Commission for Gender Equality on 2020/21 Quarter 4 & 2021/22 Quarter 1

Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities

24 August 2021
Chairperson: Ms C Ndaba (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) 2020/21 Quarter 4 performance had 96% of targets reached, while in 2021/22 Quarter 1, 79% were reached. The disparity across the two quarters can be explained by the first quarter of the financial year typically being one that emphasises planning the year ahead, as well as the stop-start nature of changing COVID-19 level regulations. The targets that were not achieved will be carried over to the following quarter.

In its financial report for Quarter 4  2020/21, CGE noted the budgetary adjustments as a result of the pandemic, leading to a reduction of their R90 million budget by R11.3 million – leaving a total of R78.6 million. Therefore, CGE had to reprioritise, but the APP targets remained. CGE holds more assets than liabilities; it is in a healthy financial position with assets of R31.6 million. The majority of CGE liabilities relate to staff.

The brutal murder of Nosicelo Mtebeni, a twenty-three-year-old LLB student from Fort Hare, was recognised. The South African Police Service (SAPS) recent release of reported rape cases from April to June 2021 of about 10 000 cases was noted, as well as the huge increase in child and teenage pregnancy.

Members were concerned that the CGE performance reports consisted only of highlights and lacked recognition of challenges and strategies to improve. Key inquiries for CGE questioned:
- implementation of gender mainstreaming interventions
- accessibility of support materials for educational programmes
- implications of potential postponement of 2021 municipal elections
- CGE case selection criteria
- what investigations are outstanding, why they take so long and what investigations are currently in progress.

The availability of rape kits was raised, to which CGE explained that they work to ensure all police stations have rape kits, however the kits tend to get relocated once dispensed.

The Committee asked about the implications for the work headed by Commissioner Botha considering his suspension. CGE explained that his work has been taken up by several staff members, and it is in the process of finding a replacement commissioner for Limpopo.

Committee members said that CGE had to ensure that their investigation recommendations were implemented by the bodies involved. The Chairperson expressed dissatisfaction with the Vox Telecom case which has been in progress for nine months with little clarity from CGE.

The Chairperson requested that CGE respond to the questions asked during the meeting and other matters of concern for the meeting arranged for 1 September 2021.

Meeting report

In a virtual meeting, the Chairperson urged CGE to speak without being predisposed towards or downtrodden by the presence of the media. The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) as a whole was specifically thanked for its work in cases of gender-based violence and femicide.

CGE Chairperson's overview
Ms Tamara Mathebula, CGE Chairperson, thanked the Chairperson for all the words of encouragement for the Commission.

The South African Police Service (SAPS) recent release of reported rape cases from April to June 2021 (approximately 10 000 cases) corroborates CGE’s experience of dealing with high rates of femicide and gender-based violence across the country, making it an especially challenging time.

The brutal murder of an LLB student at Fort Hare cannot be ignored. The large numbers of child pregnancy cannot be ignored. CGE planning for 2021/22 interventions include these matters. The Commission has a programme looking into teenage and learner pregnancy, and as a result CGE will be hosting a webinar on sexual and reproductive health focused on child and teenage pregnancy, to end off Women’s Month. It must be emphasised that the boom in pregnancy of young women is not just teen pregnancy, but child pregnancy with children as young as ten.

The Commission has circulated its reports in advance. The presentation will focus on the highlights of its progress, achievements, challenges and strategic objectives. Some key points of information that have impacted the fourth quarter of 2020/21 and first quarter of 2021/22:
- The green paper on marriages to ensure equal treatment of women, those of the LGBTQIA+ community and foreign nationals that have married South Africans.
- An expansive input into the Expropriation Bill to ensure acceleration in the land reform policy and programmes that prioritise women.
- One-stop border policy in the Department of Home Affairs – CGE anticipated that the policy is likely to disproportionately impact vulnerable groups such as women, asylum-seeking women as well as their children.
- The launch of the Emergency Response Action Plan (ERAP) report, as a result of mid-2019 outcry against gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF).
- As part of monitoring there is the review of the women’s charter across all nine provinces
- CGE has submitted the municipality report to the Portfolio Committee.
- Monitoring extends beyond South African borders such as involvement with the Maputo Protocol.
- During the first quarter of 2021/22, Commissioners were deployed to monitor police stations across all provinces in high-risk areas. They exceeded the target of 36 police stations, and to date have visited 51 police stations, which should be applauded considering the challenging conditions of COVID-19.

CGE performance in 2020/21 Quarter 4
Ms Robertson, CGE CEO, stated that all data in the report had been audited.

Strategic objectives:
- To advance an enabling legislative environment for gender equality
- To promote gender equality through public awareness, education, investigation and litigation
- To monitor and evaluate issues that undermine the attainment of gender equality
- To build and sustain an efficient organisation to effectively promote and protect gender equality

Twenty-three of the 24 targets were reached (96%) across the four objectives. The Annual Performance Plan (APP) targets were outlined according to the four strategic objectives.

Highlights of Achievements in Quarter 4:
- "The Bare Minimum": CGE Report on South Africa’s Compliance with CEDAW: Observations and Recommendations.
- Monitoring the Implementation of the Maputo Protocol Country Reporting: Concluding Observations From 2016 Before The African Commission.
- One Step Forward, One Step Backwards: Assessing Government's Responses and Interventions to Combat Gender-based Violence and Femicide in South Africa.
- When Relations Disentangle: Assessing Factors Prohibiting Unmarried, Divorced, or Separated Biological Fathers from Exercising their Parental Rights.
- Illegal Initiation Schools in South Africa: Assessing Risks to Boys and Young Men.
- Launch of Government's Emergency Response Plan on GBVF.

CGE performance in 2021/22 Quarter 1
Ms Robertson noted that as recommended by Treasury, “objectives” is replaced by “outcomes”.

Number of targets achieved for each strategic outcome:
- An enabling legislative environment for gender equality: five of seven (71%)
- Equality promoted through information, education, investigations and litigations: six of eight (75%)
- Monitoring and research investigations on issues undermining gender equality: eight of  10 (80%)
- An efficient, effective and sustainable organisation: 11 of 13 (85%).
Thirty of the 38 targets were reached (79%) across the four objectives. The first quarter is typically one that emphasises planning for the year ahead.
Projects and initiatives have been forced to stop and start due to changing COVID-19 regulations, rendering some targets unachievable. However, the targets that have not been achieved are carried over to the following quarter.

Highlights of Achievements in Quarter 1:
- CGE Second Applicant in court case on constitutional invalidity of section 21(2)(a) of the Matrimonial Property Act 88 of 1984, in maintaining discrimination in section 22(6) of Black Administration Act 38 of 1927, in that marriages of black couples before 1988 are automatically out of community of property.
- Forced Sterilisation: Update on ongoing work with the Health Department (DoH).
- CGE Reports on Tshepong Thuthuzela Care Centre & Tshepong Victim Centre in Bloemfontein.
- Report on rape and murder cases at Ezingqolweni and Tsembeyi Villages in Emalahleni Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape.
- Commissioners Monitoring of Police Stations: 50 Police Stations visited in Q1.

CGE Financial Management Report
Mr Moshabi Putu, CGE CFO, presented an amalgamated report on both Quarter 4  of 2020/21 and Quarter 1  of 2021/22. It is important to note constraints due to COVID-19 lockdown. However, CGE still operated under hard lockdown in 2020 due to being considered an essential service. Budgetary adjustments occurred as a result of the pandemic that resulted in a reduction of the R90 million budget by R11.3 million (totalling in R78.6 million). Therefore, CGE had to reprioritise, but the APP targets remained. CGE holds more assets than liabilities; it is in a healthy financial position with assets of R31.6 million. The majority of CGE liabilities relate to staff.

Ms T Mqweba (ANC) was concerned at CGE over expenditure during Quarter 4  2020/21, using R25.3 million of the R78.6 million annual budget. CGE reported the occurrence of an independent investigation into maladministration for Quarters 3 and 4 – when can the findings be expected to be shared? There appear to be discrepancies between Quarters 3 and 4 figures for professional and consulting fees. Can CGE explain this? When will the finalised monitoring and evaluation framework be submitted to the Committee?

The Chairperson confirmed that the investigation findings and evaluation framework will be shared later in the meeting.

Ms Mqweba noted the APP linkages to National Development Plan (NDP) priorities, Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) outcomes and State of the Nation Address (SONA) priorities in the report but CGE does not provide necessary details to determine if progress has been made in achieving these goals, including highlighting the challenges. How do CGE programmes for Quarter 4 link to NDP goals?

What does the report on compliance with international and regional treaties on gender equality reveal in meeting Sustainable Development Goals and Agenda 2063?

The Commissioners have engaged in many activities across all provinces, which is appreciated. What is the overall assessment on the work undertaken by Commissioners in Quarter 4? What were the key challenges identified as trends in provinces? How best can these be addressed?

What will be the implications for Commissioner Botha’s actions and his suspension?

How will Commissioner Deyi ensure inclusivity for the LGBTQIA+ community? She requested sharing a progress report on the meeting with the Office of the Eastern Cape Premier on key issues and implementation of shelters.

Can Commissioner Ntuli-Tloubatla clarify the key findings on the availability of rape kits? What was the involvement of the Minister of Police and Provincial Commissioners in ensuring rape kits are in every police station that has been visited?

Ms T Masondo (ANC) asked for CGE progress in implementing resolutions emanating from the meeting on its 2020/21 Quarter 3 report.

The Chairperson asked how many Commissioners are not present in the meeting, considering there was only one apology from Commissioner Sediko Rakolote.

Mr S Ngcobo (DA) raised the CGE Fatherhood Project. Given the findings, what does CGE propose to address the lack of understanding of the law in conflicts involving child custodial rights and parental rights and responsibilities?

Has CGE shared its report on illegal traditional initiation schools with the Portfolio Committee of Cooperated Governance and Traditional Affairs?

What does the gender terminology project entail, who will be leading the project and what are the forecasted costs?

What are the implications of the work headed by Commissioner Botha considering his suspension? Is the boy child project still functioning? If it is, who is now leading it given his suspension?

How accessible is the pamphlet on substantive equality? Have they been translated into other official languages and are they disability-friendly?

Ms F Masiko (ANC) wished to acknowledge the brutal murder of Nosicelo Mtebeni, a 23 year-old law student from Fort Hare. It is a tragedy made especially sombre considering it is Women’s Month, which should be celebratory. There is a drastic increase in the brutal murder of women, particularly young women. This incident raises the concern for safer spaces for young women to inhabit. Young women in higher education should be nurtured in their places of residence.

The increase in cases of reported rape in South Africa, as reported recently by the Minister of Police is highly concerning. The 72.4% rise between 1 April and 30 June should be responded to accordingly. Government responses to this statistic should be investigated. In some police stations there are no evidence collection or rape kits available. The Committee as well as CGE needs to ensure that the government responds appropriately to the current rape statistics.

The health and justice system need to focus on providing psychosocial support to rape victims.

It should be of great concern that there are high rates of child and teenage pregnancy. Should there be deeper investigation, there is bound to be a rise in unsafe abortions, exposure to HIV, maternal mortality and school dropouts. Monitoring programmes must emphasise the continuation of sexual and reproductive health education in primary and high schools, along with accessibility to local clinics. There have been reports of clinics closing at 2 to 3pm, meaning learners cannot access primary healthcare due to a conflict with school hours. This is especially troublesome for learners whose sexual activity is not within their own control.

On strategic objective one, transformation of women and people with disabilities, especially in top management of institutions, remains a challenge. To what extent have the entities mentioned implemented the report recommendations?

Where have the support materials for educational programmes been distributed? It is vital that these materials be available in the languages communities can understand. They might be written in English but what if a community’s primary language is not English? Has CGE recognised the importance of translation to other official languages?

Strategic objective two speaks to the 36 gender mainstreaming interventions to lobby and influence decision makers. Where and with whom were these interventions conducted?

Who are the entities identified in the strategic partnership agreements, and what is the content and nature of the agreements?

The APP stated that the topics for webinars in Quarter 1 of 2021/22 would be identified and communicated in advance. Why has this not happened?

How would the potential postponement of the 2021 municipal elections impact CGE targets for gender representation in the elections? Has CGE been able to monitor the selection process for municipal elections? The selection process within the political parties themselves are where monitoring should take place. Is CGE monitoring this process and will this monitoring provide the end goal of fairer gender representation in the final list of candidates?

Ms N Sharif (DA) thanked Ms Masiko for asking many pertinent questions. What are CGE’s outstanding investigations? Why are they taking so long? What other investigations are currently in progress?

It is concerning to hear about individuals who have reached out to CGE yet do not receive assistance. What is the process or criteria used to determine which cases are taken on by CGE and which are not?

GBVF is excessively high in this country, and many women do not have access to legal advice or representation. There is an enormous gap between women who need pro bono legal assistance, and what is available. It is important that a space is found to assist women with legal challenges. These challenges would include domestic violence, GBVF, maintenance, child custody, child care, the list goes on. That is not even addressing sexual harassment in the work place and the gender pay gap. Women of all backgrounds need a place to go to get the legal assistance they need. Often when it comes to domestic violence cases, the women are dependent on an abusive partner, and should they flee or seek help – all finances or resources are left to the partner. How is it that there are women’s shelters that provide housing for these women, yet they are abandoned when it comes to the legal assistance? How would CGE envision making their legal clinics more accessible to women?

Ms Sharif thanked Commissioner, Adv Nthabiseng Sepanya-Mogale, for her sustained assistance. There need to be more sustainable methods for legal aid. Perhaps CGE should expand its provision of legal aid to make it more accessible for women. The number of cases CGE currently takes on is inadequate and disproportionate to the number of cases occurring. Does CGE have plans to improve their services or can they pledge to investigate this?

What were the findings of the gender transformation report for the Department of Defence? There have been worrying reports from South African National Defence Force (SANDF) members who speak of the sexual harassment that they face, particularly from their seniors. If need be, the relevant Portfolio Committees should be contacted to assess if the CGE recommendations are being implemented by the those departments. Having a report is vital, but it is not the same as implementation. It is the role of the Portfolio Committee to ensure implementation of recommendations, and if not, find out why and hold those departments accountable.

Ms M Hlengwa (IFP) thanked Members for the pertinent questions. CGE was thanked for the comprehensive yet understandable report – compliments must be given where they are due.

There is a gap in the reports on areas where CGE has fallen short. Can these areas be shared and as well as the necessary improvements to be made? These shortfalls reflect on the Committee. For example, the Boy Child Project is non-existent. If CGE is not proactive in programmes, they should rather be handed over to the Portfolio Committee.

Ms A Hlongo (ANC) asked what has contributed to the lack of commitment and political will in municipalities to implement gender mainstreaming? What would CGE propose needs to be done to ensure gender mainstreaming in municipalities? What were the key findings from the assessment report of gender mainstreaming interventions in municipalities in 2021/22?

What does the monitor procurement allocation for women’s empowerment entail?

What have been the key outcomes from Commissioners Mazibuko and Ngoma-Diseko’s visit to Tsakane police station and Pholoso hospital? What is the way forward?

What were the outcomes of the visits to police stations during Quarter 1 of 2021/22? Has the Commissioner engaged with the Police Commissioner for KwaZulu-Natal on this?

What was the outcome Commissioner Mothupi's meeting with Free State SAPS and DoH?

Given the low uptake of Northern Cape cases by CGE, what were the key challenges and what were the case outcomes?

What were the key outcomes from Commissioner Rakolote’s visits to North West police stations and to the North West Police Commissioner? She asked for the findings and recommendations.

Ms P Sonti (EFF) asked about gender representation monitoring for the coming municipal elections. Given that CGE does not have enough resources to monitor all political parties, which ones will be monitored? What will CGE focus on in this project? What will CGE do should the municipal elections be postponed? Do they have an alternative project in mind for these funds?

How is CGE addressing forced sterilisation?

The Chairperson asked if the internal audit and risk committee chairperson was present but the Committee secretary replied that the internal audit and risk committee chairperson was not present as an invitation was not extended. The Chairperson suggested that another meeting be held with the CGE internal audit and risk committee.

The Chairperson asked Ms Mathebula to share the report on CGE’s outstanding cases. She asked the CFO to address the Vox Telecom investigation and how long such cases take to be resolved.

CGE responses
Mr Moshabi Putu, CGE CFO, replied that as far as he knows the investigation is still underway and that the length of an investigation is on a case-by-case basis.

The Chairperson noted that it should not be more than nine months. Have they been investigating one case for nine months? Why does it take this long to conclude such an important case?

Mr Putu agreed that the process is unreasonably long. However, there are a number of considerations in this particular case that have contributed to such a long investigation, including the necessity for many parties to be involved. He suggested that the CEO respond as the CFO had not directly handled the case.

The Chairperson asked how much had been spent and if an external service provider handled the case

Mr Putu said R125 000 had been spent, which could potentially be fruitless. He replied that it was handled by the CGE Office of the CEO as an internal investigation.

The Chairperson asked the CFO not to make excuses, but rather consider the implementation of the financial findings. To which the CFO agreed but he has not seen a report with findings.

Ms Robertson, CGE CEO, replied that the case was one of several that were being internally addressed. When this case first took shape, there were other urgent cases to address which were of higher priority. The team addressing the case had to do careful research to manage the potential risk of ending up in labour court. The first report on this case from the Office of the CEO indicated that the CEO had begun engaging with the implicated officials. The CEO is personally still in the process of resolving the case.

The Chairperson asked how many other cases of an irregular nature are outstanding, particularly those that involve maladministration.

Ms Robertson replied that the Vox contract is being dealt with internally. Externally, there are about eight employees involved, which is handled through the Commission for Conciliation Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA). The labour court is also involved. The CCMA still needs to communicate the progress on the other outstanding cases. Last week CGE received a letter from the CCMA stating that CGE will appear in court on a date in September. There are many cases that CGE juggles both internally and externally.

In response to the Chairperson asking if CGE has a labour relations officer, Ms Robertson said that it does not.

The Chairperson asked if the CEO is responsible for all of the cases.

Ms Robertson replied that she was, with the assistance of the former human resources manager. A law firm was appointed last year to assist CGE, which is playing a supportive role in other cases.

The Chairperson was dissatisfied with the responses from the CFO and CEO. She suggested that a meeting be arranged for 1 September 2021 for CGE to present a detailed report. The internal audit and risk management committee chairperson should be invited. A list of written questions asked in the meeting will be compiled and sent so that CGE can prepare and respond appropriately at that meeting.

The Chairperson noted CGE vacancies need to be addressed. How does CGE plan to fill these positions? She noted the question about the Eastern Cape – was CGE supposed to address Lekwa in this meeting?

The Committee secretary agreed and CGE was also supposed to respond about rape kits.

The Chairperson asked CGE to address these two issues. She asked the CGE Deputy Chair to respond on monitoring and evaluation. The CGE is asked to submit a report on the four departments that have been monitored and evaluated, including their entities. If this is not available today, that should be next week.

The Chairperson that due to time constraints, any remaining questions should be addressed next week. The rape kits need to be immediately addressed. The answers are urged to be concise.

Commissioner Lindiwe Ntuli-Tloubatla reported that there have been a total of three visits to Lekwa monitoring GBV and victim empowerment centres. There was a meeting with the acting Mpumalanga Police Commissioner about further engagement with CGE.

The Chairperson interrupted, asking the secretary not to sending apologies for a meeting while the meeting is in progress. The apologies sent during the meeting are rejected.

Commissioner Ntuli-Tloubatla continued that a detailed report on Lekwa municipality has been submitted. The local municipality was very willing to work with CGE.

The availability of rape kits is thoroughly checked in police stations across all provinces. The Commission has established there is a trend that the rape kits that are dispensed get relocated. When there is a case of reported rape, SAPS will bring the necessary kit to the scene. In the case of rape involving adults, the D1 adult evidence collection kit is used. In rape involving children, the D7 paediatric evidence collection kit is used. There is a third kit available, called the DB buccal swab. The Emergency Response Action Plan (ERAP) report details the content and quality of all three rape kits on page 18 and 19.

Commissioner Dibeela Mothupi stated that there was a meeting with the Police Commissioner on the state of police stations in the Free State and Northern Cape. Police stations are not approachable, not well resourced and not victim friendly. A budget is being set aside for refurbishment. Some police stations are in an unusable state such as having leaking toilets. These can be repaired.

It was suggested that a SAPS officer be stationed at the Tshepong Thuthuzela Care Centre. The centre is short-staffed. It has been assured that the matter will be investigated.

There is a challenge with SAPS members lacking training on gender-based violence and LGBTQIA+ issues. CGE will be invited to present at certain police stations during their weekly meetings to raise awareness.

In the meeting with the Free State Social Development MEC, a commitment was made to attend to the Tshepong Thuthuzela Care Centre refurbishment. The refurbishment has since been completed. The MEC will be in talks with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) as Tshepong Thuthuzela Care Centre would like to be removed from the Bloemfontein National District Hospital as one has to walk deep into the hospital to get there. However, that is a long term project.

The availability of security at Tshepong Thuthuzela Care Centre was raised with the Free State Health MEC. The MEC looked into the matter and assured CGE that there was 24-hour security. This will be confirmed at CGE’s next visit.

SAPS requested that the CGE visit to Northern Cape police stations be postponed due to high rates of COVID-19. There have been talks with the legal adviser of the province. The visit is scheduled for the beginning of September. The low intake of GBV cases in Northern Cape was related to COVID-19, due to withdrawal of legal clinics.

Dr Nthabiseng Moleko, CGE Deputy Chairperson, stated that in February 2021 a document on the monitoring progress responses on CGE reports and recommendations was shared. The questions were: which departments have been monitored and what were the outcomes. Many departments have been monitored, but a lot of work has been done for Higher Education, particularly as GBV has worsened. Reports have been done within the last five years on the University of South Africa, Venda Tshwane University, North West University, Witwatersrand University, University of Cape Town etc. Some of the outcomes found are poor representation of women and black women in senior management positions. The universities are not homogenous; each university would need specific recommendations. Overall there is a lack of childcare facilities, and poor representation and prioritising of people with disabilities.

On the Emergency Response Action Plan (ERAP), CGE conducted research leading to government departments being given a mandate to commit to specific targets to government and the people of South Africa. The CEO will expand on this topic.

TVET colleges have been reported on as part of the work CGE has done on Higher Education.

The third aspect is gender transformation in procurement allocation. This has been investigated in the Departments of Health, Rural Development and Land Reform, Basic Education, and Social Development. In line with the recommendations, CGE has proposed that the key performance areas (KPAs) must incorporate gender responsive budgeting. These must be responded to decisively using the legislative provisions. Minimal compliance is unacceptable. KPAs are being surveyed to ensure the monitoring of targets. Departments need to be held to account.

On the monitoring tool, there is a difficult internal process. Within the strategic planning and monitoring and evaluation committee, a tool is being used systemically to emphasise that CGE not only monitors, but also ensures implementation. It needs to see how far recommendations are applied. It needs to go beyond reports and recommendations. This internal process is about strengthening the monitoring unit in line with the business model. CGE needs to change how reports and recommendations are viewed.

Ms Tamara Mathebula, CGE Chairperson, addressed the overall assessment of the Commissioners’ work. Based on the CGE 2020/21 Annual Performance Plan, the performance last year has been satisfactory. Commissioners faced many challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has greatly affected monitoring work, but it continued through Alert Level Five.

Commissioners had to be redeployed to provinces due to the resignations. Commissioner work is now predominantly done virtually due to pandemic restrictions. When the pandemic restrictions are eased, Commissioners will be more free to travel and do work within provinces. The CGE is looking at redeploying a commissioner in Limpopo to fill the space Commissioner Botha has left. On the Boy Child Project, CGE is looking at a new Commissioner to take over, but a lot of its work has been taken on by two staff members.

On access to sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) by young people. Much of the sex education curriculum needs to be reviewed and reworked, especially the Comprehensive Sexuality Education to be provided by the Department of Basic Education (DBE). This curriculum must be in accordance with the different age groups of learners. CGE is engaging with DBE about the incorporation of the Comprehensive Sexuality Education into Life Orientation.

On increasing non-judgemental health services for learners, the Her Choice programme is currently leading awareness training for health care workers to be youth friendly. A lot of community work still needs to be in done on this.

The SANDF and other governmental departments appeared before CGE in December 2020. The recommendations were binding to those invested. The current work is following up on the implementation of those recommendations. It was agreed that CGE should reach out to this Committee to call on the relevant Portfolio Committees to hold those bodies accountable for implementing the recommendations.

The CGE will continue with this work of monitoring councillor candidates [inaudible 03:42:35 – 03:44:27] unless there is a postponement of municipal elections. Individuals from the Commission will physically be involved in elections monitoring work. Guided by the Electoral Commission Act, voting stations will be monitored.

The Chairperson wished to have two urgent matters addressed. The two vacant Commissioner positions need to be filled. The Portfolio Committee needs to know how to advise Parliament. The current part-time Commissioners should be prioritised for the full-time position.

The second matter was an injustice in Basketball SA – the election of the Basketball SA committee occurred with only one woman nominated. The email will be forwarded to CGE. The Portfolio Committee and CGE will discuss how to deal with it.

Ms Robertson referred to the investigation into the maladministration reported in the financial documents. The report was presented in April/May but it was deemed incomplete. More information had to be provided at that stage. The report was submitted back to CGE on 20 August. It has not been internally processed yet.

On how CGE contributes to the various instruments such as the State of the Nation Address (SONA), CGE provides country reporting on the progress and implementation by both public and private sector implementing agents.

The reports on the fatherhood project and the illegal initiation schools were published at the end of March 2021. They form part of the reports on findings and recommendations of the previous year. They have been submitted for tabling in Parliament, but they are available on CGE website. It had been suggested that there be a database containing all report stakeholders so that they are the first to receive the report.

On gender terminology, much of the jargon is not translatable. The original English words on gender are being transplanted in other languages. The print-out pamphlets are becoming more redundant as electronic media is being more relied upon.

The resistance from municipalities for a commitment to gender mainstreaming interventions has different reasons, which include capacity and personal beliefs. CGE has used the municipal Integrated Development Plan (IDP) to show how gender can be mainstreamed in every day work.

On how CGE can expand and assist complainants, CGE has certain jurisdiction limitations. The CGE is in talks to amend the Act.

On the complainant who reached out and was not assisted, there was a particular case where the individual sent the complaint to the wrong website. The matter has been attended to and the individual has been assisted.

Deputy Chairperson Moleko asked the CEO to respond on CGE’s current cases, outstanding cases, length to resolve cases, and the processes and criteria for selecting cases.

Ms Robertson replied that questions on number and length of cases cannot be addressed off the cuff. The Quarter 4  and Quarter 1  reports outline the cases in detail. This also covers the question of where the gender mainstreaming interventions were conducted. The reports show case figures per province, including how many cases were reported, how they were managed and what kind of cases they were.

On the selection of cases, the complaints manual acts as a guide to determine which cases fall within the CGE mandate. The legal team has the expertise to select. It can be a tedious administrative process for individuals who have filed complaints, which can be frustrating. Where the complaint cannot be addressed by CGE, the individual is referred to the appropriate institution. Sometimes referrals can be a challenge due to the complaint falling across several departments.

The Chairperson stated that in August a female Correctional Services officer had been murdered at the Leeuwkop Correctional Centre. The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services issued a statement. She asked CGE to address this case next week. The list of questions for CGE will be shared so it can immediately address them in the next meeting. She reiterated that sending apologies for a meeting after the meeting has begun is bad conduct, especially for professionals in high office.

The meeting was adjourned.

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