Hansard: EPC: Debate on Vote No 8 – Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation:
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 05 May 2015
No summary available.
TUESDAY, 5 MAY 2015
PROCEEDINGS OF EXTENDED PUBLIC COMMITTEE –NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
TUESDAY, 5 MAY 2015
PROCEEDINGS OF EXTENDED PUBLIC COMMITTEE – CHAMBER OF THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY
Members of the Extended Public Committee met in the National Assembly Chamber at 16:41.
House Chairperson Mr C T Frolick, as Chairperson, took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY
START OF DAY
Debate on Vote No 8 – Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation:
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Chairperson, members of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration, hon members, Deputy Minister in the Presidency, MrManamela, members of the National Planning Commission and the audit committee, the business community present, leadership of the SA Football Association, Safa, led by Dr Danny Jordaan, youth representatives, student representatives from institutions of higher learning, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, and fellow South Africans, it is an honour to present the Budget Vote of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, including the budget for the National Youth Development Agency, NYDA. When I presented the Budget Vote last year, the department was newly established and therefore did not include the NYDA. The processes have been concluded and the National Youth Development Agency is now an entity under the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. I have subsequently delegated youth development issues to the Deputy Minister, who will present on the work we are doing in regard to youth development.
The creation of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation and the National Planning Commission was intended to create capacity at the centre of government to drive planning and development. The work of the new department is about progressively putting in place building blocks for a capable developmental state. We are building a state that intervenes on behalf of the poor in our society to address the inequities of the past and that puts our economy on a qualitatively different path. We are mindful of the fact that developmental states are a product of hard work and determination. We will not rest until all South Africans fully enjoy the fruits of our freedom. Our mandate remains focused on giving direction on the implementation of the National Development Plan, monitoring its implementation and evaluating the impact of government programmes. Furthermore, the department is focused on institutionalising long-term planning.
Our country recently celebrated 21 years of democracy. In 1994, a new nation was born from the ashes of apartheid and hundreds of years of systematic oppression of the black majority. Twenty-one years later, our country is indeed a very different country, imbued with the values of equality and freedom, which are at the heart of our democracy.The freedom we enjoy today is a result of bitter struggles fought on a number of fronts and for which many compatriots paid the ultimate price. South Africa owes a great debt to our African brothers and sisters on the continent who stood by us in our historic fight for freedom and justice.
In the past few weeks, our democratic values have been severely tested by the shameful attacks directed at foreign nationals. We deeply regret the loss of human life and the suffering that was visited on many hundreds of South Africans and non-South Africansboth. Government has moved with speed to bring peace and stability and to restore South Africa’s image as a custodian of democratic values and principles. We are determined to restore normality and, in this regard, the President has appointed an interministerial committee on migration, which has been tasked with ensuring that all aspects of migration are handled efficiently, including the social, economic and security aspects.
The term of the current National Planning Commissioners comes to an end in May. We recently hosted a farewell ceremony for the outgoing commissioners, where the President and Deputy President thanked them for the sterling work they have done in developing our country’s National Development Plan. In thanking them, ourPresident said:
As a country and government, we owe these men and women a huge debt of gratitude for serving their country with distinction.[ ... ] They are South Africans of a high calibre who, when called upon to undertake the national task, did not hesitate but came in and did their best.
Some of the commissioners are present today and, on behalf of government, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the commissioners for their selfless,dedicated service to the country and its people.In March this year, we published a call for nominations of candidates to be considered for appointment to the second National Planning Commission. The President will consider nominees and appoint men and women who will carry forward this important work for the next five years.
In the July 2014, in this House, we identified co-ordination and monitoring of the implementation of the National Development Plan as the most important priority for the department for the next five years. The Medium Term Strategic Framework, MTSF,forms the basis of our monitoring work. The MTSF is structured around the 14 priority outcomesthat cover the key priorities of the NDP, ranging from quality basic education to nation-building and social cohesion. The MTSF identifies the important actions required to implement the aspects of the NDP for which government is responsible over the next five years.
We have dubbed 2015 the Year of the Freedom Charter and Unity in Action to Advance Economic Freedom. Our struggle against poverty, unemployment and inequality relies on our ability to implement, monitor and evaluate the impact that government policies are having on the lives of all South Africans. This requires good statistics. I have directed the department and Statistics SA, whose Budget Vote is being tabled here tomorrow, to ensure the seamless integration of data for planning, monitoring and evaluation to ensure that the government is able to deliver better and faster results.
Radical economic transformation remains a critical focal area, coupled with a concerted focus on improving service delivery, the performance of the Public Service and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of local government.As part of this work, we have assessed national and provincial strategic and annual performance for their alignment with the NDP and other prescripts. Broadly, both national and provincial departmental plans are aligned to the National Development Plan, although more work needs to be done to ensure that departments craft strategic objectives that are SMART:specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound. As the maxim goes, “What gets measured, gets done”.Therefore what is not measured, does not get done.
Our monitoring function has various elements. Firstly, the President has entered into performance agreements with all Ministers, based on their roles, responsibilities and targets as outlined in the MTSF. The agreements directed Ministers to ensure that the relevant actions and targets are reflected in the performance agreements of their directors-general and cascaded down to the officials. Our job is to monitor, on behalf of the President, the implementation of the commitments made in all those agreements.The President has also appointed co-ordinating Ministers, who are tasked with driving and co-ordinating the implementation and presenting evidence-based progress reports to Cabinet at least three times a year, for each of the outcomes.
Secondly, Cabinet is using the MTSF as the basis for monitoring the implementation of the NDP. In the previous financial year, two progress reports were tabled to Cabinet. The progress reports are also made available to the public through the Programme of Action website.The progress reports broadly show that some progress has been made in a number of outcomes. The reports indicate that there is good progress made in ensuring that South Africans live for longer. This is partly attributed to the antiretroviral programme, whose successful implementation is testament to what we can achieve when we work together. In education, there is progress made in Annual National Assessment results pertaining to literacy and numeracy. Despite this progress, quality remains an area of concern for both sectors - a matter that is receiving the relevant government departments’ attention.
Thirdly, in collaboration with National Treasury, the department convenes performance dialogues with sector departments to review progress in achieving performance and financial targets set out in their annual performance plans.
Lastly, in keeping with our commitment to support Parliament in its oversight role, we have tabled several planning, monitoring and evaluation reports to various portfolio committees.
In his state of the nation address in February 2015, the President said, “Local government is everybody’s business. We have to make it work.” As a department, we are making our own contributions to make local government work better to improve the quality of life of our people.The department initiated an assessment of management practices tailored for municipalities. The initiative is referred to as the Local Government Management Improvement Model. This model and approach are intended to measure the institutional performance of municipalities across a number of key performance areas. In 2013, we piloted and tested this approach in 12 municipalities. In 2014, we planned to assess 20 municipalities but exceeded this target and assessed 30municipalities. In this financial year, we intend to enrol a further 25 municipalities for assessment. The department works closely with the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs in rolling out this initiative to the rest of the municipalities. The results of these assessments are intended to inform the Back to Basics programme, which was launched by our President last year.
As we said last year, building a capable developmental state and forging a disciplined, people-centred and professional Public Service are two of the key pillars of the NDP. The Management Performance Assessment Tool, MPAT, is one of the initiatives that we have introduced to monitor management practices within national and provincial departments. We do this because we understand that without improving management practices in the Public Service, the delivery of services to our people will fall short of their expectations.
In the past year, 155 national and provincial departments conducted self-assessments of their management practices. A recent evaluation indicates that the MPAT is a sophisticated assessment of management practice, comparable with the best-known international examples. Thus far, it has been received by departments with high rates of participation. Stakeholders value this relatively unique assessment tool and find its assessments useful for the improvement of planning. We have committed to introducing significant design improvements to allow MPAT to become more than a compliance assessment. Such improvements in the conceptual design are needed, particularly to draw in the relationship between good management practices and good public outcomes.
One of the areas where government has been found wanting is the payment of suppliers within 30 days of receipt of a valid invoice. A comparative analysis of national departments between 2013 and 2014 has shown that there has been an improvement in the average number of invoices paid within 30 days. However, delays in payment still remain a major challenge, with a significant negative impact on small business, on growing the economy and on employment creation.
For instance, national departments reported 155 572 invoices, worth a whopping R3,8 billion,that were paid after 30 days. At the same time, 62 887 invoices older than 30 days and worth R2,1 billion had not been paid. For the same period, provincial departments reveal a marginal improvement of 5% in the average number of invoices paid within 30 days. Provinces reported invoices worth R13,4 billion that were paid after 30 days and invoices worth R21,8 billion older than 30 days that were not paid.
Cabinet has approved the establishment of a special unit, consisting of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, National Treasury and the Department of Public Service and Administration,to proactively address the payment of suppliers within 30 days. We are building a monitoring and evaluation culture in the Public Service. In this regard, we have introduced a system of unannounced frontline service delivery monitoring visits, the Presidential Hotline and, more recently, citizen-based monitoring. During the recent National Imbizo Focus Week, we conducted announced and unannounced visits. Citizens raised issues such as the period of time that they have to wait in long queues before they receive services. We need to ensure that we modernise our systems so that we are better able to provide quicker and better services to our people.
The Presidential Hotline continues to provide a platform for our people to lodge their queries and complaints about the quality of service they receive from government. We can report that, for all complaints and queries received, 94% are recorded as resolved, and 6% remain to be resolved. We also regularly report to Cabinet and give feedback to departments and provinces on how many complaints have been received and resolved. We also undertake telephonic satisfaction surveys to ask citizens to rate their experience of the hotline. To date, we have surveyed 23 000 people and the results indicate that an average of 70% of people rate the service as good to fair and 35% aspoor.
We continue to work with departments to implement the Frontline Service Delivery Monitoring programme. In addition to the Msinga and Phuthaditjhabainitiatives, other initiatives will include the Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Western Cape and Mpumalanga.
In terms of Operation Phakisa, progress is being made to ensure that we grow the oceans economy to a GDP contribution of about R177 billion by 2033.Thecommitment of R7 billion of public sector investment in our ports by the Transnet National Ports Authority is ongoing. There is a R9,2 billion public and private investment in the construction of a new berth in SaldanhaBay, the extension of the Mossgas quay and the refurbishment of the offshore supply base. The Department of Trade and Industry has designated that working vessels must meet a 60% local content target.
Progress is also being made on the initiatives taken by the National Planning Commission to collaborate with other stakeholders in society, including the National Education Collaboration Trust, which is chaired by our Deputy President and from which a total of 4 262 schools are benefiting.
We have to reflectconstantly on whether our programmes are achieving what they were intended to achieve, whether they are doing the right things, whether they are being effective, efficient and providing value for money and how we can improve them. We have done a lot of assessments of some of these initiatives, including the following. Reports have been completed –assessments and evaluations – on about 39 evaluations that are under way, covering about R50 billion of government expenditure.
For example, the evaluation of early childhood development resulted in a new early childhood development policy being developed and gazetted in March 2015. An evaluation of the Business Process Outsourcing programme indicates that about 9 000 jobs are being created. Those key findings will be distributed to colleagues right now.
Going forward, this year we will focus on evaluating systems such as the Mining Charter, the agricultural extension recovery plan, the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement, whichis known as CAPS, the nonprofit organisations regulatory framework, and the National Drug Master Plan, among others.
Capacity building is one of the imperatives of the National Development Plan. As part of our capacity building and international liaison in the field of planning, monitoring and evaluation, we have organised and engaged in a number of events. For example, in March this year we launched the International Year of Evaluation. A number of events are planned in South Africa through the year. This will culminate in the flagship SA Monitoring and Evaluation Association,SAMEA, conference in October 2015.In June 2014 and March 2015, in collaboration with the World Bank, we co-hosted the International Knowledge Sharing Workshops, in which the following countries participated: Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Sudan, Trinidad and Tobago, Comoros, Kenya, Mozambique, Swaziland, Uganda and Zimbabwe.These international sessions serve as a platform for thedepartment to share knowledge with peers from fellow African countries about how the various planning, monitoring and evaluation programmes are designed and implemented, the difference they are making, and what is being learned from both successes and challenges experienced.
Internationally, even though we say so ourselves, South Africa is being recognised as a key player in the area of planning, monitoring and evaluation. Our National Evaluation Policy Framework has been translated – guess what? –into Russian and has been used in such places asKyrgyzstan and Bhutan. We work closely with the South African Monitoring and Evaluation Association, the Public Service Commission and other partners such as the African Evaluation Association, AfrEA, the UK’s Department for International Development, the international Centres for Learning on Evaluation and Results, and the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation.We are humbled by the interest shown by other countries in our programmes, and we commit to constantly improving the way in which we work, our tools and our guidelines.
In the last financial year, the department placed emphasis on ensuring that at least 90% of funded posts were filled. As we speak, 91,4% of the posts have been filled, resulting in a vacancy rate of 8,6%, which is below the norm. In the 12-month period, the department had a 9% turnover rate because of people pursuing other careers. The employment equity statistics at the end of the 2014-15 financial year in respect of people with disability stood at 1,6%, and the figure for women at senior management service level stood at 50%.
The budget allocated to the department for this financial year is R717,7 million. It comprises R69,8 million for administration, R85,6 million for outcomes monitoring and evaluation, R59,6 million for institutional performance, R88,2 million for national planning, and R409 million for the National Youth Development Agency. We urge you to approve Budget Vote No 8: Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.
Finally, I wish to take this opportunity to thank PresidentJacob Zuma, Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa- who is here with us today –the Deputy Minister in the Presidency,ButiManamela, the chairs and members of the portfolio committee led by Mme Mabe, the commissioners of the National Planning Commission, the former director-general, Dr Sean Phillips, the acting director-general,NolwaziGasa, the acting head of the National Planning Secretariat, Mr Mathe, my office, senior management and all officials present today who continue to provide us with much-needed support. Lastly, I would like to thank my family, my wife, children and all those who make our lives better. With your vote, we will be able to ensure that we monitor the National Development Plan to its logical conclusion. Thank you. [Applause.]
Ms B P MABE
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: PLANNING, MONITORING AND EVALUATION
Ms B P MABE: Hon Chairperson, hon Deputy President, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, hon members of the portfolio committee, Members of Parliament, ladies and gentlemen, Chairperson and Deputy Chairperson of the National Youth Development Agency, NYDA, as part of celebrating 20 years of democracy, government has published a 20-year review to reflect the progress made and the challenges encountered since 1994. The transformation of the South African Public Service is not an event but a process. As such, this transformation process, in the main, has been characterised by a range of achievements.
I am deeply proud and privileged to stand before you and debate the good work that the department has achieved and are planning to achieve with the budget allocated to them by the National Treasury. In the absence of effective monitoring and evaluation, it would be difficult to know whether the intended results are being achieved as planned, what corrective measures may be needed to ensure delivery of the intended results and whether initiatives are making a positive contribution to human development. With the work being done by the department, the portfolio committees are now being informed of the strengths and weaknesses of the respective departments they oversee.
The ANC conference in Mangaung in December 2012 agreed to embrace the National Development Planas a vehicle to address the imbalances created by the apartheid government of thepast. Indeed, it will take us, the ruling party, some years to correct these imbalances from the past. In 2014, the ANC manifesto was very clear that we should devote all our efforts and resources to the implementation of the National Development Plan Vision 2030.
The NDP envisages closing the gaps, eliminating poverty and reducing inequality by the year 2030. Government is more concerned about how urgently it delivers quality service to its citizens. The 53rd ANC Mangaung conference resolved that the second phase in our transition from apartheid colonialism to a national democratic society would be characterised by more radical policies and decisive action to effect thorough-going and continued socioeconomic and democratic transformation.
The conference also resolved that the state must continue to build capacity to drive the socioeconomic agenda in the country, including absorbing young people and women into economic activity, employing professionals, investing in skills required by the economy and investing in research and development to respond to the demands of the knowledge economy. The Department for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation has a crucial role in ensuring that all state departments deliver on this resolution by monitoring and evaluating them on the performance grid as specified in the requirement of the monitoring performance assessment tool.
The portfolio committee compliments the department for devising this important monitoring tool, which employs evidence-based information, monitoring and evaluation processes. This means that, working from a previous or current baseline, departments can plan properly to predict and project what their future benchmark and performance indicators should be. The tool has made it easy for departments to know exactly where to improve and where to maintain a constant as far as service delivery is concerned. It is now generally known that performance of departments is determined according to critical benchmarks, as follows: level one: non-compliance; level two: partial compliance; level three: full compliance; level four: full compliance and doing things smartly.
In this regard, I am happy to report that some of the highlights of this transformation are reflected in the following achievements in the Public Service. I will just name a few. Regarding risk management, of 42 departments, 17 departments were on level 4, while eight departments were on level 3. This means that 25 departments performed better at risk management. Regarding human resource development plans, out of 42 departments, 25 departments were on level 3, while five were on level 4. This means that 30 departments performed better regarding human development planning. We challenge all departments to work towards achieving levels 3 and 4.
President Zuma, in his state of the nation address, declared 2015 to be the Year of the Freedom Charter and Unity in Action to Advance Economic Freedom. The President highlighted Operation Phakisa, which focuses on the use of ocean resources to boost the economy as one item of the nine-point plan to ignite growth and create jobs. To highlight the progress made through the department’s co-ordination, since 2010 the oceans economy contributed approximately R54 billion to South Africa’s gross domestic productand created approximately 316 000 jobs.
In the last semester of 2014, the projected focus activities in the area of aquaculture were 625. I am happy to know that as of 17 April 2015, over 50% of these activities were completed successfully. Government has reinvested a total of R2,1 billion andup to the current year 32 settlements were upgraded and 87 housing projects were implemented across the distressed mining towns that had beenprioritised.
As part of the Siyahlola Presidential Monitoring Programme, in the 2013-14 financial year alone, the President visited the communities of Eldorado Park in Gauteng, Muyexe village in Limpopo and Mthatha in the Eastern Cape. In the 2014-15 financial year, the President also visited Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape and Giyani in Limpopo. No doubt tremendous work has been achieved so far in the past financial year. In this financial year the committee will prioritise receiving a report on the success of the Siyahlola Presidential Monitoring Programme.
Government has delivered many services that have led to the improvement of the lives of our people, but more still needs to be done. The department has conducted a number of impact assessment studies to provide evidence-based information to government, Parliament and citizens. Today, South Africa is better than in 1994. [Applause.]
As part of deepening participatory democracy, information management remains key to monitoring and evaluation. In this regard, the department plays a crucial role with its citizen-based monitoring project. Communities and citizens are surveyed on what they would like to see changed or improved, and how this should be done, regarding preset areas of service delivery. Citizens do not theorise on what has to be done; they state exactly how they want to see things done.
The initiative of the Frontline Service Delivery Monitoring Project clearly reflects a caring and responsive government to its citizens. Citizens need a government that constantly visits their areas to assess the quality of service delivery in their respective service centres. In the 2013-14 financial year, 186 facilities were monitored regarding dignified citizen treatment, location and accessibility, and opening and closing times. The average ratings,as rated by citizens, were positive. The visibility of the Department for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation on the ground brings hope to the aspirations of citizens for the improvement of the quality of services.
Research has proven that the President of the RSA is the most accessible, responsive and interactive President that we have ever had in the country. This is informed by the presidential hotlinefeedback given by the residents. [Interjections.]It is not me, it is the feedback! He personally follows up on complaints logged on the hotline. The hotline dealt with the case of MrSifisoNgcobo, who called to report being overcharged on his electricity bill by the City of Johannesburg. The Presidency intervened through the hotline and MrNgcobo reported via e-mail that the matter had been resolved and that he was a happy citizen. However, the department must continuously monitor other sector departments, particularly the provincial departments and municipalities, on their response rate to cases referred to them by the hotline.
On 8 January 2015, the President said:
We are increasingly becoming a youthful society as 60% of our population are young people. The youth of today is much more educated, more mobile and connected to each other through various social media platforms.
The challenges that face our country, especially the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality have a negative impact on young people. We need to give the youth hope that the future is in their hands. Let us prepare our young people to embrace that brighter future.
[Applause.]As the portfolio committee we know that the Ministry for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation has a keen interest in the development of the youth and creating a better and brighter future for the youth wherein there are widespread opportunities to start their own businesses and to mentor the youth through the National Youth Development Agency.
The portfolio committee conducted oversight visits in the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal provinces to verify the beneficiaries of the grant funding programme of the NYDA. The portfolio committee was impressed by the young peoplewho aspire to be entrepreneurs. Most of the young people interviewed during our oversight visit were pleased with the services of the NYDA. As a committee, we take this opportunity to encourage young people to unleash their business potential to create more jobs for others. We further encourage the agency to accelerate its services by providing access to the youth across the length and breadth of South Africa.
After deliberations on the strategic and annual performance plan, the portfolio committee is of the view that the budget allocated to the department needs to be increased to cater for more service delivery outcomes. I fully believe that government and citizens do value the existence of the Department for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation as a way of improving the state’s performance and their lives. Sufficient capacity within the department can help to measure performance accurately. The ANC supports #Say No To Xenophobia. We support the Budget Vote. Thank you.
Mr S C MOTAU
Ms B P MABE
Mr S C MOTAU: Hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, hon Chairperson, the Minister is right: The budget for the 2015-16 financial year for the department has indeed jumped to R717,7 million. What the Minister did not tell you is that the budget for the 2014-15 financial year was a mere R208,2 million. As was indicated by the Minister, this huge increase in the budget is a result of transferring national planning and youth oversight, including the functions of the National Youth Development Agency, to the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.
The department seems to be well on its way to achieving its self-imposed target of an annual budget of more than R1 billion in the medium-term by subterfuge. This is how it happens. On 13 November 2014, the DA warned, from this very platform, that the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation had embarked on a rapid expansion exercise. We indicated that the Minister in the Presidency, hon Jeff Radebe, had requested the National Treasury to increase the department’s annual budget by more than R600 million to more than R1 billion over the medium-term to the end of 2017-18. We were told then that the additional funds would be expended to create more than 750 new posts in the department. The DA warned at that time that this smacked of empire building and would only serve to deepen the ANC’s crony network by opening up further undeserved opportunities for cadre deployment.
On 15 April 2015, just a couple of weeks ago, we were told that the Minister in the Presidency had made a further submission to the Minister of the Public Service and Administration for this expanded structure and that it would have about 1 050 posts. We were told that the request had already been made to the National Treasury for additional funding for the envisaged bloated department structure. We repeat our call to National Treasury not to accede to this request until substantive reasons have been given for the request.
In the meantime, the department seems to be taking another route to achieve the same goal by attaching to itself the National Planning Commission Secretariat, youth development and the transfer of payment of the NYDA as a programme from Vote 1 to Vote 8. We foresee further attachment to grow the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation and your budget to more than R1 billion. The question is why the department wants to have so much money, because the DA remains unconvinced about the need for the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.
We believe that line function managers in various government departments should routinely monitor and evaluate the performance of their departments. We also believe that the Department of Public Service and Administration, which already exists, should be performing the co-ordinating function of monitoring and evaluating. We agree with the Minister that what you do not measure does not get done. However, we disagree that we need a new department to do that.
South Africa has already become a victim of big government. Just think about it: There are 35 Cabinet Ministers and 37 Deputy Ministers. Add to that the President and the Deputy President and the picture becomes even more depressing. The ever-increasing and mostly violent service delivery protests in the country are but a symptom of this very costly malady. However, while the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation still receives budget allocations, the department should remain lean, efficient and productive. But we seem to have some problems here. Let me give you an example. The Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation’s budget programme 2, which is referred to as Outcome Monitoring, is mandated, and I quote:
To advance the strategic and development agenda of the government through monitoring, reporting and recommending corrective measures on the implementation of the NDP and the NTSF targets and evaluating key government programmes.
However - and this is a big but - this department, the Public Service Commission and the Auditor-General generally complain about the lack of authority or power to enforce the implementation of their recommended corrective measures. And so the lack of compliance and consequent poor performance in the many government and provincial departments continues.
I am glad the Minister referred to the Management Performance Assessment Tool, MPAT, so I will not need to explain to you what the assessment tool is that the Minster referred to. Indeed, the tool exists but let me quote a few examples just to show you what we have in our hands. Regarding governance and accountability - and that is a very important key performance area - this is what MPAT 2013 says: Firstly, 70% of departments - and previously it was 79% - are still noncompliant with the standard for service delivery improvement. According to MPAT, “This situation is an anomaly given that improving service delivery is a priority of the NDP.” We agree, so why are they not doing their job?
Secondly, 73% of departments are noncompliant with the standard related to the Promotion of Access to Information Act. So, do not be surprised when you tell a department to give you information and they refuse - because 73% of them do not do that. They do not comply. This means that the departments either do not have the necessary capacity or they disregard requirements to ensure transparency and accountability to citizens as required by the law. That is what MPAT explains.
Regarding the human resources management key performance area, it was found that 90% of the departments - 88% in the previous year - were assessed as being noncompliant with the standard related to the management of disciplinary cases. According to MPAT, “This has a negative impact on government’s ability to enforce accountability and deal effectively with issues of misconduct, like corruption.”
Now, here is the problem. This can also translate into millions of rand in costs to the state, as the following example will show. In response to the question I asked the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services recently, we learned that the government had paid out R25,65 million to 419 employees in the Department of Correctional Services who had been, and I quote, “on suspension with full salary for the period 01 January 2014 to 31 January 2015”. We believe that this is indeed a case of fruitless and wasteful expenditure. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Ms S V KALYAN: House Chair, may I address you on a point of order, please?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Yes, what is your point of order, hon member?
Ms S V KALYAN: The point of order is in respect of unparliamentary behaviour, gestures, etc. When the hon Mabe left the podium, she turned to this side of the House and stuck out her tongue. I submit that that is unbecoming and unparliamentary of a Member of Parliament. Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T Frolick): Hon members, when we are in the House we expect all hon members to behave in an honourable manner. Unfortunately, I cannot ask the hon member to withdraw her tongue ... [Laughter.] ... but hon Mabe, will you refrain from doing so, please.[Interjections.] Just refrain from doing so; it is unacceptable.
Mr M S MBATHA
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr C T FROLICK):
Mr M S MBATHA: Hon House Chair, our colleagues, the chair of the committee, Minister, Deputy Minister, I am standing in the place ofthe hon Mente, who sits in this portfolio committee but has unfortunately been admitted in hospital.
Okuhleesikubonayongohulumeniwethuukuthiikakhulukazikuyoyonkeiminyangoeqalayo.Konkekuqalakahle, kuphindekuthembiseukuthikukhonalaphokuyiwakhona.Okwenzekayo la kuyafananakulomnyango. Lo mnyangowathingenkathiimenyezelwaukuthinjengobaiqalanjeiyokwenzani. Amaphaphuabantubakithi aye anyukaikakhulukazikulaboababekadebetshelwaukuthiuhulumeniuyezakusukelakuhulumeniongezansikuyakuhulumeniomaphakathikanyenohulumeniophezelu.Bengamboniuhulumeniukuthiuzaninikubona, base betshelwaukuthi lo mnyangoenyeyezintoezozibhekelelaukuthiuhulumeniangashonjekuphelaukuthiuzobenzelaniabantu, kephaakhombiseezindawenizonkeabahlalakuzonaukuthi, ninanjengewadiyenungokuhlalakwenukulendawonakulendawoyiniezokwenzekaunyakanonyakakuzekufinyeleleeminyakeniemihlanukahulumeniophethe.
Okubonakalayo-ke la ukuthiuhulumeniwethuukwazileukuthi, ikakhulukazi lo ongaphansikwaloMongameli, ukwazileukuthiushoukuthiokokuqalanaziizindawoezingamaphandleokwakukadekuyintoenkuluukuthiitholakale.Wathinaziizindawoezingamaphandle, kumelekuzanywengakhokonkeokuzamekayoukuthiindlelayentuthukoiyiswekhonafuthiiyiswekhonangomkhuluumdlandlangobaabantuabasemaphandlenikadebalinda.Esikubonile-ke la ukuthiizindawozasemaphandlenizigcinanje zona zitshelwaukuthikuyezakodwakugcinekungafiki.Kuyekubekuhleukuthiumauhulumeniesebenzisananabantuakwazifuthiukuthiaphindeabuyelekuboabatsheleukuthiyiziphiizingxinambaezikhonaezenzaukuthiuhulumeniangabeasakwaziukufinyelelakubantungobaphelasithiuhulumeningowabantu, ukhethwengabantu, kumeleenzeizimfunonezidingozabantu.Okubuhlungu-kelanaukuthiumangingumlisanje, ngisebenzisaigamaelivameukusetshenziswangomunyewethu la, ngingumlisawasendaweniethileyasemaphandleni, ngingacishengifeleemgwaqeniumangingahlengiguleebusukungobanomakungathiwaleyo moto igijimakanjani, ngekemhlawumbeikwaziukutholaumtholampiloovuliweebusukuemaphandleni. [Ihlombe.]
Okufikekubebuhlungufuthiukuthiemaphandleni, ikakhulukaziomamabethuabazithwele, umakubakhonausizoabalutholayokubawusizoikakhulukazioluxhumananezibhedlelaezinkulu, leziesizibizangokuthiizibhedlelazezifundazwe.Utholaukuthingempelangempelaayikho into eyenziwayoekutheninomakungathiwabayaziwaukuthibathathuabanezinyangaeziyisihiyagalombilinomaeziyishiyagalolunyekuzamwenjeukuthikubekhonaivolontiyaelixhumananabongasosonkeisikhathiukuzebakwaziukuthiumakuvukalokhookuvukayoebusukubaphuthunyisweukuzebakwaziukusizakala.
Mr N SINGH
Mr M S MBATHA
Mr N SINGH: Chairperson, hon Deputy President and colleagues, I am glad the hon Minister raised the issue of payment within 30 days. Thisis certainly a problem. I think hon members can imaginewhat a revolt there would be if we did not get our salary on the 15th of each month or public servants did not get their salary on that date. The sad thing about this nonpayment is that a number of small, medium and micro enterprises, SMMEs, are the victimsof not getting payment on time. They are the ones who are not overcapitalised and they rely on this money after theyhave rendered a service. I trust that your department will be more aggressive with other departments to ensure that payment takes place within the stipulated period.
The hon Mabe referred to a MrNcobowho he received a positive response to his query. Well done! And we say well done to the hotline. The question is this: How many otherMrNcobos are out there who are not getting answers to their questions. That is what we need to find out, hon Mabe.
Thirdly, regarding the question of the National Youth Development Agency, hopefully the day will come when we as hon memberscan come here, hon Deputy Minister, and proudly say that the NYDA has arrived. Unfortunately, we cannot say that now, because with the alarmingly high rate of unemployment among the youth, the NYDAhas certainly not arrived or met the objectives for which it was intended.
Having said that, with every state of the nation address and practically every provincial government speech, the country is continually being overwhelmed by plans but, sadly, grossly underwhelmed by the lack of delivery. Every year we hear that government has a new plan to replace an old one that did not workor to add to the myriad plans that are alreadyon the table. Despite there being nothing wrong with implementing plans that work and removing those that do not, the cost is carried by our people and it can be a hard one to bear.
This department is doing a great job, but the question I ask, hon Minister, is to what extent this department is getting the fullest co-operation from all government departments. I see this department as an overarching department that should really go into every aspect of service delivery and question all departments on their key performance indicators, KPIs, and performance targets.
When one looks at the annual reports of many of the departments, one finds that their own KPIs and their own performance targets are not met. That means that something is wrong. Yet, one will find that the budget the departmenthad been allocated to meet those targets wasfully spent. So what is wrong? Something is wrong. They are either understating their targets or they are not achieving the key performance indicators that they have set for themselves.
If this department is to get the country fully behind it and our people to embrace the vision it has, the plans that are developed, whether in terms of the National Development Plan or by any department, must be disseminated in communities. They must be fully understood by communities so that our people do not continually see what government says it will do and what actually happens as being mutually exclusive. Otherwise the only planning being done is just for show and no real impact will ever be felt by those who desperately need the roll-out of such plans.
As you indicated, hon Minister, this department has an important role to play in ensuring that the NDP becomes a reality and to ensure that the implementation of the NDP takes place at all levels. Last week we had a briefing on the NDP, which is still in its early stages. We have not yet arrived in terms of ensuring that there is full buy-in in respect of the NDP, not only by certain trade union elements but also by the citizens of the country.
In conclusion, our buzzwords moving forward should not be “plan, plan, plan” but rather “deliver, deliver, deliver”! We will support Vote 8 because we feel the need for this department cannot be overemphasised. I thank you.
Mr S C MNCWABE: Chairperson, hon Deputy President, Minister and Deputy Minister, the leadership of the NYDA, distinguished guests, hon members, as the NFP, our view is that this is one of the very important budget debates because this budget will impact on how service delivery is fast-tracked on the ground.
The President stated in his state of the nation address, and I quote:
The Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation has a role to co-ordinate and monitor departments in implementing projects and fast-tracking services.
We believe that the budget we are debating today will be able to serve this purpose if it is spent correctly.
One of the things that causes government not to achieve the goals it has set for itself is unauthorisedand wasteful expenditure.The amount that has been allocated for outcomes monitoring and evaluation programmes by the department must be used in a manner that will make it easy for everyone to see whether the government is achieving its targets and objectives in delivering services to our people.
The NFP fully supports the Local Government Management Improvement Model, which is one of the department’s toolsfor assessing the quality of management practices in selected municipalities. This, in our view, will help to make sure that such municipalities are performing to the expected standard and that the communities are receiving the services intended for them.
The NFP would like to further emphasise that subprogrammes like unannounced monitoring, citizen-based monitoring and the Presidential Hotline should beprioritised within the institutional performance monitoring and evaluation programme. We know this is currently happening but we want to further emphasise that such programmes be prioritised.
We fully understand that NYDA has been transferred from the Presidency to this department. Of late we have observed that there has been a change in the way things are done in the NYDA. This change gives some hope that things are going in the right direction.
However, a lot must be done to give this structure a more positive image. The NYDA is the hope of the majority of poor young people in our country, whether educated or not. We need an NYDA that is easily accessible to every young person, whether in a township or in the rural areas. The agency must go where the youth is. The NYDA must continue to propose and implement progressive programmes that will ensure the full participation of our youth in the economy of the country.
In order to save money, we propose that the agency scraps some of its programmes or transfers them to other relevant state departments. Programmes such as Matric Rewrite can be taken to the Department of Education, while programmeson health and wellbeing can be taken to the Department of Health. The budget allocated to this agency – although probably not sufficient – if spent accordingly and wisely, would allow the youth of South Africa to see change in their lives.
In conclusion, the NFP supports this budget. Thank you.
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY
Mr S C MNCWABE
THE DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Chairperson, hon Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa, the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration, hon Peace Mabe, hon members of the portfolio committee, the hon Minister in the Presidency, Jeff Radebe, distinguished guestsand - even more distinguished - our future leaders from Hlanganiso Secondary School inKhayelitsha… [Applause.] … and ladies and gentlemen, this budget vote takes place against the backdrop of the attacks on foreignnationals in our beloved country. We have seen young people at the forefrontof these attacks, often displaying the most brutalbehaviour. There can be nojustification for this. This is not the South Africa we know. The majority ofSouth Africans arepeace-loving and want good relations with our brothers andsisters on the continent, as was also evident in the last few weeks.
We have also seen young South Africans standing up and declaring boldly, “Not inmy name.” These young people have courageously said that they will not besilent in the face of attacks on foreign nationals. They will not allow the nameof South Africa to be associated with these dastardly acts committed by afew. Young people in the majority have shouted out clearly,“We are all Africans!”
We applaud them.We also applaud the stability that has returned to our communities and ourtownships and the decisive action that was taken by government in this regard. The National Youth Development Agency, NYDA, is developing aprogramme that will address some of the underlying causes of these attacks, asit relates to young people. A programme will be announced in this regard,linked to our commemoration of Africa Day and 16June.
In his budget vote speech of the Presidency, the Presidenthas indicated that our Ministry should mainstream youth development,provide oversight on all youth matters, and lead government’s effort onyouth development. As Minister Jeff Radebe indicated earlier, the full responsibility for youth development has been designated to me. Therefore, one of my key responsibilities is to drive theNational Youth Policy formulation, its implementation and its mainstreaming in all sectors ofsociety.
The commitment in terms of which we will deal with the challenges facing our youth is contained inthe National Youth Policy2020. Conforming to our culture ofconsultation when designing key policies and programmes, we released thedraft National Youth Policy for consultation, input and discussion. Wereceived overwhelming responses from all sectors of society.
We reached over 100 000 young people with the #NYP 2020 campaign, usingsocial media platforms. We also directly engaged youth in provincial, regional andlocal consultations across the nine provinces. We went to schools, shebeens,taxi ranks, bus stations and workplaces, speaking with and listening to young people. We metwith key youth formations from across our diverse youth sector.
We also received more than 100 written submissions on the National Youth Policy 2020 fromvaried youth voices across the country. The consultations culminated in theNational Youth Policy 2020 Consultative Conference, where young people weregiven a further opportunity to sharpen the National Youth Policy 2020 throughdialogue.
Allow me to highlight the key priority areas of theNational Youth Policy 2020, which include enabling economic participation and transformation; facilitating education, skills development and second chances; health care and combating substance abuse; facilitating nation-building and social cohesion; andoptimising the youth development machinery.
The policy proposals within the National Youth Policy2020 are thoroughly aligned with the National Development Plan 2030 and also with the commitments made in the Freedom Charter. The NYP 2020proposes the expansion of second-chance opportunities for young people toacquire basic education as a stepping stone for decent work and sustainablelivelihoods. There are policy proposals on mass youth entrepreneurshipand on training young people in skills relevant to agricultureand agro-processing.
These proposals are aimed at growing the economy andstimulating entrepreneurship. The NYP2020 also includes policy proposals forexpanding recreational facilities and diversion programmes. The National Youth Service, as well as fostering youth leadership for active citizenry, is at the core of the National Youth Policy 2020. The essence of the National Youth Policy 2020 is about giving young people a hand up instead of a handout.
The draft National Youth Policy 2020 is with the respective Cabinet committees for discussionand decision and will subsequentlybe submitted to Cabinet for approval. Weexpect the NYP 2020 to be finalised in June 2015. The department is alsooverseeing the development of the Integrated Youth Development Strategy, which is the implementation plan ofthe NYP 2020.
I have started meeting with youth directorates of government departments toensure that the commitments in the National Youth Policy 2020 find expression in theannual performance plans of the various departments. This will ensure the mainstreamingof youth development and the building of partnerships with those specific government departments.
We are currently working on amendments to the NYDA Act, after which we will bring thedraft Bill to Parliament for review and approval. Theseamendments are geared towards ensuring that the NYDA works moreeffectively and will give expression to the National Youth Policy 2020.
The NYDA continues to provide much needed youthdevelopment services to the young women and men of our country. Youngpeople have to be creators ofjobs and not merely jobseekers. This is the primaryreason for the NYDA’s grant programme for young entrepreneurs. It isdesigned to minimise risk and to stimulate youth entrepreneurship. TheNYDA has disbursed R28 million through its grant funding programme tosupport start-up entrepreneurs and to help current young businessesto further their ambitions. This has led to 741 youth-owned enterprises beingcreated and more than 4 000 new and sustainable direct jobs in the 2014-15financialyear. Hon Singh, the NYDA has arrived and is continuing to ensure that it meets the needs, interests and aspirations of young people.
The Solomon Mahlangu Scholarship Fund, which was launched by thePresident in March 2014, continues to do well, with a success rate of over 70%. This programme now supports 300youngpeople in higher education and therefore guarantees the opening of the doors of learning and culture.
The NYDA’s governance continues to improve. The agency has significantlyreduced its irregular expenditure from R16 million in previous years to just around R500 000 in the previous financial year. This has to be reduced to zero. This wasachieved through improved financial controls, as well as disciplinary measuresagainst those who breach regulations. The agency is currently working on aplan to close off the loan book in order to raise more funds. The first phase of the agency reducing its high salary bill has started in earnest and more than R34 million will be saved. This money will go towards meeting the major mandate of the NYDA, which is supporting youth entrepreneurship, creating jobs and advancing youth development.
The agency’s turnaround strategy promises better and faster implementationof youth development, including a more responsive NYDA. I will continue tomake unannounced visits to NYDA branches to ensure that they provide thequality service that is due to all our young people throughout the country.
In this financial year, the NYDA has been allocated R409 million tobe used for the delivery of youth development services. While hon Motau was taking a power nap, the President announced that this programme would be moved from the Presidency to the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation and, similarly, the National Planning Commission.
We recognise that 21 years on, South Africa is a better place to live in than it was before 1994. However, we acknowledge that despite these achievements, our freedom, as espoused in the Freedom Charter, will remain a pipedream for the majority of our people, unless we shift gears to intensify our struggle against poverty, unemployment and inequality.
I appeal to all of us - government, labour, business and civil society, in particular - to create anenvironment where young people have the opportunity to be employed andempowered. The future of our country depends on our youth. Youthdevelopment should be everyone’s responsibility.I thank you.
Ms R M MLESOMA
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY
Ms R M M LESOMA: Hon Chairperson, Hon Deputy President, hon Minister Jeff Radebe, hon Deputy Minister ButiManamela, all hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers present, hon members, all protocol observed but, most importantly, members of the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluationfamily and the National Youth Development Agency family, as well as fellow South Africans, good afternoon.
Hon Chairperson, allow me, or allow us, to stand here before you today as the ANC to support Vote 8, because we comprehend clearly our responsibilities and obligations, which has been bestowed on us in this 5th Parliament. We say “no” to criminal behaviour that espouse Afro-xenophobic tendencies. We say no once more.However, hon Chairperson, we are not going to be bothered by those who are intent on exacerbating the situation, instead of crafting durable and substantive solutions.
In 1955, all the fundamental, common dreams of South Africans - in particular, the oppressed at that time in South Africa and Africa at large- were given life through the Freedom Charter. A new nation was conceived in liberty, dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal,and should be moving forwardas such.
Now we are engaging in the great economic equalisation war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived, is dedicated and can endure. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as the almost final resting place of those who gave their lives for our nation to live. We are talking about Oliver Reginald Tambo, Thembisa Chris kaHani, Mama Bertha, Mama Charles Mathenge, Nelson Mandela, and others.
We, the people of this fifth administration, dedicate that fundamental, collective and common dream to mark the resting place of those who gave their lives so that this nation can live as people. We note that it is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. Together, we are pushing South Africa forward, using the scientific tool of radical economic transformation, which is underpinned by the National Development Plan’s stipulations as our benchmark and indicators, as was properly articulated by the hon Minister.
Fellow South Africans, allow me to congratulate the hon Minister and Deputy Minister for being among those who are able to walk the talk. Almost all the actions he promised in the 2014 budget vote speech have been realised. The ANC has once more demonstrated that together we can do more. Yes, there is still more to be done. It is only the ANC-led government that can better implement the NDP, which is so overwhelmingly owned by all South Africans. What a perfect deployment.[Interjections.]
I would like, hon Minister, just to sponsor some advice and say that we have done more as the DPME. However, it is very important that we educate our fellow South Africans and assist government to address the accountability criteria for specific policies and programmes. It cannot be overemphasised that we need to take our communities along.
The incoming Planning Commission, after the term end of the current one, as the Minister has articulated, will allow government to assess and evaluate with clear mitigating interventions and, where necessary, with strengthened capacity. We are looking forward to this. We are sure that some of our agencies, such as the Public Sector Continuous Improvement Site, PSCI, will also work closely with the department in suggesting creative means to deliver better and faster to our communities.
In eThekwini Municipality, for example, what the DPME has done, and which they promised in the last 2014 budget speech, is that the department has partnered with the Department of Local Government as one of the strategic approaches to management, which equips leaders, managers, employees and stakeholders at various levels with a set of tools and techniques to regularly plan, continuously monitor, periodically measure and review the performance of the organisation in terms of indicators and targets for efficiency, effectiveness and impact and encourages the integration of all departments at all levels.
The above partnership of departments is not too distantfrom Comrade Thembisa Chris Hani’s thinking. I quote:
Mr B M BHANGA: Thembisile!
Ms R M M LESOMA: Thembisile. Thank you, hon member. [Laughter.] Hon Chairperson, I quote: “The perks of a new government are not really appealing to me.”
The TEMPORARY HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Order, hon members.
Ms R M M LESOMA: “Everybodywould like to have a good job, a good salary, and that sort of thing. But for me, that is not the be all and end all of the struggle.” Radical transformation in our lifetime!
I know that those who do not have suggestions will laugh continuously. But it does not matter; I will continue.[Interjections.]
What is important is the continuation of the struggle. The real problem of the country is not really whether one is ANC. We must say that it is politically dangerous to pose as if you are co-governing with anyone without the majority of the voters mandating you. What is importantis what we collectively do for the social upliftment of the working masses of our country. In this regard, we need to create the pathway to give hope to our youth that they can have the opportunity, through education and acquiring the relevant skills, to escape the trap of poverty by voting “yes” on Vote 8 of 2015.
The hon Deputy Minister has highlighted this issue but let me just go through it quickly. The NYDA has continued to increase its spending on more programmes, products and services for the youth, since changing its strategy in 2013. The NYDA currently spends 72% of its budget on programmes and has improved its overall performance by reaching 86% of its predetermined objectives and targets in the last financial year - so say the Auditor-General, and this was approved by this Parliament.
The agency has further improved on compliance by reducing irregular expenditure from R62 million in 2012 to R16 million in 2013 and is on track to further reduce irregular expenditure to only R515 000 in 2014, a whopping 97% reduction of irregular expenditure.[Interjections.] Listen carefully! In the last two years, the agency has demonstrated that it is on a positive trajectory. What a good turnaround strategy.
For the first time last year, the NYDA reached more than 1 million young people in one of its targets, that being the provision of information through local youth offices. Exactly 1 061 000 young people in South Africa received information to better their lives through the NYDA’s network of 14 branches and 180 local youth offices. Provinces with the majority of rural communities, such as the Eastern Cape, have 19 local youth offices, while others, such as Mpumalanga, have 55 local youth offices. This indicates that the NYDA does have a presence in the rural areas. The NYDA is more visible than any other state entity, but its major challenge is accessibility. Young South Africans do not complain about what the NYDA offers. They complain about accessing the products and services from the NYDA for themselves. This is precisely why the agency needs more financial resources to scale up its bouquet of products and services, so that more young people can benefit.
A Pondering Panda survey conducted in 2013 indicated that 83% of young South Africans feel that the NYDA is important and relevant for young South Africans. A further survey on customer satisfaction conducted in 2014 indicated that 95% of young South Africans who actually walked into the NYDA branch felt satisfied with the service they received.
The new NYDA Business Grant programme has disbursed grants worth R50 million... [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Hon Lesoma, please take your seat. Proceed, hon Khawula.
Nks M S KHAWULA: Sihlalo, okubuhlunguukuthi lo mhlonishwasisukanayelaphaya eThekwini. Uyabona le ntoakhulumangayoibuhlungungobamanjeizinganeeziqedilenezingaqedangaesikolenizidlalaiwungangobaumsebenziawukho.Ayisisizingalutholeyonto.[Ihlombe.]
USIHLALO WESIKHASHANA (Mnu M R Mdakane): Siyabonga, mhlonishwauKhawula.
Ms R M M LESOMA: Hon Chair, let me walk my colleague through this. There are NYDA offices in the old Commercial Road in Durban. [Interjections.] I am sure the hon member will keep quiet; she doesn’t have to howl. You must listen, so that you can direct young people. Also, last year, as the hon Mabe indicated, ...
The TEMPORARY HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M R Mdakane): Order, hon members! Let us allow the member to be heard.
Hon member, please conclude.
Ms R M M LESOMA: All right, Chair.
Let me conclude, Chairperson, by saying that one of the issues that weas the portfolio committee raised as an area of concern was the loan book. They have assured us that their management has put together a four-phase plan to mitigate the findings in relation to its loan book and that it is on course.
Hon Chairperson, fellow South Africans, the ANC supports Vote 8. May our revolutionary ancestors and God bless and guide South Africa and the ANC. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr W M MADISHA
Ms R M M LESOMA
Mr W M MADISHA: Chairperson, according to the 2015 Estimates of National Expenditure, ENE,the department takes responsibility for monitoring the performance of individual national and provincial government departments and municipalities. As such, it says that it monitors frontline service delivery and manages the Presidential Hotline. That is the claim.
Regrettably, service delivery protests are not abating. Townships are in volcanic ferment. The SA Post Office, we learn, is trying to do the impossible: It is sorting mail by hand, because Siemens has pulled out. Eskom is more dysfunctional than ever before. Dysfunctionality is the new norm. The Auditor-General complains that there are no consequences for misconduct and poor financial mismanagement. Notwithstanding that, the government Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation does nothing and so the rot continues.
What, dare we ask, is getting monitored? We have one of the largest, if not the largest, government in the world - and the costliest government - yet it is presiding over anarchy, lawlessness and the collapse of numerous institutions of state. Cope has repeated the point made by former President Mbeki that the nation is in a state of drift.
We said from the beginning that executive monitoring without the participation of the National Assembly was an act of futility. Events of the present time fully vindicate our stand. Monitoring and evaluation is nothing more than a backslapping game. Ask the people on the ground what they think, whether on the Presidential Hotline or by any other means, and they will have a different view.
This government looks through rosé-tinted glasses and sees no problem and no danger, and therefore is so complacent. The ruling party is happy to make big promises of millions of jobs but delivers hardly any. This government says it has good stories to tell but it is frequently reaping the whirlwind.
The upshot of all the smugness is that the country is now too heavily indebted and burdened with too high a cost to service that debt, which generations to come will have to settle. Fiscal space has diminished and government is now increasing taxes and diminishing services. How did we come to this with all the monitoring and evaluation that was going on?
This government works with scorecards and evaluation reports, approved by evaluation steering committees. We urge government to leave the boardroom and get real. The Ministers need to get into their overalls and work with the people where they live to achieve hard outcomes, not scorecard numbers that are of no consequence.
We never agreed with this department’s lack of transparency and, frankly, we see no use for it at all. It is an unnecessary drain on taxpayers. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Dr M J CARDO
Mr W M MADISHA
Dr M J CARDO: Chairperson, the first five-year term of the National Planning Commissioncomes to an end this month, and it is now almost three years since Cabinet approved the Commission’s National Development Plan. So, three years down the line, what progress has been made in implementing the plan? What strides have there been in monitoring and evaluating the plan? That is, after all, the core functions of the department funded by this Vote.
Well, last week in Parliament, the Statistician-General, MrPaliLehohla, told the Standing Committee on Finance that we still do not have a set of indicators to measure progress. He said:
The goals and targets in the NDP are clear but the methods and indicators to inform progress are woefully inadequate. The absence of an evidence framework undermines the credibility of good intentions and actions.
There you have it. Three years later and all this government can offer us on the NDP are good intentions. Well, we all know where those lead. And just yesterday, former ANC policy guru, Joel Netshitenzhe, wrote in the Business Day:
[…] it would seem five years down the line that the NPC could have done more in ensuring that the targets and detailed proposals in the NDP are embedded in the core programmes and activities of all sectors of society.
Clearly, five years on, the ANC’s developmental agenda – it’s so-called developmental state – is suffering from a case of arrested development. And nowhere else is this arrested development more evident than in the National Youth Development Agency, NYDA.
Chairperson, because Vote 8 is so critical to the realisation of the NDP, we must prioritise its allocations accordingly. Yet in 2015-16, out of a total Budget Vote of R717,7 million, the NYDA has been allocated R409,8 million. That is nearly five times the allocation to the national planning function, at R88,2 million. It is nearly five times the allocation to the outcomes monitoring and evaluation function, at R85,6 million. And it is nearly seven times the allocation to the Institutional Performance Monitoring and Evaluation function, at R59,6 million.
Overall, the NYDA consumes 57% of the budget. This makes no sense. The NYDA has a history of fraud, corruption and irregular and wasteful expenditure. And yet every year we entrust it with millions of the taxpayer’s hard-earned rands.
The Chairperson of the NYDA claims to have embarked on a turnaround strategy. He says the agency’s vision is to deliver “as many opportunities as is possible with our available resources to the youth of South Africa”. Yet the NYDA still plans to spend R186 million of its R409 million grant on salaries. That is over 45%of its available resources on feeding a bloated bureaucracy, and not on providing opportunities for the youth. I am not sure where the hon Lesoma gets her figure of 72% from - on programmes.
We are constantly being promised that the wage bill is going to be slashed, pending the outcome of an organisational review.
In July last year, in his response to the Budget debate, the Deputy Minister in the Presidency, ButiManamela, claimed:
We are turning the corner in supporting the NYDA and we hope that in a couple of months, we will be announcing the fact that it has reduced its wage bill significantly.
That was 10 months ago, and we are still sitting with a wage bill almost as big as the Deputy Minister’s broken promise. In fact, the NYDA has not arrived anywhere. It has not even left the station.
The youth account for 67% of the unemployed. Launching a report on youth employment last year, the Statistician-General concluded that young black people between the ages of 25 and 34 “lost out in acquiring skills through the 20-year period and that is the crux of the issue of youth unemployment”. Yet in 2015-16, the NYDA will spend roughly only one third of what it does on salaries on its two flagship programmes, Economic Participation and Education and Skills Development.
What, in fact, has the NYDA done to foster economic participation and develop the skills of young people? Well, we know what it has not done because its latest annual report revealed that the NYDA underachieved by 42% on its target of supporting 100 000 young people through job-preparedness programmes.
It claimed to have created over 3 000 jobs through grant funding, but offered no evidence of what these jobs were, in which sector they were created, and how long they lasted. It is time to arrest the arrested development at the NYDA. Let us take the money and channel it into a real youth wage subsidy, structured youth development programmes and bursaries for educational opportunities. Thank you. [Applause.]
Mr M S BOOI
Dr J M CARDO
Mr M S BOOI: Good afternoon, Chairperson, hon Deputy President, hon Minister and Deputy Minister, hon Members of Parliament, I think we are grappling with a very important issue, which is about how we restructure government. I hope hon Madisha is still in the House because he seems not to be understanding how government... [Interjections.] Okay, I did not see him; he has joined the DA.[Interjections.]
He seems not to have...
Mam’ uKhawula, ncedaundihlonipheukuzendikuhloniphe.
So it is very important that we talk to the issues that are happening within. How do we deal with the mandates of the Constitution and how do we reflect on them? This is important because if we do not deal with that particular element, we might just find that we enter into the generic kind of debate that is taking place everywhere. [Interjections.]
Quite crucially, the most important thing... [Laughter.]
Ms M S KHAWULA: [Inaudible.]
USIHLALO WENDLU WESIKHASHANA: IlunguelihloniphekileuBooilibizeilunguelihloniphekileuKhawulangokuthiilunguelihloniphekile.
Mnu M S BOOI: Makahlalephansi, umaefunaukuthisimhloniphe. LunguelihloniphekileKhawulahlalaphansi.[Uhleko.]SikubonileukuthiukhonalaphaeNdlini.
So what is important, in the generic approach that you have taken, is how we structure government, because we all talk about the legacy of apartheid. We all talk about how theunresponsiveness of government is taking place.So, regarding public servants, the crucial part about monitoring and evaluation is that it helps to restructure government. It helps to enable us to say what it is that governmentlacks, to enable us to identify it,to begin to streamline it and to make it possible for us to find answers to the questions that are arising.
As South Africans, we must debate, day in and day out, what we mean by service delivery. We in the ANC do not feel that the manner in which we are talking to each other about this particular issueis enough. If it is about clinics, and somebody burns down the clinic, then somebody comes tomorrow and says, “You are not delivering services.”
What is it that we are looking for that should happen in various communities? I ask this because this term is becoming too generic and it is being overused. It is being overused in a manner that makes it seem as if government is not willing to deliver. Government puts in resources; it builds; it puts in taps, but nobody wants to acknowledge that. Some people think nothing has been done. Government and the President of this country have never at any momentsaid that what it has been able to do is enough. It is putting in the effort to build and make it possible for South Africans to get what we have been promising as the ANC. In the rural areas – which no previous government has ever been able to go to - in 20 years we have been able penetrate and provide electricity to those citizens.
We should be able to acknowledge that and give a positive indication of what government is doing. In that way, whatever we are being critisised of, it can be a bit more factual. It doesn’t become “you don’t want to do it”. I know as a matter of fact that it is for us as South Africans to acknowledge and take as our own responsibility to say to ourselves, if ever you read the Constitution correctly, and you understand what monitoring and evaluation is about, and you understand what national planning is about, you will understand that it goes even closer to some of the criticisms that have said that the President does not want to be accountable.
Here a committee has been created inside the Office of the President. It reflects exactly on what is happening. It assists in co-ordination and makes it possible for Ministers and Deputy Ministers to deliver. It reflects on the work they are beginning to do.
Now, the question that arises is this: That effort is being put in place, but then you come along and say no, no, no, this is bloated government, you are not doing anything. What do you expect the President to do? Because the President is saying, I am making this effort to make sure that South Africans get value for their money. They put up this particular department, and it is beginning to unfold in the shortest possible period that one can put something like that into place. It is beginning to say, South Africans, you must have a vision of where you are going as we head towards 2030. We should not sit back. We must begin to say, South Africa, where are we going together?
That is why everybody is adopting the National Development Plan - I know you don’t want to but that is not my problem. [Laughter.] But the most important thing is that everybody is adopting it and everybody is beginning to talk to it.
The hon Mabeexplained to you that a national conference took place and it adopted the National Development Plan because we recognise that it is important that, as South Africans, we find some communality. We are not even saying that this is an ANC plan. It was not even done by the ANC.The ANC just came in as any other party. You understand how these two institutions work: There is a party and there is the state. And the state created its own National Planning Committee, and this committee has now delivered.
We appreciate the effort and that it was put together by all South Africans and by various parties. We are all saying we will go along with the plan thatis in front of us. And we all say that is does have weaknesses. Well, we should be able to improve that plan. These realignments that are taking place, through the efforts that were put in by Minister Bongani, is so that we are able to be systematic, and we appreciate that. You were complaining last year, asking when the National Development Plan was being unfolded. When is it going to be implemented? This monitoring and evaluation plan that is being put to you, and the way a department is being created, talks to that and is the answer to those questions.
That is why we should always be appreciative as South Africans. We are not saying don’t be critical as a party. We say that you must also look positively at what it is that we are beginning to put together, so that, as South Africans, we find each other and we work together. It is very important for Members of Parliament to value every effort so that when we all go to the elections, we know what we talking to each other about; where is it that we are failing.
There was one thing that we were all concerned about, and that was that the country should never be destabilised by matters that we do not understand ourselves or by us making statements that are contradictory. We do not want to be in a situation where we are unable to point outthe direction in which the country is going.
That is why the ANC said that we would not want to get involved when the state says that this is what we want to doas a collective to give direction to our country. We stood aside and we took ourselves to a conference – differing, as we do, but nevertheless we came to a conference -and said that we must adopt the National Development Plan, because then it begins to say that, as South Africans across the board, we are beginning to find each other. There are issues that we are able to agree on.
Now we are looking at this particular monitoring and evaluation department that is beginning to poke at things and to get down to detailed business. You see, what you do not hear and what is not appreciated is that there is the Public Administration Management Bill, which deals with one of the most critical things that we are dealing with here: How do we deal with officials who are benefitting from the system and getting themselves enriched without them being arrested? It is a matter that we have really taken to the heart as the ANC.
If you go through the Public Administration Management Bill and read it carefully, you will understand that this government says that we must deal with this matter called corruption. We are all concerned about it. The Public Administration Management Bill is moving closer to the point where they are able to deal with the day-to-day activities of their own officials within the Public Service. It asks, how do we deal with them? How do we make them pay? It is doing this so that, when the Auditor-General says, I have done my investigation through forensic testing, and this is what has happened; these are the results, then, we hope,the people who serve on the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, Scopa, using the Public Administration Management Bill, will be able to say, this is the name of the official, this is what he has done, we are unable to find answers, and we will all deal with it now. In this way it does not become a matter that we become too protective.
The President, under the Zuma administration, has laid down his own responsibility for making sure that this government is beginning to deliver, for recognising what opposition parties are raising and forrecognising what South Africans are raising. That is the type of responsibility we are talking about. There are laws. It is very important that we do not become generic in our approach, saying this and that is not happening, there is lawlessness and whatever else. Follow the Constitution and, after the Constitution, look at the Acts that are being put together – the Act that talks to the issue that you are raising as a concern. Only then you can say that this government is not doing anything.
If you say that the Public Administration Management Bill works, it will mean that the Public Administration Management Bill is put and unpacked in a manner that makes it possible for me and you, when we meet with an official in the street tomorrow who is doing something wrong, to say to this official, this is the law. It would mean that we would be able to arrest him.
If this is not the case, only then can we say that those institutions are not able to deliver. But if we live in a manner where we are reckless in the way we handle these particular mattersand in how we interpret the law, then South Africa is definitely in for a crisis. We must be very conscious of our own statements. I am just saying that it is quite right.Today there is a very big article in The Timesdealing with this overpayment of officials, who are enriching themselves. It arrives out of that concern that we must be able to express and talk to this particular matter.
If we listen to Minister Bongani and notice the manner in which he is unpacking these things and the efforts he is beginning to put into place, under the leadership of the President, then you can see the seriousness with which he is beginning to make sure that we follow up on officials who enrich themselves through the system.
We know as a matter of fact and from experience in the Standing Committee on Public Accounts that there are elements. When you come there one day, this official is a director-general. He then messes up in the department. Tomorrow he disappears and becomes a deputy director-general somewhere down the line. These are the things that we are all conscious of. We are taking full responsibility for them. We are asking, how do we deal with those particular matters, and how do we make sure that every South African takes responsibility.
As Members of Parliament we say to the different commissioners that you have given a very good response. You have put South Africa on the path to a particular vision, and we will live up to that.As the Minister has said, we thank you for the effort you have put together to help shape South Africa’s thinking across racial lines, across gender lines. Thank you. That will always stand with you.
We will always try tofocus our minds on what you have put in front of us. We must always thank you. You have really done a very good thing for South Africans. [Applause.] Without you, we would not be able to tell our children, who are also seated up there, that there is a vision in this country. When there is a vision, there is a plan.
Hon Bongani is fulfilling that plan through the mechanisms that he is beginning to put into place.Correctly so, a department has been in creation for some time, and now he is beginning to say what department A is doing and how he is going to make sure that he is able to deal withwhatever comes out of that department. Thank you. [Time expired.] [Laughter.][Applause.]
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY
Mr M S BOOI
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: Chairperson, Deputy President, hon members and all those who participated in this debate, let me thank you for overwhelmingly supporting Budget Vote 8, which I appreciate. There are a few issues I wish to respond to.
Regarding the lack of authority to implement, as we said last year, and it still happens now, there is no government department that is able to source funding from the National Treasury unless the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation has confirmed that the budget proposals are in line with the National Development Plan.
To those who still doubt the implementation of the NDP, we should perhaps give them a copy of the Medium-Term Strategic Framework 2014 to 2019, which we have distributed in this House. Maybe some Members of the Opposition have not had the time to read it and to realise that, in fact, we are implementing the NDP. Statistics don’t lie. Those who think that things are not being done in the department are quoting the Auditor-General, yet the same Auditor-General gave the department a clean audit reportin his audit report for 2012-13. Ezandleni! [A round of applause!][Applause.]For the 2013-14 financial year, the same Auditor-General gave the department a clean audit opinion. [Applause.] We are waiting for the current audit, which we expect will also have positive results.
Regarding the 30-day payment cycle, I don’t know if the portfolio committee that will be conducting public hearings on 21 and 22 May 2015 will be willing to come and give you more information about the work that is being done by the government to ensure that those officials who do not complyare exposed.
Lastly, there has been a lot of pessimism here about our country and its economy. But before I clarify anything, let me just say that if you write an article and you do not use your own words and you do not acknowledge the real author, that is called plagiarism. [Laughter.][Applause.] What do you call it when someone repeats the same speech that they uttered on 21 July 2014, like what the hon Motau did? He only changed the date. [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: It is called “quotation”!
The MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY: In conclusion, I want to quote an article written by Max du Preez this morning about the Afro-pessimism that is so prevalent in the DA. In this article he says: “Foreign visitors see a totally different picture of South Africa.” Two seasoned European academics who visited Du Preez last week were astonished at our lack of appreciation of South Africa’s stability, vibrancy and progress.Those visitors noticed the most sophisticated infrastructure, economy and business sector in the so-called Third World. They said the number of houses built for the homelands since 1994 is unique in modern world history. They are impressed with the openness of our society and the robustness of the racial, class and ethnic debates.
They are very impressed that South Africa could build a black middle-class of some 6 million in just two decades. They are very complimentary about the quality of black entrepreneurs and public intellectuals. They have expressed their admiration that, after 20 years, the Constitution is still a rock of stability and that the rule of law is still applied rigorously.
It is about time that we nail the prophets of doom and expose those who peddle lies and half-truths for their own purposes. [Applause.] South Africa faces many challenges, but the picture is not nearly as dark as these alarmists paint it. If South Africa was hell, how do we explain that more than 5 million people from other countries choose to come and live here?
Blind pessimism and the culture of always blaming others rob people of their energy and their will to tackle challenges. Come on! Snap out of it, really! [Applause.]
The Committee rose at 18:33.
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