District Development Model report aiming to improve coherence and impact of government’s service delivery efforts; with Minister and Deputy Minister

Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation

03 November 2023
Chairperson: Mr R Dyantyi (ANC)
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Meeting Summary


The Portfolio Committee was joined in a virtual meeting by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), which presented its report on the District Development Model (DDM), initiated by President Ramaphosa in 2019.

The DDM was a practical inter-governmental relations mechanism that aimed to enable all spheres of government to work together with stakeholders on integrated planning, budgeting and implementation. The Minister of the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) had been assigned the task of ensuring the effective coordination and implementation of the DDM, mobilising all sectors of society to participate, and coordinating the implementation of programmes and projects within the DDM framework. The DPME was chairing the Presidential DDM Steering Committee, and was responsible for monitoring the implementation of the DDM.

The Committee was urged by the Minister and Deputy Minister to support the efforts of the DPME and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs to work together, to ensure the effective implementation and coordination of the DDM, and for the entities to work together to improve the implementation of the DDM in different districts and communities.

Members pointed out that there was a need to look at the rules that governed government spending, because the timelines of delivery at the local government level were impeded by the legislation that was intended to keep the local government in check. A Member described the Department's presentation as suspicious, stating that the presentation looked like a disguised campaign by the ruling party. Other Members felt that they were not inspired with any confidence by the presentation, and asked who would be responsible for monitoring the establishment or the implementation of the DDM -- the Department of COGTA or the DPME? Members also wanted to know how the DDM had performed and been received in the Western Cape, and expressed concerns about how many municipalities struggled to raise revenue.

The Department assured the Committee that there were instruments in place to ensure that the implementation of the DDM was no longer optional, but was something that would be binding on all departments and the different entities. Systems and roles were in place to ensure that the DPME and COGTA knew their responsibilities regarding implementing the DDM. COGTA had introduced systems for coordinating the implementation of the DDM, while the DPME would be responsible for the monitoring.

Meeting report

Minister's overview

Ms Pinky Kekana, Deputy Minister in the Presidency: Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, greeted the Committee and introduced her delegation. She outlined the mandate of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), stating that it had been created to make sure that plans were made centrally and to monitor and evaluate the implementation of all annual performance plans (APPs) at the national and provincial level, and the implementation of the service delivery and budget implementation plans (SDBIPs) at the local government level.

The Department also had a role in monitoring other departments as far as the establishment of the District Development Model (DDM) was concerned. The DDM was a new model that the President had announced in 2019, and many municipalities were grappling to understand its role and how it should be implemented. The Department had taken on this responsibility, knowing that the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) was responsible for implementing the DDM.

The Department had ensured that they went to multiple municipalities to assist them to qualify with the “One Plan, One Budget”. Given the challenges that the Department was going through and the need to check on impact during the implementation of budgets, many municipalities and departments could not come forth. For that reason, the Department was introducing a new bill that would enforce the role of planning, monitoring, and evaluation and mobilise other departments to be part of the DDM.

The Department had observed that municipalities were overstretched due to various departments visiting them and assisting them. The DPME would assist the various entities to work together. As the entities looked at their compliance, the Department would look at their capacity to work together and reach out to the private sector in those areas. The Department also created the Local Government Municipal Improvement Model to allow municipalities to improve their capacity on the governance side of things, and improve their human resources and audit reports. The Department would be briefing Parliament on the performance of various municipalities concerning service delivery.

DPME on implementation of the DDM

Mr Robert Nkuna, Director-General (DG), DPME, requested Mr Henk Serfontein, Deputy Director-General (DDG): Frontline Monitoring, DPME, to take the Committee through the presentation.

Mr Serfontein reported that the DDM was still in its early stage of implementation, and there were therefore early implementation challenges and solutions.

He acknowledged that the public sector had worked in silos, and the DDM was trying to minimise departments from working in silos and maximise impacts and align plans, as well as to allow for more involvement of civil society members.

Various structures had been created to oversee and provide strategic guidance on implementing the DDM. This included the inter-ministerial committee on service delivery and DDM, the Presidential Coordinating Council to deal with DDM at the provincial level, and the Presidential Steering Committee to deal with the DDM at the national level.

He reported that the provincial departments of COGTA and the premiers were taking a huge amount of responsibility for the implementation of the DDM.

The Department had found that during the early implementation of the "One Plan, One Budget," many districts would just give the Department a copy and paste of the different plans of the district. The DDM was not an integrated plan, but rather an actual plan for the district, taking into account the spatial development framework.

The DPME was also responsible for monitoring the implementation of the medium-term strategic framework (MTSF). One of the areas being monitored was the entire DDM going forward. Some of the indicators being tracked by the Department include:

  1. The finalisation of institutional arrangements for the DDM.
  2. The development of One Plans in the district and metro municipalities, showed that there were still challenges regarding participation by the national government and other stakeholders, such as business and civil society.
  3. Providing technical support to the DDM champions in the Presidency, where the Department had initiated deployments of director generals (DGs) to the districts where their specific ministers or deputy ministers were champions.

The Department had implemented systems such as the Local Government Management Improvement Model, the Local Government Monitoring Framework (Circular 88) to strengthen its performance and compliance information, and the DDM Barometer. However, the Department had not been able to implement this system because the barometer just extracts key information from the existing systems and provides a high-level oversight of the implementation of the DDM.

There have been various challenges and successes in implementing the DDM in the various provinces. The big challenges included the non-participation of national government in the planning process. He recognised that it was more difficult for other departments to participate, depending on their provincial footprint. The Department was looking into how they could facilitate the participation of national departments in the district plan.

Another issue was the participation of other stakeholders, apart from government in the DDM process. The Department wanted to start leveraging some of the capacity within civil society and business to initiate these developments going forward. Part of civil society engagement involved understanding the needs of specific communities and the environments they were in, so that the Department could deliver on what the communities need, and not on what the Department thought the communities need.

The critical next steps that the Department wanted to take include:

  1. Improving the roles and coordination between the DPME and the COGTA.
  2. Improving inter-governmental relations and institutionalisation of the DDM across government.
  3. Monitoring of the early warning systems, rapid response mechanisms and practical interventions to pre-empt and respond to crises at the local government level. COGTA was working on the intervention bill, where the Department would work on strengthening the impact and outcomes of its interventions, because it had picked up that there had been various interventions in different municipalities, but the situation did not seem to be changing.
  4. Better leveraging and supporting the roles of the political champions of the DDM.
  5. Monitoring the implementation of the national strategic hub on the DDM.

Mr Nkuna said that the Department moved from the view that it was very important to have well-functioning institutions. Lessons learnt from previous interventions were that if the Department did not build strong institutional mechanisms, it would not be able to get results. That was the emphasis of what the DPME had been doing.

See attached for full presentation


Mr B Yabo (ANC) found the presentation to be enlightening on the work that the Department was doing in regard to the district development model. He pointed out that one of the weaknesses of local governments was that they had a tendency of failing to spend. The second weakness was that many municipalities struggled to raise revenue within their respective borders. This was why the division and equitable share of revenue was an important discussion to have in relation to empowering municipalities with enough resources to meet their needs at the coalface. The Committee agreed that municipalities were at the coal face of service delivery for the communities, so this was where the bulk of resources should be channelled. Perhaps there should be an intention to look at the principles behind the division and equitable share of revenue within that sphere of government.

The municipalities’ inability to spend remained a perennial problem. What would the role of a DDM structure or model be in improving the capability and capacity of municipalities to spend? There was also a need to look at the rules that govern spending, because the timelines of delivery at the local government level were also impeded by the very legislation that was intended to keep the local government in check concerning making sure that they did not abuse the public funds or utilise them in a manner that they could not account for. There should be checks and balances, but the legislative framework was an Achilles heel. This was especially because those at local government levels seemed to be unable to crack the code of putting a report together and sending the report through to various structures. What was the role of the DDM and its structures to ensure that municipalities had the capability and capacity to implement quickly, efficiently and within budget, and were also able to report to the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) and receive shining audits at the end of the financial year? How was that going to be incorporated into the structure of the DDM and its implementation moving forward, especially within the context of the One Plans that were part of its whole ecosystem?

Mr M Manyi (EFF) said he believed that the Deputy Minister had properly sketched the Department’s role and purpose, but he was of the view that what she had sketched was not properly reflected in the annual report. Going forward, all that has been said about the role of the DPME must be captured in the activities reflected in the annual report. There must not be appendices.

He said he was somewhat confused and disappointed by a whole range of things in the presentation. One minute, there was a DDM information system that had just been developed, and the next minute, a local government management information system was being used. He had asked himself what had been happening during the past four years if there were still talks about a DDM information system that had arisen a few weeks ago. How had the Department been operating all this time if they were talking about this thing only two weeks ago? He believed that the presentation itself showed the Department’s haphazardness, because its presentation showed that it was in the teething phase of what needed to be done -- and then the next minute it had shown that the Department was at the centre of executing. Who was actually playing the monitoring role here, given that the Department itself seemed to be deeply involved in this process? Should there not be somebody else conducting the monitoring? He was not getting the impression that the Department was doing the audit type of approach in its execution, where one would look at what others were doing and evaluate and give reports about what needed to happen to improve. Rather, he was getting the impression that the Department was resourcing itself to do the job itself.

The Committee had heard that the Deputy Minister was going into all kinds of other outreach areas. In his view, the presentation seemed suspicious -- it just looked like a form of quickly thinking about how the Department could be involved on the ground, considering that the elections were approaching. It just looked like disguised campaigning by the other party. He was not inspired with any confidence about this presentation. How did the DDM align with broader national developmental goals and strategies?

How was the Department ensuring effective coordination and integration of efforts at the district level? The presentation did not state whether government clusters were being used or not. He was of the view that talks about an integration model of sorts should include talks about something that addressed how government clusters could work together, but there was no mention of government clusters. What measures were being taken to ensure that local communities were actively involved and consulted on the development planning and implementation processes under the DDM? How was the Department monitoring community participation and feedback? He did not get a sense that the Department actually interacted and talked to people in the communities.

Could the Department provide insights into the key performance indicators and data metrics used to assess the success and impact of the DDM model? How was the Department utilising this data and making informed decisions and adjustments on implementing the model? The DDM had been launched in 2019 and it was now 2023 -- almost four years later -- so the Department should surely be able to respond to this by now.

Mr K Pillay (ANC) asked who was responsible for monitoring the establishment or the implementation of the DDM. Would it be the steering committee or the DPME conducting the monitoring? Some municipalities, if not provinces, were non-compliant, so it was important for whoever was providing that role to enforce the necessary compliance. What were the timeframes to have all provinces, including districts and municipalities, to be fully compliant with the One Plan and to be actually ready for implementation? It was one thing to get the One Plan on paper, but then it meant having to implement the plans that had been developed. Ultimately, the success of the DDM would be judged on the actual implementation of the Plan.

Did the DDM have a strong focus on disaster management? The country had a serious challenge in dealing with natural disasters, and it was important to plan ahead and be able to address them. How did the DDM speak to municipalities that underspent or returned grants? That was a serious challenge when one looks at how one should be providing services and implementing them. How did the DDM speak to that, and what was the consequence management involved?

Regarding the role of the census in planning, had the steering committee looked at the latest census results and had they started aligning the plans accordingly? If not, what was the time frame for being able to do that? The Committee may have created a plan before the census results, and it may not speak directly to the current situation that the country was in, compared to what would have come out as a result of the census. What had the DDM identified as the common or key priorities in districts? This was important to consider, because one might find that they overlapped from one to the other.

How was the Department ensuring that there was coherent implementation of the DDM, recognising that the city of Cape Town did not have a DDM plan that integrated intergovernmental planning? What monitoring and evaluation mechanisms were in place to ensure matters raised in the presidential imbizo were addressed promptly? How was the Department working with traditional leaders to ensure they played a significant role in the DDM?

He recommended that the Committee and the Department expedite legislation finalisation to ensure that the DDM approach had a legal framework. A road map was needed to set specific deadlines and time frames for the DDM -- not just the plans, but also implementation. The Committee needed to zoom in and provide oversight on this area.

Mr V Zungula (ATM) asked if there had been any fruits from the side of the Director General, considering that the DDM was an initiative from 2019. In his view, there had been an increase in the lack of service delivery, and municipalities were still using consultants at a very high rate. There were a lot of dysfunctional municipalities. Have there been any tangible results from the DDM since 2019? From a conceptual point of view, was the DDM effectively stating that municipalities had poor government systems and structures, and that, therefore, there was a need for this DDM model? If that was the case, why was there no focus on building capacity in existing structures instead of deploying a presidential steering committee, as that would not be sustainable?

What did this mean for the provincial governments? Looking at some of the functions and objectives of the DDM to improve service delivery, it showed that it spoke to items or issues that ordinarily should be driven by the municipalities themselves, failing which, the provincial government would intervene. What had been the impact of political instability on the DDM? How had the DDM performed and been received in the Western Cape?

DPME's response

Mr Nkuna said local government’s failure to spend had been a very big challenge. The Department had followed up on this issue, which was one reason Infrastructure South Africa (ISA) had been established to assist particular municipalities with project preparations. The Department had found that most of the time, municipalities had relied on outside service providers to help them prepare projects. That was also posing a lot of challenges in terms of the possible capture of local government. Work was being done, led by ISA, which was housed in the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI). The Department had been following up on the work of ISA and engaging them on the third-year review. If necessary, the DPME was happy to come back with ISA to go into details on the specific interventions that had been made to assist local government to prepare adequately for projects, and also to spend.

The Department had done some work on the challenges involved in revenue raising. It was concerned about the state of things, because the decline in revenue collection was visible at a number of municipalities. This had in part been linked to the challenge that the country was experiencing in the energy sector. As load-shedding persisted, people moved to microgrids, leading to many municipalities losing revenue. To resolve this, the Department engaged with the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), and some ideas came up, such as changing the funding model so that municipalities that were struggling with revenue collection could be supported. However, this idea did not go to Cabinet, as the SALGA still had to make specific recommendations on dealing with the fact that many municipalities were now struggling to collect the revenues.

On the gridlocks that were induced by the legislation, he replied that the DPME had noted that there was still a plan to amend the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and the Municipal Finance Management Act (MFMA), as they were very important in a way that would also loosen some of the gridlocks that had arisen because of the way the legislation had been framed. There were two ways to institutionalise the DDM, the first being a legislative process just created by the Department of Cooperative Governance that provides a clear legislative framework on what the DDM is, how it was going to function, its responsibilities and consequence management. That part was ongoing, and was led by COGTA.

On the Department’s side, as they had reported previously, they had started to think about the DDM, going into the next administration. What the Department had to recommend to the administration was the integration of the DDM as an inherent component of the medium-term strategic framework. Once the DDM was fully inserted within the MTSF, it would become binding on all affected departments and entities to implement the DDM. There were instruments in place to ensure that the implementation of the DDM was no longer optional, but was something binding on departments and different entities.

Responding to what had happened in the last three to four years since the initiation of the DDM, he replied that the DPME had started to implement the DDM in 2020 and 2021. The implementation was unfortunately done within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The whole idea and approach of the DDM largely guided government’s response to the pandemic. It had helped the Department a lot, as they were testing and moving from one district to another. This also assisted the Department of Health, to be more specific, in terms of the situation in the different districts. One could safely say that although it was not robust for very obvious reasons, the Department had started to implement the DDM, albeit in an environment that was difficult for the country.

In terms of the systems that the Department had institutionalised partly through learning from the COVID experience, it had had to introduce these new systems because once one learnt from one situation and moved to another, one had to improve on one's side. There was now no confusion on the systems. The systems that COGTA was introducing were for the purposes of coordinating implementation, as the presentation had indicated that they were responsible for coordinating the implementation of the DDM. There would be an expectation that there was a thin line between a system used for the implementation of the system and one used for monitoring. There was no duplication. Where COGTA had introduced systems that would also allow the DPME a line of sight to access the data, the Department did not duplicate those in its systems. The DPME implements its own system where it has to do so, and had informed COGTA that it was introducing its own systems in addition to what COGTA already had in place. The two departments talked and had bilaterals. The DPME could come before the Committee and represent the systems that COGTA had introduced because the DPME knew about them. COGTA was also aware of the toolkits that the DPME had introduced for monitoring purposes. The logic was that the DPME was a department that monitored the monitors. In the case of National Treasury, the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) and COGTA also carry some monitoring functions. Where they did so and monitored certain services, the DPME’s role became that of monitoring the monitors.

On how the DPME links with the MTSF, he replied that the DDM had to be integrated into the MTSF. Some preliminary work had been done in this regard when the Department revised the MTSF in 2021 to take the COVID environment into consideration. However, as he had stated earlier on, the work was not as robust as it should have been, and this was a matter that the Department was carrying forward into the new MTSF that would start with the new administration.

On the role of the clusters, he replied that the Department had invited the provinces to start serving in the national clusters so that the disjuncture between national and the provinces could be dealt with. This was particularly important when it came to local government interventions, so there were no disjointed approaches between the provinces and national. The clusters were still in place. They discussed issues pertaining to local government regularly where and when necessary. All the DGs of the provinces were participating. SALGA had also been invited. There was integration taking place through the clusters.

On the role of the community, and examples of whether the community was involved in the process, he replied that the Deputy Minister had covered this at the beginning of the meeting. The Department had done a lot of work in Harry Gwala District Municipality. Without going into detail, he could simply state that the Department could use its own direct experience, as it had been supporting its political principals to deal with the DDM issues.

He reiterated the differences in the roles between COGTA and the DPME. COGTA coordinates the implementation and the DPME monitors, evaluates and plans, while working together with COGTA and other entities.

On the provinces’ and other entities’ compliance with the DDM, he replied that there was a legal framework that COGTA was producing, and there was work that the DPME was doing to integrate the DDM into the ongoing medium-term strategic framework.

He said two things were being done concerning handling disaster management. The DPME had asked various departments to include disaster management in their annual performance plans (APPs) to introduce the risk element in how government departments were functioning. At the same time, it had finalised the national spatial development framework, and had then integrated the spatial development framework with the DDM. The first thing that the Department had done in that integration was to require geo-referencing in every project that government departments were implementing, as this would allow the DPME to know what was happening. Initially, there had been huge compliance with the geo-referencing guidelines that the DPME had issued, by departments in the infrastructure area. There was limited geo-referencing by other departments. The DPME was attending to that to show that not only infrastructure projects, but all interventions by government departments should be adequately geo-referenced so that the Department could know what was happening.

He had broadly dealt with the issue of underspending earlier in the meeting. The metros had their own mechanisms. There was poor participation by the metros, which would be cured by the instruments that he had referred to earlier in the meeting, including the revision of the MTSF that would include the DDM. For the first time, the metros would be involved when the Department developed the new MTSF, so that it was not an imposition. Up to now, the MTSF framework has been largely developed by the national sphere, in collaboration with the provinces. This was now being stretched beyond the two spheres to involve local government so that there could be buy-in from local government. The Department was mindful of the constitutional separation of the different spheres of government, which had been one of the gridlocks that sometimes made coordination challenging.

On the role of traditional leadership, he replied that the Department believed that traditional leadership was very central. The DPME had had regular meetings with the House of Traditional Leaders on various matters of common interest. Even before the DPME went to Cabinet to report on some of the things it sees, it consults with the National House of Traditional Leaders through Mr Sithole, the national manager of the House. The Department had had a long consultation with the House of Traditional Leaders two days ago, where they had talked about the 30 years of democracy review and the role of traditional leadership in that. The House of Traditional Leaders and COGTA had given the Department quite a lot of information and their own observations of what had been happening in the last 30 years, and all of these issues or recommendations that were coming up would find expression in the work that the DPME was going to do in the MTSF.

On the fruits produced by the DDM since its implementation in 2019, he replied that he had already highlighted this, and may need to provide better details to back this up. To a significant extent, the Department’s approach to the COVID-19 pandemic was already influenced by the direction of embracing the DDM. The Department had made use of the whole logic of the DDM in a range of areas to deal with the pandemic. It was of the view that it had been a great success that all the entities had realised the need to work together in a particular way. The Department had explained what necessitated the DDM, and that was around coordination. It would be difficult for government to function without coordination between the various spheres of government. It was not whether the Department needed the DDM to fix the institutions facing challenges. The DPME's view was that the two were integrated, and could not be separated. While fixing the institutions, the Department had been paying attention to the situation in local government. However, doing so should not negate the need for the different spheres to work together.

On the impact of the DDM, he replied that he could give a high-level view as an administrator, but the political principals could deal with the issue of the impact on political stability.

He said the Department had been working with the province regarding the implementation of the DDM in the Western Cape. The Western Cape used the Department’s instruments; participated in the MTSF processes; submitted their APP in accordance with the MTSF; and their performance was in line with the MTSF. There was collaboration and compliance by the Western Cape province when it came to the work that the Department did. As there was a move to integrate the DDM with the MTSF, that would also increase the participation of the province, because that would now be integral in government’s planning.

Adv Gugulethu Thimane, Deputy Director-General: Public Sector Monitoring and Capacity Development, DPME, responded on the issues of the DDM concerning the National Development Plan, and referred to slide eight of the presentation, where it stated that there had to be revisions of APPs and strategic plans so that the DDM was incorporated. The DDM did not operate in isolation, but was part of government's planning system.

On why so much time had gone by with little being done since the initiation of the DDM, she replied that there had been other imperatives, like local government circular 88, wherein local government would be expected to respond to government issues and on issues about development. There was a DDM barometer outlining which local governments were working, and there were interventions to ensure that the governments performing optimally were assisted. The national strategic hub was something that had come now, but that did not mean that there had not been any other monitoring systems, because there had been other imperatives like the circular 88 and the DDM barometer.

The national strategic hub was about infrastructure digitisation of government to ensure that the information was there and was archived. Lately, there had to be incorporation of the DDM as part of the national strategic hub, so although it seemed like nothing had been happening, there had been some work. The Department had to make sure that the DDM was part of the national strategic hub to ensure security and digitisation of information in government.

Referring to the community’s involvement in the DDM process, she said that the DDM was aligned with the integrated development plans (IDPs) of local government by its nature. IDPs could not be conducted without the involvement of stakeholders such as the community, non-governmental organisations, businesses, and other key actors in government.

She said there had been many presidential imbizos, including an imbizo focused on reporting to the community, assessing progress, and the government accounting to the community about the issues that the community had raised previously. There was a relationship focused on monitoring how the government was performing in the imbizos.

On disaster management, she said that the Department had to make sure that they learnt from the disasters that had happened before. Disaster management has been integrated into government APPs. That integration was important. A multi-sector team approach had been adopted, and involved different entities such as the DPME, SALGA, the Department of Transport, and COGTA.

On the DDM’s legal framework, she referred to the presentation slide that addressed the institutionalisation of the DDM. There had been an amendment of the Intergovernmental Relations Framework Act to incorporate the DDM. That framework was going to address government’s expectation to comply with the DDM.

Mr Serfontein said that the KwaZulu-Natal province was doing a good job in implementing the DDM. They were producing the plans, but were just using a different implementation plan because they had started a similar project approach previously. The Department was not saying that there was only one way to implement the DDM, but rather that principles needed to be adhered to. This linked to Mr Zungula’s statements that new separate structures should not be created. The Department had said from the start that they did not want to create new processes and structures for the DDM. The Department was conscious about utilising existing processes and structures in place to implement the DDM, and was wary of the administrative burden placed on all the entities.

Referring to the timeframes to implement the Plan, he said that the Department was already starting to see that the district would come up with a district plan, and that Plan was then implemented by the existing structures. There was no budget associated with the DDM, but the Department was finding that they would have plans, such as catalytic projects, and those projects were entrenched into the plans of local and/or provincial government. Even from the first rounds of assessments, the Department had started seeing that some of the catalytic projects identified through the DDM were being captured into the plans and were being implemented.

He said the Department had not had the time to analyse the census information, but it would definitely go forward. The census information would give the Department an updated situational analysis. It had been using the 2011 census information, but it had also used the updates that Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) had provided through the household surveys, and had been updating the district profiles.

On the impact indicators that the DPME used to track progress, he replied that it was really about the triple challenges for the Department – how it was measuring employment, poverty, gross domestic product (GDP) and the inequality ratios. That was the impact that the Department believed the DDM was driving, and would be measuring.

Follow-up discussion

Mr Manyi thanked Ms Thimane for her clarity and the level of detail she had provided. He asked Mr Serfontein about key performance indicators. Objective figures showed that the country was experiencing greater inequality than it had during apartheid. Did that therefore mean that the Department’s work was not yielding a positive outcome? He was struggling to understand the separation of roles in this process. He was not getting a sense that the Department was working with other departments. It appeared as though the Department was working amongst itself. When consultations were done, was it the DPME which did the consultations, or did it work with other departments to conduct consultations? He was not getting a sense that the Department was monitoring, as it should.

Mr Nkuna replied that the Department carried out consultations with communities. It had done its own consultations with municipalities, where ministers had been deployed as champions. The DPME did not want to rely only on what other departments had done, but sometimes had to verify what other departments did so that the DPME could develop informed positions. The DPME was referring to the work it did where its ministers were deployed.

He said the DPME was dealing with inequality in the 30-year review undertaken by the Department so that it could give the Committee its own assessment of how things have developed over a long period of time.

Minister's comments

Ms Maropene Ramokgopa, Minister in the Presidency: Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, said there had been a number of discussions about the DDM among the Cabinet ministers. The question on the equitable share division indicated how the different spheres of government operated. Where service delivery took place, it needed to be properly resourced, based on the skills and the monetary resources they would need. A decision had been made with Cabinet that a review should take place with the National Treasury as it relates to equitable shares and funding. This was going to assist the Department to ask themselves what they were going to do with municipalities that were unable to raise revenue, for example, and also attract skills.

One often found that municipalities could not spend their grant funds because there was a shortage of the skills necessary for them to meet their delegated responsibilities. The Department had looked into reviewing the grant funding, and the funding model, in totality. She believed this would now assist the Department to look further into what was happening regarding DDMs. The DDMs had been established to assist the DPME in considering everything strategically and in a more coordinated way in terms of service delivery. The DDMS were not an event or a destination, but rather a service delivery process. The Department’s involvement would be to support the coordination done by COGTA, and to ensure that they monitored that things were happening the way they needed to happen.

She said that public participation was important. The Department did not go and ask directly about health issues on its own, and have its own public participation. When it did its frontline monitoring, it did not take only the information that another department would have given them, but would go on site and engage with community members. The Department had been doing this quite robustly regarding disaster management intervention and service delivery that had been done by different departments and coordinated by COGTA. The Deputy Minister had been doing well in this regard, as this was one of her delegated responsibilities. The DPME took other departments along with it when it did its frontline monitoring to ensure that the departments they were monitoring could address issues that fell within their scope of work.

She said that the national strategic hub was a beautiful dashboard that not only dealt with monitoring issues, but contained centralised data of government service delivery involving the entire three spheres of government, and put this information into different portfolios based on DDMs. This assisted the Department in coordinating better and gave it early warning systems to know if municipalities or other departments were doing what they were supposed to be doing, and how the DPME could intervene better. This platform also assisted different entities in speaking to each other, as it related to integrated ways of making sure that service delivery was done. This system was going to bring better integrated planning and implementation to life. Anyone who had access to the dashboard could access the information. This would also help municipalities plan better and help the Department share its expertise with other departments.

The presidential imbizos had been going on and were part of the ways in which the Department could consult with its people on the ground. This had worked quite well concerning frontline monitoring. The Department also had an important process with the United Nations that was called Volunteering National Reviews, which dealt with what was happening as it related to government's way of compliance with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)and Agenda 2063.

On disaster management, she said that the Department had developed an inter-ministerial committee (IMC), which discusses more coordinated ways of dealing with disaster management. The planning part of it should also be ready so that the Department is not caught off guard. The national spatial development framework would also assist this. Legislatively, disaster management coordination lies with district municipalities and local governments. The Department had to look at better ways of coordinating, as they looked into raising funds. It had not looked much into empowering municipalities on how they could manage disasters in a better way. She believed that the newly reviewed integrated framework would help further cement the DDM issues and include disaster management.

She said that what was happening would evolve into a better district model that would allow district municipalities to be defined in a different way. There had been talks in the National Planning Commission where people had been asking why the IDPs of the municipalities were not changed into the One Plan that the DPME had. The municipalities should concentrate on ensuring that the DDM is implemented in an effective manner. She hoped the Committee would request that the Department present its 30-year review.

The Chairperson clarified to Mr Serfontein that Parliament did not have a planning bill. Parliament had only attended to the Statistics SA Bill.

Mr Nkuna confirmed that the bill was between the Department and Cabinet.

Chairperson's summary

The Chairperson said that the Committee regarded the work done by the Department as a work in progress, and recognised that it was trying to make the best of this process. The Committee expected the DPME to play an all-encompassing monitoring role, and to place its strength on coordination. This was going to be the key issue the Committee was going to oversee with the Department.

The Committee had planned to conduct a workshop to make sense of its own mandate and the role of the Department, but this had been pushed back. He welcomed the Department’s request to present the 30-year review of the National Development Plan.

Mr Manyi requested that the Committee be presented with the impact report that reflected the various key performance areas that Mr Serfontein had mentioned.

Committee minutes

The Committee considered the minutes of the Committee meeting dated 27 October.

Mr Pillay moved their adoption, and was seconded by Mr Manyi.

The meeting was adjourned.


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