Agriculture Provincial Conditional Grants & CapEx: 2nd Quarter 2006/07 spending

NCOP Finance

26 November 2006
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Meeting report

SELECT COMMITTEE ON FINANCE

FINANCE SELECT COMMITTEE
27 NOVEMBER 2006
AGRICULTURE CONDITIONAL GRANTS: SECOND QUARTER SPENDING 2006: BRIEFINGS BY PROVINCIAL DEPARTMENTS

Chairperson:
Mr T S Ralane (ANC, Free State)

Documents handed out:
Eastern Cape Conditional Grant Mid term Performance Review presentation
Eastern Cape CASP report
Free State Second Quarter Conditional Grant and Capital Expenditure Report for 2006/07 presentation: Part1 & Part2
Limpopo Province Conditional Grant Expenditure: Second Quarter presentation: Part1 & Part2
Northern Cape Presentation on Conditional Grants and Capital Expenditure: Second Quarter: Part1 & Part2
Western Cape Department of Agriculture: PowerPoint presentation
Mpumalanga: Six Months Capital Projects Report
Mpumalanga Presentation on Conditional Grants and Capital Expenditure 2006-2007
North West Presentation on Conditional Grants and Capital Expenditure: Second Quarter

Relevant Documents:
Division of Revenue Act Number 2 of 2006
National Treasury’s 2002/2003-2008/09 Provincial Budgets and Expenditure Review

SUMMARY
The Committee was briefed by the provincial departments of agriculture regarding the second quarter expenditure of Provincial Infrastructure Grants (PIG), Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP) as well as the Land care grant.

Provinces raised key challenges in the ability to spend as well as the quality of spending grants. These were; the time consuming nature of smaller projects, the inability of departments to attract and retain specialized skills as well as

The committee noted that the size of conditional grants was greater than the equitable share of provinces. This was a cause of concerns as it impacted on the ability of departments to delivery services adequately. Provincial departments needed to ensure that Provincial Treasuries managed the allocation of provincial grants in accordance with the requirements of the Division of Revenue Act (DORA).

North West Department of Agriculture presentation
Mr Mayisela (MEC: North West Department of Agriculture) thanked the committee for assisting the Department to manage challenges raised in past submissions. The Department had begun to explore the turn-around strategies suggested by the Committee.

The Department had spent 34 percent of the total allocations of the Conditional Grants as well as 11.6 percent expenditure on its equitable share, by 30 September 2006. Although the implementation obstacles had been dealt with, the late approval of roll-overs by the National Treasury had a negative impact on the rate of spending. Delays in the transfer of conditional grants by the National Department had negatively affected the province’s commitment of funds to projects. Tenders had been awarded in November and the Department had committed R20.2 million; R11.1 million; and R9.1 million to mechainization support; the construction of fencing and training respectively.

The following challenges to further expenditure were highlighted. A shortage of skills such as project managers, economists and engineers hampered the development of infrastructure. The monitoring of progress was hampered by the lack of sufficient capacity. The need for further training in supply chain management was also highlighted.

Certain remedial actions had been taken that included the implementation of Bulk Procurement Systems as from May 2006; the outsourcing of project management. Increased institutional capacity for bigger land reform groups and beneficiaries was being investigated.

Discussion
The Chairperson commented that the monetary value of the conditional grants (R93 million) were greater than its allocated equitable share (R50 million). This was a worrying trend as the success of the Provincial Growth and Development Strategies (PGDS) as well as the implementation of the Integrated Food Security and Nutrition Programme (IFSNP) depended on the availability of funds. He added that the 2002/03-2008/09 Provincial Budget and Expenditure Review cited the Department of Agriculture as the lead department in the implementation of IFSNP. The conditional grant was supplementary to existing budgets and given this imbalance, the battle for food security could not be effectively waged. How would the NWDA locate the achievement of food security in the PGDS? This was important as food security was linked to the growth of the provincial economy. This was a clear disjuncture that needed to be addressed speedily.

The Chairperson remarked that the National Treasury’s 2002/03-2008/09 Provincial Budget and Expenditure Review was a very useful document. All MECs and Heads of Departments (HODs) needed to be familiar with the information it contained. He requested the committee secretary to provide the provincial representatives with copies. This document reflected a growth of budget for the provincial departments of agriculture in terms of the growth in the size of conditional grants. The Committee could not consider this as sufficient evidence the growth in provincial buddgets.

Mr E Sogoni (ANC, Gauteng) thanked the MEC for the presentations. He expressed concern over the absence of a representative of the National Department of Agriculture and Land Affairs. This was important, especially in the light of the presentation made by the NWDA. Although a Head of Department had already been appointed, certain challenges were still being experienced. Although officials were concerned about outputs, members of parliament were concerned with the outcomes of activities. Could the NWDA clarify the extent to which the scarcity of skills was managed? During a study tour of the North West, many emerging farmers had raised the need for technical support. Although the MEC had informed the committee that the department would spend the funding by the end of the financial year, the quality of spending needed to be addressed. What was hampering the lending of support to emerging farmers?

Mr Mayisela answered that peripheral provinces faced shortages of staff due to the unwillingness of skilled people to relocate. Departments of agriculture were historically male dominated structures, and the NWDA decided to appoint female candidates to scarce skills and senior management positions. Although suitable candidates were found, individuals were not willing to relocate. Moreover, the rural nature of certain provinces made it difficult to attract suitable skills. Incentives were thus necessary to attract and retain the necessary skilled people. This was a matter that was of great concerns for MinMec.

Mr Mayisela continued that the Northwest provinces included three diverse groups of people from what used to be Boputatswana; Western Transvaal, and the then PWV. The manner in which agriculture was historically supported also entrenched particular cultures and tendencies amongst farmers. This cannot be transformed in a short space of time. The Department was working very hard to ensure that all farmers could be provided with the necessary assistance. Many of emerging farmers work with the Landbank. The MEC had to have discussions with the provincial managers of this bank following the complaints raised by many farmers over the intention to repossess farms. Although the provincial departments provided grants top emerging farmers, these farmers needed to service debts from the Landbank. Therefore, although this grants was awarded it could not provide the necessary support to farmers. This was problematic. The department had established a forum where stakeholders such as the Landbank; farmer unions, land affairs officials as well as commercial institutions (Absa, FNB) to develop ways to provide sustainable support to emerging farmers

Mr Kolweni noted that the North West had not supplied the amount transferred to this Department by the national department. This made it difficult to established whether the expenditure was of the budget or the total available funds

Limpopo Department of Agriculture (LDA): presentation
The Chairperson commented that the DLA’s presentation would be used as a guide when visiting the province, as the information contained focused on a political oversight of activities in the department. He requested the Department to focus its presentation on second quarter expenditure on conditional grants as well as the variances in expenditure between the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme (CASP); Landcare and Rural Development in terms of the Provincial Infrastructure Grant (PIG).

Ms DP Magadzi (MEC: DLA) informed the Committee that up to 30 September 2006, the department had spent 27.6 percent, 23.3 percent and 53.6 percent of the CASP, PIG and Landcare grants respectively. The total expenditure on these grants amounted to 27.7 percent. This showed an improvement to the expenditure during the same period of the previous financial year.

Regarding CASP, certain challenges had been experienced in the planning of activities that had an impact on the monitoring of monthly performance of all projects. There had thus been less activities recorded in the second quarter. Other key challenges included low staff morale as well as the number of small projects that consumed the same turnaround time as big projects. There had been a delay in the in the environmentally controlled poultry house due to the contractor’s withdrawal from the first phase of the bidding process. However, the signing of service level agreements had been completed. A new service provider had been contracted and the total financial commitment was R21 million. DLA would henceforth strictly adhere to the use of Project cards, Activity planning and cash flow projections.

Expenditure on the Landcare grant had been affected by the inability of service providers to submit and complete Master Plans that would enable the completion of final designs for the requisition of orders and implementation. Community involvement in the management of natural resources in communities was critical, but was currently lacking. There was Inefficient monitoring of the impact of projects on the environment and communities.

DLA had spent had merely spent 10 percent of the PIG. In terms of Rural Development, the DLA was awaiting the seller’s acceptance of R7 million Polokwane purchase offer, of this quarter. The equipment would be purchased after the signing of the deed during this quarter. The development of the Tubatse fresh produce packhouse had been delayed due to a land tenure arrangement with the DoLA.

Discussion
The Chairperson commented that the presentation provided clear information about the inputs of the Department. This political audit would be useful when the Committee conducted study tours.

Mr Songoni said that the MEC of LAD had cited the poaching of staff by the Gauteng province. The agriculture departments of the Western Cape and Gauteng had spent more on the compensation than Limpopo. The department would loose staff if employees felt that they were not properly remunerated. The Department would then retain staff.

Ms Magadzi answered that systems to manage the remuneration of officials differed from province to province. Provinces still struggle to standardize these systems. Although the province envisaged to implement the use of this standardized remuneration system by 1 April 2006, other provinces were not yet ready. Additionally, other factors were also being investigated that would improve and streamline the remuneration of provincial departments employees.

Mr Kolweni asked whether the Limpopo and North West Province had a database of all the small projects. This would be very useful for members of parliament when doing constituency work.

Mr Kolweni wanted to know whether the LDA had roll-over funds.

Ms Magadzi replied that LDA did not have any roll-overs.

Mr Kolweni expressed his satisfaction at the concerns raised by both LDA and NWDA about the many small projects it had developed and managed. This had an impact on the quality of the work performed by officials. A degree of concentration was required for reconstruction and development.

Ms Magadzi answered that the difference and use of the conditional grants and equitable share was a complex matter. Provinces had differing priorities, and as a result the allocations would be spent on those areas that were considered a priority. One of the priorities in the North West of the PGDP and endorsed at the Executive Committee’s Budget Lokgotla, was the improvement of infrastructure. These included the improvement of roads. Spending priorities would shift from time to time. Social issues such as the provision of housing, water and sanitation would at times over shadow the economic aspects.

Free State Department of Agriculture (FSDA): presentation
The Chairperson requested the FSDA to omit reporting in the expenditure as per 28 November as well as the commitments, as this would only become relevant when analysing third quarter expenditure.

Mr M C Mokitlane said that the FSDA was now in line with the requirements of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) as a supply chain management structure had been established. All projects for the current financial year were subject to a bidding process.

The implementation of CASP projects had been delayed as some of the projects had not been adequately prepared for implementation. Following discussions with the national department of agriculture and land affairs, permission was granted to focus attention on those projects that be immediately implemented. These implemented projects included the irrigations scheme of the Oppermans Restitution project (R6 750 million). Due to the scarcity of engineering skills, this project was implemented with the assistance of the Agricultural Research Council (ARC). The Department would be ready to implement the second phase of this project, and this would cost R7.5 million. The tender process for the postponed projects commence in January or February.
The services of the ARC would be utilized to assist in the provision of engineering services as certain projects needed the appropriate skills. The sustainability of projects was very critical and the Department would use the roll-over funds to improve existing projects.

The capacity of the supply chain management unit had been improved. The efficiency of this unit was critical to ensure that the average processing time was reduced. Although the department had an implementing agent, this agency had experienced certain challenges. The department was contemplating the establishment of an agency that would be responsible for the implementation of projects.

Discussion
The Chairperson noted that some provincial agricultural department did not receive a Provincial Infrastructure Grant (PIG). However, these grants were supplementary funding, and department need not rely on these funding projects.

The Chairperson noted that the provincial treasuries were not complying with the requirements of the Division of Revenue Act (DORA). Grants were supplementary funding and should not be relied upon before expending existing available funds. This reliance on conditional grants was problematic. Free State was in full compliance with the law since this province did not receive a PIG. Section 9(3a) of DORA stipulated that “ a province, in allocating a Provincial Infrastructure Grant,
must take into account the capacity of the receiving provincial department to spend and manage infrastructure, based on the extent of any approved roll-overs in the 2005/06 financial year and any projected roll-overs in the 2006107 financial year.”  It seemed as though such evaluations were not performed when considering such allocations. MECs needed to engage provincial treasuries about the stipulations of DORA. Section 9 (3b) stipulated that “a province, in allocating a Provincial Infrastructure Grant, may, where a receiving provincial department lacks capacity designate a percentage not exceeding one percent of the allocation for acquiring such capacity.” When considering the division of revenue for the 2007/2008 financial year important issues such as scarce skills as well as the internal capacity of departments. Would the one percent, as stipulated by the Act be enough to adequately capacitate provincial departments? This could be another debate policy makers and enforces could debate. Additional agencies did not have to be created as the legislation regarding the capacity of departments was straight forward. Provincial Departments had to revisit this and should report on the progress made in this regard during the third quarter made regarding the assistance of provincial treasuries to PDA. It should be ensured that the capacity of departments was built.

Mr Sogoni said that the Free State was primarily an agricultural province. However, the level of expenditure of the equitable share was less than spending on the conditional grant. The department needed to prioritise spending to ensure that people in the Free State benefit.

Mr Mokitlane answered that the provincial Treasury had provided R10 million to improve the capacity of the department. It had developed a broad recruitment drive and advertisement of vacancies could commence early next year. This would be for additional technical positions. The department would not rely solely on the expertise of the ARC.


Mr Sogoni commented that the presence of the national department in the proceedings was critical as provinces had reported many roll-overs. Cleary obstacles to effective spending were still apparent?  What was the role of the transferring department? Was this unit merely concerned with the transfer of funds? Did this unit monitor spending?

The national department requested an investigation and report about the responsibilities of extension workers. This needed redefinition of the interface between the farmer and the extension officers. This would assist the higher levels of productive farming.

Mr Sogoni commented that he visited two agricultural projects on a recent committee tour of the Free State. The key problem that was raised was that although there had been allocation in the 2005/2006 financial year, there had been no roll-over to complete the project in the current financial year. There was also no training provided by the Department. Additionally, it was noted that the department did not lend financial cost to cover the costs of production.

Mr Mokitlane answered that the Department had provided support at a very late stage to those farmers that had been provided land in the 1994-1997. These farmers had already been in too much debt. A provincial and national strategy was needed to alleviate these debts. These coincided with the strategic imperative to ensure that black South African to own land.

There was discussion about difficulties experienced with certain projects. It was the responsibility of departments to develop remedial actions to address these obstacles. The department would provide a progress report to the committee. The department provided training to those individuals that had been allocated funds to for specific projects. Certain agreements had been made with white commercial farmers that ensured that training was provided to emerging farmers. Production costs were included in the funding of farmers. Some of the 2005/2006 allocation to projects had not been spent due to the delays in these projects

Mr Mokitlane answered that the provincial Treasury had provided R10 million to improve the capacity of the department. It had developed a broad recruitment drive and advertisement of vacancies could commence early next year. This would be for additional technical positions. The department would not rely solely on the expertise of the ARC.

The Department had provided support at a very late stage to those farmers that had been provided land in the 1994-1997. These farmers had already been in too much debt. A provincial and national strategy was needed to alleviate these debts. These coincided with the strategic imperative to ensure that black South African to own land.

There was discussion about difficulties experienced with certain projects. It was the responsibility of departments to develop remedial actions to address these obstacles. The department would provide a progress report to the committee. The department provided training to those individuals that had been allocated funds to for specific projects. Certain agreements had been made with white commercial farmers that ensured that training was provided to emerging farmers. Production costs were included in the funding of farmers. Some of the 2005/2006 allocation to projects had not been spent due to the delays in these projects.

The national department requested an investigation and report about the responsibilities of extension workers. This needed redefinition of the interface between the farmer and the extension officers. This would assist the higher levels of productive farming.

Mr Mokitlane responded that n agreement had been reached between the FSDA and provincial treasury, which required the treasury to take provincial infrastructure grant, since the department lacked sufficient capacity to spend this money. The grant for this financial year had also been retained since the department had not yet built this capacity. Presently, there were a number of vacancies the department struggled to fill. These were technical positions that would assist the department in its activities.

There was discussion about difficulties experienced with certain projects. It was the responsibility of departments to develop remedial actions to address these obstacles. The department would provide a progress report to the committee. The department provided training to those individuals that had been allocated funds to for specific projects. Certain agreements had been made with white commercial farmers that ensured that training was provided to emerging farmers. Production costs were included in the funding of farmers. Some of the 2005/2006 allocation to projects had not been spent due to the delays in these projects.

Western Cape Department of Agriculture (WCED): presentation
Mr J Dowry (MEC, WCDA) informed members that the R3 million provincial infrastructure grant allocated would be added to the WCED’s equitable share. A steady growth in the size of CASP could be reported and the total allocated amount in 2006/2007 was R20 648 million. The department projected to spend R20 588 million for the implementation of 143 projects benefiting 5765 people (3459 women and children). Although merely R1.957 million of CASP had been spent in the second quarter, the department would spend R13.932 million in the third quarter. The reason for such low expenditure was the seasonality of agriculture in the province as well as the impact of the rainy season on the completion of infrastructure. Business plans were also completed in the second quarter. The timeous completion of these plans was also a challenge.

Regarding PIG, the department expected to spend R5.560 million and that overspend would be accommodated by the equitable share as NT had included most of the infrastructure grant into the equitable share. These funds would be utilized to implement 10 projects, beneficiaries of which were all emerging Philippi market suppliers. Spending for the second quarter was at R4.585 million. The Department had transfer funds to the city of Cape Town, for the building of a market in Philippi to support the livelihoods of emerging farmers in this area.

Key challenges were also highlighted which included time constraints linked to the availability of staff; serious cash flow problems and debts, as well as the relocation of funds (R2.5 million) due to the selling of farms.The Department had advertised 28 positions and appointments would be made in February 2007.

The Department had spent R1.470 million on drought relief. The purpose of this project was to provide relief to livestock producers in declared drought stricken areas by supplying limited fodder and transport.

Discussion
Mr Sogoni said that the WCDA hoped to spend R13.932 million of CASP by the end of the third quarter. Why was there such a huge difference in the actual spending in the second quarter and the projected spending in the third quarter? How would the department increase this spending?

Mr Dowry answered that the department said that the rainy season influenced the momentum of spending in the second quarter. Tenders were usually awarded in the third quarter. R2.5 million had been reallocated and would be spent. The floods in the Southern Cape had an adverse effect on the roll out of projects in this region. Large tenders were finalized in September and these were being implemented currently. The Department had spent R2 million on the Nelspoort project in October and some funds had been committed in the second quarter but would only be paid be spent in the third quarter. This included the funds allocated to the farming equity scheme project.

Mr Sogoni wanted all provincial departments to clarify their understanding of the objectives of the conditional grant. This was not a primary source of funding but merely to supplement exiting budgets. From the information obtained from presentations, it seemed that provinces were relying on this grant. What could be done to reverse this situation? If national Treasury decided to withhold such a grant, there would be no expenditure or development in these sectors. Agriculture was a very important element in improving the lives of South Africans.

The Chairperson said that through a special piloted project in Limpopo province, Eastern Cape and Kwazulu/Natal and therefore this projected needed to be extended to the provinces. Therefore an evaluation of the effectiveness of this pilot needed to be evaluated before extending this project. The Committee needed to follow –up on this project rather than deliberate its effectiveness at the present meeting.

Mr Z Kolweni (ANC, North West) suggested that the Committee needed to develop a uniform standard of reporting since the presentations should be focused on concerns of the Committee.

Ms D Robinson (DA, Western Cape) requested more information regarding alien clearing projects implemented in the Mamre, in the Western Cape. Certain residents were very eager to get involved in organic farming.

Mr Dowry responded that the department had projects in the Mamre area. Fencing and irrigation material had been supplied to this area already. Infrastructure grant had been awarded of R2 million over the last two financial years that was focused on the provision of adequate fencing, stock water and the clearing of land for farming. An advisory office for the residents of Mamre had been opened in Atlantis. Mechanization infrastructure centre would also be constructed to serve the people of Mamre and Pella. R300 000 had been allocated too small scale farmers in Darling.
An additional two projects to the value of R350 000 in Atlantis, and one project in Philadelphia had been launched worth R180 000. 33 hectares of land had been handed over to residents of the Leliefontein area, near Atlantis. An agri-village had been developed in Piketberg which would benefit 69 individuals.

Mr D Botha (ANC, Limpopo) commented that all provinces showed a commitment to spend. However, the challenges to increased expenditure were clearly highlighted. A political audit of the internal capacity of a department was very crucial. Did provincial committee’s conduct oversight visits to projects? Did they provide advise and feed back to provincial departments and MECs?

Mr Mayisela answered that the department had a good working relationship with the provincial portfolio committee on agriculture. Regular interactions were conducted. The chairperson of the portfolio committee was a farmer and therefore his expertise and knowledge on farming and agricultural matters were relied upon. NWDA had initiated a policy that enabled those individuals awarded land, to lease the property to an exiting farmer or appointing a farmer as a project manager. The expertise could thus be relied upon. These farmers in the management of the farm could also train community members and new owners.

Mr Botha acknowledged province’s commitment to plan better in order to avoid the roll-over of funds. Provinces needed to ensure that under spending and over spending did not occur. Provinces should also avoid “fiscal dumping” the mere spending of funds in the last month of the year to avoid the consequences of under spending.

Mr Botha raised concerns regarding the low expenditure on the allocated funds for disaster management. Could the provincial departments explain the reasons for this? What were the challenges to greater spending?

Mr Botha commented that not all people know how to farm and commercial farmers could be used as mentors to support emerging farmers in the management of farms. There were too many small farming projects as these could not be sustainable without the necessary long-term technical or financial support. He added that in order to achieve food security large scale and commercial farms needed to be developed.

The Chairperson acknowledged the efforts of provincial agriculture departments to appoint heads of departments subsequent to the concerns raised at the previous meeting with the provinces. These were, NWDA; FSDA. The stability of these departments reflected in the presentations was linked to the appointments of these accounting officers. The committee would work and evaluate very closely the efforts of MECs and HOD’s to improve the planning and expenditure systems within departments.

T
he Chairperson commented that the issues of the correct procedure of the allocation of PIG according to the requirements of the legislation needed to be resolved. Important questions needed to be raised: to what extent supersede political obligations the legislation, and to what extent match the spending with the outcomes of that spending. For example had progress been made in the improvement of provincial roads? Was there value for money to ensure that the spending on additional infrastructure priorities was not compromised?

Northern Cape Department of Education (NCDA): presentation:
Mr W Mothibi (HOD) informed the Committee that the department had spent 58 percent, 46 percent and 36 percent of funds allocated to CASP, Land care, and PIG.

The under spending on PIG was due to the cancellation of some of the bids as some had been expired and re-advertised. Moreover, the tender process sometimes exceeded the quotation period of suppliers and that lead to delays in the implementation of projects.

The Department would, following an audit of the projects; the department would monitor expenditure and progress made on a monthly basis. A project coordinating committee had been established and quarterly meetings would be held to assess project proposals, as well as to assess and evaluate project progress. The Department would ensure that 2006/2007 projects were implemented according to plans and would not allow any roll-overs from 2006/2007.


The following challenges were highlighted in the expenditure of conditional grants. Demands of by land reform beneficiaries were also a challenge. Credit facilities of black economic empowerment contractors were problematic and therefore delays in delivery of materials and other services.

Discussion
Mr Sogoni remarked that the NCDA appeared to be over spending on its conditional grants. How did the department intended to deal with this matter?

Mr Mothibi answered that at the time of preparing the presentation, the department was engaging with the provincial treasury about this possibility. There had been rollovers, and although the department was spending their cash allocations, the department was also spending the committed funds. Therefore, the roll over funds would accommodate the overspending.

The Chairperson commented that the presentations have highlighted the problematic exhaustion of the PIG while existing budgets were not yet spent. Departments were already reporting over expenditure on these grants.

The Chairperson requested clarification on why tender processed exceeded the quotation period of supply?

Mr Mothibi answered that that at the time of awarding these contracts, the costs of projects had increased. Therefore, the tendering processes had to be repeated.

Mpumalanga Department of Agriculture (MDA)
Mr Mathibula (Acting HOD) delivered the presentation to the Committee.

The Department had provided a synopsis of the monitoring mechanism for the spending of conditional grants as this capacity not been adequate in the past. Project implementers had been deployed to project sites, and provided a weekly progress report on projects. This also strengthened interactions between provincial and municipal spheres of government. The MEC also reviewed the performance of these projects on a quarterly basis.

Certain challenges were also highlighted, amongst others the under spending on conditional grants. The department had only spent R4 million of the allocated CASP grant of R28 million. The Department had spent less that R1 million on the R4 million land care grant. R5 million of the R28 million PIG grant had been spent. These figures were the total spending on conditional grants in both the second and third quarters of the current financial year.

The department had anticipated the under expenditure since the department reviewed all the projects that it had implemented during the financial year to assess whether these focused on food security, poverty alleviation, job creation and the stimulation of economically viable agricultural activities in rural areas. It was found that these projects were not generating agricultural activity.

Discussion
Mr Sogoni commented that the MDA had to provide a progress report on the success of the revised monitoring system.

Mr B Mkhaliphi (ANC, Mpumalanga) reminded department that the committee expected provincial departments to carry out their duties and responsibilities. Mr Mathebule’s forthrightness about challenges faced by the MDA was appreciated. The Committee would be observing the progress made to these challenges very closely.

The Chairperson commented that the Committee needed to engage with the MEC as well as the Executive Council of Mpumalanga about the scarcity of engineers in province. The availability of one engineer currently was unacceptable.

Mr Sogoni requested that Departments should provide more concise presentations in future that needed to focus on matters of expenditure.

Ms Robinson wondered whether the Committee provide a standard template for presentations. It was very difficult to prepare questions as well as to study documents if documentation was not received prior to the scheduled meeting.

The Chairperson had written a letter to those provincial departments that would be make presentations in the third quarter that advised departments to submit documentation ahead of scheduled meetings. Although department could be requested to deliver documentation on time, members had to read and prepare well for these meetings.

The Chairperson thanked the departments for the presentations.

The meeting was adjourned.





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