DCOG, MISA & DTA 2020/21 Annual Report; with Minister

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Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

09 November 2021
Chairperson: Acting Chairpersons: Ms D Direko (ANC) and Mr G Mpumza (ANC)
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Meeting Summary


Annual Reports 2020/21

The Department of Cooperative Governance (DCOG), Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA) and the Department of Traditional Affairs (DTA) briefed the Portfolio Committee in a virtual meeting on their Annual Reports for the 2020/2021 financial year.

The presentations from both Departments and MISA addressed the performance of the institutions for the year under review. The performance showed that DCOG received a qualified audit outcome and that the performance of the Department improved from 62% to 68% although there were targets that were not achieved. MISA achieved 81% of the targets for the 2020/2021 financial year and received a clean audit outcome. The DTA achieved 100% of the set targets for all the Department’s programmes.

The Committee raised concerns around the Community Works Programme of the DCOG because the CWP had incurred a lot of irregular expenditure and government employees were benefitting unlawfully from the programme. It seems as though there is little control over what happens in the CWP’s and there is no value for money. The qualified audit outcome from the DCOG was also questioned especially since the recommendations from the Auditor-General were not adequately implemented in the Department as control measures.

The issue of the death of initiates in the Eastern Cape was also questioned by the Committee since the enforcing of the new Customary Initiation Act. The Committee found it disturbing that there are a large number of municipalities without basic services even though the mandate of the MISA is to support capacity building within the municipalities. The Committee questioned the level of support that the MISA provides to municipalities especially those in rural areas.

Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who was present in the meeting, also confirmed that the qualified audit outcome from the DCOG is concerning but work is being done to change the outcome in the upcoming financial year. The Minister also emphasised the need for COGTA to have control in the CWP’s to ensure that there is value for money.

Meeting report

Opening Remarks by the Acting Chairperson

The Acting Chairperson said that the Committee met earlier to discuss the Auditor-General’s report where the Committee raised its dissatisfaction because some of the issues that were raised have been ongoing for the past three years. During the discussions, some of the questions asked by the Committee were not responded to. The Acting Chairperson said that the purpose of the current meeting was to discuss the 2020/2021 Annual Reports of the Department of Cooperative Governance, the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA) and the Department of Traditional Affairs. The DCOG Annual Report shows that qualified audit opinions are still being received and that financial and service delivery performance has not improved from the previous financial year. The Department has still not provided reliable and credible financial statements. There were also material misstatements in the financial statements of the Department which could not be corrected because the statements had already been published and the management from the Department was unable to implement proper record keeping controls which all resulted in a qualified audit opinion. DCOG is the only portfolio that did not achieve a clean audit. In the previous financial year, the expenditure on the allocated budget was not achieved as per the targets and the issues with the CWP have not been resolved. The Acting Chairperson said that it is concerning that there is no evidence that disciplinary action has been taken against the people responsible for causing irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure. It is also disturbing that the DCOG had negative findings in the management of CWP assets despite the appointment of service providers to the value of R8.1 million who were responsible for verifying and confirming assets that are consumable and administered by the CWP non-profit organisation at a local, provincial and national sub-sides. The appointment has offered little value for money.

On MISA and the DTA, the Acting Chairperson said that a qualified audit opinion without findings was achieved by both entities which are an improvement on performance especially for MISA which increased from 79% in 2020 to 81% in 2021. The challenge of MISA was in relation to the support provided to municipalities for infrastructure projects and programmes through labour intensive methods as well as supporting district municipalities to improve their Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) expenidture to 90%. The Acting Chairperson noted that COVID-19 restrictions have also impacted the target achievement of youth enrolled in MISA experiential learning and graduate programmes. Although MISA achieved a clean audit for the third consecutive year, it is concerning that wasteful and fruitless expenditure is to the value of R525 862 and that 63% of the budget was spent which resulted in an under-expenditure of R130 million. Another concerning issue is the arrest and bail release of the MISA CEO in relation to the Siyenza Group contract in the North West, Northern Cape and Amathole district municipality. On 20 May 2021, the Committee held a meeting and resolved that the Minister should brief the Committee on the details of the contract agreement with MISA and the reasons why the CEO has not been suspended pending investigations. The Committee also resolved that by 24 May 2021, the CEO of MISA should provide a detailed report on the status of the court case of a fraudulent tax certificate that was submitted by the Siyenza Group. These reports have still not been received by the Committee from both the Minister and the MISA CEO. The Acting Chairperson noted that over the next five years MISA hopes to align its strategic focus area with key elements of the District Development Model (DDM) including integrated service provision, infrastructure engineering, spatial reconstruction and the economic positioning of districts and metropolitan spaces. MISA is still struggling to achieve the targets relating to the key elements of the DDM which is affecting the five year strategic mission.

To the DTA, the acting chairperson noted that the annual report foreword highlights the laws of the 13 initiates in Eastern Cape despite the submission of the risk plan by the provincial government, the provincial houses of traditional leadership and Khoisan leaders. The Committee has held an engagement on the matter on 5 August 2021 where representatives from the SA Police Service (SAPS) and National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) were present. The Minister and Deputy Minister placed their hopes on the Customary Initiation Act which established the structures to address the key challenges related to male initiation especially in the Eastern Cape. The Act came into effect on 1 September 2021 and the Committee held a preliminary discussion with the DTA to discuss the readiness of implementing the Act. The Acting Chairperson said that the DTA faced challenges with the approval of its organisational structure which has 89 funded positions out of 127 positions. This has affected the Department in delivering aspects of its mandate. The Department has registered an above average performance during the year under review but the main challenge seems to be the misalignment between the Department’s organisational structure and its mandate. The organisational structure needs to be reviewed and aligned to the strategic plan and mandate of the Department.   

The meeting agenda was adopted.

Input by the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA)

Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, said that the Department is faced with the task of transition as new councils are welcomed into municipalities and that a programme with the SA Local Government Association (SALGA) has been initiated to capacitate councillors for efficient service delivery. The annual reports are being presented late because of the DCOG audit process. The Minister said that there has been an improvement in the performance of DCOG since the last financial year where ten additional targets were included. DCOG did receive a qualified audit opinion as anticipated but there is a slow change to improve this opinion. The Minister was happy with the audit outcomes from MISA and DTA. During COVID, the COGTA had to deal with more than 60 cases of COVID-19 which took up most of the Department’s time and governance related challenges that have been identified over the past year. Engagements have been held with the relevant stakeholders on the matters and there are plans to address the challenges through the amendment of the Municipal Structures Act which came into effect in November 2021. The engagements with the Committee on the Local Government Municipal Systems Amendment Bill in the past year have been valuable. The Minister said that some of the amendments of the Bill include: the abolition of the plenary type municipalities, the prohibition of a councilor from being elected into office if the code of conduct was breached, the allowing of an MEC to designate a person to call and chair a meeting if the municipal manager refuses to do so and the establishment of the office of the chief whip. The Minister expressed dissatisfaction with the DCOG qualified audit and said that one of the major issues is the CWP. CWP NPOs were appointed in 2018 and were found to be appointed in an incorrect manner by the courts so the expenditure from the NPOs is not classified as a legal expenditure. On the asset register of the CWP, the Minister confirmed that the assets are paid for by the Department but are kept and used by the NPOs. The matter is problematic because the Department does not have control over the assets. The Department is working hard to redesign CWPs because money is being spent with little control on what happens including the outcomes of CWPs such as the training of participants for skills development. The Minister said that the Department has been slow in enforcing consequence management but improvements will be made in this regard.  

Department of Cooperative Governance (DCOG) Annual Report 2020/21

Ms Avril Williamson, Director- General, Department of Cooperative Governance (DCOG), outlined the vision, mission and values of the DCOG as well as the seven government priorities. On the performance overview for 2020/2021, she highlighted that the performance of the Department improved from 62% to 68% where 21 targets were achieved out of 31. The list of achieved programmes included Administration (four targets achieved), Local Government Support and Intervention Management (six targets achieved), Institutional Development (four targets achieved), National Disaster Management Centre (five targets achieved) and Community Work Programme (two targets achieved). The targets that were not achieved were outlined and the reasons for deviation.

Ms Williamson provided the misstatements that resulted in the qualified audit opinion that was received by DCOG which included Prepayments and Advances, SCoA Allocations, CWP Assets and Disclosure Notes. On the appropriation statement, DCOG received R106 942 000 and the actual expenditure was R103 305 000 which is 97% of the budget. The statement of the financial position was provided as well as the disclosure notes.  

DCoG received a qualified audit opinion for material misstatements on Annual Financial Statements

See presentation attached for further details

Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA) Annual Report 2020/21

Mr Ntandazo Vimba, Chief Executive Officer, MISA, provided the purpose of the presentation, vision mission and mandate as well as the key functions of MISA. On the summary of performance against planned targets, MISA achieved 25 targets out of 31 which is an achievement of 81% for 2020/2021. The achieved targets included Administration (six targets achieved), Technical Support Services (16 targets achieved) and Infrastructure Delivery Management Support (four targets achieved).

The targets that were not achieved were outlined and the reason for the deviation.

In the 2020/21 financial year, MISA obtained an unqualified audit opinion without material findings (clean audit) for the third consecutive year. The maintenance of this positive audit outcome was made possible through management’s efforts to effectively implement measures to improve internal control environment. All issues raised by the AG in their previous management report were addressed during the year under review.

Mr Vimba outlined the institutional response to COVID-19 by MISA and the financial position as of 31 March 2021. The income received by MISA was R395.94 million and total expenditure was R265.13 million and the budget allocation was R71 million and R32 million of the budget was spent. He said that there was no irregular expenditure in the year under review. For the past three years MISA has managed to maintain a clean audit outcome and the audit action plans were provided. Recommendations for the Committee to note were provided.

See presentation attached for further details

Department of Traditional Affairs (DTA) Annual Report 2020/21

Mr Mashwahle Diphofa, Director-General, Department of Traditional Affairs (DTA), provided the vision, mission and values of the Department. On the performance on predetermined objectives, he said that 100% of the set targets were achieved for all the Department’s programmes. On financial performance, the budget allocation for the Department was R161.685 million with a total expenditure of 85.1%. And the Department’s consistent clean audit outcomes for the past five years were outlined.

See presentation attached for further details


Mr K Ceza (EFF) said that 13 initiates in the Eastern Cape lost their lives and asked the DTA whether it has held those who asked for the lifting of the ban accountable for the deaths of the initiates as promised by the Minister. He also asked on the intervention that the DTA is planning on using to address the challenge of the annual report notes that are a result of the apartheid legislation which provided for the recognition of traditional leaders without committed action associated to the establishment of a tribal authority and to define the area of jurisdiction. He said that there are 9 landless traditional leaders in Mpumalanga, 28 in KwaZulu-natal and 2 in Free State. He asked for clarity on the means to address the financial constraints in terms of the Department’s capacity in human and financial resources. On the reports that the DTA has partnered with the Solidarity Fund, the Department implemented food and input voucher projects which benefitted 20 000 households and 45 000 small scale farmers. In February 2021 the Committee learned that the value of each voucher was R2 000 for each emerging farmer. He asked whether the Department is confident that the vouchers were beneficial to small scale farmers.

To MISA, he said that the mandate of the entity is based on the enhancement of local government to enable the delivery of reliable infrastructure for sustainable provision of services with the key focus being on the acceleration of water and sanitation. He asked why most rural municipalities are still facing water challenges, quality roads and bore holes if the duty of MISA is to support the implementation of the MIG and infrastructure backlogs.

To DCOG, he asked on the agreed timeframes and budgets within the CWP’s irregular, wasteful and fruitless expenditure and on the mechanisms in place to minimise the investigation period as well as the harsh punitive measures in place against corruption and the corruptibility of the procurement process in terms of tenders and service providers that are not giving value for money. He also asked on the challenges of consequence management within DCOG because the Auditor-General revealed that there is a lack of consequences within the Department and also asked if there are monitoring mechanisms in the Department to strengthen and in-source participants in the CWP of municipalities. The Minister previously mentioned that the DCOG has paying participants but the question is who is paying the participants since there is no middleman. He asked on the number of government employees who benefitted from the CWP and why the prosecution of these employees is taking forever. He also asked on the measures in place to ensure that appropriate action is taken against all the non-qualifying government employees of CWP and to recover the financial losses. He raised concerns that the Department is currently recruiting and that the Department has been receiving unqualified audit opinions repeatedly. He asked how the recruitment of more staff will help in the turn-around of the Department’s audit outcomes and what processes have been followed in the recruitment of people. On the IDP and One Plans alignment framework, he asked on how the Department will ensure that all the priorities within the IDP are implemented within the set timeframes in municipalities because some priorities are not implemented within the set period. On the lack of portfolio evidence on the initial training which has been replaced by COVID-19 awareness training, he asked whether the Department conducts anything without a portfolio of evidence because it is impossible not to have a portfolio of evidence and he asked how much the awareness training costs or were resources shifted.         

Mr I Groenewald (FF+) asked DCOG for a list of the repairs on water infrastructure that has been done and asked for clarity on what sanitising infrastructure is. On the One Plans, he asked if the plans went through a public participation process.

To MISA, he said that it is disappointing that the plans could not be developed because in the previous BRRR the same plans were not developed. He asked how five municipalities under MISA’s support could not get the plans developed because it is important to have a plan if there is a need for infrastructure development. On the interventions, he noted that a lot of boreholes were done and asked for a report on the locations of the boreholes that have been done and on the refurbished boreholes because there are provincial departments that are claiming to have invoices of the boreholes yet there are still water shortage issues across the country. He asked where and what was done by DCOG on the water regulation system and on the upgrading of wastewater treatment works as well as a clear cost report on the work that has been done. He said that the reports should be submitted to the Committee within 7 days and noted that in a previous meeting with the Department the Department said that a circular would be compiled by different departments on the filing of vacant senior posts before the local government elections. He asked whether this has been done by the Department and requested the circular that was compiled.  

Mr C Brink (DA) raised concerns on the lack of urgency and seriousness regarding DCOG’s failure to achieve an unqualified audit outcome and to deal with the CWP by developing an alternative model that will reduce the incurring irregular expenditure from the last five to seven years. He asked for clarity on whether the DCOG Director-General mentioned that the qualified audit outcome is an achievement and he asked the Minister whether there would be consequences for the failure of DCOG to achieving an unqualified audit outcome and what will they be. He emphasized that before any One Plan is implemented in a municipality there must be an extensive public participation process because it is assumed that the IDP and the budget will be affected if they are not included in the One Plans.   

Mr G Mpumza (ANC) raised concerns about the Auditor-General’s report which stated that the DCOG has  stagnated and that the issues that were raised by the Auditor-General are serious especially that the Accounting Officer and senior management of the Department are not in a position to provide quality assurance on the financial statements. The reasons for the stagnation of the Department go back to the asset register because it reflects that the main qualifying factor is the PPE’s. He said that the presentation also shows that the Department, out of its allocated budget, spent almost 96.6% of the budget and only achieved 68% of its targets. He asked what the reasons are for the Department not achieving 100% of the targets and why the Department has not spent its entire budget on the disaster management intervention.  

Mr B Hadebe (ANC) said that the main cause for the qualified audit opinion is the CWP and the Auditor-General mentioned that the Department gave a commitment to reconcile and account for every transaction that happened in the previous contract that was declared invalid by the court so that funds are recovered. He asked whether the commitment has been undertaken. On the Assets Register and the lack of record keeping, he said that the Department is required to verify the assets and reconcile the records to confirm whether or not the records reflect what is in the possession of the implementing agency. He asked on the processes and controls that are in place to ensure that there is credible and accurate record keeping and information available to the Department when there is a transfer and close of an old contract. He said that all assets need to be accounted for. On the issue of poor record keeping, he noted that it is as if in the current financial year the people responsible for approving and making payments still process payments without adequate supporting documents for the invoices. He asked whether this is the way the process is handled, if so, has the Director-General implemented consequence management to ensure that there is zero tolerance for non-compliance and non-performance. If not, why has this not been done by the Department? He noted that the Auditor-General mentioned that the processes that the Department has implemented consequence management to the people that have incurred irregular expenditure within the audit could not be established as well as evidence that suggests that disciplinary action was taken against these people. He asked why this is the case.


Department of Cooperative Governance (DCOG)

On the CWP timeframes, Mr Pieter Pretorius, Deputy Director-General: Corporate Services, DCOG, confirmed that there are set timeframes to resolve all the audit findings raised by the Auditor-General and said that an audit plan was developed to respond to all the findings. The deadlines for some of the targets have already been met and the majority will be finalised between November 2021 and the end of the financial year. He said that there are a number of officials that have been charged in relation to the CWP matters and a forensic report was completed. Seven officials were identified, six were charged, one official passed away, three of the cases have been finalised and one has been found guilty. The cases are ongoing but become complex because of legal representation. A report was handed to the Hawks for further investigations and to decide which cases to pursue. On the issue of government employees benefiting from the CWP, 3 500 employees have been identified for possible double dipping which is concerning. The employees have been split into 3 categories: permanent employees, employees that are not full time and community health workers. The process of recovering funds from the full-time employees has started because they are not allowed to benefit from the CWP but the process is more complex for employees that are not permanent because the policy does not apply to them. On the recruitment of more staff, the staff that is appointed helps in improving oversight in the NPOs. On the training of participants in the CWPs, he said that the NPOs submitted documents to the Department claiming that a certain number of participants were trained but payments will not be made until solid proof (signed attendance register) is provided to the Department. 25 000 participants were claimed to have received training but the Department found that there were actually less than 25 000 participants trained which affected the set targets. He said that one of the main issues with the CWP is that the primary guiding document was the old CWP manual which is outdated but a new CWP implementation policy has been put in place. On the Department appearing stagnated, he said that there were still a lot of things that needed to be put in place because the measures that were put in place have not achieved their desired impact because they have not been in place long enough but the Department is confident that the measures will have an impact in the CWP. On the processes and controls to ensure credible information, he said that there are specific procedures in place where NPO’s have to account for every transaction and a detailed reconciliation of all transactions has been completed and audited by the Auditor-General. The asset register is a concern for the Department because it is one of the reasons for the qualified audit outcome on the CWPs. He highlighted that since the establishment of the CWP in 2014 there has been no asset management or a proper asset register so the Department is trying to make up for the poor asset management. There is a process in place where a service provider has been appointed to help verify assets on the ground and 95% of the work has been completed. There is also a process where a portion of the project management fees are paid to the NPO’s after all assets have been accounted for, all outstanding balances are cleared and all required documents are submitted. He said that the new implementing agents also receive an incentive to make sure that an accurate asset register is on site. On the invalid contract of the CWP, he said that there was a separate forensic investigation into the process of the contract and it identified a large number of employees that had to be further investigated. All but one of the employees left the Department before the end of the financial year.

On the wastewater maintenance and sanitising infrastructure, Mr Themba Fosi, Deputy Director-General: Local Government Support and Interventions Management, DCOG, confirmed that the list of locations where the wastewater projects took place will be provided to the Committee within seven days and said that the projects are directly implemented by municipalities and funded through the MIG. The projects were started mid-year to accommodate municipalities to respond to the challenges of COVID-19 and the projects were adopted by councils and are registered in the MIG. On the IDP and One Plan alignments and public consultations, he said that the One Plan is not a municipal plan but a plan for government so the IDP is not included or replaced by the IDP. Municipalities are still expected to undertake the processes of planning at a municipal level in terms of how IDP’s are prepared and the other spheres of government will also do the same because of inter-governmental relations to create a coherent government through the district development model. The One Plan enhances the IDP instead of replacing it because resources are pooled from national and provincial government as well as stakeholders outside of government to ensure that services and opportunities are provided. Mr Fosi said that the timelines and priorities for the IDP’s are processed through councils and are based on the available budget to determine which priorities will be implemented. The municipalities will also have to be supported through the provision of resources from national and provincial government. Consultations are held to ensure that all the spheres of government are part of the planning and development process of the One Plans. The consultations for the One Plans would be different from the consultations in the development of the IDP because it is legally done by municipalities.

On the mechanisms in place to minimise the investigation period, Mr Bheki Mathunjwa, Chief Financial Officer,DCOG, said that there were challenges with the capacity to follow –up on the cases and a Loss Control and Asset Dissolve Committee has since been appointed to review the cases and make appropriate recommendations. A panel of service providers has also been appointed to avoid a long process and to build internal capacity. The majority of cases are legacy cases that are linked to the CWP. On unauthorised irregular expenditure, he said that that irregular expenditure is mainly linked to the NPO’s that were declared unlawful by the court judgement which resulted in the Department restating the irregular expenditure for the previous financial year so the irregular expenditure increased. He highlighted that irregular expenditure should be expected to be reported in the current financial year (2021/2022) because the entire contracts were declared irregular and because the courts granted permission for the programmes to continue for the benefit of those who were already beneficiaries. Once the processes are clear, the work of the Department will become more evident unfortunately certain things cannot be undone in a short period. On the lack of urgency and seriousness by the Department to achieve an unqualified audit outcome, he said that some of the staff joined the Department towards the end of the financial year so there is a concern on the outcome of the audit and there is work being done to achieving a better audit outcome. The legacy issues are still a challenge because they cannot be undone in a short period of time. On the comments that the qualified audit outcome is an achievement for the Department, he said that it is not but the Department managed to sustain the qualified audit outcome as in the previous financial year. The audit outcome is not something to celebrate. Mr Mathunjwa said that the Department should be given a chance to work so that a lot of issues can be fixed. On the Departments ability to provide quality assurance financial statements, he said that the Department is competent to provide quality assurance financial statements but the challenge was related to the issues of the CWP such as the asset registers. There are also issues of capabilities that have been identified and work is being done to address the issue. On the question of why the Department spent most of its budget but did not achieve 100% of its targets, he explained that the 96.6% includes transfer payments that were made to municipalities so if the payments were discounted then the total spending would be 80%.

On the qualified audit opinion, Ms Williamson said that the audit outcome is not an achievement and that the Committee needs to note that within the strategic plan of the Department the target for the current financial year was obtained in the audit outcome. The target for the upcoming year onwards will be to obtain an unqualified audit outcome. On the recruitment of more staff, she said that the approach that is being used by the Department is in line with the prescripts of the public service regulations and the people that are being recruited will add more value to the Department especially in the areas where qualified audit results were identified and in information technology. She concluded that the Department is committed and determined to achieve what needs to be achieved.  

Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA)

On the delivery of reliable infrastructure, Mr Vimba said that there are a number of factors that contribute to the challenge of providing reliable basic services especially water and sanitation. These challenges include the lack of funding for repairs and maintenance for many small municipalities which results in infrastructure decay and infrastructure not being upgraded. MISA has influenced the reforms on what the MIG funds because previously the MIG could only fund new infrastructure and refurbishments. The current MIG makes a provision of 10% towards the repairs and maintenance of municipal infrastructure targeting water and sanitation infrastructure. 5 % has also been allowed for asset management planning which was not available in the beginning to encourage municipalities to prioritize asset management. He highlighted that MISA has already supported 10 districts with the development and implementation of water conservation and management strategies. There is a big improvement in reliable water and sanitation infrastructure in these municipalities. MISA has also supported municipalities in the implementation of operations and maintenance plans to ensure that municipalities have basic tools to operate and manage water functions. He said that the challenge is that it takes more than support from MISA but also the fixing of governance in municipalities, financial management and addressing the issue of human resource so that the support programmes from MISA, Treasury and other agencies are implemented properly within municipalities. He said that the work that has been done by MISA is evident. On the plans that could not be developed, he said that the plan in the current APP was not to develop the plans of municipalities so MISA supported these municipalities in implementing the long-term infrastructure investment plan where priority projects were identified. There were challenges with municipalities submitting some of the plans and that some of the funding agreements are concluded with funders that were introduced to municipalities. On the location of the boreholes, he confirmed that a list of the boreholes that MISA worked on will be provided to the Committee as well as details on the water infrastructure reticulation project in the Abaqulusi Municipality, the report on the upgrading of the wastewater treatment plant and the costs involved in the projects. MISA is willing to accompany the Committee when conducting oversight in these various locations where the projects were undertaken.

Department of Traditional Affairs (DTA)

On the farming vouchers, Ms Thandaza Shandu, Deputy Director-General: Institutional Support and Coordination, DTA, confirmed that there was partnership with the Solidarity Fund on the farming vouchers and said that each recipient of the vouchers received R2 000 and were redeemed from identified suppliers based on the farmers’ needs. The target was the farmers that were already doing subsistence farming and records of the redeemed vouchers are available. The Department worked closely with the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform to ensure that the beneficiaries are considered for the Presidential Employment Stimulus Initiative (PESI) programme that will be implemented in the upcoming financial year. She said that the voucher may not have been enough for the subsistence farmers but the intervention was appreciated by the farmers. Traditional leaders were also involved in identifying beneficiaries from their respective communities. On the Green Revolution programme, she said that there were pilot programmes and because there was no budget for the programme it was done through the CWP and is part of the 34 sites where work was being done. A list of the sites can be shared with the Committee where the pilot programmes where done.   

Mr Diphofa said that the vouchers helped the farmers work through COVID-19 by getting fertilizers and other needs. On the 13 initiates who lost their lives, he said that there were measures to ensure that the leadership of the Eastern Cape, through the MEC, HOD and the Acting Chairperson, has been held accountable and were able to indicate what happened (cause of death) and make arrests. With the Customary Initiation Act being in effect it provides more leverage. On the landless traditional leaders, he said that the issue takes time to address and that there is a process in place to encourage the provincial departments to identify parcels of land that could be made available. There are resources involved in the process and the DARDLR has been working on a land donations policy to identify land donation offers so the policy oversees the donations. Another issue is financial and human resource capacity especially with the budget cuts due to COVID-19 and the Department is dealing with the matter by having ongoing discussions with Treasury to determine compliance areas otherwise the Department is still using contract appointments and leveraging partnerships where necessary such as the capacity building programme.

Further discussion

Mr Ceza clarified that his questions were not implying that MISA is not doing any work but needed a holistic approach to the targets of the entity with timeframes and also how much resources will be required for portable water. In some provinces, there are facilities in a bad state and the mandate of MISA comes into question on the sustainable delivery of basic services. He asked about the targets that are anticipated.

Mr Vimba said that the current APP has targets on all 44 districts with the improvement on the MIG performance. The focus on the MIG is not on expenditure but on the reliability of the infrastructure that is developed. He said that one issue that has been managed is the reforming of the MIG so all the 213 MIG receiving municipalities have access to 10% of the funding to address the challenges around repairs and maintenance. There are hopes that this reform will be beneficial if municipalities really prioritize the issue of asset management which is a big challenge. Incentives and disincentives need to be put in place to ensure that the issue of water supply and other services are taken care of in municipalities. He said that MISA is expected to approve all the municipal plans that will be funded through the MIG and priorities will be assessed to ensure that the MIG is not just used to fund a new project. There are a number of programmes that MISA, together with DPSA and Treasury, have worked on including the private sector participation model where the fiscus is compared to the reality of the kind of challenge that is facing the country around infrastructure development and programmes that attract more municipal funding for infrastructure are discussed. The programme is currently being implemented. He highlighted that there is also an infrastructure budget facility that is currently with Treasury where a submission was made for the funding of the water and sanitation programme. A programme that deals with non-revenue water and non-revenue electricity across the country will aim at addressing the challenges around reliability.

Mr Mpumza said that the continuous challenges are not political or governance related but are technical because the water infrastructure is aged. There are hopes that the interventions from MISA will assist municipalities. To the DTA, he noted that the Department has a programme on Green Revolution and asked for the targets and progress of the programme as well as where the programme is being implemented.

The Acting Chairperson said that the Committee should always request plans with timeframes that indicate when the legacy issues will be addressed. On the issue of reliable water and sanitation, the Chairperson said that this is a big issue across the country and that there should be big plans that are guided by the district development model. MISA and other government agencies need to have clear plans on how the issue of unreliable water and sanitation will be resolved with the lead from the Department. The Chairperson said that there are always issues with water and sanitation in the Makana Local Municipality. There are complaints on incomplete water projects which must be addressed appropriately. The Chairperson appreciated everyone present in the meeting and said that the Committee’s questions should be welcomed to ensure that work is done. Parliament is also being questioned on whether the oversight that is conducted is effective so the Committee’s questions are strengthened to ensure effectiveness. The CWP problems must be resolved somehow and mistakes must be learnt from legacy issues. The Chairperson noted that it is not easy to implement consequence management when there is wrongdoing.

Meeting Adjourned.


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