Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities

23 November 2021
Chairperson: Ms C Ndaba (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

2021 Budget Review & Recommendations Reports – BRRR

The Committee met on a virtual platform to consider and adopt its Budgetary Review Recommendations Report (BRRR) and to consider and adopt meeting minutes from previous meetings. Members expressed the need to capture the continuity of the monitoring and evaluation processes in the report which looked at the performance of the women, youth and persons with disabilities portfolio for 2020/21.

The Chairperson stated that there is a pressing need to invite stakeholders and third party role-players to provide more information on how police stations are responding to Gender Based Violence (GBV) and femicide.

Due to time constraints, the Committee decided that it will prioritise the security cluster as key stakeholder to present to the Committee in this regard.

Members were generally satisfied with the substantive content of the BRRR report. Much of the other material changes to the report were related to phrasing.

 The BRRR report was adopted.

Meeting minutes from 12 and 16 November 2021 were adopted.

Meeting report

The Chairperson opened the virtual meeting, and welcomed Members.

The Chairperson informed Members that she has been a victim of identity fraud, where an unknown person has been using her official parliamentary photo in connection with a WhatsApp number asking people for money. She cautioned Members in this regard, as Member’s photos and numbers are in the public domain.

The Chairperson congratulated Members that have newly been elected as ward councillors, and stated that the ANC lost some seats in these last [local government] elections; she particularly noted the loss of the Ekurhuleni Municipality. She also noted the smaller voter turnout, and reiterated the importance of introspection to reflect on the low turnout and reinvasion how Members can inspire voter participation in the democratic process.

The Committee Secretary informed the Chairperson that there have not been any absentee apologies in this meeting.

Ms P Sonti (EFF) apologised to Members informing them that she had to leave the meeting immediately due to a family emergency.

Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report of the Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities

The Chairperson asked the Content Advisor to provide an overview of the BRRR.

The Content Advisor thanked the Chairperson and the Committee for their hard work throughout the year. She commended that the Committee’s report has culminated in a comprehensive report.

The Chairperson directed the Content Advisor to the observations and recommendations, to ensure that the Committee’s views have been captured accurately. She stated that the aim of the meeting is to be poised on the substance of the report and not cosmetic grammatical adjustments, as the report will be edited.

The Chairperson asked Members to give feedback on the report, and specifically asked them to raise any queries pertaining to omissions or the substantive content of the report.

Ms F Masiko (ANC) concurred that the meeting should focus on key observations, as those are matters of substance that need to be raised. She pointed out a mistake in the date of the elections, stipulated in the introduction.

The Chairperson added that that sentence needed to be reconstructed in its entirety for greater clarity.

Ms M Hlengwa (IFP) agreed with the proposal to proceed to “observations and recommendations”.

The Content Advisor commenced with an overview of the key observations and recommendations.

The Content Advisor paused the reading of the report to inform Members of key observation, where the Committee received an APP report, which did not provide enough information to assist the Committee in its oversight duties. There were general summaries provided in this report, but the information provided was general and did not provide any comprehensive details.

The Content Advisor continued reading the Committees observations.

The Content Advisor responded to the Chairperson’s comments in the previous meeting and pointed out that the programme three annual performance, and the monitoring report on realising the rights of women, was submitted late, which did not allow the Committee to deliberate on the report.

Matters Arising from Previous Years

Has the Department reported on issues from previous years?

In the previous meeting a question arose whether the Department has reported on issues from previous years.

The Content Advisor responded that her research into the matter has yielded that this current BRRR report does not reflect the continuity of work but does mention issues arising from previous years.

The Content Advisor stated that, in terms of Legal Services, the Committee raised concerns arising from the previous annual report, that the CGE’s (Commission for Gender Equality) standing as a legal practice was withdrawn and no submission was made to reinstate it. The Content Advisor stated that it is unclear whether the matter has been resolved, and there is nothing in the previous report that suggests that the matter has been resolved.

The Chairperson asked a question about the CGE.

The Content Advisor referred the Chairperson to the relevant provision, stating that the CGE matter was noted under the finance heading.

The Chairperson asked that the CGE issue also be restated under the “litigation” heading, as it deals with policy and the consequence management issue.

The Content Advisor noted the Chairperson’s remarks and responded that the restatement does aid in capturing the spirit of the Committees discussions.

Performance Rewards

The Content Advisor read that over 476 employees received performance rewards for the year under review.

The Chairperson asked for more clarity on whether that was captured in the brief.

The Content Advisor stated that her colleague will verify the exact details momentarily.

The Chairperson pressed on the matter, asking that it be placed under outstanding matters. She could not recall whether the Audit and Risk Committee included it in their report.

The Content Advisor clarified that she did not feel that it was appropriate to add the performance rewards observations’ correspondences with third parties in the BRRR. The Content Advisor confirmed that the matter was already captured in the Audit and Risk Committee’s report.

The Chairperson agreed that this was captured correctly.

The Chairperson, speaking about the NYDA (National Youth Development Agency), stated that the Committee had raised concerns that the allocated amounts were inadequate and did not provide enough support for to support beneficiaries’ businesses. She asked that the wording in the report be changed to better reflect this.

The Content Advisor agreed with the suggestion, and changed the wording accordingly.

The Content Advisor explained that the first part of the observation was asking whether the beneficiaries were being paid and, if they were being paid, whether they were being paid timeously.

The Chairperson agreed.

The Content Advisor proceeded with the reading of the report.

The Chairperson asked the Content Advisor to pause to allow for deliberations.

The Content Advisor agreed and clarified that the majority of the CGE’s staff members received performance rewards. She stated that there are 87 staff Members, including the commissioners. Of these, 73 staff members received performance rewards. She stated that there were two interns who were on staff at the time, but they may not have been eligible for performance rewards.

The Chairperson informed the Committee that Ms Masiko had previously raised a concern that the majority of CGE bursary recipients were commissioners, asking for more clarity on this regard.

Ms Masiko confirmed that she had raised this matter.

The Content Advisor said that she will look into it. She clarified that it was not bursary per se, but rather that there were staff training sessions that were held.

Ms Masiko felt that the report generally captured everything that was discussed in the meeting. However, she stated that 4.2 (b) did not indicate the timeframe that was referred to in the previous meeting.

The Chairperson noted this.

Ms Masiko felt that the Committee’s recommendation on corruption in KZN was not adequately worded and did capture the Committee’s recommendation clearly. Ms Masiko also asked that the Committee’s recommendations about the sanitary dignity programme’s implementation be included as well.

Ms N Sharif (DA) agreed that the report captures the previous meetings deliberations. She asked about the consistent and longstanding apologies and the CGE chairperson’s undertaking of commissioner’s performance reviews.

Mr L Mphithi (DA) asked a question pertaining to S 15.7.6 (the ‘yes for youth’ initiative) in the report, asking whether the CEO of the YES for Youth programme could be invited to a committee meeting, as there were questions on its effectiveness.

The Content Advisor stated that this was captured in the previous meetings’ minutes.

The Chairperson asked that the Committee follow up on this matter in a future meeting.

The Chairperson asked the Content Advisor to continue reading the report.

The Chairperson stated that there are still several reports that are still outstanding, and asked that this be captured in observations.

The Content Advisor presented the current phrasing of this point in the report, and asked whether Members were satisfied.

The Chairperson affirmed that her point has been captured.

The Content Advisor continued and concluded the reading of the report.

The Chairperson thanked the staff for their diligent work.

The Chairperson asked Members for their contributions.

Ms Sharif informed the Committee that the Department had committed to provide the bi-annual report that is usually provided to the President to the Committee as well. She asked whether this could also be added to the report.

Ms Sharif reminded the Committee that the Department had also committed to provide a completed report on the NSP to the Committee in August, asking whether this report has been made available.

The Chairperson agreed. She added that the Committee intended to invite stakeholders and third-party role-players to present to the Committee and provide more information on how police stations are responding to Gender Based Violence (GBV) and femicide.

Ms Sharif added that there is still an outstanding report on the CGE’s oversight of police stations.

The Chairperson thanked Ms Sharif for this point, and stated that this is an important matter. It would be wrong to conclude the report without giving the departments to present on the issue of GBV and CGE oversight of police stations in this regard.

The Chairperson asked the Committee Secretary to consider whether there is a date available for a meeting to be scheduled.

The Committee Secretary responded that 07 December 2021 is a plausible date.

Ms Hlengwa asked whether the Department of Education was included as a stakeholder for the future meeting.

Ms Sharif stated that the Committee should consider the pillars of these Departments to determine whether they should be added as stakeholders and role-players to present at a future meeting.

The Chairperson agreed.

The Chairperson was concerned about the time constraints and asked the Committee Secretary to advise in this regard.

The Committee Secretary agreed that the pillars are useful to group the departments into clusters. The challenge is that there are time constraints, as there is only a morning slot available for that meeting. She also highlighted that the security cluster covers a range of issues and would require more time. The NSP will need four meetings, but she advises that the Committee begin with the security cluster in the meantime.

The Chairperson agreed that the security cluster will be prioritised for the remainder of this year.

The Committee Secretary stated that Ms Sharif’s comments have been noted.

Ms Sharif emphasised that the handbook is essential, and it is concerning that it has not been finalised yet, as the handbook governs the implementation of the CGE.

The Committee report was adopted.

The Chairperson thanked the Committee staff for their diligence.

Consideration and Adoption of Meeting Minutes

The Committee adopted its minutes for 12 and 16 November 2021.

The meeting was adjourned


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