Gupta family early naturalisation; Home Affairs, Government Printing Works & IEC on Quarter 1 performance, with Deputy Minister

Home Affairs

05 September 2017

Chairperson: Mr B Mashile (ANC)

Home Affairs, Government Printing Works & IEC on Quarter 1 performance 2
Home Affairs, Government Printing Works & IEC on Quarter 1 performance 1

Electoral Commission (IEC) presentation
Government Printing Works presentation
Department of Home Affairs presentation

Meeting Summary

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA), the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the Government Public Works (GPW) presented their first quarter performance and expenditure reports for 2017/18.

Prior to the briefings, there was an extended debate on the direction the Committee should take to discuss the early naturalisation of the Gupta family, based on the urgency accorded to “state capture” by the House Chairperson of Committees, and the Committee’s decisions made during two of its August meetings. The issues revolved around setting a date for the discussion, whether the Committee had received a response from former DHA Minister Malusi Gigaba to its summons for him to appear before it, and whether authentic documents had been made available by the DHA for informed decisions to be made.

Opposition Members accused the ANC of using delaying tactics to protect the former Minister from appearing before the Committee. They said the issue the Committee needed to deal with was whether the ANC wanted him to appear before it. If the answer was ‘yes,’ then it must indicate a date. If the answer was ‘no,’ then the ANC must say it did not want him to appear before the Committee because it wanted to cover-up some issues. The ANC ignored this proposal, and voted to continue with its formal agenda.

After the DHA had reported that it had achieved 25 of its 33 targets in the first quarter, and given details of its successes and shortfalls, Members asked what its strategies were to alleviate its low performance in rolling out smart ID targets in certain provinces, the status of the target on full biometrics at ports of entry, and why the revenue in 2017 was significantly lower than that of 2016. Other issues raised dealt with photo swapping in identity documents, the need to increase the number of immigration officers, why the Department’s mobile units had challenges every year, because this affected service delivery, and how it was resolving labour issues involving weekend work.

A highlight of the IEC report was the interventions used to harvest addresses on the voters’ register, which included the introduction of an online window which had assisted people to have their addresses captured correctly. When the matter had been deliberated at the Constitutional Court last year, the voters’ register had contained eight million people without addresses, but presently the number had been reduced to two million. The IEC had used the online option, because it was the cheapest way of getting the correct addresses of voters. It was collaborating with the DHA on using Smart IDs to harvest addresses. It also proposed a dedicated a general “address harvesting weekend,” where IEC offices would be opened to allow the capturing of the addresses of people who did not have access to the internet. The DHA Deputy Minister asked the Committee to assist in lobbying National Treasury for the extra funds needed for the “harvesting weekend.” She said it was not fair to disenfranchise people on the basis of address issues.

Highlights of the brief by the GPW included how it supported the DHA with IDs and travel documents, its implementation of procurement processes to acquire equipment to upgrade its operations, and its planned move to a new security facility at Pavilion Three. The Committee appreciated the GPW for achieving 13 of its 14 targets, but commented that it had not given updates on its marketing programmes in Africa. Members asked if the private security guards securing GPW resources were vetted, and requested an update on its job creation efforts. 

Meeting report

Gupta family early naturalisation issue

Ms H Hlophe (EFF) asked if the former Minister of Home Affairs, Mr Malusi Gigaba, had been invited for the deliberations on the Guptas’ early naturalisation. She also wanted to confirm if the Committee had received the reports it had earlier requested from the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) provincial offices to ensure that programmes of the Committee ran smoothly.

Mr M Hoosen (DA) remarked that Members wanted some clarification before the Gupta deliberations started. Had the Chairperson received a response from Mr Gigaba on his summons to the Committee? He added that the Chairperson had not responded to his request to forward the letter he had written to Mr Gigaba, to him and to other Members of the Committee.

The Chairperson said that he would ask the Committee Secretary to send the letter to Mr Hoosen.

Mr D Gumede (ANC) said that the position of African National Congress was that for the matter to be tabled, the Committee would have to receive the supporting documents required for the meeting. The minutes of the meeting on the early naturalisation of the Gupta’s would also be approved and submitted to Members to ensure that informed decisions were made before the matter was tabled.

Ms Hlophe said she was glad that Mr Gumede had stated the ANCs position, but the position of the ANC did not reflect the position of the Committee. She asked the Chairperson to give updates on the questions of Members.

The Chairperson said that the Committee had not had a response yet from Mr Gigaba. However, Mr Gumede was addressing the minutes of 27 June 2017, which differed from the position of 15 and 22 August, so when the decision of the last meeting was adopted the Committee would decide on the way forward.

Mr Hoosen said that the Chairperson had not given an answer. He asked why the Chairperson was changing the decision that Members had taken. During the last meeting, Members had requested that Mr Gigaba should be summoned. He recalled that he had asked if the Chairperson had invited Mr Gigaba. The impression Members were getting from the ANC was that delaying tactics were being used to protect Mr Gigaba from coming before the Committee. He asked for clarification to ensure that the perception of the Committee was that Members had demanded that Mr Gigaba be invited to answer its questions.

Mr M Kekana (ANC) said that during the meeting last week, Members had agreed to invite Mr Gigaba. However, his non-response could be due to his schedule. In addition, some Members had requested relevant documents, and it had been agreed that when the documents were received the Committee would discuss the early naturalisation of the Guptas. He advised Members to be patient and ask Mr Gigaba questions when he appeared before the Committee. He emphasised that the ANC was not protecting Mr Gigaba.

Ms D Raphuti (ANC) recalled that the issue of Mr Gigaba had been tabled at earlier meetings, and the Committee had decided to allow Members to peruse the authentic documents that would be circulated through the office of the Chairperson. Therefore the deliberation on the early naturalisation of the Guptas would be after the authentic documents had been perused by Members. She said that Mr Gigaba was not being protected. She advised Members to continue with the agenda.

Mr Gumede said that the Committee had checked with the legal department of Parliament and had been informed that the political accounting officer was the present Minister of Home Affairs, Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize, and the administrative accounting officer was the Director General. He suggested that the political accounting officer should be present to answer questions when the requested documents had been received. However, if the Committee wanted another Minister to appear before it, the matter had to be debated. He suggested that the Committee continue with its agenda.

The Chairperson stated that the agenda should continue, and when the requested documents were received Members would interrogate whoever they needed to interrogate.

Ms Hlophe made it known to the Committee that the opposition parties could not be “robbed” by other Members. The Committee had earlier agreed that it would invite Mr Gigaba, and the decision should not be changed. The proposal to interrogate the new Minister, Prof Mkhize, was not the decision Committee. The new Minister had already appeared before the Committee to answer questions. However, the Committee still wanted Mr Gigaba to come and account for his decision. In addition, waiting for the documents to interrogate him was not the decision of the Committee. She recalled that the investigations had been initiated because the Chair of Chairs, Mr Cedric Frolich, had sent a letter to the Committee that had requested it to investigate certain emails. She was therefore asking the Chairperson to give direction on the matter. In addition, the email in question was not the only email to be investigated. Since there were some other issues to which Mr Gigaba had to give answers, the Chairperson needed to give direction on his being invited.

The Chairperson said that the Members had made their points clear. The Committee needed to get through the agenda of the meeting 5 September to ensure that it did not need to re-invite the entities to appear before it on the same agenda. The Committee agreed that it needed to have a meeting to deliberate the early naturalisation of the Guptas. However, it was waiting for the relevant documents. It would not be fair to have the meeting without having the authentic information. The Committee hoped to get the information from the DG as soon as possible to ensure that it could interrogate who it wanted to interrogate.

Mr Hoosen remarked that the issue was not about receiving the documents, as the official responsible would ensure that the documents were received. The issue the Committee needed to deal with was whether the ANC wanted Mr Gigaba to appear before it. If the answer was ‘yes,’ then it must indicate when. If the answer was ‘no,’ then the ANC must say it did not want Mr Gigaba to appear before the Committee because it wanted to cover-up some issues. The opposition understood the delaying tactics of the ANC but he wanted the Chairperson to be honest to ensure that the public knew the truth.

Ms Raphuti recalled that the present Minister, Prof Mkhize, had been invited to the Committee and she had answered questions and had given an account in at earlier meeting. Therefore the former Minister, Mr Gigaba did not have to appear before the Committee to give an account again. She added that the ANC would not accept the emails that had been sent earlier. Therefore, the information required was authentic information that had to come through the Chairpersons’ office.

Mr Gumede said that every Member had received the agenda during the last week, so any Member that had disagreed should have complained to the Committee Secretary and arrangements would have been made to change the agenda. Members did not have any excuse for changing the agenda again, since the agenda had been circulated earlier. He therefore proposed a motion to continue with the agenda in line with meeting procedures. He urged the Chairperson to consider his motion and he asked for seconders.

The Chairperson accepted the proposal and called for seconders.

Ms Raphuti seconded the motion that the Committee must proceed with the agenda of the day.

Ms Hlophe appealed to the Chairperson to give direction on matters that affected citizens. Members had the right to raise any issue that the Committee had earlier agreed to. Members would not be treated as children and would not allow the ANC to monopolise the decisions of the Committee. The Chairperson must therefore give direction on whether it would invite Mr Gigaba to the Committee to answer questions on why he had granted the Gupta’s early naturalisation, and on the alleged looting of the Gupta’s. The ANC must state if it wanted Mr Gigaba to be invited or not. However, if ANC Members chose to defy the Chair of Chairs’ instruction, it would be tabled at the Chief Whips forum on 6 September.

The Chairperson pleaded with Members to proceed with the meeting because the agenda before the Committee had been approved by the Chair of Chairs. If other issues were discussed, it would affect the programme. The approval to invite the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) and the Government Printing Works (GPW) and accommodate both entities into the agenda had had to go through logistic regimes, because Parliament had to account for the presence of the entities. Hence, the agenda had been approved by the authorities. The Members’ points had been noted, however, Members could not continue speaking endlessly.

Ms Hlophe insisted that the Chairperson had to give direction.

The Chairperson maintained that the meeting had to proceed with the day’s agenda. If the Committee wanted to invite officials that were not accountable to it, then it needed to have authentic documents to interrogate these officials. Therefore, the Committee must receive the documents and if there were any reasons, it could decide to interrogate anyone. Since the Committee was not making any progress and the points had been made before, the Committee should continue with the day’s agenda.

Mr Gumede indicated that in such situations, the Committee needed to stick to meeting procedures. Members needed to make proposals, have them seconded and counter proposals would be seconded if made, and the Committee would vote on them.

The Chairperson said that the proposal on the table was that of Mr Gumede, that the agenda of the meeting should continue, and Ms Raphuti had seconded it. He invited Members to make counter proposals.

Mr Hoosen proposed that the Committee summon Mr Gigaba to explain his involvement in granting the Gupta’s early naturalisation. He insisted that he wanted the Committee to vote on the motion.

The Chairperson said that the motion approved was that the meeting proceed with the agenda of the day. He asked Mr Hoosen if he wanted to counter the motion to continue with the day’s agenda.

Mr Hoosen said he was not countering the motion, but requested the Chairperson to give direction on the motion to invite Mr Gigaba. He appealed that the Committee had to deal with his motion the way it had dealt with Mr Gumede’s motion.

The Chairperson said that except Mr Hoosen was countering the motion to continue with the day’s agenda, the Committee would not accept his proposal.

Mr Hoosen said the Chairperson could not dismiss his motion without specifying the rule he used. He asked the Chairperson to treat both motions in the same way.

Ms Raphuti (ANC) remarked that the Committee should vote.

The Chairperson invited the Director General (DG) of the DHA to present his brief.

Ms Hlophe said that Members wanted to proceed with the day’s agenda because it was important, but Members were saying that there were outstanding matters that needed to be decided. Members were asking the Chairperson to inform the Committee of the date he intended to invite Mr Gigaba. The issue of documents had been accepted. Members would not be intimated, so he should please give the committee direction.

Ms T Kenye (ANC) remarked that it was the third time that the Committee had been forced to discuss matters that were not part of the day’s agenda. This had resulted in Members not having enough time to engage with entities. She reminded the Chairperson that he could make a ruling, so she also supported the motion to continue with the day’s agenda.

The Chairperson said that he wanted the Committee to move to the agenda of the day, and he invited the DG of the DHA to present his brief.

Mr Hoosen aintained that he wanted the issue to be dealt with before the meeting proceeded.

The Chairperson reminded him that no Member had countered the motion. If he was not countering the motion then the Committee needed to proceed with the meeting.

Mr Hoosen said that he countered Mr Gumede’s motion, and he recalled his earlier proposed motion. The Committee would continue after the motion had been resolved.

The Chairperson asked for Members to vote on the motion. After the vote, he said that more Members were against Mr Hoosens’ motion than those who supported it. Hence, Mr Hoosen’s motion had been defeated and the day’s agenda should continue.

Ms Hlophe reminded the Chairperson that he had not answered her questions. According to the Chairperson, Mr Gigaba had not been present for the earlier meetings because he had been busy. Therefore she asked him to provide answers to the date Mr Gigaba would be invited to be interrogated.

The Chairperson stated that the motion to invite Mr Gigaba had just been defeated, so it would be inappropriate to act on that motion.

Ms Hlophe asked the Chairperson to summarise the decision that the ANC had voted against the invitation of Mr Gigaba to come and account to the Committees about his involvement in granting the Gupta’s early naturalisation and the allegations that the Gupta family was corrupt.

Ms Raphuti argued that that was not what ANC was saying.

The Chairperson said that after the Committee had put Mr Hoosens’ motion to vote and it had been defeated, who was to blame?

Mr A Figlan (DA) said it was the Chairperson’s fault that the issue had degenerated, because the he had not honoured the decisions of earlier meetings to invite Mr Gigaba.

Ms N Mnisi (ANC) supported the continuation of the agenda, because the Committee could not allow its meeting to degenerate into chaos.

The Chairperson asked the DG, DHA to proceed with his brief.

Department of Home Affairs: Briefing

Mr Mkuseli Apleni, Director General (DG): DHA said that the Department had 33 targets planned for the first quarter of 2017/18, but had achieved 25. He outlined the performance per programme and stated the reasons for non-performance in each programme.

Under the administration programme, the enhanced Movement Control System (eMCS) biometric pilot programme had not been achieved because the DHA was presently reviewing business requirements in preparation for developing the technical specifications. In addition, the target in submitting 70% of misconduct cases to presiding officers had not been achieved because the DHA had put in place a quality control committee to make sure that cases could be won based on evidence. The quality control committee was comprised of representatives from the legal department and labour unions.

Under the citizen affairs programme, the registration of births within 30 days was not achieved because of labour challenges. The matter had not been resolved and it posed a risk to the meeting of targets. Targets on issuing Smart cards were not achieved because people were mandated to be present to collect their Smart IDs. Also, the strategy for discontinuing the green barcoded identity documents had not been concluded. In addition, the tender on the mobile solution to collect Smart Identity cards had not been concluded because the bids had not met approval. The DHA had sought the assistance of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and was re-starting the whole process.

Under the immigration programme, the targets on the Immigration and Refugee Bills were not achieved. This was because the assessment document on the Immigration Amendment Act had not being submitted to the Minister. The change of responsibility in the target on the Refugees Amendment Act, from policy to legal, had introduced new stakeholders, so communications on standards and procedure needed to be aligned.

The way forward on meeting targets under the citizens’ affairs programme was to remove the ceiling placed on vacancies in 2016/17. The DHA had approached National Treasury (NT) for additional funding, and would meet NT on 14 September. If the amount was approved, the vacancy process would continue. However, if NT did not approve DHA’s proposal, it would go back to working on Saturdays. Working on Saturdays was more beneficial to the DHA, and would assist in meeting the targets of the programme.

The Chairperson recalled that the DHA had omitted some data in its finance report. He asked the DG if this had been corrected.

The DG said it had been corrected, and invited the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to present his brief.

Mr Gordon Hollamby, CFO, said the line missing in the earlier presentation had been the total expenditure for provinces, and this was in the new presentation on Slide 39. He outlined the detailed targets and expenditure for each Province.

The DHA had ensured that it stayed within the Compensation of Employees (COE) 25% ceiling and had prioritised 614 posts in 2017/18. The challenges were that the DHA had not yet paid the bonus allowance for Saturday duties, and it was difficult to budget on households. Expenditure on goods and services was higher than the linear projection by 8%, due to self-financing and legal services. He remarked that the DHA would request additional funding to cater for the shortfall experienced on self-financing during the 2017 adjusted estimates of national expenditure. The variance of 2.7% on expenditure was due to payments on self-financing, legal services and properties in the DHA. The revenue collected in the first quarter of 2017 was lower, compared to the same period in 2016. The provinces performed better than the head office in paying service providers within 30 days. Presently payment days to service providers was 35 days, but the DHA hoped to improve in this area.


Ms Mnisi asked the DHA to state its strategies to alleviate the low performance in meeting smart ID targets in certain provinces. She asked why the revenue in 2017 was significantly lower than that of 2016, and asked for an update on misconduct cases. She also asked for updates on challenges faced by people in the provinces as a result of dysfunctional mobile units.

Mr Figlan asked for more information on what was being done with the barcoded green IDs. He asked for the status of the target on full biometrics at ports of entry. He also asked the DHA to state the challenges it faced with mobile units in provinces.

Ms Hlophe said it was unfortunate that Members were receiving the brief from the headquarters before receiving briefs from each province. She expressed her concern, because most provincial managers (PMs) had stated that they did not have powers to ask headquarters for interventions. She observed that mobile units had had an effect on service delivery in the provinces, so she asked the DG to state the strategies to improve the functionality of the mobile units. She asked if the DHA had filled its vacancies, because most officers were in acting positions. She asked the DG to indicate solutions to the labour rivalry, and to provide a time frame for moving forward on immigration services.

Ms Kenye asked for a tentative time frame on meeting targets for the roll-out of Smart IDs. There needed to be a definite plan to curb over-expenditure on households. She observed that it would be difficult to meet targets when officers had dual roles. She asked for strategies to be compliant on vacancy rates. What was the way forward on working hours and labour union rivalry?

Ms N Dambuza (ANC) expressed her concerns on immigration services, which included the misalignment in the allocation of resources in provinces. She said that the next report should indicate how resources such as vehicles, migration offices and officers were allocated in each province. The DHA should indicate the number of business and permanent residency permits that had been approved in terms of the targets adjudicated, based on the immigration speech of the Minister of Finance. She asked for the status of the DHA collections at the four banks.

Mr Hoosen observed that having listened to the brief from PMs and the DG, there was a mismatch in both presentations. He asked the DHA why its mobile units had challenges every year, as the challenges affected targets on service delivery. He asked for strategies put in place to address photo swapping in identity documents. He expressed concern over why DHA provincial staff came for meetings and did not have anything to do. He asked for strategies to increase the number of immigration officers to ensure that targets were met. He asked the DG about the strategies it used to manage its risks and why there was an increase in misconduct cases.

Mr Gumede congratulated the DHA for meeting targets to pay invoices within 30 days at the provincial level, because it empowered people in the Provinces. He asked for updates on the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) in relation to the downtime on IDs. Did the DG foresee a qualified or non-qualified audit for 2017/18? Did the DHA have an audit committee, and was its internal audit capable? He advised that Saturday working hours had to be corrected in the short term, while the DHA had to build relationships with staff in the long term to enhance service delivery. He asked for the status of bank collection points and if the DG was confident that the Post Bank could also be another collection source.

The Chairperson followed-up on the concerns of Mr Hoosen on financial waste by stating that It would not be fair for Members to get information only by post. He stated, however, that the provincial DHA offices had to maintain a form of balance by delegating roles to other officials when attending meetings.

Mr Figlan asked the DHA to expound on its relationship with the GPW.

The Chairperson said that the DHA had not achieved the target on submitting 70% of misconduct cases because the DG had alleged that officers were submitting ill-conceived cases that the DHA ended up losing. Also, when consequence management was applied, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) reinstated the officials. The intervention of creating a quality control committee to check if a case could be built to be won in court, made the target self-defeating. Hence he suggested that the target be removed from its projects.

He welcomed the Deputy Minister to the meeting.

Ms Kenye asked for the status of border management in Lesotho, and what the DHA planned to do before procurement plans were completed.

DHA’s response

Mr Apleni said that the mismatch between the briefs of the provincial managers and headquarters was unfounded because the briefs addressed the same issues, such as dysfunctional mobile units, vacancy rate and inadequate immigration resources. The major issues were inadequate funding for projects. The DHA had therefore informed the NT of its challenges with vacancies, and had given recommendations. Provincial managers (PMs) had delegated powers, so they could carry out certain projects on their own. For instance, the maintenance of mobile trucks was the sole responsibility of PMs, but the headquarters serviced generators. The DHA headquarters (HQ) did not attend meetings with PMs to ensure PMs were not intimidated.

The DHA HQ did not issue Smart IDs, but knew about the challenges. The target to roll-out Smart IDs had been met last year because the DHA did not have labour challenges. If NT did not approve the adjusted budget, the target was at risk. The DHA hopes to receive the funding from NT to resolve the labour union issues. SITA had promised to address its challenges during the engagement with the DHA in Parliament, but had not yet addressed the challenges. The downtime at SITA could be quantified.

The DHA had zero tolerance on discipline, so it had to prepare the cases on misconduct so that they would not be lost.

The biometrics target was a work in progress, and it was being dealt with.

The challenges on the vacancy rate was not the norm, but had occurred because of natural attrition. The vacancy rate at the DHA was less than the approved rate for public service.

Immigration issues would be settled when the Bill was approved by the Minister in March, 2018. Border Management Agency issues are being addressed by National Assembly. The signing of the Bill by the President would still take time. The role of DHA did not involve building fences -- fences were built by the DPW, but the DHA needed immigration offices. Also, the DHA had challenges with the Department of Public Works, so its hands were tied in providing offices in some provinces.

The DHA needed to be re-positioned because it was previously under the administrative cluster, but now it was in the security cluster. Its budgets had to be based on objectives to ensure legacy issues were addressed. The DHA had mandates on prioritised projects. A comparison of the number of offices at OR Tambo International Airport alone showed that if the DHA had 750 immigration officers, some districts would not have any immigration officers.

Information on the targets of permits issued was available and could be sent to the Committee.

The DHA was engaging with banks to assist it with revenue collection, and the agreements would soon be signed. It was dealing with banks presently and would consider the Post Bank as a collection centre at a later date.

The security details of Smart IDs were constantly being upgraded. Risks were important, and the DHA had a risk committee and a risk register which could be shared with the Committee.

The budget report would be discussed after it had been tabled. The internal audit committee was capable.

Mr Hollamby said that the full revenue for the first quarter was on the system. The DHA was planning to increase tariffs and would seek approval from Parliament. Time frames on self-financing were based on NT’s approval. The DHA was cautious because it did not want to lose the opportunity. The funds were used to supplement old peoples’ IDs. Household expenditure had increased because deaths could not be predicted, although staff leave could be projected.

The DHA had introduced self-locking measures on cell phones and video conferencing to cut costs. Therefore, if the Committee approved, meetings could be via video conferencing.

Ms Fatima Chohan, Deputy Minister, DHA, observed that there was security risk on the dual issue of the barcoded green IDs and the Smart cards, because security had been reduced on the barcoded green IDs to enhance the roll-out of Smart ID s. The DHA had therefore prioritised funds to extend its capacity to issue Smart IDs, instead of filling vacancies.

The Chairperson said that the DHA was one of the departments that interacted with citizens, so it had huge challenges. Despite its funding issues, it tried to function at full capacity. However, the issue of mobile units, office resources and immigration officers had affected its ability to deliver services to citizens. Although, the Committee had questioned it on its vacancy rate, inappropriate funding affected vacancies.

Independent Electoral Commission (IEC): Briefing

Mr Sy Mamabolo, Acting Chief Electoral Officer, had 16 targets and met 12. Three of the missed targets had been in administration, and the other had involved electoral operations. He provided explanations for non-achievement.

He updated the Committee on the Constitutional court approval. Due to interventions used to harvest addresses on the voters’ register, there had been a reduction in the number of registered voters who did not have addresses. The interventions had included the introduction of an online window which had assisted people to have their addresses captured correctly. However, the IEC knew that not all people had access to the internet, so it had dedicated a weekend where IEC offices would be opened to allow the capturing of the addresses of such people.

He indicated that the first quarter expenditure had been 96% of the projected amount. The IEC had achieved 90% filling of permanent positions and had paid contractors within 30 days. The unfunded projects of the IEC were the information communication technology (ICT) platform upgrade, the address harvesting weekend and the acquisition of a new registration device.

The Chairperson commented that the Committee would not want a court cancellation of election results that had happened in Kenya, to happen in South Africa. The IEC had to ensure that it minimised the risks in capturing correct addresses. He also said timeframes needed to be put in place to ensure that elections occurred in June, 2018.

Government Printing Works (GPW) : Briefing

Ms Thandi Moyo, Acting CEO: GPW, said that the GPW rendered support to the DHA in the provision of IDs and travel documents. The GPW had met 13 of its 14 targets. The one target not achieved had been because fewer numbers of Smart IDs had been requested by the DHA. It also had fewer orders from different clients as envisaged, and this was reflected in its revenue base at the end of first quarter.

She gave a summary of its performance under operations and production, strategic management, financial services, human resources and the office of the CEO. The GPW had implemented procurement processes to acquire equipment to upgrade its operations. The target of achieving above 18% of its operating cost as a percentage of its revenue had not been achieved due to the reduced orders received in the first quarter. However, it was envisaged and the GPW would meet this target in the next quarter.

The GPW strived to protect information, minimise risk and ensure compliance, so it was upgrading to a secure facility to assure its clients.


The Chairperson asked GPW to clarify if the private security guards securing GPW resources were vetted.

Ms Raphuti requested an update on address harvesting and its cost implications. Did the GPW have plans to make the Gazettes searchable for content?

Ms Kenye asked the IEC to state the strategies it employed against staff who had not submitted their performance agreements. Had the unfunded ICT programme of the IEC been discussed with NT? She asked the IEC to clarify if the data on expenditure was quarterly or bi-annual.

Ms Hlophe asked IEC to clarify its data on quarterly expenditure. She asked for the opinion of the IEC on the proposal by Parliament to amalgamate Chapter Nine institutions. She observed that online address harvesting was not adequate to capture people in rural areas, so she requested more information on the address harvesting weekend programme. The information given on the audit committee was not complete -- the information required was to clarify if the IEC had achieved a clean audit and if not, why. Also, the IEC needed to provide strategies for achieving a clean audit. She appreciated the GPW for achieving 13 out of its 14 targets, but remarked that it had not given updates on its marketing programmes in Africa. She commented that the GPW was only talking about equipment and not people, so she asked for updates on job creation.

Ms Dambuza asked the IEC why performance agreements had not been signed for staff who were on leave/sick leave. What were its alternative funding options for ICT platform upgrade and address harvesting, because discussions with the NT had shown that the challenge on funding allocations would still continue? She asked if the IEC Act empowered it to collect funding outside Government. She asked the GPW to clarify the meaning of 85% of 100% graduates contracted for a two-year period after training programmes. She also asked for clarity on the meaning of the service level agreements for the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), Manhand Forklift Services and Canteen Services, which were listed as both finalised and in progress.

Mr Hoosen asked the IEC for its strategies to meet the Constitutional Court deadline of June, 2018. He remarked that since all citizens applied for the Smart IDs, the IEC should explore the possibility of using this to get peoples’ addresses. He asked for strategies in place to curb the multiple registration of people with multiple IDs.

Ms Mnisi asked IEC to assure the Committee that its annual target would not be affected by an audit. She expressed concerns about graduates not getting permanent jobs at the GPW, and asked what it meant by two-year period contracted graduates.

Mr Kekana said that his questions would address administrative issues at the IEC and GPW. He asked IEC and GPW how much litigations they had to deal with. Had they employed consultants in their operations, and if so, why? He also asked both entities to state the owners of their buildings.

The Chairperson asked for updates on the headquarters of the IEC. He said that if either the IEC or GPW could not answer any of the questions, they could still answer in writing at a later date.


Government Printing Works

Ms Moyo said that it had issues with the delay in vetting and turnaround times at State Security Services (SSA) The project had started in June 2018, and all staff were being vetted. The process would be completed in October 2018. Presently all staff were undergoing polygraph tests and the vetting would be continuous. Security in GPW facilities was being upgraded due to information being processed. Personnel had been changed and processes were being reviewed.

The new building, Pavilion Three, would have restricted access and all despatch would be conducted from it. Pavilion Three would be completed in December 2017.

GPW Gazettes had been searchable through online access since 2015. Clients could get quotes for services online in the PDF format. It was still engaging with the Western Cape to publish its Gazette.

It was engaging with Swaziland to print its passports. The passports were currently printed in the UK but the GPW had offered Swaziland a quicker turnaround time in printing its passports. It was working on a service level agreement (SLA) with Swaziland, because it had a higher yearly capacity. It had hosted Zimbabwe on Smart ID cards and passports for citizens, diplomats and refugees. GPW’s passports are United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees approved. It had improved security on children’s passports by placing the parents’ particulars on them.

She explained the meaning of the 85% of 100% graduates contracted for a two year period after training programmes.

The finalised and in-progress status on service level agreements for the CIPC, Manhand Forklift Services and Canteen Services had been an error.

The GPW did not have any litigation, but it had contracts for ICT services. It had consultants on eGazettes, but was trying to reduce its dependency and had advertised for some of the posts.

Security equipment was procured from Germany and the GPW maintained a relationship with the manufacturers.

The Chairperson said that the Committee was aware of its procurements of security equipment, but asked GPW to time the procurement process in line with the building completion.

Mr Kekana stated that the Committee had informed entities that private security companies needed to be vetted, or their contracts should be ended.

The Chairperson said that the private security company concerned was Fidelity

Ms Moyo said that Fidelity was part of SSA’s vetting process. The vetting was done on employees and service providers.

The Chairperson said that the Committee wanted the GPW to guard its facilities with risk-free entities. Its concern was to have internal security, despite the long time frame in getting out of contracts.

Independent Electoral Commission

Mr Mamabolo stated that when the matter had been deliberated at the Constitutional Court, the voters’ register had contained eight million people without addresses, but presently the number had been reduced to two million. The IEC used the online option because it was the cheapest way of getting the correct address of voters.

The IEC was collaborating with the DHA on using Smart IDs to harvest addresses. The joint approaches had resulted in the reduction of people without addresses in the voters’ register. The online option was not a total solution, because it catered for only certain segment of the population. This was why IEC proposed setting up a general address harvesting weekend. The country was not 100% addressed, so the IEC might not complete the registration. However, it was committed to completing the process for the population that were addressed. The general address harvesting weekend was contingent on approval of the budget proposal of R180 Million. Engagements were on with NT, and the IEC expects that if the total amount is not approved, a significant portion would be approved, which would go a long way to assist the IEC in fulfilling its mandate. South Africa’s democracy could not afford to have some people being taken out of the register because they did not have the address.

Performance agreements had been signed with people who had returned from leave. The performance agreements remaining are for staff on maternity leave, and these would be completed when they resumed.

The amalgamation of Chapter Nine institutions report did not suggest that the IEC should be part of the amalgamated institutions. The report was quite specific, and stated that the IEC’s mandate prevented its amalgamation.

The political climate had an impact on the work of IEC. For instance, an election had been conducted by the IEC in Ward 3 of the Matjhabeng Municipality, Free State, but had ended with there not being a clear winner. The local based tensions had impacted on the operations of the IEC, and it had had to focus on provincial ward elections instead of focusing on the national elections.

The implication of the dynamics of the IEC was that it had a lot of litigation. The litigation was draining its resources, but it has to continue since it was part of the democratic process that occurred due to peoples’ rights.

There were consultants in the IT space that performed certain functions that were seasonal, but these were not permanent positions. The IEC had made arrangements to in-source staff for these positions.

The owner of the building that housed the IEC is Abland, and the IEC had signed a lease that would terminate in 2020. It had approached the Gauteng High Court to get released from the lease, but the application had been dismissed.

Mr Kekana asked for the name of the owners of branch offices.

Mr Mamabolo said the branch offices were owned by various owners.

Mr Kekana requested the list,

Mr Mamabolo said that the branch offices were owned by over 200 owners.

Mr Kekana maintained that he wanted the list.

Ms Esther de Wet, CFO:IEC said that the IEC had first applied to National Treasury for the ICT upgrade in 2014, but to date its application had not been successful. The challenge of the IEC was that its platform was seven years old. The IEC had Windows 2008, but Microsoft has said it would support the IEC only for a certain time, so it needed a server and platform upgrade. It also needed to upgrade its hardware before 2019, and some aspects of the ICT upgrade were unfunded. It was having a further engagement with NT on the 7 September. The IEC was exploring donor funding options in collaboration with NT to assist in achieving its programmes. Although there was under-expenditure in the first quarter, the IEC was confident that it would catch up.

The Chairperson hoped that the registration capturing machines would be tested before Election Day. He asked the IEC to give updates on political party funding in writing, and also to address by-election technicalities with a written report.

Deputy Minister Chohan said that the total funds needed by the IEC for the general address harvesting weekend were significant amounts, so she solicited for the Committee’s assistance to lobby the NT for approval. The Constitutional judgment had been a matter of interpreting existing law. It was not fair to disenfranchise people on the basis of address issues, so the Department of Cooperative Governance (COGTA) needed to find solutions to address the issue. She suggested that a responsible Parliament would suggest an amendment to existing legislation.

Members were right to be concerned about the security of the GPW facility. Part of the reason for the upgrade was to address these concerns and ensure that the entity was able to expand its operations. She invited the Committee visit the construction of the new facility at Pavilion Three. The security measures put in place at the new facility were not just to satisfy South Africa, but would go a long way to satisfying the clients of the GPW.

The meeting was adjourned.