Hansard: NA: Unrevised hansard
House: National Assembly
Date of Meeting: 11 Jul 2019
No summary available.
THURSDAY, 11 JULY 2019
PROCEEEDINGS OF THE MINI PLENARY SESSION – OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
Members of the mini-plenary session met in the Old Assembly Chamber at 16:40.
The House Chairperson Mr M L D Ntombela took the Chair and requested members to observe a moment of silence for prayer or meditation.
Debate on Vote No 17 – Social Development:
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT (Ms L D Zulu): I hope we won’t be any in any of those errors, house Chairperson, Honourable House Chairperson, Honourable Members, and Members of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development; MECs for Social Development here present; Act. Director General of the Department of Social Development, Mr Mzolisi Toni, CEO of SASSA; Ms. Busisiwe Memela- Khambula, CEO of NDA; Ms Thamo Mzobe, UN Population Fund Country
Representative to South Africa, Ms Beatrice Mutali; I really wish to thank her for being here and to say that many of the community members who are here today, she was out there with us and it was one of the best times that they gave me, the energy to be here and be able to speak here. Thank you very much for being here. Social grant bene?ciaries, as well as bene?ciaries from other programmes of the DSD Portfolio; Representatives of development agencies, cooperatives and civil society organisations the public at large in the gallery.
From the onset, please allow me to tender the apology of the Deputy Minister of Social Development, Ms Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu who is unable to join us due to a family bereavement. Please join me in expressing our deepest condolences and in wishing her family hope and comfort during this time of grief.
I am presenting Budget Vote 17 of the Department of Social Development for your consideration and support under the theme: “WORKING TOGETHER TO EMPOWER OUR COMMUNITIES FOR SUSTAINABLE
LIVELIHOODS". I do so, full of optimism and hope to serve our people as we have already entered the 6th Administration.
The theme house Chairperson works very well for us as we start the 6th Administration because we are here to make sure that we empower
our communities, we empower our people to be able to do a lot of things for themselves with the support of government.
The theme of this budget is a major thrust of our social transformation agenda as we continue to build, brick by brick, the South Africa we want. The South Africa we want to also inhabit. The core mandate of this Department is to provide comprehensive social protection services that enable the poor and vulnerable to live sustainable livelihoods. This mandate is complemented by the work of the two other entities, that is SASSA and the NDA.
SASSA is responsible for the provision of a comprehensive social security system against vulnerability and poverty within the constitutional and legislative framework.
The NDA contributes towards the eradication of poverty and its causes through grant funding and strengthening of civil society organisations that provide services to build resilient and self- sustainable communities.
I know house Chairperson that many people get confused when we talk about the NDA because they don’t really know much about and it is time that the NDA itself came out of its shadows and make sure that
the people know about it so that people can be able to benefit from it. But today we went to a community that benefitted and so we thinking it we must pull it our so that it can be seen to be part and parcel of us.
To achieve this, we will use a portfolio approach (that is the Department working together with its agencies hand in hand) while we simultaneously build collaborations with other partners within government, the private sector and civil society.
Chairperson, I do want to say that social development is about the upliftment of our people and if the other departments do not step up in supporting us, it is useless for us to have these programmes. We want all departments to step up and help us.
The work of this Department is central to the realisation of the ideals of the Freedom Charter. Fifty-Six years ago on this day, 11 July 1963, during the dark days of the apartheid regime, the notorious police force raided the ANC’s safe house, Lilliesleaf Farm, in Rivonia-Johannesburg. They arrested the leadership nucleus of the armed wing of the ANC, Umkhonto We Sizwe, including Andrew Mlangeni, Walter Sisulu and Ahmed Kathrada.
This day will forever be marked in South African history books as the start of a process, known as the Rivonia Trial, which eventually saw Nelson Mandela and seven other freedom fighters sentenced to life in prison at the Robben Island. As we present this budget, the sacrifices of this generation of leaders will continue to guide and inspire our actions.
The budget could not have come at a better time than the month of July, as we celebrate the birth of our first democratically elected President of the Republic of South Africa, uTata Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela whose legacy embodies the work of this Department.
Hon. Chairperson, we are reminded of Madiba’s words and I quote: "THE WORLD REMAINS BESET BY SO MUCH HUMAN SUFFERING, POVERTY AND DEPRIVATION. IT IS IN YOUR HANDS TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE".
And I can assure you hon Chairperson and members that we are here to make that difference, working together with you.
As we begin the new term of the 6th administration, we want to create certainty by putting people first, by responding
timeously to the pressing needs of our people, while charting a path towards resilience and sustainable livelihoods.
This Budget comes as we celebrate the silver jubilee of freedom and democracy. While we acknowledge that the South Africa we want is still a work in progress, we have every reason to celebrate the journey we have traversed thus far. We have every reason to celebrate the unprecedented progress we have made in lifting up our people out of abject poverty; the most vulnerable of our society.
Chairperson, I would to say to you that in our first meeting with the portfolio committee, the Chairperson of the portfolio committee said something very fundamental to us that nobody wants to walk around being known to be the poorest of the poor. Nobody wants that to have on them forever, therefore we need to do everything we can to make sure that, that language is language that we get rid off by ensuring that we deliver to our people.
As the democratic government, we have expanded access to lifesaving treatment, free primary health care, free education at primary, secondary and tertiary levels. This ANC government has improved life expectancy and we have enabled more girls to attend school than ever before. Through our investments in the social assistance and child protection programmes, we have enabled vulnerable children to remain and complete school. We have assisted over ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY
THOUSAND social grants beneficiaries to further their studies through the National Students Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS).
The report on this just recently came out and I am sure that members can familiarize themselves with that report.
We do not take these successes lightly. We are keenly aware of areas where we are still lagging behind, particularly today as we table this budget against a challenging economic environment. It for that reason hon Chairperson that I said, other department, including economic development must step up and be able to assist us because if we grow the economy, it means the opportunity for our people will also grow.
Given the foregoing, we remain cognisant that we cannot do everything all at once, but we will do all that we can, And we will do it well. We will do it, not because it is right, but also because sustainable development and livelihoods lies at the heart of the work of this department.
The Chairperson of the NCOP, Hon. Amos Masondo directed us not only to be masters of doing, but also, to be the masters of doing things right by tackling poverty now and by addressing issues that will end
intergenerational poverty in the next 25 years and beyond. I hasten to add that the effectiveness of the programmes and strategic interventions in this budget, depend on joint action across all spheres of government and on partnership the private sector, civil society and community based organisations, some of which are in the public gallery.
Yesterday, I held my ?rst meeting with MECs where we unanimously agreed on certain priority areas over the MTEF period. And this includes fighting the scourge of alcohol and substance abuse that causes immeasurable damage to our country especially the youth; child abuse, neglect and exploitation, which rob our children of the joys of childhood; gender based violence which is an affront to the ideals of the Freedom Charter of building an equal and non-racial and non-sexists society; improving the provision of developmental welfare and community development services to deliver better results for the most vulnerable; enhance our coordination mechanisms, integration, planning, monitoring and evaluation to measure the impact of our interventions.
Quite frankly hon Chairperson and members, our people are not interested in who did what, how did they did, how did they connect
to each other. All they want is to know that the services that we have promised we will give them, they will receive them on time.
We have committed ourselves to clean governance and administration that create a sense of certainty to deliver our services timeously and with honesty. We also agreed to work much closer with districts and local municipalities as the first port of call in service delivery value chain.
The tabling of this budget coincides with this year’s commemoration of the World Population Day and that is why we have the UN present here under the theme: “25 YEARS OF INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT: LOOKING BACK, LOOKING FORWARD". So if
the UN can look back and look forward, what stops us in South Africa to do exactly the same? 25 years passed, 25 years coming, what our people going to be expecting from us.
According to Statistics SA, South Africa‘s population size grew from
40.6 million in 1996 to 57.7 million in 2018. Data shows that South Africa continues to have a relatively youthful population, with 39% between 15 and 35 years of age. We also note that we are undergoing an age transition from a young population to an ageing population.
We must think about what about that means for our economy for everything that we would like to do.
Given the above, it is imperative that we implement an integrated approach that is responsive to the present needs of our youthful population, while at the same time addressing the long term needs of the ageing population.
Chairperson, I want to just quickly share that when I was an ambassador in Brazil, one of the things that I saw was that, the elderly there were really taken care off. They had places to go to, they had clubs to go to and here in South Africa the elderly don’t know what to do, they sit at home and they get abused many a times, so it means we must step up so that even if they are there the whole week at home, at weekends they can go somewhere and play, somewhere and feel they are needed but most of all it is the young people that have to give that respect to the elderly and stop abusing them.
Currently, we have too many young people who are not in education or employment. For this reason, we are making strategic investments critical for sustainable development, starting with early childhood development, training and creation of work opportunities, with particular focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and
Mathematics. These investments are critical in the context of the fourth industrial revolution.
Hon. Members, our youth development programme is guided by the words of Mama Nomzamo Winnie Mandela, an activist, anti-apartheid veteran and a pioneer social worker who said and I quote:
"The hopes of South Africa's future development lies in its youth, so it is important for us to give them hope"
The growing ageing population in South Africa presents challenges for the provision of public services such as health, welfare, housing, retirement savings and benefits, amongst others. In this regard, we will expand programmes that improve the quality of life and dignity of older persons, focusing on community based care and support services. This includes active ageing programmes, prevention of elder abuse and income support. We are encouraged by the work of the South African Older Persons Forum, which continues to champion the rights of older persons.
We have a window of opportunity TO ACT FAST AND TO ACT NOW to meet our population challenges. Some of the policy responses are contained in this budget we are presenting today, including the work
of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Population Policy. We will continue to work towards the realisation of the full range of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.
Attention will be paid to the marginalised groups, including persons with disabilities, LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL, TRANSGENDER, INTERSEX,
QUEER, ASEXUAL (LGBTlQA+) people, rural, urban poor as well as young people.
South Africa's population policy recognises migration, including international migration as a fundamental human right issue.
The dynamics of internal and international migration remain a challenges for proper planning and South Africa is not escaping that.
Hon. Chairperson, the South Africa envisioned in the NDP accords a central role to an inclusive and responsive social protection system. In tackling the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment, the allocation for this financial year is a whooping
184 billion rand. Of this amount, 175 billion rand is a direct transfer to social grants beneficiaries, which constitutes 94.8% of
the Department's budget allocation over the MTEF period. This accounts for 3, 2% of South Africa's Growth Domestic Product.
Expenditure on this programme increases at an average annual rate of 7.6%, from 162.9 billion rand in 2018/19 to 202.9 billion in 2021/22.
The Department will transfer 212 MILLION RAND to the NDA and 518 million rand of the ECD Conditional Grant to provinces. The balance goes to the Department and SASSA for administrative costs.
It is Important that we remind this august house where we come from.
In 1994, we inherited a fragmented and discriminatory social security system that catered for the few along racial lines. While black people were receiving their Old Age Grant pay out every second month, their white counterparts were receiving it monthly. Twenty five years down the line, we have not only eliminated the barriers that excluded the majority of our people, but we have also extended coverage to the most vulnerable in our society. These are the ANC governments achievements worth noting.
To date, we have extended social grants from 2 MILLION on social grants in 1994 to over 17 million beneficiaries. Of this number,
12.5 million is Child Support Grant, followed by Old Age Grant at
3.5 million, Disability Grant just over 1 million and the balance covering Care Dependency, Foster Care, Grant-in-Aid and the War Veterans Grant.
I think that when we look at these figures, we must ask ourselves why it is that 12.5 million goes to Child Support Grant, where are fathers? Where are the mothers? What is happening? This is some of the money that is supposed to be going in supporting those that still the capacity to make life for themselves instead of queuing for the social grant, but of course we understand, we appreciate where we come from.
For two successive financial years, the social assistance programme has shown growth, with total uptake increasing by 1.7 % between 2017/18 and 2018/19. The Older Persons Grant grew by 3.8% while the Child Support Grant grew by 1.5%. At the same time, there was an increase in the number of adult bene?ciaries in need of regular care and support in the form of Grant-ln-Aid, which grew by 15.5%.
These figures show that the increase is mainly amongst the grants targeting the most vulnerable groups, that is children and older persons.
The 54th National Conference of the ANC directed us to finalise a number of social security reform policies.
This includes work on the de?nition of what constitutes a basket of social security benefits, addressing the social grants exclusion errors and the revised policy on mandatory cover for retirement, amongst others. We will also prioritise comprehensive social security reforms endorsed by NEDLAC.
On the legislative front, we have commenced with the review of the SASSA Act and draft regulations on Social Assistance Amendment Act. This work will contribute towards achieving the ANC‘s bold goals of ensuring that between now and June 2029, “NO PERSON IN SOUTH AFRICA WILL GO HUNGRY". This is at the heart of the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Agenda of ensuring that we end poverty in all its forms and that no one is left behind. We do not want to reduce poverty as they speak sometimes in language reduction of poverty, we want to get rid of poverty.
Hon. Members, key to our goal of building a capable, ethical and developmental state is to stabilise our institutions. On this note, I am pleased to inform this house that we have appointed Ms Busisiwe Memela-Khambula as the CEO of SASSA. Her vast experience in the private, public and development sector has already brought the much- needed stability as we work towards ensuring that the Agency fulfil its core legislative mandate. One of the things that she did, welcoming here because don’t want to just come here and speak, she went out to the community to see what is happening.
The current partnership between SASSA and the South African Post Office (SAPO) is continuing without any major hurdles.
We are improving social grants beneficiaries’ experience by amongst others, ensuring that payments are done through multiple access channels such as SAPO outlets, cash payments, retail stores and automated teller machines (ATMs).
Most importantly, we will remain vigilant more than ever, before to ensure that social grants are paid to eligible beneficiaries NJALOI. In this regard, we have taken temporary precautionary measures by suspending over 2 800 suspected fraudulent accounts. I have directed both CEOs of SASSA working with the CEO of SAPO to investigate and
furnish me and the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies, with a comprehensive report and action to address this matter, including complaints from social grants beneficiaries we received in the last 18 months. To address this fraudulent activities, we have allocated 68 million rand to social grants investigations in the current ?nancial year. If we didn’t have that, we would be putting that money to better use but unfortunately for us we still have people who sit in the morning and plot and plan how to rob our people.
Hon. Members, while we mitigate the impact of poverty on the poor and vulnerable, we place greater priority on actions that will have a positive impact for them in a long term, targeting mainly young women in our social grants system.
Empowering our communities to contribute meaningfully to our development trajectory is fundamental to our approach, particularly given the fact that over 45% of the recipients of our social grants are young women below the age of 35.
As a developmental state, our uppermost and urgent task is to ensure that in years to come, the children of the current generation of
social grants beneficiaries embark on different pathway to sustainable livelihoods to realise their full potential.
To this end, we will use government’s procurement and investment in the social assistance programme to stimulate local economic development.
The community I went to this morning, and I saw that they are doing a lot of good work, producing gardening and all. The issue is, where are they going to sell what they are producing so that they can be able to sustain themselves.
In the current financial year, we have allocated 410 MILLION RAND to the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) programme to support families who go through undue hardship. Of this amount, 123 million rand.
This is in addition to the 30% procurement policy of government contracts for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). We will continue to foster an integrated approach, with the view to address barriers that hinder greater participation of women and youth owned enterprises.
While still on the subject of supporting cooperatives, allow me to turn the house‘s attention to the work that has been done by the NDA.
Over the past 25 years, the agency has provided direct grant funding to civil society and community based organisations to the value of
1.3 billion rand.
Last year alone, the agency linked over ONE THOUSAND cooperatives to business opportunities to the value of over 280 MILLION RAND. These cooperatives were linked to SASSA’s SRD programme. We acknowledge the work of the organisations that are making a signi?cant contribution to sustainable livelihoods in the war against poverty.
This includes the MHANI GINGI social entrepreneurial network based in Athlone, which we visited this morning and the MOYA WE KHAYA PEACE GARDEN is one of the cooperatives funded by the NDA. These organisations are making a dent on poverty and transforming the lives of women, their families and communities in which they live. MHANI GINGI has just confirmed a contract with the Netherlands Embassy to provide some of their products to them.
Through these initiatives, we are setting up our people on a trajectory to throw off the colonial economic shackles. To paraphrase lsithwalandwe, former President Rolihlahla Mandela, our long walk to freedom and democracy was not just about gaining political power.
While important, the attainment of political freedom, DOES NOT, and MUST NOT, mark the end of a bigger fight that lies ahead. This is a fight that our generation must never shy away from.
This is the ?ght for ECONOMIC EMANCIPATION of our people. Our long walk to freedom was, and continues to give the majority of our people the first and ?rm foothold on the ladder of economic opportunities towards sustainable development.
Hon. Chairperson and members, we remain committed to accelerating the transformation of welfare services and the sector as a whole. The provision of developmental welfare services to the most vulnerable is an integral part of our social protection agenda.
Accordingly, we have commenced with a number of initiatives that we will table to Cabinet.
Key amongst these is the White Paper for Social Development, the Social Services Practitioners Bill and the National Drug Master Plan.
The finalisation of this work will enable us to begin to implement key recommendations of the Ministerial Committee on the Review of the 1997 White Paper for Social Welfare. These include the demand and supply model for social service practitioners; resource allocation; establishment and enforcement of a simple, effective and standardised data system; to name but a few. Once completed, the White Paper for Developmental Social Welfare will culminate into the Social Development Act.
On a related matter, the supply and demand model for social service practitioners has been approved, with concurrence by key departments and partners.
This model is key in forecasting future needs and demands for both services and categories of social service professionals in the form of social workers, auxiliary social workers, community development practitioners and as well child and youth care givers.
I know that the issue of social workers is one the most painful ones because when we go to our communities they are complaining about the fact that the social workers are not adequate in the schools there are not enough social workers. One of my comrades, Mbalula the other day, Ministeer Mbalula, hon Mbalula said to me the other day ...
The HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Mr M L D NOMBELA) Thank you very much hon Minister
Mr M GUNGUBELE: Hon Chair, the Minister, the Deputy Minister in abstaintia, we like to extend our condolences, members of the Portfoilio Committee, members of the entire house, our guests, I greet you all. In pursuit of the theme introduced by the Minister of a Developmental nation
Just a short history, the apartheid government, prior 1994 have had a social welfare service system, that entrenched the socio- economic privileges of the few. The social welfare service system under apartheid, made no reference to social protection as an inclusive term in South Africa.
The ANC’s Reconstruction and Development Programme, RDP, and the White Paper for Social Welfare, amongst other key documents provided
the framework for the transformation of the social welfare services. A developmental approach was applied in the transformation of social welfare services and transpired within the confines of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, which envisioned a more inclusive, equal and caring society.
lt must be emphasised that, key to the White paper was that this developmental social welfare approach, must be steeped in values such as a humane, peaceful, just, caring and society which will uphold welfare rights, facilitate the meeting of basic human needs, release people’s creative energies, help them achieve their aspirations, build human capacity and self-reliance, and participate fully in all spheres of social economic and political life‘. The aim was to meet the basic needs of all people in South Africa, by transforming the entirety of society.
Fundamentally, introduced through the developmental social welfare approach, were interventions that redistributed resources and benefits with the objective of empowering disadvantaged groups and raising the general welfare of society. Hon members, this resonates well with two key policy positions of the ANC that our attack on poverty must seek to empower people to take themselves out of
poverty and that social grants must not create dependency and must be linked to economic activity.
Over the past twenty five years, the government's approach to social developmental welfare has been anchored on empowering our people to help themselve and becoming independent. South Africa's commitment to social cohesion is reflected in government's expenditure on this item since the advent of democracy. We reaffirm this principles in the assertion through the manner in which the vote has been allocated.
Hon members, in reaffirming the government’s commitment towards social protection, we have put in place safety nets to protect the poor and the most vulnerable. This has led South Africa to have one of the most comprehensive and far-reaching social security nets globally. Monthly, through the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), 7.5 million South Africans receive social grants. The majority of these beneficiaries have been migrated to the South African Post Office, SAPO.It must be boldly mentioned, that through the collaborative efforts of the department and SAPO, the social grant payment system has been improved to ensure that there is effective and efficient service delivery.
We welcome the confirmation by the President in his State of the Nation Address speech that significant progress has been made in devising a comprehensive social security strategy through the National Economic Development and Labour Council, Nedlac. The significance of this is the desire to have an affordable, sustainable, appropriate, and inclusive comprehensive social security system.
The comprehensive social security system is important in consolidating the social wage through reliable and quality basic services. This is one of the seven apex priority areas mentioned in the Sona. Within this, as guided by the governing party, social development is tasked with ensuring that there is an increase in the number of social workers, that we work in collaboration with the Departments of Basic Education and Health to ensure that there is continued investments in our children in relation to the first thousand days, that we subsidise Early Childhood Development and that we intensify our anti- poverty protection services.
A brief on the budget I will prefer not to repeat Chair, because I think the Minister has articulated it very well to save time. The following main programmes in the vote declined in real terms from the previous financial year:
Social security Policy and Administration -6.4%;
Social Welfare Policy Development and Implementation Support -22.9%.
What are the societal challenges that we ought to deal with? This vote comes at a time when the South African society is confronted by a myriad of challenges which we have to collectively resolve.
The persistent realities of poverty, unemployment and inequality continue to confront us. This has is informed by Statistics SA revealing that in the first quarter of 2019, 9,9 million in the country remain unemployed. Furthermore, 25,9% of South Africans are food poor and 40% have to choose between food and other important items.
The Eastern Cape, Kwa Zulu Natal and Limpopo are the three poorest provinces, whilst, Gauteng and the Western Cape are the wealthiest. The GINI coefficient of the country is at 0,68. Whilst inequality is highest among Black Africans at 0,65
Key to all these hon members, is the fact that we thought we need the Minister acknowledge that the tone you have set is actually saying to South African , no human being is inherently poor. People
are born under conditions of poverty. You have taken a mental attitude to conquer those conditions and in so doing in my closing remark I want to say your approach which actually supported by collective that have been demonstrated between the department and committee. What is exciting in our committee is that we have taken a spirit of combating a scourge of poverty as South Africans. The spirit of unity is there and we have promised that when we ara robust and clinical it will be under conditions of clearity not under conditions of confussion. Therefore, this approach in my concluding words, calls for the change of mindset, the mindset that helps to do the following:eliminate the sense of feeling poor; open our eyes into our individual human potential; see possibilities in our human space, thus invites in our hearts and minds a desire to live across all ages; liberate ourselves from the victimhood of the past to the conquerors of this legacy. We support this Vote.
Ms B S MASANGO Hon House Chair, I would like before I start to extend my sincere condolences to the Deputy Minister Bogopane Zulu on her bereavement In his response to the President’s State of the Nation Address, the DA leader, Mmusi Maimane stated, “I wish to say to you that when the decisions you take are in the interests of this country, we will be the ?rst ones to support you "This, Chairperson, is exactly how I felt after the Portfolio Committee on Social
Development was addressed by the new Minister. I felt encouraged and hopeful for the millions of South Africans, whose wellbeing depends on the leadership of Minister Lindiwe Zulu, working in partnership with the portfolio committee to ease burdens that have been placed on them by the many social ills that beset this country.
The Minister acknowledged the many challenges faced by the department and committed herself to working with all partners to change the current situation.
The message I got from the Minister and the CEO.s' of the departments entities was that of acknowledging that the department and its entities alone will not be able to turn the tide of poor service delivery, eradicating the levels of vulnerability in our society and dealing decisively with those who have been found guilty of misconduct.
Much was said about ensuring that the many costly challenges that the Department and its entities have grappled with will be resolved during the 6th Parliament. We will exercise oversight on this important undertaking. Among others House Chair, the following remain a concern and need to be addressed without delay.
Over 20 O00 fraud cases in SASSA that require swift action both to save the millions of ands that have been defrauded and ensure the beneficiaries receive their grants on time. The backlog in appeals due to the two level processes that delay appeals by up to 90 days while the-would-be beneficiaries languish in hunger. To this effect, it is bizarre that the Amendment Bill was approved by Cabinet in 2016 but only tabled in Parliament at the end of the 2017/18 financial year;
Substance abuse has escalated to very high levels in the country, but this has not been matched by concomitant interventions by the department. The operationalisation of the only four public substance abuse centres has been dragging for years. We expect this to happen without delay as this scourge has reared its ugly head even in schools, making teaching and learning difficult, even impossible in some cases.
The deteriorating relationship between the department and most non- profit organizations has been a cause for great concern considering these are the organisations that provide much needed services to the most vulnerable members of our society. The sector financing policy has been long awaited, during which time some NPO's have had to close their doors, exposing those they served to more vulnerability.
Hon House Chair, we will monitor the realisation of the potential of the National Development Agency to wean off the capable, willing and keen young people, who are recipients of the child support grant. In a country where unemployment has reached such high levels among the youth, every avenue must be exploited to ensure that work opportunities are made available for our citizens, as early on in their lives as possible. The DA stands ready to support any effort and programme that seeks to intervene towards this end.
Hon House Chair, as the Portfolio Committee we await the tabling of the Children’s Act Amendment Bill which the previous Minister of Social Development presented as the response to the 2017 High Court Order, instructing the department to generate a comprehensive legal solution to the Foster Care crisis we face. It has come to our attention that the children sector has been alarmed by some sections of this bill and their implications for the hundreds and thousands of orphaned and abandoned children. The DA shares grave concerns over what will happen to the children currently in the foster care system if the department is unable to solve this crisis. This with speci?c reference to the 200 000 children whose grants will expire in November and December 2019.
We await the tabling of the Bill to understand how the department plans to solve this crisis, especially in light of the DDG's response to my question on this matter during the Portfolio Committee meeting in preparation for this debate, where she explained that the amendment bill will alleviate the foster care challenge by "allowing a poor woman in Bushbuckridge to adopt a child".
Honourable Chairperson, our constitution states that “A child ‘s best interests is of paramount importance in every matter concerning the child. We therefore await in anticipation the tabling of this bill before the committee. Thank you.
Mrs D B NGWENYA: Chair, I greet you hon commissars and fighters, I greet you South Africans. The primary mandate of the Department of Social Development is and I quote:
The provision of comprehensive, integrated and sustainable social development services.
We are a country and people traumatised by centuries of dispossession, violence, poverty and landlessness. That is why the Department of Social Development has such an important role to play
because if we want to develop this country and build a nation and people that is proud of itself and its achievements, we need to support the social development of our people because currently, the social fabric of our society is collapsing.
Youth up and down the country are hooked by substance abuse, and the worst of these substances is nyaope. Nyaope is killing our youth, and without a youth, there will be no future. We must declare war on Nyaope and other drugs such as Tic. For this to end, the Department of Social Development must begin to work with the Departments of Police, Health, Education, Sports and Recreation to develop a joint programme that will allow us to tackle the drug epidemic.
In this fight against substance abuse, hon Chair, a key role the department can play is providing rehabilitation centres across the country. Our young people who are hooked on drugs must be able to find a space in our society where they are able to properly recover from their addiction, so that they can once again be integrated into society and become functioning and productive members. That space must be created by this department and must be in the form of good quality, well-staffed and well-resourced rehabilitation centres.
But rehabilitating people once they are hooked on drugs is only a short-term solution to the problem. The more long-term approach this department can take is to train and deploy social workers across our country. We need to have social workers and counsellors in schools, hospitals, police stations, orphanages, universities, Tvet colleges and in work places.
It cannot be that throughout the country the South African Police Service only employs 114 counsellors and only 200 social workers. It cannot be that schools, Tvet colleges and clinics do not have social workers. Our people, particularly women and young people experience the trauma of poverty, violence, unemployment and dispossession everyday. If they do not have a way to progressively deal with this trauma they will obviously turn to drugs or become suicidal.
Young people are dying everyday because of mental health issues and for this issue to be addressed properly, social workers and counsellors need to be deployed everywhere in South Africa. If your department does not ensure the expansion of the social worker programme, our young people will continue to die and suffer from drug abuse and mental health issues.
On the issue of social grants, hon Chair, we have always maintained the principled position that the current allocation for social grants is simply not enough. We cannot expect 17 million South Africans to live on these meagre grants. That is why they must all be doubled.
But on top of that, municipalities cannot be charging families surviving on social grant for utilities. Any individual who relies on a social grant should not be required to pay for electricity or water. It is ridiculous and shows an alienation from the struggles of our people that this government expects people who receive these social grants to pay for water and electricity. Many electricity bills including your very own Minister, are more than the total money received by social grant recipients every month.
We also need to see your department migrate all social grant beneficiaries to the Postbank. Currently, only 70% of these beneficiaries have been migrated.
An issue that your department must address is that over the years there have been 20 000 cases of fraud at South African Social Security Agency, SASSA, which have cost more than 5 000 people their grants; all because there was no fraud manager. The people who lost
out on grants because of this vacancy must be immediately reimbursed. And we also want to thank the Minister for making sure that this vacancy is filled.
Another area where your department should establish joint programmes with other government departments, hon Minister, is with regard to the issue of sanitary pads, so that all learners at schools and institutions of higher learning who require sanitary pads receive them free of charge. We cannot continue to allow the exclusion of young girls from valuable class time simply because they do not have sanitary pads, and this department has an important role to play in ending this problem.
What is shocking, however, is that despite our society’s growing need for this department and the services it should be providing, we are seeing cuts in staff as well as in the budget for things like equipment and machinery. This will impact on the provision of services by this department. If this department is cutting budgets, how is it going to build the much needed shelters for women who run away from abuse? Government must create a safe place for abused women.
This department cannot meet the social development needs of this country and it is reflected in this budget. The budget of this Department of Social Development is not enough. That is why as the Economic Freedom Fighters, EFF, we reject this budget. Thank you.
Ms L L VAN DER MERWE: Hon House Chairperson, hon Minister and hon Deputy Minister in her absence, we also wish to convey the Inkatha Freedom Party’s condolences to her family. House Chairperson, we are South Africans, we are women so, we know the statistics on violence against women and children. We know because it is the highest in the world.
We know, because yesterday we were once more confronted with a heart-wrenching story. This time it was the story of 32-year old Joyce from the Jika Joe informal settlement in Pietermaritzburg. She had been searching for her 13 year old disabled daughter since Sunday, only to discover her naked body two days ago.
We know. But what we do not know is how to deal with this crisis because our government has still not come up with clear, concrete and costed plan to fight violence against women and children. We know the statistics on social grants, on joblessness and on poverty,
we know. The numbers sit in neat columns in printed reports much like the numbers in the budget before us.
Our job here today is not to just focus on the budget, but to fully appreciate the scale of the crisis we are facing. he problem is neither hypothetical nor far removed. Just outside the parliamentary precinct, there are destitute people who sleep every night on the freezing cobblestones and broken benches. Just outside the parliamentary precinct in the early hours of tomorrow morning, drug addicts will feed their habit while a young woman on her way to work might risk being mugged or even raped.
When will you put them first, hon Minister, as you said in your opening remarks? And I wonder where is our moral outrage at the plight of the most vulnerable in our society, and where are the interventions of the Department of Social Development?
Because quite honestly, hon Minister, we are tired of hearing of more workshops and summits, talks about talks, more plans when the desperation of our people is increasing. When there addicts in the streets and more children in children’s homes. When there are more beggars at traffic lights, more people sleeping in our streets and more women facing war in our streets.
What we need now from you, Minister, is to lead a department that will drive radical consistent life-changing interventions under your leadership, and we need to see you, hon Minister, be the change that we need. Because for far too long, the Department of Social Development was led by a one-woman wrecking ball.
To make matters worse, the ANC’s self-created SASSA crisis dominated our focus. The crisis was so intertwined with the ruling party that we were hardly surprised when now the former Minister of the Department Social Development told us that wives of ANC members, in fact, benefitted from the illegal Cash Paymaster contract it held with the state.
And even though SASSA is now on a stable footing hon Minister, the governance of SASSA must be strengthened. In the Fifth Parliament, the Inkatha Freedom Party, IFP, proposed a private members bill to establish a board for SASSA and we hope to bring this to the committee in due course.
I heard you on the matters of fraud pertaining to SASSA, hon Minister, but it is clear that you need to beef up the fraud unit, to make accessible to the public and to expedite investigations and refunds. Those caught stealing from the poor, must get lengthy jail
sentences. Furthermore, the grant system must be linked to training opportunities so that those who receive grants can also receive life skills.
But those will not be your only interventions that will have to make hon Minister, the plight of sex workers must be urgently addressed. Violence against women and children must be declared a national crisis and be dealt with as such.
The thousands of social workers who are sitting at home must be employed by the State, whether it is at schools to deal with violence or at police stations to handle rape cases. Greater support for Non Governmental Organisations, NGOs, is needed because they provide vital services on behalf of the state. We need more treatment centres for those who come forward to seek help for substance abuse and it is shameful that government is still not rolling out its free sanitary pad programme in all provinces.
Every community must receive funded shelters for abused women; this is a non-negotiable. Femicide in South Africa is five times higher than the global rate. Surely, if we can spend a few hundreds rands on prisoners in jails, we can spend more R5 on a woman in a shelter.
And no social worker at a shelter should still be earning less than the minimum wage.
Chairperson, as somebody who hopes to adopt children myself in future, I implore all of us to support and promote adoption in South Africa. To this end, the IFP will be supporting any plans that are afoot that will see adoption agencies possibly closing down. We look forward to working with you new Minister and chairperson of the committee. The time for talking is over, we must act now, and we need you to be as vociferous in speaking for the vulnerable, as you are when you heckle us in the National Assembly. I thank you.
Ms T BREEDT: Hon Chairperson, the FF Plus also wishes to express its condolences to the Deputy Minister in her time of bereavement. With previous state of the nation address the President has always boasted about this department and the increase in the number of social grants being paid. The latest figure according to the SA Social Security Agency, Sassa’s annual performance plan and budget presentation is that 17,8 million social grants to just over
11 million adult recipients are being paid. To me this has never quite made sense. Should the government’s main goal not be to decrease a number of social grants because it has eradicated poverty? Should the government not want people to stand on their own
two feet? Does the government not want their citizens to reach their full potential and to be part of the economically sound and growing South Africa? I honestly, think not.
I have done some research and I am glad to hear that the Minister knows what her department is about. I would like to quote the department’s explanation as to what they are supposed to be doing. We endeavour to create a better life for the poor, vulnerable and excluded in our society. Our task is to develop and monitor the implementation of social policy that, and it is very important, both creates an enabling environment for and leads to the reduction in poverty. As social welfare professionals we act on the basis of solidarity with all of humanity and we seek to empower communities and engender a self reliance by creating conditions of sustainable livelihoods.
Die departement is egter in ’n jammerlike toestand en faal afgryslik in hierdie hoofdoel.
Maatskaplike Ontwikkeling is wel een van die belangrikste begrotingsposte, aangesien dit met die versorging van behoeftige mense en die belangrike mandaat van ontwikkeling en opheffing te
doen het. Agb Minister, deur die Voorsitter, ons hoop dat die belofte om hierdie mandaat uit te voer, nie net ’n droom sal bly nie. Om die werklike maatskaplike en welsynsbehoefte van Suid-Afrika in ag te neem, is dit duidelik dat hierdie begroting en teikens geherprioritiseer moet word.
Die departement het ’n strategiese verpligting om opheffings- en ontwikkelingswerk te doen. Ons kan nie bekostig om slegs ’n welsynstaat te wees wat miljarde rande aan welsynstoelae bestee en nie die werkloses en armes werklik ophef deur geintegreerde projekte wat onderwys en werkskepping bevorder nie.
Vroeë kinderontwikkelingsprojekte is hier ook baie belangrik. Baie van hierdie projekte faal egter weens wanadministrasie en wanbesteding van fondse.
We do acknowledge that the department is facing immense and increasing challenges as the demands and needs with regards to social welfare increases. Hon Minister, through you Chair, I know I am focussing on Sassa a lot but Sassa in particular has me worried. We have nine provinces and out of these nine provinces, six have
regional executive manager posts that are vacant with every new year the number of permanent staff decreases.
Met poste, en veral kritieke poste, wat nie gevul word nie, kan ons nie verwag dat die armstes van die armes ooit opgehef gaan word nie.
’n Praktiese voorbeeld hiervan is Jagersfontein in die Vrystaat, waarvandaan ek kom, waar daar slegs een dokter, een keer elke twee maande besoek aflê vir die goedkeuring van mediese ongeskiktheidstoelae. Hierdie een dokter kan nie by almal uitkon nie en meeste van die persone wat kwalifiseer vir ongeskiktheidstoelaes, word weggewys.
Verder is die haglike toestande, waarin hierdie pasiënte moet wag, onaanvaarbaar en verhinder dit die siek, swak en gestremdes om die nodige papierwerk te doen, om hul toelaes te ontvang. Hierdie sneeubaleffek veroorsaak dat persone en gesinne vir maande sonder enige vorm van inkomste of mediese sorg moet voortgaan.
Ons kan nie dat die mees behoeftiges in Suid-Afrika weens onbekwaamheid, gebrek aan beplanning en verkeerde prioriteite ly nie.
Voorsitter, dan het ek nog nie eers begin praat van die Suid- Afrikaanse Agentskap vir Maatskaplike Sekerheid, Sassa, se teikens wat nie behaal is of die onreëlmatige uitgawes van R2 miljard nie.
Hon Chair, poverty will never be eradicated by social grants alone neither by ANC rhetoric and blame shifting that we currently see in the tasks. Keeping a large part of the population dependent on social grants might be political convenient for the ruling party but it is not sustainable for South Africa as a whole. It is not good or healthy for South Africa.
Ek het ook ‘n droom, soos die agb President, ...
...but I dream of a South Africa where this department has become obsolete. I dream of South Africa where there are equal opportunities for all and where poverty is no more.
My droom sal egter slegs waar word, wanneer die ANC nie meer in regering is nie. Ek dank u.
Ms H JORDAN: Hon Chairperson, on a point of order: I heard some of the comments from the members and may be the Table staff could assist to ascertain if the interpreting services are working or not. I wanted to bring this bring to your attention before the hon member start so that we can sort that out because a lot of our debates are missing due to that. I thank you. [Interjections.]
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms L S Makhubele-Mashele): Order hon members! Interpreting is on channel one and as you continue you get other languages on other channels. I was able to understand you because I put Interpreting channel number one into English. So, interpreting is working.
Ms M E SUKERS: Hon Chairperson, the ACDP congratulates the Minister on her appointment. Hon Minister, the conviction with which you made a commitment to service has to be cascaded down to every civil servant in this department. Every gogo, foster parent and orphan must be served with that same conviction at service points. Access, availability and care...
omgee moet die fondasie wees van diens!
Treasury projects that 18,6 million people, up from 17,6 million, will be on social grants within the next two years. If the Department of Social Development fails in its mission, South Africa fails as a nation. It is critical for the National Development Agency, NDA to get its house in order and deliver a budget that is focused on the reason for its existence: to move individuals and communities towards self reliance. Therein lies the silver bullet to combat poverty and reliance on the state.
Vir miljoene Suid Afrikaners is Sosiale Ontwikkeling n lewensboot, teen die aanslae van armoede, geweld en verslawing. Verslawing beroof ons jongmense van hul drome, en ons land van waardevolle menslike potensiaal. Dit bind ons gemeenskappe in 'n siklus van geweld en ekonomiese afhanklikheid! Die goeie stories soos die van Life Recovery Sentrum in Randfontein moet die norm wees
Chair, we need more rehabilitation centres and we urge the department to urgently ensure that the rehabilitation centre in the Free State is fully functional. We also have to strengthen the efforts of Nonprofit Organisations, NPOs and community organisations
who are at the forefront of the fight against addiction. We have to link addiction treatment and skills development by channelling funds and capacity building interventions to grassroots programmes. We must develop strategic interventions to raise awareness on the dangers of drugs and make it easier for addicts to find help.
Families affected by drugs needs to get help quickly, and this requires a responsive social support system.
In order for us to build more self-reliant communities, we need to make sure that the life boat they are on, does not take on water. Address and deal decisively with fraud and unlawful expenditure. The fear of imprisonment must be a deterrent for those who abuse the system and steal from the vulnerable. Let us attract and train our talented young people to become social entrepreneurs or social workers in order to build our social economy.
Lastly, hon Minister we urge the department to increase social grants to the elderly, and those who take care of vulnerable children, provided all regulatory conditions are met. A crisis gives rise to opportunity, and the ACDP views our current crisis as an opportunity for all of us to unite in common purpose, build a stronger nation, and help our people to grow and become more productive and self-reliant. We support the department’s objective
to move the young, abled and people with disabilities, towards self reliance.
It will however require commitment to good governance and implementation of social programmes aimed at empowerment. I thank you.
Mrs T G MPAMBO-SIBHUKWANA: Ngqanga neentsiba zayo. Ukusilela kweSebe lezoPhuhliso loLuntu kwisicwangciso kushiya uninzi loonontlalo-ntle abanezidanga beswele imisebenzi. Ndivumele ndithi kuMphathiswa owona mba utshisa ibunzi kweli sebe kukungathathwa koonontlalontle.
Urhulumente ezijule ijacu wafundisa ulutsha ukuba babengoonontlalo- ntle. Ngomnyaka wama-2018 urhulumente uthembise ukuba liza kwenyuka inani lisuke kuma-3800. Ngoku kusemva konyaka kodwa eli nani lisamile. Urhulumente usibambise isisila sehobe.
Oonontlalo-ntle bahleli nje emakhaya endaweni yokunceda uluntu badinga imisebenzi kodwa sisisizwe esonganyelwe kukuxhatshazwa kotywala neziyobisi. Oku kubonakalisa ukuba ulutsha aluzithembanga kwaye ilahleko yemali kweli sebe ingaphaya kokuthetha.
Singakuqinesika njani ukutywalwa kwemali nohanjiswa kwezakhono ezizizo kulutsha lwethu xa urhulumente engabaqeshi?
Nangona urhulumente ememelele oonontlalo-ntle abangagqibelelanga ukuba babhilise kweyeKwindla wama-2019, uninzi lwabo alukaqesha kunanamhlanje. Uphando luthi bangaphantsi kwama-4000 abaxhamle ekufundisweni ngurhulumente kodwa kungokunje abakaqeshwa. Eli nani alithethi ngaba bazifundisileyo. Umzila kaBathabile Dlamini wokungasetyenziswa kwemali ngendlela eyiyo nasekutyesheleni kwakhe ukuhlolwa nokoluswa kweli sebe, kushiye kunechaphaza elibi.
What we need from the government is an update of its current registration procedures on the National Development Plan which envisions the employment of social workers as part of the 55 000 social service practitioners by 2030. Exactly how is the government planning to achieve this goal? And even though government funded graduates may be prioritized, how does the government plan to incorporate those graduates who have been privately funded?
Omnye umba otshisa ibunzi ngulo weziyobisi.
It has recently been reported that the widespread and problem use of heroin in South African small towns, big cities and rural areas has
experienced a significant increase. According to the project in 2015, figures indicated a total of 75 000 users injecting the drugs while 110 000 smoked it. It is important to note that this issue of past and future drug abuse does not exist independently to that of the aforementioned issue of social workers.
Uphando lubonisa ukuba bekukho oontlalo-ntle abanezakhono kumaziko abuyisela kwiimeko zesiqhelo ngekungcono kwaye ngekukho impumelelo. Oonontlalo-ntle abanezakhono bayafuneka ekuncedisaneni neengxaki abantu abaqubisana nazo. Luxanduva leli sebe Mphathiswa ukuqesha nokuqinisekisa ukuba amaziko okubuyisela kwiimeko zesiqhelo. Ulutsha kufuneka luhlale luhlolwa njalo kula maziko okubuyisela kwiimeko zesiqhelo. Amaziko okubuyisela kwiimeko zesiqhelo eziphantsi kwenkampani uBosasa zifunyaniswe ukuba zifumana imali ngorhwaphilizo. Ukuba la maqumrhu ayevaliwe ngesingekho kule ngxaki sizibona sikuyo. IDA yakhe umkhanyo, lumka! [Kwaqhwatywa.]
Mr D M STOCK: Hon Chairperson, Minister, chairperson of the portfolio committee, hon Gungubele, the Deputy Minister in absentia, we would like to convey our sincere condolences to the Deputy Minister during this moment of bereavement. The ANC rises in support of Vote 17 of Social Development. Key to the ANC’s social
transformation programme is the meeting of social needs, which are aimed at strategically dealing with the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality which confront the majority of our people who are poor and vulnerable.
The hon member of the FF Plus came to the podium earlier and made some irritating sound vibes from this podium. We can really not leave this podium without clarifying that, but we also take note of the fact the hon member is indeed a new member of this sixth administration. We acknowledge the fact that we were all new, irrespective of whether it was in the sixth or the fourth administration. We were all new. We must also allow hon members to learn the Rules of this Parliament and they must not be too much in a rush. The disadvantage of being in a rush is that you end up collapsing on your own without being pushed to collapse.
Hon Breeedt, it was your maiden speech, but ...
... ons moet jou een ding sê. Social grants [staatstoelae] is baie belangrik vir ons mense wat swaarkry en wat staatmaak op dit wat die ANC-regering vir hulle gee. Jy kan nie vandag vir ons sê dat die
ANC-regering vir die al mense geld gee om die propaganda daarvan aan
te moedig nie. Dis nie die waarheid nie. Daardie statement [stelling] van jou is baie misleading [misleidend].
Our ordinary people on the ground, our poorest of the poor, rely on those social grants because of our historical background, through the apartheid legacy, which the ANC inherited in 1994. We had to inherit what the apartheid regime did to our people. So, the ANC, since 1994, 25 years into democracy, is actually working to correct that legacy of the past. So, you don’t have to come here and tell us that our people are receiving those grants because we want to continue to dispense patronage for them to support us. No.
We remain committed in ensuring that a decent life is created for our people through the ANC-led government and the budget that was presented here earlier by our hon Minister.
This will require a comprehensive social security system, which is underpinned by the elimination of poverty and is linked towards the reduction of poverty and inequality. This is particularly important, as the key outcome of the social transformation goal of the ANC seeks to ensure the restoration of the total human dignity for all South Africans is being achieved.
The ANC’s social protection policies and programmes over the last 25 years have commendably enabled millions of poor people to change their livelihoods for the better. However, we are aware that challenges still persist and we will work with the department and the entities of the department to ensure that our people receive the dignity they deserve and to ensure that their dignity is being restored through the budget that was outlined earlier by the Minister.
Let me take this opportunity again to explain, because I have picked up a few issues that we need to clarify and respond to. One of them is the issue of the social workers’ scholarship and funding.
The awarding of bursaries to young people has enabled the department to recruit, train and deploy the youth to work in the social services sector. As a result, implementing the social worker employment grant at a national level has reached the zenith of its success, which has led the department to transfer this responsibility to the different provinces. Provincial social development departments will now have the responsibility of employing social work graduates in the different provinces. This means that R678,5 million over the medium term has shifted from the
national to the provincial departments to facilitate this process from the 2019-20 financial year.
It must be highlighted that through the department’s social worker scholarship programme, 632 social work graduates have successfully completed this programme. This has enabled these social work graduates to deliver services to the most needy and vulnerable. The department will in the 2020-21 financial year support 1 046 students to complete their studies through social service scholarships. It must be noted that this is a decline form the current number, due to the reprioritisation of funds.
On unemployed social worker graduates, we note with serious concern the number of unemployed social worker graduates and request the department to continue with haste its collaboration with other departments to ensure that the absorption of these social worker graduates is actually being implemented or prioritised.
The challenge which we have to urgently pursue is that even with these pursued interdepartmental collaborations to absorb social work graduates, there is no funding to address this challenge because it is not a priority for this department. We cannot emphasise how
important the profession of social work is, particularly in these current times at schools and in our communities.
Regarding vacant posts, which were also raised by one of the hon members, we note the cost-containment measures that National Treasury has put in place, which have reduced programme budgets, all due to the current economic climate. This has however led to several posts in the department remaining vacant for a very long time, which directly affects the department’s ability to fulfil its mandate and strategically intervene in addressing the triple challenges.
We encourage the department to ensure that the available resources are optimally used, to not only prioritise the most critical posts, but towards getting the basics right to ensure that with the minimum resources, optimal service delivery is being prioritised.
Regarding the South African Social Security Agency, Sassa, we are in support of the strides being made at Sassa to address the challenges that the entity confronts. We are encouraged by the proactive action to turn the entity around to ensure the effective and efficient administration, management and payment of social assistance to our people.
With regard to the social grant fraud investigation, which was also raised, we welcome the efforts that Sassa has made in ensuring that 95% of reported theft and corruption cases were finalised by March 2019.
We remain concerned about the renewed fraud cases, specifically involving older persons. We urge Sassa to increase its pace on its turnaround time in resolving cases of fraud.
We urge the unions to also walk in collaboration with Sassa to resolve the implementation of the biometric system, which will, in particular, deal with the challenges of fraud that the system is confronted with. People change their identity and the bank accounts of people and rob the poorest of the poor.
The ANC has resolved that there should be a comprehensive strategy that co-ordinates and monitors the protection of vulnerable groups, which must be resourced to ensure that these vulnerable groups are always protected. The ANC remains committed in our policy decision, that social transformation must empower our people to lift themselves out of poverty and change their lives for the better, whilst ensuring that a safety net is provided for the vulnerable. It is through this budget that our people will move and migrate from
the situations of poverty, unemployment and inequality that confront them. The ANC supports this Budget Vote. I thank you. [Applause.]
Mr C H M SIBISI: Hon House Chairperson, hon Minister and hon members. The NFP welcomes and supports Budget Vote of the Department of Social Development.
House Chairperson, we have over 30 million people living below the upper-bound poverty line, the most affected by this are women.
Female-headed households mostly feel and experience poverty. Women and children suffer a great deal in these circumstances. We are considered one of the most unequal countries in the world, and yet the gap between rich and poor is increasing.
The department of social development must find a way to assist those unemployed social workers.
The NFP welcomes the inter-sectoral policy on sheltering services. The homeless avoid making use of the sheltering services in the place due to the harsh conditions of many of these shelters.
Chairperson, we need to build more shelters and improve those in place together with Non-governmental Organizations, NGOs, and civil societies.
Minister, as we walk up to parliament we cannot avoid the amount of homeless people sleeping on the doorsteps of local shops. The finding presented by the Commission on Gender Equality, CGE, Systemic Investigation Report of Shelters that Accommodate Victims of Violence gives us a clear indication that serious attention must be given to those issues.
Chairperson, the Minister, in the report, highlighted the need for SA Social Security Agency, SASSA, to have a board through the amendment of the Act. The NFP supports the implementation of a board; however, the selection process must be thoroughly scrutinized and closely monitored. We must elect board members that will restore the people’s trust after the unfortunate failures of the past administration.
The NFP agrees with the Minister’s decision to integrate entities to eliminate groups working in silos in order to achieve a common goal.
The NFP believes that social entrepreneurship training must be provided to all underprivileged communities. In the report the Minister aims to change the narrative of the department from just a grant-giving department to a self-development channel. What better way then to create entrepreneurs that can assist with alleviating poverty and create healthy working communities.
We must empower our communities through skills and training. The department must provide variety of programs that can assist people in becoming self-reliant. Thank you.
Ms A L A ABRAHAMS: Hon Minister, Chairperson, ladies and gentleman. Minister, on 29 June an eight-month-old baby was sexually assaulted on the Cape Flats. There is little doubt left; that social ills such as substance abuse and domestic abuse are rapidly increasing and our families disintegrating.
Social work graduates signing up on your database, is not a job. They are still sitting at home. Get these social work graduates that your department spent millions on into our communities and give these graduates their hope back and our children their innocence.
Our country’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, is not growing and this is will only increase the number of South Africans in need of social assistance. Spending R184 billion this year means absolutely nothing to the person who has no education, no food, no jobs; and under this ANC government, no future. [Interjections.]
These billions of rand must contribute to a long-term sustainable solution for a better South Africa, not a growing dependency on state welfare.
Single mother, Patricia Davids of Elsies River, was shot and paralysed, confining her to a wheelchair. She lives in a shelter with her 13-year-old daughter. Ms Davids is grateful for the grant, but she says it is simply not enough to cover their basic needs.
Social grants are not meant to be Ms Davids and her daughter’s way of life, it’s meant to be a means to a better one.
The first 1000 days in a child’s life is the most crucial, yet, what is R440 a month supposed to cover, when part of that money must still be used for electricity and food for the rest of the family?
In October this amount will increase by R10. Minister, how is R10 an investment in our children? [Interjections.] [Applause.]
The DA’s plan is to increase the child grant to an objective measure of what it actual costs to feed a child. That pregnant mothers are pre-registered, so that when that baby arrives they will have the necessities.
SASSA’s Rl62 billion spent on grants this financial year is meant to improve the standard of living. But the grant amounts are not enough to get our people out of poverty; merely enough to keep them alive.
Minister, how are you going to eradicate poverty when you can’t even get SASSA officials to stop stealing the grant money or Cash Paymaster Services, CPS, and those ANC wives liable for the years of theft?
Social Development and its welfare system is supposed to be a safety net for the vulnerable. Instead, it has become a spider’s web, capturing and paralyzing our citizens until they are exhausted with no way of escaping. Thank you, Chair. [Applause.]
Manana N K BILANKULU: Mutshamaxitulu, Holobye wa ndzawulo na Xandla xa Holobye, hi ri chavelelekani eka xiyimo lexi mi nga eka xona.
Onge Xikwembu xa matilo xi nga mi pfuna mi hundza eka xona. Eka
vachaviseki hinkwenu, Maafrika-Dzonga, va ndzawulo, SA Social Security Agency, Sassa, na National Development Agency, NDA, ri perile. Ndzi rhandza ku sungula hi ku vula leswaku hi ri ANC, hi ri ha yi seketela bajete leyi.
Nhlangano wa ANC a wu telanga ku ta vulavula switori, kambe mitirho ya vulavula. Ndzi twa ndzi xiximiwile swinene namuntlha ku va ndzi ri xiphemu xa vanhu lava nga eka njhekanjhekisano wa mpimanyeto lowu nga vekeriwa ndzawulo namuntlha eka n’hweti leyo saseka leyi yi hi tsundzuxaka leswikulu tanihi tiko ra Afrika-Dzonga na misava hinkwayo laha hi tsundzukaka nhenha Tatana Nelson Mandela.
Tanihi murhumiwa kusuka eka ANC, hi ri mpimanyeto lowu nga kona lowu vekiweke wa R184,7 wa mabiliyoni ku ta antswisa vutomi bya vanhu, hi vona wu ri mpimanyeto wa kahle lowu nga ta pfuna hikuva leswi hi swi langutaka swinene a hi ku ta hi ta vulavula kumbe ku ta ta kaneta, kambe ku ta hi ta endla. Hi vulavula hi ku antswisa vutomi bya vanhu. Leswi swi nga pimanyetiwa hi leswi swi vonakaka. Ndzi pfumela leswaku Muafrika-Dzonga un’wana na un’wana wa swi tiva leswaku ku na vana lava kumaka mpfuneto wo huma eka Ndzawulo ya Nhluvukiso wa Vaaki. Hi na vana vo ringana 12,5 wa mamiliyoni lava pfumalaka, lava hi mali leyi va yi kumaka eka vona yi vulaka leswikulu hikuva va tlela va nga dyangi. Ku na vadyuhari va 3,5 wa mamiliyoni lava na
vona vs hlayisiwaka hi ndzawulo leyi. Ku na miliyoni yin’we ya vanhu lava hanyaka na vutsoniwa lava va hlayisiwaka hi ndzawulo leyi.
Nakambe, ku na 17,6 wa mamiliyoni wa lava va kumaka mudende kwala ka Ndzawulo ya Nhluvukiso wa Vaaki. Hinkwaswo leswi i mitirho ya ANC.
Nelson Mandela once said:
What count in life is not the mere fact that we had lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.
So, I’m saying to my colleague on my left that if you cannot be a bridge to connect people, please, then do not be a wall to separate them. [Applause.] Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, but an act of justice. Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural, but men-made and it can be overcome and be eradicated by the action of human beings.
Hikwalaho, mi nga yimayimi laha mi endla onge a hi swi tivi leswaku hikwalahokayini hi ri swisiwana.
When the ANC entered into a social contract with our people through the Reconstruction and Development Programme in 1994, it was to demonstrate our ability towards committing to the social transformation of our people, towards improving their lives for the better. [Interjections.] “Yingisa” [Listen]. That is why our social transformation policies are underpinned by the principle of creating a better life for all, and not for individuals. We are not looking at the colour; we are talking about the South Africans. This we did as an understanding of what our past has done to the dignity of the majority of our people and what had to be done in the present for a future that is rid of the indignity caused due to poverty, unemployment and inequality.
Premised on the 1955 Freedom Charter which expressed clearly our fight for human rights and the dignity of all our people, the ANC policy inputs into the final Constitution of the Republic expressed the ANCs commitment to a society that is free and open based on democratic values where the dignity and worth of every South African is protected by law. This became enshrined in the Bill of Rights which affirms the democratic values of human dignity and equality. [Interjections.]
Leswi a swi ndzi hlamarisi lava va nga mi rhuma va mi rhumile ku ta ta kaneta. Vandla ra ANC ri rhumiwile ku ta ta tirha.
It is in this context that our task is to construct a socially inclusive society, one that prioritise the elimination of poverty, inequality, unemployment and underdevelopment which are elements that undermine the dignity of our people. The dictum that poverty will always be with us should be rejected as it is created by society and it can therefore be eliminated by society. The ANC resolved to address poverty, inequality and has committed in providing a social safety for the poor and the most vulnerable which includes women, children, youth, families in need of care and older persons. The sum total and fulfilment of this commitment is broadly known as a social wage to these individuals and the provision of publicly delivered transfers, goods and services are known as the social floor as provided by the state as demonstrated in Vote 17.
The above is important in enabling our people to access opportunities that enable them to partake in economic opportunities that will result in them uplifting themselves out of poverty and improving their lives. This will provide citizens with playing a
collaborative role with government in enhancing their dignity. The right to human dignity becomes more meaningful with the effective and efficient provision of basic services to our people, which is meant to continuously better the quality of their lives.
After five successive ANC administrations, working with the people has over the 25 years put in place a progressive social wage that protects the dignity of the vulnerable children, the elderly and people living with disabilities. [Interjections.] You, keep quiet.
This budget has again ensured that the social assistance programme, which provides social assistance, remains the main spending focus over the 2019 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework. This means that although there is going to be a R1,5 billion reduction on the medium-term allocation, the allocation will increase to R27 billion from an allocation of 1,75 billion in 2019-20 to R202 billion in 2021-22. This translate into estimated growth rate of up to
18,1 million beneficiaries by 2021-22 from 17,5 million in 201-19.
The importance of this is not to have an increase in our people depending on social grants, but to ensure that these grants enable them to be linked to economic activity to ensure that they use these grants to empower themselves and lift themselves from poverty.
We welcome the finalisation within this current financial year of the financing strategy of early childhood centres. The aim of this financing strategy is a long-term approach to funding quality improvements and increasing coverage across age groups using different approaches such as learning, playgroups, toy libraries and home visiting programmes for parents. An amount of R1,6 billion has been allocated to enable an increase for children to access early childhood development, ECD, services as well as funding existing ECD centres. This is in line with the ANC’s commitment of working towards achieving universal access to two years of ECD.
Against the backdrop of the Statistician-General Risenga Maluleka who noticed that 25,2% of South Africans are food poor, the ANC in its 2019 national and provincial elections manifesto committed to tackling household food insecurity head-on. In this regard efforts have been made to deepen food relief programme and is funded to ensure that food security sustains the 84 community nutrition development centres across the nine distribution centres. This means that between 2019 and 2021, the goal is to improve access to food by ensuring that annually four million meals reach impoverished communities. An amount of R109 million has been allocated to the food relief programme for the next three years.
Significantly, the transfer of payments of R200 million annually over the medium-term to the National Development Agency will ensure that sustainable community-driven projects are implemented to support nonprofit organisations working on ECD, food security, employment creation and income opportunities. [Interjections.]
U ta swi tiva njhani hikuva swi nga endleka n’wana wa wena a nga yi eECD.
All of these are mechanisms to we are looking forward to the implementation of the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Upon implementation we urge communities to participate and support persons with disabilities and their families to empower and drive disability inclusion in the communities. This is an important measure to ensure that reasonable accommodation support measures are available in all social development services.
We boldly welcome the work that is being done to ensure that sheltering services for victims of crime and violence are strengthened. We support over the medium- term the implementation of the National Strategic Plan for Gender-Based Violence. The ANCs
commitment towards combating substance abuse is emphasised in our social programme which is aimed at improving the lives of all people [Interjections.] I will not be intimidated by you. It must include the vigorous implementation of the drug master plan.
Creative and effective programmes which assist in preventing vulnerable people from being dependent on these substances must be pursueded. [Interjections.] I understand why you don’t want to listen to this because it doesn’t affect your people; it only affect our own people. [Applause.] Thus, we welcome the intensified efforts by the department to prevent and treat substance abuse through the implementation of the Antisubstance Programme of Action.
Over the medium-term R224,6 million is allocated to the completion and construction of public substance abuse treatment centres in the Eastern Cape, Free State, Northern Cape and Bokone Bophirima.
Hi ku pfala,
...the ANC has remained firm and consistent in that our social development programmes have been and are aimed at addressing
primarily poverty amongst our people. We welcome how this budget will progressively address the challenges of underdevelopment, poverty, unemployment and inequality. We will continue to conduct oversight to monitor and evaluate the implementation of programmes to ensure that impact and change is made to improve the lives of our people for the better. Today’s economic, social and environmental challenges demand collective action. I don’t know whether you will be part of that collection. Solutions come only when the private sector, public sector and the civil society join hands.
Rintiho rin’we a ri nusi hove.
We can always be each other’s keeper. Let us resolve to heal the world and make it a better place to be. We can! “Thuma mina” [Send me]. “Khawuleza” [Hurry up] ANC and the department.
ANC yi seketela bajete leyi. Inkomu. [Va phokotela.]
Mr M GUNGUBELE: Hon Chairperson, I want to draw your attention to the worst primitive behaviour shown by hon Paulsen. He showed a sign
of a finger while he was coming in. I would request that the cameras be checked and actually he be called to account because this is not an environment...[Interjections.]
Mr M N PAULSEN: Chairperson, I think this is the guy who insinuated.
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms L S Makhubela-Mashele): You have not been noted, hon Paulsen, take your seat.
Mr M GUNGUBELE: This is an environment of professional, decent and
Mr M N PAULSEN: No, I waited for you... [Interjections.]
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms L S Makhubela-Mashele): You have not been noted
Mr M GUNGUBELE: We request that it be checked, hon Chairperson, so that it can go where it belongs.
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms L S Makhubela-Mashele): Hon Paulsen!
Mr M N PAULSEN: Chairperson!
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms L S Makhubela-Mashele): Hon Paulsen, before you say anything stand up.
Mr M N PAULSEN: I am standing!
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms L S Makhubela-Mashele): Switch off the mic. Remain standing! Listen to me, hon Paulsen. I want to find out if the gestures that you have made ...
Mr M N PAULSEN: [Interjections.]
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms L S Makhubela-Mashele): Hon Paulsen! Hon Paulsen! I want to find out if you have done the gestures that are said that you have made. I am asking you.
Mr M N PAULSEN: Let me explain this to you. While walking in, he called my name, and I waved at him [Interjections.] But I don’t know if that is drunkenness or something that has ... and he is accusing me of a behaviour that ... He called me primitive. He must withdraw. He called me primitive! I nicely waved at him and he...
Paulsen, I am the one presiding the session. Speak to me. Right now I have asked you if you have made those gestures.
Mr M N PAULSEN: And I have told you.
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms L S Makhubela-Mashele): The answer should be yes or no.
Mr M N PAULSEN: I waved, that’s it!
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms L S Makhubela-Mashele): Did you make those gestures? Yes or no!
Mr M N PAULSEN: I waved to that guy. No, I didn’t.
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms L S Makhubela-Mashele): Thank you. You can take your seat.
Mr M N PAULSEN: But primitive! But how can you ask me to withdraw. He called me primitive.
Paulsen! Hon Paulsen! Please, take your seat and switch off the mic
Mr M N PAULSEN: Yea, yea, I will do that, but would you indulge, he called me primitive in front of all these hon members.
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms L S Makhubela-Mashele): Hon Paulsen, I am not going to argue with you.
Mr M N PAULSEN: So he can call me primitive? That drunkard can call me primitive?
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms L S Makhubela-Mashele): Hon Paulsen, can you respect the House.
Mrs S P KOPANE: Chair, on a point of Order: I think people at home want their lives to be better. It is really disgusting that as Members of Parliament this is how we behave. Really, I think you should impose discipline in the House. I would like you to take a decision on this matter. People are poor; people are hungry; and we come here and behave like kids.
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms L S Makhubela-Mashele): Thank you hon member, unfortunately, I did not see the gestures hence I had to ask hon Paulsen if he had made them. Based on his response is, no.
Mr M N PAULSEN: Chairperson!
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms L S Makhubela-Mashele): Hon Paulsen, I did not recognise you. Can you switch off the mic.
Mr M N PAULSEN: Inaudible
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms L S Makhubela-Mashele): No, I’m not going to note you. Can we proceed with the debate. I now call in the Minister of Social development to close the debate.
Mr M N PAULSEN: Chairperson!
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms L S Makhubela-Mashele): Hon Paulsen, I did not note you.
Mr M N PAULSEN: Chairperson, will you note me?
The ACTING HOUSE CHAIRPERSON (Ms L S Makhubela-Mashele): Hon Paulsen, take your seat and switch off the mic. Order members!
The MINISTER OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT (Ms L D Zulu): Hon Chairperson, I stand here in front of you all members of this House and proudly say to you, I did not come here to do any politicking. I came here to speak about the budget. I came here to express what I experienced in the portfolio committee the first time, all of us we met, as members of the portfolio committee irrespective of which political party we came from. What motivated me to be here today, hon Chairperson, is the community that I went to visit also this afternoon. Those are the people who I believe as government we have to partner with.
Hon Chair, I also was motivated and the reason why I am saying I did not come here to politic because politicking belongs somewhere else. When the time comes for us to do that we will do it and we will do it very well. My being here, I am motivated by a quotation which I came across along the way which has an unknown author and it says:
A person’s most useful asset is not a head full of knowledge, but a heart full of love, an ear ready to listen and a hand willing to help others. [Applause.]
So, the communities that I visited today, clearly said to me, we must have the heart, we must have the ears to listen, we must also be able to reach out to them and support them.
V also wish to thank all the hon members who have supported this budget, both from the ANC - first and foremost, but also from the opposition benches and say to you, I might not necessarily be able to answer all the questions that were posed here today because we have five years, God willing, to work towards changing the lives of our people. I am sure we will be able to do that.
I have no intentions of abdicating responsibility nor put blame on any one when it comes to what we are supposed to do as government, as we clearly indicated here what our programmes are and what our budget is.
I also need to answer just a few of those questions basing myself obviously on the fact that many of those questions repeated themselves across the different party political lines. I know that some of the hon members here did support this budget, but some of the of course time went too fast for them. I do wish Chairperson to request that whenever we are here people must be able to say whether
they are supporting the budget or not, so that I can be able to clearly know who I must respond to.
The first one that I really need to deal with is with regard to gender-based violence. You are obviously aware of the Presidential Summit on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide that also recently we had a report by the commission on gender equality the report titled, “State of Shelters in South Africa”. It highlights the inadequate funding, poor infrastructure and support.
We are determined as the government, generally, but also as a department in particular not only to read the reports, but also to take those issues that they want us to take forward to make sure that we stabilise the situation.
We will be tabling the Victim Support Services Bill as a key policy response to address some of the challenges. Also one of the questions that really came across through out everybody related to the Nonprofit Organisations, NPOs. The department has developed a partnership model to strengthen the relationship between NPOs and the department. In addition we are going to table the Nonprofit Organisations Bill to Cabinet to reform the registration process of
NPOs. However, I do want to call on our NPOs themselves, to continue engaging with us so that we can be able to deal with this.
Another issue that was raised was related to backlogs of appeals. Obviously these appeals must be dealt with very quickly, because if appeals are delayed it means the services that need to be given to our people are delayed. The Ministry has appointed a team of professionals to assist reduce the backlog. Actually, I think that part of what we need to do we must look at the people out there who have either came out of university, who have the capacity, who we can train to assist us in this.
There was another issue that was raised by many of the members here that relates to vacancies of regional managers. Those posts will be filled before the end of the financial year in line with SA Social Security Agency, Sassa, reviewed business processes.
Also, important was the issue of social workers, as I was concluding earlier on I did indicate that one of the things that the hon Mbalula said to me was that it would be so good to have more social workers than you would have police men and women because they are able to deal with the issues right away. Whereas both men and women police come at a time when something has already happened and
something drastic has happened particularly against women. I do want to say that I will work very closely with other departments in particular the Department of Police, because this weekend for instance relating to some of the challenges that we have seen here in the Western Cape, body bags being carried away from our communities.
This weekend we are in a meeting, me and other relevant Ministers to see what is it we can do because we believe that the hand of the state in terms of law-enforcement must also happen, because it is our responsibility to protect our communities. However having said that I also would like to call on our communities to really try and work as close as possible with us because for me, the first protection has to be the people around you, it has to be your neighbours and it has to be your street. Hence our talking about social workers we want to make sure that those social workers, particularly the ones who have been trained by the department are flooded into our communities. It also pains me that to think that in a school there is only one social worker. Especially in the schools where there is violence against teachers and against the pupils themselves.
Something is not happening right in our communities where a child wakes up in the morning in the bag of that child he or she does not mind having a knife or something in the bag that is going to hurt somebody else. It means we must take a step back and say what are the things that we need to do to make sure that we improve the conditions of our pupils.
One of the things that I think we need to do strongly is to have a co-ordinated approach because the Department of Social Development can have the National Development Agency, NDA, Sassa and can have the different programmes that we have, but if we want to build a better South Africa it means each an every department must appreciate and understand what they need to d in order for them to assist us in creating a conducive environment for our people.
I do want to thank the department. I think I must say that I arrived to very enthusiastic group of people who are prepared to work. I have already had a meeting with the entire staff of my department, I have already been to be to Sassa, I have already been to NDA, I have already had the meetings and I do not believe in just meetings, I believe in people in people being out there in the streets. The first person to show the importance of being out there, so that we
can get the felt needs of our people, it has to start with me. [Applause.]
If I do not get out there and hear what the people are crying out for, but I am also sure that the people I work with have to appreciate and understand that I cannot run faster than them, they have to run faster than me. Running I do. Running I know I can get to each and every community.
I also would like to say that what social development is about is very important to me. It is said social development is about improving the wellbeing of every individual in society so they can reach their full potential. The success of society is linked to the wellbeing of each and every citizen.
So, even ourselves here as we sit we must not consider ourselves as people who are outside of social development. We must look at ourselves and say to ourselves: What are the needs that we need from social development? The difference with us is that we are privileged and we are better than others so we put ourselves in that category of people who are privileged, but the ones that we need to focus on most are the most vulnerable who do not have the capacity, the luxury of waking up in the morning in a comfortable house, from a
comfortable bed and when I say this, I am not just talking about black people, I am talking about poverty alleviation and poverty reduction and killing poverty and killing it across all racial lines. [Applause.]
We have seen for ourselves that you find people are out on the streets. It is no longer the colour of those people it is about the fact that many of our people are finding themselves in very difficult situations. It is for that reason; Chairperson that I stand here and I am saying the politics that we play let us find the right place for it. [Applause.]
When it comes to social development there is no time for that politicking because that politicking is what will not enable us to deliver for our people. In the portfolio committee I can guarantee you, I thank the hon Masango and I thank all the members of the portfolio committee who have been very positive. From the EFF to ACDP, to everybody who have been very positive today. [Applause.]
This is what I want to leave with you. The past years of apartheid are past years of apartheid and we did everything we could to make sure that we kill it. The past 25 years of democracy have been years of trying to build a base from where we all have to move. The next
25 years, when my grant son who is nine-months-old now, whether I will be still alive or not the people who will be seeing him and the generation that will become up with him, they will be saying during that time there was something that was called apartheid. Our people killed it and created the conducive environment for us. I do not want to see any of the children who are in school today, who 25 years down the line can be still living in the same environment.
It is for this reason that then I call upon my own government, my own ANC members, to say we can make the change. It is possible for us to make the change. To the members of the portfolio committee, Chairperson, you say you are going to have a robust engagement with us. I stand here and I can tell you, I am not afraid of that robust engagement because that robust engagement is what will help me, that will help my department that will help everyone including the agencies to try their best to do the best that they can.
So, I will not remove that oversight role that the portfolio committee has to play across political lines, because when all is said and done we will not be asked about which political party we belonged to. We will be asked about what we did, for our people. [Applause.]
We will be asked by the electorate who gave us a mandate. The electorate gave all of us the mandate. They gave the ANC the mandate to govern because it gave them more, but it also gave the opposition parties a mandate to be part and parcel of the equation. They will also ask the opposition what you did as we sent you to Parliament.
So, I look forward to working very closely with you and I really request you, when we are not doing right, stand up and say it. Tell us we are not doing right. Let us not wait to come here and make the noises. The noises belong somewhere else.
In conclusion, hon Chairperson and hon members in particular and those that are in the gallery, my family who are also here today with us, I want to thank you all. Particularly thank my family because some people do not understand and do not appreciate what it is those who are not here, all the members who are here I know they appreciate and understand what it is to leave your children, be in Cape Town, be somewhere else and they all have to take care of themselves. I wish to thank them for their support. I also want to thank all others, friends, acquaintances and everyone that makes it possible for me to wake in the morning and deliver on what is expected of me.
Lastly, to me both in the department with the two agencies, we are in this together. We are going to show South Africa that when we work together especially also with the MECs who we have already met, the people of South Africa, we have heard your cry and that is what motivates us. Keep on pushing us so that ultimately your lives are changed. I thank you. [Applause.]
The ACTING CHAIRPERSON (Ms L S Makhubele-Mashele): Hon members are reminded that the combined debates on trade and industry and economic development Budget Vote will take place at 18:30 in the National Assembly Chamber. The debate on environmental affairs Budget Vote will take place in the Old Assembly Chamber and the debate on National Treasury in Committee Room E249. That concludes the debate and the business of the mini-plenary. The mini-plenary will rise.
The mini-plenary session rose at 18:45.