Hansard: NCOP: Questions to the Cluster 3 - Governance
House: National Council of Provinces
Date of Meeting: 14 Oct 2014
No summary available.
NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
14 OCTOBER 2014
TUESDAY, 14 OCTOBER 2014
PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES
The Council met at 14:03.
The House Chairperson: Committees, Co-operative Governance and Intergovernmental Relations (Mr A J Nyambi) took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers or meditation.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr A J Nyambi)
START OF DAY
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES, CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS (Mr A J Nyambi): Order! I have been informed that the Whippery has agreed that there will not be motions. There is an item on the Order Paper that the Acting Chief Whip will now move.
CHANGE TO ORDER PAPER
Mr D STOCK: House Chair, the Whippery has agreed to amend the Order Paper to include as the first item the oration of condolences on the passing of the former leader of the DA in the NCOP and former Chief Whip of the DA in the National Assembly, Mr Armiston “Watty” Watson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES, CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS (Mr A J Nyambi): I think there will not be any problem because this is something that is beyond our control – unless there is a view that is contrary to what has been moved. If we are agreed, it means we will start with orations for a former member and the former Chief Whip of the DA, the late hon Watson. Hon Van Lingen will be the first person to take the podium. [Interjections.] Yes, you can come forward, hon member.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES, CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS (Mr A J Nyambi)
ORATION OF CONDOLENCES ON PASSING OF MR ARMISTON WATSON
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: House Chairperson, members present here today, the DA is deeply saddened by the passing of Armiston “Watty” Watson. “Watty”, as we all knew him, and as he was described by many, was a mensch. He cared for his fellow countrymen and countrywomen. He strived throughout his long and colourful political career to improve the lives of the people of Mpumalanga. Hon Chairperson, you will agree with me that Mpumalanga belonged to him; it was his province, and that you merely came from there. He cared deeply for the people of South Africa.
His political career spanned many decades and he served on many local and district councils. Watty was the leader of the DA in the NCOP, and in 2011 he was appointed Chief Whip of the DA in the National Assembly, where he served until his retirement in May 2014.
He was one of the longest serving and most experienced parliamentarians and will be remembered for his robust political dissertation. He was committed to bringing justice and progress in South Africa. He believed and lived delivery, diversity, reconciliation and redress.
Here in the NCOP, the Chairpersons had to be wide awake on procedures and the Rules of the House. Watty was a man of principle and he expected all those around him to live up to high moral standards. He did not take kindly to mediocrity, nor did he suffer fools gladly. In Watty’s book, right was right – no matter who you were.
Watty always promoted the NCOP as “the other House of Parliament”, as well as its role as the House where all three spheres of government met. Many of the Members of Parliament who have “graduated” from the NCOP to the National Assembly – they have the upper House the wrong way round – will agree that Watty played a major role in the history of the NCOP and that his legacy of commitment to justice and dedication will be treasured for many years. We were privileged to have known Watty and to have worked with him.
Although he and I share a birthday – our birthdays are on 26 November – I was often amazed by the differences in our personality traits, and this gave an interesting dimension to our friendship. Watty often had too good a heart for the dirty game of politics, but, to quote Shakespeare, “our fault, dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves”.
He honestly treasured his family and very often we used the family to get to his heart before he could attack. Perhaps I must explain this. Whenever there was a very difficult issue that we had to raise with Watty, where the possibility existed of him saying, no, you cannot do that, we would start by asking about his wife, Madeleine. When we knew she was well but we did not quite have the courage to continue, we would settle for his beautiful grandchildren and enquire after their wellbeing and progress. Eventually, when his heart had softened, we would then have enough courage to carry on and ask the difficult question or seek the permission we needed.
Today, our sincere condolences go to Madeleine, their children and grandchildren, whom he loved so dearly. We thank his family for sharing Watty with us for so many years. Our prayers are with them and we hope that their many good memories of Watty will bring sunshine in this very sad time of mourning. Thank you.
Mr M KHAWULA
Ms E C VAN LINGEN
Mr M KHAWULA: House Chairperson and colleagues, on behalf of the leader of the IFP, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi, the IFP Members of Parliament and our support staff, we send our deepest condolences to our colleagues in the DA and to the family and friends of Mr Watty Watson, who passed away in the early hours of Sunday morning.
While I personally did not have the opportunity to serve here with Mr Watson, I am reliably informed that he was a dedicated politician, a man of integrity, stature and with a sound moral compass. He led the DA as Chief Whip in this Chamber and later on in the National Assembly. He had the IFP’s utmost respect, as he was a member of this Parliament who would always contribute in a positive way to the work of Parliament and who was not afraid to speak his mind or participate in robust debate.
We are deeply saddened by his sudden passing, particularly as he was just beginning to enjoy his retirement from politics after a lifetime of service to the people of South Africa. We are saying to the DA family and to Mr Watson’s family and his friends, “Hamba kahle, Baba Watson.” [Go well, Mr Watson.]
Mr L P M NZIMANDE
Mr M KHAWULA
Mr L P M NZIMANDE: House Chairperson, I rise on behalf of the ANC to honour and pay respect to a man we worked with from 2009– this is when I met him. I personally served with him in the cluster of co-operative governance. Indeed, I concur with what the leader of the DA in this Chamber has said: Watty kept all of us on our toes, myself as his Whip included. At times I would have to call a delegate from Mpumalanga to come and help me curtail Watty!
We respected him for his contribution to helping us comply and stick to the procedures, which strengthened our democracy. We are deeply saddened by this sudden loss. I met Watty on the staircase last week at 120 Plein Street. We greeted and hugged, and he was strong. I could not believe it when I heard the news late Sunday evening that he was no more.
As the ANC, we are saying that his contribution is honoured, and we recognise that his passing occurred in the same month as that of one of our heroes, Oliver Tambo. We hope that wherever he is going, he will meet Oliver Tambo, that he will induct Watty into the ANC ... [Laughter.] ... and that the debate will continue there.
We will keep the lights burning. We will strengthen our democracy. In the spirit of us loving our country as he did, we are committed to making sure that what Watty stood for will be continued: We will serve our people with the utmost honesty and the respect they deserve.
We are saddened, and we send our condolences to his family, his party, the DA, and to South Africans who had had the opportunity to be served and helped by Watty. I thank you, hon Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES, CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS (Mr A J Nyambi): Thank you, hon members. Indeed, Mr Watson’s contribution will forever be a record and demonstration of his love for his party and for the people of this country. We express our sincere and heartfelt condolences. We conclude our orations of condolence by all rising and observing a moment of silence.
The Council observed a moment of silence in honour of the late Mr Armiston Watson.
MOTION ON ORDER PAPER
ORATION OF CONDOLENCES
MEMBERS TO REPRESENT PARLIAMENT IN SOUTHERN AFRICAN DEVELOPMENT COMMUNITY PARLIAMENTARY FORUM
Mr D STOCK: Chairperson, I move the draft resolution printed on the Order Paper in the name of the Chief Whip of the Council, as follows:
That the following members be designated to represent Parliament in the Southern Africa Development Community Parliamentary Forum in terms of article 7(2) of the constitution of the said forum:
(a) Ms B Mbete, Speaker;
(b) Mr S A Masango, ANC;
(c) Dr H E Mateme, NCOP;
(d) Ms M R Morutoa, ANC;
(e) Mr S Mokgalapa, DA; and
(f) Mr A M Shaik Emam, NFP,
of whom Ms M R Morutoa will represent Parliament in the Women’s Forum.
Question put: That the motion be agreed to.
IN FAVOUR: Eastern Cape, Free State, Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, North West, Western Cape.
Motion accordingly agreed to in accordance with section 65 of the Constitution.
Ms L MATHYS: Chairperson, I need your guidance on this because I do not know how to bring this up. The EFF has never been approached or asked to be part of any of these delegations. How do I bring this to the attention of the House? [Interjections.] We are a party here too.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES, CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS (Mr A J Nyambi): Order! No problem, hon member. You can take your seat.
Ms L MATHYS: All right,Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES, CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS (Mr A J Nyambi): This is an issue that should be discussed at Whippery level. Once the issue is before us here, it means it has already been formally processed at that level.
Before we proceed with Questions, I would like to take this opportunity to welcome the Minister and Deputy Ministers from the Governance Cluster. We will now proceed with the Questions as printed on the Question Paper. The Minister or Deputy Minister will take the Questions. I now call the Deputy Minister of Co-Operative Governance responsible for Traditional Affairs, Mr K O Bapela.
MOTION ON ORDER PAPER
QUESTIONS FOR ORAL REPLY
Soccer trade in municipalities
114. Mr M CHETTY (DA) asked the Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs: (1) Whether he has been informed that two municipalities (names furnished) have committed amounts in excess of R30 million each to secure certain football clubs (names furnished) to ply their soccer trade in the said municipalities; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; and (2) whether he will (a) intervene and/or (b) reverse these frivolous deals (details furnished); if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): House Chairperson, the response or reply to the question is that the Msunduzi Municipality in the province of KwaZulu-Natal has informed us that there has been no formal complaint about corruption, fraud or maladministration regarding the agreement between Maritzburg United Football Club and the Msunduzi Local Municipality.
The Maritzburg United Football Club was considering relocating to Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan Municipality to ply their trade there. The Msunduzi Council, having considered the social and economic impact of such a relocation by Maritzburg United FC, decided to support the team in order to stop them from relocating. The full council took a resolution to support the team by also creating facilities to promote sport in the municipality. The municipality entered into an agreement to ensure that the team remained in the Msunduzi Local Municipality.
Regarding the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro, the province of the Eastern Cape and the municipality informed us that the total relocation cost for Chippa United FC from Cape Town to Nelson Mandela Bay Metro is R12 million per annum for the next three years, totalling R36 million. The decision to secure a Premier Soccer League team for the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium dates as far back as 2012. The process was initiated by the Directorate for Economic Development and Recreational Services. A special Mayoral Committee meeting held on 25 June 2014 resolved that Chippa United FC be relocated to the municipality. The relocation agreement between Chippa United FC and the Metro was signed on 8 July 2014. The Metro is of the view that the economic and social benefits for relocating the team outweigh the annual investment the city will pay over the next three years.
The second response to the question is that the matter has been referred to the MECs of the provinces to investigate further the contribution made by the councils of the two municipalities. The details of the agreement and all supporting documents are still to be evaluated by the two provinces. I thank you.
Mr M CHETTY: Deputy Minister, the Auditor-General’s report has been critical of municipalities engaging consultants at exorbitant fees and at a cost to service delivery. They are still failing to achieve the aspirations of unqualified audits. Having identified this at the Back to Basics Summit at Gallagher Estate, what punitive measures has the Minister put in place to ensure that this fruitless and wasteful expenditure does not recur? If not, why not? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): We are obviously mindful of the Auditor-General’s report and Back to Basics is indeed now an intervention mechanism that is going to ensure that municipalities comply and work within their means. However, let us then begin to look at this as an investment, because municipalities are also there to invest, create local economic opportunities and jobs, and to market and promote their own cities at the same time.
So, based on the agreements, one can already begin to see a situation where the transport and taxi industries benefit as they bring fans to the stadium. The hospitality industry, both hotels and bed and breakfast establishments, as well as small traders in food, all benefit as a result of games that are played at home. This is because, once a week for the soccer season, the team is active in both these particular cities. Also, gate takings and advertising lessen the burden on municipalities with regard to using their own money for the maintenance of the stadium.
Just imagine the situation that might arise if the Cape Minstrels should relocate to Johannesburg! Obviously the city and the Western Cape province would double their offer to ensure that they remained here because it is a landmark activity that takes place. Yes, we must make sure that cities do not overspend and at the same time ensure that they do not go into risky investments that may not give them returns. But with regard to these two activities, I think these were investments worth making.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Chairperson, I thought I heard the Deputy Minister say these were worthwhile investments. So, in principle, could we have a decision from the Minister in which he would spell out how the expenditure from sport clubs would be classified? Is it local economic development or job creation? We need some clarity on the matter, please.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): Very soon the City of Cape Town will be announcing a tenant that is going to take up space at the Cape Town Stadium. We will be watching that space to see who that new tenant is, who will be bringing activities to the city, so that the city can also begin to lessen the burden of its maintenance costs, which are accruing. They just announced in the newspapers yesterday that the new tenant was going to be announced. We do not know yet who the tenant is.
Indeed, that tenant will be bringing investment to the city and will also be marketing and promoting the city because cities do promote tourism. For every group of people who come into the city for a particular sports event or activity, there is the likelihood that out of 10 people, three of them may come back with their families and enjoy their holiday in the city as a result of such exposure. So, indeed it is an economic activity and cities must begin to leverage this and ensure that there is economic activity and opportunities so that they can attract jobs and investment, and also grow their revenue base as cities. We do encourage local economic development in all the cities. Thank you.
Mr D L XIMBI: Deputy Minister, I think you answered my question in part. I remember when I was a member of the Mayoral Committee for the City of Cape Town, and even before we started building the stadium, the question was: Would those stadiums not become white elephants? Now, I was going to ask this question: How do you attract those clubs and get them to join, because it was a problem, even in the City of Cape Town, to attract clubs to come and invest in the City of Cape Town, especially in the stadium, which was prepared for the 2010 Fifa World Cup. My question is: How do you invite clubs, because even in 2011, when I left the City of Cape Town, it was a problem. We tried to talk to rugby clubs to come and have an MOU with the City of Cape Town. Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): Hon Ximbi, I think the cities bid from time to time, particularly for Bafana Bafana games. Recently, when the City of Cape Town hosted, they had to bid for the game and they paid a substantial amount for it to come here. This is because they do leverage the games and activities that take place. A lot of hospitality industry establishments and shops gain when people come into Cape Town, as I said. Also, once people are exposed to the city, they will be in a position to come back again for tourism activities, because cities are also attracting tourists to come into that environment. So, they do bid and a decision is made regarding the best offer in terms of the costs and so forth. Thank you.
Mr L P M NZIMANDE: House Chairperson, I would like to have a final comment from the Deputy Minister on the infrastructure investment, facility upgrades and social cohesion efforts that these municipalities are making through investment, also as they try to ensure that clubs stay within the boundaries of the municipality. I am saying this, Chair, having seen that Pietermaritzburg now has two airlines: SA Express and SA Airlink. There are now more flights between Johannesburg and Pietermaritzburg. There is even a full campaign on membership development for the team to make sure that there is a broader support fan base. There is also the development and inclusion of young people, trying to woo them away from drugs. I also request the Deputy Minister to make a final comment on entertainment and those factors.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): Hon Nzimande, I think those are some of the economic benefits and spin-offs that you accrue from an investment. I must say that two weeks ago I was in Pietermaritzburg, in Msunduzi Local Municipality, for the Presidential Imbizo. I was shown around the area. The city is being upgraded now because of the interest shown by the people who came for games and were asking for museums. They just built a new museum, which was in demand by the people who had visited the place and wanted to know more about the history and the people of Pietermaritzburg. The museum is now operational and new pavements and street lights have been erected in the city. So, the city is coming alive once more as a result of some of those investments. The city is also attracting more from both the business and tourism sector. Thank you very much.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): Thank you, House Chairperson. The department has not yet taken any steps against the senior management of the Mpofana, Ngaka Modiri Molema and Inkwanca municipalities as a result of the interventions in terms of section 139(1)(c) of the Constitution.
According to the legislation governing the appointment of senior managers in local government, if a senior manager is alleged to be incompetent or his or her performance is substandard, it is the municipal council that may institute disciplinary proceedings against the senior manager, which may culminate in a dismissal, depending on the seriousness of the alleged misconduct.
However, with respect to the appointment of the senior managers in the Inkwanca Local Municipality, the MEC responsible for local government in the province has invoked a declaratory order to nullify the appointments of those senior managers who do not meet the minimum relevant skills, expertise or competencies as prescribed for the post. This court order is now pending implementation by the municipality and this will be monitored accordingly. Administrators have recently been appointed in all three municipalities to ensure their continued functioning until new councils have been elected and to uncover the extent of the dysfunctionality and its causes.
In respect to the other two municipalities, and in case of any further malpractice being uncovered by senior management in Inkwanca, the administrators will have to investigate any allegation of misconduct or maladministration against senior management employed in these municipalities and then submit their findings to the relevant MECs.
As the interventions progress, evidence will be brought forward regarding the extent of the alleged malpractice. At this juncture, in their progress reports to the MECs for local government, the administrators will make recommendations in terms of the proposed sanctions and consequences.
In terms of national oversight, appropriate disciplinary measures and other steps may be agreed to with the provincial department of local government, in accordance with the Local Government: Municipal Systems Act provisions and the amendments therein. If found to be necessary, further action will be instigated in terms of the Back to Basics pledge to act vigorously against any misconduct, maladministration or incompetence by the senior management of a municipality.
There will be serious consequences for any province in cases of corruption, fraud and maladministration. Action will be taken in this regard, including using options such as asset forfeiture and the allowance of civil claims. Under Back to Basics, there will also be far greater scrutiny over supply-chain management, fraud and maladministration.
In summary, therefore, in view of the initial status of the intervention proceedings, the department will be in a position to provide a comprehensive reply on the steps taken against the senior management of these municipalities only following the submission of reports to the respective MECs by the administrators, who are already appointed and functioning, detailing the investigations and findings. Any subsequent sanctions will be discussed and implemented through appropriate levers for Back to Basics consequences management by the relevant oversight parties involved in the management of the interventions. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES, CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS (Mr A J Nyambi): Thank you, Deputy Minister. Follow-up question or ... [Inaudible.] ... it is not a crime even if ... [Inaudible.] ... answered ... Hon Chetty?
Mr M CHETTY: Thank you, Chair, and I am not intimidated either. It is indeed a pity, hon Deputy Minister, that while you were in Msunduzi in KwaZulu-Natal two weeks ago you did not visit either Copesville or Woodlands, where the residents were embarking on service delivery protests. There was barricading and the burning of tyres on the main arterial roads in and out of those areas. As usual, we will take you to all the fancy places and not to where the service delivery core issues are happening.
My follow-up question is the following. The Auditor-General highlighted the lack of leadership and capacity as contributing factors to the declining financial status of many municipalities. How many of the relevant officials have met the minimum competencies set down in the MFMA regulations promulgated in 2007? This date has been extended yet again, to 2015. Are we serious about clean audits? The recycling of unqualified and uncommitted officials or cadres into other municipalities without a black list on nonperformance is counterproductive. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): Thank you. Let me assure the hon Chetty that while I was in Msunduzi I was taken to the worst areas. I saw them and I did ask the difficult questions about what they are going to be doing. And there are plans and programmes that will be unfolding to ensure ... So they do not just take us to the bright sides of the cities. I also saw the worst. Also, on my own, before I went to the municipality, I was driving around, taking pictures even of the worst scenarios – the dirt on the streets. I told them. I was even on the radio to say that the city was not clean and that we needed to do something. I promised them that I would be coming back, and I showed them the pictures and said that pictures never lie. This is what we are going to be doing in all the municipalities as we move around with the Minister, the Deputy Ministers and others – really being visible and ensuring that the Back to Basics programme is taken very seriously.
In as far as the competencies of the officials are concerned, the Minister is definitely on the ball regarding that issue. We are now beginning an audit of all municipalities to tell us particularly what the critical skills are – on the finance and revenue side, and on the technical skills side, such as engineering. Who are the people who are employed there? Do they have the prerequisite skills? Are they qualified to be in those particular jobs, and so forth? And, if indeed ... [Inaudible.] ... we uncover a lot of people who do not have the requisite skills, the municipality will be compelled to act so that we can then begin to get people with the requisite skills to come in. Then we can begin to get clean audits and the quality of services to improve, so that there is efficiency around service delivery. Thank you very much.
Mme T J MOKWELE: 14:31:39: Ke a leboga, Modulasetilo, motlotlegi Motlatsa Tona, potso ya me ke gore: Boruni jwa bokgoni jwa batsamaisi bagolo kwa bommasepaleng ke kgale bo ntse bo dirwa mme gape gore bo mmasepala ba le bantsi, bogolosegolo bao ba sa tlholeng ba le gona ga jaana, ba bo ba se gona ke ...
... because of a lack of political leadership and administrative management. Now, you are saying to us today that you are busy doing the skills audit again. It will take another five years to get to know who you employ, and it is going to take another five years to get to know that those people do not qualify for their respective positions. I am asking, hon Deputy Minister, do you perhaps have a timeframe regarding your skills audit of senior managers in all the municipalities? Thank you
MOTLATSA LETONA LA PUSO YA KOPANELO LE MERERO YA MEETLO: Ke leboha haholo bakeng sa potso eno. Ke nnete hore re na le kabo ya dinako, ...
... but just to give you an indication: Last week, the Minister announced that over 180 chief financial officers did not have the requisite skills. We made that public. Three weeks ago we adopted Back to Basics, and then last week we announced that. This, then, begins to tell you a story - that we mean it and that we are going to act on it. We have written to the municipality to ask, “What are you doing about it?” We will therefore be looking for action on the matter and each municipality will have to reply and say what they are doing with people who do not have the requisite skills. Have they trained them? We will be checking on whether they were given the opportunity of training or not. Otherwise, if indeed these people have contributed to some of the Auditor-General’s reports – queries and so forth – we will then have to act on them. So the time is now. And, indeed, we have started acting, and that report is there for all to see. Thank you.
Ms L C DLAMINI: Thank you very much, hon Chair. I just want to check with the hon Deputy Minister if this will also cover the audit of senior managers in supply-chain management.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): Yes, we will also be including supply-chain management, because a lot of corruption, malpractice and maladministration take place there. So we need to tie in our systems with supply-chain management so that there is compliance and so that everything is done in a transparent manner. This is so that the issue of the suspicion that exists between the residents and their own local municipalities can be dealt with once and for all. This is so that we can then begin to see that our people have confidence in their own municipalities and that their municipalities can serve them well. Indeed, we are going to include all the people in supply-chain management. Thank you.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Thank you, hon Chairperson. Hon Deputy Minister, what happens to officials such as municipal managers and CFOs when a municipality is placed under administration, and why, then, did the previous interventions fail?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): Well, I will not have the information as to why the previous interventions failed, because it is all about leadership and management. Once you are a leader, you make a commitment. I think you just have to live with those particular commitments, act and ensure that things happen. I am not sure of the circumstances of the previous interventions, but as we speak now we are indeed moving and acting to clean up the service so that municipalities can really do what they are intended to do: Back to Basics, deliver the services, manage the resources properly and then ensure that there is service delivery improvement, that there is quality, that there is interaction with the people, and also that there is a lot of talk with residents, followed by their participation. This is so that the two – the residents and the municipalities – can work in a cohesive manner to ensure that every municipality is the ideal place where people can live, work, play, go to school and, indeed, enjoy their lives. Thank you very much.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES, CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS (Mr A J Nyambi): Order! Hon Van Lingen, you are one of the few who are very experienced, so you know only four supplementary questions ...
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Chairperson, I am rising on a point of order, because the first part of that question was not answered. The hon Michalakis asked what happened to the officials who had been suspended. The Minister did not answer that part of the question.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES, CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Van Lingen, make it easy for me, and I will also make it very simple for you. You know very well that there can be only four supplementary questions, and we are done with them. So, let us go on to Question 130, by the hon Khawula.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): House Chairperson, the reply to the question is as follows: The province of Gauteng has Emfuleni Local Municipality and the municipal manager’s qualification is a BTech certificate in Public Management and Industrial Relations. He is the highest earner. He is followed by the City of Tshwane in Gauteng. The qualifications of the municipal manager are a Master’s in Business Administration; BCom Honnours and BCom. So that is in the order of who is the highest in the top 10 ranking.
Thirdly, in the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality in Gauteng, the city manager has a BSc in Civil Engineering. Fourthly, in KwaZulu-Natal the Ethekwini municipal manager holds a BProc, Postgraduate Diploma in Industrial Relations, a Master’s in Education and a Master’s in Business Leadership.
Fifthly, in the Free State, the manager of the Mangaung Metropolitan Municipality has a BProc and has done the Executive Programme in Labour Relations and Leadership. Sixth, in the Western Cape, the City of Cape Town municipal manager holds a National Certificate in Housing Management, National Diploma in Municipal Administration, and Advanced Diploma in Public Administration.
Seventh, in the Eastern Cape, the Nelson Mandela Bay municipal manager holds a BSc Engineering. Eighth, in the Free State, the Fezile Dabi district’s municipal manager holds a Master’s in Public Governance and Management, a BA in Private and Public Management, a BA Honnours in Public Governance and Management, and the Postgraduate Certificate in Executive Municipal Management.
Ninth, in the Western Cape, the George local municipality’s manager holds a B Admin. And tenth, in Gauteng’s Mogale City Local Municipality the manager holds a Master’s in Business Administration, Diploma in Management Studies, Postgraduate Diploma in Labour Law, BA, Postgraduate Diploma in Management. This is my answer in terms of the question as it was put to us.
Obviously, regarding the second part of the question - which asked who were the top three earners in terms of the categories of the municipality in the Metropolitan Municipalities - the top three earners are the City of Tshwane, the City of Johannesburg and Ethekwini. Tshwane and Johannesburg are in Gauteng and Ethekwini is in the KwaZulu-Natal province. In terms of the District Municipalities, the Fezile District Municipality has the top three earners in the Free State, followed by the Ehlanzeni District Municipality in Mpumalanga and, lastly, Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality in the North West.
In terms of the Local Municipalities, the top three earners are Emfuleni Local Municipality in Gauteng, George Local Municipality in the Western Cape, and I am just missing the last one in this category, but I will come back to it in the follow-ups.
Mr M KHAWULA: Ngiyathokoza Sihlalo ohloniphekileko. (Thank you, hon House Chairperson). Thank you very much, hon Deputy Minister. The hon Deputy Minister did not proceed to the other part of the question, which is the justification for those earnings. I do not even want to go into the issue and ask what these earnings are. However, you will recall that previously I did indicate that some of these municipal high earners might even be earning a salary that is more than the salary of the state President of the country. Their salaries may even be more than what you are getting, hon Deputy Minister. Now, the question would be, given the limited jurisdiction that they look after, and the jurisdictions of other people, I am very interested in this issue for justification of such earnings.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): Thank you, Chair. The third municipality that I said I was missing was the Mogale Local Municipality, which is among the top three earners in Gauteng.
The justification for these salaries ordinarily derives from individual market research commissioned by each municipality to determine the pay scales for senior managers. The Local Government: Municipal Systems Amendment Act 7 of 2011 and the introduction of the notice of upper limits in 2014 sought to correct some of the challenges inherent in the current policy.
The policy was inherited from 1984, under the Remuneration of Town Clerks Act, and it has been going on in that way. But since June 2014, with the new gazetted regulations introduced to curb the limits, the Minister has the power to begin to impose a limit on them to stop the amounts from ballooning and going too high. [Laughter.] Thank you.
Mr W F FABER: Thank you, Chair. I only hope those municipal managers who earn more than the President do not spend as much on their houses as well. [Laughter.] I would just like to know if the Deputy Minister perhaps knows how many municipal managers are currently earning above the threshold stated in the regulations published in terms of the Local Government Municipal Structures Act of 29 March 2014 and what will happen to those municipal managers when their contracts come to an end?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES, CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS (Mr A J Nyambi): Order! I did not hear the first portion of your question.
Mr W F FABER: What is the number of managers who are earning above the threshold stated in the regulations published in terms of Local Government Municipal Systems Act on 29 March and what will happen to those managers when their contracts come to an end? [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES, CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS (Mr A J Nyambi): Hon Deputy Minister, this is a new question, but if you want to comment on it there is nothing wrong with that.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): Yes, I was just about to say that I do not have the information because it was never sought by the House. So, I will not be able to state how many such municipal managers there are, nor what would happen when they go out of the system. Obviously, the Minister will be guided by the new determination and regulations, and then he will set the limits.
This means that before a municipality employs a person, at whatever cost, they must first bring the submission to the Minister to determine whether it is above the limit or not, and the Minister then has the power and the right to set a limit. And I think this new law will really help us to curb salaries and to keep them within a particular bracket. Thank you.
Ms T J MOKWELE: Ke ya leboga, Modulasitulo. Motlatsa Tona, potso ya ka ke gore, batlhankedibagolo ba mmasepala ba sayena ditumelano tsa go dira le lekgotla la tsamaiso ...
... and you find that the determination of their salaries is way above, yet their performance is way below the standard. I want to put a question to you to find out if you are perhaps thinking of amending the Municipal Systems Act, whereby the municipal managers reporting to him are appointed on a permanent basis to avoid salaries that are way too high, with performance that is way below standard.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES, CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS (Mr A J Nyambi): Thank you, hon Mokwele. It is a new question, but if you want to comment, Deputy Minister, you can go ahead.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS(Mr K O Bapela): Look, we obviously get worried when people are earning a salary - they really need to show their competence and their performance ought to be of a high standard. We believe the Back to Basics business programme is going to be the measurement instrument to ensure that there is ultimate performance across all municipalities.
Minister Pravin Gordhan announced yesterday that we are developing a system that will be monitoring municipalities daily so that we can look at performance as a measure and a yardstick to ensure that whatever we pay the municipal managers and other officials is commensurate with their competence and with what they are delivering as services. I think that system will help us a lot, but obviously there is no discussion yet about amending the Municipal Systems Act to give people full-time for ever. I do not think that will be a consideration because then we ought to look at the reasons for that, and we did not provide the reasons for that. As the House Chair says, this was a new question and I do not think we are looking at it for now.
Ms L C DLAMINI: Thank you very much, hon Chair. I just want to ask the hon Deputy Minister whether the Minister had the power to intervene or influence the municipal managers’ packages and to justify the payment, as was raised by the hon Khawula, at the time of the appointment of those top earners.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): No, the Minister had no powers at all. So, municipalities were an independent sphere, doing their own thing in their own environment, but at the time they were governed by the Remuneration of Town Clerks Act of 1984. This was later, in 2011, amended to the Municipal Systems Act, but still without the Minister’s powers - until recently, when the Minister decided that we needed an instrument that could begin to regulate, curb and indeed bring order to the ballooning of salaries in the municipalities. I think this is a very good instrument, which we need to appreciate as a nation. We need to support it as we go forward, so that we can begin to derive performance from whatever we are paying in this newly regulated environment. As of this year, therefore, the Minister has such powers.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): The best measure of the success or otherwise of any initiative is the extent to which the initiative has met or is meeting its objectives. With regard to the Community Works Programme, CWP, its primary objective is to provide poor and unemployed people with a safety net in the form of guaranteed part-time work opportunities for which they receive a monthly stipend. The assessment has been undertaken through the following processes:
Firstly, through site visits, where the management of the programme continually monitors the implementation of the programme, not only identifying achievements and best practices for sharing among sites but also pinpointing challenges that require corrective action. This is done through regular site visits and programme performance reports that are presented and analysed in CWP structure stakeholder meetings, such as those of local reference groups. It will be a group of people from the community who are appointed to be the local reference committee and the provincial steering committee. These platforms help keep the CWP on track.
Secondly, the evaluation was done by the Department of Co-operative Governance itself and also by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency. Further to that work, the department is at present undertaking a formal and scientific nationwide assessment of the CWP, in collaboration with the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency. The evaluation is looking at the adequacy of the design of the programme, the implementation process, results to date, the programme’s sustainability and prospects for a full-blown impact evaluation in the future. Data collection, including the review of relevant documents, data analysis and the generation of a first draft report has been completed. The draft report has been circulated to stakeholders for input. The entire project will be completed before the end of this financial year.
Thirdly, research has been done by our policy strategists, Tips, and the University of Cape Town. Indeed, some reports by participants in research studies commissioned by Trade and Industry and Tips and conducted by the University of Cape Town Centre for Democratising Information indicate that the work opportunities have not only provided the CWP participants with cash to buy basic commodities, such as food and clothing, but it has allowed them to procure other services, such as childcare and transport services. The positive domino effect of the latter is that participants are consequently able to go in search of real jobs on days when they are not engaged in the CWP. I thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES, CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS (Mr A J Nyambi): Order! It was brought to my attention that the Minister answered Question 136. So, let us have supplementary questions to Question 136 and then we will go back to Question 135.
Mr L P M NZIMANDE: Chair, in light of the last part of the answer, which reflected on the assessment and evaluation of the programme that is being done, can the Deputy Minister assure us that the element of linkages to decent jobs and employment will be considered or be part of the outcomes that we are awaiting at the end of the evaluation and assessment? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): As you know, the CWP is a part-time programme: People work for two days a week and then they get their stipend. On the other three days, people are released to go and look for real jobs. As and when they get real jobs, they will be released from the programme because then they will have real jobs. Those who remain in the programme will remain there forever until they are able to get real jobs.
Hon Nzimande, I did not hear the last part of your question well, but the impacts of these stipends, which I think is something you have also studied, do indeed bring relief to families. There is an in-depth report here, done by the University of Cape Town, which can be made available to hon members. It gives a glimpse of a very good story. For example, one study was done on a family of five, with two unemployed adults and three children, where their income was just R20 000 per annum, from grants. Once the mother and father, who were unemployed, were in the CWP, each earning R4 000 per annum – that brought it to R8 000 – they were able to be moved from the data indicating them as being poor to not poor. In that way they were able to begin affording other services for their own consumption.
Therefore, we feel that this programme is very useful to fight and alleviate poverty and also to help those community members who do not have other means or opportunities to earn an income while looking for jobs elsewhere. I hope I have answered your question.
Mr J W W JULIUS: Chairperson, I want to assure the Deputy Minister that this will not be a new question - although it was a new answer! [Laughter.] Chairperson, through you, how many beneficiaries of the CWP were upskilled and who went on to receive permanent employment outside of the CWP? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): I do not have the total but there is a report that was compiled by Southern Hemisphere, done jointly with the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, as I indicated earlier, and in it they provide statistics per province. It is a very thick document of 182 pages, hon member, which can be made available to the members of the select committee so that they can begin to see the impact and the analysis. It does point to the successes but also to the challenges that still exist.
One of the challenges was the lack of training in the programme, but ever since this report was released, training is now one of the activities that the participants partake in. They get training on a variety of skills, like life skills and others, so that they can use those skills to market themselves for proper or sufficient jobs somewhere. Training is now included because the report indicated to us that the lack of training was not helping these people to look for jobs. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES, CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS (Mr A J Nyambi): Deputy Minister, let us go back to Question 135 on the Business Adopt a Municipality Project.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): Oh dear, I skipped that one!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES, CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS (Mr A J Nyambi):): Yes ... [Interjections.] ... but if you are still searching for it, you can go to Question 142, if your papers are in order.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): All right, I will come back to that one.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON: COMMITTEES, CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND INTERGOVERNMENTAL RELATIONS (Mr A J Nyambi): It is the one that was asked by the hon Mathys.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): Yes, Chair.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): Chair, the reply to the question asked by the hon Mathys is: In response to challenges emanating from municipalities, the department, in partnership with provinces, recently conducted a comprehensive assessment of the performance of municipalities. This resulted in the State of Local Government Report, which was tabled at the Presidential Local Government Summit held in September 2014.
The assessment found that at least a third of municipalities were not doing well and were in a state of financial distress. This therefore calls for remedial measures to be put in place to address the general challenges identified and those that are unique to individual municipalities, informed by their local context. To this end, a joint programme of action and all collaboration arrangements have been forged with the national Treasury and other sector departments whose line functions impact on service delivery.
The recent audit outcomes report reflects a slight improvement, on aggregate. The Minister, together with the Minister of Finance, will take firm action to address shortcomings of financial management in local government.
A back-to-basics action plan has been developed to enhance the overall institutional performance of municipalities. This is designed to ensure that municipalities deliver basic services in a sustainable manner, improve service standards by putting people first, opening channels of community engagement and restoring confidence, achieve good governance and sound financial management, and strengthen the institutional capacity through an efficient administrative system and processes, coupled with good managerial skills.
A performance management system will be institutionalised to recognise and reward good performance, ensure sufficient consequences for nonperformance and ensure the provision of appropriate support for underperformance. Citizens will be empowered through forums and tools to hold accountable the councillors they have elected. In this instance, the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs will conduct regular, national citizen satisfaction surveys and assist municipalities in developing community engagements and plans. So, I have responded to that.
Ms L MATHYS: Chair, Deputy Minister, I think our government has reached a point where we are very, very good at coming and declaring all the wonderful plans we have to monitor municipalities, or whatever else it is that we want to do. However, we do not really report back on what has already been done. My question on this one is: Are the officials and senior employees who are implicated in the Auditor-General’s report, for example, being brought to book, whether by criminal charges being laid, by making them pay back the money or by them being blacklisted so that they cannot hold positions, as seems to be the case with the national government? There just seems to be some level of protection!
If this is not the case, why is it that there is not a significant number of officials and municipality employees who are brought to book and are charged? After all, that would be in line with our Auditor-General’s report! So, I would like to get more feedback on what has happened. What have we done with the Auditor-General’s report that we received and what have the outcomes been? Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): Usually the Auditor-General’s report will indicate problems and challenges and then also recommend corrective measures on the particular issues that they have identified, working with officials in the municipalities. This would also include management, which is the political leadership, to ensure that all the cities do indeed get clean audits.
So, obviously, whatever the corrective measures are, there is no indication in the reports - except if corruption is alleged. If corruption is indeed alleged in any of these reports, then an investigation will be conducted and people will be suspended until they can appear before the court. Otherwise, where the Auditor-General just says corrective measures ought to be implemented and effected, it will be that way. If he says competent skills are not in place, the corrective measures include removing people who are not competent enough to be in that particular space.
Among the reasons that municipalities get opinions, disclaimers and so forth from the Auditor-General is the lack of accounting - invoices, documentation and so forth, which are just simple, basic issues. Keep the receipts so that when the Auditor-General comes, you are able to provide them! You must then keep your books together, so that when you are asked to provide evidence, the evidence is there. In a number of opinions by the Auditor-General, you will find that those things are not being done. Those are the kinds of issues that we are now going to be looking at in the Back to Basics programme.
I think the programme rests on five areas, good governance being one of them. Another is the capabilities of the people who are employed in the municipalities. Let us allow that programme and its processes to clean up whatever mess there might be in certain municipalities. A third of municipalities are obviously in that lot.
Indeed, there are people who have been charged with corruption and other maladministration. I do not have the figures and numbers with me here and now, because that would obviously be in answer to a new question. Thank you.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Chair, hon Deputy Minister, given the deteriorating state of local government, and given that the National Development Plan calls for, among other requirements, the professionalisation of the state, what specific measures - other than the audit that you already mentioned and performance systems that should already be part of the system - will your department put in place to ensure that officials in the local government sphere have professional qualifications and the capabilities, as you just mentioned, rather than simply an affiliation to the ANC? What are the specific measures; not the outcomes but the specific measures to reach the outcomes?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): Chair, indeed, the NDP does call for the professionalisation of the state in order to have a capable state that can perform its duties. The Municipal Finance Management Act also gives us the powers and instruments to act on any wrongdoing in the municipalities. Indeed, all those provisions put together are giving us the power to act in order to really intervene and bring order to those municipalities.
The Minister is already on record as saying that he will not hesitate but will indeed act and point out any wrongdoing. He will even talk to them there where they employ - because it is not he who employs, it is the municipalities. They must act and ensure that those people who have done wrong are dealt with in accordance with all the laws that we have. This includes acting and ensuring that there is firm leadership and therefore ensuring that we are able to deliver on the mandate. Thank you.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Hon Chairperson, if we look at the Order Paper of today, we see 23 questions have been asked about local government and, obviously, about poorly performing municipalities and the poor state of local government. Now, if the Deputy Minister says what he has just said and he replied to the hon Labuschagne’s question with regard to the measures that are in place, why do we still have so many municipalities that are underperforming? Can the Minister not impose those powers? Can he not implement what he has to do? Is there an impasse in the department?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): Chairperson, I think that answer has been given. The Back to Basics plan is just three weeks old. This is how we are going to be engaging the municipalities to ensure that we clean out the rot. The Minister is on record as saying that a third of the 278 municipalities are dysfunctional. We are on record saying that. We are not hiding the truth. We are saying it as it is.
Therefore, the intervention programmes are being designed to ensure that we go in there, help in the environment, correct whatever is wrong and deal with whatever wrongdoing exists there. We said we were going to act. We are not going to be hesitant. I think I have answered that. The Minister is on record as saying that one third of the municipalities in South Africa are dysfunctional and that we are going to be helping them and dealing with wrongdoing if there was any. So, we are going to be acting and, indeed, we are ready and rolling. Watch this space and see what happens as we go along.
It is going to take time. This is not something we can achieve in a week because, in many instances, one must go and look at the source and the cause of the problem. One does not act irrationally. Because somebody is dysfunctional, one does not simply go in and say, “You – go!” We need to go in and ask what the problem is, how we can help them and why we can help them. Obviously, if it is about competence and skills, we are already on record as saying that where the skills are not in place, we will then have to say, “Go!”, so that competence and skills can be put in place. We might find that there has been a lot of nepotism and the hiring of brothers and sisters, and what have you, hence the municipality is not functional.
So, let us allow those investigations into each of the municipalities to be done. As we started doing so, we have been able to identify what is dysfunctional. There are a lot of other issues, including administration and competency. We have already categorised what the problems are but we need to go deeper now. We must engage with the provinces and the municipalities, working towards ensuring that municipalities become centres of excellence that can indeed perform and deliver better services. This ANC-led government is really going to make municipalities loved, functional and able to perform on service delivery. Thank you.
Ms T J MOKWELE: Chairperson, we are now on the Back to Basics plan. We have had many programmes to address this problem yet it has never ended. Hon Deputy Minister, I understand that in various municipalities your department has deployed what we call ministerial task teams. I want to check: How do those teams impact on the underperformance of municipalities in terms of the results that they are bringing to the department? I will cite the example of Madibeng Local Municipality in the North West. What are those teams doing to make sure that municipalities are improving?
Based on this question, again, I want to check with you: How do you advise provinces on the invoking of section 139(1)(a), (b) or (c) against municipalities? You might find that some municipalities are underperforming, but section 139(1)(b) or (c) is not invoked. Other municipalities are better than those underperforming ones, but that section will be invoked against the better municipalities. I know this is the prerogative of the executive of the province, but I just want to check whether perhaps there is some advice on that. Thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Hon member Mokwele, it seems to me you have put two completely new questions under the supplementary question. The question I am advised you are dealing with is the question asking about remedial action. Deputy Minister, if you have the appetite to respond to the questions as put by the member, I will not say no.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): Well, Chairperson, I was going to say that these are two new questions, obviously, that need a set of responses.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: My advice, hon Mokwele, is that you submit those questions, because they depart completely from the line of responses to this question. [Interjections.] Yes, I know, I have been following. [Interjections.]
Ms T J MOKWELE: Chair, the ministerial task team is a part of the remedial action. That is why I am posing this question. The task team ...
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): But there is no ministerial task team ...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, please!
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): If you could mention the name of that ministerial task team...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP. Order! Order! Both of you, Deputy Minister and hon member, are speaking without being recognised by the Chair.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): My apologies, Madam Chair. [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: And yes, I get where you are coming from, hon Mokwele. In terms of section 154, Deputy Minister, in Madibeng, there is a mixed team that is supposed to come from the Minister and the province. I suppose that is what the hon member is referring to. However, I recommend – because the way you phrased your question completely brings in a new question – that you put it down on paper and that it becomes a new question. We move on to Question 135.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): Chairperson, the department has not yet undertaken an assessment of the Business Adopt a Municipality programme. Currently, the focus is on upscaling this programme in order to increase the number of private sector organisations participating in the programme. In this regard, the department is in the process of developing guidelines to assist provinces and municipalities to facilitate Business Adopt a Municipality partnerships independently.
The national Department of Co-Operative Governance has been co-ordinating, facilitating and monitoring the implementation of all the current partnerships. The Business Adopt a Municipality guidelines will assist municipalities to initiate partnerships on their own with minimal assistance from both national and provincial governments. The implementation of the guidelines will also enable the department of co-operative governance to focus more on monitoring the implementation of the programme. The guidelines will be finalised in February 2015. As more partnerships are established, the programme will be better positioned to be assessed and reviewed. Thank you.
Mr L P M NZIMANDE: Chairperson, I would like the Deputy Minister to allay concerns regarding this partnership between businesses and municipalities that the guidelines will make sure that there are checks and balances. They therefore guarantee that businesses that are in partnership with municipalities will not be overindulged in tenders and contracts. The collaboration guidelines will purely be assisting to capacitate the municipality and will stick only to the intended purposes and objectives. I thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): Chairperson, yes, indeed, the guidelines will be serving that purpose, so that there is uniformity across all municipalities. Business is indeed not entering into this agreement in order to be favoured but is there to help and bring in whichever skills are in short supply in municipalities. This will happen in areas that have been identified and agreed on in the memorandum of understanding with the particular set of companies. Thank you.
Mr J W W JULIUS: Chairperson, my question to the Deputy Minister is simple. Why did his department not undertake an assessment of the Business Adopt a Municipality campaign? How will he measure its success if he has not done a thorough or regular assessment? To me, this says that he has failed because he does not know what is happening in this project.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): Chairperson, the partnerships are a voluntary activity between municipalities and companies. Therefore there is no law that prescribes what the department must do. It is a partnership that will direct the guidelines and we will then see if all municipalities want to enter into that - having a guideline that they subscribe to; one that guides them. But there is nothing that says what must then legislate that particular environment. That is where we left it. Thank you.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Chairperson, this Business Adopt a Municipality campaign is a system that was first announced in March 2005. So, what the Minister is saying is that to date no assessment has been done. My question is: How would this Business Adopt a Municipality campaign differ from a public-private partnership?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): Chairperson, the programme started in 2010, not 2005, as part of the local government turnaround strategy. The Minister convened a meeting of business and municipalities to say that companies in municipalities that have particular competencies and skills that they could share with municipalities could collaborate and enter into some kind of agreement. They would identify such areas. It could be project management or any technical field. Municipalities therefore opt for whatever agreement is reached and the area of emphasis that might have been entered into.
The guidelines therefore are what we consider to be adequate for us to give to municipalities, rather than imposing certain measures, which I think is what members want us to do. It is a voluntary association and a voluntary partnership that must be encouraged at the local government level, as long as it is governed by guidelines. Thank you.
Ms B S MASANGO: Chairperson, I would like find out if the Municipal Finance Management Act provides for partnerships such as this Business Adopt a Municipality campaign?
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF CO-OPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (Mr K O Bapela): Chairperson, this would not be covered in the Municipal Finance Management Act because public money would not be spent in the partnership. This is a voluntary activity and there might not even be money involved. In this campaign, a company in a particular area looks at the need that might be having an impact on the performance of the municipalities and decide to enter into an agreement with them and send personnel to help out, at no cost at all. Therefore this would not be governed by the Municipal Finance Management Act. This is more of a voluntary activity that we are encouraging companies to do from time to time. We are asking that they bring whatever skills there are in the private sector into the public sector through this collaboration. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon Chairperson, the Presidential Hotline categorises complaints into a number of functional topics closely linked to the business of different departments. Service delivery-related complaints constitute 80% of all complaints and we do not have a category of governance in our classification of Presidential Hotline complaints.
Alleged corruption-related complaints constitute one per cent. The breakdown of the top five complaints to the Presidential Hotline are as follows: Employment or labour-related complaints constitute about 20%, which is 31 600 complaints; housing and land-related complaints are 14,6%; local government basic services and utilities is 12,8%; crime and justice cases are 9,4%, which is about 15 194 complaints; and lastly, information from government, which is five out of the 14 categories, constitute about 9,8% of all of those complaints.
The process being followed to ensure that the line departments resolve the complaints received via this hotline is managed by the Directorate: Presidential Hotline in the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation. The Directorate: Presidential Hotline is tasked with the daily monitoring of such resolution by the line departments. They monitor the interaction of the line departments with the web-based reporting system and have regular engagement with departments to ensure that they provide updated progress reports on the web-based reporting system for each case.
A minimum performance benchmark of 80% was set on complaints resolution and we produce regular scorecards on the performance of every department against this target. We then present this information to the Forum of SA Directors-General, the President’s Co-ordinating Council and also to Cabinet.
The process followed to ensure that the line departments resolve the complaints received via the hotline is that, as part of investigating the complaints, the departments contact the citizens concerned to update them on the progress that is being made.
The citizens also call the Presidential Hotline call centre and the call agents are able to read from the system any progress recorded by the line department. If departmental complaint investigators are not logging on to the system to update progress, if the progress they recorded is not meaningful, or if there are complaints that have been unresolved for a long time, we meet with that specific department or province to try to address the problems with them.
In addition to the number of complaints received, the department produces performance information on the following aspects: The percentage of complaints received versus the percentage of complaints resolved for each department; the age of outstanding unresolved complaints and the subcategories of types of complaints received for each department; and lastly, the outcome of customer satisfaction surveys for complaints assigned to a department. Thank you. [Interjections.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Hon Masango? Hon Masango is the asker. Is that a point of order, sir?
Mr J W W JULIUS: Chairperson, I just want to let you know that the wrong question was answered. It was not Question 116 that was answered, but Question 117.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: It was not the wrong question that was answered. I directed the House to go to Question 117. So, the right question, as directed, was responded to. Hon Masango, do you have a supplementary question?
Ms B S MASANGO: Yes, Chair, I do have a supplementary question. Departments, municipalities and provincial governments have their own customer care lines. Is the Presidential Hotline not a duplication of this function? If so, how does the hotline ensure that repeat callers are treated as updates and not as brand-new incidents? Thank you, Chair.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon Chairperson, because of the priority that is given to each of the calls made to the Presidential Hotline, each and every call to the Presidential Hotline is treated as though it is a new question and it is dealt with in that context. Because of the response rate that we have received, we believe that the Presidential Hotline is not necessarily a duplication but that it has in fact been extremely effective in helping to resolve the queries that have been raised.
Yes, there are hotlines at different government levels – there are municipal, provincial and departmental hotlines - but we believe that as part of the function of monitoring and evaluation, and also as part of the President taking responsibility for the entirety of government and its performance, the Presidential Hotline is one of the instruments that the President has to ensure that he holds government departments and all spheres of government responsible and accountable. Thank you.
Ms T J MOKWELE: Hon Deputy Minister, I understand that in terms of the hotline, there is a system where a question will be posed to a particular department for response within a certain period. If that question is not answered within that allocated period, it would be regarded as unresolved. Other questions will be posed in that system for a particular time and the department will try to answer those questions. What happens if the person who asked that question is not convinced by the method in which the answer has been given?
So, my question is: Are those questions that are posed for a specific time and those that are partially answered regarded as questions that have been dealt with or are they regarded as pending?
The other issue is that the system is linked to municipalities: It is linked to the customer satisfaction survey system in municipalities. When the question comes from the President, it goes to the customer care department in the municipality and that municipality will then relay the question to the relevant department. So, I am still saying to you that that is the duplication of functions, because there are people in the municipality who ...
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Hon Mokwele, the second part of your question is a comment. You have also exhausted your two minutes. I have been proud that the NCOP is now on top of their game regarding questions and working within the allocated time. Deputy Minister, the first part of hon Mokwele’s question is answerable. Please proceed.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon Chairperson, the point is that if you look at the nature of the questions we receive through the Presidential Hotline, people say we went here and there, we spoke to these people, we have gone to the municipality, to the province, and there has been no response. The Presidency is their final port of call, and I think reasonably so. It does not matter to whom the question was first reported, how many times it had been reported and all of that. In the end people want to know whether the President of the Republic is able to resolve their problem. Therefore, in relation to your comment, I think it is not a duplication.
Regarding your first question, there are questions that are not concluded. If you look at the category of questions, people call the Presidential Hotline looking for jobs. Now, you could only conclude that case if that person got a job. If that person has not found a job, that means the case has not been concluded.
So, obviously, we apply “reasonableness” when we consider whether a case has been responded to or not. As I have indicated in the response, this is a web-based system. The department or level of government concerned and the complainant participate in the process to determine whether the query has been satisfactorily responded to or not. It is not only about responding to the question but also about the action that has been taken and the quality of that action. Thank you.
Ms L MATHYS: Hon Chair, Deputy Minister, how much does the Presidential Hotline cost to operate annually and are the results it yields equal to the amount of money we are spending? My second question is: How many calls have you received on the Presidential Hotline asking the President to pay back the Nkandla money? Thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Hon Mathys, you are supposed to put a supplementary question and not supplementary questions.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Chairperson, we will furnish the details contained in our annual report in terms of how much, specifically, it costs to run the Presidential Hotline.
Unfortunately the citizens of the Republic are not there to echo the wishes, interest and whims of certain opposition political parties. [Interjections.] So, there have not been any questions of that sort, as far as we know. Thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order, members!
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Hon Chairperson, the Deputy Minister is telling a good story about the Presidential Hotline. However, in the fourth term we posed questions in this House about using the specific reference numbers that have been given to people. When we asked the question and referred to the reference number given for that question, we were told by this hotline that there was no such question and no such reference number.
The Deputy Minster is talking about a web-based system. I had the most wonderful experience this week when I complained about one of the state-owned entities and contacted the Hello Peter website: The department responded immediately. I think this is what they must do with the Presidential Hotline. They should make it web-based and make it open on the Internet. Then people will respond immediately.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon Chairperson, I must indicate that the system is not designed to respond to hypothetical or fictitious complaints. If you create a complaint to test the system, it will definitely not respond to such hypothetical or fictitious complaints. Secondly, the majority of South Africans do not have access to the worldwide web and therefore we want to keep the complaint system as broadly accessible as possible.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Deputy Minister, the question I heard - the long preamble - was that when a complainant uses the hotline, the person is given a reference number. Hon Van Lingen says that when you make a follow-up call using the reference number generated by your first question, you are then told that the question does not exist. That was the thrust of the question. Are you able to respond to that or do you want to talk about the specifics of this matter, using the reference that the hon Van Lingen used to test the hotline?
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Chairperson, I think we could respond if we were given the specifics. We can look at specific complaints about a caller having been given a reference number and later being told that the query does not exist. If this is a broad question and if it is in reference to something that happened in the fourth term, I am unable to respond to that.
I must emphasise that the Presidential Hotline has been going through a big revamp, mainly because of the inputs that Members of Parliament have been making. Thank you
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Van Lingen, please approach the Deputy Minister about this matter. It is important for us to do this, Deputy Minster, because most people rely on the hotline to solve their cases or, sometimes, not really to do that but to bring certain matters to the attention of government.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Thank you. The report presented to Parliament on 17 September 2014 reflects the result of the Management Performance Assessment Tool for the period ended 30 September 2013. The improvement in the entered scores in Limpopo departments could be attributed to the efforts to improve management practices due to the presence of the intervention team under section 100 of the Constitution. This could have prompted the departments to improve their management practices.
A further factor that could have contributed to the improvement is the efforts of the Office of the Premier to improve the management practices across all departments in that province.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Chair, I would like to ask the Deputy Minister how this came about. When we heard that the Minister of Finance had lifted the administration or the intervention in this term, there were a number of serious matters still to be resolved. For example, the IT systems were not in place; there were too many vacancies; and certain cases had not been resolved, etc. How come this province is now performing so well?
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Thank you. Firstly, in relation to Limpopo, section 100 has not been lifted. Secondly, it is exactly because of the intervention of the national government that there is improvement. The assessments of the national and provincial government departments are based on 33 or 34 areas of assessment. Based on those areas, it shows that the Limpopo provincial government has improved over the period of assessment. Thank you.
Ms L C DLAMINI: Thank you very much, hon Chair. I am also asking about the criteria that are used, and this is on a very serious note. How does it happen that the Western Cape is number one? If you look at Khayelitsha, Nyanga, and at all the other places where our black people are staying, and then you look at the other parts, those are two different worlds. So, when you have a report that says the Western Cape is number one, this does not make sense to the people from Nyanga, Khayelitsha and other areas. Maybe we should consider looking at the criteria used, so that when we say this province is number one, the results really do say so. What is the criterion that is being used? [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Thank you very much. As I said, it may be the case that a particular province got higher ratings in relation to the categories of assessment. In this case it would be the Western Cape. By the way, those areas are not a reflection of the quality of life of the people in the particular province. We have to look at the tools used and the areas of assessment. It is about the issue of audits. It is about the issue of compliance and access to information. It is about all those areas. Overall, obviously, the objective of the tool is to ensure that we zoom in on the quality of life of our people and on whether the government is making an impact at the different levels.
However, the second area is that we have to make a distinction between the assessment of municipalities and the services that municipalities are supposed to provide and the assessment of national and provincial government. At present, there is a pilot for municipal assessment in 25 municipalities. We hope that that will also help to reveal some of the challenges, weaknesses and problems in the municipalities.
Co-operative Governance will probably also have a different picture of the issues you are raising about the quality of life of our people in general or in the Western Cape in particular and how those relate to the assessment tool. But we rely on the assessment tool. This is the second year that it is running, and we hope that, over time, it will help us to reveal the real conditions of our people and therefore assist in making policy interventions that would change those particular conditions.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Thank you, hon Chairperson. Hon Deputy Minister, from your reply to the hon Van Lingen one could almost say that you are saying that one needs an intervention in order to govern well, but I am going to leave that there.
Hon Deputy Minister, in terms of section 100 of the Constitution, it is this House that is responsible for approving and overseeing the administration of the provincial administration by the national executive. If this House was not furnished with the reports by the administrators into the five departments under administration in Limpopo, my question is this: When assessing the Limpopo provincial government, was your department given access to the reports of the administrators? If not, can you honestly say that your assessment of Limpopo’s performance was accurate?
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: The Management Performance Assessment Tool’s report is dependent on the reports that we have received from the departments that we are assessing - all of the departments, including the provincial government of Limpopo. So, it is based on those particular reports. I think that if this House has not been given those reports, this House has the power and authority to ensure that the administrator and/or the said departments furnish those particular reports.
Mr M KHAWULA: Thank you, hon Chairperson. Since “how come” is being used, hon Deputy Minister, I am also going to use “how come”. Two hon members have used “how come”. How come my friend here is very ill, goes to the ICU, gets better, is transferred to the ward, and all of a sudden he is in better health, while my friend here has never been ill. How does it happen - because that is what is happening is this scenario. [Laughter.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: The Deputy Minister is being asked to diagnose and heal. [Laughter.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: I have no knowledge of how doctors and nurses do their trade. [Laughter.] If I had, I hope I would have been able to do that job. However, I think the point we want to underline in relation to Limpopo is that Cabinet - or rather the previous administration - realised that there were problems. I think those problems have been issues of the public. Therefore, an intervention was made. Based on that intervention, we are beginning to see results. This is not the logic of the “how comes” but the logic that action has been taken. On the basis of that action, we are seeing these results.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: The President has not yet signed any performance agreement with Ministers or Deputy Ministers for the current term of office. Performance agreements between the President and Ministers are currently being drafted, based on the recently approved Medium Term Strategic Framework. They are due to be signed by the end of November. These agreements will cover the full term of office of this administration.
Once the President has signed the performance agreements with his Ministers, he will meet with them periodically to review progress. The contents of the performance agreement will be based on the Medium Term Strategic Framework. Cabinet will be reviewing progress reports by outcomes co-ordinating Ministers against the Medium Term Strategic Framework three times a year.
Following these reviews, progress against the MTSF will be made public through the programme of action website, which is linked to the Department of Performance Monitoring And Evaluation website. Consequences for Ministers who perform poorly are a matter for the discretion of the President. Thank you.
Mr M KHAWULA: Chairperson, Deputy Minister I am happy with that answer but I also want to know and get assurance that Ministers who performing poorly will suffer the consequences. I also want to go on to say that we hope we will not see what has been set as a precedent, or what has been a habit before, that when you are a Minister, a Deputy Minister, MEC or a premier performing poorly, then poor International Relations suffers the consequences. It becomes the landing pad for the poorly performing officials out there in the Cabinet. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: As I said in my response, the issue of performance of Ministers and Deputy Ministers is at the discretion of the President. The rest of the other issues are none of my business. Thank you. [Interjections.]
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Chairperson, I am actually very glad to hear that these performance agreements have not been signed. Maybe they have not been drafted yet. What should be brought in there is this: Ministers must see that they answer the questions of the NCOP, that they attend the committee meetings and that they should come to this House and not send other Ministers. [Applause.] We are pleading to the Minister to include that in these performance agreements.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Deputy Minister, that was a comment and I am sure all the Members of the NCOP echo it. Do you wish to respond, sir?
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: It is part of the performance of the executive. [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Yes, the department did an assessment of the last four years of the Presidential Hotline, as I indicated in an earlier response. It produced a publication celebrating four years of the Presidential Hotline and a video depicting “fill in the blank” stories from a number of citizens who have used the Hotline. Both of these are available on our Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation website.
It is the intention of the department to subject the Presidential Hotline to an independent evaluation during the 2015-16 financial year, subject to funding availability. A four-year overview of the performance report was also tabled to Cabinet in 2014 and that report is also accessible on our website.
The DPME has a directorate tasked with the daily monitoring of the resolution of queries by the line departments, provinces and municipalities. They monitor the interaction of the line departments with the web-based reporting system, which I spoke about at length earlier on.
Finally, the performance reports are also presented to Cabinet at least twice a year. After approval by Cabinet, the performance information is published on the website. At the request of any portfolio committee, the department will present information on the performance of the Presidential Hotline. [Interjections.]
Mr D STOCK: Hon Chairperson, I was saying I do not have follow-up questions. I am fairly covered by the response of the Deputy Minister. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon Chairperson, Outcome 12 of the Medium Term Strategic Framework is “an efficient, effective and development-oriented public service”. A sub outcome of this is “an increased responsiveness of public servants and accountability to citizens”. Here, we have set targets for revitalising the Batho Pele programme, as well as for improved feedback opportunities to citizens and other service users.
To support this, the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, together with the SAPS, the Departments of Health and Social Development and Sassa, is running a national citizen-based monitoring trial at a number of police stations, Sassa offices, welfare services points and health facilities. The aim is to develop a practical approach to putting citizen care into the performance management system of government. The approach uses citizen feedback as a way to measure performance and to drive local service delivery improvements.
Community survey teams are recruited through programmes such as community works programmes and trained to interview fellow community members on the performance of their local police, health services, etc. This feedback is compiled into local citizens’ report which identifies and ranks performance challenges based on citizens’ views. These reports are used in dialogues between government officials and community members on how and what to improve. These dialogues result in negotiated improvement plans, which are presented to the broader community and then monitored by community leadership and sector departments.
The first cycle of this community-based monitoring has just been completed in Msinga in KwaZulu-Natal and Maluti-A-Phofung Local Municipality, where it has generated a very positive local response. The trial has just been expanded to other provinces and will be evaluated next year for upscaling. This approach is set out in the framework for strengthening citizen and government partnership for monitoring frontline service delivery. This framework was approved by Cabinet in August last year and is available on the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation website. Thank you.
Mr M RAYI: Hon Chairperson, I have been given the responsibility to ask a follow-up question, but I am very satisfied with the comprehensive response by the Deputy Minister. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Through our roadmap, which is the National Development Plan, we have identified, among other factors, the shortcomings in the education system, which is the backbone of skills development in our country. Improving education, training and innovation is dealt with extensively in Chapter 9 of the NDP. We have identified four subsectors that will enhance and contribute to skills development. These are early childhood development, basic education, postschool and national research and innovation.
The Medium Term Strategy Framework provides specific targets aimed at enhancing skills development in the country in the next five years. Government will continuously monitor implementation and review progress to determine whether government is on course in achieving its transformational and skills development objectives.
Our country’s transformation agenda is aimed at reducing poverty, inequality and joblessness. This can be realised by drawing the energies of all South Africans towards growing an inclusive economy, building the necessary capabilities and partnerships throughout society.
Ministers are appointed by the President and are therefore accountable to him and not to the Minister in the Presidency. The President has put in place an accountability mechanism in the form of performance agreements between him and his Ministers. As we said earlier on, these will be finalised by the end of November. The President meets with his Ministers periodically to review progress against the performance agreements and therefore the consequences of poor performance also lie with him. Thank you.
Ms T J MOKWELE: Chairperson, on behalf of hon Mtileni, who is out on an official trip, we do not have a follow-up question.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Chairperson, I just want to know this: When assessing the performance of a particular Minister or a department, has the Minister’s department embarked on a process to evaluate whether and to what extent the government departments are implementing the NDP?
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: What happens is that all government departments are required to develop annual performance plans or strategic plans, which are based on the implementation of the NDP. This government has adopted a five-year plan. This is the Medium Term Strategic Framework, which all the programmes and plans of government should be based on. So, the assessment of whether our government departments or Ministers are performing is actually based on those plans, which are the implementation of the NDP.
Similarly, the contracts between the President and the Ministers are based on how the Ministers and Deputy Ministers will be taking forward the NDP in their area of responsibility, which is now categorised into 14 outcomes. I hope that answers the question. Thank you.
Ms L MATHYS: Chairperson, what have been some of the consequences for underperforming Ministers or departments in the past - maybe you could tell us at least one - because this is not the first time we have had performance agreements. As I have said, we always talk about what we are going to do. Let us talk about what we have done. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Chairperson, the President has been in office with this executive for the last six months and he has yet to sign performance agreements with his Ministers and Deputy Ministers. It is at his discretion, over time, to make an assessment of whether Ministers and Deputy Ministers are performing to determine what the consequences are for nonperformance. I must say that after six months as Deputy Minister in the Presidency, and also as the Minister, we are not in a position to make a determination on what the consequences are and all that. Anyway, it is at the discretion of the President to appoint or remove Ministers and/or Deputy Ministers. Thank you.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Chairperson, you know, the hon President was President in the fourth term. This whole system of performance agreements existed in the fourth term. So, basically, can the Deputy Minister answer us? When you step into a position, you pick up what happened before so that you can carry on with it. So, he must know what punitive measures were in place and will be in place now for these agreements. After all, you cannot sign a performance agreement with no punitive measures in it.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Order! Hon van Lingen, the Deputy Minister has repeated that it is the prerogative of him who appoints to discipline, dismiss or whatever. Hon members, I think we must leave it at that because the Deputy Minister would be speculating. We are now saying he must act or respond as if he were the President.
The question asked by the hon Mathys was permissible because it said, give us examples of the underperfomance and so on. That is why I allowed it. You are asking the Deputy Minister to become the President, which I think is out of order. You are saying, what are the punitive measures and why has he not acted – something this Deputy Minister cannot respond to, in all fairness. [Interjections.] Hon members, order! I am proceeding to question 118, which has been asked by the hon Masango to the hon Minister of Public Service and Administration, Minister Chabane.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Chairperson, the Department of Public Service and Administration received approximately 400 cases through the Presidential Hotline from the Presidency. Comprehensive analysis on all the cases is still being done, but indications are that some of the cases will be referred to the relevant affected departments to be resolved. That is how our procedures work: Departments deal with their own management issues. Some cases prove to have no basis and the Department of Public Service and Administration will take those cases further with relevant complainants in order to explain why we think there is no basis for such cases.
Some of the cases will be referred to the next phase for further investigation and, where appropriate, to the level of disciplinary action through the structures that have been established in the various departments to deal with such issues.
The Department of Public Service and Administration has not established a body to deal with cases of corruption and unethical conduct in the Public Service. However, the Public Administration Management Bill, which still needs to be signed by the President, provides for the establishment of an Ethics, Integrity and Disciplinary Technical Assistance Unit, which will become effective when the Bill has been promulgated.
Cabinet has approved the establishment of a pool of experts in human resource management to support departments in addressing the backlogs of outstanding cases where employees were placed on precautionary suspension, pending investigation. Depending on our experience of this, departments may decide to use that framework as an instrument to deal with some of the cases going forward, beyond what is provided for in the law.
As we stand, there is no legal framework that empowers the Department of Public Service and Administration to establish a blacklist of people who are not supposed to be employed in the Public Service. Thank you.
Mr J J LONDT: Chair, I would like to know if the Minister agrees that corruption is a Western concept or is it a serious crime and perpetrators should have their day in court?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon member, I am trying very hard to keep a straight face. Hon Minister, do you wish to respond to this question?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: It is not related to the ... [Inaudible.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Yes, it is not related. That is why I am trying to keep a straight face.
Mr J W W JULIUS: Minister, do whistle-blowers who report corruption in government have sufficient protection from victimisation at this moment? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Parliament, the National Assembly or another structure has passed laws and created instruments to manage the issue of whistle-blowers. We think those laws are adequate for now, but with other stakeholders involved in dealing with this issue, we are looking at how, on the operational side, we can strengthen the issue of the protection of whistle-blowers, not only physically but also so that we can encourage more people to come forward. There are strong instruments in place but we need to find practical ways that will make them easy to implement to safeguard whistle-blowers in the Public Service.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Yes, there are plans in place to retain adequately skilled and experienced heads of departments. These plans include the establishment of an administrative head of the Public Service, which has been proposed in the National Development Plan. At this stage, the Department of Public Service and Administration is working with the Presidency to formulate the best model, in line with international best practice, for the administrative head of the Public Service.
The House should also note that since 2010 Cabinet has approved the increase of the renewable tenure of heads of departments from three to five years, to ensure that we at least strengthen the positions of the heads of departments in various institutions. It is envisaged that the administrative head of the Public Service will assist in harmonising the practices and procedures in terms of which heads of departments are managed in order to ensure the effective management of the political and administrative interface. This will subsequently reduce turnover and improve the use and retention of adequately skilled and experienced heads of departments, which will improve service delivery through the retention of institutional memory, thereby ensuring continuity, among other things. Thank you.
Mr J W W JULIUS: My apologies, Chairperson. My follow-up question is about the drainage of skilled and experienced heads of departments. Does this impact directly on service delivery and what is its effect?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Both the NDP and our own assessments indicate that the turnover in the heads of department does have a direct bearing on service delivery or on the ability of institutions to perform adequately. That is why steps have been taken and proposals have been made – both in the NDP and in the procedures of the appointment of heads of department in the current system – that we should try as much as possible to retain the administrative heads in the various institutions we have. I can therefore confirm that it is our assessment that this does have an impact on the ability of institutions to deliver services.
Ms T K MAMPURU: Minister, what is the department doing regarding skilled and qualified but underperforming heads of department?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: The performance of heads of department is managed through the performance agreements reached between the heads of departments and the various executing authorities or Ministers in the various departments. Those are the instruments that are used to assess whether a head of department is performing or not. In our assessment, performance is not necessarily related only to the skills that somebody has but also to the person’s ability to do the work diligently and in the manner required by law. So, those are the instruments being used to do that. Therefore, when the contracts of heads of department are renewed or not renewed, one of the issues assessed is the assessment as contained in the assessment reports. Thank you.
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Chair, the government has no plans to incorporate municipal officials under the Public Service as national and provincial government administrations. Section 151(3) of the Constitution provides that the municipality has the right to govern, on its own initiative, the local government affairs of its community and to structure and manage its administration, subject to national and provincial legislation, as provided for in the Constitution.
Government’s plan, as provided for in the Public Administration Bill, is, firstly, to establish a system of public administration that is governed by the basic values and principles of public administration enshrined in Section 195(1) of the Constitution. Secondly, this system will effectively manage corruption by prohibiting public servants from doing business with the state, ensuring that all public servants declare their financial interests, regardless of their position, and maintaining an ethical and disciplined workforce with high levels of integrity. Thirdly, public servants will be highly skilled professional who live by the basic values and principles of public administration as enshrined in our Constitution and, fourthly, they will collaborate in the development of common norms and standards that define our value proposition to our citizens and ensure compliance to these norms and standards by all public servants in all spheres of government. Fifthly, it will be a public service that will facilitate transfers and secondments among the three spheres of government to address the skills deficit. Thank you.
Mr M KHAWULA: Hon Minister, we just heard the Deputy Minister of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta, talking to us about the 1984 Act, which regulates the salaries of the city managers and municipal managers. From 1994 till now, the government does not have a good story to tell when it comes to regulating the salaries of municipal managers. It is something that still needs to be done.
Hon Minister, there are inconsistencies. The salaries of these city managers or municipal managers are so high that you are afraid of even mentioning them. A public service that is controlled nationally will reduce these inconsistencies between the local, provincial and national levels. I think this is a good thing to look into.
The gap at municipal level between the high echelons of administration and the lower echelons is too wide. Something has to be done to close that gap so that we do not have such high earners and very low earners. It is much better at the provincial and national levels because the Public Service Commission is looking into all those issues holistically. What I am saying is this: There is no holistic way of controlling these inconsistencies so that they do not take place in our administration. Thank you.
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: This House is one of the institutions that is well placed to deal with issues of that nature. As you know, this House is a combination of national, provincial and local government. It is the only institution that has all the spheres of government in one place. Therefore, if there is a debate that needs to arise, this House is well placed to debate with the SA Local Government Association. This House represents provinces and provinces can express themselves in that.
However, in 1996, when we adopted the Constitution, we made the decision to separate the provincial and national levels and make that the Public Service. We decided to allow the municipalities to function as their own entities, not combined. Municipalities are looked at on an individual basis, in its own category and not as a group. That is what our Constitution says.
If you are proposing that we amend the Constitution, you are free to propose such an amendment in order to deal with some of these issues. Otherwise, without the constitutional framework, there is no way in which you can deal with these issues. There is only the manner in which they are being regulated now. So, the regulations as they stand are proper and in line with the Constitution, which makes that determination. There is no “one size fits all” pronouncement on everything the municipalities are doing. Therefore, I propose that if there is a concern from your side, you are better placed to represent your province and discuss this with Salga, in order to initiate that process. Obviously, from the national level, we might be happy because you might resolve some of our problems. Thank you very much, hon Chair.
Ms T J MOKWELE: Hon Minister, I do not know whether this is a new question or what, but could you please offer some clarity on this question? There are some officials in the municipalities who have been absorbed from the Department of Local Government. Those officials are still carrying the status of the department as public servants; as employees of the Department of Local Government. It is very difficult for those officials to be absorbed into an organogram of municipalities. They are battling in terms of their contributions to pension schemes.
I know this might sound like a new question but if you could please give some clarity or address this issue. Those people are really struggling because they do not know where they actually belong. When they go to the Department Of Local Government, the department will say, you are absorbed by the municipality, while the municipality will refer them back to the department. Thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Minister, this is a bit of a hybrid question.
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Yes, hon Chairperson, it is a completely new question. Nevertheless, the member has pleaded with me to try and address it. I have the opportunity to address it, so let me do so. As I said before, the spheres of government between provincial and national are different. In terms of the law, when you define public servants you do not include the local sphere of government. However, in our general language and in terms of the services you provide, you include everybody that is national, provincial and local. But they are governed by different systems. So, when departments transfer or second officials to municipalities, that needs to be governed by certain rules.
Now that you have raised the issue of officials who are battling, we are going to check with our sister department if they have that problem and we will try to resolve it. It is a problem that can be resolved but we are not aware of it. I was not aware of it but I think it is something we can attempt to resolve.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: It also depends, hon Minister, on what “absorb” means. Are they members now permanently employed by the municipalities? If that is the case, it seems to me what applies to members working for municipalities should apply to them. That is a matter that you are saying you will look into.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Chair, the hon Minister has just spoken about the fact that officials can be transferred from one level or sphere of government to the next one or vice versa. What really concerns me is when an official is still in a disciplinary process with a specific municipality and he is appointed in another municipality while he is sort of suspended but has not been found guilty. The process is still under way but he just gets redeployed. I do not understand how we are going to clean up the system altogether. Can the hon Minister give some clarity on this, please?
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Chair, I did not say that we can transfer officials in the three spheres. You can transfer officials between provincial and national and across, horizontally. You cannot transfer officials between the national, the provincial and the municipality at the two upper spheres of government and local municipalities.
However, I said that the Public Administration Management Bill, which was passed and is awaiting the signature of the President, will, if assented to by the President, give a framework in terms of which we would be able to transfer officials from the local sphere to the national or provincial sphere or vice versa in order to increase the skills pools we have.
In terms of the question that has been raised about officials who face a disciplinary process in a particular place and then start applying for a job elsewhere, obviously, as you know, our regulation is that if somebody gets charged or suspended in a particular place and then resigns, that person is no longer an employee of that institution. Once that person is no longer an employee of that institution, it becomes very difficult to prevent that person from being employed by another sphere or another department without violating that person’s right, because that person has not been found guilty.
What we are trying to do now is to maintain a database of people who have been charged, suspended or whatever else in the various spheres of government. This is an attempt to make sure that there is a common source of information that people can go to and ask if a person has been suspended or not. Does this person have any case against him or her wherever that person was employed in the public service? That would help as we try to address some of the issues that are being raised. But for now, as the law stands, once a person is charged and the person resigns, he is no longer your employee. If that person does not disclose his/her previous employer, it becomes difficult to track it because there is no record of it.
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Yes, the Department of Public Service and Administration maintains a database of all directors-general and heads of department in the Public Service. Fourteen heads of departments are in an acting capacity and one head of a government component is currently acting as a head of department and government component.
The periods of service of acting heads of departments are as follows. In Mpumalanga, in co-operative governance and traditional affairs, it is four months; and at economic development, tourism and environmental affairs, five months. In the Eastern Cape, in education, the period of service has been three months. In KwaZulu-Natal, in social development the period of service is three months; and in agriculture and rural development, as well as community safety and liaison, the periods of service are 10 months each, respectively. In Gauteng, in economic development, the period of service has been nine months; in health it has been one month. In Limpopo, in public works the period of acting service is six months; in corporate governance and traditional affairs it is two weeks; and in education it is one year and two months. In North West, in social development and women, children and persons with disabilities it is three months; in culture, arts and traditional affairs it is three months; and in health it is two months. In the government components, in the Government Pensions and Administration Agency the period of acting service is one year and seven months.
The Public Service Commission is responsible for facilitating the evaluation of directors-general and heads of department. According to the Public Service Commission, 48,9% of directors-general and heads of department submitted their performance agreements to the Public Service Commission by the end of September 2014. There is no pending court case against government by directors-general regarding contractual disputes which the Department of Public Service and Administration is aware of.
Regarding answer B, nine directors-general are currently acting as head of departments. The periods of appointment as acting directors-general are as follows: Limpopo, 11 months; North West, two months. Basic Education, 4 months; Communications, three months; Correctional Services, four months; Energy, six months; Labour, 11 months; Transport, 12 months; Water and Sanitation, 13 months; and the Department of Small Business, three months.
Senior management posts in all departments have not been filled. There are many challenges confronted by government departments in relation to the filling of senior management posts. These challenges include a lack of the required skill, a lack of talented and experienced individuals to fill senior management posts and the long process it takes to fill those posts by getting the relevant people.
Furthermore, challenges of filling senior management posts differ from department to department. Therefore, each department is in a better position to indicate its challenges in relation to filling their senior management positions. Thank you.
Mr S G THOBEJANE: Chairperson, Minister, thanks for the details. I am not the hon Wana; I am just standing here on her behalf. I am sure you are aware of that.
Hi khensile ...
... for the detailed response and I have no follow-up questions. Thank you very much.
Mr A J NYAMBI: Chair and Minister, as the people representing the interests of the provinces, we feel that the one for Mpumalanga should be taken off the list. We happened to have attended a provincial week recently and I remember clearly that the HOD had been appointed the previous day. He was called to come and explain matters to us when we were visiting a particular serious project where there were service delivery challenges. So, that is outdated information.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Minister, you stand corrected by the hon member from Mpumalanga. Hon Labuschagne, you may proceed.
Ms C LABUSCHAGNE: Minister, these questions related to deputy directors and heads of departments but on the same level I would like to know if the Minister is aware of this problem and of the prescripts of section 54(a)(2)(a) of the Local Government Municipal Systems Act, which states that, “Acting Municipal Managers may not be appointed to act for a period that exceeds three months”? What is the Minister doing to ensure that the prescripts of the Act are complied with?
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Hon Minister, you can reply at your own discretion. This is a new question on Local Government.
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: It is not only a new question, Chairperson, but it is irrelevant to me because, as I said, local government is a different sphere of government. We administer the Public Service and Administration Act. So, those areas fall outside of our scope. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: The Department of Public Service and Administration developed the Public Service Human Resource Development Strategy Framework, which was implemented in 2008, as a strategic intervention in order to respond to the need for the development of human resources skills, as well as the owning of such skills, to improve performance in the Public Service. The Public Service Human Resource Development Strategy Framework 2015 has been a blueprint for action over an eight-year period - that is, from 2008 to 2015. The strategy is being implemented by all departments at national and provincial levels. A full review is currently under way on the Public Service Human Resource Development Strategy Framework because the strategy is nearing its expiry date in 2015.
The outcome of this review will inform the development of a revised Public Service Human Resource Development Strategy Framework, which should respond, among others, to calls made in the National Development Plan on the Public Service to challenges of ensuring that internal problems are solved in a cost-effective manner and that court judgments and recommendations by Parliament are also implemented sufficiently. The Department of Public Service and Administration will embark on wide and intense consultation during the drafting of the revised Human Resource Development Strategy Framework. It envisages that this revised Human Resource Development Strategy Framework will be finalised in December 2015, for implementation from 2016 onwards. Thank you.
Mr L G MOKOENA: Chair, because the question was rephrased, I think it may have confused the hon Minister. The question really pertains to the tendering system, which is largely procured to the private sector, whose sole mandate is profit-making. What the question is saying is this: Is it not time that we take that capacity and put it in the hands of the Public Service itself so that it is able to deliver to the people, as it is practiced very successfully in places like China and South Korea. Thank you.
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Obviously, human resource management is currently a science. So, anybody who goes to school to learn human resource management - whether you are going to work in the private or public sector, you do the same thing. The only difference is that when you deal with public administration, the issues will differ. But the principles of implementation are the same.
What we are trying to do is to ensure that we improve the systems in government because while the private sector itself - in most cases - delivers actual objective goods -commodities - which can be counted, the Public Service delivers services. These are not necessarily quantifiable objectively, but these are services that are supposed to be received by the public. If we therefore employed the same principle as you are suggesting, it could help to improve the way in which the Public Service is working. We are working very closely with people in the private sector. We have an innovation centre and it is looking at all the principles and all the new ways in which services can be delivered efficiently in the public sector so that we can be comparable to the private sector also. Thank you.
The MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: On 5 June 2014, the Department of Public Service and Administration, DPSA, met with the Government Employees Pension Fund to brief DPSA officials on the proposed retirement pension reforms. Also present at this meeting were officials from the National Treasury and Government Pensions Administrative Agency. The Department of Public Service and Administration voiced its concern about the procedure to be followed and stressed that any changes to the benefits that have an impact on the existing terms and conditions of employment needed to be discussed and negotiated collectively between the employer and the unions, as stipulated in section 3(c) of the Public Service Act.
However, the impact of amendments to the Income Tax Act on retirement funds was not discussed - you know how the Money Bills are dealt with. Unfortunately, in this respect the Money Bill deals with matters that affect the benefits of employees. In the beginning of September 2014, officials from DPSA and National Treasury again convened a meeting to discuss a communication strategy to dispel the rumours that government wanted to nationalise Public Service pensions. It was decided that both the Government Pensions Administrative Agency and the National Treasury would conduct workshops for national and provincial departments. Subsequent to that, a circular about the impending workshops, jointly signed by the Directors-General from the Treasury and DPSA, was posted on the DPSA website. These workshops will be taking place and will be rolled out to discuss the issue with employees countrywide. Thank you.
Mnu D L XIMBI: Ndiyabulela Mhlalingaphambili, uyibeke yacaca uMphathiswa, icace okwekati emhlophe ehlungwini. Andinambuzo, ndiyabulela.
Ms E C VAN LINGEN: Chairperson, the Minister just referred to various workshops, but there is definitely a fear out there that people have contributed to the pension fund and that they are now going to lose a portion of the cash that they can get out. Other than workshops - because you cannot get hold of everybody in a workshop – how is the Minister going to arrest the fear of people who have been working in the department for years and years, in terms that they will understand, that they will not loose their money and that they will get the full benefit of their investment?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION: Hon Chairperson, as we know, the Department of Public Service and Administration is not responsible for pensions. It is the National Treasury and the Department of Finance , and they are also in charge of the Government Employees Pension Fund. However, in our discussions with the department and also with the unions, it was clear that there were people who were taking advantage of the confusion, or of the lack of information available, in the public sector about how the new reforms are going to impact on individual employees. That matter is also being dealt with by the unions, the National Treasury, by the pension fund and, wherever we can, also by ourselves in the Department of Public Service and Administration. We assist. We agree with you and the concern that you are raising. There is confusion on the ground and people have been resigning on a false understanding of what is being proposed.
In fact, as we understand it, it has got very little to do with the Government Employees Pension Fund itself. It has got to do with the provident funds, which are administered differently. So, the reforms are putting an alignment into that area so that people can get their full benefits. The Department of Finance and also the staff from the pension fund have been going around, talking to employees and actually sending circulars themselves to explain the position. Thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Thank you, hon Minister. Hon Minister, that was the last of your questions. However, we have been informed that you will act as the Minister of Women in the Presidency today, and therefore we will proceed. Are we right, Minister? [Interjections.] We will proceed. The Minister will respond to Question 128 on behalf of the Minister of Women in the Presidency. It is a question posed by the hon Michalakis.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION (for the Minister Of Women in the Presidency): Chairperson, in terms of the government’s planning timeframes, the department was required to submit its first draft strategic plan to the National Treasury and to the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency for assessment at the end of August 2015. This has been fully complied with and we are awaiting inputs from the National Treasury and the Presidency so that we can submit our second draft of the strategic plan in November and the final one in February 2015. That is the response from the Minister of Women. When I say I and we, hon members must please take it that way, so that there is no confusion as we go on. [Laughter.]
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NATIONAL COUNCIL OF PROVINCES: Order! Hon members, please understand “I” and “we” in that sense.
Mr G MICHALAKIS: Chairperson, from the Minister’s response, if I understood him correctly, I gather that the final report will only be available in November. The first draft is in August and the final one in November. Based on that response, the predecessor in the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities had programmes for women that had specific targets. Did your predecessor leave her department in such a shambles that seven months after your appointment, it has been impossible for you to finalise the strategic plan from this programme and to start delivering outcomes that would improve the lives of women in this country?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION (for the Minister Of Women in the Presidency): Chairperson, it is my understanding that if one Minister is acting for another, he or she is not obliged to answer supplementary questions. Nevertheless, wherever I have information I will try to share with you as much as I can.
The Department of Women that we are talking about today is not the same one of six months ago. That was the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities. The other components have been transferred to Social Development. So, the strategic plan or plans that were in place at that time would not be applicable now. If they have changed in terms of the new programme and the drafting of a new strategic plan, as I said, the final draft will be available for implementation in 2015. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION (for the Minister Of Women in the Presidency): The custodian of preparing a report on the progress made on the eight goals of the Millennium Development Goals in the country is Statistics SA, which co-ordinates this undertaking. In doing so it works with the key relevant departments and representatives of civil society per goal. As such, no single line department takes responsibility for assessment of the related goal outside this process. Hence the Department of Women works in collaboration with Statistics SA and other stakeholders in assessing progress made on goal 3.
With respect to the assessment in light of the 2015 deadline, the department is currently collaborating with Statistics SA on preparing the report on progress made on goal 3. The report is due in September 2015 at the United Nations. An assessment report on progress made on the MDGs was published in October 2013 and is available on StatisticS SA’s website. Overall, the report indicates that there is progress towards meeting the indicators and targets identified for goal 3.
Gender parity in primary education has been achieved and the representation of women at the political level is advancing towards gender parity. A challenge that has been identified is in reaching the required representation of women in management positions in nonagricultural employment, particularly in the private sector. Thank you.
Ms L C DLAMINI: Hon Chairperson and hon Minister, thank you for the response. This is a follow-up question. I will not mind if you do not respond, as you have just indicated, but perhaps we could get a written response. I just wanted to check if there were plans to enforce the implementation of gender equality across the board - not only in government, because most of the time when we talk about gender equality we think of government. Ensuring that gender equality is implemented would include the private sector. Are there any plans to enforce this? I ask this because sometimes you find that when women are removed, they are replaced by men.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION (for the Minister of Women in the Presidency): The House will recall that before the election a Bill was piloted through Parliament. This Bill aimed to enforce some of the applications and achievements that were supposed to have been reached in terms of gender parity in the various sectors. That process has not been concluded. I think it is the intention of the department to try and find mechanisms beyond what we have now to enforce gender parity and gender equality in all spheres of government and in the private sector. However, that is an issue that needs to be dealt with and concluded as we proceed. The department does have the intention to do that.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION (for the Minister of Women in the Presidency): Chair, since 1994, the ANC-led government has made significant progress in creating a conducive, comprehensive and multidimensional legislative and policy framework for advancing the human rights, equality and empowerment of women. Social transformation and all forms of gender equality have been on the agenda of the democratic government since 1994. The fifth administration has prioritised the socioeconomic empowerment of women to ensure a transformed society by locating the Department of Women in the Presidency.
There have been remarkable changes in social attitudes to women in the past two decades. However, these changes in attitude have not yet resulted in the elimination of many of the challenges women face in society, especially violence against women. What has increased is the extent to which women’s inequality and abuse are being identified.
Therefore, this year’s 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children campaign will take a comprehensive approach before, during and after the campaign to ensure continuity of effort in addressing issues of violence against women and children. As part of the approach, we have started engaging various stakeholders, including religious, traditional and cultural leaders to work with the department towards a collective approach to ensure that we work together as we move towards a safer South Africa for all. Thank you.
Ms T J MOKWELE: Go na le puo ya Setswana e e reng, mmangwana o tshwara thipa ka fa bogaleng le gore ntate ke thlogo yalapa. Maikarabelo a ntate fa e le thlogo ya lelapa ke gore o tshwanetse a thlokomele mme le bana molapeng. Janong, Motlotlegi Tona ya nakwana kebatla go itse gore lefapha la gago le dira eng ka bomme ba kwa Marikana, ba ditshwanelo tsa bone tsa botho di tserweng ka go thloka borre mo malapeng a bone. Lefapha le dira eng go thusa bomme bao, ka gore ...
From where I am sitting, those women are oppressed. They do not have their dignity because their husbands were massacred in Marikana. What is government doing to assist those women? Thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: The hon Mokwele is asking a question which is completely different from dealing with the custodians of tradition, faith leaders and cultural practitioners. The question she has just posed actually has to do with what the government strategy is in terms of dealing with widows and orphans. Hon Minister, do you have the appetite to deal with it?
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION (For the Minister of Women in the Presidency): I have the appetite to answer it, Chairperson. [Laughter.] The government has various programmes that deal with members of society who are affected by the death of their breadwinners. There are comprehensive programmes that deal with such issues, most of them located in the Department of Social Development. Regarding the specific case of Marikana, the House will recall that as part of assisting the families, the Department of Social Development, the Department of Human Settlements and various other stakeholders and departments have been working with those families since the event of the tragedy to try and assist them. So, there are programmes in place which are aimed at assisting the people who are affected by such tragedies from time to time. Thank you.
Mr M KHAWULA: Chairperson, I have a short preamble to my question. Long ago, women were not allowed to own property, because only their husbands could do that. However, in most rural areas that I know of in the country, especially in KwaZulu-Natal, under the leadership of Prince M G Buthelezi and the erstwhile KwaZulu government, women were given the right to own property. Long ago, women could not become amakhosi [chiefs], but that had been rectified, even before 1994. If you qualify you can be an inkosi [chief] even if you are woman. I remember that in KwaZulu-Natal we had a lot of acting women amakhosi before 1994. With regard to issues of inheritance, long ago women could not inherit after their husbands had passed away, but that was attended to.
My question is this, hon Minister: What is your department doing to correct the misconception that exists out there that amakhosi are oppressing women, because it is something that is just not true. We have an inkosi here, and he can tell you that he is not an oppressive inkosi. I know a lot of amakhosi and I come from ubukhosi [chieftancy] myself and I know that amakhosi are not oppressive. However, there are these misconception that in rural areas, where I am from, women are being oppressed. That is not true. So, on the other hand, what is the department doing to inform South Africans that the amakhosi are not animals who sit on people and oppress them? Thank you.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION (for the Minister of Women in the Presidency): Chairperson, historically, women in our country suffered what we called triple oppression. The first was as workers. You will know that they were not allowed to earn the same salary as their counterparts even if they did the same job. We can list a number of areas in that regard. The second area of oppression was their nationality. Black women were not taken as the same as white women. Thirdly, as women, their oppression was actually gender based.
Now, it cannot be right that even now we have not yet reached the point where women are liberated to the extent that we want them to be. The oppression of women comes in various forms. In some instances, it comes through the manner in which we grew up - through traditions, religions and customs. There are many elements which in their totality constitute what we term the oppression of women.
It is this struggle – the last lap of this struggle - that needs to be dealt with. It affects women living in rural areas and women in religious communities. There are quite a few elements to it, but the struggle needs society. It is not a struggle that can be fought by force; it is a struggle that needs all of us to work together and to look into those aspects of our society. You will find them in any community. In any part of our society, you will find one thing or another that affects women negatively. Those are issues that need to be dealt with. The department will have to deal with those concerns, together with members of the committee.
I think hon members will remember the debate about ukuthwala [to take a woman by force]. Some people will say ukuthwala is not how it was supposed to be and so on. However, the fact of the matter is that it is an issue of major concern. So, when people talk about traditional and religious institutions and how matters affecting women are being dealt with, it is issues like that on which we need to find common ground as South Africans, both male and female, urban and rural, religious and traditional, and everything else. We must work together to try and overcome these barriers and battles and ensure that women enjoy the same rights as the rest of us. Thank you.
Ms L MATHYS: Chairperson, I am glad to see the Department of Women in the Presidency has become a department that focuses primarily on women’s issues. I think you need to look beyond the advances we have made in terms of employment equity as far as women are concerned. With the advancement of women that we have had, we have equally had a hectic rise in the abuse of and violence against women. I hardly think that 16 Days of Activism is going to solve that problem. What are we doing? Our gogos [grannies] are being raped! That is such a serious issue and we sit here, talking about boardrooms and making sure that women are equally appointed into positions. The violence is out of control! What are we doing? It is horrible - I mean, our grandmothers are being raped! This is the country that we are living in. What is the Department of Women in the Presidency actually doing? Really, we cannot just be told about the 16 Days of Activism. Thank you, Minister.
The MINISTER OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION (for the Minister of Women in the Presidency): Unfortunately the issue that is being raised is painful to all of us. No South African can stand with shoulders high and be proud of some of the things that are happening. The reality we need to face is that this is a societal matter; it is not a matter for the Department of Women in the Presidency alone. It is a struggle all of us as South Africans need to fight, regardless of religious belief, race or political affiliation. It is an issue that should never be used as a political football, because it is an issue that is critical for the survival of the soul of our nation. Crimes of that nature, as you know, are social crimes that happen in areas where, in most cases, or in some cases, if the statistics are to go by, the rape and abuse of women happen among people who know each other and among children. It happens in households; in communities where people know each other. It is very difficult to police and you can only act afterwards. The policing can only come at a later stage, when things have already happened. The prevention part is something we as society, all of us, need to go out and campaign for.
I agree with the hon member when she says that 16 days is not enough. It is a struggle that needs to be fought day in and day out until our society reaches normality. The 16 Days of Activism acts as a highlighting tool. It is when we say, let us highlight these issues with a campaign focusing on the issues affecting women and children. Beyond the 16 Days of Activism, we are saying, let us continue with the campaign; let us draw in all of society - young, old, women, men and all the institutions - for us to work towards the realisation of that goal, so that we prevent these things from happening. The police can only come in afterwards; the crime has already happened. The responsibility to prevent these things from happening in the first place lies on all our shoulders. Thank you.
The CHAIRPERSON OF THE NCOP: Order! Hon members, as there are no further follow-up questions and the questions for today are exhausted, I just want to remind members that pages 33 to 34 are questions converted to written responses in terms of Rule 246(4). That brings me to the point where I can thank the Ministers and Deputy Ministers who came in, for availing themselves to do the House. We were honoured to hear the responses given to the questions posed to you. Hon members, this concludes the business of the day, you are requested to remain standing while the procession leaves the House.
The Council adjourned at 17:06.
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