StatsSA, led by the Deputy Minister, gave an update on the progress of the Census project, highlighting its challenges, successes, and implementation strategies.
The project was one of the biggest logistical operations undertaken by the country. Most of the provinces had concluded the counting process however the Western Cape was the only province which had not yet done so, and the dates had to be extended to 31 May 2022.
This was the country’s first ever digital Census and the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic heavily impacted it.
At the beginning of the Census, individuals were resistant to participate, which meant the refusal and non-response rates were quite high. As the process went on, more people participated, either online or in person.
The challenges faced by Stats SA in the process of recruiting fieldworkers included not always getting the required number of enumerators required for each district, and most fieldworkers registered had inaccurate banking details, which further delayed the process of payments. StatsSA is currently working on this and will ensure it is resolved.
After collecting data from the citizens of South Africa, the Agency will undergo what is referred to as Post Enumeration Survey (PES) to finalise the data further and compile a report for final release.
The National Planning Commission (NPC) was tasked with establishing the NDP in 2012 and progress in implementing some goals and plans was slower than anticipated. Several reviews have allowed the NPC to make changes to the NDP.
The Committee said the responsibility for challenges with the Census project lies with the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) and StatsSA. Members asked about the extension given to complete the census process in the Western Cape; and noted concerns regarding if the time would be enough to finish the counting. The Committee suggested there should have been more rigorous campaigns to alert people about how to be counted. There were also concerns regarding fieldworkers who dropped out or resigned while there was such a high unemployment rate in the country.
The National Planning Commission (NPC) reported on its monitoring of National Development Plan (NDP) indicators. Since the NDP was adopted, progress has been slow towards achieving its main goals and SA is underperforming on various targets, esp. poverty, unemployment and inequality, now aggravated by COVID-19. A re-invigorated implementation strategy with credible delivery mechanisms and priorities is required.
The Committee asked for more clarity around the issues raised by the NPC; asked if the goals of the NDP would be reached within the eight-year period which is currently left, and asked for concise strategies going forward.
The Chairperson welcomed Members to the meeting. The meeting agenda was outlined.
Deputy Minister’s Remarks
Ms Pinky Kekana, Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, introduced the team from StatsSA, the Statistician-General, who would be leading the presentation, and the National Planning Commission (NPC).
She said South Africa undertook one of the biggest logistical operations in the current year, Census 2022, which StatsSA led. The project saw the employment of close to a hundred thousand enumerators to assist in counting a population of more than 60 million people. The Portfolio Committee would also receive an update on the progress of the Census project thus far.
Most provinces have completed the process, and it is only the Western Cape still to conclude, which is expected towards the end of May 2022. The Statistician-General would take the Committee through the problems faced in this regard.
Deputy Minister Kekana noted the importance of the scientific work being done by StatsSA, as it provides official information on the current situation in South Africa. It provides insight for any short-term and long-term planning informed by what is observed on the ground.
Report from StatsSA on the Census 2022
Mr Risenga Maluleke, Statistician-General, thanked the leadership of the Deputy Minister for the constant political oversight of the work done by StatsSA.
He started by indicating the key role players in the work of the Census. The President announces the release of the Census results, but the President and Minister do not have pre-sight. When the Minister and the Statistics Council visit the President to prepare for the release of the Census results, the Council only speaks about the veracity of the results and confirms the results are ready to be released.
The Minister prioritises the Work Programme and monitors the performance of the Statistician-General. The Minister cannot interfere with the work of the Statistician-General in the process of statistical collection. The Statistician-General must be professionally independent in performing duties. The Statistics Council is independent of the StatsSA; it serves to advise the Statistician-General and the Minister. Lastly, Parliament stands as a representative of the citizens of South Africa.
After several attempts, Mr Maluleke lost his connection and was unable to come back onto the virtual platform.
Mr Ashwell Jenneker, Deputy Director-General (DDG): Statistical Operations and Provincial Coordination, StatsSA, took over the presentation and continued where the SG left off.
Mr Jenneker said this was the first digital Census conducted in South Africa. The Covid-19 pandemic had a major impact on the preparations leading up to the Census 2022 project. Citizens were given different options on how to participate in a Census. Normally people are sceptical of Census staff coming into their houses for security reasons, and crime and Covid have become an additional reason for the scepticism. For this reason, people were given the option of online participation through the Computer Assisted Web Interview (CAWI). More than 200 000 people have participated in the online platform to date. There was also an option of participating telephonically through the Computer Assisted Telephonic Interview (CATI) method, and more than 67 000 people have made use of this platform. Currently, there are over 18 million forms completed through the Computer Assisted Personal Interview (CAPI) questionnaires.
The Census counting began on 2 February 2022 and in the last meeting, progress was discussed. When people are counted, StatsSA is interested in knowing where people were on the Census night to gain perspective of what is happening in the country. In the beginning, the take-up was not as expected as far as choosing online participation. Face-to-face data collection began on 14 February 2022 and has been extended until 31 May in the Western Cape.
The post enumeration survey would take place on 1 June 2022, based on a 1% sample of all the dwellings in South Africa, to determine if these persons were counted in the Census. The results of those counted and those missed will be combined to give an idea of the undercount. Thereafter, the results will be ready to be released 12 months from the time of final collections.
He advised the Committee of the progress to date. The uptake of the online interviewing did not have the results initially hoped; only 33% of those registered undertook CAWI. Recent results show 80% of users who access the direct CAWI link complete a questionnaire. With the network process around the country, people start the process but do not see it through to the finish. There has been an extensive push to get people in the Western Cape to complete online questionnaires. Over 18.2 million households have been counted and the data collection process has been extended to 31 May 2022 in the Western Cape. Only 68 000 households were selected to be counted through the Computer Assisted Telephonic Interview method.
All provinces have been completed, excluding the Western Cape (WC), unless citizens request to be counted. Currently, the Western Cape stands at 73%, and it is being monitored closely by all relevant officials. There has been great cooperation from the WC government, with the Premier speaking on the radio every day to encourage people to participate. Even farmers are calling, asking to be counted, and previously, this was not the case.
Mr Jenneker noted some of the challenges encountered which delayed the Census. It is the first time conducting a Census under Covid, making it a difficult time to work in.
StatsSA struggled to recruit the 150 000 enumerators needed in the field; over 85 000 fieldworkers were deployed during the counting process. In the Western Cape, StatsSA needed 12 000 fieldworkers, but only 4 500 were employed.
Among the challenges encountered were issues around payments. StatsSA has to date, made 260 000 payments throughout counting. Mr Jenneker said there was a challenge with bank account accuracies, individuals put in bank accounts which were not registered under the persons' own name. Therefore logistically, it was a nightmare to ensure the correct people were being paid through checks and balances. Some individuals did not have access to bank accounts, or perhaps the person’s bank accounts were found to be dormant and some money would go back to the Agency. StatsSA is currently sorting out these issues, and even on Monday, any outstanding payments would be made.
StatsSA needed 5 000 cars at the beginning of the Census project. This was for field operations officers who needed to go into the various areas to deliver documents to fieldworkers. StatsSA struggled to get these cars. Most rental agencies said they would have these cars at the time of bidding but, in the end, would under-deliver.
There was a high rate of refusal and non-responses from some provinces. In the Western Cape, farmers would chase the fieldworkers away from their properties and some bluntly refused to participate. Some of the enumerators are only matriculants, therefore would not have the capacity to protest these refusals or even urge individuals to participate in the Census.
He outlined the applicant shortfalls per municipality, painting a picture of how many applicants registered in each of the districts. For example, in an area such as Nyanga in the Western Cape, there were 6 000 applicants, but only 200 applicants were needed. The middle-class areas showed most people were not prepared to work for the amount of R264 per day. Employing people where people do not live means transport would be required, and this was not possible as it would mean more costs. As the process evolved, sweeping teams were implemented and people were moved from place to place.
He took the Committee through the Post Enumeration Survey (PES). It is an independent survey used to measure the accuracy and the reach of the Census. It is a completely different group of fieldworkers from the Census group. It is important to do this survey as it provides a statistical basis for the adjustment of the Census. Unlike the Census field workers, the PES fieldworkers are trained in person and therefore the quality of work is expected to be higher. The steps which follow are to compare each questionnaire, structural editing, and dealing with the data accordingly before compiling the final report. He reiterated the role of the South African Statistics Council.
See attached for further details
Deputy Minister Remarks – National Planning Commission (NPC) Report
Deputy Minister Kekana said the first NPC appointed in 2010 was tasked with developing the National Development Plan (NDP), which was finalised in the year 2012 as a final plan for the country. After the NDP Vision 2030 was adopted, the plan was to promote it across society and thereafter ensure the nation is aware there is a plan with aspirations to change the livelihood of the people of South Africa. The responsibility of the second NPC, appointed from 2015 to 2021, was to be the first Commission to promote and monitor implementation of the NDP. This has proven to be a challenging learning curve for the Commission. In 2014, Cabinet agreed the plan would be divided into five-year plans through the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF). The Minister said the first MTSF to be implemented was from 2014 to 2019 and aligned with the electoral mandate of the fifth administration. The second MTSF was from 2019 to 2024 and aligned with the electoral mandate of the sixth administration. The second NPC has provided a wealth of research for long-term planning. An NDP was conducted in 2020 and submitted to Cabinet, with a handover report in 2021 on the Commission's work. These form the basis for the monitoring report of the NDP indicators from the second NPC. There has been an indication the pace of implementation has been slow, especially in the economic sector. The Commission also observed successes in the social sector and challenges in building a capable state. There was also an indication regarding inroads for development running a risk of reversal because of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Deputy Minister said all the NPC reports are available on the website, and it will continue to inform conversations for the third NPC, which has been put in place for 2021 to 2026.
The progress regarding implementation will be put into effect by the NPC Secretariat.
The third NPC will build on the second NPC's work to promote implementation of the NDP as a plan for the nation and not only for the government. All stakeholders will come on board to ensure the NDP is realised.
She asked Committee Members to investigate ways to ensure the NPC interfaces with Parliament independently. This would enable it to give an accurate performance report, and the Committee could further appreciate the challenges encountered.
NPC briefing on monitoring NDP indicators
Dr Kefiloe Masiteng, Deputy Secretary, National Planning Commission (NPC), introduced the presentation of the NPD. She said this presentation happens when the Department takes stock of the progress of the NDP. The NDP was adopted in 2012 and the years from 2014 to 2019 reflected the first MTSFs, which had 14 outcomes. In the 2019 to 2024 MTSF, there are seven priorities of the sixth administration. There are current Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Plans (ERRP) in the country, which will respond to the challenges of Covid-19. The NPC also has the responsibility to continue responding to current changes, such as the July 2021 unrest and natural disasters in the country.
The NPC did the review of the NDP in 2020. There has also been a review of the MTSF 2019 to 2024 by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME). These reviews are important as it ensures the country can continuously identify the implementation process. The task is to consolidate priorities for the remainder of the medium term to 2024, and pathways to 2030.
She noted the importance of the country’s need for long-term planning, saying it is outlined in the revised Green Paper. It is needed to reduce poverty and extreme inequalities for growth, development, and nation-building.
The lack of long-term planning has weakened the ability to provide clear and consistent policies to mobilise all of society and prioritise resource allocation. Key questions were asked concerning the NDP to establish if progress is being made and how to go further.
She said the NPC would be monitoring all the plans put in place to address how to deal with the reduction of poverty.
When the NDP review process began, critical issues needed to be dealt with. The NPC revisited these from 2010 and affirmed they are still valid. Some of the observations included unemployment, divided communities and corruption, amongst other considerations.
She also outlined the internal and external factors shaping South Africa’s development. There are multiple plans which need to be integrated, and the implications of globalisation are also relevant. Currently, the country is dealing with the challenges of the Covid-19 global health crisis, which should continue to provide lessons for the future. The issues of a multipolar world continue to shape the way the development agenda is implemented in South Africa. She touched on the impact of migration in the country.
She outlined the NPC's work with the Sustainable Development Goals/Agenda 2063. The goals of the NPC are aligned with the seven aspirations of Agenda 2063. She said there is a 74% alignment between the NDP and the SDG. 57% of targets are fully addressed, while only 17% are partially addressed.
Dr Masiteng took the Committee through the NDP’s approach to change based on the virtuous cycle of development. She said the key is to build the capabilities of individuals, so they may be able to fend for themselves to sustain their livelihood. Inter-linkages are critical to ensure when there is rising income, there is also a broadening of opportunities across the board.
The three critical goals of the NDP were to ensure there is eradication of poverty, reduction of inequality, and grow the economy by 5.4% per annum over twenty years. She noted how the NDP has fared in the goals made through the various indicators.
Employment growth has not been sufficient. The concerning trend was by 2019, there was an employment shortfall of 1.5 million, which is 60% of the target. There was a fall in employment in manufacturing, with 313 000 jobs lost. The 2030 employment targets are unlikely to be met, owing especially to the detrimental effects of Covid-19.
Economic growth is too slow, and the economy's capacity has fallen.
She assured the Committee, based on the NDP Review and other research done, the NPC has consolidated proposals for implementation in the next eight years, up until 2030. The proposals have been framed as NDP Implementation Pathways. She also outlined some issues which need to be addressed with urgency to see the realisation of the NDP project.
See attached for further details
Ms M Kibi (ANC) welcomed the presentations from the DPME and StatsSA. She asked StatsSA how the fleet shortages related to Covid-19 when all the heavy restrictions had been lifted and the state of emergency was abolished. She asked what caused the reluctance of the Western Cape citizens to not want to participate in the Census, considering it is an urban area. She asked if the mop-up campaign was effective.
She asked DPME if any analyses was done to determine which targets need to be reviewed after receiving the MTSF 2019 to 2024. She asked what critical targets were encapsulated in the original MTSF 2019 to 2024, which were mainly affected by the pandemic, necessitating the review of the plan of action.
Referring to slide 5 of the DPME presentation, she asked what interventions the Department has to address the weaknesses. She asked it to address what was lacking in the implementation of the NDP. She also asked if the state has the capacity to deliver on the mandates of the NDP 2030 vision within the current state; asked what would have caused citizens not to trust the government to the extent the figures remain at 50% and asked what could be done to regain the trust of the community.
Regarding slide 15, she asked what the current situation is regarding employment, considering interventions put in place by the government, such as the Social Relief Grant.
Ms M Ntuli (ANC) welcomed the presentations tabled. She applauded the work done by StatsSA under the hard conditions of Covid-19.
She asked about the experience of the methods used for counting and asked what method StatsSA envisages using in the future.
Ms Ntuli touched on the issue of the Western Cape and asked what lessons have been learned by the Agency for future Census projects. She asked if the recruitment process was given sufficient time, considering it did not get the recruitment numbers.
She said the concerns around payments and banned accounts spell out the problems related to employment in the country. She asked how this process of payments could be fast-tracked in the future.
She asked for more clarity on the experience of network challenges during the process in rural areas.
Given the ups and downs of the NDP observed as a result of various factors, she asked for clarity on how the Commission plans to move forward through these conditions.
She asked for the strategy devised by the Commission to encounter the NDP not quite having been impactful, as unemployment has increased, and diseases, for example, have been on the rise. She said it is time for practicality and no more theory and mouth service is needed. For example, she referred to the National Health Insurance, which has been in the pipeline for some time, yet diseases are still increasing. She said the Commission is better positioned to advise the country and the government.
She also asked if the NDP reviews were yielding any results. She wanted to know if the free bordering of Africa seized the challenges of migration; and what lessons were learned after not having achieved the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs) holistically. She asked if the country is penetrating the agricultural space and how young people can be encouraged to participate in agriculture. This would, in turn, create more jobs, and Agriculture could be the country's main spin-off.
Mr Z Mbhele (DA) said he would like to focus on the StatsSA presentation, given how crucial the Census project has been. He said the challenges encountered by StatsSA are somewhat understandable. Ultimately it remains a huge problem that a national project such as this has encountered so many glitches and delays. He referred to the delays in the Western Cape, indicating it will impact the accuracy of allocations to provinces and plans for service delivery will meet realities on the ground.
The online census form initially had problems with functionality, either with the links or the site kicking people off. He asked for clarity on the technical problems with CAWI. These problems could likely be the reason for the initial registrations and only 33% translated into completed forms.
He asked why it took so long for the problem with the Western Cape counting to be detected and to be acted on. He asked if the project management team was aware of the problems with access to certain households. He also asked if census workers had pamphlets that the workers could leave in homes where the workers could not gain access.
He asked for clarity around the recruitment marketing methods used by StatsSA to cast a wide net to reach the target number of enumerators. He asked if there were any collaboration between StatsSA and local governments to push for the employment process. Perhaps there could have been expectations of low recruitment numbers in middle-class areas regarding local applicants, and therefore, pre-emptive measures could have been put in place.
He asked what advocacy campaign would be implemented in the next Census to avoid difficulties.
Mr J McGluwa (DA) said the Committee should condemn StatsSA, however it may not be possible as the numbers are needed. In the past, it was exciting to be counted in the Census.
He referred to the trust deficit mentioned by Ms Kibi, saying this should have been an opportunity for DPME to explain its role in monitoring and evaluation. He asked what role the DPME had to play in all these issues. The trust deficit also links to BrandSA creating active citizenship awareness around the Census.
He asked if there was no foresight in any of these issues by the relevant government departments. He asked if the Advisory Committee spoke to the Minister to advise on these issues.
It is sad no one is taking ownership of the issues which have arisen. StatsSA should come up with resolutions. The extent of the mop-up is a result of the slow uptake. It was concerning to see people from Limpopo employed in the Western Cape, and he asked for clarity on the matter.
Touching on the issue of payment, he said in the Northern Cape, most people have not been paid. There might have been a slow strike because people have not been paid.
Ms C Motsepe (EFF) welcomed the presentations made. She asked if there were any follow-up procedures for people who attempted to fill in online forms but were unsuccessful because of network problems. She asked for more clarity on why the Western Cape was left behind the other provinces, and why its census process has not been finalised. It was not quite clear during the presentation.
She asked what the reason was for the drop-out and resignation of the fieldworkers. She asked for clarity on the details, as it is a huge challenge because fieldworkers play a big role in providing reliable and efficient census data from people.
Dr M Gondwe (DA) shared the sentiments of her colleagues on the issue of the Western Cape, asking for clarity on the delays. She asked if there had been similar challenges in the past Census. She understood the pandemic issue, but the farmers not allowing enumerators to come onto farms is not valid or perhaps a new challenge.
She wondered if, with the extension until 31 May 2022, the desired results would be achieved by then.
The report said some provinces showed high rates of refusal, which was why she noted concern about why it was the case in some provinces. She asked if the campaigns were not rigorous enough and if the local governments were included in these campaign plans.
She worried about the NDP and wondered if adopting the NDP as a blueprint would result in an efficient way of facing the country's challenges. She asked if there was room in the eight years left for the country to achieve some of the goals not yet achieved, given the country may have experienced some unexpected curve balls such as the pandemic and the political unrest.
She asked for clarity on how the NPC monitored the NDP before implementing the 159 indicators or if it was monitored. She asked what informed the conceptualisation of the 159 indicators; and why these tools have only come about now.
Ms V Malomane (ANC) welcomed the presentations and asked if the twelve months stipulated by StatsSA would begin in June and end in May 2023. She said if it is the case, she would ask the Statistician-General to return and provide a full report to the Committee.
She asked about the 24% untouched numbers and if there is certainty the Western Cape counting would be finished by 31 May 2022.
She asked what lessons have been learned through the challenges of Census 2022, given it was the first digital Census.
She asked if government would be able to meet the target of the 2030 vision.
She also asked if there are any linkages between the NDP, African Union Agenda 2063, and the Sustainable Development agenda.
Ms S Maneli (ANC) spoke on the issue of online counting. Currently, people live in a digital world and there needs to be clarity on the marketing methods used to ensure everyone who could be counted online was made aware of it.
It is disappointing that out of 149 000 vacancies, only 89 000 were filled, given the indications by the DPME on the poverty lines. She asked what could have been done to avoid these challenges.
She also asked if the non-cooperation in certain classes resulted from the delay of the Census process in the Western Cape or if people were only allowing certain people to come into their homes.
She asked for clarity on how the NPC plans to deal with the shortfalls of the NDP project.
Ms R Komane (EFF) agreed with the statement regarding an unequal society and said this was shown by virtue of a certain class in the Western Cape refusing to be counted, creating delays.
She said the challenge regarding farmers not allowing people onto farms is not a new challenge. She asked what was being done to ensure this was avoided in the future.
She asked if field workers from Limpopo were provided with transport to travel to the Western Cape and asked what was given to these field workers compared to those in the Western Cape.
She noted disappointment in StatsSA on the issue of payments, saying there have been several complaints from people who have not been paid yet. The issue of bank accounts should not be an excuse today.
She asked for confirmation on the issue of private security and the related issue of the South African Police Services (SAPS) being deployed to assist guard data collectors, also asking about the costs of this.
She asked if the NDP would yield any results within the set time frame. The country has lost its trust in the Department, and it needs to show why there is a continued loss of trust. She said monitoring heads of departments occur very minimally, and there is no consequence management.
Mr Calvin Molongoana, Acting DDG, Statistical Support and Informatics, StatsSA, said like any national project, the plans are presented and possible challenges are noted. Monitoring national security has raised concerns about the need for heightened security in South Africa. The provincial leadership of StatsSA will meet with the provincial security cluster to share concerns related to security issues which would inhibit the work done. In the Western Cape, there was an increase in armed-response community safety. This appeared in the form of security companies in affluent areas that gave members of the public comfort to trust the fieldworkers as legitimate.
He spoke on the issue of connectivity, saying, in the beginning, this was true. He took Members through the process of online applications and said StatsSA did not envisage there would be technical glitches as the disaster site was ready to kick in. One of the limitations experienced was that the domain existed through sita.gov.za, which created limitations in how it could communicate. It will look into changing the domain in the future. Even after experiencing issues with CAWI, it moved to the cloud and the process has been a bit more stable.
There were interventions for all the provinces; however, the WC remained a struggle. When the other provinces were concluding the process at hand, there were measures put in place to best turn the situation around by bringing in individuals who have been trained to provide improved coverage. StatsSA went back to the recruitment database and sent out SMSs to check availability. There was a positive response, but only a few showed up to collect gadgets and get training. The decision to take top performers to beef up performance in the Western Cape came about after most provinces had wrapped up.
Mr Jenneker said that StatsSA had spent R150 million on publicity around the country, while there was a budget of R200 million in place for this. Some of it would be used to pay outstanding payments, and some related to the PES publicity. The question could be asked if R200 million was enough for publicity, considering all the challenges encountered. It probably was not enough in hindsight and more could have been considered.
StatsSA is aware of the difficult areas to reach and people who are difficult to reach. Strategies to reach these people are in place, gatekeepers in high-walled areas are contacted and arrangements are made, pamphlets are left behind. There is a farmers' protocol that allows a certain number of people to come onto the property, and arrangements are made with local police stations. The Western Cape situation is still something StatsSA is not used to.
Regarding ongoing publicity, there are now efforts from the WC government to try and salvage the situation. StatsSA is spending money on publicity and the Premier is on the radio every day doing promotions. There has been a turnaround in the number of people actually participating.
There are 100 000 employees, the first being matriculants; unemployed matriculants; fieldwork operators, unemployed matriculants with a driver's license; and StatsSA personnel who manage the different layers. Training is for ten days. Some applicants leave immediately and are not interested for many reasons, including the type of work done. Stats SA needs to keep track of the applicants who have stayed and those who dropped out. Some people finish training but decide to leave after two days of working because of safety.
He explained the process after the first extension and said 260 000 people had been paid. The census system does not have one cycle; therefore, people have been paid for more than one cycle. It is the responsibility of StatsSA to deal with this. Mobile networks have been approached to send messages to the relevant parties and Gov Chat.
Mr Bruce Jooste, Acting DDG, Corporate Services, StatsSA, said when the process began, it had access to the human resource (HR) recruitment database opened in May 2021, which was a project aligned with Harambe Youth Accelerator organisation to access the 1.5 million youth registered on its system. System challenges were resolved with the network providers, and people could ensure they appeared on the database.
Currently, StatsSA has all the IRP5s and payslips of all the fieldworkers online, which will allow it to use identity numbers to access the site. The provinces are constantly working with the field workers to help those with bank account issues resuscitate accounts.
Mr Maluleke assured the Committee that StatsSA takes responsibility for Census. The Census is being monitored daily, and the SG remains accountable and cannot deviate from the responsibility of handling the matters raised.
The preparations for Census 2022 started immediately after the last Census, in 2011. However, those plans are without a budget. As of 2018, StatsSA actively started the work for the Census, and it was disrupted by Covid-19. After various tests to decide what the best method was to use, the online method was clearly not the best as people preferred face to face. It is not currently possible to state which method will be used going forward.
Unfortunately, training had to stop during Covid.
StatsSA has done everything to ensure members of the public actively participate in the process.
Dr Masiteng referred to Ms Kibi’s question regarding slide 5 on the weaknesses which led to poor service delivery. She said these had been identified as a part of the diagnostics for the development of the NDP.
In the critical observations made, the current Sixth Administration has moved the capacity of the state to be priority number one while it is in Chapter 13 of the plan. The state would be playing a developmental and transformative role.
In her response to the concerns around the critical issue of aligning the plan to other global plans, she said she can attest NPC has developed the first voluntary national report to the United Nations in 2019. The report states although there are successes, there is still work to be done.
An official said there is a bit of a challenge regarding the surveys. The last survey taken was on living conditions in 2015, and before this, it was the Income and Expenditure survey. Currently, there are no surveys to show the current poverty rate. There was some modelling work in this regard but some projected data is from the World Bank, with a predicted poverty rate of 60% in South Africa in 2020, before Covid. It is difficult to say what impact certain interventions have made without the data.
Mr Godfrey Mashamba, DDG, Evaluation and Knowledge Systems, DPME, said he would be dealing with the performance of the Directors-General (DGs). The
DPME currently has a process in consultation with the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) to devise a policy to improve the system and align the DG's performance review. He asked the Chairperson for the opportunity to respond in writing.
He referred to Ms Kibi’s question regarding the targets affected by Covid 19 and said indeed, an analysis took place and the conclusion was government projects were heavily impacted.
Dr Mthokozisi Tshuma addressed the issue of making agriculture more attractive for the youth and said it is related to the promotion of agriculture around schools to get young people interested in this field. There needs to be positive promotion and children need to see other young farmers as something which is not unusual. There is also encouragement for a shift from subsistence farming to commercial farming, and in turn, young people would be able to see a future in agriculture.
It is important to provide support in employment generating industries to encourage an employable society.
Dr Boitumelo Ramatsetse spoke on the strategies the third NPC will be implementing going forward. After the previous NPCs, the Commission came up with its own strategies to see what could be done to improve the state of affairs in the country. The Commission agreed to divide into workstreams focusing on the economy, social and governance. This would enable it to look into the chapters that are rare in the NDP and see how it could implement.
The NPC engaged in the annual Lekgotla and discussed a turnaround strategy for some issues earlier in the year. There has been slow progress; therefore, as a Commission, it sat down and came up with ways to meet the targets set out.
The strategy is guided by the mandate given to the Commission by the President as mentioned in the Green Paper.
Currently, some members of the Commission are attending workshops on futuristic thinking.
Dr Masiteng addressed one last question from the Committee regarding the weaknesses in coordination. The National Planning Bill is aimed at addressing issues of weakness in coordination. It has hopes the Bill will enhance long-term planning for the country and address inter-governmental relations.
The Chairperson suggested the Committee defer the adoption of the oversight report and the adoption of the last minutes to the next meeting, as there are still a number of points to be worked on.
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.