The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities briefed the Committee on its first-quarter and fourth-quarter performance reports for 2021/22 and 2020/21, respectively. The Department delegation was led by the Deputy Minister.
The Deputy Minister led the opening remarks with discussion on how the unrest in KZN and Gauteng impacted women severely. She highlighted the fact that women make up 75% of the informal economy, and make up the majority of the small business and retail sector, and the unrest has negatively affected women, and has resulted in the closing of thousands of businesses. She called on the government to see how they can pledge support for women, and to push for the realisation of the Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) target for 40% of procurement to go to women-owned or women-led businesses. She further gave an overview of the overall financial performance of the Department as well as the plans in place to address the pertinent issues that the Department is currently facing.
For the fourth quarter performance reports 2020/2021, the Department reported that, out of 28 targets planned, 22 (79%) targets were achieved while six (21%) were not achieved. The final appropriation was R620.9 million, with actual expenditure of R602.4 million. Majority of the programmes had underspending related to COVID-19 restrictions and structural challenges.
For the first quarter performance reports 2021/22, the Department highlighted that, out of the 33 targets planned, 31 (94%) targets were achieved, while two (6%) were not achieved. The original budget for the Department was R763.5 million with actual expenditure of R236.1 million. The amount spent translated to 30.9%.
The Committee then followed up with questions on various matters, including the programme implementation, competency assessments on staff, and underspending on certain frameworks. There was an outstanding issue about the appointment of a Deputy Director-General, where the Chairperson requested a formal report about the matter and a follow-up meeting on 19 August 2021.
Members were also not satisfied with the justification for consultancy compensation. They did not think that this is enough of an explanation. They questioned why service providers are needed when this is the mandate and within the job requirement, and there is compensation of employees. For example, there is an allocation for a report writer; what reports need to be written, when there is existing staff within the Department that can fulfil that job? Members also questioned the efficacy of implementing the other programmes to do with youth and disabilities, despite money being appropriated for funding of these programmes.
The Chairperson opened the virtual meeting, welcoming the Members, support staff, the Deputy Minister and the delegation from the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, to the meeting. She handed over to the Deputy Minister for her opening remarks.
Deputy Minister’s Remarks
The Deputy Minister, Prof. Hlengiwe Mkhize, led the opening remarks with discussion on how the unrest in KZN and Gauteng impacted women severely. She said that women make up 75% of the informal economy, and make up the majority of the small business and retail sector. This has negatively affected women, and has resulted in the closing of thousands of businesses. She called on the government to see how they can pledge support for women, and to push for the realisation of the Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) target for 40% of procurement to go to women-owned or women-led businesses. This commitment was made by the President last year. The Department had come up with different strategies to implement this, one including formal conversations with the Department of Monitoring and Evaluation, Department of Trade Industry and Competition and also with the Treasury. The Minister of Finance indicated interest in engaging with the Department, but was already on their way out of office. The newly instated Minister of Finance should understand the procurement on a large-scale when looking at women, youth and persons with disabilities.
The COVID-19 vaccination programme is another issue talked about, and she mentioned working with the private sector to ensure all channels are being used. However, there are concerns with men being hesitant to vaccinate, and this should be addressed provincially and within communities.
During Women’s month, Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is a key issue that is raised in the media. The Deputy Minister welcomed the President’s release of the Year One Rollout Report of the National Strategic Plan (NSP) on GBV and Femicide. The Deputy Minister questioned whether it is only through partnerships that GBV can be eradicated. Civil society and the private sector are on board through the multi-sectoral collaborative platform facilitated by the Department. This platform was established in June 2020, and is based on the work done with the Interim Steering Committee on GBV. The Department Ministerial, DG clusters, and Cabinet provided programmatic oversight using different mechanisms to assist Departments in embedding the NSP on GBV into government machinery. This includes:
-Development of Monitoring and Evaluation plans
-Incorporation of targets into Annual Performance Plans
-Integrated Development plans and budgets
-Technical support for provincial and local coordination structures
-Establishment of Rapid Response Teams at District and local level
Another key challenge is ensuring the government's commitment to enacting the NSP on GBV. The National Council on GBVF is yet to be formed, and is a parliamentary issue to impending legislative consultation. In the first quarter of 2021/22, there have been nine rapid response teams established that are able to respond to GBV cases on the ground. Additionally, disability rights frameworks have been consulted on various forums. The South African New Development Bill has been developed and consulted on.
Before the presentation, the Deputy Minister (DM) wished to address a few points. Firstly, she welcomed the appointment of the Director of ICT. This appointment will address risks identified at the beginning of 2021. One risk is related to the website being up and running, and being in compliance with Treasury regulations.
On the matter of fraud prevention, the DM said that the Department has a Fraud Prevention Plan in place. Actions not implemented are being addressed with relevant units. In the fourth quarter of 2020/21, 26 of the 27 risk mitigation actions were implemented. In the first quarter of 2021/22, 93 risk mitigation actions have been planned, with 84% being implemented already. There is also the decision to reduce the headcount within the Department, as it is already small. This has resulted in a reduction of almost R10 million in the budget for compensation of employees. During quarter four of 2020/21 and quarter one of 2021/22, there has been no financial misconduct on the part of employees.
The Department did not incur wasteful expenditure during the quarter under review. In achieving their mandate and wider objectives of inclusive development, the Department has a key role to play in regulating policies and monitoring performance of departments tasked with implementing the MTSF. The Department continues to meet its obligations in terms of fostering partnerships, conducting awareness, interventions, and monitoring and implementing programmes that benefit women, youth and persons with disabilities. In the year of Charlotte Maxeke, it is important to remember the Department’s goal to empower vulnerable groups. The rollout of the all-level programme in all 11 official languages, which seeks to empower women and give them information on starting a business, state registration, and navigating legal requirements. Through provincial partnerships, there have been identified agencies that have been giving to local communities for a long period of time. This included setting up entities for businesses.
The Deputy Minister invited the Department’s Director-General, Adv. Mikateko Joyce Maluleke, to proceed with the presentations.
The Director-General firstly sent her condolences to the family of the late Member of the Committee, Ms J Maluleke (ANC). She went on to highlight that a strategic focus of the Department is on regulating socio-economic empowerment of women, youth and persons with disabilities. This mandate is implemented through: legislation; policy development; advocacy; coordination and mainstreaming of institutional support; capacity building; monitoring and evaluation of programme implementations; promotion of equality and empowerment for women, youth and persons with disabilities, in line with outcomes in the MTSF priorities.
DWYPD Fourth Quarter Performance Report 2020/2021
The Department presented its 2020/21 fourth quarter performance report.
The Director-General took the Committee through the details of part A: the Department’s strategic focus and general information. The financial year performance saw the Department improve by 94% for the first quarter of 2021/22. She said that the aim is to reach 100% in terms of financial performance for the next quarter. She then took the Committee through a detailed explanation of the programme implements and targets achieved during the 4th Quarter of 2020/21. In relation to the set targets outlined, out of 28 targets planned, 22 (79%) targets were achieved while six (21%) were not achieved. The presentation document shows the breakdown of the targets across the different programmes.
She then handed over to Ms Val Mathobela, Chief Director: Strategic Management, Department, to go into more detail with the programmes in quarter four and quarter one.
Ms Mathobela went through the five programmes implemented by the Department, and looked at the output and indicators laid out under each subsequent sub-programme. She then handed over to Mr Mbhazima Shiviti, Chief Director: Corporate Management, Department, to present Part D on the Human Resource Oversight Report.
Mr Shiviti indicated that this section was an accrual report of quarter one, two, three and four. He took the Committee through the data, and also through the section of disciplinary matters. He then handed back to Ms Mathobela to continue with the presentation.
Ms Mathobela went through Part E on the financial performance of each programme. She also went through the overall finance performance of the Department, which saw the final appropriation being R620.9 million, with actual expenditure of R602.4 million. Majority of the programmes had underspending related to COVID-19 restrictions and structural challenges.
Under the section of Unauthorised, Irregular and Fruitless and Wasteful Expenditure, as of 31 March 2021, Mr Shiviti asked for when the incurred irregular expenditure amounting to R1 079 681.20 would be accounted for, as the 31 July 2021 deadline for the investigation outcome had passed.
Ms Mathobela requested from the Chairperson that an update be given to the Committee, and indicated that irregular expenditure updates will be in the Quarter one report.
The Chairperson requested that issues raised by the Committee on Quarter four findings require progress reports on outstanding matters in Quarter one report.
Ms Mathobela acknowledged this, and finished the presentation.
See presentation document for more presentation details
The Chairperson requested an update on a letter received from a particular DDG, who got suspended and thereafter appealed. The Chairperson noted that the DDG then came back to the Department and faced issues within the workplace.
Adv. Maluleke responded to the Chairperson and acknowledged that the DDG mentioned was expelled at some point. However, they are only aware of the matter since their own appointment in August 2020. She stated that this particular DDG “is earning money while doing nothing”. So, she called her to a staff meeting, but the DDG said that she was not invited and would not attend. In 2014, when President Zuma said that the Department of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities would be changed and transferred to the DSG, there needed to be a due process. The agreement made two DDG’s from the Department, and a certain number of people from the unit of persons of disabilities and HR, would be transferred to the Department of Social Development. The post of the DDG would downgrade some of the posts within the DWYPD. At the time, corporate management was at a DDG level, when it was still Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities. So, when it remained as the Department of Women only, the corporate services were at a “cheap director level”. The person in question was a DDG of Corporate Services at the time these bureaucratic changes were taking place. The negotiation process with the Department of Social Development meant that this person was representing the DWYPD with the teams that were established. The two posts transferred to the Department of Social Development were: DDG of Corporate Services, and the DDG of Children and Disability. When people were transferred to Social Development, this particular DDG of Corporate Services did not transfer. Her salary and her post were transferred to the Department of Social Development, but it was only after everything was finalised that the Minister realised that this DDG remained within the DWYPD. The then Minister of Social Development, Ms Susan Shabangu (ANC), stated that due to the post and salary being in their Department; the process of appointment was already underway for the position to be filled.
The Chairperson said that this person was aware that the post had been moved to the Department of Social Development (DSD).
Adv. Maluleke said that, when there was the process of transferring positions, this person in question was the representative of the Department committee in charge of salaries and positions shifting. This person was aware that her post was transferred but thought the Department would create another DDG position for her. Adv. Maluleke claimed that this person wants the Department to create another DDG position for her to fill.
The Chairperson asked if this person attended Portfolio Committee meetings.
Adv. Maluleke replied that the person does not come to Portfolio Committee meetings and does not do any work. She was invited to Portfolio Committee meetings and attended the first couple of sessions, but thereafter never attended again. At a particular meeting, Adv. Maluleke told this person that she would consult with the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), as this person was being paid at a DG level without putting in the required work to fill the position. Adv. Maluleke then consulted with a DDG at DPSA and was asked for advice about removing this position from DWYPD. There was consensus with DPSA and the Minister that this position cannot exist or be created if the person in question is sitting and doing nothing. In the contract, the employer can be removed and placed somewhere else, depending on the circumstances, despite the person in question insisting on being the DDG for Corporate Services. The Minister appealed to the person in question, and offered a DDG position for disability, as it is unfunded. The person in question then wrote back to the Minister, and said that she did not want this position.
The Chairperson responded that there needed to be a formal report with all this information, along with the legal advice on the matter. There will be a special Portfolio Committee meeting to deal with this matter, with outstanding correspondence from other parties, in relation to the Speaker's office, being brought up.
Adv. Maluleke said that the advice from the parliamentary office is not going to provide assistance, as it is one side of the story. This person in question presents her side of the story to Parliament, which according to Adv. Maluleke, is factually incorrect. She said that the Department needed to get their story together. It is unacceptable that a person is in a position earning R1.5 million per year, over a three-year period without doing any work required.
The Chairperson reiterated that all outstanding matters relating to this particular DDG will be followed up in a formal report.
Adv. Maluleke said that this issue related to the DPSA directly, and that the person in question refused to sign the performance contract. This person used the media, and wrote to the Auditor-General to make her case, but Adv. Maluleke said that the DPSA is the correct channel for procedure to address this matter.
The Chairperson said that a meeting within the Portfolio Committee will take place on 19 August to discuss the matter, and acknowledged the ongoing procedure on the matter at DPSA. This meeting will include the DDG in question, for them to make their case, along with copies of correspondence between different stakeholders on the matter.
DWYPD First Quarter Performance Reports 2021/22
Ms Mathobela took the Committee through this report, focusing on the achievements per programme, and the programmes that did not achieve their targets. The Department planned 33 targets for quarter one, outlined in the 2021/22 Annual Performance Plan. Out of the 33 targets planned, 31 (94%) targets were achieved, while two (6%) were not achieved. For programme one, the sub-programme of financial management’s target was not achieved. For programme two, the sub-programme of economic empowerment and participations target was not achieved. Programmes three to five achieved all their targets.
Mr Shiviti took the Committee through the Human Resource Oversight Component Report. In relation to the status of vacant posts, he said that he had received a request on 16 August 2021 about the Parliamentary and Cabinet Coordination position and will be processed, and that the Admin Officer of PSALM was to be appointed by the DDG of the Budget.
As at 30 June 2021, no financial misconduct was reported or investigated in 2021/22; no employees were on special leave; no employees were on precautionary suspension, and there was only one hearing in progress.
The Original Budget for the department is R763.5 million with actual expenditure of R236.1 million. The amount spent translated to 30.9%. The Department did not incur unauthorised expenditure during the quarter under review. The Department incurred irregular expenditure amounting to R187 220 relating to a payment made for the provision of branding material for the Department that was identified as irregular expenditure after checking the supporting documents. The transaction is in relation to the 2020/21 financial year. The transaction was referred to Internal Audit for determination/investigation. The Department did not incur fruitless and wasteful expenditure during the quarter under review. The Department reported deviations amounting to R 74 555.75 as at 30 June 2021.
See presentation document for more presentation details
The Chairperson asked for clarity on the media reports on the Chief Director for Disability, in his Department. The Committee does not have access to that report.
Mr Shiviti said that they do not have access to the report, and it is most likely prepared through the DG’s office. This will be brought up at the meeting on 19 August 2021.
Ms Mathobela resumed the presentation from Part E, on the overall financial performance.
The Chairperson asked why there is an external appointment for the Monitoring and Evaluation section of the Department. She questioned Ms Mathobela and asked if she is not the one in charge of ensuring that this is done. In previous meetings, it was said that Ms Mathobela’s department would receive assistance from Monitoring and Evaluation to draft the tools. The Chairperson questioned why service providers are needed when this is the mandate and within the job requirement, and there is compensation of employees. The Chairperson also questioned the ability of being able to monitor gender mainstreaming in other departments, and the other directives that have yet to be achieved. She questioned the efficacy of implementing the other programmes to do with youth and disabilities, despite money being appropriated for funding of these programmes. She critiqued the hiring of service providers to do the work that is the requirement of Ms Mathobela’s position and unit.
She requested a detailed report on the work that is being done in Ms Mathobela’s Department to be ready before the meeting on 19 August 2021. Within monitoring and evaluation, knowing what is happening within government is a core business, and should therefore be done within the DWYPD. This has been an ongoing discussion within the Portfolio Committee. The DG of Monitoring and Evaluation will need to provide a detailed report on the work that they have done, and not deal with it at face value. About R1.6 million of the Director-General’s salary is coming from taxpayers’ money, which must be accounted for.
Ms Mathobela resumed the presentation on the Department’s financial performance for quarter one of 2021/22.
The Chairperson asked about the deviations, and asked if correct protocol was followed through.
Ms Mathobela ended the presentation of quarter one.
[Please see presentation document for more details on the DWYPD’s targets and financial performance]
Ms Maluleke clarified on the issue of research capacity. Last year, there was a presentation done, which made the point of working within different departments and the responsibility that it entails. Cooperation with the private sector and civil society organisations is required.
On research, she said that there are three people that are responsible for that aspect. Some of the research that needs to be done falls under the Minister’s Performance Agreement. Within the DWP, this is being conducted, in compliance with Monitoring and Evaluation. Within the three units, there is monitoring done along with the Annual Performance Plans (APPs) and strategies. There are different instruments required to achieve these goals, and Monitoring and Evaluation is also required to do international reporting on the activity of the Department. Collating information and compiling it together requires effort. Within the Monitoring and Evaluation, there are approximately three or four people that work within this unit. Because there is no system in place, all the work is done manually. This includes research, training of government officials, national, provincial and local government, which fall to the responsibility of three to four people to plan and implement. Alongside this, gender-responsive planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation, producing quarterly and annual reports are required; this is a lot of work for a small team. Within the 143 positions, there is one person in the position responsible for the work that needs to be done. Within the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), they have a lesser responsibility than the DWYPD, with approximately 400-500 posts. She explained that they acknowledge the work needs to be done, so they have looked at reorganising the organisational structure.
She said that the DPSA and the National Treasury have refused to give the Department more posts. Last week, during a joint meeting with the Portfolio Committee, DPSA and the National Treasury, the respective Youth and Persons with Disabilities units underfunding issue was brought up, but the directive from DPSA and National Treasury were that, after the units transferred to the DWYPD, they became sub-units. This is a constant challenge between the Portfolio Committee and the National Treasury, and it requires some level of restructuring for it to be addressed. However, Adv. Maluleke said that they were trying.
She highlighted that, within the quarter one report, 96% of their targets were achieved. This was done without outsourcing, and so the outsourcing that will be done will need a lot of time and resources. If there has to be research done on the pay gap, then that requires a team to work on it, and will need collection of information and analysis.
On the issue of the compensation of consultants, Adv. Maluleke said that she went back, after a previous meeting that highlighted the R16 million cost for consultants, and received a breakdown on what the costs referred to. She brought up an example of a cost that is captured underneath this number, which is the Commonwealth membership of R1.7 million per annum. Translation into sign language for disabilities cost approximately R3 million, which excluded the cost of other translations such as lip reading, translation into other South African languages, voiceovers and Braille. Adv. Maluleke reiterated that the Department is trying its level best. She said that, at the next quarterly report, she is willing to give a breakdown on all the work that is being done, and the justification for certain budget costs that need to be implemented.
Ms F Masiko (ANC) took over as Acting Chairperson due to the Chairperson's connectivity issues.
Ms N Sharif (DA) thanked the Department for the presentation. She brought up responses given to the Portfolio Committee, and brought up the NSP GBVF. She asked that if the planning docks are being reviewed and there is limitation of budgeting from DPSA and the National Treasury. Is this recommendation being followed through?
In terms of the justification of consultancy compensation, Ms Sharif said that she personally did not think that this is enough of an explanation. For example, there is an allocation for a report writer; what reports need to be written, when there is existing staff within the Department that can fulfil that job?
In terms of senior management and their candidates, what does this mean? Is this a competency assessment, strength assessment that needs to be paid for, or is this a recruitment process done by an outside agent? On health risk management, what does this mean? Does the Department not have HR that deals with workplace health restrictions?
On organisational strategic planning, why does there need to be external hiring to help with this? She asked for more information about this.
In terms of administration under Programme one, why does there need to be more staff? What is the policy and legislation that states a specific number of staff placements and remuneration within administration? She questioned the number of staff in the Minister’s office, which is 13. She asked for more information on who the staff is, and what their remuneration is.
In terms of Slide 16, COVID-19 cannot be used as an excuse anymore - the Committee has adapted as pardoned, within political parties and also businesses on all scales have adapted to the current climate. The Department has had over a year to ensure processes are done.
In terms of staff and lack of capacitation, what is the Department doing to utilise the current staff to fill the missing gaps? What is the status of the framework of the socio-economic index? Can the Department give more information on the businesses that were looted and affected by the protesting in KwaZulu-Natal? What has the impact been in terms of our units of women, youth and persons with disabilities? What has been done to assist?
In terms of the Council of GBV, what are the costs of the appointment of the technical team? What is the role of the TSD, since their appointment in March 2021? In terms of the NSP on GBV Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, there was approval from quarter one to monitor Departments when, in quarter four of 2020/21, approval was still pending. What is the current status of the Monitoring and Evaluation Framework? She requested proof of evidence that it has been completed, and for a report on the details be given and presented to the Committee.
Ms Sharif moved on to enquire on the presentation on the DWYPD fourth quarter performance reports 2020/2021. She asked for clarity on irregular expenditures: there were three different companies contracted for the making of billboards. How was this single-sourced? She asked for more information on this matter. Additionally, she asked for more information on the printers, as when they were approved, no reports were tabled on it.
In terms of the R985 000 shifted given through goods and services to the GBVF Secretariat, Ms Sharif noted that this was done between quarter three and four. But then there was underspending, because the Council was not put together. However, there was approval for the shift of money; what happened to this amount? How is it being spent?
She asked for an update on the legislation of the National Council of GBVF, and the Secretariat; what is the progress on the task team? In terms of NSP priorities, which Departments have been monitored? Who has given their reports, and what are the contents of these reports?
In terms of the GBVF NSP Monitoring and Evaluation, does this still need approval, or is it still in draft? In terms of the GBVF Prevention Strategy, she is concerned with the delays. She is not sure how far progress is being made on this, as the communication aspect was still being planned and worked on when she last received an update on the matter. Why was a service provider utilised for the prevention strategy? Why was this not done locally, but being done through the UN and other international organisations? There is local expertise within South African organisations that specialise on Gender Based Violence in the country. There is a complex history when it comes to violence, so why was local expertise not consulted? The NSP was put together by community organisations, so why would assistance be outsourced? When will the NSP come to the Committee, and how did public participation happen?
In terms of the research reports done in Programme three, Ms Sharif said that they need to come to the Committee in order for Members to take the reports to their various constituencies. She also asked on the inquiry about the overall cost of implementing the NSP: is there any follow up on this matter?
In terms of deviations in spending to the service provider Sugar Creek Trading, she questioned how there would be a fixed contract for the office space, but then the contract is extended once it reaches its end. She asked for more information about this.
Ms Sharif raised concerns about the budget, saying that the R16.4 million used on consultancy compensation needed to be re-evaluated. In terms of underspending, she noted that she mentioned this issue in relation to the Secretariat of the GBVF Council. She asked what were the unforeseen circumstances in relation to the spending costs?
Ms Sharif then proceeded to break down the problems with outsourcing researchers. Firstly, if the DWYPD wants to be regulatory, then it needs to establish functionality with the pre-existing Monitoring and Evaluation Department. Why are service providers being contracted to do the research? For example, the gender pay gap report was completed in quarter four, but for quarter one it was said that there was a pending service provider appointment. She asked for clarity on this issue. How is it an achievement when the Department is still waiting for a service provider?
In terms of the deviations, she asked for an explanation on the necessity for spending R10 000 on cups and saucers. Were these cups personalised, gifted? How many were printed? “Given that we are within the third wave of the pandemic, R10 000 is a lot of money”, she added. There have been no in-person meetings since early 2020, and although R10 000 seems small, it adds up on a continuous basis. She was not convinced that there was justification to spend almost R10 000 on this expenditure. Ms Sharif wondered what South African women who are in need would think of the Department incurring this cost.
She asked for clarity on a Bill, noting that there was an update in quarter four but not in quarter one. In terms of the NSP GBVF implementation within Departments, it states in the report that targets were reached; which three Departments were monitored and evaluated? What tools were being used? Was the draft utilised or another framework?
In terms of Programme three, how is a service provider determined? Is this looked at internally where it is decided that the Department does not have the capacity to work on something like the gender pay gap? What is the metric that determined this?
What are the contents of the Biannual Report, and how can it be made accessible? The work of the DWYPD cuts across all Departments, and requires accessibility to applicable information so oversight can be conducted. The content should be brought to the Committee, so that they can assist where they can and give information to constituents.
She asked for information on the Interim GBVF Committee, the GBVF Secretariat, and the technical task team; are they three separate components? She understood that there was pending approval from legislation.
Ms Sharif also asked for information about a Private Members Bill, as she did not understand how the Department can put one together. When she read through the rules of Parliament, an MP or a Member of the NCOP can do a Private Members Bill, and it does not state that it is the Department or Executive Members that do this.
She asked for more information on the R3.6 million unspent and was rolled over.
How many Departments, in total, are meant to incorporate the NSP on GBVF, apart from the 13 spoken about in the NSP? Which of the Departments have already integrated the recommendations from the NSP, and how is this monitored if the Monitoring and Evaluation framework is still in draft form? If there is the NSP on the GBVF system, along with a GBVF Monitoring and Evaluation system, are they the same thing or two separate entities? How does it work? When will both systems be presented to the Committee?
In the Rapid Response Team (RRT), what is the Department’s role? The Department claimed to only do regulatory work, and not implementation. How can RRTs be implemented when the Department is not a service provider? Why were the two provinces that were selected chosen out of the others to start the RRTs?
Ms T Masondo (ANC) asked about the MTSF priorities for the 2020/21 financial year. Where are the Department activities undertaken, and what progress can be reported in terms of SDGs and Agenda 2063? Were the eight unmet targets from programme three met in quarter four? What are the implications of the six unmet targets from quarter four of the 2020/21 financial year? Overall, how many targets were not met for the 2020/21 financial year?
There was an appointment within the ICT department, but what are the challenges faced within ICT that prompted this appointment? This included problems brought up from within the Department since 16 February 2021. Have all the challenges been addressed?
What progress has been made in the delivery of sanitary products to girls via the Sanitary Dignity Programme by the end of quarter four? In quarter three, 87% of strategic risk management was implemented. What was the progress since then in quarter four? Which of the strategic risks were not addressed, and why? What were the strategic risks for quarter one of 2021/22?
Ms Masondo also had questions specifically about quarter four of 2020/21: Was there no training and development of MCM staff undertaken? Was the annual audit review of the Department done? Was an information security plan developed? Was quality assurance of service providers and third parties conducted?
Ms M Hlengwa (IFP) had two questions. She asked about programme four, noting that there were eight targets that fell underneath this section. Two were not achieved; when are the two unmet targets going to be achieved, considering that payment was at 100%? Who are those that paid the full amount?
In terms of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), she asked for clarity on whom the beneficiaries were under this expenditure. She asked for a detailed report on this matter.
Ms Hlengwa also said that there was a need for clarity on the abbreviations NCGBVF? What is the full name and the abbreviations, for the sake of educating constituencies effectively?
Ms Sharif asked questions on behalf of Mr S Ncgobo (DA), who had left the meeting early:
-Mr Ngcobo wanted to ask about the programme four, around persons with disabilities. For persons with rights with disabilities, there is a big concern on underspending on this unit. Although the reasons for underfunding given was capacitation, the problem of underspending remains. What is the Department doing to address this?
In terms of frameworks, she noted there are many that were noted in the presentations. There is the Disability Rights Awareness Campaign framework. She asked about for status report on the Disability Inclusion within the Strategic Plan; what is the update on that?
Ms Sharif then directed a comment towards the Director-General, asking about the compensation of consultants and the disability expenditure. She said that it is concerning that the Department does not have any representation of persons with disabilities working for the Department. There is a great opportunity to employ persons with disabilities to provide assistance for translation and other services needed. This would limit the need to outsource this work from a service provider. Braille and sign language translation services are needed continuously, not just for one quarter.
The Chairperson asked if Adv. Maluleke could expand on her responsibilities, as disabilities fall underneath her Department. What exactly is happening to the disability unit? There is dissatisfaction regarding this unit, as there is underperformance in this area. Are the issues affecting persons with disabilities being taken seriously?
The Deputy Minister responded to two questions from Ms Sharif. She explained that there was an issue about staffing in the Ministry. The guidance on this came from the revised Ministerial Handbook, working in consultation with the Public Service Commission (PSC). There was also a concern about the kind of legislation being followed. The Department was heading in the direction of adopting the Private Members Bill, but after consultation with the public, the legislation on the establishment of a consul, given its importance in terms of its rules and responsibilities, and financing, would be public. This would give the public a chance to participate, and ensure that the legislation is following normal procedure and consultation. It has already gone through two other Committees, and the legislation would be done in Parliament during 2021. She indicated that here will be a consul created as soon as possible.
The other point raised by the Chairperson, about the rights of persons with disabilities – the question asking what impact is being made on the ground. The Deputy Minister responded that there was strategic planning done to assist the Department in locating the rights of persons with disabilities. Streamlining issues of persons with disabilities is important. As of 17 August 2021, there is no programme that is discussed with the public, as there are only discussions with women. The Department must have all three aspects. The Chief Director should be able to make more input, and the sector has too many associations and organisations within it. Through engagement and meeting, the Presidential Advisory Committee meets with the Chief Director on a regular basis to plan and create workshops on how to shape the month - persons with disabilities are not excluded from the Department.
She said that there is an upcoming planned workshop with the Department of Basic Education, on how to gain access to education early. With the Department of Higher Education, there is talk of support that is needed, and the youth of technology are able to access resources. The Deputy Minister said that the quality of reporting will be looked into, and through further engagement with the Director-General, there can be an opportunity to employ someone with disabilities in the Department. This will involve organisational restructuring and budgeting, but this is due process to be brought before the Committee.
Adv. Maluleke responded to the question about the impact of the unrest in KwaZulu-Natal had on women. She said the Department is part of the social impact, and that other Departments like Arts and Culture and Social Development are involved in addressing the impact of the unrest.
On the issue of HR and consultancy, she indicated that there will be a response from another person within the Department.
In terms of the issue of the single-source supplier, she explained that the government works differently from the Department. Businesses register with the government and are then utilised for outsourcing. With CSD, there is only one supplier and it cannot be outsourced from another company.
In terms of underspending on the establishment of the Council, she said that there was a presentation done to the Committee in 2020, about the NSP and the establishment of the National Council of GBVF. Cabinet, at the start of 2020, had recommended that the Department should not establish the council as a legislative institution, but as a trust. The National Treasury and the DPSA refused to give approval. However, there needed to be consultation from the public, and for it to be tabled at Parliament alongside additional consultation.
In November or December 2020, there was development of legislation, which had gone through working committees in government, and is currently heading to the DG clusters. From there it heads to Cabinet for approval to consult with the public. After public input, it is taken again to Cabinet, DG clusters, and the whole bureaucratic process. Once it is approved, it goes to the government. In the process of such, National Treasury and DPSA made it clear that a trust could not be established despite developing legislation, which could create an interim secretariat so that appointments could be done according to their budget. This would allow coordination with public and private organisations, civil society, and provincial and local government. The National Treasury had allocated money to this prior to August 2021, and there was R5 million budgeted for the establishment of the Council. This money could not be used because there was a struggle between the DWYPD, National Treasury and DPSA about establishing a trust or not. However, once an interim secretariat was established, this is when the money was used for personnel. The original use was meant to be for programmes and their implementation. This required another application to the National Treasury so that some of the money would move to goods to personnel. The money was under expenditure because it had been red-taped by the National Treasury for a different purpose, and could not be used by the Department.
On the issue of hiring outside organisations like GIZ and UN Women, she clarified that they are Departmental partners. She made the point that the Department is, in fact, underfunded, so outsourcing to other organisations makes the work easier to implement. The Portfolio Committee should note the role that different people fill within the Department through their own monitoring and evaluation. GIZ assists the Department with resources, and needs funding to execute programmes.
On the issue of the Sugar Creek Trading expense, she explained that all government department buildings are procured by the same company, through the Department of Public Works and Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI). Even though the DWYPD also questions the use of a single company, it is not up to the Department to determine the company utilised for service procurement.
On the matter of the R10 000 used for cups and saucers – she said that Charlotte Maxeke was on the branding of the cups, to commemorate 150 years of her life. Maxeke was the first black female South African to graduate from higher education, so her significance was celebrated. Usage of her name and image meant costs.
On the issue of the Bill, she recounted that the Committee presented to Parliament on the legislation, but that had been pulled back, because the government office could only prioritise the push of one legislation. The Department pushed for the amendment of the NYDA, because of COVID-19 restrictions. No new legislation will be entertained from Parliament, due to local government elections. This Bill is being worked on, but in terms of it going through a legislative process, that can only take place in 2022.
A Department official responded to some of the points raised by Committee Members. In terms of money spent on competency assessments, the official said that this process took place and is necessary.
In terms of the Health Risk Manager appointment and their role: the payment creates initiative, as it is a service provider appointed by DPSA. This is to pay for the headcount. For any employee appointed from the public, there is a portion of the headcount every month allocated for consultants. The process is controlled by the DPSA.
In terms of appointments in administration, the official explained the components of administration and support functions across the public service. This is dealing with compliance issues and regulatory requirements placed on the Department, no matter the size or need. DPSA and National Treasury discussed acknowledging the different sizes of Departments, but this still requires quantification on what qualifies as a small, medium or large Department.
On the question of insourcing Department staff instead of outsourcing: there is already an issue of staff being overstretched. Within supply chain management, there is usually a Director and other positions underneath it. The Auditor-General will come to ensure segregation of duties. This also applied to the appointment of the IT director, where audit findings came with recommendations for the amount of appointments needed for the position to be filled. The appointment of the Director of GBV was effective as of 01 July 2021. In terms of staff training, there were issues around getting funding for this to take place.
On the matter of employing someone with disabilities, there are two employees that are blind, but for Braille services there are two service providers that are hired to do this job.
In terms of the R10 million for reduction in the compensation of employees, this has an impact on appointment, but there is currently no budget for new positions. There are ongoing discussions with DPSA and National Treasury to get the bare minimum of an organisational structure moving forward. From 2023, the Department can expect some funding.
The Chairperson brought up issues of allocation of budgeting to GBVF. She noted that the DG mentioned that there were difficulties surrounding the establishment of Council according to recommendations made at a Portfolio Committee meeting. The Committee was meant to table the Private Members Bill on the issue of Council, but this Bill will be later tabled to Parliament. Was there a Secretariat appointment?
Adv. Maluleke reiterated that DPSA and National Treasury approached the Department, saying that the appointment of three or four people could be done to constitute a Secretariat. That is how the Director positions came about, and applications for the transferral of funds from goods to salaries was executed. This is a challenge of coordination between government and civil society, but the appointment of the Secretariat streamlined the work done within the Council. However, to approve the legislation, there needed to be due process followed, so it needed to be tabled before the elections.
Ms Sharif asked whether Secretariat and the Interim on GBVF are the same thing.
Adv. Maluleke said that there is no Interim Committee that started in 2018, as it was disbanded in 2020. The IMC established a Technical Task Team (TTT), which has one person from DWYPD, Department of Justice, and others. When the Council could not be established, the Department along with civil society established Collaborative Initiative. This required a leader from the Department and a leader from civil society to lead and look at the implementation of the pillars. Pillar one to six were looked at. This is not a formal structure. Therefore, the only formal structure is the Secretariat.
Ms Sharif asked for more information on the informal structure mentioned, and if a one-page report could be given on who they are, what they do to share with constituencies and conduct oversight?
The Chairperson seconded.
Adv. Maluleke said that this would be done.
The Chairperson asked that this report would be brought to the meeting on 19 August 2021.
Adv. Maluleke responded to the question about the NYDA from Ms Hlengwa, saying that they had already submitted a list of all the beneficiaries to Parliament after an inquiry was conducted. This information is readily available.
Another Department official responded to the question about the socio-economic empowerment index (SEEI), saying that there were specifications drafted, and there is pending approval to get it drafted and advertised. Within the internal unit of supply chain management, there has been an establishment of a specification committee that will look into the work done by the SEEI. There are also terms of reference, to know what must be achieved and the deadline.
In response to the question on what is the context of the Biannual Report: the existing reports that have been produced will be given to the Committee. This report is submitted biannually, and captures the past work that has been done. What would be of interest is the work culminated into a report provided by the President, and this can be provided to the Committee.
In relation to the question about how many Departments have reported, the Department said that all the departments should respond to this question. GBV is cross-cutting, and each department should have its own entities and mechanisms to address issues and retrieve reports. The list of the departments that have submitted their own reports is long, and it can be provided to the Committee. The list included: South African Police Services (SAPS), Home Affairs, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Department of Higher Education, Government Communications and Information System (GCIS), PWI, Basic Education, DPSA, DSD, Department of Justice, Department of Labour, Staff SA, National School of Government, NMPE, Water and Sanitation, Housing and Human Settlement, National Treasury, and so on. Those that were not responding were accounted for at DG cluster meetings (for example, the Department of Transport). There has since been uptick since the report compilation, but when the NSP was first created there were no specific issues brought up. But through consultation and solidifying issues brought up in collaboration with the NME framework, there is work to be done. The taxi industry is a particular area looked at – the effects of GBVF in this sector. This work falls under priority six of nation building and social cohesion, and within the forum, all these activities can be consolidated.
On the question about programme four having two targets that were not achieved, the Department responded that this was the Prevention Strategy within the Council, which Adv. Maluleke addressed regarding issues of red-taping from National Treasury and the DPSA. There was no internal capacity, and partnership with critical stakeholders for technical expertise was required. This expanded beyond government and required different broad organisations. This also focuses on children’s issues: GBV involves alcohol abuse, and organisations related to such topics can collaborate and consult with existing stakeholders. Some targets were not targeted due to lack of allocation of funding.
In terms of the sanitary programme, all provinces rolled out the programme in quarter one of 2021/22. There have been no problems, and issues were raised within the National Task Team on the programme. Departments are aware that there is a double-monitoring lens through NTT and the Portfolio Committee.
On the question about the impact of the social unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng, women were hit the hardest from a food security perspective. There were shortages, and this affected the food supply chain management from the stores. Through DSD, there were key pillars to deal with this. Firstly, how could the DSD services be made accessible to those affected? Provision of food to the most vulnerable households and individuals was one of the areas of intervention, through the local offices of the Premiers and the local municipalities, as well as support from local organisations and businesses. There was also the provision of psycho-social services, SRD vouchers, grants, and child protection services. Children that were arrested were dealt with in accordance with the descripts, as parents were worried where concerned. There was also social mobilisation, led by the Department of Arts and Culture, working with the Premier and some of their champions, to deal with issues of conflict on the ground. The Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) will soon be brought in to strengthen the training of women, using some of the pillars from the National Action Plan on peace and security. This includes conflict management within social cohesion.
In terms of the Monitoring and Evaluation framework, this plan is being taken to the national level, to provinces and municipalities to engage on the content of the documents indicating the targets and highlighting potential amendments.
Adv. Maluleke also wished to add about the Sanitary Dignity Programme. She said that she wrote to the Department of Small Business Development, as the government is planning on spending R240 million or more on the rollout of this project. The companies that get the tenders were assessed to see those that were owned by women. The DWYPD wrote to contend some of the companies procured for this tender, as some of them are not approved by the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS). This called for an investigation for what products are required and to assist women in the nine provinces to see, from a regulatory perspective, how gender is involved in the launch and implementation of this programme. It is important to see how the DWYPD works with different Departments in their respective areas to coordinate and regulate gender-related issues being implemented.
The Chairperson said all the matters that were left unaddressed will be brought up at the meeting that will be held on 19 August 2021.
She thanked everyone for attending the meeting.
The meeting was adjourned.
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