A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.
5 April 2005
OLDER PERSONS BILL COSTING: SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT BRIEFING; HOME AFFAIRS AND HEALTH BUDGETS: BRIEFING
Chairperson: Ms J Masilo (ANC, North West)
Documents handed out:
Analysis of Social Development Budget Vote: 18
Analysis of Home Affairs budget
Analysis of Budget Vote 4: Department of Home Affairs
Report on Costing of the Older Persons Bill (print out version)
Proposed amendments to Older Persons Bill [B68—2003]
Parliament researchers the presented two preliminary briefings to the Committee. The first provided a fairly detailed overview of the Department of Social Development, while the second informed Members of the make-up of the budget for Home Affairs. The Committee was also given a presentation by the same department on the Older Persons Bill, and then reviewed the amendments to the Bill with its Legal Advisor. The morning session ended with a preliminary briefing on the budget for the Health Department.
During the afternoon session, the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs introduced their new Director-General, Mr Maqetuka, who explained the Department’s six strategic ‘drivers’: service delivery, people and organisation development, professional management, public awareness, legislative review and information management. Topics discussed included the quality of service in Home Affairs offices, forward planning, corruption and the overlapping of the role of immigration officials and police. The Chief Financial Officer then discussed the budget for 2005/06. They also deliberated on services in rural areas, offices and capacity and under-spending.
Department of Social Development briefing
Mr F Abrahams (Parliament Researcher) said the Department was a key player in reducing poverty. To that end, the Department had started income generating projects. He explained that the bulk of the budget was aimed at policy development.
The Department also intended to complete the social assistance programme and revamp the aspects of the Social Security system that were integrated into medical coverage. They wanted to establish the Social Security Agency to administer Social Security on a National level.
Since they were moving away from Provinces administrating Social Security, the Department would be bearing more of the financial burden. He illustrated this point by showing that in 2004/05 the Department’s budget was R4.5 billion, while the budget for 2005/06 was R56 billion.
From the national level, the Social Security Agency and the Department gave the Provinces money in the form of conditional grants. The purpose of this was to "fence in" money that had been earmarked for Social Security and social assistance programs within the provinces so that the money could only be used for the purposes of Social Security and social assistance.
The Department’s Social Security policy and planning indicated that their expenses included the completion of policy relevant to Social Security and a review of gender differences. He pointed out that the Constitution stressed that there could not be discrimination on the basis of age or gender. Yet, the current definition of older persons was a man at least 65 years old or a woman 60 years old or more. Given this discrepancy, the Department had been looking at possible upcoming court cases as well as examining potential solutions to this problem.
Disability was also an area of concern. There had been huge grants given within the Provinces for people with disabilities, but the Treasury had declared that these grants for disability were unsustainable. Therefore, they needed to define eligibility for disability grants. There were also gaps in the system that allowed for fraud or an inconsistent application of the grants.
The Department was also focussed on monitoring the quality of service. They wanted to know if the Provinces would be capable of meeting the norms and standards that were set at a National level. They would also assess how Provinces managed their contracts with service providers. He added that the Department wanted to ensure that the policy would be feasible for all the Provinces to meet, because they wanted the same quality of service in all the Provinces.
The Department was also planning to establish a huge IT system. He said that R1.5 - R2 billion had been lost to fraud, but a new and comprehensive IT system would help eliminate, or at least reduce, this massive level of fraud against the government’s program.
In its welfare services, the Department wanted to look at ways of improving service delivery even though they themselves were not responsible for actually providing the services. They also were striving to change the financial policy to reduce the urban bias in welfare as well as a bias toward people who were White, Coloured, or Indian. The question of how to deal with the estimated 11 000 child-headed households was also a concern.
On the issue of Development Support, formally known as poverty alleviation, he explained that only 17% of money intended for that programme had been spent. This meant that R40 million was just sitting somewhere not being used. Thus, the Department was committed to directing how that money should be spent.
The Department also wanted to know how much money was being spent on volunteers in their programmes that dealt with HIV/AIDS. Their intention was to pay these volunteers and thereby create employment and generate income for those volunteers. He also pointed out that a report on South Africa’s population was due and that the Department wanted to know the status of that report.
Ms F Mazibuko (ANC, Gauteng) asked if they had the format that laid out the percentage of the budget, as compared to the number of people in the programmes.
Mr Abrahams did not have that specific information with him, but that the Department had shown a nominal increase of 10% per year.
Ms Mazibuko asked if it was contributing to the GDP or if it was having the effect of reducing poverty.
Ms Masilo said that information would be made available to Members by Friday.
Home Affairs budget briefing
Ms B Makani-Mausomi stated that the 2005 budget for the Department of Home Affairs was R2.9 billion. Much of that money was being spend on the development of an IT structure. In his State of the Nation Address, President Mbeki said that he wanted to upgrade South Africa’s ports of entry and the Department of Home Affairs was dedicating its resources toward that goal as well.
The Department had three main programmes: administration, delivery of services, and auxiliary and associated services. Administration dealt with making the Department’s managerial aspects more efficient. The delivery of services programme, which received the bulk of the Department’s budget to the tune of R1.6 billion included a sub-programme on emigration and also dealt with the delivery of visas, passports, permanent resident applications, etc. The auxiliary and associated services programme was new. Most of the money allocated to this programme went to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), which managed the logistics of preparing for and carrying out nationwide elections. The amount of money to this programme depended on the election cycles, which would dictate when the IEC would have to be most active.
She revealed that the Department had been under spending on its budget allocation, and added that their budget was in line with the priorities of the Government. Their budget had also integrated the concerns that had been expressed after the Committee’s oversight trip.
Ms Mazibuko asked what the Department’s overall budget would be in a year when they had no elections.
Mr D Mkono (ANC, Eastern Cape) asked what the budget increase of 20,8% in real terms translated to in nominal terms.
Ms Makani reported that the budget increase in nominal terms was 25%.
Department of Social Development briefing on Older Persons Bill
Ms V Nheapo (Deputy Director-General of Social Development) said that their briefing would consist of a recap of the costing process and then an analysis of those findings.
Ms T Mohlangu (National Director of Social Development) stated that the main aim of the Older Persons Bill was to clarify the status and rights of older persons. In order to do this, the Department had to ask itself what was meant by the terms ‘older persons’, ‘community-based care’, and ‘venerable’ older persons.
They defined ‘older persons’ as men of 65 years or more and women of 60 years or more. Community-based care was seen as care that involved the individual’s family and/or other members of the community. ‘Vulnerable older persons’ were older persons that already had access to grants.
The Department expressed a desire to find out the distribution of older persons and vulnerable older persons. She said that the Department and the Bill’s objective was to promote the security of older persons, increase and ensure their rights, and combat abuse of older persons. In this goal, the Department had taken into consideration the financial risks and institutional arrangements that might prove to be hurdles in their pursuit.
She then defined three more terms. Home-based care was labelled as restoring or maintaining a person’s maximum level of comfort toward a dignified death. This definition was derived from the definition set forth by the World Health Organization (WHO). The capital programme was meant to develop the Government infrastructure for service delivery to older persons. The administration program, meanwhile, was an internal program for Government coordination, policy development, and funding.
Ms N Kela (Department Chief Director) said that for each type of service they looked at the quality of service. There were three levels of care; the most basic was simply called basic health care, which just provided the necessities to older persons. Intermediate service provided the basics to the older persons and also included a health care professional that would come and visit the older persons to provide their services. Tertiary care was the highest level, which meant that the old persons’ facility had a resident health care professional.
The Department found that the most effective way to provide quality health care was to pay Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to establish and run facilities for older persons. The Government provided the NGO with 75% of the funding and the NGO itself had to come up with the other 25%. Since the NGOs had to get 25% of the funding on their own, it lead to slight discrepancies between different facilities and between different Provinces. She added that the Government would have to provide 100% of the funding in order to give NGOs an incentive to move out to rural areas.
Ms Mohlangu said that their analysis had shown that the budget for 2005 was R462 million and in 2006 it would be R514 million. She added that table 7 (in ‘Report on Costing of the Older Persons Bill’) showed that their projections of the costs in the coming years would exceed the budget allocations.
Ms Kela explained that the demand for services outweighed the availability of services, and because of this they needed to establish more service points throughout the country. They also wanted to implement the Madrid Plan of Action on Aging, which demanded a different scope of services. Ultimately, they wanted to keep older men and women active in their communities and ensure that they were treated with respect and dignity.
In conclusion she said that the Government needed to invest in older persons given their changing roles in society. She said it was also important to target the poorest of the poor in this effort. She added that resources must be driven by needs with the goal of keeping older persons independent within their communities and functioning at their maximum potential.
Mr Mkono inquired how the funds were distributed, if it was by conditional grants or by equitable shares. He also pointed out that the presentation and analysis of costing left out the cost of administration. The Department had not given an account of how much money was going to social workers and things of that nature. He said that this sort of information should be included because he wanted to look at the total picture. He also said that they wanted to implement the Bill, but the money was not available. Therefore, he asked for the view of the Treasury. He added that he did not wish to pass a law that could not be implemented even if the intentions of the Bill were good.
Ms Mazibuko said that she had not seen indications of this work for older persons being done in her constituency. The Department must look at ways to make these facilities attractive to older persons so that they actually want to go to them.
Ms Masilo said that perhaps it would not be a bad idea to have an oversight trip to some of the NGO-run older persons’ facilities.
Mr M Thetjeng (DA, Limpopo) requested that the integrated communiqué in the levels of care be unpacked. He also asked about the potential cost of initiating a pilot programme, and how one would check to see that the different levels of care were actually up to par.
Ms Masilo asked if it was possible that the Bill could be implemented before the end of this financial year.
Ms Nheapo responded that funds were distributed via equitable shares. She added that the eventual Act would not be promulgated until the Provinces had money for it. Therefore, once the Bill was passed, it would not be immediately enacted until the Provinces had the money to implement it. The Bill would also be delayed in implementation because if it were passed they would have to establish a regulatory framework that would have to be approved by the Minister.
Ms Kela reiterated that the Bill would not be enacted immediately after it was passed. She said that they had worked with Treasury and believed that the costs were manageable. The costing was looking at what was affordable, what were compulsory obligations, and issues to that effect. As far as administrative costs, she pointed out that the charts in the document indicated the money spent on administration at both the Provincial and National level.
She added that the Bill and its formation was a process, but that its ultimate goal was to address the plight of older persons. As an aside, she mentioned that it was too costly for the government to run facilities on their own, so that was why they turned to the NGOs, which were much cheaper for the Government.
Mr Mkono asked when they intended to introduce the Bill and when it would make its way down to the provinces.
Mr P Preez (Legal Advisor for the National Department of Social Development) said that even if the Bill were finished this year it still would not come into operation before the end of next year. This was due to the fact that the Provinces would not have the money necessary to implement the Bill until the end of next year.
Ms Kela pointed out that they were not starting from scratch, but rather, that some infrastructure and service mechanisms already existed. Their intention was merely to improve the quality of service and service delivery. She then asked if the Committee was considering just passing the part of the Bill that they felt was affordable.
Mr Mkono said that he did not want to pass part of the Bill; he wanted to pass the whole thing. However, he found it problematic that their charts and costing did not indicate that the Bill would not be enacted until much later.
Ms Masilo asked if old age homes and older persons’ facilities were the same thing, since both terms appeared in the Department’s report.
Ms Mohlangu said that they were the same issue and that their report used those terms interchangeably.
Ms Nheapo said that the aim of costing was to assist the Provinces on how much to expect to budget for those programmes in the coming years if the Bill was passed.
Review of the amendments to the Bill
Mr Preez said that the amendments came from the suggestions by the Committee at previous meetings, and from suggestions submitted by the Provinces.
Mr Preez then went through the Bill clause by clause and pointed out the changes in the Bill. The Committee agreed to all the amendments.
Department of Health budget briefing
Ms Mankani-Mausomi reported that the Health Department had spent R136.5 million on administration, which was an increase of 5.8% from last year. Subprogrammes under administration included management and audit programmes.
Strategic health programmes had received R1.7 billion, an increase of 15.6%. The large expenditure was due to involvement with HIV/AIDS programmes, which received additional funding from sources outside the Department, and were among the government’s top priorities.
With regard to the decrease in funding for communicable diseases, she questioned whether the decrease in real terms reflected the Department's commmitment to the goal to decrease the prevalence of communicable diseases, especially in the light of the President's 2005 State of the Nation Address and the 2004 Health Strategic Plan. She urged the Committee to clarify this issue with the Department.
The Integrated Nutrition Programme would be funded from the provincial equitable share, instead of a conditional grant, from 2006/07. The programme was currently still funded through condtional grants from the Department. The School Nutrtion Programme was no longer part of the Integrated Nutrition Programme for Health, but was funded by the Education Department.
The service delivery budget was R7.9 billion, up 5.4% from the previous year. Here again, conditional grants had been passed to the provinces. Meanwhile, transfers and subsidies amounted to R1.9 billion. In conclusion, the bulk of the Department’s funding went toward conditional grants, and often this money was not managed properly.
Deputy Minister of Home Affairs’ introduction
After the lunchbreak, the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs said that the Department had not had any Deputy Directors-General when they presented their budget the previous year. They had now appointed several Deputy Directors-General. They also appointed a new Director-General, Mr Jeff Maqetuka. This was in line with the President’s reshuffling of Directors-General at the beginning of March 2005.
The Deputy Minister said that the Department would report on their important journey of the last twelve months, highlighting the way forward. They had a full strength top management and an improved structure at senior level. This enabled them to strengthen the broader capacity of the Department. Many decisions, and major steps, had been taken to move forward and transform the Department. An immigration branch would be launched the following week. They were also looking at a finger print system, the strengthening of the capacity of the Information Technology (IT) branch, and improving the image of the Department. They identified important milestones regarding service delivery and launched a Department services booklet, intended to inform citizens. The Deputy Minister hoped that they would be able to deliver quality services to the people. Important milestones would include an improved population register, passports and vital registrations.
The Deputy Minister said that many challenges remained. In some instances, they were not able to meet their objectives and spend their budget. He said that their prospects were good and that the Department was positive and they had a good team.
Department Strategic Plan
Mr Maqetuka said they had talked about their ‘turnaround strategy’ since 2003, where they had defined a way forward to address the deficiencies and challenges faced by the Department. This plan included a reinvention of the Department and the revolution and modernisation of the Department. In February 2005 the top management developed the strategy for the next five years that included evaluation of the progress they had made, assessing the impact of the priorities of the President and Minister and defining their strategy for the next ten years.
Mr Maqetuka thought that the process of change in the Department was irreversible and that they could therefore talk about the ‘turning-the corner-strategy’. This did not mean that they had reached their destination, but that they recognised that they were on the right track, knew their destination, made progress and had a way to go on their strenuous journey.
In line with the President’s objectives, the allocation of funds to the Department would be aligned to the following themes and drivers for government:
- increased investment in the economy;
- lowering the cost of doing business;
- improving economic inclusion; and
- providing skills required by the economy.
Mr Maqetuka said that the Department’s objective would be to provide citizens with access to basic and other government services.
The Department confirmed their critical intervention areas: immigration, civic services, service delivery, leadership and management, people, infrastructure, finance and procurement, information technology and counter-corruption. Mr Maqetuke said that their strategic plans had been made with these areas in mind.
The Department had six strategic focus areas: Improved service delivery, people and organisational development, professional management and governance, public awareness and consultation, review of legislation and information management.
Improved service delivery
Mr Maqetuke said that enhancing their service delivery was not only a primary strategic driver, but it was also imperative. The Department was committed to the spirit of ‘Batho Pele’. A service delivery branch was created for delivery on the ground. The frontline offices of the Department were totally inadequate to address the imbalances of the past. The development of a service delivery plan aligned with ‘Batho Pele’ and the establishment of a 24-hour client service centre, were specific actions being planned to focus on service delivery.
Improved immigration service delivery entailed effective border control, effective law enforcement and the effective management of refugee services. Civic services had to be enhanced by a reliable and integrated Population Register. This entailed eliminating duplicate identity numbers and introducing an unique identity number for all citizens. The achievement of this was dependent on the completion of the HANIS reloaded project and the introduction of other systems.
The Corporate Services Branch was responsible for ensuring that the Department had the requisite infrastructure to support its operations. This entailed determining the requisite number of offices and their optimal location based on accessibility and ensuring that it met basic minimum standards. It also required that offices be upgraded to meet acceptable standards of excellence in terms of condition, location, equipment, staffing, and security. This plan also included the roll-out of new mobile units. The Information Technology Branch also had a vital role in service delivery improvement.
People and organisation development
Mr Maqetuke was pleased to report that they had filled in excess of 1 000 posts in the past year. Capacitating them would be the new challenge. This task pertained to the Corporate Services branch that provided human resources services. Their human resources objectives were:
- aligning the organisation structure with the strategy of the Department;
- developing a sourcing strategy aligned with a framework to manage career pathing, retention and succession planning;
- aligning the performance management processes and systems used for employees with the strategy and strategic objectives and then measuring performance against this criteria;
- promoting sound employee relationships;
- enhancing leadership and management;
- reviewing the current human resources structure and processes; and
- transforming the Department.
To counter corruption, the Department had to ensure that key staff was in place with appropriate tools and infrastructure. Capacity development for immigration required that the new NIB had professionally trained staff, equipped with uniforms and firearms, and that they were operating in appropriately located and equipped ports of entry. Regarding service, capacity needed to be built at Head Office. The IT branch faced the challenge of developing skills in a competitive environment.
Mr Maqetuka said that the Forum of Directors-General would submit a thorough review of the functioning of the Government system to the Cabinet by May.
Professional management and governance
Mr Maqetuka said that the Department had to improve its professionalism. Numerous strategic objectives related to this had been identified. Human resources were seeking to reposition in the Department to become a strategic partner rather than a personnel administrator. Internal and external communication had to be enhanced. The legal services unit had to function professionally. Finance had to focus on effective financial management, improved procurement processes and systems, and the establishment of an Asset Management Unit. The Department had a critical role to play in dealing with corruption. They had developed a Counter Corruption Plan, and improving security was a further strategic objective. Leadership and promoting good governance was a further strategic objective. Governance was an emerging issue in the Department and had been specifically targeted for action by the IT function where a framework and guidelines for implementation would be set up.
Public awareness and consultation
Mr Maqetuka said that they identified a number of areas where they needed to proactively interact with citizens. The Department had to make them more aware of the services they provided, as well as the issues that would impact on them. They identified key public awareness campaigns:
- Counter xenophobia;
- Citizens registration campaign; and
- Addressing improved service delivery through monitoring customer satisfaction levels, implementing a queue management system in all offices, revising service standards, and combating the activities of street agents while projecting a professional image.
Review of legislation
Mr Maqetuka said that a ministerial Legislative Review Committee had been assembled. Their main task would be to identify and peruse all existing Home Affairs policies in the form of white papers, legislation, and regulations. They would analyse the status quo, its shortfalls, general inconsistencies among the legislation, constitutional inconsistencies and inconsistencies with government policy. Mr Maqetuka mentioned that the Marriages Act of 1961 was still in operation. They would also have to look at the Customary Marriages Act.
The Department was dependent on data for its operations and effective use of technology and information systems management was required for:
- better information availability;
- better informed staff;
- reduced time spent on data input and searching;
- better collaboration and teamwork;
- resolving cross-agency issues in governments;
- reduced data redundancy; and
- improved data reliability.
Mr Maqetuka said that numerous projects were underway, including identification. The key objectives for this project were:
- an integrated ID system that was secure, effective and efficient;
- implementation of a permanent unique ID number;
- introduction of an integrated Immigration and Civic Services system;
- digitising of all fingerprint records (BRC);
- introduction of Smart ID card; and
- development and implementation of an e-passport system.
Another area that had been identified was Corporate Information Management, which required the establishment of an enterprise wide Management Information System and Information Security.
Access to data was a core requirement of immigration officers. Access to information was thus key to effective service delivery. This would include the development of an incident database and trend and pattern analysis.
Mr B Tolo (ANC, Mpumalanga) did not see any nodal points. He asked for immediate, medium-term and long-term plans, otherwise it would be very difficult for the Committee to track their progress. Mr M Thetjeng (DA, Limpopo) agreed with Mr Tolo and enquired about targets. He asked how far the Department was with the implementation of their programmes. Mr Maqetuka suggested that the Department could provide the Committee with six-monthly progress reports.
Mr Tolo asked if immigration officials’ use of uniforms and arms would not overlap with the functions of police at border posts. Mr Maqetuka said that Parliament passed legislation that gave immigration officials law enforcement functions. He said they could not send officials into certain areas unarmed. There was some form of co-operation, as they would also man roadblocks with police. Security agencies overlapping were a global trend. Mr Maqetuka used the CIA and FBI as an example.
Mr J Thlagale (UCDP, North West) asked if the "turn-around the corner" strategy was the Department’s new strategy. He was also concerned that the benefits of the strategy were not filtering through to the ‘grassroots people’. He said people must get the feel of a changed Department. Mr Maqetuka said that they did not have a new strategy; the Turnaround strategy was still the cornerstone of their strategy.
A Member from Gauteng said that the service in Home Affairs offices was very bad and asked what would happen if a person did not have the necessary documents. She said the Department had to make their services friendly to the people, focusing on office hours and the branding of the Department.
Mr Thetjeng said the Department had to address documentation problems in the rural areas.
Mr Thetjeng asked what specific measures were in place to combat corruption. Mr Maqetuka said that corruption was still rife within the Department. He said they had processes of dealing with corruption.
Mr Thetjeng was concerned about the gender balance within the top management of the Department. Mr Maqetuka said that they were compliant regarding female representation; they had 30% female representation in their executive management.
Ms J Vilakazi (IFP, KwaZulu-Natal) asked for an improvement in the issuing of ID documents. Her grandson had not been able to get his ID document as he had no birth certificate. The problem had also been experienced by others in her constituency. Mr Maqetuka said they would get her details after the meeting and address the issue of her grandson’s ID document.
The Chairperson remarked that Department officials were still using manual systems, and that there was a shortage of staff.
Ms A Qikani (UDM, Eastern Cape) were happy to hear about the mobile units, as Home Affairs offices in the Eastern Cape were terrible. She was also glad to hear that corruption was receiving attention.
Ms M Madlala-Magubane (ANC, Gauteng) said people were waiting too long to receive their ID documents. She asked how long people should wait. Mr Maqetuka said that printing ID documents took a minimum of eight weeks. The problem was that it was still done manually.
Ms Madlala-Magubane asked if the mobile units would be spread to informal settlements. Mr Maqetuka said 67 mobile units would be spread across the country, but it would still not be enough.
Ms Madlala-Magubane did not understand what were happening with immigration.
Mr Tolo asked when they were planning to bring new marriage legislation to Parliament. Mr Maqetuka said that there was a task team addressing the issue, established by the Minister. There was no way in which the legislation could go to Parliament in 2005.
Mr Tolo asked about co-ordination at immigration, as it seemed to him that the stakeholders were pushing in different directions. Mr Maqetuke said that border co-ordination was a priority for intelligence services. South Africa’s borders were porous. In Mpumalanga there were 11 entry points, but only 29 officials to man these points. There was a need to interact. The Department was the lead agency in the border strategy, and there was a border strategy with recommendations. The challenge would be the implementation of the strategy. They would have a workshop to map out the implementation.
The Chairperson asked if the Departments of Social Development and Home Affairs were talking to each other regarding grants, as it happened that some people applied for grants in different provinces, thereby receiving grants twice when they were only allowed one grant. She asked it they could link up to ensure that people could not apply in two provinces. Mr Maqetuka said that the Department was a manually based organisation. One of their concerns was that the National Population Register was contaminated. Issues of integration were discussed between the Departments of Home Affairs and Social Development, but their systems were not linked. He used fingerprints, which were taken manually, as an example. Mr Maqetuka said that there were challenges for the Department of Social Development, as each province had their own companies issuing grants, and their systems were not integrated. He said he was sure that it would be addressed by the Department of Social Development.
Mr Pat Nkambule (Department Chief Financial Officer) presented an overview of their MTEF (Medium Term Expenditure Framework) budget for the period 2005/06 to 2007/08. The process that led to the budget commenced in June 2004. They had to prepare a bid for additional funding. They changed their programme structure from four programmes to three and their final allocation was made known in November 2004.
The baseline allocation for 2005/06 was R2.6 billion, with an additional allocation of R2.8 million. The total allocation was thus R2.9 billion for 2005/06. The total allocation for 2006/07 would be R2.6 billion and R2.8 billion for 2007/08.
Mr Nkambule explained that the budget was broken down into three parts. Specifically and exclusively appropriated funds would constitute 32.8% of the 2005/06 budget, funds earmarked for projects 21.9% and funds earmarked for other Home Affairs functions 43.3%.
The budget was normally presented according to the programmes. The Department combined the immigration and services to citizens’ programmes. The Administration programme would receive 12% of the budget, the Delivery of Services programme 55.2% and the Auxiliary and associated services programme would receive 32.8% in the 2005/06 financial year.
Of the 2005/06 budget, 28.6% would go to compensation of employees, 15% to goods and services, 30.1% to transfers and subsidies and 26.3% to payments for capital assets. Mr Nkambule said that the entire budget would benefit the provinces.
The budget for the Administration programme decreased by 16.7%, while the budgets for the Delivery of Services programme increased by 23.35% and the budget for Auxiliary and Associated Services programme increased by 57.71% compared to the 2004/05 budget. The budget showed an overall increase of 25.3%.
A Member from Gauteng asked if she could get the figures of the actual budget versus that of the nominal budget. Mr Nkambule said that the budget usually grew nominally at 6%. The budget had grown 25% from the previous year, from which the 6% should be subtracted, which meant that the budget had grown 19% in real terms.
Mr Thlagale asked how much they had spent of the previous budget. Mr Tolo said that their budget for the previous year was R2.27 billion, but they only spent R2.1billion. The current budget was R2.9 billion. Mr Tolo asked how they would be able to spend R2.9 billion if they were not able to spend R2.27 billion. Mr Tolo was negative towards roll-overs. Mr Nkambule said that they had spent 83.4% of their previous budget, and that they only under-spent by 16%. They were facing real challenges and practical impediments. The Department did whatever they could to ensure delivery. Mr Nkambule said they had the capacity to spend their budget to some extent, but not enough. He said it was not only people used to spend their budget, but also IT infrastructure and outsourcing.
The Chairperson asked about the transfer to the IEC. Mr Nkambule said the IEC would be in charge of elections and that was why they had a huge budget during the years of elections.
Mr Tolo said that most towns did not have Home Affairs offices. He asked if it would not be possible to have at least one Home Affairs official at each municipality. He said the problem was that Head Office was too centralized. Mr Tolo thought certain functions could be decentralised. He said decentralisation was not taken into account in the budget.
The Chairperson said that most of the Department’s offices were rented offices. She asked if they had any plans to acquire their own offices. She also asked how far the Department was regarding accessibility and IT infrastructure. Mr Nkambule said that infrastructure posed a challenge. The Department had submitted a proposal to the Department of Public Works to change offices the previous year, but this could not be done. The Department was working closely with the Department of Public Works and the Treasury in this regard. Their budget did not include the lease of offices, as the Department of Public Works dealt with it.
Ms Vilakazi asked if they planned for rural areas in the budget. Mr Nkambule replied that the mobile units were intended to reach out to rural areas, not urban areas. They were targeting deep rural areas. The computerisation project was biased against the rural areas. The mobile units were a quickfix for the rural areas.
Ms Vilakazi asked how they would release the pressure of work, since they were understaffed. Mr Nkambule said they experienced a staff shortage. The greatest challenge was funding. The current budget only funded 7100 posts. The filling of the establishment is staggered over years. He asked for more funding.
Ms Vilakazi asked if they had any budget to train people. Mr Nkambule said there was a budget for training.
Mr Tolo asked if it was fair to ask the Committee to support a budget that they might not be able to spend. He said under-spending was not right. The MTEF would be useless if Departments did not plan accordingly. He said if they planned properly, roll-overs could be avoided. Mr Maqetuka said he thought it would be fair for the Committee to support the budget. That was why they were providing the facts and the challenges. Economist said that you could not budget to perfection. No over-spending and no under-spending were an impossible ideal to be striven for. The whole environment should be looked at. Mr Nkambule said that only 9% of their previous budget had been rolled over. There were some bills from the previous financial year that they have not received yet. He said that he did not mean that they would not be able to spend their budget. He responded to the issue of capacity. He said the capacity they were operating on since the start of April was not the same as that of the previous year. It had increased by 1000 people and new Deputy Directors-General had been appointed, which would improve capacity. Mr Tolo apologised if he misunderstood Mr Nkambule.
A Member from Gauteng enquired about internships. Mr Nkambule said the budget provided for interns. They would double the number of interns. The previous year they took in 250 interns, the following year they would aim to take in 500.
The meeting was adjourned.
No related documents
- We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting
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.