The Committee met virtually to adopt its Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR) for the Department of Social Development (DSD) for the 2019/20 financial year as well as the Committee report on the first and second quarterly reports of the Department for the current financial year. This was the final Committee meeting for the year.
Some Members found the BRRR had not fully captured the challenges experienced during the year, for example, the impact of COVID19 on Early Child Development (ECD), payments of NGOs, access of the homeless to social services, the challenge of gender-based violence and the sanitary dignity programme. These Members were pointed to where their points were captured in the report.
The reports, along with outstanding Committee minutes, were adopted.
Portfolio Committee on Social Development Budget Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR), 2019/2020
The Chairperson made some farewell remarks, as it was the final Committee meeting for the year, and invited Members to comment on the BRRR.
Ms A Abrahams (DA) found the BRRR did not fully capture the challenges experienced, for example the impact of COVID19 on Early Childhood Development (ECD). Specifically, some departments had experienced challenges with payments of ECDs and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
The BRRR also did not full captured the success stories. During COVID19, for the first-time, homeless people had access to social services.
The Department had partnered with the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD) on the sanitary dignitary programme. The BRRR talked of the distribution of pads, but does not specify whether these were distributed at home or school since it was during COVID19.
Ms B Masango (DA) said the BRRR had a list on questions that could be loosely translated as outstanding issues. It was wise to move these to the recommendation section so there could serve as guidance to the Committee and Department’s work in the next term.
On the challenge to do with payments of ECDS, the Content Advisor told the Committee that this would be incorporated as a challenge in the section of the report dealing with nutrition for school going children. (See page 10 of the report).
The success story on homeless people’s access to social services was going to be incorporated in the section dealing with shelter for the homeless (See page 11 of the report)
On the sanitary dignity pads, the Content Advisor requested to get more clarity on this from the DWYPD.
The Chairperson said the BRRR talked of everything that happened throughout the year and the Department was going to formulate policies and action plans on all outstanding issues.
Ms L Arries (EFF) said the report had missed out on Gender-Based Violence (GBV), which had been one of the serious social problems faced during the year.
The Chairperson agreed.
The Chairperson tabled the amended report for adoption.
Members agreed to adopt the amended report.
Committee Report on Quarter One and Two Performance of the Department of Social Development, 2020/21
The Chairperson tabled the report for adoption.
Members agreed to adopt the report.
Adoption of Committee minutes
The Chairperson tabled minutes of 11, 13, 18 and 25 November 2020 for adoption.
On the minutes of 25 November, Ms Abrahams said the Department had not responded to the questions she asked in the meeting in writing.
The Chairperson said that was not an issue of minutes and had to be dealt with differently.
Members agreed to adopt all the minutes tabled.
The Content Advisor said an advertisement for written comments on the Children’s Amendment Bill had been published on 27 November 2020. The stakeholders had showed interest to participate in the process, and had shared valuable insights on the Bill. Next year, Members would have to conduct public hearings on the Bill. The public hearings were to be held at either provincial or national level.
Ms Masango and Ms K Bilankulu (ANC) recommended conducting public hearings at a provincial level.
The Chairperson invited Members to makes some farewell remarks.
The meeting was adjourned.
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