Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities 2020/21 Annual Report

NCOP Health and Social Services

01 December 2021
Chairperson: Ms M Gillion (ANC, Western Cape)
Share this page:

Meeting Summary

Annual Reports 2020/21

The Chairperson acknowledged that the meeting was being held on World AIDS Day. She highlighted the importance if this day being an opportunity for government to reflect on the milestones achieved in curbing the HIV pandemic. It also serves in keeping government focused on finding a cure for HIV/AIDS.

The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD) presented their Annual Report for 2020/21 addressing overall performance and strategy, programme delivery and progress, human resources management and financial performance. The Department received an unqualified audit opinion for the period under review. Each target that was not met was given detailed reasons for this including deviations from the initial plan.

COVID-19 impacted the Department’s performance with some programmes that required physical contact not being implemented. The transition from staff working in office to working online also posed challenges, especially with important functions such as the processing of supplier payments on time.

Members were concerned that the National Council on Gender Based Violence and Femicide (NCGBVF) had not yet been established. However, the comprehensive response from the Department gave perspective on the delay that is unlikely to end soon considering the processes involved.

Members sought more information on the interventions for women in business and if they were impactful. The Department used the opportunity to explain that this programme was a collaboration with other government departments, and they can say with confidence that whenever government departments want to issue work to women businesses, they cannot complain that there are no women businesses as the training has built that pipeline.

Meeting report

DWYPD 2020/21 Annual Report
Ms Shoki Tshabalala, DWYPD Acting Deputy Director General: Social Transformation, gave  the opening remarks on behalf of the Director General who was unable to attend the meeting. She noted the budget is structured into five programmes: 1) Administration 2) Social Transformation and Economic Empowerment, 3) Policy, Stakeholder and Knowledge Management, 4) National Youth Development and 5) Rights of Persons with Disabilities.The Department received an unqualified audit report on the 2020/21 financial statements. The Department’s Plan was adjusted during the year under review due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Gender-based violence and femicide cases increased during the lockdown which resulted in the fast-tracking of programmes related to that.

Programme Delivery and Progress
Ms Val Mathobela, DWYPD Chief Director: Strategic Management, noted that in 2020/21, 27 out of 36 targets (75%) targets were achieved. The unachieved nine performance indicators have been reviewed, and targets adjusted accordingly considering the findings of why they could not be met. Under the Administration programme, there was a delay in the payment of 2.5% of total supplier invoices due to Lockdown Level 5 and 4 as there was limited human resource capacity available for capturing payments.

Four interventions to support economic empowerment and participation of women, youth, and persons with disabilities (WYPD) were implemented. These included webinars, an integrated Entrepreneurship Development Programme, a capacity building workshop on opportunities within the Sanitary Dignity Programme Economic Value Chain and a virtual Enterprise Trade Fair for WYPD.

The Department reported some reduction in levels of marginalisation, stigmatisation and discrimination and violence against women, girls, and persons with disabilities. This is a result of 13 national departments having integrated the Gender-based Violence and Femicide (GBVF) National Strategic Plan (NSP) 2020-2024 priorities.

The work of DWYPD included government wide planning, budgeting with monitoring and evaluation to address priorities for women’s empowerment, youth development and the rights of persons with disabilities. Notably, the Department of Human Settlement, Water and Sanitation and the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation have now separate strategic plans for WYPD.

Human Resources Management
Mr Mbhazima Shivithi, DWYPD Chief Director: Resource Management, said the Department embarked on a restructuring process that would be more appropriate to its mandate and strategic intentions. In support of the National Strategic Plan on GBVF, a GBVF Secretariat was established. COVID-19 restrictions had a debilitating effect on the productivity of the Department; however, remote working arrangements ensured that services were maintained while safeguarding the health and safety of employees. The Department had a vacancy rate of 8.5% which was largely based on vacancies in senior management.

Annual Financial Performance
Ms Desree Legwale, DWYPD Chief Financial Officer, stated the Department had an underspending of 3%. Some of the reasons include vacant posts; Covid-19 travel restrictions which curtailed travel and subsistence linked to the facilitation of GBVF and Sanitary Dignity campaigns projects, public gatherings and stakeholder coordination and outreach engagements. There was also a delay in the implementation of the research projects to harmonise Disabilities Rights Reporting Instruments and Legislative Audit for Disability Rights Bill.

The Department did not incur unauthorised expenditure during 202/21. The only irregular expenditure was due to payments to security services linked to a contract identified as irregular in the 2017/18 audit. That contract ended in December 2020 and a new contract was put in place effective 1 January 2021.

The Chairperson said DWYPD noted that it had requested rollover funds from National Treasury – R2.135m for Microsoft licence renewal, R3.627m for the establishment of the National Council for GBVF, R2.75m for a radio talk show programme. She asked if the R2.75m spend for radio programmes included local radio stations which were closer to the people.

Ms D Christians (DA, Northern Cape) noted that there were several revised targets set by DWYPD but no elaboration in the report on these revised targets She asked for clarity on the progress of the revised targets.

She was disappointed that the three targets on GBVF were not achieved. Four additional posts were created for this programme, but three of those most important targets were still not met. She asked DWYPD to elaborate on what its planned GBVF programmes were, how far they were and how they will be achieved.

Mr E Nchabeleng (ANC, Limpopo) asked what the impact was of the intervention to empower women in business. He asked for feedback on how many of those businesses were sustainable and those that were not, what support they needed to make them sustainable.

Ms S Lehihi (EFF, North West) noted the emergence of a new COVID-19 variant and a possible fourth wave of the pandemic. She asked that DWYPD embark on a programme to educate the public on the importance of getting vaccinated against COVID-19. She asked what was holding back the approval of other vaccines.

DWYPD response
Ms Tshabalala replied that she was not aware of DWYPD being expected to deal with the importance of vaccination. The DWYPD mandate deals with regulatory aspects for the socio-economic empowerment of women, youth and persons with disabilities and not vaccination which would resonate better with the Department of Health. She requested further clarity on the question.

Ms Tshabalala addressed the three unmet GBVF targets. DWYPD was ready to set up a National Council on GBVF as directed by Cabinet. Cabinet had directed that DWYPD follow the South African National Aids Council (SANAC) model in setting up the Council. This implied that the Council must take the legal structure of a trust. DWYPD embarked on a process of issuing a request for people to nominate members to serve on the trust. Civil society then approached DWYPD, after the advert was out, that it should not proceed in setting up a Council in the form of a trust. Civil society’s preference was that a Bill be drafted that would become legislation. Instead of having a trust, the Council should be enabled by statute. The process of setting up a trust was abandoned and DWYPD then opted for a Private Member Bill strategy which was also rejected by civil society on the basis that it would not be inclusive. The Private Member Bill strategy which would speed up the Department’s processes of establishing a Council was also abandoned.

DWYPD then had to adopt the normal lengthy, tedious, and demanding process of legislation that any government department undergoes. This involves drafting, consulting state law advisors, certification, taking the draft through all the clusters of government including the technical clusters, through the cluster of Directors General until it goes to Cabinet. The proposed legislation would still need to undergo the Socio-Economic Impact Assessment System (SEIAS) to check on its impact on members of society. DWYPD has finally reached a stage where the Draft Bill is in place and they are consulting civil society. Eight provinces have already been consulted with one more remaining. The next step will be to take it to Nedlac to go through that process and then take it back to Cabinet. The legislation precedes the establishment of the Council. DWYPD is ensuring that the legislation is in place and they will continue engaging and working with civil society to ontinue this journey of establishing enabling legislation and ultimately a Council.

The second target that was not met was the National Gender Machinery. DWYPD was ready to take the National Gender Machinery Framework to Cabinet. However, at that time, Department of Women was amalgamating with other departments – Youth and Persons with Disabilities. It did not make sense for DWYPD to proceed and table a framework that had a mandate solely focused on gender. The Director General suggested that DWYPD halt the process and instead engage colleagues in the Youth and Persons with Disabilities sectors to come up with a GeYoDi Framework which addresses all groups and permits the different sectors to meet and deliberate on their own.

Ms Tshabalala addressed the third target of the prevention strategy for GBVF. DWYPD had a small budget and limited capacity which negatively impacted its delivery. It worked with civil society in coming up with a strategy to implement the key deliverables while it is waiting on the Council to be established. It came up with a strategy in the short period to implement a communication strategy. They quickly realised that prevention is not about communication as GBVF has been spoken about extensively but that has not reduced the number of cases. The Department reached out to development partners like GIZ, UN Women, UNICEF as children are affected by GBVF. As a result of these development partners and other government departments coming on board, the GeYoDi strategy is in process, the Minister will give further guidance on what else needs to be done.

Ms Tshabalala addressed the programme to empower women in business. DWYPD was not an implementing department. It works with departments who work with them to bring capacity or create an enabling environment for access to opportunities that are available for women. DWYPD has partnered with the Office of the President which has programmes to empower women in business on how to tender and how to understand government processes and what is expected from business owners.

The radio talk shows are in all 11 official languages on how to do business with government. DWYPD has developed a training programme in all languages led by South African Women Lawyers Association which involves SARS and Small Business. The Department's efforts are to level the playing field so women can also compete for tenders including in the Sanitary Dignity Programme value chain where women can be involved in manufacturing of sanitary products.

Ms Mathobela referred to page 14 of the Annual Report under the section “Discontinued Activities.” The Annual Performance Plan was adjusted in line with the DPME Circular 1 2020/21 due to COVID-19 regulations. Programme 1 Administration and Programme 5 Youth Development did not have any revised targets. The adjusted APP was audited by the internal auditors and the Auditor General who gave an unqualified audit opinion on the reliability of the targets.

The Chairperson thanked the Director General and her team. She wished them a safe and blessed festive season in these trying times.

The Committee adopted the meeting minutes of 31 August and 16 November 2021. The last meeting for the year would be held the following week to adopt the proposed programme for the first quarter of 2022.

The meeting was adjourned.

Download as PDF

You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.

See detailed instructions for your browser here.

Share this page: