYCWs) and develop a flexible children’s workforce to provide services to 1.4 million children with protection and early intervention services as mandated by the Children’s Act. The direct impact of this joint initiative:
• 366 Isibindi sites developed
• 6577 new CYCWs trained and mentored – a dramatic increase in the numbers of CYCWs
• 332 000 unique children serviced – 1 145 387 counted cumulatively over 5 years by DSD
• 106 mentors/supervisors developed – a supervisory workforce developed
• 268 training venues accredited by HWSETA in rural areas
• Almost 40 pieces of research demonstrating evidence of a successful model
• CYCWs became recognised as being an important workforce in communities.
The MOU ended in March 2018 and NACCW officially handed over to DSD in March 2019. DSD has initiated a new model for community-based services at prevention and early intervention level. National Treasury provided funding to provinces to complete training targets until 2020. Provinces managed transition from Isibindi differently. The workforce developed in the Isibindi rollout is no longer being deployed optimally. The numbers of child and youth care workers that were employed has dropped. They had trained about 6 000 and at the moment about 8 000 are registered with the Council of Social Service Professions. There is a concern that there is a lack of support for child and youth care workers and nobody to champion these workers. By August 2019 there were only 53 Isibindi Projects employing 1069 CYCWs who were given varying stipends. There are trained, capable but unemployed CYCWs in provinces. The employment of CYCWs as ‘care workers’ allows PDSD to circumvent professional remuneration levels. There are often late payments of stipends due to late payment of subsidies to NGOs – sometimes up to six months.
Ms Thumbadoo noted that in the Eastern Cape a discussion had been convened on the policy for social service professions where social workers and community development workers were invited to the consultation but child and youth care workers were not. That was only the most recent example. The unemployment of child and youth care workers at provincial level meant that advocacy would be one sided and would only include social workers. The further development of the child and youth care worker sector needs political will. They were grateful for the opportunity to present the concerns of the child and youth care workers to the Committee.
Ms B Masango (DA) asked the SACSSP under which public entity schedule the Council wanted to be. She wanted to know where the hold-up is for implementing section 12(1)(c) of the Act. Of the 33 000 social work professionals on the Council database, how many are actually in employment at the moment? She asked if a social worker professional is not employed, do they pay a subscription. When it comes to the NACCW, was she correct in her understanding that the NACCW handed over to DSD a "working machine" of the Isibindi model with its child and youth care workers and did the loss of employment and payment of stipends happen after the handover? On the late payments of stipends, generally there seems to be a problem with the National Department and provinces not paying on time and she would like to know where the problem is.
Ms A Abrahams (DA) noted that SACCSP said there was a loss of revenue in 2017 but they did not say why there was a loss. They also explained that there was a lot of mismanagement by the first registrar and she asked if disciplinary action was taken against those that left the Council in such bad shape.
She acknowledged that they had done away with consultants but wanted to find out their cost cutting measures and best practices. Have they gotten outside resources on the correct number of staff that they would need to have the Council function properly because she was looking at the report and some of the costs in there, for example, allowances looked higher than a normal allowance in line with DPSA.
What was so wrong with the previous Council accommodation that they would have to move to a new building? For the second presentation, she would liked to have had similar diagrams to the first presentation on revenue, expenses and costs because it was very clear for the different years of revenue and expenditure streams. Maybe they could do a slide and send it at a later date.
On slide 8, when it said that National and Provincial DSD posts are not open to CYCWs, could they elaborate on that as her understanding was that provincial departments are aware of the child and youth care workers at the child and youth care centres. It said that there are no champions for child and youth care workers but forgive me if I am wrong are these two bodies not the champions for the child and youth care workers? When you speak about DSD entities such as SASSA and NDA, we have seen the Auditor General findings on the finances of those entities. Will it not be an extra burden on the Department to take on another entity that has financial challenges?
Ms L van der Merwe (IFP) said that to hear that one body has only come to Parliament once in 25 years is shocking but encouraging at the same time. Also to listen to the Social Service Professions Council say that they recently, for the first time, engaged with the Minister – as she is sure the Act mandates it to advise the Minister – to congratulate and thank the Minister for taking that initiative to meet with the Council.
As much as she understood the financial challenges, she wanted to say to the Social Service Professions Council they are no different from the Health Professions Council. They operate without funding from government they rely on the money they collect from doctors, dentists and other health professionals such as assistant physiotherapists. As much as she would like to hear from Ms Nxumalo when they will effect changes to rectify section 12(1)(c) to receive regular government funding so they do not have to beg for funding on an ad hoc basis, she asked what the Council was doing in terms of developing more teeth. The Act is very clear in section 15, ‘No person shall for gain, directly or indirectly, in any manner whatsoever practise the professions in respect of which professional boards have been established, unless registered under this Act as a social worker’ so this goes for the entire profession. The next argument would be social worker are unemployed, they are earning little money, they cannot afford the fees but when she looked through the schedule of what some medical professions are paying it is as little as R495 so the crux of her question was of the 33 0000 on the database, how many are not registered?
Ms L van der Merwe (IFP) said she was not too sure but when you looked at the whole professional Council, when you look at how they structure their fees at the higher end of their fees for doctors and dentists but at the lower end you get people who are for example assistance counsellors or speech therapists and their annual fees are as low as R495 or even lower. As much as they need to rectify section 12(1)(c), do they not need to rectify the way they are operating. She understood the challenges in human resources but for example where they are ensuring that they are holding employers to account, the Council should state that if you employ a social worker and your social worker cannot pay that registration fee then it falls on the employer to register the social worker with the Council. Her concern was that at any children’s home or any shelter, anyone can rock up and say they are a social worker and get employed and when something goes wrong that person cannot be reported to the Council. So one has to ensure that everybody is registered and employers are held to account. That was very important as they could not have a Council that operates on an ad hoc basis, with some people registering and some not. Her question was could she get a number of how many are not up to date with annual registration of the 33 0000 on the database.
The Act did not only require the Council to guide the Minister for the profession but it also required it provide input on the training of social workers. She asked if the Council was happy with the training at colleges and universities, because there are concerns that people are not given the right skills for the profession.
Ms M Sukers (ACDP) thanked the presenters and said that they were really appreciated. The child and youth care workers played such an important part in the community specifically to ensure that children do not get lost totally. She really respected the work they did. It was sad that the government, and she was not talking about a specific party, was not able to professionalise the environment. It was the same with HIV/AIDS, they had people as lay counsellors for years and much was done to get people professionalised in universities and it seemed to be a gap that was being closed. She asked what they were going to do because it was a work force that was not being fully utilised. A lot of them were women working within the communities on a stipend. She thought it was really something that they needed to look at, specifically now that there was a focus on women and developing women.
Ms Sukers wanted to highlight that the Deputy Minister was offended. She asked about the relationship and whether there had been a follow up and if the relationship had been rectified. If there was withdrawal of support what does that mean in real terms?
Ms N Mvana (ANC) said that most of her questions were covered. The only remaining question was what was the status now of the NACCW after the withdrawal of support by the Deputy Minister for the sector.
She appreciated the type of work that they were doing. She was sure that the Committee was in agreement about employing permanently those that were not employed. It was important for them to work. She asked about the criteria as there is a lot of demand in our communities with everybody wanting to volunteer.
Ms J Manganye (ANC) said she was very impressed.
Mr D Stock (ANC) said he would like to add his voice to appreciate the very good work the associations were doing. The last time the association appeared before the Committee was in October 2018 according to the presentation. At that time, was the status quo on the challenges it was facing worse or the same?
The second point he wanted to raise was the withdrawal of funding to the NACCW by the Deputy Minister. If he were in a position of high office, he does not represent himself in that position. If he attended a public gathering and made a statement that was viewed as irresponsible by a sector of society, he could not withdraw funding because the funding did not belong to him as the Deputy Minister. He wanted to make that point. He found that to be very irresponsible and it needed to be condemned.
The Chairperson requested that Mr Stock be careful with his words until the Committee knew the facts.
Mr Stock said that he was participating as committee member and was not anticipating a response from the Director General or the Department. Irrespective of the circumstances, it had to be condemned because as a general principle it should not be allowed.
The Chairperson said that the Committee had been briefed very well. He thought the challenge was that at some point they needed to point each other to the value proposition of the social services profession. That was one area where they should all be saying the same thing. Once they were together on the value proposition, they would know at what point are the opportunity costs. When they meet next year, they should be together on that, from the professions point of view to the work of the NACCW as that innovation is highly inspiring. Once they were together on the value proposition then they can say your role is this and your role is that. The value of child and youth care work is appreciated. One of the reasons is there are many who are desperate and of those affected, the majority are young people. One needs to plough in resources to improve hope in South Africa, more resources must go to the youth. Young people needed conditions of hope especially children who are in these reform schools and this work of the NACCW needed circles of courage and care. It was an amazing thing.
The advantage of a value proposition that is well appreciated is it stimulates other people to put money into a programme if its value is well articulated. South Africans were lazy in articulating their value. When he was the MEC of Sport and Recreation of a particular province, they received very little money but when they expressed their value proposition, funding poured in and assisted them. What was key was the value proposition because once the value proposition finds appeal across the board; everyone will see that it was a matter of national interest. That was the point of his proposal. Once there was a value proposition, they would need to clarify the funding to find out where the problem was.
The Chairperson said that Ms van der Merwe had raised something fundamental that in South Africa when you are on a board, you are supposed to be independent from government. The reason they had to be independent was because they had to have teeth. Once they depend on a minister who might decide to pull out, the independence is gone, and then their role is diluted. What he always heard in Cabinet is that if they wanted to strengthen the public, there must be a professional independent body apart from government so that if there is a breach of the requirements of that institution, they would be breaching the law of that particular institution.
The other question he had was what were the powers of the registrar? Why had the registrar been so powerful because the whole foundation could not move because of that registrar? The registrar had a particular role, and should not be running the Council. It did not make sense to him.
Again he said to the Director General, on the transition of CYCW from the NACCW to DSD, all he was proposing was the CYCWs needed someone to talk about the work of this profession and for all to find a common perspective on what the work should be, and all the relevant legalities.
Ms Malamba replied to Ms Masango on what type of public entity the Council would be, saying that they are guided by the legislation on the type of public institution. It was in the custody of the Minister as to where Council is shifted to. The Council wanted to take advantage of the provision for appropriation of funding.
To the point that Ms van der Merwe made that Health Professions was self sufficient and yet Social Service Professions was struggling, it is because HPCSA has many boards and SACCSP has only two professions, social work and child and youth care work. She was looking to have another board for community development but it did not necessary calculate into enough revenue. For example, if we calculate the 6 000 that are registered it is a lot and a few of them are at professional level. So if 6 000 were at professional level paying R400 but only 2 000 are paying the subscription, it was not sufficient to run the mandate of the professional boards, to attend meetings, to carry out oversight. The Act said that there had to be appropriation. They would not want to undo that provision because there are challenges that cause the Council not to be self-sufficient. They needed to discuss how to unlock the blockages.
On what was the hold-up? Of the 33 000 people on the database, young unemployed graduates with degrees would come to tell the Council that they were struggling. About 3 000 were saying this in all the provinces. Some could be on DDG for Welfare Services database because there was a call for social workers to enlist on the Department’s database if they were not employed. The Council had a clause that states that if one was unemployed the fee was reduced, so if it was R400, one would pay R200. They were looking at the realities of social services practitioners. For a long time salaries of people in social services had been poor compared to someone with the same four year degree. Social workers had been at entry level at about R4000 since she was a student but the landscape had not changed. Even if they wanted to increase the Council subscription to that of nurses and paramedics, their salaries were better.
The Chairperson noted that she had made the point that whichever council becomes self funding depended on the demographic and the profession.
Ms Malamba said that she thought the Council had used all the avenues. She explained that the Council had to move because the space they were using was cramped. They could not fit into it because it was too overcrowded but because of money they could not look for anything else. However, they explored changing the patterns of meetings and ensuring that they could stretch the money. The reason for the loss in 2016 and 2017 is there were some historical issues that the Fourth Council needed to deal with because there were still salary gaps compared to other councils. As Council was driven by people not product, they do not generate income and sell products, so it became very expensive to run a Council. It is expensive to run a Council. As the Fourth Council was responsible to unearth problems, it had to pay about R5 million or so to start with and there was also back pay dating back to 2006 so they had to carry that burden. A lot of issues were brought to the surface so that led to the dent in the 2016 and 2017 which they were still trying to recover from.
The subsistence allowance was high and salaries were low so they tried to make people work away from home. That was the little comfort they could make up for not being able to pay good salaries.
On the employer code of good practice, they still had a problem besides the poor working conditions. They needed money to monitor and do spot checks to see where the employers have employed these people. The board had developed a code of good practice for employers but they wanted to make it enforceable because even as a code they could choose not to subscribe to it. They would want to ensure that provinces standardise their posts.
Ms Mabel Mabetoa, SACSSP President, replied about the Council's level of satisfaction with the social work curriculum for universities. The Council was happy with the programme approved by SAQA for universities because it was developmental in approach and it seemed to address the needs of social workers to work on the ground. Currently, the SAQA one was being phased out and a new one had been developed and the Council was involved in providing comments on that curriculum. In the same way it was a very good curriculum, universities must align what they were teaching with that curriculum but the main thing were the lecturers and the university itself, how they adapt that curriculum with what they have. The main problem with the universities was the work experience. They found that the theory part of the curriculum was good but there were not enough places in government and NGOs for the students to do their practicals especially from second to fourth year. The Council had ensured that all second year students before they go on field work and have contact with clients that they should have been registered with the Council. She was not sure how many students were registered with the Council but there were quite a lot.
Ms Julia Zingu, SACSSP Board Member and Finance Committee Chairperson, said she was responding to Ms van der Merwe’s question about disciplinary action.
The Chairperson said that it was stated in the findings what happened, how the registrar left.
Ms Zingu said that in short disciplinary action was taken and she had been found guilty. Due to the lapse between the two Councils, she continued service until the Fourth Council was incorporated and that was when they could take action on her dismissal. Beside the disciplinary action, criminal charges had been laid against her because of the fraud and the mismanagement but nothing had come of that because it was still being investigated and some files had been lost.
Ms Thumbadoo said that she would ask the NACCW Chairperson to answer about the Deputy Minister.
Mr Elwin Gallant, NACCW Chairperson, wanted to clarify that the Deputy Minister had been a keynote speaker at NACCW Conference held in Durban in July 2019. After the conference a resolution was passed that delegation should visit the Deputy Minister because there were two items they were unhappy about in the Deputy Minister’s speech. One of the remarks the Deputy Minister made was that the child and youth care workers should not be unhappy about non-payment or delayed payments of stipends. She also mentioned that there was the alleged abuse by child and youth care workers of crimes committed against children and the trafficking of children. NACCW sent a letter to the Deputy Minister and they had a meeting on 4 November to seek clarity on these two matters. The Deputy Minister was unhappy that her conference address was questioned and she felt it was disrespectful. They had informed the Deputy Minister that they had merely come to clarify matters and hoped that the meeting would lead to greater understanding between the sector and the Deputy Minister. The delegation said that if there were any acts of misconduct against children, they must be reported because people felt it was an "open statement". The Deputy Minister felt that she was a champion for child and youth care work in Parliament in her previous term and she would continue to say the same things. She was very unhappy and she said that she would no longer be a champion for child and youth care work in the Department and she withdrew her support at the meeting.
Ms Thumbadoo wanted to clarify that the Deputy Minister never ever said she would withdraw finances. On the salaries, to start off, at the beginning the Isibindi project was a job creation project for people in rural areas. The idea was to recruit young women who were not working and skill them up so the creation of jobs was what had been quoted as the function of the Isibindi model. The concern with National DSD had been that people were still on stipends. How would they advocate to Treasury, how would they move forward, so the question was had DSD done the relevant advocacy around salary. During the funding partnership, it can be said that it was the intention to give child care workers salaries.
Delays in payments from the provincial department to the districts to the implementing partners to the child care workers ending in delays in payment had been raised at national level. There had also been delays from provincial treasuries and there were various reasons for the delays and unfortunately this challenge had still not been addressed and it continued to be a problem. At the moment they found that people had not been paid with a delay of about four months.
In department posts, the child and youth care workers were employed in residential facilities up to Level 6. Her point was that child and youth care workers were pitched at Level 6 with no upward mobility to manage a child and youth care centre. [The Occupation Specific Dispensation (OSD) provided no managerial levels].
She wanted to go back to the point that they were predominately a women’s workforce and with the Isibindi project they had come from the rural areas and represented young people who had been disappointed by not getting these jobs from the Department. If the Chair would allow, she would like to introduce Sibongile Mzulwini who was an employed youth and was now here with a degree. She is the senior mentor of the training for the Isibindi project so she had worked up from the ground.
The Chairperson said there were two aspects highlighted by the National Association of Child and Youth Care Workers. There were the young people who got involved in this work and it was the support provided to vulnerable and exposed young people who needed a safety net and who could fall through the cracks. He thought those were two critical aspects and there was a cost benefit.
He said to the Minister that there were the areas of concern. The Council argued that according to the law it was required to be listened to by the Department on an annual basis to give its views and they had not been given that opportunity. The second point was the Council's lack of progression had been due to resources. The Council needed capacity to do its work and should exercise its mandate without fear or favour. To do so, they must ideally have their own money. A significant portion of the profession does not get income yet the services of the professional may be required. So either the Council makes their own money but they still had to return to government for some legal assurance. One needed to look at the contradictions. He proposed that the Minister give the value proposition then look at the implications because the Council should achieve what is contained in the value proposition and see what these standards of independence require. Importantly, they needed to ensure that people were registered. It started there. They speak to the standards of the profession and people could not bypass the profession and so the code of conduct for employers becomes critical. Therefore the Committee should be led by the Department to see what legacy the Sixth Term would leave behind.
Minister Lindiwe Zulu said she would like to start from the point that was made from the beginning which was repeated about the challenges faced overall as South Africans before we get department-specific.
Second, they committed themselves from the very beginning at the workshop they had together and that workshop she felt unhappy going back to. What had been said in that workshop? It was a question that went to the Portfolio Committee as well as her department and her own office. She thought that would help them because if they went back to the value proposition, for example, they had stated that it was a journey. But that the journey needed to be finished so they could not keep making excuses that it was a journey, at some point the journey needed to be finished. The importance of the meeting for her was the role of the Council. She knew that the Council had been knocking on the doors of the Minister to have a meeting and it took them very long to have that meeting. She was shocked that for so many years there were no meetings, there was no accountability and it resulted in the financial mismanagement mentioned. She hoped that they were starting a new page that would help them to be accountable, all of them because accountability and responsibility was for all of them. The tendency to point a finger must stop because then they miss sight of the people that are meant to be held accountable. If looking at management, the delayed issues of the first Council, no accountable structures, collapse of management structures, it really was unacceptable. It was something they would have to work together on, appreciate and assist each other.
Considering also the social ills, the strategy session is key and she hoped that they would have that workshop as early as possible so they could develop their action plans. They did not have long for the legacy, one year had gone already so they were left with four years which meant that after the workshop, annual strategy session, State of the Nation Address and all that, they would have to come back and have overall guidelines which was the bigger plan. When it came to them pulling together, the Department would take responsibility for ensuring that they had that workshop as soon as possible. That workshop however should not make it so that they forgot that they had the first workshop where they agreed on a number of things and they needed to implement the things they agreed upon. Thank you.
The Chairperson said he thought it was clear they had listened to the Council and they should work together toward a common perspective and deal with the implications of that commitment. They needed to commend the Fourth Council because when they stood up they made a dramatic change.