Hansard: Appropriation Bill : Debate on Vote No 6 – Performance Monitoring and Evaluation
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 07 Jun 2011
No summary available.
EPC COMMITTEE ROOM E249
Wednesday, 8 June 2011 Take: 128
WEDNESDAY, 8 JUNE 2011
PROCEEDINGS OF EXTENDED PUBLIC COMMITTEE – COMMITTEE ROOM E249
Members of the Extended Public Committee met in Committee Room E249 at 10:00.
The House Chairperson Mr C T Frolick, as Chairperson, took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: PERFORMANCE MONITORING AND EVALUATION, AS WELL AS ADMINISTRATION IN THE PRESIDENCY
START OF DAY
Debate on Vote No 6 – Performance Monitoring and Evaluation
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: PERFORMANCE MONITORING AND EVALUATION, AS WELL AS ADMINISTRATION IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon Chairperson, hon members, hon chairpersons of the committees, Deputy Minister Dina Pule, Director-General Dr Sean Phillips, senior management and staff of the department present, invited guests, it is on a sad note that this inaugural Budget Vote speech is delivered, while the country mourns the passing away of a heroine of our struggle and a stalwart, Mama [Mother] Albertina Sisulu. Mama [Mother] Sisulu strove for a South Africa that is just, nonracial, nonsexist and democratic. She wanted our people to lead a better life, and her contribution to our society is immeasurable. This Budget Vote is dedicated to the fruitful life she lived and shared with all of us. May her soul rest in peace!
We are also delivering this inaugural Budget Vote speech during Youth Month, a month dedicated to youth development. Sir, 16 June this year marks the 35th anniversary of the Soweto uprising and related uprisings in the country. It is the month in which young people braved all odds to fight for equal and quality education for all. It is also against this background that education is among the five key priorities of government, for which the youth of 1976 fought.
Today we are delivering the first Budget Vote of a newly formed Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency, following the allocation of an independent Vote to the department as from 1 April this year.
Let me also take this opportunity to welcome the Deputy Minister of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, hon Dina Pule, to the PME family. Her appointment has enhanced and brought new energy to the work of the department. The Deputy Minister brings to the family her extensive experience in government, coupled with a passion for service delivery to our people. Both the Deputy Minister and I look forward to a fruitful working relationship with Parliament in the delivery of our mandate.
We are of the view that monitoring and evaluation have the potential to make a very significant contribution to good governance. However, the realisation of this potential is dependent on the way in which the monitoring and evaluation mechanisms are designed and implemented. Good intentions are not enough – badly designed monitoring and evaluation initiatives often result in more negative than positive consequences. Our system is based on processes, outputs and targets within the government that have been negotiated and agreed upon.
In my address to the House last year I introduced a position paper titled "Improving Government Performance: our Approach". This position paper clarifies our mandate with regard to the outcomes approach. Over the past year, we have made good progress with the implementation of the outcomes approach. Before describing this progress in more detail, I should mention that we are now engaged in two additional mandates.
With regard to the outcomes approach, the process has involved the entire government's agreeing on a limited set of outcomes, as strategic focus areas for the whole government. We also developed the whole-of-government plans, or delivery agreements, for each of the outcomes. The main aim of the outcomes approach is to improve planning, implementation and co-ordination between the three spheres of government with regard to cross-cutting priorities. The outcomes approach is therefore concerned with the monitoring and evaluating of the performance of the government as a whole.
In addition to the outcomes approach, we are monitoring performance at the levels of individual departments, municipalities, and service delivery on the ground, or what we call the front-line service delivery. Cutting across these three levels, we have a mandate to promote good performance, and monitor and evaluate practices across government, which includes the development of improved administrative data systems. I am now pleased to present the progress we have recorded to date, and our future plans in each of these areas.
Starting with the outcomes approach, we have worked with other departments to identify the outputs required to achieve the 12 outcomes and set targets for measurable indicators and progress.
The President has also signed performance agreements with all Ministers, based on the outcomes and targets.
National and provincial departments, and municipalities, were engaged in a consultative process to develop detailed delivery agreements for each of the outcomes. These delivery agreements were all completed and signed by November last year.
The delivery agreements - which we can call DA in honour of the Leader of the Opposition! - described outputs, activities, and inputs required to achieve the outcomes. They also set targets for measurable performance indicators, and identified roles and responsibilities of individual departments, both national and provincial, including municipalities. They are a major achievement in that for the first time we have a set of interdepartmental and intergovernmental strategic plans for key cross-cutting outcomes. The process of producing these plans or delivery agreements was itself useful. It resulted in a higher level of understanding of challenges which other departments face, and how the work of different departments affects one other.
We have since published the new programme of action based on delivery agreements on both the government and Presidency websites. To date they reflect 9 of the 12 delivery agreements. The other three delivery agreements, for health, rural development and employment outcomes, are currently in the process of being captured on the system. Final work is being done on the detailed targets and indicators for the health and rural development outcomes. Adjustments are also being made to the employment delivery agreement, to ensure that it adequately reflects commitments made recently in the New Growth Path.
As we have committed to, the implementation of the delivery agreements is monitored by Cabinet itself. In this regard, we have instituted a process whereby the outcome is that co-ordinating Ministers report quarterly to Cabinet.
I am pleased to announce that the first reports were assessed by Cabinet during February and March this year as a pilot project. We are now ready to consider the second set of reports this month. Their contents will be used to update the programme of action on the website. This is an important step in order for the public to be able to monitor progress and hold government accountable.
The quarterly reports focus on key results and challenges, and the required changes and interventions. They therefore ensure that Cabinet regularly focuses on assessing progress, with the achievement of key priorities of government.
Some of the highlights, per outcome from the first set of quarterly reports, were as follows. In basic education, we have seen the finalisation of the teacher development plan, development of standard workbooks in literacy and numeracy aimed at learners in Grades 1 to 6, and the preparation and roll out of annual national assessments.
In the critical area of health, of note has been the progress in the immunisation of children against polio and measles. The country's response to HIV and Aids has been very successful, with large numbers of people tested for HIV and at least 1,3 million of them placed on treatment. Tuberculosis diagnosis and management is also improving.
With regard to the outcome on safety and security, we have seen good progress in reducing the number of targeted serious crimes, such as murder, rape and bank robberies. The number of police personnel has been significantly increased, and a number of additional regional and district courts have been established. The latter has led to a marked reduction in the backlog of cases.
With the adoption of the New Growth Path, new impetus has been given to the outcome on employment and inclusive growth. Public works programmes have gained momentum, with 388 000 work opportunities created between April and September 2010, plus 90 000 individuals in the Community Work Programme.
In the outcome on skills, the emphasis has been on drafting qualifications standards, gazetting new programmes, discussions with business, reviewing of policy and regulations, and enrolment planning. Tangible improvements can be witnessed in enrolment at further education and training, FET, colleges and the number of artisans trained, albeit not yet at the desired pace.
Economic infrastructure development also notched up some important achievements, with the development and approval by Cabinet of the Integrated Resource Plan and the Independent System and Market Operator Bill, to stimulate greater private investment in electricity generation.
Importantly, over 100 000 additional poor households were given electricity connections. Additionally, 6 regional bulk water projects have been constructed, 8 dams rehabilitated and 3 000 water licence applications finalised.
The achievement of all the outcomes requires an efficient, effective and development-orientated Public Service. In this regard, the centre of government departments has identified a number of areas in which to focus on improving management capacity of government. The planning and budgeting processes of government have been aligned to the outcomes approach.
Building on recent improvements in service delivery at the Department of Home Affairs, there is now a focus on reducing waiting times for pensions, hospital queues, licensing centres and social grants. In addition, departments are being supported to put in place service delivery standards, and develop and implement service delivery improvement plans. These are some of the indications that we are indeed significantly changing how government is working, as we have committed to doing. The Deputy Minister will later address you on progress made in some of the outcomes and the work we are doing in monitoring frontline services.
Of course, the implementation of an initiative as ambitious as the outcomes approach has not been without challenges and all of us, including Parliament, need to work together to address these challenges. Our engagements in relation to similar processes in other countries indicate that these challenges are not unique to us in South Africa.
Firstly, South Africa is not different to the rest of the world in its struggle to achieve a real "joined-up government". Delivery agreements represent an important step forward in the process of moving towards a more integrated government, but we still have a long way to go in this process. Full integration requires the development of a new culture in government - a culture which recognises that real co-ordination involves a negotiation process in which all sides need to make compromises.
In this regard it is important that the strategic plans which departments submit to Parliament should reflect their roles, responsibilities and targets as agreed to in the various delivery agreements. All departmental strategic plans should indicate how their work contributes to the various outcomes, how it impacts on outcomes such as employment and the environment, and how it has been planned with the consideration of the objectives of other departments in mind.
We have said that given our limited resources we have to ensure that the state is prudent with its budget. Many of the quarterly reports mentioned funding constraints, and there is a need for greater consensus across government on the difficult choices which have to be made. This is so that we can achieve our key objectives within our budgetary and other resource constraints.
Secondly, the implementation of an outcomes-based approach requires the development of a new management culture and management capacities in government. Our Public Service is only just starting to grapple with the concepts and methodologies of results-based management, such as using theories of change and logic models. This is in order to thoroughly and systematically think through the relationships between activities, outputs, outcomes and impacts.
In addition, results-based management requires the government to have a minimum level of information management systems in place in order to produce the required data for analysis. In many departments these systems are not yet in place and the required data is not yet available. As a result of a lack of good quality data there is room for improvement in the quality of delivery agreements and quarterly progress reports which are being submitted to Cabinet.
The outcomes approach is therefore itself a catalyst to improving the performance of government. It requires Public Service managers to engage in activities such as results-based planning, measurement of key performance indicators, and analysis of the reasons why targets are not being met.
Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, we are grappling with the challenge of balancing the need to co-ordinate, standardise and drive the outcomes approach from the Presidency, at the centre of government, on the one hand, with the need to ensure that departments take real ownership of the approach on the other. One of the common perverse effects of performance measurement is that there is a tendency for managers to focus on compliance with externally imposed performance management systems. This is as opposed to taking ownership of the system and using it to improve the performance of their departments. We will only be able to say that the outcomes approach has been successful if we can move beyond compliance, and if most of the managers in our departments and municipalities have taken ownership of the approach.
We have committed to involving all key role-players in the process of producing delivery agreements, but we have not been very successful. In this regard, we have started to engage in discussions with a national nongovernmental organisation, NGO, umbrella body, and other representatives of organised civil society. This is with the view of finding a suitable way in which to involve organisations outside government in those outcomes in which they play a key role.
I will now turn to the monitoring of the performance of individual departments and municipalities. This is one of the outputs in outcome 12 of the Delivery Agreement, and is part of the process of ensuring that government has the capacity to achieve the outcomes.
We have developed and piloted the implementation of a standard performance assessment tool to be used to assess the performance of national and provincial departments and municipalities. Since then we have been working with the Offices of the Premiers, the National Treasury, the Department of Public Service and Administration, DPSA, the Auditor-General, and the Public Service Commission, to develop the tool.
The tool will utilise the results of existing assessment mechanisms developed by the National Treasury, DPSA and Public Service Commission. It involves a combination of self-assessment and independent assessment by our department or the Offices of the Premiers. We are also working with the KwaZulu-Natal, KZN, provincial government, to pilot the application of the tool in municipalities in that province.
We have also piloted the process of applying the tool in the Presidency, the National Treasury and the DPSA. We are currently working with the Office of the Premier in Mpumalanga for them to pilot the application of the tool in the departments in the province. We are now at the stage of going back to Cabinet with proposals for widespread application of the assessment tool.
The focus of the tool is on the quality of management practices in a department, including areas such as financial management, human resource management, supply chain management, strategic management, and governance. The assessments draw on the Auditor-General's reports, but provide a broader picture of managing performance. The tool establishes benchmarks for management of performance and measures departments against these benchmarks. The application of the tool assists managers to identify areas where improvement is required. It will also enable the Presidency and the Offices of the Premiers to focus on additional actions and support to improve the performance of such departments.
A decision has been taken in future to link the performance assessment of heads of departments to the results of performance assessments of their departments. We are currently working with the DPSA and the Public Service Commission on an implementation plan in this regard.
During the elections we noted with concern the quality of delivery of infrastructure in municipalities and by government in general. As a department we are working together with the National Treasury on a mechanism to monitor holistically the implementation of infrastructure delivery by government at all levels. The monitoring, which will include sanitation provision, includes physical verification of data provided by government departments, rather than reliance on reports. This process is designed to avoid what we have noticed with the discovery of open toilets.
Cabinet has decided to put local government on its agenda as a standing item, so that we can monitor performance from the national level on a regular basis. In addition, the President will engage Premiers on how to improve the monitoring of the performance of municipalities in terms of section 139 of the Constitution.
While municipalities are settling with new leadership at the helm, we have to begin with the implementation of the local government delivery agreement. The main thrust of the agreement is to achieve a responsive, accountable, effective and efficient local government system.
The outcome has a number of key pillars. One of them is the recognition that municipalities are not the same. They are different in regard to their capacity, revenue base, population size, size of their economy, and their broader social context. When supporting municipalities to improve performance, the national government will take this into account. It will not adopt a one-size-fits-all approach, which does not work.
Other key pillars include the strengthening of the administrative and financial capabilities of municipalities to ensure greater transparency, fight corruption, promote good financial management and strengthen community participation. The delivery agreement also emphasises the need to ensure that all critical positions are filled by competent and qualified individuals.
We are indeed changing how government works. We cannot afford to fail; we can make mistakes, but we should be able to correct them and move on. We owe that to the stalwarts like MaSisulu [Mrs Sisulu], who fought for an equal and prosperous society, and also to our people, that their lives are improved, for the better. We must work smarter, faster and more effectively within the available resources.
Turning to the budget, the department has been allocated R75 million for the 2011-12 financial year. Of this, R50 million will be spent on compensation of employees, R21 million on goods and services, and R3 million on payments for capital assets.
The department has four budget programmes, which correspond with the four branches of the department, and the budget has been allocated to these programmes as follows: Administration, R22 million; Outcomes Monitoring and Evaluation, R24 million; Integrated Public Performance Data Systems, R21 million; and Public Sector Administration Oversight, R6 million.
Finally, I would like to thank the Deputy Minister, the Director-General and all the staff in the department for their hard work and dedication during the past year. It is my pleasure to commend the Budget Vote to the House. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr E M SOGONI
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: PERFORMANCE MONITORING AND EVALUATION, AS WELL AS ADMINISTRATION IN THE PRESIDENCY
Mr E M SOGONI: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister and Deputy Minister, and hon members, the annual process of dealing with Budget Votes is a time when accountability is demanded and expected. In the tabling of Budget Vote No 6 we seek to ensure that the Vote that is being appropriated does, in fact, speak to the policy priorities and imperatives of the governing party and those of the Cabinet.
In considering the Budget Vote of the Ministry of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation we are called upon to reflect on a central theme of the ANC government: accountability, performance monitoring and evaluation. This voting of funds needs to provide an understanding of how the Ministry in the Presidency is reversing past imbalances and creating a better life for all by ensuring that government works, and that there is performance which can be monitored according to a defined and agreed set of criteria.
This voting of funds must equally be measured against the constitutional obligations and responsibilities of the Presidency, and the legislative and policy framework of government. The critical question at the completion of today's debate will be: Has this particular Vote given effect to what has been politically agreed to by the executive within the context of the political mandate of the governing party? Chairperson, this Vote must be measured against ANC policies and priorities. Legislation reflects policies of the ANC government and this is what must be demonstrated in this Budget Vote. Budgets reflect policy choices and this Budget should reflect this.
The importance of this particular Budget Vote is that it deals with the entire machinery of government, and we have in a clear and demonstrable manner the performance agreements of each member of Cabinet, as well as Government's 12 Priority Areas, whose performance can be measured against this Budget Vote.
The central task of the ANC is to build a developmental state with strategic, political, economic, administrative and technical capacity, in pursuit of the objectives of the National Democratic Revolution, NDR. It is this task that this Budget Vote should speak to, as it is meant to qualitatively and quantitatively improve the functioning of government.
One of the most critical acts of the NDR is the creation of a legitimate state which derives its authority from the people through regular elections and continuing popular participation in the process of governance. Mobilised around a clear vision of the kind of society we wish to become, the nation should act in partnership, each sector contributing to the realisation of the common good. The means should be put in place for citizens to exercise their human rights, and for the checks and balances necessary in a law-governed society. The democratic state should also have the organisational and technical capacity to realise its objectives.
The Ministry is essentially dealing with a major component of the state. The ANC has defined the state as a developmental one. Therefore, how we deal with the Budget Vote is informed by two key attributes that underpin a developmental state.
The first is the state's organisational capacity to ensure that its structures and systems realise a set agenda. Thus, issues of macro- organisation of the state must inform the ministry and the allocations in this Budget Vote. This includes permutations among policy and implementation organs within each sphere, allocation of responsibilities across spheres, effective intergovernmental relations, and stability of the management system.
A second attribute is the state's technical capacity, with the ability to translate broad objectives into programmes and projects and to ensure their implementation.
In 2009 the ANC met in an Alliance National Conference to consider the review of the performance of government over 15 years in office. The review informed us that we needed to improve the functioning of the state machinery to improve the quality and the speed of service delivery.
The primary intervention was to change the way government was structured. After the 2009 elections, the reconfiguration of government departments to improve performance was completed. It was resolved to establish a Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Department in the Presidency to promote improved performance of government. These had been identified as critical interventions that were required.
The 15-year review of performance of government has its policy roots in the 2008 ANC Medium-Term Strategic Framework, which was adopted both by the 2008 National Executive Committee, NEC, Lekgotla and later by the Cabinet as government's Medium-Term Strategic Framework. The Medium-Term Strategic Framework had a set of Medium-Term Policies which were to guide both the ANC and the government up to 2014. It was this Medium-Term Strategic Framework that gave rise to what we know today as the Ministry of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation.
The ANC's election manifesto of 2009 outlined the intention to reconfigure the state. The manifesto placed the state at the centre of development, and resolved to sharply improve co-ordination and capacity throughout government by means of both a planning entity and a monitoring and evaluation entity within a reconfigured Cabinet system. This, the manifesto outlined, would involve amongst others the establishment of new Ministries.
Chairperson, let me clear up some confusion that has consciously arisen in the minds of certain political parties who wish to conflate the Ministry of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation with the Chapter 9 and 10 Institutions. They suggest that what the Ministry has been established for is already catered for by these institutions that support democracy as set out in the Constitution, especially the Public Service Commission.
Chairperson, the functions of these institutions, including the Public Service Commission, the Auditor-General, you name them, are totally different from the objectives of this Ministry. Chapter 9 and 10 Institutions each have a specific area of focus, and therefore their functions are defined by statutes. In fact, the department has indicated that it will avoid duplication by establishing partnerships with these institutions, the Department of Public Service and Administration, and the Premiers in the provinces, including Parliament where necessary.
The Ministry on the other hand has the crosscutting responsibility of measuring the performance of each department and members of the Executive based on defined and agreed criteria between the President and members of the Executive. The ANC, when undertaking reconfiguration of the state, always looks at best practice, and considerable time was spent on this exercise prior to the establishment of the Ministry in January 2010.
International best practice in monitoring and evaluation experience globally demonstrates the following. Firstly, monitoring and evaluation have changed the culture of line Ministries. Then, they change the behaviour and attitude of public managers, in that they see the need to better understand and think through their actions based on desired results. Moreover, they enhance organised civil society and lead to greater transparency in Ministries. Civil society also actively participate in their government and, in our case, this is in line with the principles of the Freedom Charter that "(t)he people shall govern".
President Mandela once said that even the most benevolent of governments were made up of people capable of human failures. That was why the checks and balances were necessary to ensure it was not left to the whims of individual rulers. Accountability lay at the heart of our democratic process of government.
Hon members, Parliament referred Budget Vote No 6 to the Standing Committee on Appropriations. However, they had also to confer with other Portfolio Committees. Initially there were teething problems in regard to co-ordinating these meetings, but in the end the committees came together and compiled a report which has been presented to Parliament.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank hon members, not only members of the Standing Committee on Appropriations, but those members that we worked with, that is, the Portfolio Committee on Provincial and Local Government, and the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration, who really worked tirelessly to produce the report. The ANC supports the Budget Vote. Thank you. [Applause.]
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
Mr E M SOGONI
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: Hon Chairperson, I would like to convey the DA's deepest condolences to the Sisulu family on the loss of Mama Albertina Sisulu. I will do that formally and more appropriately tomorrow afternoon.
Hon Minister, improved service delivery is key to addressing the legacy of the past, where certain communities were forgotten and had to endure a miserable existence of disadvantage and neglect. This is precisely why it is the responsibility of this government to prioritise delivery above politics. A responsible postapartheid government is one that delivers and that is accountable to all the people of our nation.
We recognise and respect this enormous responsibility. This is why we support any feasible initiative that seeks to promote proper service delivery through monitoring and evaluation.
Ek moet ongelukkig sê dat in dié geval is die doeltreffendheid van hierdie departement en die ministerie gelykstaande aan 'n olifant wat 'n muis gebaar het.
Never before has so much fanfare and hype around the creation of a new department - first "mothballed" in the Presidency, and then given semi-standalonestatus since April 2011 - delivered so little.
Monitoring and evaluation, and the success thereof, are based on authentic oversight, and identification and measurement of deficiencies, whereafter proactive steps are taken to address the challenges that constrain the desired outcomes.
Until 1 June 2011 this portfolio did not once receive oversight, and nor was it held to account, despite its promulgation in January 2010. The last-minute referral of the department's strategic plans to the appropriation committee on 23 May 2011, with a request for conferral with the Portfolio Committees on Public Service and Administration and on Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, is a blight on the sincerity and commitment of this Parliament to proper oversight and accountability.
Let me define how important oversight and accountability are in a constitutional democracy. I will make use of important historical definitions from some developed democracies, as well as important domestic opinions in this regard.
John Stuart Mill, a British utilitarian philosopher, insisted that oversight was the key feature of a meaningful representative body, and I quote:
The proper office of a representative assembly is to watch and control the government.
As a young scholar, the future United States President, Woodrow Wilson, equated oversight with lawmaking, which was usually seen as the supreme function of a legislature, and I quote again:
Quite as important as legislation is vigilant oversight of administration.
James Madison, regarded as the father of the American constitution, described the system as establishing:
... subordinate distribution of power, where the constant aim is to divide and arrange the several offices in such a manner that each may be a check on the other.
In case these examples seem somewhat esoteric, let me use two local definitions and I quote:
Parliament's priority constitutional function is to legislate. Yes but legislation is not worth the paper it is written on unless Parliament also exercises its constitutional function and scrutinizes the implementation of our laws and the actions of the executive in bringing the law to life in the communities.
This was said by hon Joan Fubbs, ANC Member of Parliament, in a Parliamentary debate in June 2008 entitled, "Oversight is an instrument of accountability that underpins policy implementation and provision of services in a peoples democracy".
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the Deputy President of South Africa, hon Kgalema Motlanthe, had this to say about oversight and accountability at the annual Association of Public Accounts Committees conference in September 2009, and I quote:
There is a global trend towards greater openness in governments' financial management, and around the world there are calls to strengthen public accountability and to re-examine how transparency and good governance can best be achieved.
He went further to say and I quote:
Research shows that societies in which accountability is an integral way of life will experience higher levels of confidence on the part of the electorate, business, organised labour and investors in its system of government.
This illustrates that there is unanimity that effective oversight and accountability enhance service delivery and promote transparency and trust.
Mr Minister, why has this department flattered only to deceive? Why should the President be moved to say on 15 May 2011, just four days before the local government elections and more than two years after his election as President, that his door-to-door electioneering in some of the poorest communities over the past three months had exposed an ugly side of South Africa that government officials did not mention in their service delivery reports to him? He also said that he now understood why communities were protesting.
Is it simply a case of none so blind, or is it because your Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation is not doing its job properly?
The fact that the ministerial performance agreements of Ministers with one outcome, such as Health and Education, and those with multiple outcomes with relevant agreed high-level outputs and measurable metrics for these outcomes are not made public and that there was such a delay in signing them, without any discernable punitive measures for noncompliance, serve only to emasculate the President. It can be used as a metaphor for this department's poor performance as a whole. Poor delivery, secrecy and lack of accountability have become the hallmarks of this administration and your department. They contrive to undermine the state's ability to deliver appropriate, effective, economic and efficient services.
Why are there no performance agreements with Deputy Ministers, Premiers, MECs, Mayors and executive councillors? Are these positions the preserve of cadres that are offered free-loader status on the gravy train, without any measurable outcomes responsibility? I would suggest that this is one of the main reasons for service delivery failure in our country.
What role do the Public Finance Management Act and the Local Government: Municipal Finance Management Act play in the responsibility and accountability chain in your department's role of monitoring and evaluation? Are the prescripts of noncompliance ever applied when responsible authorities are found wanting with regard to the so-called outcomes-orientated assessment methodology of your so-called department?
You will detect more than a hint of derision in my contribution up until now, but this is built on the frustration that your department and that of the Presidency have to date escaped any kind of meaningful oversight, and thus have a questionable accountability track record, which infiltrates the rest of government.
This was monumentally reinforced last week by what can at best be described as an oversight charade, where notice of a meeting to consider your department's strategic plan came at the last minute, and this was exacerbated by a lack of accompanying documents. The chairperson of that committee stands here today and tries to justify the fact that one meeting, which started late, considered the strategic plan of your department in an hour or so!
Yindlalo le iqhubeka apha.
You cannot have oversight over a proper department in just over an hour!
Your departmental task under your leadership is to conduct oversight, monitoring and evaluation of national line function departments and the other two spheres of government. Your mandate is somewhat simplified by the fact that the monitoring and evaluation function is reduced to 12 priority delivery areas. However, even this refined area of monitoring and evaluation is compromised by the fact that all the responsible people over whom you conduct oversight and monitoring do not have performance agreements. Simply put, you can't monitor and manage, if you can't measure performance against a public commitment.
How can this department ask that Parliament and the people of our country take its work seriously, when it presided over the National Youth Development Agency's, NYDA, hosting of a state-sponsored totalitarian youth festival? This entity reports directly to you and to date you have yet to express yourself on this calamitous youth festival. You have ducked all questions about this embarrassing jamboree, by hiding behind the fact that Cabinet is yet to consider and express itself on the outcomes of this festival. Why should Cabinet express itself on the outcomes of a festival held by the National Youth Development Agency that you are responsible for?
Why should Cabinet express an opinion about something that you are directly responsible for? Why should Cabinet express an opinion about the spending of R100 million? Why did the Lotteries Board fall over itself to fund this farcical conference, when other important community service organisations that are truly outcomes-focused, have to wait years for a response, let alone funding?
How does this administration intend to convince us that it is committed to improving delivery and preventing the conflation of party and state, when the President has yet to sign the Local Government: Municipal Systems Amendment Bill? The President is yet to sign that Bill because they want to first appoint municipal managers after this election and then sign the Bill after those municipal managers have been appointed.
Your department strikes me as nothing more than a duplication of what line function departments, the Public Service Commission, the Auditor-General's office, the Presidency and the Offices of the Premiers are supposed to do. This is not to mention independent nongovernmental organisations that assess service delivery and governance issues, such as the Public Service Accountability Monitor and others.
Your department's budget has seen a year-on-year increase of 53%, your staff compliment is set to reach 200 warm bodies, and yet we are experiencing an escalation of service delivery protests. The question that must be asked is: Why are the service delivery protests escalating, if your department is improving delivery?
You say that your department won't set up its own or duplicate evaluation systems, and that you intend working with existing agencies to monitor and evaluate performance outcomes versus outputs. Commitment, compliance and co-operation from these agencies are very important variables that will determine your success in this regard.
Provinces and departmental heads will also have to show an appetite to have their own provinces and departments assessed. Lack of delivery, coupled with corruption, are inhibiting factors and could be counterintuitive, with the worst kind of unintended consequences. Provinces like the one I come from will most certainly not willingly expose their delivery shortcomings at the cost of public exposure.
Abasoze babhentsise, eMpuma Koloni; abasoze.
An example of how difficult your task will be in this regard is the Internal Complaints Directorate of the South African Police Service. The Internal Complaints Directorate occupies the most hated status in the Police Force and it has been the genesis of Hollywood movies over years, in that evaluating your own is the most difficult thing to do. If you have no proper appetite for it, it will yield no results.
This situation is exacerbated by the fact that our President himself has shown an intense aversion to the glare of public scrutiny. The manner in which the intended secrecy legislation, in the guise of the Protection of Information Bill, has been railroaded through Parliament, despite the fact that it flies in the face of the prescripts of its predecessor legislation, the Promotion of Access to Information Act, is a salutary reminder that the ANC regime says one thing, but means something entirely different.
The classification of crucial documentation that would enable proper monitoring and evaluation will be the unintended consequence of this draconian legislation. What's more, you will come up against corrupt cadres that will not want you sniffing around their middens, their corruption middens, people like Nceba Faku, who exhorted ANC supporters to, "Tshisa i-Herald, tshisa!" Or are they going to say "Tshisa, u-Chabane, tshisa!" or "Tshisa i-DPME, tshisa!"?
Ngoba abazi kufuna ukubhentsisa aba bantu.
The DPME must also be honest with itself and the public, and when it encounters good service delivery, according to your prescripts, it should be given the necessary recognition.
Mr H T MAGAMA: Chair, on a point of order: Is it Parliamentary for an hon member to threaten another member, to speak of to "tshisa"?
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr J D Thibedi): I will make a ruling during the process of the sitting. Proceed, hon member.
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION: I hope I will have protection regarding my time, because it is certainly not Parliamentary to exhort people to "tshisa, tshisa".
Where we encounter good delivery, we must recognise it. The President of this country was affronted by the fact that DA-led administrations had won national awards. We must not shy away from ...
... into entle intle; into embi imbi. [Kwaqhwatywa.]
Finally, this department has stated its commitment to improving efficiency and eliminating wastage. However, the actual work of this department is duplicating what line function departments should be doing and if there were proper oversight of each and every line function department, in all three spheres of government, your department would be redundant. So, far from streamlining the process of delivery, you are in effect adding an additional, unaffordable bureaucratic layer.
This is combined with the fact that you continue to grow the funding for the NYDA, without any tangible or visible outcomes in regard to the state of the unemployed youth of our country, and with the fact that there are at least four other government units established to reduce the level of corruption. This all speaks of spending without the necessary integrity and desired outcomes.
What, for example, are the roles of the Anticorruption Interministerial Committee, the Anticorruption Group, the Anticorruption Unit and the Multiagency Working Group, if your department is a fully functional unit that assesses outcomes according to budget? I will tell you - despite all of these so-called corruption busting units and your own department's lofty ideals, ...
...imali isehla ngemilenze.
Corruption continues to make poor people poorer.
Mr Sogoni talked about a developmental state. He said that developmental state-orientated budgetary processes improve the lives of the poor. I want to give you two examples that illustrate just how poor management and poor implementation impact on mitigating development and improving poor people's lives.
The first one is the Expanded Public Works Programme, EPWP, that is supposed to create jobs, and is run by the Department of Public Works. They spent only 59% of the EPWP budget during the last financial year. Secondly, let me mention just one project in the Department of Health. They had to pay R254 million in interest, for a late payment to a supplier of a hospital in Soweto. This kind of management and lack of monitoring and evaluation will keep poor people poorer.
In conclusion, let me say that despite the Minister's honouring our party with the very important acronym for delivery agreement, the DA cannot support this budget because we see no value in your department today. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr L RAMATLAKANE
The LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
Mr L RAMATLAKANE: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, hon members, I rise on behalf of Cope to offer some comments regarding Budget Vote No 6 – Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, which is R75,79 million and will grow to R160,442 million over the Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, MTEF, period.
Over the past two years, since the appointment of the Minister in the Presidency, the committee has been mandated to play a monitoring role. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr J D Thibedi): Order! Hon members, please don't converse aloud.
Mr L RAMATLAKANE: Yes, it is good to have executive oversight; however, it is bad to have an executive having oversight over itself. Our Parliament has adopted an oversight model covering the entire executive, but it has struggled to allocate a committee to this function.
Chairperson, at the outset let me say that Cope supports the monitoring and evaluation of government programmes. However, we want to see value for money across the board. It is imperative that progress should be measured and that the required quality is attained. It is our collective task to measure the allocated budget against the expected timelines established. It entails evaluation to be done so that we know where changes should be made and priorities set.
Our Constitution should help us locate this Budget Vote No 6 debate appropriately. Sections 195 and 196 provide mechanisms to monitor and evaluate the work in areas of government, especially section 196(4)(b) where it deals with Public Service Commission. It confirms that its "powers and functions ... are", and I quote:
to investigate, monitor and evaluate the organisation and administration, and the personnel practices, of the public service;
Act 65 of 1998 is instructive in a similar direction.
It is very clear that the function of the Public Service Commission and that of this Ministry are the same. We are concerned about the duplication of functions and budget. Moreover, we are concerned that monitoring and evaluation seems to be personnel-driven rather than system-driven.
As we speak, the departments are still battling to define clearly measurable objectives, thereby making evaluation a difficult task. As we debate this budget, personnel in the Public Service are still lagging behind with compliance. Whether we look at the issue of the Director-General and the non-signing of a performance agreement, or we look at the Ministers, who have to enforce compliance, we still see noncompliance.
The Auditor-General's Report, which has been tabled, makes provision for monitoring and evaluation to achieve optimal value for money.
When you look closely at whether the Minister in the Presidency: Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, as well as Administration in the Presidency has the power to enforce compliance, the answer is no. Instead, the department will refer its assessments and findings to other agencies.
We are very worried that what may seem to be a system driven by processes may just become a top-heavy, personnel and human-driven system, which is bloated, and increases current expenditure with its high costs. We can't help asking this question: Where is the origin of this model? We are aware that there are no clear guidelines, and that norms and standards are yet to be developed.
We are worried that the Ministry is not vocal when service delivery in Education falls apart, and that when the Education Department in the Eastern Cape drops thousands of learners without transport, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation is silent. We are yet to hear what has happened about the thousands of call centre complaints that have been submitted.
The country's data system remains a challenge at local, provincial and national level. Statistics are not up to date and not accurate. This causes confusion.
The possibility of conflicting results from the Public Service Commission and Performance Monitoring and Evaluation is clear. If this happened in Parliament, Members of Parliament would be left horrified.
To end off, let me say that we must make a call for government to reconsider whether money will be well spent by expansion or whether money would be best deployed towards service delivery. If this is not seriously considered, our people will continue to stamp their feet demanding quality of services.
Cope supports monitoring and a value for money programme. However, we do not support lauding the Public Service for no better result, no improvement in the services and the lives of our people. Thank you.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr J D Thibedi): Hon members, a point of order was put in regard to whether it was parliamentary to ask a Member of Parliament to tshisa or burn something. In fact, the hon member, the Leader of the Opposition, was asking a rhetorical question, which in the context cannot be construed as inciting anyone to burn anything. Therefore, his remarks were not unparliamentary. [Applause.]
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: PERFORMANCE MONITORING AND EVALUATION, AS WELL AS ADMINISTRATION IN THE PRESIDENCY: Chairperson, on your ruling, is there no mechanism to ask me if I felt threatened or not? [Laughter.] What would happen if I felt threatened by what you must consider to be something light, and I were not be able to perform my duties here in the Chamber because another member had incited members to tshisa?
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr J D Thibedi): Order! Hon members, I have made a ruling on the point of order that was raised, and I am saying it was not unparliamentary. I want to say to the hon Minister, the context in which the hon Leader of the Opposition was raising the matter was the basis upon which we arrived at this particular decision. If the Minister feels really threatened there are channels that can be followed to take the matter further, but for now the ruling stands. [Laughter.]
Mr N SINGH
Mr L RAMATLAKANE
Mr N SINGH: Chairperson, thank you. I certainly don't feel threatened standing here before this committee.
Chairperson, the hon Sogoni referred to the national democratic revolution. I agree. I agree that what we need is a revolution. We need a revolution that promotes a work ethic and accountability within the state machinery. The implementation of that lies squarely on the shoulders of the hon Minister and this department. It is a heavy responsibility, but it is one that they have to undertake.
The hon Minister also spoke about education being a priority. I think all of us were saddened – and this comes to monitoring and evaluation – when we saw on national television the kind of things that are happening in KwaDukuza, where three people were killed, allegedly through police brutality. I mean, this reminds one of 1976 and the Soweto riots.
I think, hon Minister, monitoring and evaluation must also include monitoring and evaluating of the work of the Independent Complaints Directorate and the way they investigate complaints against policemen.
When this department was created, we supported Budget Vote 6. We supported the creation of this department. We still do, because we believe it has a useful purpose in the South African context. It has a complementary role that it needs to play to support other departments. However, we believe that it must not take away the roles and responsibilities that every other department or municipality has. What we would like to see are norms and standards being established so that Premiers and Ministers responsible for local government can compel – because the Constitution allows you to do that, hon Minister – other departments to perform.
We've got the Deputy Auditor-General in the House. What we don't want to see, hon Chair and hon Minister, is reports like these coming up. I have a report here – a report of the Auditor-General on an investigation into certain alleged procurement irregularities at the Department of Water Affairs. Now, we are getting this increasingly. Municipal managers are not performing. Managers in departments at provincial and national level are not performing. While we monitor and evaluate what they do, it doesn't take rocket science to indicate to us that toilets are not being built properly or schools are not being constructed properly, like in the Western Cape and Mpumalanga, was it? The Free State, or some other area.
What is imperative for us as government ... [Interjections.] When their conversation is over I'll carry on, Chair.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Mr J D Thibedi): Order! Order! Proceed, hon member. Please go on.
Mr N SINGH: Thank you, Chair. I hope I get injury time and you yellow card those two hon members!
What is required is an indication of what happens after it is detected that an official or officials have not been performing.
Yesterday, the hon President was in the Eastern Cape, and so were you, and you looked very nice and we heard you on TV. We heard the President berating certain teachers. What will happen to those teachers? Next year you will find that that ordinary teacher has been promoted to the post of principal somewhere. You find a director-general of one department that he or she has messed up being promoted to another department. What we need to do is ensure that we focus on what happens after we find that these people are not fulfilling their responsibilities.
It is also a matter of concern – but not for the Minister – that Parliament has not, as yet, put an oversight committee in place. It is quite ironic that this department is called Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, and yet there is no parliamentary committee to monitor and evaluate the department.
On 20 April last year the Speaker of Parliament and the Chair of Chairs, who was sitting here earlier, wrote to all of us. They wanted a multiparty committee to be put in place to look at an oversight committee over the Presidency. A year has gone by and nothing has happened. Parliament is failing in its duty to ensure that we hon members have oversight over all departments and all committees.
We are a bit concerned that there is a lack of resources for this department, because the hon Minister needs resources. Through the Chair, you need manpower, hon Minister. If you want to monitor, you need manpower, and we hope that Treasury is able to ensure that more funds are provided to this department.
In conclusion and through the Chair, I agree with you, hon Minister, that good intentions are not enough. We need to take action, drastic action, against people who think that working for the state is like having a holiday. They come to work, go to sleep, and that is the end of the day for them.
We will support this Vote. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: PERFORMANCE MONITORING AND EVALUATION, AS WELL AS ADMINISTRATION IN THE PRESIDENCY
Mr N SINGH
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: PERFORMANCE MONITORING AND EVALUATION, AS WELL AS ADMINISTRATION IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon Chairperson, chairpersons of the committees, hon Minister, Collins Chabane, hon members, distinguished guests, the Director-General, DG, senior officials of the department, comrades and friends, I'm pleased and honoured to be part of the first budget since the inception of the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, as well as Administration in the Presidency. May I also take this opportunity to thank the Minister for welcoming me into the department.
President Jacob Zuma has commanded us to be the engine in his endeavour to change how government works. Indeed, as a Ministry and a department we have taken this mandate very seriously. In the past few months I have been visiting different provinces and state institutions to brief them and explain to them our mandate and solicit their support in building a better society. I must say that the support and enthusiasm have been overwhelming. I will deal with the outcomes of my visits in detail later in my address.
As the Minister said, June has been declared Youth Month, and it is very significant for us to present our Budget Vote during this month as the Ministry which is also responsible for youth affairs. This year's Youth Month is being celebrated under the theme, "Youth Action for Economic Freedom in our Lifetime".
Sir, 16 June 1976 remains an unforgettable milestone in our country's struggle for national liberation, because the youth of that time unequivocally expressed their preparedness to dedicate their lives to the liberation of South Africa. The youth of our country took to the streets against the unjust policies of the past. Most importantly, they were struggling for a single, free and compulsory education for all. The youth of 1976, filled with a conviction of wanting to build a democratic, nonracist and nonsexist South Africa belonging to all who live in it protested against the white apartheid regime and the then status quo. This year marks the 35th anniversary of the 16 June 1976 Soweto and other related uprisings.
Today's youth activism is directed towards successfully combating poverty, unemployment, underdevelopment and HIV/Aids. While the youth of 1976 fought for freedom and the creation of a democratic state, today's youth are focused on building the country's and their own personal economic development.
As Minister Chabane mentioned earlier, we have received quarterly reports on key results and challenges that require changes and interventions. This is based on our successful implementation of our outcomes approach. We are indeed confident that we are making good progress and that the challenges we face are not insurmountable. Cabinet has considered the first set of reports on the outcomes.
On frontline service delivery monitoring, allow me to focus on the key mandate of this government, which is service delivery with a special focus on and attention to frontline service delivery monitoring. For the past year we have largely been focused on the outcomes approach, but we have recently started to put more focus on frontline service delivery monitoring.
The aim of frontline service delivery monitoring is both to affirm good performance and to assist departments, municipalities and entities to improve service delivery points which are performing poorly. Collecting information directly from users of government services and from service delivery points is crucial for government to continuously verify if it is meeting the expectations of citizens and to identify where government is doing well and where improvements are needed.
Again, we are implementing this mandate in close co-operation with the Offices of the Premiers, which monitor frontline service delivery at provincial level, and the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, which monitors municipalities.
Our frontline service delivery monitoring programme has two elements in it. First, there are visits by government officials to service delivery points to assess the state of delivery and engage with civil society to develop a structured approach for citizen-based monitoring of frontline service delivery.
Although this takes the form of surprise visits, we also engage with the management of the service delivery points both before and after visits. The aim is to provide them with useful toolkits to monitor and improve delivery of services.
Examples of services to be monitored include home affairs, social grants, municipal services, vehicle licensing, police, and health services. The focus of the monitoring is on the targets relating to service delivery quality in the Outcome 12 Delivery Agreement, namely customer satisfaction, unit cost of services, and other customer-oriented indicators, such as waiting time in queues and response times.
Both we as a department and the Premiers' Offices are currently training officials to carry out these assessments. In this regard we have developed a number of assessment tools to be used by monitors. These include questionnaires and checklists which we are currently piloting in provinces and in national departments, as the Minister has indicated.
The President and various Ministers have been visiting, and will continue to visit, institutions such as hospitals, schools and police stations on an ongoing basis. One of the examples is the visit that we undertook to the Eastern Cape yesterday, where we were monitoring schools.
Since my appointment to this portfolio I have started to undertake unannounced visits to service delivery sites such as hospitals, early childhood development facilities, Thusong service centres and municipalities. The visits include interaction with political leaders, officials and citizens at service delivery points.
When we visited KwaZulu-Natal we found that there was a nerve centre that tracked service delivery in the province. The centre has a dashboard which indicates where there is progress and where there are challenges. In Mpumalanga and in the Free State we also found that there are already monitoring nerve centres.
We also made an unannounced visit to Northdale Hospital in Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal, KZN. Patients and staff shared their challenges and experiences where services are rendered, and how services are rendered. However, what was heartening for me was that our people understand that government is now working harder and faster. Patients even had suggestions on how we could improve service delivery, which confirms the ANC's slogan and I quote, "Working together we can build better communities."
So far we have visited six provinces, and I want to say that on Wednesday next week we are visiting the Western Cape. The commitment shown by the provincial leadership in ensuring that the Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation, PME, becomes a systemic culture of this ANC government is indeed encouraging. In this regard the department is supporting the President in his hands-on monitoring programme and interactive approach. Therefore, the President and this government of the ANC must be appreciated. [Applause.]
Turning to citizen-based monitoring, citizens have a right to decent standards of service and have a responsibility themselves to hold government accountable through providing credible information about the quality of service, both good and bad. This is true to the spirit and letter of the Freedom Charter where it says, and I quote: "The people shall govern."
The information collected by citizens should be fed back to service delivery departments both to affirm good practice and to advocate improved services. In many countries governments have worked with nongovernmental organisations, NGOs, and community-based organisations, CBOs, to facilitate citizen-based monitoring, which involves developing the monitoring instruments to be implemented by citizens employed by NGOs and CBOs.
We have ourselves recently initiated discussions with the community advocacy and monitoring project of the South African Social Security Agency and the Black Sash regarding the expansion of similar citizen-based service delivery monitoring initiatives in South Africa, and we intend to take this work forward over the coming year.
Our department is currently working with other departments and spheres of government to address issues raised with the President by citizens through the presidential hotline, and face to face with the President and us, in Balfour, Bekkersdal, Umzimkhulu, Sweet Waters, Madelakufa, Mthatha, Libode, Bethlehem, Mossel Bay and Struis Bay. The list continues.
In addition, we are in the process of establishing an African monitoring and evaluation learning network, which will be kick-started with an African conference on monitoring and evaluation, M and E, later this year, in conjunction with some other academic institutions and other international organisations. The conference will be attended by officials from other African countries which are implementing or planning to implant performance monitoring and evaluation initiatives similar to those being implemented by us in this country.
On issues raised by the President in his state of the nation address, government has declared 2011 a year of job creation. In his state of the nation address President Jacob Zuma indicated that this department must provide a report on the filling of vacant funded posts within six months, and monitor the work of government departments with regard to job creation. This work is under way, and I'm pleased to report that.
We are working with the Department of the Public Service and Administration, DPSA, on the filling of vacant funded posts. We have done a situational assessment which gives us a picture of what interventions are required. In summary, the results to date indicate that government as a whole has made very good progress in filling vacant funded posts.
In conclusion, with regard to monitoring job creation we have been working closely with the Department of Economic Development to put in place a range of mechanisms to monitor the impact of the state on job creation. We are also working with Statistics South Africa, which collects information from the private sector on its job creation. We are confident that we will be able to give a comprehensive report in August this year.
I would also like just quickly to say something. Probably I should say it in my own language so that I can say it better.
Loko Presidente Jacob Zuma a sungula Ndzawulo ya Vulanguteri bya Matirhelo na Nkambelo ku katsa na Mafambiselo eHofisini ya Presidente miehleketo ya yena na mfumo wa ANC a yi ri ku endla leswaku ku antswisiwa vukorhokeri eAfrika Dzonga. Ndzi swi teka kuri ku rhandza tiko ra yena ra Afrika Dzonga. Vanhu va Afrika Dzonga va fanele ku n'wi seketela na ku hi seketela hikuva i mfumo wo sungula wa ANC eAfrika Dzonga ku ta na Ndzawulo leya Vulanguteri bya Matirhelo na Nkambelo ku katsa na Mafambiselo eHofisini ya Presidente leyi lavaka ku voniwa hi mani na mani, ku lwa na vanhu lava nga endleki ntirho, ku lwa na vanhu lava nga na vukungundzwani, ku antswisa mitirho na ku hundzula vutomi bya vanhu va Afrika Dzonga.
Ndzi tshemba leswku mihlangano leyin'wana leyi nga kona eAfrika Dzonga yi ta n'wi seketela President Jacob Zuma na mfumo wa ANC.[Va ba mavoko.]
Chairperson, let me lastly take this opportunity to pay my respects to our stalwart, Ma Sisulu, who taught us to be what we are as the ANC. She taught us to be transparent, and that we must be transparent, as we are. She also taught us to deliver service to the people, and to deliver that service to the people of South Africa with pride and dignity.
Let me also take this opportunity to thank the President, my colleagues in the Executive, the Minister, Collins Chabane, and the entire team in the department and the Presidency, as well as my family, for supporting me at all times. Thank you very much, Chairperson. [Applause.]
Mrs J M MALULEKE
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: PERFORMANCE MONITORING AND EVALUATION, AS WELL AS ADMINISTRATION IN THE PRESIDENCY
Mrs J M MALULEKE: Thank you, Chairperson. Hon Minister in the Presidency, hon Deputy Minister, hon members, comrades and distinguish guests, at its 52nd National Conference in Polokwane the ANC noted that state machinery needed co-ordination and integration to deliver on its commitments. The conference recommended greater monitoring and evaluation of performance by various government departments in an ongoing manner.
There is a legitimate expectation from the electorate, and society as a whole, that our government will deliver on its promises. In an emerging democracy like ours the huge inequalities and the legacy of racial discrimination need strong monitoring systems to ensure that our public sector is able to perform its functions for a better life for all our people.
In his state of the nation address President Jacob Zuma declared 2011 a year of job creation. The President recognised growing levels of unemployment and poverty. This commitment necessitates co-ordination and monitoring of efforts to create jobs within government.
When the ANC government reconfigured the Cabinet structure, the main goal was to deliver on our 2009 election manifesto to ensure the implementation of five key priorities. I won't name them, as all of us know them.
This commitment seeks to strengthen the public sector and ensure that it delivers in order to meet the needs of the majority of our poor people. In this regard a performance-based public sector is critical. We need to ensure the evaluation of the developmental impact of programmes implemented by government. We must consolidate and resolve to build a performance-orientated public sector. This structure has to ensure that we have Public Service delivery that is effective and efficient to fulfil the whole mandate we received from our electorate.
Indeed, this structure has already had a positive impact on the effectiveness of various government departments. We have recently witnessed a number of developments in government in an attempt to improve the performance of the public sector.
Hina lava hi tshamaka emakaya ha swi vona kambe lava tshamaka emadorobeni a va swi voni. Eka Ndzawulo ya Maphorisa, leswi u nga bela mani kumbe mani riqingho wa vatshami va Mathibestad ku tiyisa u ta ku byela leswaku loko u pfula nandzu hungu ro koma, SMS, ri ku sala endzhaku ku ku nyika nomboro ya nandzu lowu u nga wu mangala na ku ku nyika vito ra phorisa leri nga khoma nandzu wa wena.
Vanhu va le ematikoxikaya, lava va nga riki na mali, a va hamba va tsutsumatsutsuma ku lava pasi. A va tlhela va famba hi tihofisi to hambana ku ya kamba. Namuntlha a va ha tsutsumi na tona. Ndzawulo ya Timhaka ta Xikaya yi rhumela SMS kuku tivisa leswaku pasi ra wena ri amukeriwile naswona u fanele ku tlhelela u ya ri teka hi siku rihi. A wa ha tsutsumi. U famba u ri karhi u swi tiva leswaku pasi ra wean ri kona. Hi swin'wana leswi swi hi kombaka leswaku hakunene tindzawulo ti antswisiwle.
We have recently witnessed a number of developments in government in an attempt to improve the performance of the public sector. These in the main involve the entrenchment of the outcomes approach in order to improve the performance of the state, with a particular focus on the key priorities.
We believe that in the outcomes approach there are some weaknesses involving: a lack of focus in government; challenges in interdepartmental co-ordination; and weaknesses in planning and implementation. It seems that the outcomes-based approach is not a short-term programme. Part of the purpose is to transform the state into a results-orientated institution with the task of delivering to the majority of our people.
The postapartheid state has a relationship with the majority of the poor people and workers, but this relationship should not be taken for granted. It should not be reduced to a one-way relationship of service delivery to the mass of the people. The state is another site of the struggle for power in order to meet electoral mandates. In this regard the electorate is not made up of passive people waiting for delivery from the state. Rather there must be interpenetration of ideas between the state and the people to advance transformation.
That is why for us planning, coordination, interventions and management practices in government should be informed by the consistently changing needs of our people in order to ensure mutual implementation. While we need to build state capacity to deliver on its mandate, we must equally build the capacity of the electorate to take charge of their destiny.
The state of the nation address committed government to ensuring that its identified targets are met through the oversight role of this department. We welcome the emphasis on accountability and monitoring systems, including performance agreements between the President and the Ministers. We also note that the Department of the Public Service and Administration is driving a process to ensure effective and results-orientated performance. We hope this initiative will lead to greater accountability for poor performance.
We need to improve our expenditure to ensure value for money. Public resources should be spent on appropriate projects for the purpose of changing society in order to have a better life for all.
In this regard administration throughout government departments needs to be strengthened with regard to their mandates and responsibilities. Improving human resource and management development is necessary, as proposed in the state of the nation address. The address made it clear that there would be monitoring of the process of filling vacant posts in government, and of performance and the nature of training. Gaps and weaknesses at administrative level, such as a lack of human and financial resources, tend to have a negative impact on the oversight role and integrated public performance.
The department acknowledges this reality, as it has made a submission to the National Treasury for increased funding to enable the employment of staff to engage in monitoring of the performance of individual departments and municipalities, and this refers particularly the Public Sector Administration Oversight Branch.
We must ensure integrated public performance data systems for efficiency and good governance. Various departments at all levels - local, provincial and national - should develop their performance management system in a manner that encourages smooth monitoring and improved outcome. Linked to this is the involvement of other stakeholders, in partnership with government, in promoting efficient services.
We believe that initiatives like these will help the state to build a caring society. Such a state should continually implement integrated antipoverty programmes, and the integration of all communities in economic activities.
Indeed, integrated approaches should ensure that the state has the capacity to fight crime and corruption. This is not to suggest that the crime and corruption challenge is unique to the public sector. There are perceptions of corruption and lack of accountability and transparency in the private sector, and those institutions receive funding from the state.
However, if we should pay less attention to other sectors of society, then we are running the risk of not achieving our national democratic society. This is because different sectors would be likely to pull in different directions in society.
In conclusion, the relevance of the monitoring and evaluation of performance is beyond doubt. There is a need for more resources for this department in order for it to carry out its mandate for a better life for all our people. We must also monitor the performance of those who claim to have autonomy and freedom, and ask them to be accountable, because they represent our national assets, which are meant to serve our communities. There are key tasks requiring the budget of this department to grow. As the ANC we support Budget Vote No 6 on Performance Monitoring and Evaluation. Thank you, Chair.
Mr S L TSENOLI
Mrs J M MALULEKE
Mr S L TSENOLI: Chairperson and hon members, thank you very much. Let me start this way. Minister, this is the clearest expression of what the Constitution means when it says the three spheres are interrelated and interdependent, yet distinct. For me the clearest rationale for the existence of this department in the Presidency is to give practical expression to that view. In other words, the Constitution is a guide to how we as a government must behave politically and organisationally.
When the Constitution calls for co-operative governance, it wants that in practice, and of those of us who may have been worried about duplication and overlaps, I ask this question. How do you manage interdependency? How do you manage this interrelatedness, except through dialogue, constant continuous discussion and debate? This is the mechanism through which you do that. In my humble opinion, sir, you are doing that.
Secondly, stating the problems inside departments is really not original. This is what we do in our committees on a regular basis. It is not fresh intellectually, and it does not enhance dealing with those problems.
The department in its documentation identifies what it calls risks. For example, it discusses "buy in", and some people may not want to buy into what we are doing. They may not implement the recommendations that are made. The results of research and evidence given to them may not lead to improvements. These are the risks. But there are proposed solutions to these kinds of problems.
Hon Trollip makes an interesting observation about an example in the SAPS, and says that the people there are not interested in monitoring themselves and self-correcting. At the same time he says that there is no need for an external bureaucratic structure – why do we need such a structure to do that from the outside? That is strange logic. I would have thought that this was precisely why we need others' eyes to look at what we are doing ourselves, for greater improvement and so on.
You also can't say that the Protection of Information Bill is being railroaded. They now call it the Secrecy Bill! How is it being railroaded, in other words, been rushed through? Those are public hearings by a properly constituted ad hoc committee of Parliament to consider those issues, listen to views and so on. Strangely, he wants the Municipal Systems to be railroaded by the President. Hurry it, and sign it fast! [Interjections.]
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: It's been passed. Get your facts right.
Mr S L TSENOLI: When you intervene with your views about what you think may not have gone right, the President has the responsibility to listen to you, to give you a chance to express yourself, and if he is convinced, to take your views on board. If he is not convinced, he will reject them and proceed to do what he would have done anyway. In other words, this is correct for the President. Even when others raise concerns about a Bill that has gone through Parliament, he must pause to listen, because this administration has said it operates democratically; it believes in dialogue, even with those it disagrees with, and also with those it claims to represent. That is an appropriate approach. A responsible government does that, sir.
Those of us who come from the civic movement, abahlali, are particularly excited, Deputy Minister, that you will introduce mechanisms for citizen-based monitoring and evaluation to give real qualitative input into how people experience government on a regular basis. In other words, when we record progress, it must be progress as experienced by people, not by numbers that we tick off on a checklist. That is a very great initiative. This is one of the reasons why we as the ANC agree fully with the establishment of this department.
The speed with which the department is emerging is not surprising to us. A good gardener does not pull seedlings from the soil to see what progress they are making in growing their roots. [Laughter.] A good gardener is patient, attacks the weeds, gets rid of them, and improves the richness of the soil for the seedling to grow stronger. My former Premier, Winkie Direko, who is a former Member of Parliament, used to say to me: "My son, hurry slowly, hurry slowly." The Swahili say it differently, "Haraka, haraka haena Baraka." Rush, rush has no luck.
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: I can't believe you just watered the weeds!
Mr S L TSENOLI: On a daily basis Parliament in the various committees is engaged in precisely this monitoring and evaluation of the departments that we are in, including members of the opposition in those departments, to try to find out whether they are making the impact they said they would and, if not, how they are implementing the recommended solutions from other monitoring departments and so on.
We particularly appreciate the fact that the Auditor-General, Statistics SA and other similar institutions, especially the Office of the Public Service Commission for example, gather significant evidence, although this is not often put together in ways that can have immediate impact. So, we are hoping that your department, pulling together lessons drawn from that evidence, will lead in bringing improvements in the running of departments.
We are particularly excited because the departments that we are responsible for, such as the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, interact with provinces and municipalities, so their own state of health must reflect the kind of health we would like to see in the provinces and municipalities. The work that is going to be done by your department, sir, aims to deal with exactly that.
We are pleased about this mechanism of the President who incidentally, if I might state the blindingly obvious, is responsible for the co-ordination of all the Ministries he has appointed. We elected him to do that. So, it was correct that he should not only depend on the departments and Ministries that he has created in specific sectors, but that he should have a mechanism over and above the work they are doing to monitor and help bring out and tease out those interdependencies and interrelatedness issues that often fall between the cracks and that will improve the quality of impact on the ground.
We appreciate that and therefore we will support this Budget Vote, not only rhetorically here, but in practice in collaboration with you, as we mobilise abahlali in all the townships of the country and the suburbs, wherever we are. This is what we will be agitating for, for them to interact with you to give meaning to the citizen-based monitoring and evaluation system that is in the making.
Ms D KOHLER-BARNARD: We have to fire a few people!
Mr S L TSENOLI: I had the privilege, Comrade Deputy Minister, to be led by uMama Albertina Sisulu as publicist secretary of the United Democratic Front, UDF, in KwaZulu-Natal. One of the most telling lessons that she taught us - we saw it in practice here, and it was another privilege to serve with her in Parliament - was the pleasantness with which she dealt with all of us, including the opposition. Even if she disagreed with anyone, us and others, she was never disagreeable in the manner in which she conducted herself. She acted in the traditions of the best of the ANC that we know of, with whom we had the privilege to serve. [Applause.]
We introduced democracy into this country, and even those who throw barbs at us and suggest that we have the intention of being undemocratic, do so because they assume they will appropriate the democracy that we introduced, and we will watch them. We are delighted that you are joining us, because your version of democracy for the rich and the mighty has not worked. This is why the people's version is what is working and it is going to work.
Minister, let me just make my last comments here, because I think I must sit down now. You correctly argue that compliance by departments and government institutions is not adequate. In other words, there must be a dialectical relationship between compliance and performance. The two must walk as two legs because one cannot work alone.
Complying with the law is an important part of enabling you to be in a better position to perform in regard to what people have expected us to do in each of these departments. We have to pay attention to matters of compliance so that people do what they are asked to do, what they have been employed to do, and also do it according to the interests of the people.
This is why our Constitution calls for both a representative and participatory process of democracy. We appreciate this dialogue, because that is what it is, to improve the quality of management of departments through these assessments and the quality of monitoring the impact of the work of those departments and, finally, of course, to ensure that the mandate of ANC to build better communities sees the light of day. I thank you. [Applause.]
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: PERFORMANCE MONITORING AND EVALUATION, AS WELL AS ADMINISTRATION IN THE PRESIDENCY
Mr S L TSENOLI
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: PERFORMANCE MONITORING AND EVALUATION, AS WELL AS ADMINISTRATION IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon Chairperson and members of the House, you have made very valuable contributions to the work that we are doing. We appreciate the support and encouragement, and the suggestions which have been made. We believe that we will be able to work together as we proceed and go forward. Let me just comment on a few issues which have been raised - just to provide clarity.
My apologies, Chair, if I use wrong titles! I know that in the opposition they have shadows, for example, shadow Minister and so forth. I am not sure if I will be speaking to the shadow President! [Laughter.] If my comment is wrong, please accept my apologies. Let me proceed.
The Leader of the Opposition, hon Trollip, went all over the place. There is very little relating to our work in what he said. Therefore, it is difficult to comment on it. Nevertheless, I also sometimes feel obliged to comment on things, just to clarify issues.
Let me start with the issue of the Bills. I think the House understand how Bills are processed. Parliament pass the Bills and send them to the President for assent, and after that he certifies them, that they are constitutional and legal. If he is not satisfied, he will send them back to Parliament. That process needs to be followed. You can't do that overnight. It takes time for Bills to be processed.
On the question of the Protection of Information Bill, which is now in Parliament, I am not sure how that comes into this debate. It is being debated somewhere and has nothing to do with this portfolio or the Presidency. I don't know how I should respond to this.
With regard to the National Youth Development Agency, NYDA, next week we will be debating it. We are not debating it today - the NYDA does not belong to this debate; it belongs to the Presidency. Next week we will be debating the NYDA, and will respond to the issues raised in that debate.
I agree with issue of the quotations, which took up about 50% of the speech. They are quotations that were made by a wise man and nobody can fault them. Therefore I can't comment further than that.
On the issue of the Premiers and the municipalities, let me start by saying this. You will remember that when we come to Parliament, we elect the President. When we have elected the President, it means that the executive authority lies with him. He then appoints Ministers to have executive authority on his behalf, and they become part of the Executive.
The same thing happens to the Premier after he or she has been elected by the legislature. There is no constitutional link between the President and the Premiers. Premiers have no oversight or authority over Premiers. Premiers are elected by provincial legislatures and they account to the legislatures. It is only in relation to the Appropriation that the provinces must comply with the national laws, so that they do not pass laws or do anything that contradicts the national laws and so on.
In a system like this, where you have spheres of government, the critical part is to emphasise the co-operative governance portion of it. You should ensure that there is a working together and agreement. You therefore work with systems of agreement. The laws passed are sufficient for us to provide a mechanism to work with provinces and municipalities - not in an adversarial manner, but in one which seeks to build a united, coherent state and government. That is what we are doing.
We do not go to provinces to ram anything down their throats. We co-operate with them, hold discussions with them, sit in Minmecs, and ensure that there is understanding. All of them sign documents, showing that they have understood what their roles are. If there are challenges, they come back to us, saying that they think that there will be challenges in a particular area. Their experience tells them that they cannot go this way.
That co-operative type of system is one which will seek to improve the system. Once you implement the performance monitoring and the evaluation system, there should be rewards and sanctions. It doesn't take away any of those, but should be based on an understandable and focused system.
When I was still in the Department of Public Works in Limpopo during the floods in 2000, we got to a place and found that the bridge was washed away and on all sides people were blocked from moving. We tried to make a temporary bridge over the river. One gentleman lost his shoe in the water. He wanted us to go and retrieve it. The river was raging violently. He accused us of not performing, because we could not retrieve his shoe from the river! [Laughter.]
We want to avoid situations like that, where we are all over the place and doing everything. We said at the beginning that we should choose the most critical parts of the things we needed to do, in order to improve the performance of government and service delivery to our people. We should perfect those. Once we could do them perfectly, we were sure that the impact they would have on society would be bigger than trying to do 100 things and ending up doing nothing.
We are going to build this system incrementally. We are not on a short-term mission. We are trying to change how the state functions from there being bureaucrats to there being revocrats. This involves the whole machinery of state, from local government to parastatals and everywhere else, and not just mechanisms, but culture and thinking. It is a major mission. You have to change how people think and how things must be done. As we proceed, we have to take society and everybody on board.
Lastly, we have indicated that for every step we take, we should try to do a pilot project, learn lessons, perfect the system and implement. Our pilot phases should not take too long. We do them quickly in collaboration with other institutions to make sure that we move with speed.
We said on service delivery, with regard to how we respond to the citizenry, that we would pilot it in Home Affairs. That was our pilot project. We are now satisfied that we have learned sufficient lessons. We know what technologies work and what don't. We also know how the system should work. We can now roll it out to other areas where people depend onqueues or the speedy responses of departments. We are getting there.
The Department of Home Affairs won an award from the United Nations for the improvement they had made so far in this short space of time. [Applause.] We are definitely sure that with the steps we are taking, Parliament and society won't regret it. In partnership with you and society out there, we are going to make significant changes and an impact in this country. I thank you. [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Thank you, hon Minister. Members are reminded that there will be a sitting of the National Assembly in the National Assembly Chamber this afternoon at three.
The Committee rose at 11:48.
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