DPSA, DPME, CPSI, StatsSA & Brand SA 2021/22 Annual Performance Plans and 2020-25 Strategic Plans; with Minister and Deputy Ministers

Public Service and Administration, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation

05 May 2021
Chairperson: Ms R Lesoma (ANC) (Acting)
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Meeting Summary

Annual Performance Plans

The Committee convened virtually to receive briefings on the 2021-2025 strategic plans and annual performance plans (APPs) for the 2021/2022 financial year from the Statistics South Africa (StatsSA), Brand South Africa (BrandSA); the Department of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME); the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) as well as the Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI). The meeting was segmented into two sessions. During the first session, the Committee’s researcher briefed the Committee on the issues to be considered when the entities present their 2021-2025 strategic plans and APPs for the 2021/2022 financial year.

Highlights of the address by the Minister focused on the challenges on the structure of the CPSI; the restructuring the Centre needs; the potential of the Centre to innovate and initiate various methods to improve service delivery in the departments across the board in the public service; the need to quickly reposition the Centre for its function. The Minister also reminded the Committee of his priorities for his Department when he took the office, most notably an improved implementation of the Bath Pele principle, full implementation of the Public Administration Management Act, following through with the goals of the Public Service Act (PSA), and fighting corruption. The Minister also informed the Committee of the progress made on these priorities.

DPSA informed the Committee that for the 2021/2022 financial year, the Department has 25 annual targets in the APP as compared to 32 annual targets in the prior financial year. Its Strategic Plan outcomes included improved implementation of Batho Pele, complete implementation of the Public Administration Management Act, a stabilised public service, fight against corruption intensified and improved implementation of administrative policies

The Committee welcomed the presentations and commended the Minister for clearly outlining issues on the CPSI as well as DPSA. The Committee asked the Department questions on COVID-19 preparedness, wage bill negotiations, the targets the Minister led or supported, the Integrated Financial Management System, Section 100 and 139 Monitoring and Intervention Act, in international stakeholder allocated funds, and cases of discipline on corruption. The Committee also asked the Department questions on the organisational structure of CPSI.

The Chairperson reminded Members that the Committee had to follow-up on joint meetings with South African Police Services and Public Service Commission on corruption cases and also consider meetings on Section 100 and 139 experiences to enquire if they are giving the required results based on the new District Development Model.

StatsSA outlined its strategic direction, work programme, budget cuts and implications, and strategic risks and priorities. StatsSA stressed its commitment to produce its reports and ensure that its data is protected and acclaimed internationally.

The Committee welcomed the presentation of StatsSA and its commitment to protecting data despite the budget cuts of the entity. The Committee asked StatsSA questions on the quality of its data, budget reductions, pilot survey and reports, the Census, the state of Information Technology facilities, alternative funding options, and its amended Statistics Act.

BrandSA said its strategic focus was build investor confidence and contribute to attraction of global investors and tourists, as well as South African goods and services, enhance South Africa’s stature in the community of nations in the continent and the world, create and disseminate messages that effectively tell the South African story and positively promote the country, inspire pride, patriotism, social cohesion, nation building and positive change in South Africa, inspire loyalty and advocacy in expatriate South AfricansCounter negative messages and impressions of the country, showcase achievements of the National Development Plan (NDP), assist various government and private sector entities in aligning their communications strategies to country messaging and leverage on strategic global events to bring the brand story to life and build brand moments

The Committee welcomed the presentation of BrandSA and asked for clarity on a press release that BrandSA was on the brink of collapse. The Committee also asked BrandSA questions on efforts to reposition itself; to confirm if the Minister had approved the Plan presented to the Committee; give an update on the merger of BrandSA with another state-owned entity and implications thereof; and state the impact of leadership vacuum at BrandSA. The Committee question the principle of late submission of BrandSA’s Plan.

The Deputy Minister in the Presidency reported that the merger of BrandSA with SA Tourism would occur but it had been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the plans of a merger, BrandSA is continuing to operate as an entity. Presently, there is a moratorium to stop BrandSA from appointing staff on critical positions. The Minister has signed the tabling letter and would account for the operations of BrandSA. There have been engagements with staff and the merger would minimise the impact of job losses.

DPME reported that its Strategic Plan targeted the following outcomes for 2020-2025: An efficient and effective department characterised by good corporate governance and ethical leadership, long and medium-term development agenda is institutionalised into a functional, integrated government  planning system, evidence to support the country’s developmental  agenda generated and citizens and stakeholders contributing to the implementation of the NDP/  MTSF

The Committee welcomed the presentation of and asked DPME about its preparation to monitor state-owned entities, monitoring and evaluation of departments despite the pandemic, its IT-based operations, the integrated monitor programme, the Operation Phakisa report, the District Development Model, the COVID-19 government relief package, the Local Government Improvement Model, the National Spatial Developmental Framework, and Section 100 and 139 interventions

Meeting report

The Acting Chairperson opened the virtual meeting, welcoming everyone present. She then invited the Committee researcher to address Members on the issues to be considered when the entities present their 2021-2025 strategic plans and Annual Performance Plans (APPs) for the 2021/2022 financial year.

The researcher proceeded to take the Committee through the issues to consider for the 2021-25 strategic plans and APPs for the 2021/2022 financial year in the entities.

Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA)

There was an increase in the budget allocated to DPSA from R400 million (2019/20) to R423 million (2021/22). The highest amount of funds in the APP for the 2021/2022 financial year was allocated to programme one (R185 million).

Department of Performance, Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME)

Members should note that issues of concern in the APP of DPME are the current Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2019-24 revisions, which are supposed to guide government planning and implementation. The implementation of the current MTSF 2019-24 revisions was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and Members are invited to ask for clarity on the progress so far. The DPME launched the Khawuleza District Development Model (DDM) in November 2020 which is an integrated tool for corporate planning that measures service delivery. The Khawuleza DDM is a pilot plan that was impacted by COVID-19 and Members are invited to ask for clarity on the progress made so far. Members are also invited to ask questions of clarity on the effectiveness of the National Development Plan (NDP), as DPME has not had a tool to measure the impact of the NDP since inception. DPME also indicated that it would be monitoring the impact of the COVID-19 social relief and economic support package. There have been allegations of corruption but the DPME has not given any feedback. Members might consider asking for clarity on the corruption allegations made on the COVID-19 social relief and economic support package.

Statistics South Africa (StatsSA)

The issues of concern with StatsSA are the process of finalising legislative reports on the Bill and surveys on the Census 2021 process. The budget allocation for StatsSA increased from R3 billion (2019/20) to R4 billion (2021/22). Members are invited to note that the restructuring of the organogram of StatsSA would affect the wage bill. Programme six has the largest budget allocation of about R2.9 billion for the Census and programme one was allocated R659.8 million. The focus areas are the finalisation of the legal framework. The consultation process has been completed but the Committee is not sure if the proposed Bill has been sent back to StatsSA to ensure that the proposed Bill is tabled. This is of concern because the sixth administration is nearing its end. Members are invited to seek clarity on why the Act should be amended. The PC is also invited to note that StatsSA was allocated about R6 million for filling critical positions. StatsSA has started filling these critical positions but Members should ask questions of clarity on its progress. Members should also clarify if 42% of women have been appointed in senior management positions, and the appointments have been done in a way to accommodate 14% of persons living with a disability.

The Acting Chairperson interjected and asked the researcher to give a high-level report as Members had received the reports earlier.

The Researcher continued and said StatsSA would be conducting surveys on Census 2021 but have been challenged by COVID-19 this was why the process was moved to February 2021, hence Members are invited to ask questions of clarity to ensure that StatsSA is ready for the process. Clarity should also be sought on the introduction of IT facilities, as the Committee would be conducting oversight visits.

Brand South Africa (BrandSA)

The issues to consider would be the restructuring and merging process of BrandSA.

The Chairperson appreciated the researchers for their report to the Committee and asked if Members had any comments.

Members did not have any comments.

The Chairperson appreciated the research team for its work and remarked that the Committee would have a robust engagement with DPSA, DPME, and its entities. The Chairperson instructed the Committee Secretary (CS) to give access to the DPSA, DPME, and its entities to join the virtual meeting. The Chairperson apologised to the DPSA, DPME, and its entities for keeping them logged out of the virtual meeting and stated that the PC was carrying out some housekeeping functions.

She said the PC would continue with its agenda and that the Minister in the Presidency and the Deputy Minister might not be available, as they would be attending a Cabinet meeting. She asked the CS to state if they were any apologies.

The Secretary replied that there were no apologies received.

The Chairperson remarked that Ms B Maluleke (ANC) had sent apologies that she would leave the meeting early because she would be attending another Committee meeting but would return during the afternoon session. She welcomed officials from DPSA, DPME, and the entities, and invited the Director-General (DG) of DPSA to brief the Committee.

The DG of DPSA, Ms Yoliswa Makhasi, said that there were no apologies from DPSA.

The Chairperson noted that the Deputy Minister was present and invited her to make comments.

The Deputy Minister (DM) of Public Service and Administration, Ms Sindi Chikunga, asked to make her remarks at the end and indicated that the Minister would join the meeting until 11.00 am

The Chairperson remarked that because the Cabinet meeting clashed with the PC’s meeting, she did not know that the Minister would attend. She then invited the Minister for the DPSA to address the PC.

Address by Minister

The Minister of Public Service and Administration, Mr Senzo Mchunu, said his address would be on CPSI and the DPSA.

CPSI

The Minister said that his office did not have any query on the existence of CPSI but had observed challenges on the structure of CPSI. CPSI was a highly functional arm of the public service that was making an impact in the country. The issue of focus at CPSI is to try to link the imagination of the people that initiated the CPSI with legislation that gives the CPSI its mandate and would lead to the acceptance of the CPSI and its outputs. The challenges observed with CPSI are on its structure, how its human resources were populated, and the skills in the entity. The potential role of CPSI is understood but the DPSA knows that a lot of work needs to be done for CPSI to make its mark in service delivery in a deliberate way. The DPSA has observed some challenges in service delivery deliverables, such as safety, education, human settlements, health, and in some key aspects of policy – especially in informal settlements, both in rural and urban areas. The situation that makes people live in sub-human conditions in informal settlements is unacceptable and a dedicated centre like CPSI would bring changes in this area. Hence, there is a need for some innovations in these informal settlements and DPSA has imitated some programmes to correct this trend to encourage innovation. The DPSA confirms that the CPSI would bring innovation in these areas and the DPSA, linking with relevant Ministers to introduce strategies that would entrench innovations.

The new structure involves a restructuring of CPSI concerning the skills that are required in research with the CPSI and the departments in the public service. After reviewing the structure of CPSI, the DPSA and the Ministry observed that the entity’s major inhibitor was its old structure. Hence, the CPSI needs to be restructured. This new structure would be implemented after engagements with relevant Ministers. The CPSI would be imitating various methods to improve service delivery in the departments across the board in the public service. The DPSA feels that this is necessary to ensure that the CPSI gains the recognition and respect it needs. Currently, personnel in the CPSI are not fully skilled to perform all its function at a high level and perform to full expectation with only one researcher to fully perform its functions. The DPSA would be finalising the structure and empowerment of CPSI to carry out its function but this would take some time to achieve since the human resources of CPSI are populated in this way. The current prescripts of CPSI are not challenged but it is important to quickly reposition the CPSI for its function.

DPSA

The Minister reminder the Committee of his priorities for DPSA when he took the office. The priorities for DPSA were an improved implementation of the Batho Pele principle, full implementation of the Public Administration Management Act (PAMA), following through with the goals of the Public Service Act (PSA), and fighting corruption. In this regard, the DPSA is now emphasising its view of the public service space. A misconception when the Minister is introduced in communities is that the Minister is referred to as the Minister of public servants. This is not the case as the Minister is the Minister for the Department of Public Service and Administration. The work of the Minister incorporates not only the public servants but some other bodies. The public space that the Minister for the DPSA manages is the citizens of South Africa, government administration, and government services at a ministerial level that deals with political direction governance and turnaround at a ministerial-level under the mandates of the Department. The department managing this Office is the DPSA.

Batho Pele principle improved implementation takes the form of managing this process in a manner that is clear for all to see transparently and tangibly. The citizens must be beneficiaries of the Batho Pele principles and be full promoters of the principles in a synergised manner. The full implementation of the PAMA would be assisted by the concept of single public administration and service. The concept of singleness is seen from the perspective of the values and principles of section 1 (95) being applied across the board in all spheres of government from national to local levels of government and incorporating the state-owned enterprises. This involves a common framework of remuneration across the board in all spheres of government. This comes in the form of implementation of PAMA in its full entirety of about 21 regulations. DPSA has engaged with Cabinet on the Bill is at a level of consultations on the Bill.  This common framework also seeks to follow through with the goals of the National Development Plan. Presently, the DPSA is reviewing the Public Service Act to ensure that the country has an improved public service and administration. At the beginning of this administration, the goal of the DPSA is to stabilise the public service and the DPSA is making progress in achieving this goal as the sixth administration comes to an end. In this regard, issues of what was seen as bloated public service personnel observed in the past had to be dealt with. The bloated public service was exhibited in headcount, the wage bill, and in the lack of stability that arose from relations between government and public servants. The lack of relationship between government and public servants arose from the area of remuneration and conditions of service. South Africa needs to develop a system of remuneration that is affordable, systematic, sustainable, fair and transparent.

When salaries are increased in the public service there must be an open view of what the public service would gain on all the four components. The Public Service Act is sensitive to equity in the public space when any policy is implemented to ensure that all the four components in the public service benefits. In this regard, DPSA is negotiating with unions operating in the public service in the following ways. The 2021/22 dispensation with regards to remuneration and rolling out of the new dispensation incorporates both a multifactor index on salaries that is automated. In fighting corruption, it should be noted that corruption does not occur only with elected officials it also affects the supply chain run by public servants. Corruption in South Africa occurs across the board and it is been tackled daily by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and HAWKS. He encouraged the Committee to be upfront in its function, as there was a focus on corruption across the Nation. There is an improved implementation of the Public Service Act (PSA) by following prescripts, being upfront in the appointment of officials, improving and reviewing policies, training via National School of Government to ensure that public servants are knowledgeable on ethics, integrity, developmental approaches, initiating and innovating Government policies that the state following and initiating and innovating government policies. In repairing the image and gaining trust the DPSA tackles this by improving the capabilities in the public service to enhance public service delivery.

DPSA is presently reviewing the human resource strategic framework, which was last reviewed in 2007 and accessed through vision 2015. DPSA has integrated all reviews and assessments and has interacted with Cabinet. DPSA would come out with recommendations in three months and it is taking the initiative to re-organise the public service. DPSA would count on the Committee to actively engage with DPSA on all its priorities, as it relies on the Committee’s support and advice for the development of South Africa.

The Chairperson appreciated the Minister’s comments and mentioned that CPSI should omit compliance issues when presenting its brief.

The Minister requested permission to leave the meeting and said the acting executive director of CPSI, Ms Lydia Sebokedi, would present on behalf of CPSI while DG Makhasi would present on behalf of DPSA. He also said he would be leaving the meeting but the Deputy Minister would remain to attend the meeting.

CPSI 2020-25 Strategic Plan and 2020/21 APP

Ms Lydia Sebokedi said that there were no changes in the targets of CPSI. The CPSI 2020-2025 Strategic Plan has two programmes: Administration and Public Sector Innovation. The CPSI has 30 posts on its fixed establishment with the Executive Director (ED) post vacant and currently filled by an acting ED.

The two outcomes are effective Corporate Governance (output one) and entrenching innovative culture and practice in the Public Service (output two). In output one, an unqualified audit opinion on financial and non-financial information has been achieved in the past three years and CPSI hopes to achieve this in the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period. The CPSI needs to strengthen the indicator in output two on innovation research and development initiatives undertaken, as mentioned by the Minister and develop initiatives to drive innovation. The CPSI needs more coders to achieve this function and enhance service delivery in the public service.

The other output indicators are to increase the knowledge platforms sustained to nurture an enabling environment for innovation in the public sector and increase innovative solutions replicated in the public sector. The target for knowledge platforms established is nine role sector-specific workshops, which were administered online in 2020 and these knowledge platforms would continue online to cut expenditure costs. CPSI was only able to replicate two innovative solutions in the public sector. Due to the budget allocated, the DDM has only been replicated in a few sites.

CPSI’s budget is located within the budget appropriation of the DPSA and the current budget structure is according to the organisation structure. The budget allocated for 2021/22 is R42m, R44m for 2022/23, and R45m in 2023/24. CPSI might need to solicit the assistance of the PC to engage with National Treasury (NT) on additional funds.

DPSA 2021/22 APP

DG Makhasi said the Department’s strategic priorities as outlined in the 2020 – 2025 Strategic Plan will remain the same. For the 2021/2022 financial year, the Department has 25 annual targets in the APP as compared to 32 annual targets in the 2020/2021 financial year.

Strategic plan outcomes:

-Improved implementation of Batho Pele

-Complete implementation of the Public Administration Management Act

-A stabilised Public Service

-Fight against corruption intensified

-Improved implementation of administrative policies

MTSF targets which the Minister is leading:

-Public Service Amendment Bill, 1994 submitted to Parliament by 2023 to include devolution of administrative powers from of executive authorities to heads of department.

-Regulations for the Public Administration Management Act, 2014 submitted to relevant stakeholders for concurrence by 2024.

-Public Administration Management Amendment Bill submitted to Parliament by 2023.

-Organisational Functionality Assessment Tool implemented as a mechanism to measure the levels of productivity and functionality (efficiency and effectiveness) of departments in supporting service delivery objectives by 2022.

-Business Processes Modernisation Programme in the Public Service approved by 2020 and implemented by 2023

-National e-Government Strategy and Roadmap implemented by 2024 towards digitalisation of government services.

-Job Competency Framework for the Public Service implemented by 2023.

-Programme to institutionalise professional code of ethics in the public administration by 2023.

-Lifestyle Audit Guideline developed and approved by March 2021

-95% resolution of reported incidents of corruption in government by 2024 via disciplinary and criminal interventions.

-Implement the Integrated Financial Management System in the Public Sector by 2021.

-Reduction in the operational costs of administering government.

-Section 100 and 139 Monitoring and Intervention Act in place by 2022.

-Programme by national and provincial departments to capacitate and intervene in challenged state institutions developed by 2022

-National cluster system, IMCs and Implementation forums reviewed by March 2020.

-Biannual progress reports submitted to Cabinet on the implementation of the MTSF.

-Head of National Administration and Head of Public Service established.

-Five “high risk” SOEs governance system reviewed by 2021 and recommendations implemented by 2023.

-Programme to facilitate participatory governance mechanisms and citizen engagement (including review of structure on ward committees) developed by 2020 and implemented by 2024.

Members were taken through the 2021/22 APP targets per programme – see attached for details

The CFO, Mr Masilo Makhura, said that the MTEF budget allocations increased from R526m in 2021/22 to R535m in 2022/23 and R543m in 2023/24. The largest amount was appropriated to the administration programme for the three financial years, and compensation of employees – see attached for further details

 DPSA would continue to implement the austerity measures outlined by National Treasury for instance travel costs have reduced because virtual meetings have been implemented due to COVID-19 measures. Also, about one percent of the budget allocation has been set aside for payments of capital assets such as IT and office equipment for officials working from home.

Discussion

The Chairperson appreciated both CPSI and DPSA for their briefings and asked Members to question the presentation.

Ms M Ntuli (ANC) welcomed the presentations and commended the Minister for clearly outlining issues on CPSI and DPSA. She asked DPSA to clarify if the Departments had been equipped with protective personal equipment (PPE), as the country had been informed of the possibility of a third wave of COVID-19. She commended the DPSA for undertaking an automated ongoing multifactor approach to wage bill negotiation other than the past approach of negotiations that involved starting negotiations with union and having to revert to the beginning after negotiations were concluded in the first instance. She asked DPSA to confirm if there were any improvements on bargaining with the unions.

She welcomed the comment of the Minister that corruption existed with the political class and public servants. She observed that some service providers offer bribes to public servants to fast-track the payment of invoices and asked DPSA to state the consequence measures used in the discipline of corrupt officials. She observed that the price of goods and services is inflated when government is the client and asked DPSA to clarify what policies and measures were in place to stop this trend. She asked CPSI to clarify when it would overcome the challenges of a skewed organisational structure.

Dr M Gondwe (DA) said her questions would be on the targets the Minister led or supported. She asked if DPSA would be providing annual updates on the target of 95% resolution of reported incidents of corruption in government by 2024. She asked DPSA to elaborate on when the Integrated Financial Management System in the Public Sector would be implemented and clarify how this system would alleviate the challenges of capturing data accurately on the PERSAL system. She observed that the DPSA was supposed to drive this target and believed that this target should be driven by the Minister because DPSA was responsible for integrating government systems. She observed that the timeframe for achieving the target of institutionalising the professional code of conduct in the public service by 2023 seemed too far. She asked if the target could be achieved earlier. She expressed her concerns about the delay in resolving cases of corruption in the public service. She asked DPSA to confirm if the target on guidelines on Lifestyle Audit Guideline had been developed and approved since this target was supposed to have been met by March 2021. She asked DPSA to confirm when these guidelines would be rolled out and clarify its role on this target. She asked DPSA to clarify what the Section 100 and 139 Monitoring and Intervention Act seek to address. She expressed concerns that the target finalising disciplinary cases of corruption in the public service was not among the targets that the Minister would be leading. The country has several unresolved cases within the public service that are high-cost drivers. This fund expended on these cases could save funds that could be appropriated in service delivery outcomes and procure additional vaccines. She asked DPSA to clarify if guidelines had been established for the positions of Head of Service and Head of Administration and confirm if these two positions could be created if the Public Service Act was amended.

Ms R Komane (EFF) expressed concerns about DPSA’s slow progress of work on the Bill; clarify the progress of work on Section 100 and 139 Monitoring and Intervention Act; clarify if the DPSA’s impact on the resolution of disciplinary issues; explain what it was doing to ensure that corrupt officials were held accountable; and also clarify which departments take the contract and do business with the State.

She also asked DPSA to clarify its progress in building a pool of capable professionals in the public service. She asked DPSA to state the number of officials that had been sent for training in the School of Government and clarify the impact this training has made in addressing service delivery. She observed that there had been so many cases emanating from the COVID-19 fund and asked DPSA to clarify the progress made in fighting corruption because it seemed as if citizens had to wait for the Zondo Commission as its only source of hope.

Ms C Motsepe (EFF) asked for clarity on disciplinary measures against corrupt public servants and the progress made by DPSA on the wage bill negotiations.

The Chairperson asked the Deputy Minister or the Director-General to comment on the state the progress on its organisational structure of CPSI. She observed that the international stakeholder allocated funds slightly increased from 2022/23 to 2023/24 and asked DPSA to clarify if was assuming that the COVID-19 pandemic would have ended. She reckoned that since meetings were currently virtual, the funds allocated for international stakeholder meetings should not increase. She asked DPSA to state the reasons for the rise in projected increases in international stakeholder allocated funds. She invited CPSI and DPSA to answer the questions and reminded both of them that written submissions could be submitted on questions that could not be answered because of the time allocated to respond.

Responses

Ms Sebokedi said that the Minister had approved the organisation structure of CPSI but the CPSI still had to engage with the Deputy Minister in June 2021. The timeline that CPSI needs to stick to in implementing the organisational structure is April 2022. The CPSI runs checks on service providers to ensure that it does not award contracts to public servants. The pool of skills resides within the DPSA but CPSI has asked DPSA to include a course on coding in its training modules to empower public servants to gain coding skills. The CPSI has an additional trail-blazer scheme that encourages public servants to be coders but this is on a small scale.

The Director-General would be in a better position to address the questions on corruption challenges. If there is a need for additional funding the CPSI would approach National Treasury. Currently, the expenditure of CPSI on the compensation of employees (COE) is not high. However, the funds allocated might increase when the new organisational structure is implemented.

Ms Makhasi said that DPSA could not give the assurance that PPE was available even though the third wave of COVID-19 had been predicted but asked the Committee to note that DPSA had made several engagements with the Departments and have issued circulars on COVID-19. The DPSA expects that Departments would comply with these circulars. She, however, assured the Committee that DPSA still followed the COVID-19 protocol in departments and the COVID-19 steering committees are still in place. She said her understanding on matters related to salary was still been tabled and updates on progress would be sent to the Committee when it is ready. Where officials involved in corruption are picked up, disciplinary measures are taken against these officials; some get fired and some are handed over to the police if the matter is a criminal case. Cases of corruption that are not finalised are cases where the Department has difficulty in proving the corruption case. The supporting target of a 95% resolution of reported incidents of corruption in government is not directly linked to DPSA but this output deliverable is led by the security cluster. Hence, DPSA does not have sufficient information to give answers. DPSA sets norms and standards and monitors its implementations in the public service but does not have the authority to investigate disciplinary issues that involve corruption.

When disciplinary cases that are linked to corruption arise, DPSA escalate such matters to the Minister and Minister can take them to Cabinet. DPSA releases its quarterly reports on disciplinary issues but is not able to force a Director-General to do anything different concerning how the law is structured. DPSA relies on the security cluster to depend on how the case turns out. The Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) is under the purview of NT but DPSA is part of the steering committee. The Committee can ask NT to give an update on the IFMS process but from DPSA’s interaction, NT has indicated that it would be ready by April 2022 to pilot the electronic recruitment chapter of the IFMS. This would lead to the automation of electronic recruitment in the public service, so the PC might invite NT to come and present to clarify all queries on IFMS. The role of DPSA in general integrations in the amendment of PAMA arises from the fact that DPSA is pushing for an integrated government in all spheres in terms of systems. DPSA is focusing its attention on PAMA and in the integration of ICT systems because ICT systems play a critical role in the public service. Institutionalising the code of ethics in the public service is one of the key deliverables of DPSA so by the end of the current financial year this target would have been reached. DPSA is working on it but because this target was captured and approved in the MTSF as a target in 2023, this is why it is recorded in this manner. DPSA can fast-track the achievement of this target.

The Minister has approved the Lifestyle Audit Guidelines and DPSA has also briefed Cabinet so the target should be achieved by the end of the current financial year. DPSA is rolling out training programmes with the various relevant departments and is partnering with several institutions to ensure that when the actual lifestyle audits are done it would be seamless. DPSA is having engagements with the institutions involved, such as SARS, but the Department is yet to sign an agreement with SIU because of the financial implications. The Public Service Commission (PSC) plays a vital role in analysing the information given in lifestyle audits, to ensure that sufficient information has been declared. The PSC checks if there are gaps and they report these gaps in the information given in the lifestyle audits.

The DPSA serves to institutionalise some of the interventions done on Section 100 and 139 and DPSA has made its inputs on Section 100 and 139 interventions. The way forward on Section 100 and 139 interventions are that a lot of interventions are happening, especially on Section 139 interventions on local government in the municipalities. DPSA would submit written reports on the progress of Section 100 and 139 interventions. DPSA has proposed that it does not need to create a new position for coders but integrate this role because this is about the management of career incidence that Heads of Departments and Directors-General (DGs) have to do in the course of their work. The DPSA does not want to create more burden on the wage bill by introducing this cadre but this process must be institutionalised. There is a unit in DPME that has been earmarked to support the DG in this particular role. DPSA takes the feedback that it has been slow in dealing with unethical behaviour in the public service, but the DPSA’s role is limited because the Department cannot implement on behalf of other departments. Human resources and labour issues are decentralised responsibilities, so each DG of a department has this responsibility and must be held accountable. DPSA monitors and gives feedback, reports, and advice, but at times the advice of DPSA is not taken. Hence, DPSA can only escalate the matter. The DPSA agreed that unresolved disciplinary cases impact negatively on the public service and DPSA.

Concerning the CPSI organisational structure and its quest for salaries, she said that whatever changes are made DPSA is cautioned to ensure that these changes should be within the budget allocation of CPSI. The DPSA has alerted the Minister that it has to work within the CPSI budget allocation concerning the changes in organisational structure because NT has communicated strongly that it does not have additional funds to give towards compensation of employees, in the current MTEF. The DPSA is aware that CPSI is engaging with NT in this regard but the Minister has engaged with CPSI and has signed the new organisational structure. The wage negotiations are ongoing; there is a deadlock that DPSA is trying to work through with the bargaining council. The Department hopes that labour would come to negotiate.

The Deputy Minister appreciated the Committee for engaging with the APPs of CPSI and DPSA, and she said that the Minister had covered a lot of issues in his opening remarks. She confirmed that as the Ministry of Public Service and Administration, they were committed to service delivery in the country through the optimisation of implementation of its projects and policies. Also, the Ministry is fast-tracking policies, legislations and projects, as alluded to by the DG of DPSA, within the portfolio and within the public service. The Ministry has identified and continues to identify policy and legislative prescripts that need attention, as the DG has referred to in her presentation.

The Ministry shares the frustration of the Committee concerning corruption in the public service, and the DG has mentioned the measures that the Ministry is using to fight corruption. The establishment of, for example, the Office of Standards issuing the Lifestyle Audit Guidelines, and enacting legislation, all assist in dealing with misconduct and corruption in the Public Service. The Ministry is trying to find loopholes in the amendment of PAMA and the Public Service Act (PSA) that would enable the Ministry to carry out its functions and ensure professionalisation and ethical conduct within the public service. Hence, the Ministry is committed to making progress on PAMA and PSA and would be conducting unannounced and announced visits to institutions to access the state of service delivery and to accelerate the completion of the Ministry’s revised delivery framework. The Ministry would be carrying out these visits to access the impact of legislation and would report this progress to the Committee.

As the Minister has indicated, the Ministry wants to see a CPSI that embraces its function and impacts the public service positively. Innovation is something that cannot be relegated and has to continue as it happens in other countries. As mentioned, a meeting is scheduled with the directorate that is responsible for organisational development in DPSA, on 05 May 2021, to look at the organisational structure that was presented for CPSI. The approval of the organisational structure of CPSI is a process that would still need to be presented to NT before the recruitment for the posts that would be created in the new CPSI structure.

There are indicators of some progress that is happening within the DPSA. For instance, when the present administration resumed from recess, several requests for deviations that were outside prescripts were submitted. As a norm, the administration rejected most of them, and only a few were approved; these were those that were mandated by the courts. This has led to a decrease in requests for deviations and the departments are now beginning to realise that the prescripts and requests for deviations that do not have a sustainable reason within the law would not be granted. The DPSA would be strengthening the fight against corruption, as the Minister has mentioned, as this is part of the priorities of the Minister itemised at the beginning of this administration. Hence, the priority of bringing stability to the public service is important, and the DPSA is leading the drive to bring together an ethical and capacitated State. The DPSA would like to provide a public service not only capacitated with numbers but a public service that is capacitated in skills, knowledge and merit.

She appreciated the Committee for allowing the Ministry, as well as the DPSA and its entities, the opportunity to account for service delivery. She solicited the support of the PC on the approval of its budget and its legislative amendments.

The Chairperson thanked the Minister, the Deputy Minister, the DG, as well as the officials of DPSA and CPSI for honouring the invitation of the Committee. She reminded Members that the PC had to follow-up on joint meetings with the South African Police Services (SAPS) and PSC on corruption cases, as this was delayed after the Committee arose. The Committee should also consider meetings on Section 100 and 139 experiences to enquire if they are giving the required results based on the new DDM. These would address the query on it the DDM is adding value and these two meetings would ensure that the PC had clarity on these issues.

The session was adjourned

[Second session]

The Chairperson opened the second session of the virtual meeting, welcoming everyone present. She said that there was an apology from the Minister and Inkosi R Cebekhulu (IFP). She asked Members if there was any other apology.

Dr M Gondwe (DA) informed the Portfolio Committee (PC) that Dr L Schreiber (DA) sent his apologies as well.

The Chairperson said that the agenda for the meeting was to receive briefings on the 2020-25 Strategic Plans and 2021/22 Annual Performance Plans (APPs) of BrandSA, Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) and the Department of Performance Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME). Members would interrogate the APPs to ensure that the Department and entities would be held accountable.

She formally welcomed StatsSA, DPME and BrandSA, and asked them to focus on the business plan, predetermined objectives, and if the DPME and its entities had any challenges. She welcomed Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Ms Thembi Siweya, the Chairperson of BrandSA, the Statistician-General, and the rest of their delegations. She suggested that the presentation should focus on the business plan. The PC is more focused on the business plan to see if the predetermined plans of the DPME and its entities were measurable, are financed, and if there are any challenges to implement the pre-determined plans. She remarked that the DPME and its entities could inform the PC of any other matter it wanted the PC to note.

Opening remarks by Deputy Minister

Ms Siweya appreciated the Committee for allowing her and her team to present the strategic plans and APPs of the DPME and its entities. She also appreciated her team for availing themselves the opportunity to engage with the Committee. She said that the DPME, StatsSA and the board chairperson of BrandSA, Ms Thandi Tobias, had been informed of the Committee’s areas of focus, and the presentation would follow the areas of focus and inform the PC on how they have navigated the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. She invited the Statistician-General, Mr Risenga Maluleke, to present the StatsSA briefing.

StatsSA 2021/22 APP

Mr Maluleke said the briefing would focus on the strategic direction, work programme, budget cuts and implications, and strategic risks and priorities. StatsSA measures the economy through economic performance; price stability; the financial performance of government and the private sector; primary, secondary and tertiary sector; environment, agriculture, tourism and transport. Due to the budget allocations, eight releases were put on hold under the financial performance of the government and the private sector; two reports were put on hold under tourism and transport, and 16 releases were affected under the secondary and tertiary sectors.

The agriculture annual release was deferred in the 2020/21 financial year but the release would be back on schedule in June 2021. In the transport statistics category, nine new reports have been introduced at provincial level, the annual release continues for domestic tourism, and the bi-annual Department of Transport statistics have released has been discontinued because budgetary allocations were reduced. There are 51 statistical reports on education and skills, unemployment and job creation, health and vital events, poverty, inequality and population dynamics, housing and access to basic service delivery, and governance, crime, and public safety. The was no change on the health and vital statistics report but the mortality and causes of death (MACoD) report have a two-year backlog (2019 and 2020) because the Department of Home Affairs is not submitting records to StatsSA. The Income and Expenditure Survey (IES), which gives information on national poverty lines and subjective poverty, has not been done since 2015. There was no change in the governance, public safety, and justice survey (GPSJS); staff have been working on a rotational schedule because of lack of funds.

The Census pilot was initially postponed because of COVID-19; it has now been planned for June 2021. StatsSA had to go and research technology that would not be challenged. The main Census has been planned for February 2022. The pilot of the personal enumeration survey (PES) is planned for August 2021 and the main PES is planned for March 2022. The PES looks at how many citizens were missed during the Census and how many citizens were counted twice.

Mr Maluleke outlined the focus areas in statistical and corporate support of StatsSA and mentioned that self-assessment quality assessment facility assesses the quality of any data coming from any other source. Also, there is a digital transformation strategy that seeks to modernise the value chain to achieve business process and quality management.

The Estimates of National Expenditure (ENE) increased from R3.1 billion in 2021/22 to R4.4 billion in 2022/23 financial year because of the Census but after fieldwork on the Census is completed, the ENE reduces to R2.5 billion in the 2023/24 financial year.

Compensation of Employees (COE) over the MTEF was R782 million, while goods and services were appropriated R215 million over the MTEF. Budget cuts in 2021/22 resulted in the loss of R85m, which was supposed to be used for outreach programmes in the rural interior areas.

The strategic risks that StatsSA face include growing demand for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Poverty information is at high risk because the Income and Expenditure and Continuous Population Surveys are not funded. Further budget cuts result in losing staff that has been trained because they move to other nations and this leads to a high vacancy rate. The analysis of data requires a high investment in technology, which adds value to the work of StatsSA, however the budget cuts do not allow StatsSA to make this technology investment.

The five-year strategic priorities of StatsSA include the need to sustain and protect the quality of national indicators, drive legislative reform, and driving business transformation and change. StatsSA stressed its commitment to stretch its staff to ensure that it produces its reports and ensure that its data is protected and acclaimed internationally.

Discussion

The Chairperson invited Members to interrogate the briefing.

Ms M Kibi (ANC) welcomed the presentation of StatsSA and its commitment to protecting data despite the budget cuts of the entity. She asked StatsSA to state the strategies it had put in place to ensure the quality of data was not affected despite budget reductions.

Ms C Motsepe (EFF) asked StatsSA to clarify if the budget granted for compensation of employees would cater for its employees, confirm if the entity was ready for the census with the budget it had received, and confirm why the entity does not have statistics on the country’s poverty count. She asked StatsSA to confirm if it was still experiencing delays on its releases due to COVID-19 and clarify if NT was taking its requests for funds to undertake Census seriously.

Ms Kibi asked StatsSA to confirm if there was any turnaround strategy in place to ensure that the Census takes place based on the concerns of the third wave of COVID-19, clarify if the re-enforced budget was now finalised, and confirm the state of IT facilities and online connectivity in remote areas.

Dr M Gondwe (DA) asked StatsSA to clarify if it had been able to secure funding for its discontinued surveys, give an update on alternative funding options, and clarify when the amended Statistics Act would be tabled.

Mr S Malatsi (DA) asked StatsSA to clarify the forecast on periodic statistics due to the budget cuts that have affected the COE and reduced the number and quality of staff, state its views on outsourcing some of its surveys, and give updates on its plans to explore the alternative source of funding.

Ms R Komane (EFF) asked StatsSA to clarify if the additional funds granted by NT were sufficient in filling its critical vacant posts; budget to train field workers; clarify if the pilot survey would be manual or virtual.

The Chairperson remarked that the PC had concerns on how StatsSA would conduct the Census but the PC had already started to engage with NT. She invited the Deputy Minister for comments.

Responses

Deputy Minister Siwiya said she represented the Ministry on engagements with NT and NT had given StatsSA additional funds in the 2020/21 financial year. The Ministry would continually engage with NT to get more funds in the 2021/22 financial year. The PC should not exercise fear that StatsSA would not be able to carry out its work, as StatsSA conducts surveys that are accredited globally. The National Planning Commission uses the data StatsSA produces. StatsSA was ready for the Census, as the entity is creative but should not be stretched. Also, Cabinet is engaging with NT on behalf of the entity. The PC should note that the entity is currently rending free services on voter registration to other African countries and might need to start charging a fee to raise funds.

Mr Maluleke said responses to the questions would be given by members of his team.

Ms Yandiswa Mpetsheni, Acting Director-General, StatsSA, said that the entity would be able to table the amended Statistics Act in the current financial year but would apply for extensions on the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act, which has been delayed due to feedback.

Mr Bruce Jooste, Deputy Director-General (DDG): Corporate Services, StatsSA, said rollover applications had a deadline of 30 April 2021. The delays concerning Census laptop procurement are due to international production schedules. StatsSA continues to engage with NT on budget cuts to achieve recruitment targets. NT has invited StatsSA to review the MTEF process and NT has agreed to engage on shortfalls on COE and would be considered during authority to incur expenditure processes. Act on funding would be fast-tracked in collaboration with NT. StatsSA received R15 million in 2019/20; baseline allocation for 2020/21 is R45 million but more cuts would affect compensation on employees. There would be an under-expenditure of about R12 million because COVID-19 delayed recruitment, as StatsSA started this process late. Presently, 28 females and 22 males have been recruited. StatsSA has not recruited for five years but there have been internal promotions.

The newly recruited CFO is female. During the pandemic, StatsSA was able to train 688 field workers and the entity is prioritising women, youths, and people living with a disability in its IT recruitments. The entity advertises internally in collaboration with organised labour to absorb employees that have been affected by downsizing. Adverts are made when the skills are not available internally.

Ms Celia De Klerk, Executive Manager: Strategy, StatsSA, said over the medium term, non-financial surveys were reduced to every two years instead of in every year. StatsSA is continually reprioritising its surveys because of resources. Surveys have been impacted negatively by COVID-19 but delays have been reduced by quarter two and releases have been updated. StatsSA has scaled down on face-to-face methods for household surveys and has moved to telephonic surveys, which delayed the releases by one month.

Mr Ashwell Jenneker, DDG: Communication, Marketing, and Publishing, StatsSA, said that the entity was able to conduct its household surveys using computer-assisted telephonic units, and the same method would be used for Census surveys.

Mr Maluleke said StatsSA readiness for COVID-19 was difficult to estimate but was adjusting its plans to rise above the possibility of a COVID-19 third wave. StatsSA is wary of funding from international agencies, as certain surveys might not allow StatsSA to maintain its independence. Some surveys such as poverty surveys have stopped and would be discontinued until funding is made available. StatsSA has not engaged in outsourcing field workers but if this was to happen it would mean that StatsSA would be outsourcing the work its staff was supposed to do StatsSA has not carried out quarterly surveys because the funds are not available. StatsSA would be able to perform its role during the election.

The Chairperson appreciated StatsSA for its reponses and invited the board chairperson of BrandSA, Ms Thandi Tobias, and her team to make its presentation.

BrandSA APP 2021/22

Ms Tobias said that her team would be presenting the 2020-25 Strategic Plan as tabled by the Executive Authority to the Speaker of Parliament. She emphasised that the presentation was being delivered at a critical time where the repositioning of BrandSA remained critical. The strategic focus of BrandSA plays a pivotal role in the economic recovery of South Africa by sponsoring policy proposals into the system that the stakeholders have put in place. BrandSA aims to ensure that the South African economy grows within the measurable outcomes that would be presented to the PC. BrandSA has set measurable outcomes and clear targets that are entailed in the operational plans of BrandSA to ensure maximum output. Hence BrandSA is certain that the PC would approve its outcomes and targets.

The research work of BrandSA is credible and provides solutions to its socio-economic challenges, and its budget priorities are in line with its corporate plan. BrandSA has produced a discussion paper on nation alignment policy. The discussion paper looks at stakeholder engagements on the nation’s brand and promotes close cooperation with all stakeholders. BrandSA must be allowed to make contributions to the economic growth as stipulated in the aims and objectives of the International Marketing Council that was established in 2001 since the entity is celebrating the 20th year of its existence. The role that South Africa needs to achieve should not diminish in any way. Therefore, the review of the APP would adjust all that South African needs to become an investment destination. This would lead to an increased international presence, give a chance for the internationalisation process to be realised, and ensure that the integration process itself goes on smoothly. Entrenched in the policy document, the BrandSA would appreciate direction from the Committee and hopes to engage in robust engagements if the Committee’s permitted. She sought permission from the PC to invite the Acting Chief Marketing Officer, Ms Sithembile Ntombela, and Mr Kgomotso Seripe, Acting CFO, to brief the Committee.

Ms Ntombela said that BrandSA is the official brand marketing agency charged with the responsibility of managing the nation’s brand both locally and internationally. She highlighted the roles that BrandSA plays in marketing the nation’s brand, how it responds to issues of gender-based violence, how it responds to reputational issues, how it is vital to market the nation’s brand to enhance tourism especially in the era of COVID-19, and how it identifies stakeholders and vision partners. She identified the role of research, factors influencing the strategy, and the strategic focus as the drivers of BrandSA’s strategic and annual performance plans. She outlined the outcome and indicators of the two impacts in BrandSA’s APPs, mentioned that its APP targets could be measured, and listed the targets on each programme – see attached document for details

Mr Kgomotso Seripe, CFO: Brand SA, listed the amounts appropriated for each of BrandSA’s programmes and mentioned that the budget allocated for the 2021/22 financial year was R213 million - – see attached document for details

Discussion

The Chairperson invited Members to interrogate the presentation.

Ms B Maluleke (ANC) asked BrandSA to explain how it would reposition itself to be more appealing to foreign investors, as the country was experiencing a high level of unemployment presently. Planning and coordination are important in fulfilling the outcomes of BrandSA. Concerning the indicators, how would BrandSA go about enhancing the understanding of the National brand? What activities would Bran SA partake in? What are the specific thumbprints of BrandSA and its measurable outcomes?

Ms Kibi asked BrandSA to specifically clarify where the marketing campaigns would be held and advised BrandSA to make its outcomes more descriptive.

Dr L Schreiber (DA) asked for clarity on a press release that BrandSA was on the brink of collapse as alluded to by Dr Petrus De Kock, a former general manager of BrandSA, in the City Press tabloids of 18 April 2021. Please clarify if BrandSA deserves any budget allocation.

Dr Gondwe asked BrandSA to confirm if the Minister had approved the APP presented to the Committee, give an update on the merger of BrandSA with SA Tourism, and state the impact of leadership vacuum at BrandSA.

Mr Malatsi expressed concerns that BrandSA an entity designated with the role of managing the country’s reputation had management challenges and noted that the presentation did not address the instability in the senior management of BrandSA. He asked BrandSA to clarify if the Minister had approved its APP and also give an update on the progress made on the moratorium.  

Ms Komane said that the Committee was sceptical about the reality of the 2021/22 APP because the Committee was not sure if the Minister had signed it and asked for the implications of presenting an APP that was not signed by the Minister. She asked BrandSA to confirm if it had challenges, clarify why the tabling of its APP was delayed, confirm if the delay was due to the Minister not signing the APP, and clarify if BrandSA was supposed to be merged with SA Tourism.

Ms Motsepe asked BrandSA to confirm if there was a moratorium in place due to the talks of a merger with SA Tourism, state if the allegation that BrandSA was suspending its marketing was true, give an update on the merger, and clarify if the process of merging with SA Tourism would not result in the retrenchment of certain employees.

The Chairperson remarked that the Committee did not normally request for signatures on APPs but asked the Deputy Minister to confirm if BrandSA had missed timelines in the submission of the APPs to Parliament. She recalled that parliamentary processes involved the Speaker concerning the timelines writes to the various Ministers to request for the submission of APPs with a clear deadline. Please confirm if BrandSA is unique in that this process was not followed in submitting the APPs to Parliament, and clarify what happened. She said she was dealing with the issues of principle and asked the Deputy Minister to give a response, respond to the possibility of a merger and its implication, as some of the responses would be reflected in the PC’s recommendations in its budget vote report. The Chairperson asked the DM to respond to the questions that fall on the Executive Authority before answering any other questions and if there are any follow-ups Members would further engage with BrandSA.

Responses

Deputy Minister Siwiya reported that the merger of BrandSA with SA Tourism would occur but it had been delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the plans of a merger, BrandSA continues to operate as an entity. Presently, there is a moratorium to stop BrandSA from appointing staff in critical positions. The Minister has signed the tabling letter and would account for the operations of BrandSA. There have been engagements with staff and the merger would minimise the impact of job losses. BrandSA does not have any moratorium on its functions, and the accounting authority continually engages with the board of the entity to ensure that there is a lasting solution to its challenges. The Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) would work with the entity on all communications and there is no illegality on the defence of the APP.

The Chairperson invited the board chairperson to speak on questions posed by Members.

Ms Tobias said the APP had been vetted and the Deputy Minister has clarified that the APP had been tabled. The new Minister received the APP of BrandSA after the demise of the old Minister and the Minister that took over needed to engage with stakeholders before engaging with the APP, which led to delays. She asked the Committee to permit BrandSA to come back to present the issues that the entity was facing. She mentioned that BrandSA’s outputs and targets were clear and no employee had been retrenched and if any retrenchments would occur the matter would be addressed after engaging with Cabinet. The former official that issued the press statement that BrandSA was on the brink of collapse was not forthcoming when BrandSA wanted to engage.

In response to Dr Schreiber’s questions, she confirmed that BrandSA deserves the budget allocation. BrandSA accepts that it is been restructured, hence the revision of its budget. As soon as the restructuring is completed BrandSA would fill its critical positions. She said that Ms Ntombela would speak on the repositioning of BrandSA and Mr Seripe would speak to the allocated budget.

Ms Ntombela said marketing campaigns were packaged on television and are taken to different markets. BrandSA undertakes investor perception studies where it analyses which counties were less familiar with the South African brand and then aggressively promotes the reputation of South Africa. BrandSA is now re-profiling South Africa to promote the fact that the country is peaceful, by encouraging investors to speak on why and how they are investing.

BrandSA would give written submissions on the allocated budget.

The Chairperson remarked that when the Committee met with the Minister, more clarity would be received on the merger with SA Tourism. She appreciated BrandSA and invited the Director-General (DG) of DPME, Mr Robert Nkuna, to make the presentation. She instructed the DG to avoid compliance issues in his presentation.

DPME 2021/22 APP

Mr Nkuna said that DPME monitored entities on outcomes, and its operations were also outcome-based. He outlined the MTSF priorities of the DPME and stated how DPME carried out its priorities. He highlighted the output, outcome, and annual targets of each programme in the APP of the 2021/22 financial year. He mentioned that DPME did not foresee any restructuring in the coming financial year and the budget allocation increased from R399 million in 2021/22 to R453 million in 2023/24 – see attached document for further details

Discussion

The Chairperson appreciated the DPME for its presentation, welcomed the Secretary of the National Planning Commission, Mr Tshediso Matona, and invited Members to interrogate the brief.

Ms Ntuli welcomed the presentation and asked for clarity on mechanisms that the DPME used to measure the level of Department’s commitments to government priorities; update on DPME’s preparation to monitor state-owned entities (SOEs) in line with the presidential address; clarify mechanisms to monitor and evaluate departments despite the pandemic, and clarify if DPME had any challenges on its IT-based operations.

Ms Kibi asked DPME to provide a brief on the Committee on the integrated monitor programme (IMP), update the PC on the progress made on IMP, and specify which quarter the targets would be achieved, particularly the Operation Phakisa report would be finalised.

Dr Gondwe asked DPME to give an update on the integrated Planning Development Framework (IPDF) Bill, as the Committee got an indication that the IPDF was delayed because of the District Development Model (DDM). Also, indicate if the lessons learned on the DDM would be implemented by the DPME. The DPME has indicated that they would be monitoring the implication of the R500 billion COVID-19 government relief package and asked DPME to clarify what exactly would be monitored. The Auditor-General’s office has indicated that it would be monitoring the R500 billion COVID-19 government relief package, so please clarify what the DPME would be specifically monitoring that is different from what the office of the Auditor-General (AG) would be doing.

Ms Motsepe observed that over the past years, government had produced several reports on the Local Government Improvement Model (LGIM), hence clarify if the LGIM is well-known in local government; update the Committee on the impact and value-added to municipalities through the LGIM; and confirm if the LIGIM has identified areas of improvement in the municipalities. She also asked if the DPME had internal capacity in the person of appropriate professionals to drive the country’s National Spatial Developmental Framework and guide the process.

The Chairperson remarked that the Committee would invite DPME to give experiences on Section 100 and 139 interventions, clarify if Section 100 and 139 added value to the country, and state if Section 100 and 139 were just as a matter of compliance. She invited DPME to answer the questions.

Responses

Mr Nkuna acknowledged the fact that the majority of the country’s budget was appropriated to SOEs but reported that DPME had not monitored SOEs. DPME would come back to the PC concerning, which SOEs would be monitored for this purpose. DPME monitors departments with unannounced visits that were supported by the Deputy Minister Siweya. DPME generates many reports but only shares this report with the department being monitored. The Deputy Minister has said the reports should not only be shared with the department that was monitored but the DPME can share these reports if the PC desires. The experiences gained in such visits are been integrated into some of the biannual reports of the DPME. The DPME has upgraded its IT facilities to embrace the new normal of conducting business operations.

Presently, the DPME is moving some of its staff to the GCIS offices to take advantage of the IT equipment. DPME would make some savings on accommodation with the assistance of the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure and use this savings to invest in IT facilities. The DPME is dealing with the issues on the IPDF Bill, as it finalises the Bill. The DPME is engaging in further consultation on the IPDF Bill and the DPME is developing the capacity to drive the National Spatial Developmental Framework (NSDF). The NSDF Bill involves more than land and Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act issues, as it would require planning nationwide so at some time DPME would be collaborating with other departments. It is quite fundamental that as the DPME deals with the NDDF Bill that all issues are dealt with once and for all. DPME understands that monitoring of the COVID-19 government relief package is all-encompassing, as monitoring does not stop with enumerating the citizens that received the grant but it goes further to measure the impact of the grant.

Focus groups have been formed to deal with the experiences of receiving the grant. Hence further monitoring of the grant is to find out the impact of the grant and to know if the impact is long medium or short term. The impact cannot be measured on day one for such interventions but a leap time is needed before the impact is measured that is why DPME has emphasised that the measurement is ongoing. DPME does not assist with the legal issues on LGIM but assists with providing an independent view on how best it can improve governance and service delivery on the LGIM. DPME shares the reports on the local government planning development model with the provinces and municipalities concerned when they are finalised. Implementation could happen in some areas but not in some other areas because there are some other stakeholders in such positions. DPME can share consolidated reports on municipalities it has assisted with the PC in a written report. DPME would come back to the PC with reports on Operation Phakisa as one of its key focus areas. DPME would share progress on Section 100 interventions with the PC in its next engagements but presently DPME does not have progress on Section 139 interventions. DPME works with the National Planning Commission, even though both are separate entities.

The Chairperson invited the Secretary of the National Planning Commission (NPC) to brief the PC.

The Secretary of the NPC, Mr Tshediso Matona, said that the NPC ensures that government focuses on planning for the development of the nation. Key issues that arise from this are that the nation is nine years way from 2030, so the Nation is at a mid-point of the trajectory of timelines of NDP 2030 goals. An analysis of the NDP 2030 goals shows that achievements have been made in providing access to education, health, and electricity supply but the nation has not achieved its goals of providing sustainable livelihoods for the economy, and COVID-19 negatively impacted the country. COVID-19 has shown the nation that it must consider vulnerable citizens and ensure social protection of citizens as the nation implements better economic growth, provide sustainable livelihoods, and digital access. There are issues on making adjustments to better improve the implementation of the NDP 2030 goals but as the country approaches 2030, it should focus on engagements on succession plans. He said that the integrated Planning Development Framework Bill and other initiatives, such as the District Development Model, were all about how the nation adjusts its implementation of the NDP 2030 goals. However, the nation needs to think about the next phase of the NDP post-2030.

The Chairperson appreciated the participation of the Minister, Deputy Ministers, the DGs, and the officials of the Departments and entities

The meeting was adjourned.

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