Committee Report on Department Budget

Social Development

22 June 2004
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Meeting report

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AD HOC COMMITTEE

SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AD HOC COMMITTEE
23 June 2004
COMMITTEE REPORT ON DEPARTMENT BUDGET

Chairperson
: Mr E Saloojee (ANC)

Document handed out:
Committee Report on Department Budget

SUMMARY
The Committee went through the report and considered concerns. It was noted that more engagement with the Department was needed for a clearer understanding. The report was nevertheless adopted with a few minor amendments.

Discussion
The Chairperson noted that the process through which the report had been drawn up, was not legitimate. There had been no consultation, no public hearings and the date had been set arbitrarily for its adoption. He recommended that the incoming Committee and Chair should seriously consider this.

Ms Kasienyane (ANC) agreed that there had been limited time to consider the report, but that the Department had also been under pressure. This was echoed by another Member and by the Chairperson. Ms Kasienyane suggested that the Department should brief the Committee on the procedure to be followed for the appointment of social security agents before the implementation of the first phase.

Mrs S Botha (DA) queried the amount of R400 000 for the Department's budget growth. The Chairperson explained that this was only the national allocation and did not include the allocation for provinces.

Mrs Mars (IFP) queried the amounts allocated for child, family and youth development, as it was due to decrease and then increase in the following year.

Mrs Botha asked about the difference between "normal" and "special" allocations. The Chairperson was not able to clarify this. Mr Nzimande (ANC) suggested further engagement with the Department on these questions.

Mrs Botha asked whether the increase in youth development projects from 2 000 to 12 000 related to the concomitant increase in staff from 1 045 to 2 047. This would be raised with the Department.

Mrs Botha noted the large number of households to whom support had been distributed.

Mrs C Dudley (ACDP) asked for further briefings on the section on Early Childhood Development. She asked whether the 'Programme for Victim Empowerment' had already been instituted, and how the service could be accessed.

The Chairperson confirmed this. He noted that there were exciting things happening in the area of population development.

Mrs Botha questioned accuracy, particularly where the report stated that funding for food parcels had been refused by the Department. Mrs Dudley said that she had understood in the briefing that the refusal only applied to start-up food parcels.

The Chairperson remained critical of the procedure of inter-country adoption and recommended that the new Committee keep a close eye on developments. In all areas where the report questioned progress, he suggested that the Committee verify these matters. He commented that the Department had not pinpointed drug dependency as a major challenge, and policy finalisation in this regard had been slow.

He further commented that the clientele of the new population development unit needed sharp scrutiny and that the current assessment system for eligibility for disability grants was based on thin research. They needed more information and public comment. He asked whether the report could be adopted with the suggested amendments of small inaccuracies. The Committee agreed to the adoption. Mzolisi Fukula, the Committee secretary, would sign the document.

The meeting was adjourned.

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