South African Management Development Institute (SAMDI): briefing

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PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
11 October 2004
SOUTH AFRICAN MANAGEMENT DEVELOPMENT INSTITUTE (SAMDI): BRIEFING

Chairperson
: Mr B Mthembu (ANC)

Documents handed out:
Department PowerPoint Presentation

SUMMARY
The South African Management Development Institute's progress report included updates on SAMDI's Compulsory Induction and Re-orientation Programme, its strengthening of support capacity for Members of the Executive, the Community Development Workers project and Performance Agreement requirements. SAMDI asserted that there had been great success in its work, despite the challenges. Some committee members expressed dissatisfaction with what they perceived as SAMDI's over-concentration on the urbanised Gauteng province and neglect of training in rural areas. SAMDI was requested to do more about service delivery through adopting an interventionist approach.

MINUTES
SAMDI briefing

The Acting Director General, Mr Dennis Malekele and Ms Tshidi Masutha (Chief Executive Manager) of the South African Management Development Institute (SAMDI) presented. SAMDI's mandate and primary and supporting role to departments were explained. They also provided progress to date on SAMDI's Compulsory Induction and Re-orientation Programme, its strengthening of support capacity for Members of the Executive, the Community Development Workers project and the Batho Pele requirements in Performance Agreements.

Discussion
Mr S Ntuli (DA) asked what SAMDI was doing to help Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) move in the right direction given the problem of dysfunction that had already being recognised by government. He added that it was important for SAMDI to do something because taxpayers' money was involved.

The presenter responded that about 60% of SAMDI's training was done at the provincial level. SAMDI had been working closely with two SETAs: local government and water. One of SAMDI's projects was to make sure that the training grant was managed properly.

Ms H Mgabadeli (ANC) asked for SAMDI's definition of management in the local government context. Who was being managed and what was the strategy used to increase community development workers, she asked.

She further requested SAMDI to present examples of the induction and orientation processes referred to in the presentation. She also wanted to know which executives were trained by SAMDI and what the benefits were.

SAMDI she added, claimed to have dealt with the challenges of Community Development Workers (CDW), but she wanted to know where and how this had happened. She finally asked SAMDI to explain when its training would be going into the rural areas that needed more attention instead of Gauteng that had more government services attention.

The presenter stated that Gauteng had requested that SAMDI develop a training program for them. SAMDI's role had been to provide services. Gauteng was also used as a frame of reference. Because they got started first, it was important to learn how they did what they did, what strategies were used and how to deal with problems. SAMDI documented experiences from Gauteng with the intention of spreading it to other provinces for their learning purposes.

The presenter added that provinces were at different levels of training programmes and it was important to note that. Limpopo, Free State and North West along with other provinces were already on board. It was a matter of SAMDI being a role player in as far as affecting change. SAMDI had not conducted recruitment or deployment of those individuals that were used. Its role had been to develop training.

SAMDI had not been involved in employment and recruitment of CDWs, neither had it been involved with increasing the intake of CDWs. SAMDI had a different role. Its primary function had been to equip CDWs with the necessary skills they needed. This was done in accordance with SAMDI's mandate.

The presenter continued that if the SETAs were integrated, there needed to be a "super SETA" that was bigger, autonomous and able to deliver. This process would create a stronger partnership between SAMDI and the SETAs for better collaboration.

SAMDI referred to the Ministers as executive authorities. Unlike the Ministers, SAMDI was part of the task team that conceptualised and made sure that the indicators needed were realised.

SAMDI would had to make a full presentation on the issue of local government if they were invited to do so because the Department was in agreement that to make any level of impact, delivery should be effected at the lower level. Without the lower level delivery, the people's contract ideas and promises would not be realised. SAMDI would not be able to deliver efficient services to the people by operating in Pretoria and Johannesburg offices.

The Chairperson requested that the presenters gave the Committee a sense of SAMDI's actual contribution and the role that SAMDI played in terms of service delivery.

Ms H Mgabadeli continued that she was very concerned and could not understand how SAMDI intended to inform the eight other provinces of training programmes. It appeared to her that SAMDI and all other government Departments were mostly working in Gauteng when other provinces were left untouched.

She expressed her frustration over the fact that there was no deep rural area in Gauteng yet it received so much attention from all government Departments. She concluded that there was nothing that she could relate from the presentation to her experiences or visits to her province over the past three weeks.

The Chairperson appealed for SAMDI to adopt a proactive intervention in development and service delivery especially in those provinces that were underdeveloped.

Ms P Mashangoane (ANC) asked SAMDI to comment on monitoring mechanisms during training, the number of CDWs trained, the time frame set for capacity building and how success was measured.

The presenter stated that the provinces were responsible for the statistics regarding the number of CDWs that had been trained. SAMDI had no such figures because its involvement was at the invitation of the provinces. SAMDI in some cases identified CDWs and suggested to the provinces the need for training programmes. It was left to the provinces to decide if such training was to be the responsibility of SAMDI. The provinces had their autonomy when it came to identifying and conducting training. In Limpopo for example, about 260 CDWs were identified by SAMDI and then a period of lobbying and negotiation with the province to accept the areas of training identified by the Department began.

Maximum efforts were made in Gauteng because the province requested SAMDI's help.

SAMDI would conduct monitoring wherever it carried out training. The Department had discovered through monitoring that the issue of gender was very critical. It had learned this from previous programmes and improvements had been made.

SAMDI would not dictate to municipalities on deploying CDWs. The municipalities would have to do it. Service delivery was not an issue that could be addressed through training only. The monitoring process was the way through which SAMDI measured its success and it was not a quick process. Models had been developed for the way forward.

Mr C Saloojee (ANC) was concerned about SAMDI's impact on social development.

The presenter said SAMDI's mandate was to facilitate training. Through training the Department established what other training should be instituted.

Mr R Sikakane (ANC) commented that certain issues that were being raised with SMADI were the responsibilities of other Departments and provinces. SAMDI's work was to train Managers and Executives for better job performance.

Ms Mgabadeli asserted that it was SAMDI's responsibility to know who were being trained and their capacity.

The Chairperson requested that SAMDI's mandate be clarified to present a clear conceptualisation of it. He asked that the presenter explain intervention and waiting for requests.

The presenter responded that before 2001, SAMDI had a Portfolio Program where people chose from a menu. The problem was that programs that did not exist in the menu could not be chosen for implementation. SAMDI had moved from that stage to intervention. That was the reason for approaching Departments about the need to conduct training. SAMDI was then engaged in playing a proactive role in terms of government efforts to deliver services to the people of South Africa.

Mr Sikakane wanted to know whether SAMDI took the initiative to go to the rural areas to train people without waiting on a specific Department or province's request.

The presenter stated that SAMDI's role took two forms. One was to present to the Departments and provinces what was available and the other was to keep knocking until the Departments and provinces saw their role. But it was not SAMDI's role to over rule executives. Departments were encouraged to interact so as to see the need for training.

Ms Mashangoane commented that South Africans were people that belonged to communities and that it was irrelevant whether a person was an MP or a Departmental executive as they all knew that South African communities had immense problems. As such, there was the need to go and identify the problems from those communities. The MPs were only recording what they were getting from their communities.

The Chairperson said the Committee encouraged SAMDI to take a more interventionist approach.

The meeting was adjourned.

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