The Committee convened on a virtual platform to be briefed by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on its Annual Report and financial statements for the 2020/21 financial year.
The Committee heard that the IEC received an overall clean audit opinion from the Auditor-General of SA, showing an improvement from the past five financial years.
In the 2020/21 financial year, the IEC generated R2.17 billion in revenue, and spent R1.2 billion, giving an accounting surplus of R971 million.
On its performance for the year, the IEC reported that it held 133 municipal ward by-elections under the restrictions of COVID-19 that were declared to be free and fair. There were 25.8 million registered voters of which 91 percent had a complete address. This was a significant improvement since 2016 when 33 percent of voters had complete addresses. There had also been a trend of more women participating in the elections than men.
The staff turnover rate of the IEC was 3.4 percent and it had 909 permanent staff members. Of the 14 performance targets set for the year under review, a total of nine, or 64 percent were achieved, despite the COVID pandemic.
Irregular expenditure amounted to R15.6 million, a reduction of 27.5 percent. It was identified and dealt with by the IEC’s internal compliance process. Fruitless and wasteful expenditure of R169 000 was due to a directive by the SA Revenue Service and interest and penalties for late payments.
The Committee decried cuts in the IEC’s budget. The Chairperson said that while the Committee was cognisant of the fiscal pressures the country was facing, the risk posed by the funding shortfall to the ability of the IEC to run a free and fair election was tangible. In the recently concluded local government election, the funding shortfall had allowed for just one registration weekend.
The Committee applauded the IEC for running credible, free, and fair local government elections. The Committee would meet with the IEC at the earliest available time to receive a comprehensive report on the elections.
The Committee welcomed the progressive improvement in audit outcomes at the IEC and the work done by the IEC leadership to steer it on a straight course, despite the challenges. The Committee was concerned that the target for the number of voters to be registered was not achieved. It recognised that this failure occurred in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and its associated restrictions and fears, coupled with the funding challenges.
Members said the low voter turnout during the local government election pointed to a need to increase electoral education. The Committee also called for the IEC to strengthen the capacity of its electoral staff prior to elections, in order to avoid some of the challenges experienced during the recent elections.
The Chairperson welcomed Members and the delegations. The purpose of the meeting was for the Committee to be briefed by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on its annual report and financial statements for the 2020/21 financial year. A second item was for the Committee to be briefed by its Content Advisor on the Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report BRRR) for the Department of Home Affairs (DHA).
The delegation from the DHA consisted of Mr Njabulo Nzuza, Deputy Minister of Home Affairs; Mr Gordon Hollamby, Deputy Director-General: Finance and Supply Chain Management; and Mr Muzi Njoko, Director, DHA.
The delegation from the IEC consisted of Mr Glen Mashinini, Chairperson of the IEC; Ms Janet Love,
Vice-chairperson; Dr Nomsa Masuku, Commissioner; Mr Sy Mamabolo, Chief Electoral Officer; Ms Dawn Mbatha, Chief Financial Officer; and Mr George Mahlangu; Chief Executive: Party Funding.
The Chairperson noted that this was an important meeting, and that the local government elections had just been concluded. Strengths and weaknesses during the election week were observed, particularly in the voting processes and outcome. The Committee noted the reports from the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) that the IEC continued to strengthen its governance and financial position to gain the public’s confidence.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there had been a review of performance targets in the institutions over which the Committee conducted oversight. This current meeting would not necessarily deal with the issue of local government elections because the IEC still had to consolidate and present to the Committee its report on facilitating the elections. The Committee had received the IEC’s audit outcomes and report from the AGSA the previous week. The focus of the meeting would be on the IEC’s 2020/21 Annual Report.
Introductory remarks by the Deputy Minister
Deputy Minister Nzuza stated that the Minister had travelled to Cape Town the day before and it was possible that he was still engaged in Cabinet meetings. He introduced the delegation from the DHA. He stated that the IEC was an independent constitutional institution with its powers derived from Chapter 9 of the Constitution. However, its administrative arrangements and budget vote fell under the DHA.
He said the IEC had complete control over its own affairs, and the institution would present their annual performance, financial information and audit outcomes to the Committee. The DHA congratulated the IEC for the good work it had done and the improvements in its audit outcomes.
Briefing by the IEC on its 2020/21 Annual Report and financial statements
Introductory remarks by the Chairperson of the IEC
Mr Glen Mashinini, the Chairperson of the IEC, introduced the delegation from the IEC and thanked the Deputy Minister for his remarks. He noted that 16 days before, more than 12 million South Africans had voted in the 2021 local government elections which were facilitated by the IEC during the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. The IEC would submit its Election Report to the Committee and engagements would commence at a later date.
He thanked the Committee for its robust engagement and participation in the IEC’s preparations for the elections and the support received. When the IEC was preparing to deliver the free and fair elections in extremely difficult circumstances, the input of Members was invaluable. The IEC was reminded every day of its duty to South Africa to deepen and strengthen democracy. This duty required the IEC to report to the Committee and account for every penny it had received and how it had been spent. This briefing by the IEC was focused on its 2020/21 annual report and financial performance of the entity and covered the successful by-elections of November 2020 and March 2021 that were conducted under the conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The IEC prided itself for having delivered a succession of credible, free, fair and successful elections in the past 27 years. In delivering these elections the IEC had met its constitutional obligation. It was important that there was transparency, accountability, and ethical conduct by all involved in this crucial exercise of democracy. It was for these reasons that the IEC reported on a regular basis to Parliament and the Committee, and that the AGSA audited the IEC’s financial performance on an annual basis. The IEC was proud to disclose that it had received a favourable and positive audit outcome for 2020/21.
Mr Sy Mamabolo, Chief Electoral Officer (CEO), and Ms Dawn Mbatha, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), presented the briefing.
Summary of the audit outcome and performance of the IEC
The Committee heard that the IEC had received an overall clean audit opinion from the AGSA. The entity had been working hard over the past few years to reach this achievement and was aware of the challenges in ensuring that it maintained the same standard of performance going forward. It showed an improvement from the previous five financial years in which the IEC received an unqualified audit opinion with findings.
In the 2020/21 financial year, the IEC generated R2.17 billion in revenue, and spent R1.2 billion in operating expenses, giving an accounting surplus of R971 million.
The IEC held 133 municipal ward by-elections under the restrictions of COVID-19 that were declared to be free and fair. There were 25.8 million registered voters of which 91 percent had a complete address. This showed a significant improvement from 2016 when 33 percent of voters had complete addresses. There had also been a trend of more women participating in the elections than men.
The staff turnover rate of the IEC was 3.4 percent and it had 909 permanent staff members.
Of the 14 performance targets set for the year under review in the IEC’s Revised Annual Performance Plan, a total of nine, or 64 percent, were achieved, despite the pandemic. This was in line with performance in prior financial years. The performance of each programme was summarised:
In Programme 1 - Administration, three out of four targets were achieved. This programme provided for the overall strategic management of the IEC, as well as centralised support services. It focused on strengthening governance by refining institutional governance arrangements and by exercising oversight, monitoring and evaluation. Commissioners provided oversight of the activities of the organisation, and facilitated the promotion of the principles of peaceful, free, and fair elections.
The IEC’s target for the minimum annual percentage of network and application systems availability was exceeded, with 97 percent systems and network uptime being maintained.
The AGSA had looked at the targets in this programme, and the verdict was that the IEC’s reporting was accurate and reliable, and therefore a clean audit outcome was awarded to the IEC.
The target that was not achieved related to the recruitment and retaining of a talented permanent staff complement. The 909 filled posts fell short of the recruitment target by 92 posts, due to the Covid-19 restrictions and budgetary constraints.
In Programme 2 - Electoral Operations, one out of three targets was achieved.The target to have 25.96 million registered voters as of 31 March 2021 was missed by 157 638. The Committee heard that the target had been determined with an assumption that two registration weekends would be held in the fourth quarter in the run up to the local government elections for 2021. It had also been envisaged that by-elections would provide registration opportunities, especially for new registration applicants. The nationwide lockdown as a result of the onset of COVID-19 had an impact on those plans, resulting in the postponement of registration. By-elections were similarly impacted. Other factors were a cutback by National Treasury, which meant that only one registration weekend could be held.
The other target that was not achieved related to the addresses of registered voters. As a result of the COVID-19 lockdown, the IEC had to curtail its plans to provide voters with an opportunity to update their address details.
The target that was achieved was the managing of free and fair elections.
In Programme 3 - Outreach, three out of five targets were achieved. This programme encompassed civic and democracy education (CDE); communications and media relations; research and knowledge management; and stakeholder engagement.
The targets not achieved involved planned research initiatives and multimedia communication projects. The reasons given were the Covid-19 restrictions and National Treasury budget cuts. Targets that were achieved or exceeded were the number of leadership interactions; the number of face-to-face CDE events held; and the number of meetings Commissioners held with key stakeholders.
In Programme 4 - Party Funding, both set targets were achieved. This Programme aimed to contribute to the enhancement of transparency in elections and party funding. It managed party funding and donations in compliance with legislation. The targets were to make quarterly disbursements to represented parties and the number of liaison sessions held with members of party liaison committees at national, provincial and municipal level. The 1104 sessions held exceeded the target by 423.
It was reported that the total assets of the IEC amounted to R1.97 billion, and liabilities amounted to R199.2 billion for the 2020/21 financial year. There was an accumulated surplus of R1.77 billion. The IEC’s revenue amounted to R2.17 billion and expenditure was R1.17 billion, giving a surplus of R970.51 million for the financial year. There was a three percent decrease in the IEC’s investment revenue compared to the previous financial year due to a lower return on investment. Overall, there was a one percent increase in the total revenue of the entity. The IEC reported that R1 million was spent on voting station rentals for by-election voting stations, R31 million was spent on software licences and a total of R 7.1 million was spent on repairs and maintenance of capital assets. Property, plant, and equipment of R55 million was acquired during the current year; R41 million was spent on enhancements to electoral systems; R48 million went to depreciation, amortisation, and impairment; and R134 million was spent on professional services.
Irregular expenditure for the year was R15.6 million, a reduction of 27.5 percent from the prior year. The total balance of the irregular expenditure was identified by the IEC’s internal compliance process. The non-compliance related to an isolated incident involving one of the procurement panels. It involved the allocation of work in contravention of the requirements of the contract and section 38 of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). No irregular expenditure was identified by the AGSA. The IEC performed an internal fact-finding process to understand what had resulted in the transgression and made remedial recommendations. Consultations were also held with National Treasury, and the Accounting Officer took a firm decision to discontinue the use of the panel. The amount was disclosed in the annual financial statements in the interests of transparency.
Fruitless and wasteful expenditure of R169 000 was incurred in the current year. It involved R114 000 paid to the South African Revenue Service (SARS) who issued the IEC a directive on lump sum payments due by former employees; and R 55 000 in interest and penalties charged due to late payment of invoices.
In conclusion, Mr Mashinini referred to the standard set for having addresses on the voters’ roll and noted that the IEC had been able to achieve this standard within five years. He commented that the fact that South Africa was the only country in Africa with this requirement mirrored some of the challenges faced by the continent.
The IEC had taken a conservative position on recruitment issues, because of the budgetary constraints. The National Treasury had made a number of arbitrary budgetary cuts in all the government departments without any notice.
Referring to the holding of only one registration weekend instead of two, he noted that the voter turnout of the recent local government elections demonstrated the impact of this. This was an issue over which the IEC did not have control because of the cuts in its budget.
The Chairperson thanked the delegation for the briefing.
Ms M Molekwa (ANC) commended the IEC for the improvement in their performance during the year under review. She was concerned about the irregular expenditure of R15.6 million, even though this was a 27.5 percent reduction from the previous financial year. The Committee could not condone the expenditure as it led to non-compliance. Internal controls should be strengthened. Was any plan in place to completely eliminate irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure? She noted the reasons presented by the IEC on why it could not raise the voter turnout during the 2021 local government elections. What would the IEC do to ensure that the majority of voters who were eligible to vote actually voted in the 2024 national and provincial elections?
Ms M Modise (ANC) also congratulated the IEC for their improved performance and applauded the facilitation of free and fair elections even under the difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic. She noted that the IEC’s presentation lacked some crucial detail and needed to expand more on its achievements. More needed to be done on voter education. On the low voter turnout, she commented that the IEC did not do enough to attract new voters, particularly among the youth. Its budget did not speak of funds channelled towards this initiative. The presentation was limited in detail, and in the future the IEC needed to expand more on the resources allocated to each of its initiatives and focus areas.
Regarding the IEC’s staff, she asked whether this included the staff members that worked during elections in the various voting stations. During interactions with staff working in the voting stations she received complaints that they did not receive adequate training ahead of elections, which resulted in challenges that presiding officers could not resolve. The Committee acknowledged and applauded the achievements of the IEC, but there was room for more to be done during voter registration and educational initiatives. Many voters would have been sent back because of the issue of addresses, and some even indicated that they had moved to new areas and updated their addresses, but they were not reflected on the voters’ roll. This resulted in voters being turned away and not allowed to cast their votes. These challenges should be made a priority at the IEC ahead of elections.
She commended the IEC on the decrease in irregular expenditure and asked whether there was an internal action plan or processes to identify the transgressions and allow for consequence management against those who were responsible.
Ms L Tito (EFF) referred to the sponsorship revenue totalling R5.15 million during the 2019/20 financial year, and the lack of such revenue during the 2020/21 financial year. She asked whether sponsorship revenue only occurred during election years.
Regarding the IEC’s indications of plans to pilot electronic voting methods, she asked whether the IEC had managed to secure funds and when it intended to roll out the piloting phase. The IEC had indicated that there were two days for voter registration. The IEC did not indicate if that was because some people who came on one day could not be registered because of devices not being functional. There were significant problems with newly registered voters whose details did not appear on the voters’ roll on the day of the election. She asked for details on how this problem slipped in and how the IEC would rectify these voting devices.
Ms A Ramolobeng (ANC) welcomed the briefing from the IEC. She agreed with the need for improved training for those who worked in the voting stations. She asked for clarity on the measures the IEC would take to ensure that people were not turned away during future elections. This was paramount in ensuring that elections were free and fair in every sense of the meaning She asked if there were new intakes of staff members for each election or whether the IEC used officials that had previous experience of working in voting stations.
Mr A Roos (DA) thanked the IEC for the briefing and stated that the DA congratulated its leadership for improving its performance and reporting to obtain a clean audit. It was a tremendous achievement that should be applauded, and he urged the DHA and the Government Printing Works (GPW) to learn from the IEC how they had improved, specifically with regard to material misstatements. He welcomed the decrease in irregular expenditure. He noted that the IEC’s lease revenue had gone down from R2.7 million in the previous financial year to R214 000 and asked for reasons. He noted that there was a need for the IEC to move away from leasing buildings to owning them. What progress had been made in the 2020/21 financial year towards owning the head office? What were the timeframes on this?
He urged the IEC to present their Election Report to the Committee by January. It should include a comprehensive report on the voter management devices (VMDs) and what went wrong between registration weekend and the election day. Had there been any investigation into the number of persons who claimed that they had registered on these during the registration weekend, and were unable to vote? He again congratulated the IEC for its improvements and for achieving a clean audit outcome.
Mr K Pillay (ANC) congratulated the IEC for its improvements and achievements despite the challenges it faced in the difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic. The right to vote spoke directly to the founding values of the Constitution. Since the democratic dispensation, South Africa had held free and fair elections. However, the low voter turnout in this election was quite concerning. He agreed with Members’ concerns about the registration of voters, particularly those who were registered during the voter registration weekend and were not allowed to vote as their details could not be found. There had been instances where the presiding officers were able to confirm that people took part in the process, but their details still could not be found.
There had been a process of allowing for applications for special votes, and people had applied and been approved, but there was no follow through in obtaining their votes. This raised the question of how free and fair the elections really were if voters who had followed the due processes were not allowed to vote. It was important to establish the number of new registered voters that actually were allowed to vote in comparison to those who were not allowed to vote because of system errors.
Incorrect voting districts had been a major challenge for the IEC for a number of years. Now the challenge was that some of the special votes were declined due to the fact that they were not in the correct voting district, although they were in the same ward. Not enough had been done to inform voters of the changes in terms of voting districts, demarcations and wards. There were also challenges with incorrect ballot papers being used in some voting stations.
He suggested that the DHA could assist in capturing correct addresses on the voters’ roll. He again congratulated the IEC for its improved performance.
The Chairperson thanked Members for their input and stated that the IEC should consider the issues and matters raised by the Committee relating to its briefing. He noted that the Committee was aware that the IEC would present a consolidated report on the local government elections during future engagements. The Committee welcomed the progressive improvement in audit outcomes within the IEC, which led to the entity receiving a clean audit from the AGSA. This should be a foundation for future positive outcomes.
Ms Dawn Mbatha, CFO, responded to the question on irregular expenditure. She said the IEC did not take any of the AGSA’s findings lightly. It engaged with National Treasury and constantly looked at ways processes could be enhanced. Regarding the remedial action taken to address the identified irregular expenditure, she responded that the relevant staff members would need to undergo compulsory training on how work needed to be allocated. The line function manager would then have to decide on additional consequences.
In response to the concern that not enough budgetary information was presented, she noted that the format in which the information was presented was a statutory obligation for the Annual Report and financial statements. The IEC would present its budgetary details when the targets of its Annual Performance Plan were revised during the financial year.
She confirmed that sponsorship revenue only came through during an election year.
On progress made with procuring permanent office space, she said the process was still underway. The reduction in lease revenue from R2.7 million to R214 000 was because of the postponement of by-elections during the financial year under review.
Mr Sy Mamabolo, Chief Electoral Officer, thanked the Committee for the questions and concerns raised. Regarding voter education, he commented that the COVID-19 pandemic presented difficult circumstances in which to prepare for and facilitate an election. The IEC put initiatives in place to be able to respond to the realities of the pandemic, which included interacting with higher learning institutions so that every student would be encouraged to register and vote in the election, especially using online voter registration. That was an important intervention to get the youth to participate in the election.
At the height of the third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the IEC launched the online registration portal which was a first for the country. In the circumstances, 500 000 people registered using the online system by the time the voters’ roll closed on 28 September 2021. There were engagements underway to improve the online portal and the IEC’s infrastructure in this regard. However, the IEC gave 500 000 South Africans the opportunity to register online, particularly the youth. The IEC committed to providing the Committee with an age breakdown and analysis of the people who used the online registration. The IEC also had a Democracy Week in April 2021 in high schools to enthuse and motivate young South Africans to register to cast their votes when they came of age.
He said voter turnout was influenced by a lot of factors at play. Since the onset of the pandemic, South Africans had correctly been told to avoid congregated environments. The election created an antithesis of that public message, which had been driven for over a year. It went against a national message that informed South Africans that they should avoid public places during the pandemic.
The IEC facilitated voter education and awareness via television and created short videos concentrated on the elections. The IEC put in its best efforts to ensure that people knew that the voting stations were safe and would adhere to the health and safety restrictions, but voters also responded to the realities of public places and service delivery issues.
The IEC conducted research through the Human Sciences Research Council to look at people’s feelings about the quality of democracy in the country. The election happened in a context where there was a general feeling that democracy was not working well in the country. Voter education was a factor that impacted voter turnout, but there were many other factors that also played a role. The IEC spent significantly more during this election on voter education to respond to the realities of the pandemic.
On concerns about the voters’ roll, he commented that the Constitutional Court was clear that people had to register and vote in the voting districts where they were ordinarily resident. To ensure this, the IEC must register an address of the voter or if no address was available, then collect sufficient particulars of the place of residence of the voter. The second step was for the IEC to place the voter in the correct voting district. It was a challenge when people moved out of their voting districts.
One challenge during the registration weekend was the operational difficulties with the VMDs, not so much that the VMDs themselves were not working, but rather the challenges related to the IEC’s back-end infrastructure, server capacity, and mapping functionality. When people registered it took too long to load and created time-out problems. The IEC attempted to increase the capacity, but it was not enough for the traffic. Having realised these difficulties, the IEC had to facilitate enhancements to reduce the number of layers on the mapping functions and to reduce the dependence on maps, as well as build dedicated server capacity. This was done to resolve these problems ahead of the elections.
There were no similar problems relating to the back-end infrastructure’s capacity during the elections. People resorted to using varied manual interventions instead of using the VMDs, and the IEC had to make arrangements to ensure that the manual registrations were completed and brought onto the voters’ roll before it was certified. However, this presented difficulties as there was usually a three-week period between the proclamation date and the closure of the voters’ roll. There was no opportunity for a proper “mopping up” exercise to ensure that all the details of the registrations were captured. However, this did not mean that people lost their right to vote. The IEC placed them on a list proving that they had registered and could exercise their right to vote. This list was made available in hard copies to voting stations and centrally on the network of the voting stations. The IEC would provide details and numbers to the Committee. Even if the VMDs lost connection to the central network, there provisions were made for it to store transactions on the local device and sync it with the network once connections were restored. The IEC would report fully on these details when it presents the Committee with its comprehensive Election Report.
Regarding the special votes, he noted that when the IEC made home visits, some people were not found at home. Regarding incorrect ballot papers being used, he commented that the IEC was considering consequence management for those officials who delivered the wrong ballot papers. He noted that the IEC did use staff members with prior election experience. It worked towards striking a balance between retaining officials and getting new recruits.
Ms Janet Love, IEC Vice-chairperson, commented that the decision by many young people not to vote was not so much a decision prompted by a lack of information and understanding of the electoral process, or even a lack of knowledge about the democratic process. It also reflected an active decision not to vote because young people felt that voting had not delivered on their needs. It was important not to make the assumption that the only barrier to participation was a lack of engagement with the youth, but rather that there was an active decision taken in response to what the outcome of elections was perceived to be.
Dr Nomsa Masuku, IEC Commissioner, noted that there were 909 permanent staff members. Additional staff were employed in the voting stations when needed. The IEC evaluated the work and performance of each employee in deciding whether they would be retained.
Mr Mashinini responded to the question about electronic voting. He noted that the IEC would have to move towards the automation of most of the business processes to minimise the human factor and improve its ability to deliver more accurate and reliable results. As things stood, no piloting phase was underway and the matter would be reopened in the new year. The VMDs had addressed the issues of being able to register people and at the same time locate them in the appropriate voting districts with addresses in compliance with the Constitutional Court’s judgement. These issues would be discussed with the Committee in the next year. The cleaning up of the voters’ roll required that voters check their details, and this was now facilitated online.
The IEC remained committed to ensuring that the voters roll was as accurate as possible, but he noted that not everything was attributable to the actions of the IEC. There was also a responsibility on the part of the voters to continuously engage and respond to the IEC’s calls to check that their details were captured correctly. He thanked the Committee for recognising and applauding the IEC’s hard work in the recent elections and its clean audit outcome.
Deputy Minister Nzuza thanked the delegation from the IEC for their hard work and the responses given. The DHA was committed to providing support to the IEC and the Committee. He noted that there was room for improvement in ensuring that people did not go to voting stations without having their identification documents ready.
The Chairperson thanked the delegation from the IEC for their responses. He applauded the IEC’s continuous clean governance and extended the Committee’s appreciation for the hard work put in by the entity and the good work done by its staff.
The IEC should take note of the ICT challenges, and this should be discussed with the Committee in the next year to find ways to mitigate these challenges. The Committee would interact with the IEC to address various challenges experienced during the local government elections once the Election Report had been submitted. There was room to improve moving forward to future elections. The IEC also had to report back to the Committee regarding the implementation of electronic voting. He excused the delegations from the IEC and the DHA from attending the remainder of the meeting.
Briefing by the Content Advisor on the BRRR for the DHA
The Committee was briefed by Mr Adam Salmon, Content Advisor to the Committee, on the Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report (BRRR) for the DHA.
Mr Salmon noted that the BRRR covered the majority of the work the Committee had done throughout the year. The information pertaining to the IEC would be added to the document within the next few days, and the final document would be sent for consideration.
The Chairperson thanked the Content Advisor. He noted a need to include points about an oversight visit to the GPW and that progress on the AGSA’s findings on the GPW should also be included. The BRRR was scheduled for adoption b y the Committee in the following week.
Ms Molekwa agreed with the Committee’s recommendations as presented. She emphasised the issue of the relationship between the DHA entities’ management and staff and asked that there be a follow-up on the progress of the implementation of the Committee’s recommendations to the GPW as well as feedback from the Ministerial Committees appointed regarding these issues.
Ms Tito agreed with Ms Molekwa.
Ms Ramolobeng agreed with the recommendations made by the Chairperson.
Mr Roos commented on a recommendation in the draft BRRR about security cameras and services and noted that the Committee should add a reasonable timeframe. It was also necessary that the DHA provide feedback on the lack of funding to rectify its network connectivity. The DHA had already had a period of 24 months to implement the recommendation about this. The DHA’s engagements with the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) had resulted in 32 recommendations that should be acted on by the DHA. The recommendation of the Committee should reflect the need for the DHA to provide it with its progress in this regard.
Mr Pillay noted that the Committee would like all the Ministerial Committees that had been set up to give feedback before the end of November 2021. It was also important for the Committee to focus on what could be done before Parliament entered into its recess period.
Mr Salmon noted that he had taken note of the input of Members, and he would present the revised BRRR to the Committee the following week. He also drew Members’ attention to a Progress Tracking Tool that had been sent out, as it included some of the outstanding issues relating to the BRRR.
The Chairperson thanked Members for their participation in the meeting and the Content Advisor for his work on the BRRR.
The meeting was adjourned.
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