South African Social Security Agency & National Development Agency Annual Report 2020/21; with Minister

NCOP Health and Social Services

08 March 2022
Chairperson: Ms M Gillion (ANC, Western Cape)
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Meeting Summary


Annual Reports 2020/21

The Select Committee was briefed in a virtual meeting by the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and the National Development Agency (NDA) on their annual reports for 2020/21. Both of the agencies had received unqualified audit opinions.

SASSA and the NDA gave detailed presentations indicating their performance against their targets, the areas where they had underspent or overspent their budgets, and the programmes implemented to address performance shortcomings.

SASSA came in for criticism for underspending its budget at a time when rising unemployment and the Covid-19 pandemic was having an adverse impact on the economically disadvantaged communities in the country. The Auditor-General (AG) had also noted in their report that SASSA needed to work on its oversight responsibilities.

The NDA had had to revise its annual performance plan to accommodate the impact of the pandemic. It had therefore introduced a flagship programme called the "Volunteer Programme", with 2 049 volunteers across all provinces, to combat the dire effects of Covid-19.  Its Criminal Assets Recovery Account (CARA) programme was aimed at fighting the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide through funding 312 civil society organisations (CSOs) to the value of R85.6 million. Although performance over the past three years had improved, the AG had identified non-compliance with supply chain management legislation and allegations of misappropriation of CSO funding as fraud risk factors that needed to be addressed.

The Committee was concerned about the irregular expenditure, non-compliance issues, underspending and the filling of critical posts. Additionally, there were concerns regarding the lack of consequence management reported in the AG's report and the sustainability of the R350 relief grant.

The Minister of Social Development said that the Covid-19 pandemic had worsened poverty, unemployment and inequalities while increasing uncertainty, panic, distrust, gender-based violence and femicide, instances of violence and abuse against children, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, the reports presented by SASSA and the NDA reflected their commitment to dealing with the impact of the pandemic and the budget cuts experienced as a result of the pandemic.

Meeting report

Opening Remarks

The Chairperson welcomed Members, the Minister and officials from the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and the National Development Agency (NDA), and commented that the Committee was meeting after a long absence. However, she was looking forward to working with the Members and the different departments in 2022 to bring change to the people of South Africa.

SASSA 2020/21 Annual Report

Ms Raphaahle Ramokgopa, Executive Manager: Strategy and Business Development, SASSA, said the report covered SASSA’s performance against its set objectives in line with its annual performance plan (APP), which had had to be re-tabled in February and July because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

SASSA’s core business was to provide social assistance to eligible South Africans who could not support themselves and their dependents, to alleviate poverty. This responsibility was in line with its Constitutional mandate.

SASSA had paid over 18 million South Africans social grants over the reporting period. As a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, there were over 1.3 million new normal social grant applications and an average of about 5.5 million citizens benefited from the COVID-19 special relief grant of R350 monthly. They serviced 41% of the South African population. Payments were made monthly.

SASSA's operations had been impacted by a number of variables, largely driven by the pandemic. As a result of the unemployment rate rising to 32.5%, the number of beneficiaries had increased in the fourth quarter, demanding an increase for SASSA's services.

With the Covid-19 grant, the increase in numbers required SASSA to adapt its business processes. They had introduced an automated application process. In addition, their staff had been impacted and they had to balance protecting staff and ensuring service delivery. 41 SASSA employees had succumbed to the pandemic.

Performance between 2018 and 2021 had been consistent. It had moved from a baseline performance of below 67% and had improved to 79% in 2018/19. SASSA was now striving to move above the 74% performance rate.

SASSA’s overall annual performance for the 2020/21 financial year was 74%, with 37 out of 50 planned targets fully achieved. Programme 1 (Administration) achieved 72% of planned targets, and Programme 2 (Grants Administration) achieved 78%.

(See attached document for details of targets achieved and not achieved).

Turning to financial misconduct cases, Ms Ramokgopa said 35% (434 of 1 228) of the backlog cases had been finalised, against a 75% annual target. SASSA had implemented organisational transformation interventions because business processes continued to evolve. They had appointed service providers for their business process re-engineering (BPR), but the appointments had been late. The change management and culture survey would end at the end of this financial year. SASSA's human capital management (HCM) policy had been developed, but they had needed to talk to organised labour and it could not be implemented, because they were still in the negotiation process.

Because of the impact of Covid-19 on employment, SASSA had approved 1 379 634 social grant applications against the 1 200 000 target. Of the total grant beneficiaries, 75% were women, 32% youth and 9% were persons with disabilities.

(See attached document for details of the social assistance programme performance).

Other highlights from the performance report included:

  • 99% of current financial misconduct cases had been finalised within 120 days;
  • 67% of labour relations cases received during the reporting period were finalised;.
  • A biometric identity access management system was implemented for Social Security Pension (SOCPEN) users in 391 offices;
  • 572 878 grant beneficiaries in Matric had been referred to the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) for financial assistance;
  • The online grants application system was implemented in 52 districts;
  • Application programme interfaces (APIs) were developed and implemented to enable validation and analysis against datasets.
  • 263 of 292 (90%) reported fraud and corruption cases, related mainly to social grants, had been investigated and finalised.
  • 2 103 education programmes benefiting beneficiaries, and 654 education programmes benefiting staff, were implemented.

Financial report and audit outcomes

Mr Tsakeriwa Chauke, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), SASSA, said there had been 4% underspending by SASSA for the year under review. There had been overspending on transfers due to leave days paid, especially to staff who were approved for early retirement without penalty by National Treasury.

In light of the Covid-19 lockdown, SASSA had not received additional funding for the year under review. They had had to adjust and reprioritise funds to provide for the cost of procuring personal protection equipment (PPE) and the decontamination of the offices, in line with the Department of Public Service and Administration's (DPSA’s) guidelines to combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the workplace. Additionally, there were changes in how business was conducted, and a downward adjustment of R229.639 million was made to the Agency’s budget during the adjustment budget process.

Mr Chauke said there were several items under the goods and services expenditure that had been affected by various factors. These included communication, travel, repair and maintenance, training and staff development, venues and facilities, consultants, security, cleaning and leases.

The amount of cash and cash equivalents at year-end (accumulated surplus) was R2.051 billion, and the retained surplus declared to National Treasury was R1.103 billion.

SASSA had received an unqualified audit opinion for the year ended 31 March 2021, with material findings on the audit of predetermined objectives. The Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA) had noted that SASSA needed to work on its oversight responsibilities.

Irregular expenditure

SASSA had opened the year with R1.2 billion in irregular expenditure, which had been incurred in previous years and carried forward because the process of investigation and implementing consequence management had not been concluded, as well as and getting condonation from National Treasury. R73 million of the additional irregular expenditure came from the previous year, and the bulk of it involved expired leases.

The bulk of the current year's irregular expenditure was the cleaning and sanitation contracts that were effected in two regions, where the AG indicated that the internal audit had found the breakout procurement. Key audit matters identified included expenditure management, ineffective procurement controls and contract management.

(See attached document for details).

National Development Agency (NDA) Annual Report 2020/21

Mr Ben Morule, Senior Manager: Office of the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), NDA, presented the Agency's annual report for the 2020/21 financial year. 

He said the NDA had had to revise its APP to align to the new reality of fewer personal engagements as a result of the lockdown restrictions. The revision had focused largely on a reduction of targets and refinement of indicators to improve their measurability and alignment to the revised framework on planning. The aim was to compact the effects of Covid-19. They had therefore introduced a Covid-19 flagship programme called the "Volunteer Programme," with 2 049 volunteers across all provinces, to combat the dire effects of Covid-19. There was also the "Criminal Assets Recovery Account" (CARA) programme aimed at fighting the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) through funding of 312 civil society organisations (CSOs) to the value of R85.6 million.

The 2020/21 audit outcome of the NDA had reflected an improvement on the 2019/20 audit outcome. Over the past three years, it had achieved an unqualified audit opinion with findings. The AG had not identified any material findings on the usefulness and reliability of the reported performance information for Programme 2 (CSO development).

R32 million of the 2020/21 approved budget had been prioritised by the Board to fund personal protective equipment (PPE) for volunteers (R5.9 million), pay volunteers' stipends, and CSO management fees for administration and monitoring of the volunteers.

The NDA had undertaken a process of identifying and determining historical irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure for condonement by National Treasury, but Treasury had declined to condone the total value of R96.1million, resulting in the indicator not being achieved. This indicator had since been retained in the 2021/22 financial year, and management had initiated a process of removal of such expenditure by the Board. National Treasury had asked for additional documentation, which the NDA had submitted. They were currently waiting on feedback on their R96.1 million submission.

The NDA had fallen short of administering consequence management mainly due to a lack of capacity in human resources (HR) and legal units. The turnaround strategy envisaged for approval by the end of the financial year had not been achieved. The target of R100m for the mobilisation of resources to fund CSOs' development interventions had not been achieved largely due to the effect of Covid-19 complications on all sectors of the economy.

He said the NDA continued to support the CSOs with income generation in the 2021/22 financial year, although this indicator had been relegated to the operations.

Performance over the past three years had improved -- from 50% in 2018/19, to 64% in 2019/20, and 63% in 2020/21.

Mr Morule gave details of the NDA's performance against its targets in its three programmes -- governance and administration, CSO development and research.

(See attached document for details).

Annual financial statements for 2020/21

Ms Karen Muthen, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), NDA, said the Agency had total assets of R137.7 million, and the total surplus from its 2020/21 financial performance was R15.1 million. Its total revenue had increased by R36.6 million (15%), from R240.8 million in 2020 to R277.5 million in 2021. Its 2020/21 transfer allocation had been reduced by R8.3 million, from R224.5 million to R216.2 million. The closing balance on 2020/21 fruitless and wasteful expenditure was R1 236 256. Regarding irregular expenditure, the closing balance was R175.4 million, of which R29.5 million was incurred in the 2020/21 financial year. In terms of financial viability, the NDA had improved from a deficit of R4.6 million in 2020 to a surplus of R5 million in 2021. The year-end balance had improved from R51.6 million in 2020 to R125.5 million in 2021.

Presenting a summary of the audit outcomes for the past three years, Ms Muthen said that over the past three years, the NDA had achieved an unqualified audit opinion with findings. The 2020/21 audit outcome reflected an improvement on 2019/20 in respect of performance information and detection of instances of non-compliance, and there were also no material instances of non-compliance with supply chain management (SCM) legislation. The AG had not identified any material findings on the usefulness and reliability of the reported performance information for the CSO development programme, which was the main operational programme. However, effective and appropriate steps had not been taken to prevent irregular expenditure amounting to R29.5 million, the majority (92%) of which was caused by payments on the Volunteer Programme without the approval of the Board.

Ms Muthen provided statistics on the status of risk areas and internal controls, the quality of submitted performance information and financial statements, information technology, HR management and SCM.

The NDA had moved from a disclaimer opinion on performance information in the 2019/20 financial year to no material findings in the 2020/21 financial year, reflecting an improvement in the collation and validation of performance information, ensuring the reliability of reported information.

Management had put in place controls to monitor compliance of SCM processes with legislation, to detect and prevent irregular expenditure, and had employed measures to cancel recurring non-compliant contracts and replace these through processes compliant with SCM legislation. This had largely been achieved through the appointment of a compliance officer in the SCM unit in November 2020.

The AG had identified fraud risk factors that needed to be addressed to ensure that sufficient measures/controls were in place to prevent material misstatement due to fraud. It had pointed out that non-compliance with SCM legislation increased the risk of fraud in procurement, and the allegations of misappropriation of CSO funding increased the risk of fraud on disbursements made to these organisations.

Ms Muthen said that to improve the audit outcomes in the NDA, executives, senior management and the accounting authority should regularly assess and monitor key risk areas in the organisation, implement key internal controls to address those risks, and ensure there was independence and no conflict of interest between the various oversight structures. Additionally, the Board's delegations of authority and its resolutions should be strictly applied.

Minister's comments

Minister of Social Development, Lindiwe Zulu, thanked the SASSA and NDA officials for their presentations. She said that the current Covid-19 status may seem like the country was recovering and it was over. However, it was still there, and the Executive has been in discussions regarding the next steps when looking at the environment and health statistics. The Minister was aware that everyone wanted to get back to normal, but it was still important that people remained careful.

In 2022, she hoped for a continuation of the strengthening of South Africa’s democratic institutions, and that there would be accountability. The presentations were an affirmation of SASSA’s commitment to the people of South Africa and the need to change their lives. It was also affirming the role of Parliament and the NCOP in their role as oversight bodies.

In the context of the presentations by SASSA and the NDA, the social development mandate committed them to attend to the needs of the people 365 days a year. The responsibility of the Department in its portfolio was to do the work and not lose sight of any day. They were mandated to deal with social transformation ills, issues of family needs, and other issues related to social development. Therefore, during the reporting period, they had to continue with the implementation of programmes under the Covid-19 pandemic, along with the budget cuts in response to the pandemic. The presentation had indicated that the impact of the budget cuts would be felt in the next financial year as well.

The pandemic had worsened challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequalities while increasing uncertainty, panic, distrust, GBV and femicide, instances of violence, abuse against children, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The DSD needed to focus on PTSD because of the impact of Covid-19 on communities. The impact of Covid-19 was often underestimated, and the Department would focus on how they could assist people from a psychosocial support point of view.

During the reporting period, government's most effective measures for combating poverty and inequality through SASSA's administration of 18.4 million grants had been implemented. SASSA had also implemented the Covid-19 social relief grant to more than 10 million beneficiaries. Through the social development mandate, the government was determined to protect the most vulnerable of its citizens.

The NDA had implemented the volunteer programme as a measure to push back on the levels of poverty. The programme had been instrumental in providing information to communities regarding Covid-19. Additionally, the programme had assisted in managing queues and avoiding SASSA being a virus super spreader. The Minister was hoping to expand the programme so that communities could be reached, and to provide some financial support to the volunteers.

The report reflected the Cabinet's seven priorities, and streamlining the programmes to the priorities would go a long way to improving the human-level outcome of each South African.

Minister Zulu concluded by thanking the Chairperson and Members of the Select Committee for their guidance. Common prosperity did not leave anyone behind -- it ensured that nobody went hungry, that everyone had jobs, jobs were created and the economy grows. She commented that what were strengths and weaknesses in the report should not find themselves in the next report. The weaknesses would be changed and strengths would be worked on. This year should be better than the previous year.


Ms S Luthuli (EFF, KZN) commented that the AG had processes to investigate and follow up on irregular and wasteful expenditure, and asked what SASSA planned to address the delays in the finalising of investigations. How were they dealing with cases of non-compliance with rules and regulations? Was the NDA able to deal with the socio-economic impact of Covid-19? Had it been able to assist CSOs during the Covid-19 period?

Ms D Christians (DA, Northern Cape) observed that in Programme 1 (Administration), the issue of vacancies poses challenges to service delivery and that in the same programme, the employment equity targets were not achieved. Which quotas were not achieved regarding the employment equity targets? The report indicated that the number of posts on the approved establishment was supposed to be 10 617, but only 8 013 were filled. How did the Department aim to deal with the vacancies to manage the service delivery issues?

In the same programme, R103 million had been allocated to sub-programme 1.5: internal audit and risk management. However, R58 million -- which was 57% of the allocated budget -- had been spent on that sub-program. What was the reason for the low expenditure on this sub-programme? How did the Agency plan to address the challenges within this sub-programme?

There had been irregular expenditure of R1.1 billion, and R87 million of fruitless and wasteful expenditure. How would fruitless and wasteful expenditure be addressed in the future? What would the Department do to ensure that the same issues did not recur in the years to come? Although 96% of the budget was spent, only 74% of the targets were achieved. The money spent and the targets achieved did not align. What was the reason for the money spent and targets met not aligning? In which targets was the shortfall?

The Agency had incurred irregular expenditure of R73 million because of its failure to follow a competitive process when tender processes for leasing contracts - cleaning and sanitation - were not followed. How had this taken place? What measures had been taken to check on the R73 million? How far were the investigations into the matter?

It was concerning that hotels were being booked, but people did not occupy the rooms, so charges had been incurred resulting in approximately R1 million in wasteful expenditure. She asked the Department to explain the overpayment of R316 million to a service provider reported by the AG. She also highlighted that the AG had indicated a lack of consequence management in the Agency. What steps was the Department taking to ensure that this did not occur in the following financial year? The report to the Committee should focus on how the Agency was dealing with cases of non-compliance.

The NDA had achieved 63% of its set targets and spent R262 million (74%) of its R354 million allocated budget. What was the reason for the other targets not being achieved? Why did the allocated budget not match the achieved targets? What impact would the irregular expenditure by the NDA of R29 million as a result of stipends paid to volunteers without the approval of the delegated official have on volunteers currently employed? Would it have an impact on their jobs for the rest of the year?

Mr I Ntsube (ANC, Free State) asked why SASSA had not spent all of its budget. Were there no issues? South Africa was in a dire situation, which required the whole budget to be spent. The R350 relief fund grant had been extended by the President -- how long would it run? Was it sustainable? Was the DSD considering increasing the amount?

National Treasury had allocated funds to fill 191 vacancies meant to enhance the Department in the delivery of services - had Department filled them? 220 posts had been vacated after the National Treasury allocated the funding. In the AG report's on procurement and contract management, it had been highlighted that SASSA had made an overpayment of R316 million to a service provider - had the R316 million been recovered? If it had not been recovered, what was really happening regarding the matter?

Matters concerning consequence management had been an issue for a long time. There was no consequence management team to partake in the internal auditing of the Department. Why was there hesitation in dealing and strengthening consequence management?

Under the sustainable development goals (SDGs), the NDA had funded 153 civil society organisations to implement poverty relief programmes. How much had it given to CSOs? What was the ratio per province or city? In the 2021 State of the Nation Address (SONA), the expanded public works programme (EPWP) was meant to enhance the abilities and improve social services while providing options for a career path, or exiting to start work in a formal structure or through self-employment. Had the NDA monitored the development or progress of the programme to give an account as to whether it would be a success?

Ms N Ndongeni (ANC, Eastern Cape) asked SASSA to provide clarity on the application status of those who had applied for the R350 relief grant online. She said that applicants had received a communication last year stating their applications were pending, but their status had still not changed. She asked SASSA to explain why the online applicants’ statuses had not changed since last year.

The Chairperson noted that when the CFO had made his presentation, the DSD was keeping in line with its 30-day turnaround target for paying accounts. She asked Minister Lindiwe Zulu whether SASSA or NDA had any outstanding accounts at Eskom or at local government level. If yes, what were the plans for getting those accounts paid?

Department's response

Minister Zulu responded to the question concerning the sustainability of the R350 SRD grant. She said that the year it had been extended had already been covered in the budget. It would remain extended till next year, and the budget for the R350 grant was available. Regarding the sustainability of it thereafter, the Department would be looking into other options relating to the basic income grant. The R350 relief grant had shown that the majority of people used the money to buy necessities. Therefore, the money went back into the economy, which was some way of contributing to the economy. She added that there were ongoing discussions relating to the basic income grant.

Mr Chauke addressed questions relating to investigating and finalising cases of irregular expenditure at SASSA. He confirmed that as part of its 2021/22 APP, it had committed to finalising 95% of the cases by the end of the 2021/22 financial year. Moreover, by the third quarter (end of December), they has already finalised 75% of cases dealing with the implementation of corrective measures, and some cases were still with National Treasury for consideration and condonation. The condonation may take some time because SASSA did not have authority over the process. Regardless, it had committed itself to finance the investigation into the cases. Some cases may take time to finalise because they had been long outstanding, and some of the officials who were needed to provide information were not always available. Therefore, SASSA had to engage with them wherever they were to gather documentation.

He further addressed the matter relating to non-compliance. SASSA had implemented a three-pronged approach. The first part was prevention, which required finding ways to prevent non-compliance. There had been a significantly low number of cases relating to irregular expenditure in 2021/22, which indicated that SASSA had successfully prevented non-compliance. He highlighted that irregular expenditure was approximately R3 million for the whole of SASSA, with a head office, nine regions, 44 districts and 400 local offices. Additionally, it had committed to training everyone in the Executive Committee (Exco), including those serving in the bid evaluation committee at the Head Office, and the regional bid evaluation committees. The training was carried out by National Treasury and the training had concluded at the end of February. The training for Exco members had been done in October 2021. To ensure the technical aspect of procurement had been attended to, SASSA was planning to do external training. Additionally, oversight in the form of reporting, visiting, being part of the structures in the region and providing support, had been increased. The impact of such interventions would be felt starting from this year onwards.

The bulk of the money which had led to underspending under the internal audit was related to fraud management. SASSA implemented the anti-fraud strategies, an element that was previously outsourced. During 2021, movement in the country was limited, so the internal staff could not travel. The amounts spent on travelling, moving, and contact with people being investigated in communities had been limited, hence the underspending.

Mr Chauke addressed the questions relating to the R1.1 billion of irregular expenditure and commented that the bulk of the amount involved historical cases. Only R73 million involved cases that had been recently recognised during 2020/21. Furthermore, the amount related to office accommodation was where SASSA depended on the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) for the procurement of office accommodation. As part of their turnaround strategy, SASSA was engaging with National Treasury and the DPWI to conclude on issues regarding expired leases. The project plan and the strategy had been considered by SASSA and consulted with National Treasury and the DPWI. It would ask National Treasury for a deviation for a limited period to enable SASSA or the DPWI to conclude the procurement processes relating to the leases.

R13 million of the R20 million for other SCM processes was related to the break-up of procurement, leading to the cleaning tender in two regions. The investigation process to finalise the disciplinary corrective measures had already started. However, there had been a delay in finalising the disciplinary processes relating to the leases, because SASSA had to conclude the new agreement in terms of the lease agreement to ensure that they did not deal with the same issue again. If the irregular expenditure had not been stopped, there would probably have been a delay in the implementation of corrective disciplinary measures.

The R316 million paid to a service provider had happened in 2014/15. This was after SASSA had embarked on a project of re-registration of grant beneficiaries with the contracted service provider. The amount had been paid in the same financial year. However, there had been a dispute with the AG around the matter. It had been audited and confirmed the amount was owing. The matter had gone to the High Court, Supreme Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court. A court order was issued ordering the company concerned to pay back the money. A letter of demand and summons were sent to the company, but it was currently undergoing liquidation. The provisional appointed liquidators were dealing with the matter. SASSA was currently waiting for the court dates to finalise the matter. SASSA was owed money which would form part of the creditors owed by the company. Moreover, only the liquidators and the courts could confirm how much SASSA would get from the liquidation process.

SASSA had intended to spend the entire budget allocated to them, but during the Covid-19 pandemic, some of the vacant positions could not be filled because the recruitment process had slowed down during that period. The lockdown had also limited movement, meaning that officials could not travel and some activities were not done. Even the use of telephones and cars for community engagement was limited. Therefore, money meant for those activities was not spent because of Covid-19.

Based on SASSA's performance report, they had committed to pay all suppliers within 30 days. If there were disputes, the invoices would be returned and the suppliers engaged. In all regions, including the Head Office, if SASSA owed money to Eskom or local government, they tried to pay them within 30 days. Exceptions were escalated for intervention. SASSA was committed to ensuring that the cash flow of companies and small businesses was supported.

SASSA tries to ensure that the money spent and the targets achieved were aligned. However, this was not always possible because 45% of the budget went towards the compensation of employees. Even when there were challenges in achieving certain targets, one would find that the salaries of employees had been paid. In other instances, spending may relate to a major target, which could lead to a skewed alignment because it did not align one-on-one all the time. Going forward, SASSA would try to improve its performance when it came to the 80% excess and threshold.

Ms Sizeni Mafora, General Manager: Human Capital Management, SASSA, addressed the issue of not achieving the employment equity target. In the past financial year, it had not been able to meet the persons with disabilities (PWDs) target, where they had aimed to have at least 3% PWDs across most of their occupational categories. When they were placing vacancy adverts initially, they were not deliberate in attracting PWDs for the posts. The adverts were more general and included other targets as well. However, SASSA had changed its strategy when it came to recruiting PWDs. They had ensured that vacancy adverts clearly stated that they were looking for PWDs, and they were the only group that would be considered for the position. They had partnered with organisations that deal with PWDs, which inform when a post becomes available. A submission to the CEO was made when they could not fill the post with their intended target. The CEO did not like added deviations, so she encourages SASSA to attract PWDs to reach the 3% target.

In this financial year, the aim was to attract people with disabilities, and they intend to link the deliverable to individual scorecards. This meant EXCO members would have this particular target on their scorecard. With the current PWD employees, SASSA had tried to accommodate them according to their needs.

Ms Mafora said SASSA did not intend to fill all the posts. They had created a critical post committee to ensure that critical posts were filled under the leadership of the executive committee manager strategy. Before any regime or head office filled a particular post, they ensured they were subjected to the same policies so that not all vacancies were filled. In the past financial year, 191 critical posts had been identified, but they were not able to fill all of those posts. Once the business process reengineering (BPR) was finalised, SASSA would have a clear indication of which posts they needed to fill. However, they would discuss the criticality and scarcity of a post before filling it.

Ms Zodwa Mvulane, Acting CEO, SASSA, confirmed that the entity was working on a BPR to ensure that the right people were selected for the suitable posts and could do the job. SASSA would be revising itsemployment strategy in light of the move towards automation and the digital space.

Mr E Nchabeleng (ANC, Limpopo) asked how helpful the internal audit was in identifying challenges before the AG noticed them. How useful was the internal audit in doing what it was meant to do? With issues relating to risk management, if internal audit and risk management worked hand-in-hand, they could mitigate future challenges. The risk management divisions were usually headed by ex-policeman and women. Mitigating strategies against mishaps required people who had done risk management. How far was SASSA in getting professional people to do the risk management job?

The Chairperson said that questions not answered would be responded to in writing.

The meeting was adjourned.



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