Hansard: NA: Debate on Vote No 17 — Social Development
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 12 May 2015
No summary available.
EPC - OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
TUESDAY, 12 MAY 2015
TUESDAY, 12 MAY 2015
PROCEEDINGS OF EXTENDED PUBLIC COMMITTEE – OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Members of the Extended Public Committee met in the Old Assembly Chamber at 14:00.
House Chairperson Ms M G Boroto, as Chairperson, took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayers and meditation.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto)
START OF DAY
Debate on Vote No 17 — Social Development:
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order! Before you start to speak, hon Minister, I am very sorry to interrupt you, but I would like to announce that hon members from this side will use this one, and hon members from that side will use that one. If you are the next speaker, there is an open seat here for you to use. You may come and sit here. Please continue, Minister.
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Hon Chairperson, Deputy Minister of Social Development, Ms Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development, Ms Zoleka Capa, hon Members of Parliament, MECs for social development, distinguished guests, and ladies and gentlemen, before I begin with the Budget Vote speech, I would like to ask us all to remember, mourn and celebrate the life of our fallen mother and struggle icon, Mama Ruth Segomotsi Mompati. In 1962 Mama Ruth went into exile, when she underwent military training and became a leader in MK. She dedicated her life to the struggle for freedom.
Twenty-one years ago Nelson Mandela walked into this House as the newly elected President of a democratic South Africa, and committed the ANC government to the realisation of a better life for all. Then, as now, our quest has been and remains, to give a more humane face to our society.
I stand here today humbled by the task of continuing to carry this mandate forward and grateful for the trust our people have bestowed on this government. I would like to particularly welcome the representatives of nonprofit organisations, our development partners, social grant beneficiaries and some of the recipients of our Social Work Scholarship, who are seated in the public gallery. [Applause.]
Budget Vote 17 remains faithful to the vision and ideals of the forefathers of our struggle, who were the architects of the freedom that we enjoy today. As we mark the 60th anniversary of the adoption of the Freedom Charter, we celebrate the unity of our people and the undeniable fact that our government continues to implement progressive policies which have brought our founding documents – the Freedom Charter and the Constitution – to life.
As I present this budget, allow me to express my deepest condolences to the families of those who lost their lives during the tragic incidents of attacks on international migrants of African descent in some parts of our country. Those despicable acts of brutality are at variance with the Freedom Charter and our Constitution.
President Zuma reminded us that we must never forget the support of our brothers and sisters who came to our assistance in our darkest hours. As government, we applaud our fellow South Africans who took a stand against the attacks on international migrants and actively took part in antixenophobic campaigns, proclaiming that we are Africans.
We welcome the move made by President Jacob Zuma to establish the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Migration, of which I am part. The IMC is to consider all aspects of migration into the country and their social and economic consequences.
In response to the attacks on international migrants, we attended to the plight of children and pregnant women. The Department of Social Development is working with other departments on a reintegration programme for the displaced persons. Our intention is to promote peaceful coexistence, mutual trust and respect between locals, continental migrants and internal migrants within the communities of South Africa.
South Africa is a country scarred by decades of oppression, exclusion and violence. We have not, since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, worked towards fundamentally healing those scars. Let these unfortunate events spur us on to talk, heal and deal with the hurts of racism, sexism, tribalism and economic oppression.
The strengthening of families is at the centre of all our efforts to address social ills such as teenage pregnancy, substance and drug abuse, and violence against women and children. We will continue to implement the family strengthening and family preservation programmes of the White Paper on Families.
This financial year the Department of Social Development received a budget of R137 billion. Of this amount, R130 billion is allocated for the payment of social assistance programmes. This comprises almost 95% of the total budget allocation. This budget provides an opportunity to accelerate our march towards attaining Vision 2030 as espoused in the NDP.
Allow me to commend the selfless and dedicated contribution of our nonprofit organisations. These organisations continue through their efforts to extend our footprint.
In the last financial year, we as the social development sector spent approximately R6,5 billion towards the funding of nonprofit organisations. Through the National Development Agency, NDA, we have capacitated more than 6 500 NPOs in regard to institutional strengthening, so that they are able to conduct their work effectively and efficiently. This comprehensive capacity-building programme has benefited over 11 000 NPO staff. Furthermore, the NDA has established advisory centres in all district municipalities as incubation hubs for the NPOs.
Ladies and gentlemen, as part of ongoing consultation with the sector, I am hosting a two-day NPO dialogue with 200 NPOs representing all provinces. It is my hope that this will provide the department with an opportunity to solicit inputs that will enrich the 10-Point Plan as one of the key resolutions of the historic 2012 NPO Summit. This event is taking place at the Kwa-Langa sports complex today and will end tomorrow with a clear plan to address identified interventions.
It is common cause that our social assistance programme is South Africa’s most effective antipoverty initiative. However, despite significant gains made in extending the coverage to more than 16 million South Africans, including 11,6 million children and 3,1 million older persons, many of our people remain trapped in poverty.
The child support grant has proven to be an effective tool in reducing child poverty. The World Bank, in a report entitled “The State of Social Safety Nets 2014”, ranks the child support grant amongst the top five programmes across the world, and also the largest social safety net on the African continent. In fact, South Africa performed very well when compared with other middle-income countries. Therefore, it is not a coincidence that the government of Thailand has introduced an unconditional grant which was modelled on South Africa’s child support grant. Clearly, our good story is influencing other countries! [Applause.]
It is important to note that one of our commitments in this House last year was to improve the slow uptake of the child support grant among children of the 0 to 1-year age cohort. I also outlined our plans to reach this group as part of our government’s objective to maximise interventions to children within their first 1 000 days. I am pleased that the SA Social Security Agency, Sassa, has responded to this call with a great sense of urgency. In the past year alone more than 140 000 children aged 0 to 1 were registered as grant beneficiaries.
Research has shown that there is a link between the income of a family and a child’s ability to stay at school. To this end, we intend to increase the value of the child support grant for orphans and children in child- and youth-headed households. [Applause.] The proposed increase will support children in order for them to remain with their siblings in the family home and within their communities.
The child support grant is a huge investment in human capital development and, with this in mind, we need to ensure that it is not terminated when the child turns 18. To this end, we intend to work with families and encourage them to save a portion of the child support grant every month, so that it is available when the child turns 18.
Similarly, we have made notable strides in increasing the uptake of the older person’s grant by, amongst others, increasing the means test threshold to ensure that more elderly people benefit from the grant. The increase in the means test threshold brought in 82 000 new recipients of the older person’s grant in November 2014.
Our 2014 election manifesto makes it very clear that we must expand social security to those who are eligible. The welfare of our older persons is both a moral and a constitutional obligation of our government. I therefore take this opportunity to reiterate our commitment to the universalisation of the older person’s grant, as announced by the former Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, in his 2013 Budget Speech and by the President of the Republic of South Africa.
In line with the objective of improving the social security system, I announced last year in my Budget Vote speech that we had established a Ministerial Advisory Committee on the Future Payment Model for Social Assistance Benefits. The committee recommends the institutionalisation of the payment system in Sassa. This will require investment in technology that will support an end-to-end process. The committee further recommended that social grants be leveraged to support local economic development. [Applause.]
Following the announcement by the Minister of Finance in February 2015, the Department of Social Development, the Department of Labour and the National Treasury are close to finalising the revised discussion paper on comprehensive social security reforms. We will request Cabinet approval for the release of this paper in July this year.
Hon members, in line with resolutions of the ANC’s elective conference in Mangaung, which declared early childhood development a public good, Cabinet approved the publication of the draft ECD policy for public comment. Once finalised, the policy will make it possible for us to provide a comprehensive package of services for children with special needs, for children with disabilities, and for other developmental needs. [Applause.] Cabinet has also approved the establishment of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on ECD to co-ordinate and align government’s work.
Universal access to ECD services by all children remains uppermost in our minds, and the department will continue to promote the establishment of non-centre-based ECD services for children in poor communities, rural areas, informal settlements and farming areas, as well as for children with disabilities. Non-centre-based ECD services such as mobile ECD and toy library programmes are already being rolled out in the provinces. Similarly, efforts are being made to ensure that ECD infrastructure is adaptable to the needs of children with disabilities. No child must be left behind. [Applause.]
The Adopt an ECD campaign has supported 164 ECD sites to ensure compliance with the norms and standards for funding. Through the campaign the NDA has mobilised the donating of a total of more than R20 million from the private sector, donors and individuals to increase resource flows to the ECD sector.
National Child Protection Week remains the centrepiece of our efforts to make communities aware of their responsibilities toward the protection and care of children, as well as the basket of services provided to children for their emotional, cognitive and physical development. We want to call on all South Africans to join us as we launch and celebrate National Child Protection Week in Kokstad, KwaZulu-Natal. Once again the theme, as in the past five years, is “Working together to protect children”.
In October 2014 I appointed a ministerial committee for a period of 18 months to undertake an assessment of the status of the foster care system throughout the country. The goal is to ensure that no child is excluded as a result of administrative processes.
Kodwa futhi besibona izingane zethu ezisezincane ezishonayo, esikhathini esiningi bekuyizingane ezingaphansi kohlelo lokunakekelwa ngemali yesibonelelo. Siyazi nokuthi kunenkinga yokungeneli kahle kosonhlalakahle, ngakho-ke sanquma ukugqugquzela lolu hlelo ukuze kusizakale izingane. [Ihlombe.]
The committee will advise me on measures that need to be put in place to improve the quality of foster care services.
Our work on victim empowerment services has grown phenomenally and the Command Centre on Gender-Based Violence in Pretoria has a fully fledged call centre with a GPS mapping capability. The GPS facility enables call centre staff to geolocate the origin of the calls made by affected individuals. [Interjections.] The command centre has a fully functional referral mechanism linked to the SA Police Service.
Okunye-ke sesihlomule ngemiklomelo emibili ngenxa yokuthi size namacebo amasha anobuchule. Okunye, ngoNhlangulana sikhethiwe kanye neminye iminyango nezinhlangano ezisebenzisa uhlelo oluthi alufane nalolu. Lo mklomelo uvela eLandani, kweleNdlovukazi. [Ihlombe.]
Lesi sikhungo sibhekelele abantu abangaphezu kwezinkulungwane ezintathu namakhulu amahlanu. Izingcingo ezingenayo zahlukahlukene; ezinye zisuke zikhuluma ngokudlwengulwa, ezinye ukunukubezwa kwezingane nabesifazane.
Ms E N LOUW: Chairperson, I have a point of order.
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Physical assault ...
Ms E N LOUW: Chairperson, a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Minister, please hold on. Hon Louw?
Ms E N LOUW: Chairperson, there is no interpreting service on our headsets. We would like to know what the Minister is saying. Can you please rule on that?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Okay. I will make sure they ... [Inaudible.] There is no interpreting service. That is what was said, and they are just going to fix it up. Order, hon members! Continue, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: The social work veterans working in the call centre provided much needed psychosocial support and counselling. Siyaqhuba! [Applause.]
We provide our services in a dynamic environment, which requires that we constantly adapt our policies to the challenges posed by the ever-changing needs of the communities we serve. In this respect, the Ministerial Committee on the Review of the White Paper on Social Welfare led by Prof Vivienne Taylor has concluded its provincial consultations and will present its preliminary findings to the department before the end of this month.
The provision of comprehensive social welfare services, as envisaged in the NDP, can only be realised through the efforts of a well-trained, motivated and professional cadre of social workers. It was with this in mind that the department hosted a social work indaba two months ago under the theme, “Revitalising Social Work Practice in South Africa”. The indaba adopted a declaration that will fundamentally change the social work environment. It was resolved that we would develop and implement a resource policy aligned with the service delivery model for the provision of appropriate social infrastructure for social workers to render effective social work services and a standardised package of tools of trade.
In order to further strengthen our social work theory and practice and share important policy lessons and experiences, we have entered into a partnership with Howard University in Washington, DC. Howard University was among the first universities in 1994 to award an honorary doctorate to the late President Nelson Mandela. This university has worked with communities that face social and economic challenges that are similar to the many social ills and challenges affecting our own communities. Furthermore, it has done extensive research and had programmes at community level, as well as experience in areas such as drugs and substance abuse, early childhood development, non-centre-based programmes and parenting training and development.
We need to recognise and appreciate the sterling work done by our social workers under trying circumstances. It was our selfless and dedicated social workers who held the country together and restored hope during the country’s moment of despair when we lost 89 compatriots in Nigeria.
As part of our transformation agenda to accelerate service delivery and increase our footprint, we continue to implement Project Mikondzo. Since 2013 our officials have visited more than 900 wards with a high incidence of poverty and unemployment. This project has exposed many of our officials to the realities on the ground. It has shown us the difficulties that social workers face in rural and sparsely populated areas when providing services.
We remain more determined than ever to continue with this project, which has given us first-hand experience of the hardships that our people face on a daily basis. I vividly remember the young boy I met in Bulwer, KwaZulu-Natal, who refused to go to school because of a lack of food and the fact that his family could not afford a school uniform. He felt ashamed that he did not look like other learners in his class and school. This story, like many others that we witnessed throughout the country, has strengthened our resolve to forge ahead with the implementation of Project Mikondzo and improve the living conditions of our people.
Food security in our country has been compromised due to unemployment and rising food costs. In response ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Minister, you have one minute left. Please conclude. [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: I am coming back. I have more time.
Chairperson, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Deputy Minister, Ms Bogopane-Zulu, and all MECs for their enduring support and outstanding contribution. I would also like to thank Mr Coceko Pakade, the former Director-General, as well as the Acting Director-General, Mr Thokozani Magwaza, special advisors, Mr Sipho Shezi and Mr Zane Dangor, the CEO of Sassa, Ms Virginia Petersen, the CEO of the NDA, Dr Vuyelwa Nhlapo, the Chairperson and members of the NDA Board, and all members of the Department of Social Development family. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto)
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): We now call on the chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development, hon Capa. Hon Capa, before you speak, let me just explain some House Rules to the members of the public in our gallery. Your presence here is highly appreciated and we welcome you very much. However, for the decorum of this House to be upheld, you are not allowed to participate in the debate in any way. That includes the clapping of hands and using of cameras. I have seen some flashes. Please let us refrain from doing that. You are not allowed to do so. Thank you very much.
Ms R N CAPA: Hon Chairperson, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers, hon chairpersons of the Social Services Cluster, and hon members of the House, I greet you and our very important guests up in the gallery and also people in all corners of our country. [Applause.]
Chairperson, allow me to remind this House that the situational challenges faced by this country which form the contextual background of this budget include an increase in social crime, the murder of children and women, xenophobic attacks and social instability in our neighbouring countries.
The impact of these incidents is felt at a family level; hence, we have seen an increase in the number of orphans and vulnerable children, and family instability. The Department of Social Development therefore has an obligation to intervene and to bring back stability in those families and any other affected areas.
I would therefore plead with the House that all political parties should please support this Budget Vote. [Interjections.] It is not about the ANC; it is all about the vulnerable people in our country. [Applause.]
It is only when Social Development is effective that we will achieve democracy, peace and stability in a prosperous society. Those who will not be supporting the Budget Vote are those who are not interested in our country’s achieving social cohesion and protection. [Interjections.] The debate today is ... [Interjections.] The debate today ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order! Order, hon members. Continue, hon member.
Ms R N CAPA: The debate today ... [Interjections.] ... is very important, as it touches on the lives of the marginalised and destitute communities of our country. Their hopes and wellbeing depend on the support that the House gives this Budget Vote.
Mr J J MCGLUWA: Hon Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon chairperson, please wait.
Ms R N CAPA: I must state upfront ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Capa, just hold on. Hon McGluwa?
Mr J J MCGLUWA: Chairperson, I would like to know if the hon member will take a question. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon members, please. Hon Capa, will you take a question?
Mr J J MCGLUWA: A very easy question, Chair.
Ms R N CAPA: Afterwards, hon Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Not now, hon McGluwa.
Ms R N CAPA: I must state upfront that the ANC supports this Budget Vote. [Interjections.] The ANC has full confidence that this Budget Vote addresses the needs of our poor people, which is the priority of the National Development Plan. The key priorities of this Budget Vote are aligned, and are supposed to address the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality. These exist.
In addition, I am pleased to inform this House that, after having considered and deliberated on the department’s annual performance plan and strategic plan as a committee, we can proudly say that the department’s strategic objectives and budget allocations are aligned to the government’s commitment to implementing the NDP, as well as transformation. The NDP’s priorities have led to the department’s setting specific targets and drawing up programmes which it aims to achieve to implement these priorities.
It is the responsibility of the committee, therefore, to set up its strategy to do the oversight. We have agreed upon how it is going to take place, because we have been fully informed as to what these strategic projects are that will be implemented, including specific programmes. The oversight process that we have engaged in has enabled the ANC to have proper and effective oversight over the delivery services to the poor.
Effective service delivery will only be achieved if the department has strong monitoring and evaluating tools. These tools are important to measure the department’s state of readiness to implement its target and ensure that it achieves the desired results, which is the improvement of the quality of life of all South Africans.
Most importantly, the department has an obligation to implement the ANC’s drive of a transformation agenda. It will be difficult to achieve all this, if the department does not address particularly what the Minister has already raised, the shortage of social work practitioners. However, the human resource development plan of your department, hon Minister, assures this House that the cry for more social workers will be addressed, as it is a key priority for the new human resource development plan.
The professional way of handling the social issues of our communities is of great importance to the department, as it has the responsibility of ensuring social cohesion. The department demonstrated this when it provided professional service to the people of Marikana in the aftermath of the tragedy they experienced, and also during the South African-Nigerian tragedy, as well as when incidents of xenophobic attacks occurred. I need also to commend the department’s speed in responding to such challenges. Hon Minister, your leadership indeed excelled in these unfortunate events. You were personally hands-on.
The migrant labour system practised by the erstwhile apartheid regime created a society where our people have dual residency. They come from their homes in one province, to be migrant labourers in another province. To deal with this situation, the department’s intervention in the aftermath of the Marikana tragedy had to be twofold, addressing the needs of the families both in Marikana in the North West, and in their province of origin, which is the Eastern Cape.
The issue arose again when the tragedy affecting South Africans happened in Nigeria, because some family members were residing in Gauteng, while they had their homes in the Eastern Cape. So, the department had to provide psychosocial management and counselling in those families, and that work is still in progress. We applaud the department for what it has achieved. [Applause.]
It is also important to add an explanation of the key rationale behind specific funded programmes which are key to the ANC manifesto. The manifesto called for effective, integrated social protection that would identify every South African need and also assist in that regard. I want to expand on and articulate some issues there, because they have a lot to do with the society that we are living in in our beloved South Africa.
Firstly, there is social security, which relates to section 27 of the Constitution, to specifically address the income dimension of poverty and contribute to ensuring a standard of living below which no one falls. This is very important because it promotes the equality that we all desire to have.
Secondly, there are measures to address capability poverty and also support for early childhood development and investment in children; labour market activation policies; and measures that foster productive inclusion of the underemployed and unemployed people. We can’t ignore such dynamics in our country where some are employed but are underemployed, and some are totally unemployed. This social cohesion will promote equality amongst our communities, so that we have a prosperous society and the democracy we all desire, as well as peace and stability.
Thirdly, there must be protective measures for nutritional and food security. Hon Minister, it is indeed really touching that while some have the choice of food or a meal they want to eat at any given time, there are those who eat what is available and have no choices. It is becoming clearer and clearer in our daily lives where we live.
Finally, there are developmental social service interventions to address economic and social exclusion, which I have already mentioned, and strengthen social cohesion.
Ndifuna ke ukuyibethelela le nto ithi oku kungalingani akusenzi sihlale ngokonwaba, abalungelweyo nabangalungelwanga. Kaloku bakhona abanelungelo lokukhetha ukuba baza kulala betye ntoni kodwa bakhona abatya loo nto inokufumaneka kuba bengenandlela yokuthenga loo nto bayithandayo. Yiyo ke le nto sisithi thina siyabonisa nawo onke amaLungu ePalamente ukuba nokuba singaba sohlukene kangakanani na, masikhe silixhase eli iphulo lijongene nabantu abahluphekileyo abathi bona bajonge ngamehlo abomvu ukwenzela ukuba namhlanje xa leVoti yoHlahlo-lwabiwo-mali isithiwa thaca mayibenazo izinto ezibonakalisayo ukuba nabo namhlanje baya kukwazi ukukhetha.
Ndiza kuthetha ke ngokukodwa kule nto inokhuseleko loluntu ukuze ndiyicacise ukuba apha eMzantsi Afrika ...
... the safety net of the society can be achieved.
Xa bonke abantu benikiwe izinto abazidingayo ngokokuhlupheka kwabo ...
... each one according to their needs, which the hon Minister calls the universalisation of all the grants.
Loo nto iza kunqanda ukuba kungabikho abafumanayo nabangafumaniyo. Noko kufumana, ubani afumane ngokokuhlupheka anako neemfuno anazo; kungathiwa siyalingana sonke. Asiyiyo inyaniso into yokuba kuthiwe siyalingana kwaye usemde umgama oza kuhanjwa ukuze sifikelele kwelo nqanaba.
The transformation process that ensures that the department reaches poor people and meets their needs, so as to ensure that they enjoy social protection, is demonstrated in its commitment to implementing the following. Please give me an opportunity, hon members, to explain this.
There are the National Integrated Social Protection System, the Complaints Management System ...
... kuba kukhona le nto yokuba kuthiwe izikhalazo azihoywa, kanti izikhalazo azifiki; zingene mnyangweni wumbi. Kuthiwa ke ngoku le-arhente ibizwa ngokuba ngu-Sassa iza kuthatha amanyathelo okuqinisekisa ukuba iphanda ngokubanzi xa ubani ethe waphakamisa isikhalazo.
Agencies such as the SA Social Security Agency, Sassa, and the National Development Agency, NDA, are doing well.
Makhe siyiqhwabele izandla le kuthiwa yi-NDA kuba ikwazile, ngoku inikwe imadlana, ukuba ifumane izigidi ezili-R100 ...
... to add, from their fundraising efforts.
Yiyo ke le nto ndisithi, kule Voti yoHlahlo-lwabiwo-mali ithiwe thaca phambi kwethu, singamalungu alaa komiti; nayo yonke imibutho, ndiyanimema ukuba sithi bhuu emva kwale nkqubo. Yiyo yodwa eza kuzisa uxolo olu silulangazelela sonke. Ukuba kukho abangayaziyo loo nto; aba bangayihambiyo ikomiti, mabangathethi apha bemisa inkqubo eyiyo. Ndiyabulela Sihlalo weNdlu. Basafika nokufika, Sihlalo. [Kwaqhwatywa.]
Ms S P KOPANE
Ms R N CAPA
Ms S P KOPANE: Hon Chairperson, it is clear to all who wish to see that the Department of Social Development is in a sorry state.
The social assistance programme for the vulnerable in South Africa remains the largest on the African continent, and the second largest in the southern hemisphere. The reality is that the low economic growth of our country has necessitated this level of social intervention. The DA believes that vulnerable members of our society must be protected, but we should also focus on growing the economy to create more jobs, so that our people can have the dignity of being able to look after themselves. Research has shown that most South African people would prefer to be employed, with the related financial freedom, than depend on social grants.
An HON MEMBER: Hear, hear!
Ms S P KOPANE: Replies to DA questions have merely scratched the surface regarding the extent to which the department is falling apart. One reply shows how the SA Social Security Agency, Sassa, paid out R306 million, over and above the R10 billion tender, to Cash Paymaster Services for the re-registration of beneficiaries and the administration of the social grant. The extra money paid worked out to a R17 increase to register and do the administration for each beneficiary, from R11 in the initial contract.
Why did the costs suddenly increase? That is a good question to ask. Why could the original contract not include all registration of beneficiaries? No approval from the Treasury was given for this massive irregular spending. Sassa’s long history of financial mismanagement clearly demonstrates the need for robust oversight to ensure the integrity and accountability of this important body. It is clear that this has not been done.
In the last financial year both the Auditor-General and the Public Protector investigated serious allegations of maladministration, irregular procurement processes and wasteful expenditure by Sassa. The Minister terminated the investigation by the Special Investigating Unit, SIU, into corruption by senior managers at Sassa and allowed Sassa to appoint a private company, illegally, to do the work that was supposed to be done by the SIU. This is because the Minister wanted a company that she could manipulate and where she could turn a blind eye to corruption.
The Treasury investigated the appointment of that company and gave the report to the Minister in 2014. To date, the Minister has not acted on the report. [Interjections.]
The question is: Why is the Minister scared of taking action against corruption at Sassa? If the Minister is serious about fighting corruption at Sassa, why has the Inspectorate For Social Assistance, mandated to maintain the integrity of Sassa, never been established?
Another example of Sassa’s wastefulness is the fact that they have just spent R11 million on a private company to protect individual officials and their families. I can talk about the rifles and the pistols that they have been buying, and the petrol for that company – the list is long. All this money is wasted, while the unemployment rate in South Africa stands at 36%, and 66% of those unemployed people are young people.
Last year, during the debate on the Budget Vote for Social Development, I asked the question of whether Sassa was a liability or an asset to the department. Today, as I’m standing here, the answer remains, that Sassa is a liability. [Interjections.] Today it is clearer than ever before that the budget of Sassa will never benefit any of the poor or vulnerable people of our country.
The DA believes that the existence of that body should have helped to decrease the high level of social grant fraud and corruption facing Sassa. But, it seems as if the Minister is actively protecting the corrupt activity in the body responsible for providing assistance to the most vulnerable people of our society.
The department also appointed a private law firm to hand over the document that the Public Protector had requested, which cost the taxpayers over R500 000. The State Attorney Act 56 of 1957 clearly provides that departments are entitled to the services of the State Attorney, and they are not entitled to outsource this. Listen, hon member! They are not entitled to outsource their legal work to private companies, unless the Office Of the State Attorney has indicated that they do not have the capacity.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you, hon member. Thank you.
Ms S P KOPANE: From this example it is abundantly clear ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you, hon member.
Ms S P KOPANE: ... that the hundreds of millions of rands are not benefiting the South African people. [Interjections.] The DA will make sure that the money benefits the society. I thank you. [Interjections.] We have the have documents if you don’t ... [Inaudible.] [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Ms V KETABAHLE
Ms S P KOPANE
Ms V KETABAHLE: Hon Chairperson, the EFF, the government in waiting, rejects this Budget Vote. [Interjections.] We do so for the following fundamental reasons.
The first is that we do not trust this Ministry and the department. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order, hon members! Order! Order, hon members! Continue, hon member.
Ms V KETABAHLE: We do not trust their capacity and integrity to implement government programmes without political favour. It is the Department of Social Development that uses state resources for narrow political gains.
It is the Department of Social Development that insults the capacity of our people to make informed choices by distributing food parcels just before elections. [Interjections.] It is the Department of Social Development that distributed food parcels in Tlokwe just before the by-elections. [Interjections.] It is the Department of Social Development, under the leadership of Minister Dlamini, that handed out food parcels in Oudtshoorn, and launched Project Mikondzo, a service delivery improvement initiative, two days before crucial by-elections. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order! Order! Sorry, hon Ketabahle. Just wait. Hon members, I don’t like the fingers that I see pointing among these desks. I don’t want to go deeper into it. Please refrain from doing it. Continue, Mama.
Ms V KATEBAHLE: Using resources of the Department of Social Development, the former Mayor of the Mbombela Local Municipality, Cathy Dlamini, dished out food parcels in Hazyview and told people to vote for the ANC in the by-elections last year. [Interjections.] The Department of Social Development also gave out food parcels and launched Project Mikondzo at the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality just before the general elections last year. [Interjections.]
The department has been shamelessly reduced to being a tool for gaining votes by the ANC, giving people food just before the elections, only to forget them afterwards. [Interjections.]
Just recently, and in full view of the media, the Minister of Social Development ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order!
Ms V KATEBAHLE: ... got very angry and physically scolded African nationals who were displaced by the xenophobic attacks in KwaZulu-Natal, simply because they accepted blankets donated by the Commander-in-Chief of the EFF. [Interjections.]
This makes it clear that this department under this Minister has no interest in solving our people’s social needs, but uses the resources it has at its disposal to play around with the real needs of the poor and destitute for narrow political gains.
The mandate of this department is to provide appropriate social assistance to those who cannot help themselves, to provide appropriate care and protection to children and to provide general welfare services to the country’s population.
The EFF is of the firm view that to fulfil this mandate in every village, every township and every town, there must be a crèche where our children are provided with quality early childhood development, with food, and with the tools needed for stable development. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you, hon member. [Interjections.]
Ms V KATEBAHLE: The interventions of this department ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order, hon members. Hon Ketabahle. [Interjections.]
Ms V KATEBAHLE: ... should look at the most critical aspects ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Ketabahle. [Interjections.]
Ms V KATEBAHLE: ... needed in early childhood to prepare our kids ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Ketabahle. [Interjections.]
Ms V KATEBAHLE: ... for stable lives, and these are linking education on one hand with the ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Ketabahle, your time has expired. [Interjections.]
Enkosi, Sihlalo. Asizi kungawabhudi amagama xa nisikhwaza ningenambeko. Ukufika kwam kwaSocial Development akufuni nina. [Uwele-wele.] [Kwaphela ixesha.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order, hon members! [Interjections.] Order! [Interjections.] Hon members, I’m not sure whether it’s from the House or from up there.
Ms D VAN DER WALT: Chair, I have a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): There’s a lot of noise, hon members.
Ms D VAN DER WALT: Sorry.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Please, let’s not drown out our speakers.
Ms D VAN DER WALT: Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Order! I will address your point of order. All parties are represented in this debate. Let’s allow them to air their views.
An HON MEMBER: Hear, hear!
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Thank you. Let us not drown out members as they speak from the podium. Thank you. Sorry, hon Van der Merwe.
Ms D VAN DER WALT: My name is Van der Walt. I love my maiden name, Chair, but I am now Van der Walt. Chair, is it parliamentary for the Minister to twice show this sign to members? I think it is very unparliamentary and she should withdraw that.
Ms K C MASHEGO-DLAMINI: I have a point of order, Chair. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, may I respond before you speak? Please sit.
Ms K C MASHEGO-DLAMINI: Thank you.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Please sit. The hon member who just raised ... [Interjections.] How am I supposed to respond? Please! Hon members, please allow me to respond.
Hon members, let us not use gestures that are derogatory and unparliamentary. From where I am seated, I cannot see every gesture that is made. That is why I said, when I saw the fingers, please stop doing that.
Hon member, it is not parliamentary, but I cannot rule on it because I did not see it. Please stand immediately it happens. Those who ... [Interjections.] No, no, no! Don’t tell me how to run this House. Also, please make sure that you respect this House. That is the ruling that I’m making. Respect this House from any seat. Make sure that there are no gestures that are unparliamentary or derogatory. If that happens, bring it to my attention immediately. I see the hon Mashego-Dlamini.
Ms K C MASHEGO-DLAMINI: Hon Chairperson, is it parliamentary for the latter speaker to say he is going to beat this member?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): You see, hon members. Please let our behaviour not degenerate. Please let our behaviour not degenerate. Please! I’m asking you, and I want us to stop it and allow the speakers on the speaker’s list to continue speaking. Hon Bogopane-Zulu.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you very much, hon Chair. There is just one thing I want to correct in relation to the point of order raised. The Minister did not make this sign.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: When the member ... [Interjections.] No! When the member ... [Interjections.] Wait! Wait! [Interjections.] When the member of the EFF moved away from the podium, ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon ...
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Can I be heard, please? [Interjections.]
Ms E N LOUW: I have a point of order, Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon members!
Ms E N LOUW: I have a point of order, Chairperson. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: No, when the member ... [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon members!
Ms E N LOUW: I have a point of order, Chairperson.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Please sit! [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Hon Chair, wait!
Ms E N LOUW: I have a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Oh, no, no, no!
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Hon Chair, this one must be corrected. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Oh, no, no, no, no.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: When she left the chair, I asked the Minister, ...
Ms E N LOUW: I have a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): No! [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: ... because I couldn’t see what she was doing and the Minister explained to me what signs she was making.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon ...
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: That is called integrational ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon members. [Interjections.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: ... and I have a right to be integrated in this House.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Bogopane-Zulu, please respect the ruling that I have made. [Interjections.] I said we must refrain from doing that, because I did not want it to be a matter of finding out and withdrawal. I want the Budget Vote debate to go on and I plead with you in that regard.
With regard to hon Mashego-Dlamini, the same ruling is applicable. Really, let’s not act like that, because we have guests in the gallery who have come to this House to listen to the debate on the Budget Vote and not to our bickering.
Let us please continue and listen to what is important for this House to do, the work that we are here to do. I plead with you in regard to future interruptions – please don’t do that. Continue, hon Van der Merwe, and I’m sorry we have taken your time.
Ms E N LOUW: I have a point of order, Chairperson. [Interjections.]
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Louw?
Ms E N LOUW: Yes, I have a point of order.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Louw, on what point of order are you rising?
Ms E N LOUW: I hear your ruling, hon Chairperson, but I just want to say this. You say you did not see. How are you going to see throughout the House, if we are raising points of order and gestures are being made? In past rulings Chairpersons have stood up and ... [Interjections.] ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Louw. [Interjections.]
Ms E N LOUW: You won’t know because you are stupid. You won’t know.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Louw! Hon Louw, I have stopped hon Bogopane-Zulu. Please sit. [Interjections.] Please sit. I have stopped hon Bogopane-Zulu for going on and giving an explanation when I have made my ruling and I do not want to entertain that anymore. Thank you very much. Continue, hon Van der Merwe.
Mrs E K M MASEHELA: Hon Chair, I have a point of order. [Interjections.]
Ms E N LOUW: Chairperson. [Interjections.] Chairperson.
Mrs E K M MASEHELA: I have a point of order, Chair.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member?
Mrs E K M MASEHELA: Thank you, hon Chair. Is it parliamentary to say to other members that they are stupid?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Who said that, hon member? [Interjections.]
Mrs E K M MASEHELA: Louw. [Interjections.] Hon Louw. Is it parliamentary?
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon member, wait. Who said that, hon member? [Interjections.]
Mrs E K M MASEHELA: Hon Louw.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Hon Louw, I didn’t hear it. That’s why I asked who said it. [Interjections.]
Hon members, you are making a noise and you cannot expect me to be an expert on what is being said down there, as I cannot hear everything. Now that it has been raised, I just want to say again that from now on ... [Interjections.] Maybe you want me to say, “Stand up and withdraw that.” However, you are not young people. I think you listened to what I was saying. Just refrain from doing that, and that goes for the others as well. Hon Louw, it is unparliamentary to do that.
Thank you very much. Please, let us be quiet. Let us respect these people here. Let us respect our guests, please. Hon Van der Merwe, please continue with the debate. [Interjections.]
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto)
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: Chairperson, before I start, I want to ask how we will know when our time is up, because you seem to be the only person who has a clock.
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms M G Boroto): Unfortunately, the venue that we are in does not have that. I also do not have it. I rely on the table staff to assist me. What I have been doing since we started, is that I have been asking the speaker to round up, as there’s one minute left. That’s what they show me. Thank you.
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: Thank you very much. House Chairperson, Minister of Social Development and Members of Parliament, there is no doubt that Minister Dlamini and her team are a team at work. They have year-on-year managed to successfully extend the provision of social grants.
While the IFP strongly supports welfare assistance, we have since our inception been strong proponents of self-help and self-reliance. We contend, therefore, that without a much stronger emphasis on these principles, we are cultivating a welfare state, which stands in stark contrast to the vision outlined by the National Development Plan and which our shrinking economy and stagnant tax base simply cannot sustain.
Can we really celebrate the fact that in some provinces one in three people is dependent on a grant alone? What happened to slogans like “A nation at work”? We simply cannot afford a situation where millions of our people, especially our youth, remain trapped in poverty and dependent on a government grant alone.
Gender-based violence remains a great cause for concern, but our haphazard approach to dealing with this crisis is also a worry. It is against this background that the department’s command centre needs a closer look.
The command centre, in the form of a 24-hour telephone hotline, was launched very close to the 2014 elections, but how effective is this centre? How many women know of its existence? And if they do, do they have the means to access it? Moreover, the expenditure on consultancies associated with the centre is projected to grow to R16 million. This, despite the fact that a similar toll-free helpline is already in existence, managed by the NPO, LifeLine. Therefore, given the costs associated with the centre, and the duplication of the service, the centre is perhaps better viewed as a cause for concern.
Allow me also to highlight the following. Minister Dlamini has articulated her vision of one social worker per ward, and to this end her department has been granting bursaries to students from disadvantaged communities to study social work. Yet, due to budget constraints, the department cannot absorb all the social work graduates. The question must therefore be asked: What is Plan B?
It must also be said that our response to the rise in drug abuse has been wholly inadequate. The national drug authority is underfunded, and seemingly also ill-equipped to rise to the challenge.
Let me again state today that I believe that many people with disabilities remain on the fringes of our economy, marginalised and forgotten. I contend that our response as a country to the many challenges faced by people with disabilities is lacklustre at best.
Nongovernmental organisations are finding it increasingly difficult to sustain their activities. They play a vital role in our society and they deliver vital services on behalf of our state in many instances. The IFP therefore appeals for more funding for the National Development Agency.
Then, Minister, I must tell you that I often learn about your programmes and events through social media, which is totally unacceptable. Your department should ensure that our portfolio committee is always informed of events and decisions that have significant budget implications.
Finally, with many by-elections routinely taking place, and with the impending 2016 local government elections, we are all too aware that whenever there are elections, this department suddenly becomes very generous in social outreach programmes, ... [Interjections.] ... where a variety of items like wheelbarrows, seeds and spectacles are handed out. We are not opposed to such initiatives, but they must never be politically driven.
In conclusion, the IFP wishes to thank all those who so selflessly give of their time and personal resources to support and build our respective communities. My thanks also go to the officials of this department and my colleagues in the portfolio committee. The IFP will support this budget.
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE
The DEPUTY MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Thank you very much, hon Chairperson. Hon Minister Bathabile Dlamini, hon members, distinguished quests, and ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
Before I proceed with my speech, there is something I need to correct, because I am not going to be able to sleep if I don’t correct it. It is very important that when we talk about disability, integration and inclusion, we take a moment to understand what that means.
When I am sitting in this House, and it is no secret, I don’t see very well. I want to stress it. However, I have the right to be included and I ask whoever sits next to me what is happening and they explain it to me. I guess, as I sit in this House, I am an example of what inclusive education is. Each and every member, when they take the podium and talk about it, inspires a disabled child. That is what will happen in the class. [Applause.] Now, can you imagine the nondisabled child being punished every day for assisting the disabled child? That is what you just did.
Social development needs to become everybody’s business, if we are to succeed in our collective goal of improving the lives of individuals, families and communities. This requires that we embrace our communities as part of the solution, as we are doing through Project Mikondzo.
South Africa has been making steady progress in building a South Africa that “belongs to all who live in it”. As we continue on the path of realising our shared vision, we need to heed the call in the National Development Plan to create opportunities for every citizen and resident to work as part of the collective, in building our future.
Allow me to report back on progress made over the past year and share some highlights of our programme for the year ahead.
Steady progress has been made in integrating within our operations the national disability rights co-ordinating function, transferred to the department in May 2014. A new organisational structure for the department’s disability rights co-ordination, monitoring, reporting and service delivery focus will be finalised during the current financial year. This will strengthen the department’s capacity to provide leadership to the national disability rights agenda.
The National Disability Rights Policy will be submitted to Cabinet for final approval in July 2015. We wish to express our sincere appreciation for the public comments received on the draft released in December 2014. During this financial year we will focus on the development of implementation tools for the policy. These will include, among others, a disability inequality index; a disability rights information and services portal; and a sustainable, multiparty, branded disability rights awareness campaign.
The development of the policy and its tools has been greatly enhanced by the generous support we have had, and continue to receive, from the UN Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Multidonor Trust Fund.
We will strengthen and expand social assistance and disability-specific welfare services in partnership with our provincial departments and NGOs. Particular attention will be paid to the following in this financial year.
Firstly, we will accelerate the restructuring of the funding model for disability welfare services delivered by NGOs on behalf of government.
Secondly, we will continue our work of strengthening and expanding the range of community-based disability welfare services.
Thirdly, we will accelerate disability mainstreaming across all social development programmes.
Once again, we need to express appreciation to the Japan International Co-operation Agency, Jica, for their continued support in accelerating disability mainstreaming within the social development sector.
Let me also thank the members of the ministerial committee who, over the past year, have advised the Ministry on priorities for disability mainstreaming in the department’s programmes.
We call on members of this august House and communities to support the Albinism Society of South Africa in ensuring that the first International Albinism Awareness Day on 13 June is a resounding success. [Applause.]
Citizens and residents of South Africa with albinism need our individual and collective support to ensure that they feel and are safe; derogatory name-calling and hate speech stops; they access appropriate health services to protect them against diseases and disabilities caused by overexposure to the sun; they access education and employment opportunities; and they enjoy the same rights that we all enjoy.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, during the 2014 Presidency Budget Vote, expressed concern about the resurgence in HIV infections and diminishing awareness of prevention messages.
We are moving from a generalised epidemic to an epidemic where interventions are targeted at high risk groups where prevalence is on the increase. These groups include but are not limited to young women, farm workers, sex workers, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex sector, and those that find themselves using intravenous drugs.
This year we will strengthen the implementation of our comprehensive strategy on HIV and Aids, which seeks to reduce HIV-risky behaviour and promote psychosocial wellbeing amongst these targeted key populations.
In 2015-16 we will sustain our previous targets of training community caregivers, community-based organisations, social behaviour change implementers, and community capacity enhancement facilitators. We will also finalise the draft policy guidelines for the utilisation of community-based workers within the social development sector, whilst strengthening our psychosocial support services to orphaned and vulnerable children and other targeted groups made vulnerable by HIV.
Fighting the scourge of gender-based violence requires a multipronged approach, with the participation of all sectors of society and all social partners, as noted by Minister Dlamini earlier.
We will continue to rally communities as active change agents through the White Door Centres of Hope programme, which places communities at the centre of finding solutions to the stigma associated with gender-based violence and breaking the silence.
We will elevate the following campaigns: the Ke Moja programme, which ensures that young people are fine without drugs; the Remember My Name campaign to pay tribute to and remember those we have lost due to gender-based violence; the Zazi Campaign, which strengthens young women; the Brothers for Life Campaign to elevate the responsibility men have to protect women; and Rise Young Women Campaign, which gives young women state security.
The energy, focus and commitment of our partner organisations in these campaigns provide hope and a vehicle to build a South Africa free of gender-based violence and discrimination.
The creation of a society which protects children, women and other vulnerable groups is threatened by the scourge of alcohol abuse and substance abuse. The incidence of foetal alcohol syndrome remains unacceptably high, and we will prioritise this aspect in the First 1 000 Days Programme in partnership with our social partners.
The past few years have seen a steep increase in the demand for residential treatment facilities. There are currently seven public treatment centres in the country. We will establish six additional public treatment centres during this Medium-Term Expenditure Framework to ensure that every province has a treatment centre.
We will strengthen the Central Drug Authority to enable it to effectively implement its mandate.
Preparations for the Third Biennial Anti-Substance Abuse Summit, which will also be a platform to review the National Drug Master Plan, are in full swing. We will further strengthen the local drug action committees, their functioning and the support the provinces provide.
We live in a global village where our work is influenced by what happens outside our borders. The Ministry of Social Development is chairing the Specialised Technical Committee on Health, Population and Drug Control for the African Union Commission. During our tenure for the next two years, we will ensure the establishment of the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention in Africa, the development of a common African position for the UN General Assembly, and that a monitoring, accountability and reporting mechanism on the Addis Ababa Declaration on Population and Development is finalised.
Allow me express my sincere thanks and appreciation to Minister Bathabile Dlamini for the leadership that she provides and the sisterhood that one enjoys, which enables one to do the work.
Allow me also to acknowledge my father, who is present in the gallery and celebrating 52 selfless years of service as a member of the ANC. Thank you, Dad, for introducing me to this august movement.
Allow me finally to acknowledge the contribution made by the MTN SA Foundation, the Airports Company South Africa for the work they enable us to do, my team in the office, the department, and all the social partners. I thank you. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Ms K DE KOCK
THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Me K DE KOCK: Agb Voorsitter, agb Minister, agb lede, dit is inderdaad vandag ’n voorreg vir my om deel te kan neem aan die begrotingsdebat van die Departement van Sosiale Ontwikkieling. Nadat maatskaplike toelaes uitbetaal is, bly slegs 5% van hierdie departement se begroting oor. Hoe hierdie 5% dus spandeer word, is van uiterste belang, nie net omdat dit min geld is nie, maar as gevolg van die aard van die sosiale probleme wat duisende Suid-Afrikaners elke dag in die gesig staar. Dit is probleme wat nie net toepaslike wetgeging en beleid noodsaak nie, maar ook toepaslike vaardighede.
Ek wil daarom vandag van hierdie geleentheid gebruik maak om vir al die maatskaplike werkers baie dankie te sê vir die enorme bydrae wat hulle maak, veral vir daardie maatsklaplike werkers wat in nie-regerings organisasies werk. U is ons vennoot en sonder u is dit nie moontlik om die missie, visie en doelwitte van hierdie departement te bereik nie.
In 1997 the White Paper for Social Welfare noted that in the past, social welfare had not been considered important. As a result, the salaries and working conditions of social workers were poor. I want to put it to you that 20 years down the line not much has changed – not for social workers working in the nonprofit organisation sector. This was noted in 2006 in the Recruitment and Retention Strategy for Social Workers developed then by the department, and again at the recent Social Work Indaba held in Durban. The salaries and the working conditions for social workers remain poor in NGOs or NPOs because the Department of Social Development does not fully subsidise these NPOs.
Dit het verskeie praktiese implikasies. Die belangrikste daarvan is seersekerlik dat baie minder maatskaplike werkers in nie-regerings organisasies werk as in die staat. In KwaZulu-Natal byvoorbeeld is daar 3 225 maatskaplike werkers wat vir die staat werk, maar net 645 wat vir nie-regerings organisasies werk. In die Oos-Kaap is daar 2 038 maatskaplike werkers wat vir die staat werk, maar net 408 wat in nie-regerings organisasies werk. Die patroon is soortgelyk oor al die provinsies.
Die probleem hiervan is dat baie landelike persone baie dikwels ’n kwaliteitdiens ontneem word en dat dienste van plek tot plek verskil. Ten einde hierdie probleem aan te spreek het die Wes-Kaapse regering in die begin van die jaar besluit om maatskaplike werkers se salarisse in nie-regerings organisasies wat befonds word deur die Wes-Kaap, aan te pas. Dit is aangepas met 22% vir maatskaplike werk bestuurders, 40% vir supervisors en 40% vir algemene maatskaplike werkers.
Ek wil vandag ’n ernstige beroep op die Minister doen om die voorbeeld van die Wes-Kaap te volg, sodat ons dit kan moontlik maak regoor die land. Agb Voorsitter, ek wil dit aan u voorhou dat indien ons nie die voorbeeld van die Wes-kaap volg nie, ons nie die volle waarde van die R276 miljoen wat hierdie departement aan maatskaplike werkerbeurse spandeer, sal kan sien nie. Ons sal dit nie kan sien nie, omdat studente voortydig die professie verlaat, bloot eenvoudig omdat maatskaplike werk nie lonend genoeg is nie. Ek wil dit aan u voorhou dat ons elke jaar meer en meer geld gaan spandeer aan die Nasionale Ontwikkelingsagentskap wat vir die vaardigheids tekort in nie-regerings organisasies moet vergoed.
Dit is ook heel moontlik dat, indien ons nie die voorbeeld van die Wes-Kaap gaan volg nie, ons nie eers die geld wat ons toeken aan nie-regerings organisasies vir hulle sal kan gee of dat hulle dit effektief kan spandeer nie, omdat hierdie organisasies nie oor die vermoeë beskik om te voldoen aan die vereistes wat die wet daar stel vir nie-regerings organisasies nie.
Ten einde die sosiale probleem wat duisende Suid-Afrikaners elke dag in die gesig staar die hoof te bied, is dit van kardinale belang dat ons vaardighede ... [Tyd verstreke.] ... en daarom, dat ons maatskaplike werkers billik en regverdig, oor die spektrum, vergoed.
Mr S P MABILO
Ms K DE KOCK
Mr S P MABILO: Hon Chairperson, hon Minister Bathabile Dlamini, hon Deputy Minister Bogopane-Zulu, hon Ministers and Deputy Ministers present here, hon chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development, Ms Capa, hon members and distinguished guests in the gallery, I thank you.
Our journey toward creating a caring society for our children is encouraged by the words of our very own Isithwalandwe/Seaparankoe, our late icon, former President Nelson Mandela, when he said:
There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.
The Strategy and Tactics document of the ANC of December 2012 states the following on social issues, of which early childhood development is a part:
The ANC therefore seeks to build democracy with social content. Informed by our own concrete conditions and experiences, this will, in some respects, reflect elements of the best traditions of social democracy, which include: a system which places the needs of the poor and social issues such as health care, education and a social safety net at the top of the national agenda;
The ANC, at its Polokwane conference, resolved to develop a comprehensive strategy on early childhood development. This was developed and is critical to improving the quality of teaching and learning in the entire schooling system. As the ANC, we regard ECD as an imperative.
At the Mangaung conference the ANC further resolved to develop mechanisms at the ECD level in order to be able to detect the needs and challenges of a child at an early age. The ANC-led government recognises ECD as a fundamental and universal human right to which all young children are equally entitled without any discrimination. [Applause.]
ECD is a national priority programme under Outcome 1 – Quality Education, as government has supported the principles of investment in children. The National Development Plan states that action is needed to improve early childhood development services in this country. [Applause.]
At the core of the NDP is a focus on the capabilities of the people and of the country. ECD has been identified as critical for the development of people’s capabilities to ensure better performance in formal schooling, which will later result in improved levels of employment.
The ECD programme provides services related to care and early stimulation to children in the temporary absence of their parents or adult caregivers. These services should be holistic and demonstrate an appreciation of the importance of considering the child’s health, nutrition, early stimulation, cognitive development, and psychosocial and other needs within the context of the family and the community. Providing ECD services to children contributes immensely to the development of self-esteem and ensuring that children meet their developmental milestones. It is also the means of enabling them to be better prepared for formal schooling.
The South African Integrated Programme of Action for Early Childhood Development – Moving Ahead 2013-2016, approved by the Cabinet in 2013, provides for the development of an ECD policy. The development of the draft ECD policy is addressing the identified need for ECD and is aimed at transforming ECD service delivery in the country, in particular to address critical gaps and to ensure the provision of and universal access to comprehensive ECD services.
This policy has been developed through an extensive consultation process with stakeholders in the ECD sector, which includes government and nongovernment organisations. Consultations with provincial departments were completed by 25 August 2014.
The vision of the draft ECD policy is that all infants and young children and their families in South Africa live in environments conducive to the optimal development of young children.
The mission of the draft ECD policy is to provide a framework for government’s accountability for the effective translation of this vision into a reality through the public provision of a comprehensive package of quality ECD services that would be universally available in sufficient quantities and proximity so that all children enjoy an equal opportunity to access them.
The draft ECD policy addresses matters such as the provision of an essential package of services, to be attained in the short to medium term, and a comprehensive package of services, to be attained in the long term, which is 2030.
Furthermore, the draft ECD policy introduces a number of new services to fill gaps identified in the range of services currently available within the first 1 000 days of a child’s life, such as a home visit to the pregnant mother by community health workers, and the preregistration of income-eligible pregnant mothers in order for them to have access to the child support grant, pre-Grade R, and so on.
The pillars which support the policy have been agreed upon by the different departments and include the following.
Firstly, there is ECD as a public good: The government’s recognition of ECD as a universal right and that ECD lays the foundation for the attainment of broader social benefits requires the public provision of ECD services by government for all eligible young children in South Africa.
Secondly, there is universal access: The government has committed itself to the attainment of universal access to ECD for all children in the country.
The Medium-Term Strategic Framework builds on the significant achievements recorded in the first two decades of democracy. One of the key targets that the MTSF seeks to achieve is that by 2024 an essential age-appropriate and development stage-appropriate package of quality ECD services should be available and accessible to all children and their caregivers.
Improving the provision of ECD for children from the age of 0 to 4 years is part and parcel of what the ANC government is working hard on. A number of performance targets have been directed at strengthening ECD services, and we as the ANC applaud the hon Minister and her team for spending almost R80,3 million of the budget on this programme. The target of the department is to increase the number of children accessing ECD by 10% from its current baseline of 129 955.
In 2014-15 the ECD policy was finalised and the intention is to approve the policy and the comprehensive ECD programme during the current financial year.
We as the ANC want to thank the hon Minister for the ECD infrastructure audit which was completed. With that understanding and empirical evidence, as government we are able to respond to the challenges of infrastructure pertaining to ECD.
We also want to thank the hon Minister for the fact that the ECD sector serves as empowerment for women because, besides playing a critical role in the foundation of human development, ECD centres in this country form part of the women’s empowerment programme, as they afford women the opportunity to be empowered through employment and the provision of services and entrepreneurs.
Furthermore, we want to thank the hon Minister for the role being played in the fight against starvation and hunger. Because of the provisioning at ECD centres, they contribute positively to fighting hunger and starvation. This is because children attending ECD centres get three meals a day, which responds to the ANC’s programme of solving hunger and starvation. [Applause.]
The Freedom Charter states the following:
All shall enjoy equal human rights!
The law shall guarantee to all their right to speak, to organise, to meet together, to publish, to preach, to worship, ... –
but the emphasis is on –
... and to educate their children; ...
The doors of learning and of culture shall be opened!
... Education shall be free, compulsory, universal and equal for all children;
And here I can refer to ECD.
In conclusion, as the ANC we re-affirm that spending on ECD is an investment, and not a cost. [Applause.] It is about future progress, which is being made every year in regard to early childhood development. It must be consolidated and nurtured further. Today, sufficient investment in this aspect of our society secures our children’s future.
With the limited time that I have, I want to react to some of the members of the opposition, especially hon Kopane. I think she would do herself a favour if she could be consistent in attending portfolio committee meetings, because she has spoken completely at a tangent. She is completely lost. I say this because what she articulated had no veracity in it.
Secondly, I want to refer to the issue of corruption. I think the hon Minister has been consistent, and the team at the SA Social Security Agency are running our flagship programme that is addressing poverty. [Interjections.] The poor of this country will never agree that we have completely lost out in the provisioning for fighting poverty.
We are also proud as the ANC that this department continues to spend its budget, almost 90% of it.
Thank you very much. As the ANC we proudly support the Budget Vote. Thank you very much. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Ms D CARTER
Mr S P MABILO
Ms D CARTER: Chairperson, since the National Development Plan was adopted, it has not been driven as it should have been, or as Cope would have liked it to be. [Interjections.]
The NDP prioritises five functions of social protection, namely, protective measures to save lives and reduce levels of deprivation ... [Interjections.] Chairperson, can we please ask for protection so that we can speak? [Interjections.] There are also preventative measures ...
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms D D Raphuti): You are protected, hon member.
Ms D CARTER: There are also preventative measures which help people avoid falling deeper into poverty and reduce their vulnerability; promotive measures which enhance the capabilities of individuals, communities and institutions; transformative measures which tackle inequities through changes in policies, laws and budgets; and developmental and generative measures which increase the poor’s consumption, promoting local economic development. That is from the NDP for those that did not know.
Is the NDP being implemented? Is it being fully implemented? The overall purpose of social protection is this, according to the UN commission relating to social protection, which noted the following in a report of 2000:
The ultimate purpose of social protection is to increase capabilities and opportunities and thereby, promote human development.
It goes on to say that:
... social protection should not simply be seen as a residual policy function of assuring the welfare of the poorest – but as a foundation at a societal level for promoting social justice and social cohesion, developing human capabilities and promoting economic dynamism and creativity.
Cope contends that the department is failing dismally in this regard.
It is sad that the government declares our country to be a developmental state, but fails to develop the poor and the marginalised. Is this a good story to tell? [Interjections.]
It is perhaps doing so deliberately to use the poor as voting fodder. At election time, voters are threatened with losing their grants if they vote for any party other than the ruling party. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms D D Raphuti): Order, hon members! Order!
Ms D CARTER: At election time the department dishes out food parcels. That food lasts for a half a day. It keeps the poor in a state of poverty by creating dependency. To round off, do not disappoint the poor and marginalise the people of our country by creating dependency without opportunities.
Hon Minister, I am requesting you and the committee to study the NDP and then implement it. I thank you.
Mr S N SWART
Ms D CARTER
Mr S N SWART: Chairperson, the ACDP wishes to thank and commend those many thousands of social workers who tirelessly go about improving the lives of vulnerable people day by day. You are indeed angels in disguise.
One of the most vulnerable groups in society are our children. We know that the family is the basic building block of society and necessary for teaching sound morals and values. This is recognised in the Children's Act, which is administered by Social Development, and which, besides protecting children, seeks to promote and protect families.
Yet we know there are many dysfunctional families in society. As a result Parliament has deemed it necessary to protect the most vulnerable in society, our children. Hence we have laws that allow children to purchase alcohol and cigarettes only when they reach the age of 18 years. Clearly, Parliament believes that children are not mature enough to appreciate the risks of these activities.
We have, however, inconsistencies in ages in laws, which I will now highlight. The Sexual Offences Act determines that no child under the age of 16 years can consent to have sex with an adult. Again, it is aimed to protect vulnerable and impressionable children. In terms of this Act, no child under the age of 16 can consent to sex at all. Anyone engaging in sex with that child can and should be charged with rape.
The Children’s Act also stipulates that a child over the age of 12 may consent to a surgical operation, but only if they have the mental capacity to understand the benefits, risks and other implications, and are duly assisted by a parent or a guardian. Yet, children of any age can obtain an abortion, without parental consent. This is disgraceful and a contradiction. How is this possibly in the interest of children?
Now we have the Department of Basic Education proposing to give male and female condoms to all learners. This could be to children as young as 10 years and younger. This is an issue that we as Social Development and as Justice need to raise.
Whilst we appreciate that teenage pregnancies, Aids pandemics and teachers preying on learners need to be addressed, clearly this proposal from Basic Education flies directly in the face of the policy of Social Development and Justice.
A comprehensive policy regarding educating children about the issue of sexuality and the risks associated therewith is necessary.
Lastly, I would plead that government adopts a consistent approach to ages of consent. It makes no sense that we in Parliament decide that that only an 18-year-old can buy cigarettes or alcohol, while at the same time we say that a 10-year-old can have access to abortion and contraceptives, even without parental consent. This is not only morally wrong but flies in the face of building a healthy society founded on sound family values. I thank you.
Mr L R MBINDA
Mr S N SWART
Mr L R MBINDA: Hon Chair and hon members, South Africa patently has vast inconsistencies in prosperity, resources, and educational and career prospects. The PAC of Azania understands that social injustice and economic imbalances are still the order of the day in our country.
The paramount affliction of the people of our country is poverty; it affects millions of people, the majority being women and people residing in rural areas. The gap between the rich and the poor is widening.
As the PAC, we believe that restoration of land to its rightful owners is the only way to address this. To us land is money. Until the land issue is addressed, our people will remain beggars.
Social security is one of the many devices for poverty mitigation and prevention, but it should be instituted with other progressive welfare strategies to target the causes and manifestations of poverty.
The PAC believes that South Africa should offer the poor a safety net. These social grants barely cover even 60% of the poor, a percentage which seems to be growing each year. This growth is a socioeconomic challenge for the country. The Constitution of this country obliges the government to work towards the progressive expansion of social security.
More than 40% of the labour force is shielded by the Unemployment Insurance Fund. In South Africa, job-related retirement is not available for people who are not in the formal wage economy. That means that there are numerous unskilled workers who are not even covered by this particular measure.
The social grants that our government is giving to our people are not sustainable; instead we are creating a nation of beggars.
Le nto yezi zibonelelo zikarhulumente ingakumbi iipasile zokutya ezinikwa abantu bethu ngexesha leevoti ...
... is an insult to our nation. [Interjections.] It is an insult to our nation. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms D D Raphuti): Order! Order, hon members! Order!
Mr L R MBINDA: This is disheartening and undermining our African nation. In fact, the PAC deems it an insult to us ...
... into yokunyuka nisehla ninika abantu bethu ukutya xa nifuna iivoti. Ninyelisa isizwe sama-Afrika. [Uwelewele.]
Ms E R WILSON
Mr L R MBINDA
Ms E R WILSON: Chairperson, the National Development Agency will receive R184 million from the Department of Social Development; R29 million will be spent on direct civil society organisation, CSO, funding; R4,5 million will be utilised for direct community development funding; and a further R28,7 million on direct project funding. Much emphasis is put on capacitation and training.
Chairperson, the Department of Social Development has planned to train 1 200 community development projects, and to support 300 co-operatives. Are these not classified as CSOs?
When members of the portfolio committee asked why both the Department of Social Development and the National Development Agency were proposing to fulfil the same functions, the chairperson advised us that this had been noticed prior to the presentations and that the matter had been taken up with the Minister. The portfolio committee was told that the presentation by the Department of Social Development was just a draft, and that in the next sitting the final presentation would be made to us.
When the second report was presented, the only real changes were in Programme 1 and absolutely no changes had been made to the overlapping annual performance plans. We called upon the Minister this time last year to address the lack of convergence between the NDA and the Department of Social Development. It appears that the Minister has chosen to ignore sound advice yet again.
The Minister must explain the difference between direct CSO funding of R29 million and direct community development funding of R4,5 million, and a further R28,7 million on direct project funding. The NDA could not give us clarification. They sound frightfully familiar.
The committee was gobsmacked when the NDA, which had been given in excess of R30 million for direct project funding in 2014-15, could not advise how many CSOs were funded. Millions were gone, but nobody could tell us where. They advised us that it had not been measured.
The NDA budgeted R3,4 million for the early childhood development awards. In the NDA’s APPs there is not one single indicator of how many ECD centres will benefit and how they will be awarded the money. There are no annual targets and no quarterly targets. Are we going to allow them to spend R3,4 million of the public’s money and just accept their report when it says they spent the money, but they did not measure how many ECD centres benefited? I think not, Minister.
What is going on in this department, Chairperson? The Minister has attended only two out of the eight portfolio committee meetings this year. This means that its members have not been able to raise their concerns and questions. Hon Mashile, why did you not mention your own Minister’s attendance record? How much time did the Minister spend out of the country this year? How long was she in the United States, pray tell?
It appears that the Minister has no regard for the portfolio committee or its oversight function. Perhaps the Minister was too busy garnering support for her presidential campaign in the Women’s League. Perhaps they have forgotten the Travelgate scandal and her conviction. [Interjections.]
Had our Minister been sufficiently involved in the department she is responsible for, this appalling mismanagement and lack of communication between the department and its entities could have been avoided.
There is a well-known saying: “While the cat is away, the mice will play.” In this case the saying should go: While the Minister is away, the entire department falls into disarray, and the poorest of the poor are being neglected. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Ms H H MALGAS
Ms E R WILSON
Ms H H MALGAS: Hon Chairperson, I thought that today I was going to give a speech, but I will now do my sweeping. You have to sweep when you are the last speaker.
Chairperson, I wish to say this to the Minister. I have to declare upfront that when it comes to the DA and the EFF, they supported this budget speech of the Minister and the department with reserve. Chair, “reserve” means that you are neither here nor there. Are you inside the house or outside the house? [Applause.] [Interjections.]
Ms E R WILSON: Chair, I have a point of order. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms D D Raphuti): What is your point of order?
Ms E R WILSON: I need to correct the facts. The DA did not just “reserve”.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms D D Raphuti): That is not a point of order.
Ms E R WILSON: They adopted it with reservations.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms D D Raphuti): Hon member!
Ms E R WILSON: Thank you. There is a difference.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms D D Raphuti): Hon member, that is not a point of order.
Ms H H MALGAS: Chair, “reservations” and “reserve” are exactly the same.
Ms V KETABAHLE: Chair, I have a point of order.
Ms H H MALGAS: They mean, “Julle is draadsitters.” [“You are sitting on the fence.”] [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms D D Raphuti): Hon member?
Ms V KETABAHLE: The hon Malgas must tell the House the truth.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms D D Raphuti): It is not a point of order, hon member.
Ms V KETABAHLE: It is a point of order.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms D D Raphuti): It is not! [Interjections.] It is not a point of order. [Interjections.]
Ms V KETABAHLE: But I didn’t adopt the Budget Vote.
Ms H H MALGAS: Chairperson, let me come to the debate itself. I’m referring to the hon Kopane because she represents the DA. When it comes to the SA Social Security Agency, they were very upfront when it came to corruption regarding our grants. [Interjections.] I questioned them on this and they told us how much money had been paid back already. So, let us discuss these things in our committee meetings, because you are not doing that if you come and speak of it here.
When it comes to the child support grant, the Minister was very clear that the government of Thailand had just adopted a programme based on our child support grant. We were also praised by international agencies. Here I refer to hon Carter in relation to our social protection systems. We know that all these grants are administered by Sassa. We acknowledge the challenges that Sassa has, but they are doing a lot, and they are doing a lot that is right.
If you look at the report of the World Bank, our child support grant is Number 4 in the index. [Applause.] The World Bank would never support us if we were corrupt. These agencies like Thailand would not support us in the late South Africa, if there was such a lot of corruption in our system – the way you are going on about it. [Interjections.]
What I would like to say upfront to the EFF regarding food parcels that we had the hon Maxon in our committee meetings. She was very good and she asked questions, but your new member doesn’t show up at meetings. However, she has the right to come to the podium and speak her mind about things she is not sure of. [Interjections.]
Food parcels fall under disaster and social relief of distress. They are for our distressed people. When it comes to whether it is food parcels, because money is given out to ... [Interjections.] Even when it comes to babies under three years, they get a baby pack. The pack has “Kimbies” [diapers] in it, food, etc.
I would like to tell you that social relief of distress is done 365 days a year, but you only see these things during elections.
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: Chairperson. Chairperson. Chairperson!
Ms H H MALGAS: Three weeks ago when there was flooding in Kleinskool, they were given out. [Interjections.] Thank you.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms D D Raphuti): Hon member. [Inaudible.] Hon member! Hon member?
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: Please may I ask whether by-elections are disasters?
Ms H H MALGAS: I won’t answer that question at all. You have to ask me, hon Van der Merwe, if I will take a question.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms D D Raphuti): Yes, hon member. Okay, hon member.
Ms H H MALGAS: Thank you, and I said it was 365 times a year. [Interjections.] Days a year.
Also, when it comes to the migrants in South Africa, go to them and speak to them, and they will tell you a different story of Social Development – not this story that you are speaking about here. So speak to them. [Applause.]
There is something else when it comes to the social relief of distress. I would like to say something to you. Over this weekend we were told that the DA approached a woman from site and services to have a soup kitchen from her home. What did she say? She said, “No, I am ANC.” [Applause.] So, I would like you people to know that too.
There is something else when it comes to our social workers. [Interjections.] I hope hon De Kock and even hon Swart were social workers, because I am not going to answer that question and I am leaving it to the Minister who is a social worker. I was at the indaba and a social worker there said, “We don’t speak to teachers. We don’t speak to anyone who does not have a degree in social work.” I am leaving that over to the Minister herself. [Interjections.]
Regarding job creation, and I think it was said somewhere, Minister, your department is very innovative, and we must congratulate you on this. We no longer work according to traditional welfare. We are working towards a developmental state and our department, you can hear, is Social Development. I’m not sure which programme of the department it is, where the department speaks and says it is a lead department when it comes to job and work opportunities. They have community work programmes which are of long duration, and 80% of our new participants are the unemployed youth.
Social protection will be provided to military veterans, where services will create jobs. In regard to job creation opportunities, we will ask the Minister to give the constituency offices their plans and also tell them how it will work. [Interjections.] Yes, we don’t mind. If you don’t want it, we will take it. [Interjections.]
In regard to hon Carter, ... [Interjections.] Yes, I’m very honest about it – if you don’t want it, we will take it. Hon Carter, if you read the Treasury’s report or the Budget Speech from the Treasury – this one – look at page 9. The Minister was promised by the Treasury itself that they would have another meeting in regard to our comprehensive social security budget. Look at what the department says about this. I have got it in my hand. They speak about our comprehensive social security programme and they also speak about social protection. Hon members have to read their notes.
I would like to end off by thanking the ANC members. I won’t thank the committee, but only the ANC members, for the contributions they made to this budget debate and also ... [Time expired.] All right. We as the ANC support the budget of the department. Thank you.
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Ms H H MALGAS
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson, firstly, ... [Interjections.] It’s in your mouth!
Firstly, we are talking to people who have come from a conference and who behave as if they are committed to all the rights in the world. They are committed to the Constitution, which has a Bill of Rights. Then the person whom they were campaigning for and elected stated clearly that he is against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex people, LGBTIs. Some of you were working with our Minister to fight for that ... [Interjections.]
Dr M J FIGG: I beg your pardon, Chairperson. On a point of order, ... [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Secondly, ...
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms D D Raphuti): Minister, can you hold on? Is that ...
Mr M WATERS: Chairperson, the Minister is deliberately misleading the House. [Interjections.] The hon Maimane did not say he is against LGBTI rights; he said he supports them. That is quite the opposite. So, the Minister must withdraw those comments. She knows she is misleading the House. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms D D Raphuti): Hon member, that is not a point of order. You can’t ...
Mr M WATERS: Of course it’s a point of order. Someone is misleading the House. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms D D Raphuti): It is her understanding of what was said, hon member. [Interjections.] We can’t say she is deliberately doing that, but it is her understanding of what was said.
Mr M WATERS: Well, the Minister’s understanding is incorrect – that’s for sure – just like her department’s understanding. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms D D Raphuti): Continue, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Secondly, Chairperson, to all those that are saying social security is not sustainable, is poverty sustainable? [Interjections.]
There is one other thing. You have been saying that we must come up with suggestions, but you have not come up with suggestions.
In your charter you talk about social protection. What does social protection mean? What definition do you give to social protection? You are speaking in tongues. You must go and study that liberal document again.
I say that because what liberals do is to promise a mirage - something that you cannot catch. They talk about equal opportunities. How can you talk about equal opportunities when there are farm workers and farm owners? [Interjections.]
Ms S P KOPANE: Chair, I have a point of order.
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms D D Raphuti): Hon Minister, please wait. What is your point of order?
Ms S P KOPANE: With due respect, can the hon Minister respond to the debate in terms of issues presented in the House? [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms D D Raphuti): Hon member, that is not a point of order. [Inaudible.] [Interjections.]
Ms S P KOPANE: You cannot come and talk about the conference of the DA. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms D D Raphuti): Order! [Inaudible.]
Ms S P KOPANE: She must respond to the issues debated in regard to the speech. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms D D Raphuti): Hon member, can we give the Minister a chance to debate? Hon members, please. [Interjections.]
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: The questions to hon Kopane are these. Is the DA against the social protection system for the poor?
HON MEMBERS: No!
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Is the DA seeking to change the Bill of Rights in the Constitution?
HON MEMBERS: No!
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Tell the public!
Are you saying, as Thatcher did, that people must pull themselves up by their own bootstraps? That is what she said, and that is the theory you are bringing here - a theory that is uncooked. [Interjections.] Your ideas are exactly the same as the theories of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher – absolutely the same. [Interjections.] They brought those things in when they saw that the people in their countries, the poor, were developing. They wanted to stop that development. [Interjections.]
Orphan children need abortions, because most of the time they are raped ... [Interjections.]
An HON MEMBER: Tell us about rugby.
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: I’m not your radio; I’m not your gramophone. [Laughter.] If you are a gramophone that side, I’m not a gramophone here. [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms D D Raphuti): Hon members, order!
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Most of the time children are raped by family members or people close to them. Therefore, it is counterproductive to try to get them to do so only with ... [Interjections.] Which other party are you going to now? Which is your next party that you are going to join? [Interjections.] What is sad is that children end up going for backstreet abortions. Do we want our children to die?
While we would encourage a delay in sexual activity by children and teenagers, we cannot bury our heads in the sand. We need to ensure that when people do engage in sex, it is safe sex. [Interjections.]
Another thing is that some of the issues that have been raised here are issues that have been raised in questions. Some of the questions that the DA has been asking are about the pages – we must go and read the report for them and tell them where the information is, the page and whatever. So, I won’t respond to the things that we have continuously been responding to. Thank you. [Time expired.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms D D Raphuti): Thank you very much, hon Minister.
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT: Chairperson! Chairperson, I heard someone ... [Interjections.]
The TEMPORARY CHAIRPERSON (Ms D D Raphuti): Hon Minister, your time has expired. I am sorry. I’m afraid that is so. [Applause.] Members are reminded that the Extended Public Committee on Budget Vote No 13 - Women, will take place in this House at 16:40.
The Committee rose at 16:03.
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