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SERVICES SELECT COMMITTEE
20 June 2006
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY ANNUAL REPORT 2005 & STRATEGIC PLAN 2006/07: BRIEFING
Chairperson: Ms J Masilo (ANC, North West)
Documents handed out:
National Development Agency (PowerPoint Presentation)
National Development Agency Provincial Contact Details
Grant Disbursement allocation per Province 2005/06
The National Development Agency briefed the Committee on its background and programmes that it undertook in the past year in an attempt to alleviate poverty. The Committee was particularly concerned that the Agency might have overstepped its mandate. The Committee made reference to the projects undertaken by the Agency that belonged to other government departments or other sectors. The Agency agreed to the request made by the Committee to provide a list of the projects, and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) operating under the auspices of the NDA. The list would be made available before Members of Parliament went to their respective constituencies during recess.
National Development Agency (NDA) briefing
Mr Reuben Mogato Mogano (Director: Project Management) and Ms Jessica Fortuin (Regional Manager of the Western Cape and Northern Cape) briefed the Committee on the background and programmes of the NDA. The presentation covered the formation, structure, performance, impact on poverty, NDA strategy, grant commitments in 2004/05, project disbursements, level of poverty as estimated by the Human Sciences Research Council, poverty distribution by province, development needs of community-based organisations and NGOs. The presentation also made mention of the key issues from unaudited 2005/06 Annual Report, underlying goals, objectives and indicators for impact assessment, monitoring and evaluation. Mr Mogano also spoke on the achievements against the indicated goals, mentioned that the 2006-2011 Strategic Plan was revised, completed and approved by the Minister of Social Development and project turn-around time was improved from six to four months. He highlighted specific achievements and highlights from 1 April to 31 March 2006. These included the appointment of a permanent Chief Executive Officer in June 2005, finalisation of matters arising out of the forensic investigation, participation in the National Program for Creation of Small Enterprises and Jobs in the second economy. One of the challenges that faced the Agency included organisational instability in terms of labour relations, unclear business model and dependency on single source of funding. (Please see attachments).
Mr B Tolo (ANC, Mpumalanga) was concerned that the NDA overstepped its mandate to eradicate poverty. He said the activities that the NDA was engaged in fell in the boundaries of other sectors. Was there no confusion implementing projects and fulfilling the Agency’s mandate? Mr Tolo was worried about the inaccessibility of the Agency to the people at grass roots level in rural communities. Were there any structures in place at regional and provincial offices to monitor projects?
Mr Mogano concurred that NDA development was perceived in an integrated matter. He made mention of projects where women were involved in gardening programs while at the same time engaged in projects that looked after the needs of children. As a consequence the Agency embarked on focussing on economic development and food security.
Ms Fortuin added that there were regional managers that oversaw provincial programmes at regional level.
Mr Mogano indicated that in terms of accessibility, the Agency worked closely with the Department of Provincial and Local Government to ensure that local communities gained access fully. He added that it was imperative to take into account that the NDA was not the only agency that offered funding.
Ms A Qikani (UDM, Eastern Cape) asked whether there were any community-based projects in the Eastern Cape that were funded by the Agency. She added that the Eastern Cape was one of the provinces where poverty was rife. She also asked who was responsible for capacitating Community Based Organisations (CBOs) and NGOs.
Mr Mogano said that according to findings of the last study conducted there were about 90 000 NGOs and CBOs in the country; therefore it was also the responsibility of other NGO networks to monitor and ensure that NGOs were strengthened to all parts of the country.
Mr Tolo said that it was inaccurate to indicate that the Agency was working on changing the turn around time from six months to four months. He said that practically, the time frame dragged up to three years.
Ms H Lamoela (DA, Western Cape) asked whether or not there were any projects funded by the NDA in the Western Cape. She was concerned about the backlogs in processing payments because this could have great impact on the sustainability of projects. Whose responsibility was it to monitor the projects run within the NDA? She requested the Agency to furnish the Committee with a list of all the NGOs funded by the NDA for monitoring purposes.
Ms Fortuin said that there were a number of projects under the auspices of the NDA and they would be indicated on the list to be provided to the Committee. She said that payments were delayed due to audit processes to ensure that payments were carefully and rightfully directed. There was an attempt to engage with the research unit to explore a monitoring tool with other stakeholders. The process was ongoing and could not guarantee success. The NDA hoped to continue with the social dialogue and other public entities to prevent duplication of funding.
Mr O Thlagale (UCDP, North West) wanted to know the procedure for funding organisations.
Mr Mogano responded that there were three ways of sourcing funding. The first one looked at the community needs by conducting a needs assessment and a programme would be formulated after studies undertaken by institutions such as Statistics South Africa, the Human Sciences Research Council and other Government departments. The second process would be to advertise in the media, inviting proposals. That process was usually targeted at the well established organisations and projects. The final process is targeted at special projects that have not been traditionally explored.
Ms Fortune indicated that all provinces had offices where all funding information was administered.
Ms F Mazibuko (ANC, Gauteng) asked what programme had been put in place to ensure that people who applied for funding from the NDA did not get funding from other sources. Was it possible to monitor that process?
Mr Mogano agreed that the question posed was very critical. He responded that there was a programme in place that looked at the internal service, focusing on issues of governance, budget information, projects and many more issues.
Mr Tolo asked at which level the Regional managers were employed and what authority they possessed. He also asked if the NDA obtained extra funding in addition to that offered by Government.
Mr Mogano responded that managers were at director-level and had staff working with them. He added that managers had less authority and acknowledged that there was a problem with that, which the NDA was going to address. The only form of funding was from Government and it was not enough.
The Chairperson wanted to know if there was a list of all the service providers that funded particular projects in the country.
Mr Mogano replied that such a list existed.
Ms Lamoela asked what had happened to the Wittenberg area and whether or not there were any projects in that area.
Ms Fortuin replied that there were four projects in that area. Specific information would be forwarded together with the list to the Committee.
The Chairperson thanked the delegation for the presentation and proposed quarterly meetings to monitor and offer support to the NDA.
The meeting was adjourned.
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