A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.
WELFARE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
23 July 1998
LEGISLATIVE PROGRAMME FOR THIS SESSION
Annual Statistical Report: Social Welfare Services in South Africa -1996/1997
Progress Report on Social Welfare Delivery 1994 – 1998 (Appendix)
The Minister of Welfare briefed the committee on the legislative programme for this session which includes the Adoption Matters Amendment Bill and the Social Work Amendment Bill. She also discussed the Drug Master Plan due to be tabled shortly.
In her presentation the Minister, Ms G Fraser-Mokeleti, identified pieces of legislation to be passed during this semester:
Adoption Matters Amendment Bill
This Bill has been certified and is now ready for deliberation. The purpose of this Bill is to ensure that legislation comply with the constitutional court ruling. This Bill will have to be passed before February 1999.
A briefing will be held next week concerning the amendments to the Natural Fathers of Children Born Out Of Wedlock Act (as contained in the Adoption Matters Amendment Bill).
Social Work Amendment Bill
This Bill abolishes the South African Interim Council of Social Work and provides for the constitution of the Social Work Council. It looks at the transfer of assets and liabilities and it also provides for the drafting of regulations concerning the registration of social work professionals and the necessary consequential amendments. There is a draft Bill that is available. It seems there may be difficulties with the following:
the constitution of the council and its composition
the establishment of a professional board
Drug Master Plan
This Plan is to be tabled, presented and debated soon The public will be given a week to comment on Drug Master Plan and present submissions. This plan will apply from 1999 until 2004 and it will focus on harm reduction and supply of drugs.
Legislation on Care of the Aged
The committee will have to look at an amendment of the Act dealing with the aged. There has been a white paper for social welfare which proposes a shift away from costly institutional care to community-based care and support services. The policy of the department now states that only the frail aged who cannot be cared for by their families or community should be accommodated in old age homes. The care of the aged will be discussed shortly and NGOs and relevant state departments should be invited to take part in these discussions.
The minister highlighted important issues for social welfare services:
The presentation date by the department and inter-ministerial committee will be the 17 August.
For transformation on child and youth care, piloting is to take place over the next twelve months
Minimum standards for Foster Care have been initiated, and the committee is trying to schedule a Foster Care Summit in mid-August with all stakeholders.
Regarding the social security budget, the Minister made the following points:
there is a need to call for a special session to give a report on this;
there is work done on this issue but she cannot go into detail now;
there has to be a report on the system of grants in the country;
in July there was a problem with pension payouts which was solved;
the new means text coincides with an increase in pensions therefore it has been suspended for this financial year and will be implemented next year.
WELFARE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
23 July 1998
LEGISLATIVE PROGRAMME FOR THIS SESSION
Documents handed out:
Annual Statistics Report on Social Service 1996/7
Progress Report on Social Welfare Delivery 1994 – 1995
The Minister of Welfare briefed the committee on the legislative programme relating to the Welfare Portfolio Committee. concerning welfare issues. She told the house that this is the procedure to be followed in that the committee is obliged in each and every semester to give report on how far did it go with its project. As this was the first meeting in this semester she considered the legislation which were discussed and suggested last semester and also look at the statistic given, but she told the house that this is not the exact statistics as the recent issues (i.e from January 98 up to now) are not covered in the statistics report.
In her presentation the Minister (Ms G Fraser-Mokeleti) identified pieces of legislation to be passed during this semester:
Adoption Matters Amendment Bill
This bill has already been certified and now its ready for deliberation. The main purpose of this bill is to ensure that the committee comply with the constitution ruling. This bill will have to be passed before February 1999.
Social Work Amendment Bill
This bill abolishes the South African Interim Council of Social Work and it provides for constitution of the Social work council. It looks at transferring of assets and liabilities of profession under social work and it also provide the Minister to make regulations on registration of professional and provide consequential amendments. There is a draft on this bill that has been tabled and it seems as if there may be difficulties on the following:
the constitution of council and its composition
the establishment of professional board and what it means in terms of accomodating it completely
The Drug Master Plan Act
This bill has to be adopted and the public will be given a week to comment on it and make submissions. This Act need to be amended if it does not settle issues dealt with in the plan (i.e the Social Welfare Action Plan which will be finalised this month). This Plan is to be presented, tabled and debated soon and the date for the debate has to be set. In terms of function including monitoring drug plan, facilitating the rationalization of the plan etc. the date will be set soon. This plan is to start applying from 1999 until 2004 and it will focus on harm reduction and supply of drugs.
The committee will have to look at the amendment of the act dealing with ageing. There has been a white paper for social welfare which proposed a shift away from costly institutional care to community based care and support service. The policy of the department now states that only frail aged who cannot be cared for by their families or community should be accomodated on old age homes. On the next sitting the security of ageing or old age people will be discussed and the NGO’S should be invited to take part in this discussions including other relevant departments.
Next week a briefing will be given on the Rights of fathers of Illegitimate Child Act
At this stage comments were asked from the members of the committee but no one responded.
The minister continue and brief the house on social welfare service and highlighted important issues which are the following;
the date for presentation by the department and inter ministerial committee will be the 17th of August .
For transformation on child and youth care, the minute piloting is to take place over the next twelve months
Foster care minimum standard has been initiated, and the committee is trying to schedule foster care summit in mid August as the number of children put into foster care increases every day. There is a plan to mix all stakeholders dealing with this to take part in the summit. In terms of finalisation of policy it has been tabled for the period of 15months and will be finalised on 15 August. A lot of people had been trained for this and in each month the number of people trained increases
On social security budget she made the following proposals
that there is no need to discuss the social security budget (now) and that there is need to call for a special session to give a report on this.
There is work done on this issue but she cannot go into detail with it now
There has to be a report on state on non contribution system of grants in the country
On July there was a problem in pension payout , this was solved but not appropriately done
The new means text coincides with increase in pensioners therefore it has been suspended for this financial year and will be implemented next year
On the discrimination against women she told the house that the document will be presented and that it was discussed in UN. After this she allowed the house to pass some comments if any.
Mr George asked commented that he receive some comments from male public members about them being discriminated and not knowing the procedure to follow in this case as the state does not consider much the cases of discrimination against men but against women. He therefore asked on behalf of them when is discrimination against men is going to be initiated in terms of grant or pension looking at the issues which are considered for women in order for them to get grant/pension. The minister replies and said that the issue of equality does not look at men even if they feel discriminated because in South Africa it is still reality that women fear inequality. Therefore the question of equality should be debated and men over 60years and not working should be an exception to the rules applying to granting men pension. After this there were no more comments and the minister felt that before the meeting is closed she should express the act concerning the rights of the natural fathers to their illegitimate children which would be discussed next week. She also gave some briefing on the issue of population looking at the statistic report.
Appendix: Progress Report on Social Welfare Delivery 1994 – 1998
DEPARTMENT OF WELFARE
PROGRESS REPORT ON SOCIAL WELFARE DELIVERY
1994 - 1998
1. SOCIAL WELFARE CONTEXT
In 1994 the following critical problems, as outlined in the White Paper for Social Welfare, faced the new social welfare function:
Lack of national consensus
There is no national consensus on a welfare policy framework and its relationship to a national reconstruction and development strategy.
Past welfare policies, legislation and programmes were inequitable, inappropriate and ineffective in addressing poverty, basic human needs and the social development priorities of all people.
Racial, gender, sectoral and geographic disparities have created significant distortions in the delivery system. In general, welfare service provision has an urban and a racial bias. Services are not always located in underprivileged communities and are therefore inaccessible to their members.
Information is fragmented and incomplete, leading to an inability to understand the need, impact or consequences of welfare spending.
The welfare system was administered by 14 different departments for the different population groups and homelands. This resulted in fragmentation, duplication, inefficiency and ineffectiveness in meeting needs. Each of these departments had their own procedures, styles of work, approaches and priorities.
There is a lack of inter-sectoral collaboration and of a holistic approach. This fragmentation is also reflected in social welfare legislation.
Citizen and stakeholder participation in decision-making on social welfare policies, programmes and priorities was not exercised fully and effectively. This resulted in a lack of legitimacy in the welfare system.
The social service delivery system is organised along specialist lines. It is fragmented between a number of fields of service, which did not always allow for a holistic approach.
While some social workers have received training and practice in community development, the approach to service delivery is still largely rehabilitative, it relies on institutional care and is not preventive and developmental. Welfare services are not accessible and responsive to the needs of all people.
There is a lack of personnel to address needs, especially in provinces with large rural areas. Other categories of personnel are underutilised. A significant proportion of existing personnel are not trained in developmental approaches.
Lack of sustainable financing
In the past, social welfare programmes were not considered critical social investment priorities and were under-resourced.
Lack of enabling environment
There is a lack of enabling legislation and taxation policies are not 'welfare-friendly".
South Africa has a developed social security system and a rich institutional framework of welfare services delivered by non-governmental organisations, such as voluntary welfare organisations, religious organisations, community-based organisations and informal family and community networks. These organisations have expertise, infrastructure and other resources which could play a significant role in reconstruction and development.
In the past, all these service providers were not accorded equal status by the Government. Organisations in civil society which had a progressive stance were not acknowledged or integrated into the formal welfare system.
In the light of the above critical problems, the following restructuring priorities were identified:
· Building consensus about a national social welfare policy framework.
· Creating a single national welfare department as well as provincial welfare departments and exploring the potential role of local government in service delivery.
· The phasing out of all disparities in social welfare programmes.
· Developing representative governance structures to build up the partnership between Government, organisations in civil society, religious organisations and the private sector.
· Restructuring the partnership between stakeholders to develop a system which is socially equitable, financially viable, structurally efficient and effective in meeting the needs of the most disadvantaged sectors of the population, and to involve communities in planning and the delivery of services.
· Human resource development and the re-orientation of personnel where this is necessary towards establishing a developmental social welfare framework.
· Restructuring and the rationalisation of the social welfare delivery system, towards a holistic approach, which will include social development, social functioning, social care, social welfare services and social security programmes.
· Developing a financially sustainable welfare system.
· Developing strategies and mechanisms to translate the aims, objectives and programmes of the Reconstruction and Development Programme into action in the welfare field. The development of intersectoral arrangements within the welfare sector and between the welfare sector and other Government departments is a key priority.
· An ability to translate these strategies and aims into implementable budgets requires better information and modeled alternatives so that decision makers can make more informed decisions.
· Legislative reform at all levels of Government.
This progress report will give an overview of progress made in achieving the above priorities.
2. ACHIEVEMENT OF RESTRUCTURING PRIORITIES
BUILDING CONSENSUS ABOUT A NATIONAL SOCIAL WELFARE POLICY FRAMEWORK.
White Paper for Social Welfare
In October 1994, the Department of Welfare began planning for the development of a White Paper for Social Welfare which would provide a framework for the transformation process. The drafting of the White Paper for Social Welfare was widely consulted with all welfare stakeholders during 1995 and 1996 and was finally gazetted in August 1997. Because of the extensive consultation, there is widespread agreement and commitment in the welfare community to achieving the vision, mission and objectives of the developmental social welfare paradigm.
The White Paper for Social Welfare is within the developmental social welfare paradigm and provides a complete paradigm shift from the pre-1994 approach to social welfare service delivery. Developmental social welfare seeks to:
· contribute to the eradication of poverty;
· improve the economic and social well-being of all South Africans;
develop of human capital and promote the active involvement of people in their
· provide support for poor and vulnerable groups, including the disabled, women and children;
· employ a multifaceted, multi-sectoral approach; and
· encourage partnership between the state, provincial and local government and all other stakeholders in civil society.
A major thrust of the new social welfare policy is to transform expensive and unsustainable institutional models of service delivery to a community-based developmental model which seeks to empower individuals and communities to become self-reliant. The policy and programmes complement the principles of the RDP namely:
meeting basic needs and building the infrastructure; people-driven approach; development of human resource capital; partnerships; integration and sustainability; intersectoral approach; peace and security; and democratisation.
Social Welfare Action Plan
Consultations on the drafting of a three-year Social Welfare Action Plan (SWAP) to implement the White Paper for Social Welfare began in mid-1996. The Department of Welfare subsequently decided that it was not feasible to have a joint implementation plan for Government and civil society and decided to make the SWAP a Government document. The SWAP will be finalised at a meeting of the Minister and MEC's for Welfare and Population Development in July 1998. This document will be distributed widely to stakeholders in civil society who will be encouraged to develop their own social welfare action plans to implement the White Paper for Social Welfare.
White Paper on Population Development
Before the introduction of a draft discussion document on population policy in 1996, the Government's approach to population policy was outdated and did not acknowledge social and economic development as the key determinant of population growth.
A draft White Paper was distributed for comment in October 1996 and the document was gazetted in March 1998. The goal of this policy is to bring about changes in the determinants of the country's population trends so that these trends are consistent with the achievement of sustainable human development.
CREATING A SINGLE NATIONAL WELFARE DEPARTMENT AS WELL AS
PROVINCIAL WELFARE DEPARTMENTS AND EXPLORING THE
POTENTIAL ROLE OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT IN SERVICE DELIVERY.
Single national and provincial Departments of Welfare
A new national Department of Welfare was formed after splitting from Health in 1994. Before this, the Welfare was together with Health under a joint Ministry. Before 1994, Welfare was widely viewed as the "stepchild" of Health and its establishment, budget allocation and infrastructure did not receive the same priority as that of Health.
There are nine provincial Departments of Welfare, exercising concurrent powers with the national Department of Welfare. Four of the nine provincial Departments share portfolios, mainly with Health. There is consensus that these functions must be separated as far as the administration, financial management and human resources requirements to facilitate efficiency.
At the provincial level the capacity in financial management and administration needs to be upgraded. There is also a need for more effective use of the transverse computer system to promote efficient financial management, and a uniform budget structure has to be developed for the welfare function.
There needs to be creative interaction between the national and provincial Departments so that policy development and programmatic implementation is complementary.
The process to transform the national Department of Welfare began in earnest in January 1996 with the appointment of a new Director-General. Significant changes have been made since 1996 in the racial and gender composition of senior and middle management. The national Department of Welfare is now well within the expected government norms on affirmative action, with more than 70% of senior and middle management being black, 30 % black females in management, and 7% of the staff complement being disabled.
Devolution of welfare services to local Government
Local Government issues are currently under investigation. The national Department has contracted out a research study which will inform the devolution of welfare functions to local Government level. In addition, provincial Departments are developing models of delivery at local level in both a rural and urban context.
THE PHASING OUT OF ALL DISPARITIES IN SOCIAL WELFARE PROGRAMMES
In August 1994, the Aged Persons Amendment Bill was introduced to Parliament to do away with discriminatory provisions regarding the provision of services to the aged along racial lines.
The Child Care Amendment Act 1996 (Act 96 of 1996) was passed in November 1996. Provisions in the Child Care Act were amended to remove discrimination based on race and religion.
The Child Care Support Grant, introduced in April 1998, replaces the State Maintenance Grant which will be phased out over a period of three years. Historically, the State Maintenance Grant targeted White, Coloured and Indian households in urban areas. The Child Support Grant is a poverty driven benefit which targets poor children up to the age of seven years irrespective of race (see social security section for more detail).
DEVELOPING REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNANCE STRUCTURES TO BUILD
UP THE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN GOVERNMENT, ORGANISATIONS IN
CIVIL SOCIETY, RELIGIOUS ORGANISATIONS AND THE PRIVATE
National Interim Consultative Committee (NICC)
A legacy of the past that has been inherited is the fragmentation of the welfare community and the wide diversity of stakeholders. As a result, stakeholders expressed an urgent need for the establishment of a legitimate, participatory national governance mechanism to promote consultation on the major policy issues in welfare.
The National Interim Consultative Committee on Developmental Social Services (NICC) was established in 1996 and comprises 15 members representing the following stakeholders: NGO coalition, National Welfare Social Service and Development Forum, Government at national and provincial level, training institutions, statutory bodies, consumers of services, service providers, funders, religious organisations and professional bodies.
The NICC's first term of office ended on 15 August 1997 At the end of this phase they made recommendations on the establishment of permanent governance structures for the welfare sector at both national and provincial levels and submitted a report in this regard to the Minister entitled "Introducing Democratic Governance in the Developmental Welfare Sector"
The NICC was reconstituted for a second term of office from 15 February 1998 - 30 June 1999. Their primary function in this phase is to develop a new National Welfare Act which will provide for the establishment of a permanent governance structure and to legislate the principles of the White Paper for Social Welfare. It is anticipated that a draft Bill will be ready for consultation in June 1998.
SA Interim Council
In order to achieve a more representative body for social workers in the country, an agreement was reached on the restructuring of the South African Council for Social Work.
The Social Work Amendment Bill of 1995 abolished the South African Council for Social Work which was viewed as non-representative and upholding outdated Government policies. The Act provided for the establishment of an Interim Council> which would provide for a restructured and transformed regulatory body for all social welfare workers through amending the Social Work Act. This Act should be in place before the end of 1998.
RESTRUCTURING THE PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN STAKEHOLDERS TO DEVELOP A SYSTEM WHICH IS SOCIALLY EQUITABLE, FINANCIALLY VIABLE, STRUCTURALLY EFFICIENT AND EFFECTIVE IN MEETING THE NEEDS OF THE MOST DISADVANTAGED SECTORS OF THE POPULATION, AND TO INVOLVE COMMUNITIES IN PLANNING AND THE DELIVERY OF SERVICES
Not-for-Profit Organisations Act
The Nonprofit Organisations Act was passed by Parliament in December 1997 and will come into operation during July 1998. This Act replaces parts of the Fund Raising Act 1978 and aims to create an environment within which nonprofit organisations may flourish.
It aims to encourage and support these organisations in their contribution to meeting the diverse needs of the South African population and provides a more streamlined and simpler system for administering NGO's. It proposes voluntary registration by any not-for-profit organisation which will carry with it some benefits such as public and donor confidence and official support.
This represents a fundamental shift from Government control and intervention, as was the case with the now repealed Fund-Raising Act, to a climate of freedom and voluntary association. The emphasis is now on good governance and the meeting basic financial and narrative reporting requirements that will promote accountability and good governance.
Financing of welfare services
In the past, financing policy and practices varied from province to province and were fragmented in terms of target group, type of service and area. A draft policy for the financing of social welfare programmes has been developed and is to be consulted with stakeholders.
The new financing policy is linked to the developmental approach to social welfare as contained in the White Paper for Social Welfare. This means that financing must give impetus to and enable the implementation of development strategies by organisations of civil society. Consequently, service providers must take note of the polices and approaches to services and needs outlined in the White Paper and align their services accordingly.
Welfare service delivery occurs mainly through a range of organisations including traditional welfare agencies, religious organisations, non-governmental organisations and community-based organisations, some of whom may be registered and others not. About I 400 NGOs, mainly registered welfare organisations, received subsidies amounting to RI,5-billion in 1997-98, which is an increase of R0,3-billion compared to last year. The Social Assistance Act of 1992 was amended, through the Welfare Laws Amendment Act of 1997, to extend subsidies to non-registered welfare organisations and to those providing services to disadvantaged communities
Because only 8.8% of the allocated funds for the welfare function are available for other welfare services (including subsidies to NGOs), it is clear that only priority services will be funded.
HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT AND THE RE-ORIENTATION OF PERSONNEL WHERE THIS IS NECESSARY TOWARDS ESTABLISHING A DEVELOPMENTAL SOCIAL WELFARE FRAMEWORK
Training of middle and senior managers
Training programmes have been negotiated with SAMDI for the training of middle and senior management in both national and provincial Departments to build managerial and policy development capacity. Thirty-five people received this training by the end of 1997. Approximately 300 middle and senior managers have been targeted for this training.
Agreements have been reached on policy issues in relation to curriculum transformation for training institutions. Donor funds of R3.3 million have been secured for this programme. This programme will be implemented in 1998
Reorientation of serving social workers
Proposals for the reorientation of serving social workers in the public and private sector have been developed. Negotiations are underway to set up two pilot projects with universities. The Independent Development Trust has made a commitment to fund the reorientation programmes for the public sector.
Social security human resource development
In 1997, the national Department received R100 million for the improvement of the financial management and administration in the social security system, which will include funds for related infrastructure and temporary staff at both national and provincial levels. The normal budget of the Department does not allow for substantial capacity development as 56.7% is set aside for the payment of salaries of existing officials and already approved posts.
Human resource development in the child and youth care field
Within the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) the following has been achieved:
· re training and training of approximately 400 probation officers/social workers on aspects of the new system;
· training of two trainers from each province (probation) on diversity training;
· training of approximately 4 000 child and youth care and residential care personnel;
· drafting of a PAS for Probation Officers and Child Care Workers;
· development of additional posts for Probation Officers;
· training of approximately 200 managers in provincial Departments of welfare and residential care facilities with regard to transformation leadership and the child and youth care system;
· development of a human resource policy and guidelines with regard to the child and youth care system.
The impact of these training programmes on the delivery of services to children and youth needs to be monitored and evaluated.
RESTRUCTURING AND THE RATIONALISATION OF THE SOCIAL WELFARE DELIVERY SYSTEM, TOWARDS A HOLISTIC APPROACH, WHICH WILL INCLUDE SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, SOCIAL FUNCTIONING, SOCIAL CARE, SOCIAL WELFARE SERVICES AND SOCIAL SECURITY PROGRAMMES
In the past, community development was viewed as an 'add-on' and was not central to the delivery of social welfare services. The community development approach with its emphasis on people-centered development is central to the delivery of developmental social welfare services.
The Department of Welfare now needs to fast-track the shift towards community-based care and development for all the welfare services programmes and to lead a process of main-streaming developmental social welfare at national and provincial levels.
- Workbook of community development guidelines:
Before 1994, Government did not pursue community participation in service delivery and, as a result, extensive capacity building is required to enable officials to effectively manage community participation in service delivery.
A workbook of practical guidelines to guide the practice and supervision of community development was prepared by the Human Sciences Research Council in 1997. It is based on research which the Department commissioned with the Department of Health on designing a model of community participation.
- Comprehensive community development policy:
A comprehensive community development policy is currently lacking in the Department of Welfare. Provinces are to conduct an audit of community development programmes and identify actual or best practice models and lessons learnt will be incorporated into a draft policy.
- Discussion document on voluntarism:
A discussion document on voluntarism will be finalised in 1998. Before the development of this policy, no policy existed on creating an enabling environment for volunteers and the use of volunteers to achieve the objectives of developmental social welfare.
Social Welfare Services
- Transformation of the child and youth care system:
Inter-Ministerial Committee on Youth at Risk (IMC) was set up in June 1995 in response to the crisis following the promulgation of Section 29 of the Correctional Services Act, No 8 of 1959 as Amended by No 17 of 1995. This legislation led to the release of more than 1000 children from police cells, many of whom were transferred to Places of Safety which were unprepared for their admission. This further exacerbated an existing crisis in the child and youth care system
The brief of the IMC was to contain the existing crisis and design the transformation of the child and youth care system in South Africa. In April 1996, Cabinet requested the IMC to investigate places of safety, schools of industry and reform schools and make recommendations for their transformation. A report was produced in July 1996.
The Interim Policy Guidelines on the Transformation of the Child and Youth Care System (November 1996) have been refined and finalised.
Welfare, within the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Young People at Risk, has contributed to the development of a new policy for the child and youth care system in South Africa.
Ten pilot programmes, under the leadership of Welfare, are in place to test the policies of the IMC. A report on these pilot projects has been produced (1998). Work done to date has reached about 4000 children and families through the following pilot programmes:
· arrest, referral and reception centre in Durban Court;
· alternatives to residential care, King Williams Town;
· one-stop youth justice centre, Port Elizabeth and Uitenhague
· secure care facility in Hendrina (Child and Youth Care Centre)
· family group conferencing, Pretoria
· monitoring of Section 29 and children awaiting trial
· specialised foster care, Kimberly
· integrated child and family court system, Durban
A national audit and assessment of all children in residential facilities, including places of safety, children's homes, schools of industry and reform schools is being undertaken and the transfer of children to more appropriate placements is part of the process. Time frames for completion of this exercise are still to be completed.
A foster care forum has been established to review the current foster care system. A foster care pilot project has been launched in the Northern Cape to test the IMC model and minimum standards for foster care are being developed.
Secure care facilities are operative in Gauteng, Northern Province, Mpumalanga and the Eastern Cape. Secure care facilities have been identified in the remaining five provinces and will be developed in 1998.
- National Plan of Action for Children:
In October 1994, Government ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. A core group of Ministers was appointed in October 1994 to develop a National Plan of Action for Children (NPA) in South Africa. The Department of Health was designated the lead Department.
The National Plan of Action for Children (NPA) is the instrument through which they will carry out the Governments commitments to children. Cabinet in April 1996 approved this plan.
The Department of Welfare has embarked on a number of initiatives which will implement the recommendations of the National Plan of Action as well as contribute to the transformation of the child and youth care system in South Africa:
The Child Care Amendment Act (Act 96 of 1996) which came into effect on 1 April 1998 gives effect to some provisions in the NPA. In terms of this Act, several measures will come into operation to improve the protection that can be provided to children at risk, such as: the establishment of a National Child Protection Register; registration of street shelters; broaden the definition of marriage to include customary marriages; they now refer to children born out of marriage as a child born out of wedlock and not illegitimate.
Action to eliminate the commercial sexual exploitation of children is under investigation by the Task Team to Investigate the National Register for Convicted Sexual Offences Against Children. This task team has produced a first report and a draft policy will be developed.
National Strategy on Child Abuse and Neglect: This strategy aims to provide a coherent policy regarding child abuse and neglect. Past government policies devolved the provision of statutory services to a range of welfare organisations which led to fragmentation and unevenness in the welfare component of the child protection system. The strategy provides a clear intersectoral framework for the improvement and transformation of child protection services.
The prevention and combating of commercial sexual exploitation of children in South Africa - 1998: A zero first draft policy document was produced by the Department of Welfare in May 1998. This policy aims to develop a national policy framework to implement the recommendations of the World Congress on Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children which was held in August 1996. A Cabinet approved intersectoral committee was established in November 1996 and an Action Plan to Prevent and Combat the Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children in South Africa was produced. The Department of Welfare's policy document is one of the actions outlined in the plan.
Draft policy document on Child Pornography and the Internet: The drafting of this policy document is in response to a public outcry early in 1998 on the issue of child pornography on the Internet. This policy document is still being drafted.
Draft policy document on Policy Issues and Strategic Guidelines on Street Children in South Africa - 1998: The White Paper for Social Welfare identified the need for uniformity in national standards to address the phenomenon of street children. This policy forms part of the child and youth care policy framework and emphasises the movement towards community-based programmes and away from shelters.
Draft policy document on the transformation of EarIy Childhood Development (ECD) Services - February 1998: This policy proposes the movement away from ECD services as preparation for formal schooling to ECD care and development programmes which are community and home based. It also proposes the development of support services for vulnerable and at risk children between the aged of birth to nine years.
Draft policy document on Welfare support to the Family Advocate by Promoting Cooperation between the Welfare Sector and the Offices of the Family Advocate -February 1998: The Offices of the Family Advocate operate in terms of the Mediation in Certain Divorce Matters Act 1987 (Act 24 of 1987) which aims to assist children in situations where conflict between parents could negatively affect the best interests of the child. After 1994, the services of the Family Advocate were extended to the former Homelands and TVBC States. This led to an increased workload for the Family Advocate Offices and the draft policy looks at how Welfare can assist Justice in meeting its objectives.
Draft discussion document on foster care guidelines - August 1997: This document will be used as the basis for the compilation of a comprehensive foster care policy and legislation.
Draft Issue Paper on the Transformation of Adoption Practice in South Africa -December 1997: This issue paper will be used as the basis for the compilation of a comprehensive adoption policy and legislation. The issue paper also provides a strategy to implement the policy.
The White Paper for Social Welfare proposes a shift away from costly institutional care to community-based care and support services. The Department of Welfare’s policy now clearly states that only the frail aged, who cannot be cared for by their families or community', should be accommodated on old age homes.
- Funding formula for frail care:
A new funding formula for frail care was developed and implemented during 1994. Most provinces have implemented the new frail care policy which has resulted in savings. It is planned that these savings are redirected to community-based programmes.
- Frail care assessment instrument (DQ8)
An assessment instrument has been developed by the Department of Welfare and was implemented early in 1998. This instrument will guide the admission of older persons to frail care facilities and ensure that only those elderly people who are in need of 24-hour care are admitted to frail care centres.
The finalisation and the implementation of the DQ 98 is an important milestone in the transformation of services for older persons. It not only assesses the dependency of older persons, but also takes into account the accessibility of basic services such as water, etc. and the capacity of support systems.
- Community-based care pilot projects:
Attempts to develop funding criteria, minimum norms and standards for community-based care and support failed, due to lack of reliable information. Because of the lack of information, it has been decided to launch a number of pilot projects. These pilot projects will facilitate the development of appropriate and sustainable community-based care and support models, to promote and ensure the optimal independent functioning of older persons.
- Ombuds-system for Ageing:
The piloting of an ombuds-system to address abuse and neglect in residential care facilities, community-based care and support facilities for the elderly is in the early planning stages.
The Department of Welfare is working towards the integration and participation of children with disabilities into society and promotion and facilitation of the socioeconomic empowerment of people with disabilities.
Partnerships have been entered into with NGOs in the development and implementation of a pilot project on empowering parents to be responsive to their children's needs and a pilot project which addresses the transformation of protective workshops for people with disabilities. These pilot projects will inform development of policy on community-based rehabilitation.
The Minister for Welfare and Population Development released the Drug Master Plan in November 1997. In the first quarter of 1998, the public were given an opportunity to express their views on the Plan. The Drug Master Plan provides a comprehensive framework for combatting drug abuse and drug trafficking.
The Department of Welfare is developing a draft community based model on substance abuse. This model will be ready for piloting in the course of 1998.
In the past, Welfare did not have a focus area to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. An
HIV/AIDS focus area was established in the Department of Welfare at the beginning of
1997. The White Paper for Social Welfare emphasises the needs and concerns of people living with HIV/AIDS and those who are chronically ill.
A draft Welfare action plan on HIV/AIDS was compiled in 1997 and provides a clear role for Welfare in the HIV/AIDS epidemic. This plan is still to be finalised.
The Department is currently piloting a project for children affected by HIV/AIDS in Kwazulu/ Natal, in collaboration with the Department of Social Welfare and Population Development of that province. This project will assist the Department to develop models, policy guidelines, norms and standards for the development of integrated and intersectoral services to people affected by HIV/AIDS.
National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS)
The NCPS was officially launched in May T996. The Department of Welfare is one of the lead Departments in this process and is responsible for convening the Committee on the Management of Juveniles Awaiting Trial (COMJAT), the Victim Empowerment
Programme and Diversion.
The Committee on the Management of Juveniles Awaiting Trial (COMJAT), convened by Welfare and including Education, Correctional Services, Justice and the SA Police Service, was to ensure that there are no un-convicted children in prison or police cells by 10 May I 998, Because of the lapsing of the special amendment to Section 29 of the Correctional Services Act. This provision allowed for children to be detained in police cells until 10 May 1998. It was also required to facilitate the establishment of programmes for un-convicted children in prison as an interim measure until secure care facilities have been established in all the provinces. COMJAT was dismantled in November 1997 and its functions were taken over by Project Go.
- Project Go:
Project Go was launched in November 1997 by the national Department of Welfare and the INIC to ensure that alternatives, including secure care facilities are in place when children are released. The core strategy of Project Go is the assessment and monitoring of all children within the child and youth care system to decide whether they have been correctly placed. An assessment tool has been developed to guide child care workers, probation officers and other officials who work with children.
Cabinet decided, in April l998, that children will be allowed to be kept in prisons after \lay 10 under strict supervision by welfare officials in terms of rules under the criminal procedures act until alternative forms of care are available in all provinces. At present there are 1 400 children awaiting trial in police and prison cells.
- Victim Empowerment
The empowerment of victims of crime and violence through the creation of sustainable victim-centered policies and programmes are an important aspect of the NCPS.
A draft position paper on victim empowerment has been released. Representatives of state Departments and civil society have finalised a business plan and will work on the drafting of a victim’s charter. Provincial plans have been received from the Free State and the Northern Cape.
Two out reach centres for victims of domestic violence have been established in Mpumalanga and in the Eastern Cape. Victim Empowerment Training Programmes for SAPS personnel have been instituted in four provinces to increase the skills of local police when dealing with victims of crime and violence.
One-stop services are being developed in the provinces which are aimed at providing comprehensive generic social services to previously under-serviced communities. In the past such initiatives did not exist. A one-stop service centre has been implemented in Mpumalanga.
The social security programme was in place before 1994. However, there were 14 different systems throughout the country, administered by the provincial administrations, former homeland government and TVBC States.
The first challenge facing the Department of Welfare was the amalgamation of these fourteen different systems. The amalgamation process, which entailed bringing the country’s three million beneficiaries on to one computer system, started in 1995 and was completed in April 1997.
Reduction of fraud and corruption
To reduce fraud and corruption in specifically the social security system, which involves the payment of social grants to almost 2,9 million beneficiaries, the national Department of Welfare finalised the amalgamation process of the previous 14 different pension systems onto the transverse computer system (SOCPEN). The Department started immediately with the clean up process of the amalgamated data to ensure data integrity as well as ensuring that only legitimate beneficiaries qualify for social grants. The clean up process was further improved by the reregistration and Ghost Buster project initiated by the Department.
- Re-registration and amalgamation clean-up:
Although a national strategy for re-registration of current beneficiaries was developed on 25 and 26 July 1996, progress was slow up to December 1997, when only 1.92% of all beneficiaries were re-registered. On 28 March 1998 5,74% of current beneficiaries were re-registered.
A national reregistration project plan was devised with the Department of Home Affairs and a project plan for each province has been drafted. The Free State Province started a pilot project in March ~997 which served as a pilot for the other provinces as well.
- Project Ghost-Buster:
The Ghost Buster project was developed because of the need for immediate action to address irregularities in the payment of social security grants. Careful analysis of the data drives the project in the SOCPEN database and databases from other Government Departments and calls for the cancellation or review of specific beneficiaries whose records are incomplete or inconsistent with the Regulations.
Through this project, since the amalgamation, nearly 50 000 deceased beneficiaries' records have been suspended and this amounts to a saving of approximately R2 million per month. A comparison with the PERSAL tapes has revealed a number of matches that require further investigation.
Records which are contrary to the Social Assistance Act and Regulations have been suspended, for example children more than 18 years in receipt of a maintenance grant, and temporary disability cases beyond the mandated period. The number of grants suspended for children more than 18 years amounted to 27 337 with an approximate saving of R4 943 646.
Because provinces have executive authority, they decide how fraud and corruption are handled, particularly when officials are involved.
Cabinet approved the establishment of a national social security system in February 1997 and mandated the Department of Welfare to conduct further investigations. The Public Service Commission made recommendations to Cabinet in November 1997 about a macro-model for social security. Cabinet has mandated a further consultation process.
The Department of Welfare has secured an Institutional Development Fund grant from the World Bank which, once a decision has been made regarding the institutional model, will provide the Department with expertise to design and implement financial, management and information technology systems.
Introduction of the Child Support Grant and the Phasing out of the State Maintenance Grant (SMG)
The State Maintenance Grant, a monthly cash benefit to single parents and their children targeted mostly White, Coloured and Indian households in urban areas. This grant was inequitable and discriminated against Black households. However, the extension of this grant to all eligible beneficiaries was financially unsustainable. A Ministerial Committee to Investigate Child and Family Support (the Lund Committee) was convened in 1995 to explore more financially sustainable options.
The recommendations of the Lund Committee were presented to Cabinet in February 1997 and a lengthy consultation process followed. Legislative amendments were required and the Welfare Laws Amendment Act 1997 was tabled in Parliament in December 1997. This Act provides mainly for the introduction of the Child Support Grant and the phasing-out of the State Maintenance Grant over a period of three years. The new grant focuses on children under the age of 7 years and will be paid to a primary care-giver at the level of Rl00 per month. This programmme will make a vital contribution in supporting poor children and, along with other programmes such as free primary health care, the health programme for children and pregnant women as well as the primary school nutrition programme, is a significant investment in
The Child Support Grant was introduced on April 1998.
Comprehensive social security system
The need to develop an integrated and comprehensive social security system was identified in the White Paper for Social Welfare. The development of this system requires an investigation into both state-funded (non-contributory) and private (contributory) social security systems. The present non-contributory social security system will not be financial sustainable in the long term.
The Department of Welfare will hold a social security symposium to explore the development of an integrated and comprehensive social security system in 1998.
Investigation into disability issues
The amalgamated social security system does not provide uniform criteria, which have mutual agreement among the various stakeholders for assessments of the disability grants.
An investigation into the provision of social security to the disabled is underway. The investigation will assess the social security requirements of people with disabilities and will make recommendations with a view to policy options. As with the Child Support Grant, the implications are that there may be a major policy shift in reviewing the criteria for assessment, and that with a major paradigm shift towards development many disabled given the requisite training and skills, can make a contribution to the economy.
Challenges in the delivery of social security
To manage of the social security function within the allocated funds for this financial year.
Reducing the amount spent on the social security function, presently this stands at 91% of the total welfare budget. It should ideally be reduced to 80% of the total welfare budget.
Improve the financial management and administration of the social security function by utilising the RI00 million received by the national Department of Welfare in the Main Estimates of Expenditure for the 1 998/99 financial year.
Administrative management systems have been developed in the provinces and work is underway to develop and implement a financial management information system. Capacity building of social security personnel remains a challenge.
DEVELOPING A FINANCIALLY SUSTAINABLE WELFARE SYSTEM
Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF)
In 1997, a Medium-Term Expenditure Framework for the Welfare Function was developed.
This MTEF links the policies of the White Paper for Social Welfare and the White Paper on Population Development with a three-year budget. This is the first time such a framework has been developed by national and provincial Department's of Welfare.
Early warning systems
Early warning systems which will reveal over and under expenditure in the national and provincial welfare functions on a monthly basis was introduced by the national Department for the first time in 1998. The intention of this early warning system is to assist Departments with the management of their budgets and allow for proactive management of possible over-expenditure, particularly in the social security budgets.
Social security budget vs Social Welfare Services budget
The social security component of the Welfare budget has grown steadily over the past four years as follows:
· 1995/96 - social security 87.8%; welfare services 12.2%
· 1996/97 - social security 88.2%; welfare services 11.8%
· 1997/98 - social security 88.1%; welfare services 11.9%
· 1998/99 - social security 91.1%; welfare services 8.9%
The limited welfare services budget presents a serious constraint to the delivery of developmental social welfare services. Ideally, an 80:20 situation should prevail, with 80% of the budget going to social security and 20% to welfare services.
DEVELOPING STRATEGIES AND MECHANISMS TO TRANSLATE THE AIMS, OBJECTIVES AND PROGRAMMES OF THE RECONSTRUCTION AND
DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME INTO ACTION IN THE WELFARE FIELD. THE DEVELOPMENT OF INTERSECTORAL ARRANGEMENTS WITHIN THE WELFARE SECTOR AND BETWEEN THE WELFARE SECTOR AND OTHER GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENTS IS A KEY PRIORITY
A major thrust of the new social welfare policy is to transform expensive and unsustainable institutional models of service delivery to a community-based developmental model which seeks to empower individuals and communities to become self-reliant. The policy and programmes complement the principles of the RDP namely: meeting basic needs and building the infrastructure; people-driven approach; development of human resource capital; partnerships; integration and sustainability; intersectoral approach; peace and security; and democratisation
This section provides information on Welfare programmes which seek to assist people to meet their basic needs through economic empowerment programmes and small, medium and micro-enterprises.
Economic empowerment programmes
In 1997, Cabinet allocated R50 million of its poverty budget to the Department of Welfare for economic empowerment programmes. This was the first time the Department embarked on such an initiative and it provided the Department with an opportunity to support community-based economic empowerment projects. A total of R40 million was successfully allocated to programmes run by non-governmental programmes and RIO million was allocated to the National Councils. This money will be spent on income-generation projects. An evaluation of the implementation and impact of these programmes is currently underway. Lessons learnt will be incorporated into the Department's approach to bidding for and distributing the poverty allocation it will receive from Cabinet in this financial year.
Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises
While the promotion of small business is not a core function of the Department of Welfare, given the current shift to the social development approach the Department has a definite role to play in developing SMME’s.
In the past (pre-1994) the focus of income-generation programmes supported by the Department has largely been on mere survival and sustainability of the project, without much emphasis on economic development.
The Department is currently involved in the development of programmes which are aimed at changing this position, such as the Flagship Programme mentioned below. The emphasis has stifled to involving individuals and communities in true economic development through profit making activities.
A number of activities have been planned to enable the Department to achieve its objectives namely the compilation of a discussion document on SMME's; development of training programmes on SMME’s and the identification of existing income-generation projects which can be phased into economic empowerment programmes.
The Department of Welfare established the Flagship programme as part of its strategy to alleviate poverty and launched the first pilot project in July 1996. Through this programme, economic and developmental opportunities are provided to unemployed women and their young children.
The flagship programme seeks to give unemployed women basic life-skills and training as well as co-operative employment opportunities (such as silk-screening, baking and communal gardening) within a particular community. These programmes are intended to give unemployed women an opportunity to participate and contribute to the building of the economy through small to medium scale enterprises. Increasing access of these enterprises to local and international markets needs to be addressed.
Thirteen pilot projects in the implementation phase have been introduced in eight provinces while the planning and designing of another two pilot projects have been completed and will be implemented shortly. A total of 1376 women and 1291 children are benefitting from the programme thus far. The National Population Unit currently reviewing the effectiveness of these projects in reducing poverty and will make recommendations on their sustainability and replicability.
The Flagship programme gives the Department an opportunity to "showcase"' developmental social welfare through working in close partnership with civil society and other Government Departments.
AN ABILITY TO TRANSLATE THESE STRATEGIES AND AIMS INTO INIPLEMENTABLE BUDGETS REQUIRES BETTER INFORMATION AND MODELLED ALTERNATIVES SO THAT DECISION MAKERS CAN MAKE MORE INFORMED DECISIONS
National Welfare Information System (NISWEL)
The process to develop and implement a National Welfare Information System began in 1994. The mission of NISWEL is to develop, maintain and implement a comprehensive welfare management information system to monitor welfare trends and inform policy making and planning processes.
The contents of NISWEL were thoroughly negotiated with all stakeholders. All nine provinces are presently busy with the development of their own respective provincial information systems for social welfare through which NISWEL will regularly be provided with the necessary data. A constraint in some provinces is the lack of funds to purchase the necessary information technology.
The first Annual Statistical Report on Social Welfare Services in South Africa for 1996/1997 was published in June 1998. The purpose of this report is to guide welfare planners and policy makers in resource planning, utilisation and management. It provides information on social welfare, social development and social security services in the nine provinces. This report gives the Welfare function baseline data from which the impact of developmental welfare services can be assessed.
Welfare Research Bulletin
The Welfare Research bulletin is a new initiative for the Department of Welfare and the first bulletin was published in November 1997. This bulletin is a collection of in-house and commissioned research undertaken within the Department of Welfare between 1994 and 1996. It aims to synthesise knowledge coming from research, provide new insights into dealing with policy issues and contribute to ongoing policy debates in the developmental social welfare field.
LEGISLATIVE REFORM AT ALL LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT.
In order to bring welfare legislation in line with the White Paper and the new Constitution, all outstanding discriminatory provisions in Welfare Acts administered nationally were removed.
- The Child Care Amendment Act J996 (Act 96 of 1996) was passed in November 1996. Provisions in the Child Care Act were amended to remove discrimination based on race and religion. The term "illegitimate child" was completely removed from the Act and free legal representation to children was introduced.
- Child Care Amendment Bill:
On 5 February 1997, the Constitutional Court in the case of Fraser versus the Children's Court ruled that Section 18 (4) (d) of the Child Care Act 1983 was inconsistent with the equality provisions of the Constitution and held that Parliament is given two years to correct the situation.
A lay person's draft to the amendments has been forwarded to the Legal and Welfare Rights Section of the Department of Welfare to be legally edited and to manage the process whereby the Child Care Amendment Bill will commence on a date not later than February 1999.
- Comprehensive new child care legislation:
The South African Law Commission has recently published an issue paper reviewing all child care legislation, entitled "The review of the Child Care Act",.
Issues examined by the report include family life, child abuse, child labour, children of divorcing parents, refugee children, the status of children born in and out of marriage and customary and religious laws affecting children. The issue paper reviews the Child Care Act of 1983 and examines calls for the establishment of children's rights.
The Departments of Welfare and Justice will draft legislation arising from the report when the consultation process is complete. It is planned to workshop the paper intensively from May 1998 to the end of June 1998, in all the provinces.
Aged Persons Act:
The Aged Persons Act (Act 81 of 1967) is outdated and does not reflect the values as embodied in the Constitution as well as the new approach to ageing. The current legislation cannot therefore only be amended. A new set of appropriate legislation, with the focus on empowerment as well as protection, is to be drafted as a matter of urgency. The draft Bill should be completed by November 1998.
3. MONITORING AND EVALUATION
3.1 Monitoring and evaluation in the Department of Welfare
In 1997, the Department of Welfare produced its first Business Plan for the 1997/98 financial year, based on the objectives outlined in the White Paper for Social Welfare. Monitoring and evaluation of this business plan took place through quarterly evaluation reports.
The Department is now in the process of finalising a three year Strategic Plan which aligns the Department's objectives with those of the White Paper for Social Welfare through the Social Welfare Action Plan. An Operational Plan for the 1998/99 financial year is also being finalised.
Before 1997, Departmental officials were not accustomed to working according to the business planning format and a culture of accountability is slowly being built up in the Department.
Financial monitoring of the financial status of national and provincial Department's of Welfare takes place on a monthly basis. The national and provincial Departments are required to submit monthly reports to the Director Financial Planning in the national Department, highlighting any variance in anticipated expenditure more than 3.4%. These reports are then submitted to the Minister.
The Public Service Commission and the Presidential Review Commission in 1997 evaluated the management, administration strategies and achievements of this Department for 1997.
3.2 Monitoring and evaluation of provincial Departments of Welfare
A process has been put in place to monitor provincial progress. According to the new Constitution, the national department of Welfare is responsible for the development of national policies, norms and standards. The responsibility for implementation of these polices, norms and standards rests with the provinces.
There is an inherent tension with this arrangement as the national department cannot legally compel provincial departments to implement policies and monitor their implementation in a uniform manner, unless the services which are being implemented are tied to national legislation which has been delegated to the provinces and service level agreements are attached to these delegations.
The national and provincial Departments are presently engaged in reaching agreements on the monitoring and evaluation function of the national Department. Presently, national and provincial progress is reported on twice a year at the joint MINMEC/DCDSS meeting of the Minister, MEC's and Heads of Departments in the provinces. Provinces recently agreed to a uniform format for reporting on their activities.
4. CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE STRUCTURES
4.1 National and Provincial Departments of Welfare
It is clear from the above discussion that the effective delivery of social welfare services depends largely on the creation of good governance structures between the national and provincial Departments of Welfare.
To advance the principle of co-operative governance contained in the new Constitution, the national department has been working closely with the provinces through the provincial heads of the welfare departments (Departmental Committee for Developmental Social Services -DCDSS) and the Minister's Committee for Welfare and Population Development (MINMEC)
The DCDSS was established in 1995 and meets on a monthly basis. The role and
responsibilities of the DCDSS are
· a pro-active leadership role with regard to social development;
· decision-making, negotiation and communication on operational issues; and
· recommendations and advice to the MINMEC on policy issues.
The DCDSS is currently evaluating its role in relation to MINMEC.
4.2 Intergovernmental relations
The Departmental of Welfare works closely with other Government Departments to achieve the objectives of Government. A number of inter-sectoral working groups and committees have been established, of which Welfare is a part, to facilitate coordination and cooperation. The information provided here is not complete.
Inter-Ministerial Committee on Young People at Risk
Cabinet appointed Committee to address the transformation of the Child and Youth Care System.
National Plan of Action Inter-sectoral Steering Committee
Cabinet appointed Committee to implement the United National Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC).
National Crime Prevention Strategy
Department of Welfare is a lead Department for the Victim Empowerment component of the NCPS.
Coordination Committee for Juveniles Awaiting Trial (COMJAT)
Linked to the work of the IMC and the National Crime Prevention Strategy.