DPME, Brand SA & Stats SA 2019/20 Quarter 4 Performance; with Deputy Minister

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Meeting Summary

Video: Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration 19 June 2020
Audio: DPME, Brand SA & Stats SA 2019/20 Quarter 4 performance

The Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration met with the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Brand SA and Statistics SA for their fourth quarter performance report briefings for the 2019/20 financial year.

The Committee noted that the meeting had happened in difficult times where departmental work had been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. It was important for it to find alternative methods of delivering on its mandates.

Statistics SA indicated that it had managed to achieve 82% of its targets for the year, accounting for 224 targets in total achieved. The total budget for the entity was R2.5 billion, of which R1.4 billion accounted for by the compensation of employees and stated that this constituted an over-expenditure. About R50.9 million had been spent on employee compensation in quarter four alone; three percent of the budget was used up in activities that constituted over-expenditure and there were discussions with National Treasury on how the entity could raise more funds in order to be able to deliver on its mandate.

Members asked Statistics SA to elaborate on the causes of the high staff turnover in this financial year. What measures has the entities put in place to ensure that it achieves high staff retention in the future?’

Members requested Statistics SA to provide stats on the mortality rate per province and information on the leading causes of death per province. Does the entity have any data from which the Committee could deduce information on how hunger and poverty could be reduce nationwide?

Brand SA indicated that it had achieved 80% of its targets, amounting to 20 out of 25 targets in total. These were achieved despite the virus outbreak. The entity wanted to reach enable 98% availability of all IT systems and actually achieved 98.39%. She said the entity’s budget versus expenditure indicated a variance of 4.3%, in line with the set maximum variance of 5%. The entity had thus performed well in terms of its achieving its strategic goals.

Brands SA said that it had spent R83 629 988 on brand marketing in the fourth quarter, whereas R85 599 000 had been budgeted for the activity; the variance had been due to the cancellation of some activations in the fourth quarter.  An amount of R16 754 314 had been spent on stakeholder-relations, which had been allocated a budget of R19 647 000 in the fourth quarter; the variance was attributable to the postponement of civil society and constitutional awareness projects that were schedule for the fourth quarter; R102 668 000 had been allocated for administration and only R98 440 238 had been used. Of the fourth quarter budget, only 96% had been used, leading to a variance of R9 089 460.

The Members appreciated the announcement that the entity’s next audit report would reflect improvements. They noted that the entity had a board in place and asked if policies had been rectified ever since the board was placed; asked for elaborate detail on the suspension of the CEO.

The Members requested Brand SA to give brief discussions on the direct purpose of the said research it was going to conduct in partnership with the University of Ghana.

The Department made its submission to the Committee, stating that in its programme one: Administration, nine out of 10 targets had been achieved. In programme two, all seven out of seven targets had been achieved. For programme three, sector monitoring, four of the five targets had been achieved; programme four, public sector monitoring, all four targets were achieved; programme five had seven of the nine targets achieved. The performance reflected great achievements in reaching targets and the Department was looking to keep up the great performance.

Members asked, in relation to the Department’s mandate, if there were any monitoring systems for reporting on how the entities outcomes were achieved.

The Members welcomed the Department’s report and asked as to what the role of CoGTA within the Department was. They also asked why there was such a high number of Deputy Director-Generals in the entity, inquiring about the risks of having so many individuals on acting positions.

Meeting report

The Chairperson opened the meeting by welcoming the Members and the officials of the Department of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), together with the officials from Brand South Africa and Statistics South Africa; stating that the purpose of the meeting was for the said entities to deliver their fourth quarterly performance reports.

He said that the meeting was happening in difficult time, amid the COVID-19 pandemic which had affected all the departments; it was important for the Committee to continue its work and adjust its normal operations to the impact of the virus because the need to serve the people had not ceased but continued to grow.

He indicated there were apologies from Ms V Malomane (ANC) and Mr S Malatsi (DA) and asked if there were any other apologies, from the Committee and the delegations, to be put on record.

The Deputy Minister, Ms Sindisiwe Chikunga, stated that there was an apology from the Minister – who was conducting interviews.

The Chairperson noted the Minister’s apology and said that Statistics SA would be the first to present its fourth quarter report, after the Deputy Minister had been given a chance to give introductory remarks.

Remarks from the Deputy Minister

The Deputy Minister stated that the Department was grateful for the opportunity that had been offered to the Department and its entities to come and present their fourth quarter performance reports; he highlighted that the reports to be presented were all affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, despite which the Department had been able to achieve 70% of its targets. She said that COVID-19 was going to be around for a long time and it was important for the Department to adjust and ensure that it continued to deliver on its legislative mandate.

The Chairperson stated that Statistics SA would be the first entity to deliver their briefing to the Committee.

Briefing by Statistics SA

Mr Risenga Maluleke, Statistician-General, presented the fourth quarter report of the entity, stated that it had managed to achieve 82% of its targets for the running financial year – accounting for 224 targets in total. This performance was achieved amidst the presence and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He indicated that the entity had lost about 100 staff members who had left Statistics SA due to different reasons and this was the highest reduction compared to previous financial years, which usually accounted for the reduction of about 20 staff members per year; he said that in this financial year, 22 staff members left the entity in quarter four, alone.

He stated that the entity ran projects across quarters, hence why its budget was not spread equally over the four quarters. For instance, quarter four projects might have started in previous quarters and hence assigned funds in the quarter it was initiated in. He said that for quarter four, Statistics SA had achieved 90% of its targets.

He said that the entity had a high vacancy rate which needed to be addressed to ensure that the entity operated as close to full capacity as possible. There was a need to include more women and people living with disabilities in the entity’s workforce and those targets would be achieved in the next financial year.

The total budget for Statistics SA was R2.5 billion, of which R1.4 billion accounted for by the compensation of employees and stated that this constituted an over-expenditure; he emphasised that R50.9 million had been spent on employee compensation in quarter four alone. Three percent of the budget was used up in activities that constituted over-expenditure and that there were discussions with National Treasury on how the entity could raise more funds in order to be able to deliver on its mandate. A large chunk of the actual expenditure was attributed to the budget of programme three.

Speaking to the demographics, he said that the organisation was composed of 46.1% male staff members and 53.9% female, adding that woman had a 41% representation in SMS. The entity was composed of 87.2% black staff members, 5.3% colored, 5.8% white and 1.7% Indian; this was a close reflection of the demographics of the country. He said that the demographics of the entity’s SMS were not aligned to the national demographics, with male staff members accounting for 58.9% and females accounting for 41.1% of the total staff; this needed to be addressed. The entity needed to include more disabled persons and focus on woman empowerment.

Highlighting the key achievements of the entity, he said that the entity had: published 81 statistical releases and reports on the economy and society; released 12 Commercial Census of Agriculture (CoCA) reports during the fourth quarter; conducted census 2021 mini-test (phase two); conducted the National Household Transport Survey; compiled 10 reports consisting of four thematic demographic reports and six integrated research report.

He said that there were disruptions that had arose from the COVID-19 pandemic, causing some of the projects to be compromised. Statistics SA could no longer conduct face-to-face surveys as it could not afford to expose its workforce to the virus and the community members would also be uncomfortable with exposing themselves. The entity was thus looking into various methods of self-enumeration. The work of the entity had to continue, as these were times wherein data was needed the most.

Speaking to the Census 2021 mini-test (phase two), he said that the test had been completed in 13 510 dwelling units using a field staff numbering 140.

The CoCA showed that South Africa (SA) had 40 122 commercial farms and one in four of those were located in the Free State. He stated that the Western Cape generated the most income from agricultural activity and highlighted that country’s largest outputs by volume were maize, sugarcane and potatoes. The farms were helping in the reduction of unemployment in the country as they offered work opportunities to members of the surrounding community.

Speaking to the social media trends of the entity, he said that the entity had seen an increase in the number of interactions and engagements on both its Facebook and its Twitter accounts. The Statistics SA website had received about 827 000 visits which resulted in 100 000 downloads; this indicated that the nation was aware of the resources put out by the entity.

Concluding his presentation, he thanked the Chairperson and said that the entity would welcome questions, comments and suggestions from Members.

Discussion

The Chairperson said that the presentation was then open for discussion by the Members.

Ms M Clarke (DA) asked Statistics SA to elaborate on the causes of the high staff turnover in this financial year. What measures has the entities put in place to ensure that it achieves high staff retention in the future? Noting that the entity had reported that it needed to use alternative methods for acquiring its data, she asked if the entity had a budget in place for funding the said alternative mode of data acquisition. 

Ms C Motsepe (EFF) pointed out that it was clear that there were internal issues within the entity, issues that were causing staff to leave. She said that there were reports that the CEO had resigned and asked for reasons on the said resignation. She also requested Statistics SA to provide stats on the mortality rate per province and information on the leading causes of death per province. Does the entity have any data from which the Committee could deduce information on how hunger and poverty could be reduce nationwide?

Ms R Lesoma (ANC) emphasised that the Committee was dealing with the performance report for quarter four and continued to ask the Chairperson on how the Committee would move forward as Parliament to ensure that Statistics SA was properly funded for the new financial year.

The Chairperson stated that the next question was to be from iNkosi R Cebekhulu (IFP) but announced that his question would be taken later on because he seemed to be having connection issues.

Dr L Schreiber (DA) noted that there was a R300 billion hole in the tax collections short fall and enquired how the entity was going to address that.

Ms M Kibi (ANC) said that she was happy with the entity’s plans to increase female staff as well as integrating the people living with disabilities. She reckoned that COVID-19 had impacted the work of all the departments and asked how it had specifically impacted Statistics SA’s preparations for the Census 2021.

She requested the entity to provide reasons for which the various staff members had resigned, and wanted to know of methods that the entity would use to attract and retain more young people in its workforce.

Responses

Mr Maluleke said that the entity was expecting to receive iNkosi Cebekhulu’s question in writing and would be answering the other questions so long.

Speaking to the high staff turnover, he said that some of the reasons accounting for this were that staff members were migrating to “greener pastures” as new opportunities arose for them. He said the entity had not been able to hire new staff members in the past three years, adding that the entity was looking into reducing its vacancy rate in the new financial year. It was not uncommon for staff members to realign their careers with changing times and interests. Some of the staff members had retired from work.

Answering on methods to be used to acquire data in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, he said that the entity’s teams called the members of the public and helped them to complete the surveys telephonically. Statistic SA was also looking into self-enumeration and online surveys. Although it was safe to assume that the members of the communities could read and write, it was not guaranteed that they would be able to complete the surveys by themselves as some aspects would appear technical to them. Where feasible, online platforms would be used for data collection and telephonic surveys would continue in all the cases necessary.

Answering on why the entity had not been recruiting, he said that up till quarter four, the entity was not allowed to hire as it was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic and it found that doing recruitments on virtual platforms would not be feasible. He said the entity would be hiring in the new financial year and was looking at methods that were going to ensure high staff retention.

Answering on mortality rate statistics, he said that the national information on mortality was kept by the Department of Home Affairs because that information was administrative in nature and this data was not collected by Statistics SA. He said that Statistic SA would be releasing statistics on the causes of death per province and highlighted that COVID-19 might not appear as the main cause of death because people who were infected with it might have died because of respiratory failure or other reasons not related to COVID-19.

He responded that the National Treasury had announced that it might have to cut the budget for Statistic SA and the entity was still awaiting the outcome of that decision.

Answering on the effects of COVID-19 on the Census 2021 preparations, he said that COVID-19 had not only affected the entity but it had affected the entire world. He emphasised that it was, therefore, important for the entity to define itself in terms of what was happening in the rest of the world.

He said the surveys of Statistic SA had been impacted by the pandemic, highlighting that as a result, conducting face-to-face surveys was no longer feasible. He said that even for the Census 2021, the entity would not be able to conduct face-to-face surveys and was looking into alternative methods.

Speaking to the recruitment of individuals for Census 2021, he said that the entity had made adverts in newspapers and had ensured that it recruited individuals for work closer to where they resided, because this made the work simpler for them and ensured that community members were comfortable with engagements – given that they would be engaging with people they knew.

Regarding the entity’s legislative issues, he said that those had been tabled for discussions during the following week; the Committee would be made aware of the outcomes of the discussions in due time.

In conclusion and speaking to agriculture, he said that the budget awarded to agriculture was the input and the products resulting from the agricultural processes were the outputs. He said that the number of people who were affected by the agricultural activity formed the outcomes. He said Statistics SA had on its mandate – the duty to collect quarterly surveys on how many jobs had been lost and how many had been gained. Entity hence provided information on issues of employment and unemployment in the country.

He thanked the Chairperson and the members for the opportunity to answer the questions.

The Chairperson gave the opportunity to Brand SA to present.

Ms Clarke interjected and suggested that Statistic SA should provide the Committee with the schedule detailing when and where would the said telephonic surveys be taking place so that the Committee would be able to provide oversight.

The Chairperson noted Ms Clarke’s suggestion and then gave the opportunity to the Deputy Minister to give remarks before Brand SA could present.

The Deputy Minister stated that she only wanted to provide an apology for the Chairperson of Brand SA, whose presentation would be delivered by the entity’s CEO.

Briefing by Brand SA

Ms Thulisile Manzini, Acting CEO of Brand SA, opened her presentation by stating that the world, as it was known, had changed amidst the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic; it was important to reenergise the citizens. She said that this fourth quarter had been a true test to the nation at large.

She said that as the country moved out of the lockdown phases, there was an undying need to combat gender based violence across the nation as its continued existence kept negatively impacting SA as a brand. It was difficult to sell the country in these times and the entity was looking at methods that could be used to bring investments into the country by reflecting it in positive light.

She said that the entity had been using ‘webinars’ to continue its work that had already been affected by the pandemic.

She indicated that the entity had achieved 80% of its targets, amounting to 20 out of 25 targets in total. These were achieved despite the virus outbreak. She then outlined the targets that were not achieved:

-the entity had achieved 80% of the overall organisational performance rating as opposed to the targeted 90%; most of the quarter four targets were not achieved due to the restrictive measures put in place by government to curb the spread of COVID–19.

-the planned SA Inc. engagement in Ghana, with University of Ghana Business School, had been cancelled due to COVID-19 measures taken by both the Ghanaian and South African governments.

-Of the two targeted national brand alignment workshops, she said that none was implemented due to the restrictive measures for curbing the spread of the virus.

-the stakeholder-led workshop that was planned for execution in quarter four could not be executed due to the restriction that were put in place on the account of the pandemic.

-of the four coordinated activities that were to be implemented in partnership with the private sector stakeholders, three were achieved; the planned activity with Mango Airlines could not be delivered due to restrictive measures put in place by government to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Speaking on the strategic goal one of the entity, she said that the target was to create a high performance organisation through the optimal utilisation of technological, financial and human resources. The entity wanted to reach enable 98% availability of all IT systems and actually achieved 98.39%. She said the entity’s budget versus expenditure indicated a variance of 4.3%, in line with the set maximum variance of 5%. The entity had thus performed well in terms of its achieving its strategic goals.

On strategic goal two, she said that the entity aimed at improving the country’s brand reputation and perceptions amongst South Africans. To achieve this, two activations were to be utilised to promote constitutional awareness and the target was met and exceeded. Four activations had been made: Freedom of Expression activation in Western Cape, Freedom of Expression activation in Mpumalanga, Promotion of Access to Information activation in Limpopo and Promotion of Access to Information activation in North West.

Speaking to strategic goal three, which was aimed at improving the Nation Brand’s reputation and perceptions domestically and internationally, she said that the annual target for communications was to publish 100 publications in order to market the SA Brand. The target was met, since 25 of planned positive communication content pieces were published in quarter four. She emphasised that it was important to continue communicating so that investors and clients did not forget about the brand.

She said that the entity had to implement three media engagement activities to strengthen relations and liaison with media; the target was achieved with the media engagements: WEF Media Tour, Mining Indaba Media Engagement and AU Summit Media Tour.

She said that it was important to keep reminding investors of what they needed to be investing on when normality resumed and the Brand assumed business as usual.

Speaking to strategic goal four, aimed at attaining a cohesive approach when promoting and marketing the Nation Brand amongst targeted stakeholders, she said that the entity had target to get 125 new registrations on the marketers’ portal. The target was achieved and exceeded, as 215 registrations were made.

She said that 15 ‘Play Your Part’ ambassador engagements had been achieved in promoting the Nation Brand; five GSA activations had been completed and achieved, namely: GSA Activation, Los Angeles, USA; GSA Perth, Australia; GSA Activation with ICC, Perth, Australia; GSA Melbourne, Australia; and GSA Virtual Activation, Zambia.

Speaking to achieving enhanced relations with stakeholders towards the promotion of the Nation Brand reputation, both domestically and internationally, she said that there were four coordinated activities that were targeted for implementation in partnership with state institution stakeholders and the target had been met. She said that of the four coordinated activities, one was faith-based; it was important to engage with the faith community as it enabled the entity to reach a large audience.

Speaking to the issues around human resources, she said that the recruitment of the nine vacant posts was in progress at different stages and had been impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown. She said that the entity had a targeted drive to address employment equity and disability imperatives; it would be carrying out training and development, as per the approved Training and Development Plan, with a targeted focus on the empowerment of women, employees serving on bid committees, coaching and mentorship.

She said that there were a number of new relevant policies that had been drafted, which were currently at different stages of the consultation process on route to the Board of Trustees for approval. The entity had tabled its retention strategy at the Human Capital, Remuneration, Social and Ethics Committee on route to the Board of Trustees for approval.

Speaking to the demographics of Statistics SA, she said that the entity was composed of 63% female and 37% male staff members; a total of 93.48% was classified as Black; with Whites, Coloureds and Indians accounting for 2.17% each.

Addressing the issues around the entity’s finances, she said that Brand SA did not have any issues with the pronouncement of the 30-day invoicing. The entity did not process invoices that were beyond 30 days; the entity did not want to contribute to making people suffer.

Ms Manzini stated that Brand SA had received positive feedback from its auditors; the Auditor-General had stated that the entity was on a good track to receiving a good report on its budget.

She stated that R83 629 988 had been spent on brand marketing in the fourth quarter, whereas R85 599 000 had been budgeted for the activity; the variance had been due to the cancellation of some activations in the fourth quarter.  An amount of R16 754 314 had been spent on stakeholder-relations, which had been allocated a budget of R19 647 000 in the fourth quarter; the variance was attributable to the postponement of civil society and constitutional awareness projects that were schedule for the fourth quarter.

Ms Manzini stated that R102 668 000 had been allocated for administration and only R98 440 238 had been used. Of the fourth quarter budget, only 96% had been used, leading to a variance of R9 089 460.

Concluding, she said that National Treasury has announced a budget cut of R30 million and requested the entity to highlight the programmes that would be affected by the cut. She said the entity was working with the Presidency in order to figure out alternative modes of funding the entity; the R30 million budget cut was really going to cripple the entity.

Discussion

The Chairperson thanked Ms Manzini for the presentation and said that the presentation was now open to Members for discussion.

Ms Lesoma appreciated the announcement that the entity’s next audit report would reflect improvements. She noted that the entity had a board in place and asked if policies had been rectified ever since the board was placed.

Ms Kibi welcomed the presentation. Referring to slide 10 of the presentation, she asked about the purpose of the research that was supposed to be done in corporation with the University in Ghana. She also requested clarity on allegations that were against CEO of the entity.

Inkosi Cebekhulu said that the entity showed failure in achieving some of its targets; he asked what the reason for not achieving 100% of the targets over the past quarter was.

Ms Clarke inquired as to why training could not be continued on virtual platforms. She also asked if the marketing of the brand could not be done on virtual platforms as well.

The Chairperson gave the opportunity to Brand SA to give its responses.

Responses

Ms Manzini responded that indeed since the board had been established, the policies of the entity had been rectified and stated that they had made sure that all the policies were set in place, as future audits would reflect.

Answering the question on research that was to be conducted in partnership with the University of Ghana, she said that the project was essential for exposing Brand SA to the African continent. By building Brand SA, partnerships with African countries would be imminent. She said that the research was once hosted by Wits University as it was designed to be held in different states each year, to encourage partnerships between them.

Regarding to the suspension of the CEO, she said that matter was above her and she would allow the Deputy Minister to address it.

She stated that Brand SA was a marketing agency by itself but it carried out its work in partnership with other marketing agencies especially in as far as marketing the brand provincially. She said that it was important to outsource some of the marketing functions to agencies as they would be able to build a more professional reputation for the brand.

Ms Manzini said that the agencies support the entity and in as far as marketing was concerned, they were expected to use agencies to avoid struggling a lot.

Answering on why the entity had not achieved 100% of its targets in the previous quarter, she said that had COVID-19 not happened, the entity would have achieved 100%; its programmes were affected by the lockdown restrictions that were put in place to curb the spread of the virus.

Answering on the use of virtual platforms for training and marketing, she said that the entity was using virtual platforms wherever it was suitable to carry out the programmes of the entity, but that some functions could not be performed virtually. She exemplified that the training in Western Cape and in the Eastern Cape could not be implemented as the provinces had indicated that they still had connectivity problems that had to be addressed. She said once those issues were resolved the training would continue on virtual platforms.

Ms Mpumi Mabuza, General Manager: Stakeholder Relation, Brand SA, elaborated on the research that was scheduled to be undertaken in Ghana, saying that the entity wanted get input from academics in Ghana on methods that would be used to uplift the brand on the African plane. 

Inkosi Cebekhulu suggested that all the questions and their answers be submitted in writing, given the problem with the connection.

The Chairperson agreed with Inkosi Cebekhulu, stating that he had made a fairly reasonable request.

Ms Mabuza continued and said that the board had met to discuss the issue of the CEO’s suspension and there was no concurrence from the meetings. The board met with the Ministry to try and find a lasting solution to the matter. The CEO on suspension was left with only five weeks of his term in office.

Ms Lesoma asked if the Committee could be supplied with data on economic transformation so that it could peruse the agencies that were said to be working with the entity.

The Chairperson welcomed the answers provided and gave the opportunity to the Deputy Minister to make opening remarks for the next presentation.

The Deputy Minster stated that the Acting Director-General (DG) of the DPME, Mr Stanley Ntakumba, would be presenting on behalf of the Department.

Briefing by the DPME

Mr Ntakumba opened with words of gratitude to the Committee on the occasion of being offered the opportunity to present on behalf of DPME. He briefly outlined the mission, vision and values of the entity in line with its legislative mandate; then proceeded to the quarter four targets of the entity, which he emphasised that they needed to be revised in line with the COVID-19 restrictions.

He said that in programme one: Administration, nine out of 10 targets had been achieved. In programme two, NPC Sec and NP Coordination, all seven out of seven targets had been achieved. For programme three, sector monitoring, four of the five targets had been achieved; programme four, public sector monitoring, all four targets were achieved; programme five, EEKS, seven of the nine targets were achieved. He stated that the performance reflected great achievements in reaching targets and stated that the Department was looking to keep up the great performance.

Concluding his presentation, he said that the purpose of the entity was to ensure government policy coherence and to develop, facilitate, support and monitor the implementation of government priorities, sector plans and intervention strategies. The entity was divided according to sub-programmes, which were:

-Public Sector Monitoring and Support, whose purpose was to provide management and support services to the branch;

-Public Sector Capacity Development, which was purposed with monitoring the public service capabilities and supporting governance of public entities;

-Front Line Monitoring, which was responsible for facilitating service delivery improvements through frontline and citizen-based monitoring and effective complaints resolution systems;

-Capacity Development Coordination, which was responsible for coordinating capacity development programmes to ensure effective development and application of PM&E policies, tools, systems and guidelines in government.

The Chairperson thanked Mr Ntakumba for the presentation and said that the presentation was open to the Members for discussion.

Discussion

Ms Lesoma asked as to which areas, in particular, had seen the said great achievements within the entity.

Ms Motsepe asked, in relation to the DPME’s mandate, if there were any monitoring systems for reporting on how the entities outcomes were achieved.

Ms Kibi welcomed the presentation from DPME and asked as to what was the role of CoGTA within the DPME. She asked as to why there was such a high number of Deputy Director-Generals in the entity, inquiring about the risks of having so many individuals on acting positions.

Responses

Mr Ntakumba answered that the DPME would provide a full report on the areas it had received the said great achievements. He summarised that there had been improvements in water and sanitation in terms of consequence management and supply chain management. There were improvements within the Department in terms of the 30 days invoicing.

He said the entity was monitoring its quarterly reports and using them to conduct performance dialogues. He stated that there were engagements with Treasury to report on why the departments were performing poorly of late. DPME was using a frontline monitoring system; the Department verified the numbers that the departments had reported on their strategic frameworks.

He said the entity had made a requirement on the annual performance plan of 2020/22021 to report on its geo-reference modeling systems.

Answering on the role of CoGTA, he said that the DPME worked with both national and provincial CoGTA as their support was essential to the monitoring tasks of the entity. He said that DPME was intermediary between the national and provincial COGTAs.

Answering on the acting capacity of the DGs, he stated that DPME noted and was working towards filling those posts which remained vacant. He said the entity was looking towards creating a higher level of accountability He acknowledged that it was important to fill the vacant posts but said that the power to fill the posts did not merely lie within the entity; there were political dynamics involved.

The Chairperson thanked Mr Ntakumba and stated that the meeting was adjourned.

Ms Clarke interjected, requesting to make a final comment before the meeting was closed. She would like to receive a report based on local government. She asked about the plans to help with the situation in Ekhuruleni, where there were electricity supply problems that had led people to riot in the streets. There were some very big problems in local government and improvements were needed.

The meeting was adjourned.

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