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21 December 2020 - NW2755

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Tafeni, Ms N to ask the Minister of Social Development

Whether she has been informed that the pensioners in Dutywa, Eastern Cape, did not receive their grant payments at the (a) banks and (b) Post Office early in November; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what (i) caused the delays in payments and (ii) measures will she put in place to ensure that this does not happen again?

Reply:

SASSA is not aware of any challenges with payment in Idutywa for the November payment cycle. SASSA deploys customer care officials to monitor the payment process at post offices, retailers and banking infrastructure throughout the Eastern Cape on a monthly basis. No incidents of non-payment were observed or reported for the November payment cycle, which started on 3 November.

I would respectfully request the Honourable Member to provide more specific information, to enable SASSA to investigate the complaint and implement corrective actions.

Our Team from SASSA on the ground, in the Eastern Cape will keep vigilance and engage with the Post Office to ensure that we avoid interruptions to systems as grants recipients collect their grants.

21 December 2020 - NW2233

Profile picture: Masipa, Mr NP

Masipa, Mr NP to ask the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

Whether she has found that there are sufficient vaccines and reagents for Foot and Mouth Disease at the Agricultural Research Centre (ARC) and Onderstepoort Biological Products to support the livestock farmers in the country in the long term; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) whether she will furnish the state veterinary doctor’s visitation programmes to farmers in all nine provinces for the year 2020 to date; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) whether she will furnish (a) reasons for the strike at ARC and (b) action plans to resolve the strike; if not, why not in each case; if so, what are the relevant details in each case; (4) whether she will furnish (a) reasons for the delay in blood samples being tested at ARC and (b) action plans to ensure that this situation is resolved; if not, why not in each case; if so, what are the relevant details in each case?

Reply:

1. Quantities of Foot and Mouth Disease vaccine are procured by instruction of the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) through the two State Owned Entities (SOEs), namely the Agricultural Research Centre (ARC) and the Onderstepoort Biological Products. These vaccines are sourced by the SOEs from the Botswana Vaccine Institute for routine vaccination and vaccination when there is an outbreak.

2. Agriculture is a concurrent function as per the Constitution of South Africa. The Provincial Departments of Agriculture are responsible for the provincial operations of veterinary services, including farm visits and schedules.

Below is the state veterinary doctor’s visitation to farmers for the financial year: 2019/20

Province

Annual Target

Pre-audited Annual Achievement ***

Eastern Cape

11 244

13 857

Free State

3 200

4 634

Gauteng

8 500

7 678

KwaZulu Natal

15 000

17 326

Limpopo

15 064

11 960

Mpumalanga

17 798

15 314

Northern Cape

6 000

6 558

North West

12 230

17 030

Western Cape

10 000

14 333

Consolidated

99 036

108 690

***Kindly note that figures are based on 2019/20 pre-audited data as reported by provinces.

Below is the state veterinary doctor’s visitation to farmers for the financial year 2020/2021

Province

Revised Annual Target

Quarter 1 achievement

Quarter 2 Achievement ***

Annual Progress to date

Annual (%) Performance

Eastern Cape

11 024

3 288

5 924

9 212

84%

Free State

2 400

547

923

1 470

61%

Gauteng

6 400

272

1 521

1 793

28%

KwaZulu Natal

20 000

3000

4 837

7 837

39%

Limpopo

3 050

1 767

2 939

4 706

154%

Mpumalanga

17 798

3 310

4 213

7 523

42%

Northern Cape

500

275

686

961

192%

North West

10 382

2 550

3 494

6 044

58%

Western Cape

10 000

1 911

3 768

5 679

57%

Consolidated

81 554

16 920

28 305

45 225

55%

*** For all figures that are highlighted in red, the data has not been verified by DALRRD

3. There is currently no strike at the ARC.

4. (a) The ARC as with many other organizations experienced delay in the procurement of laboratory reagents, mostly due to disruptions in the global supply chains of imported chemicals. (b) The ARC has made adjustments to the complement of employees as per the changes allowed in respect of managing possible impacts of Covid-19, with limited employees on site at any particular point. The ARC is now on full complement of employees to provide full services timeously.

21 December 2020 - NW2661

Profile picture: Matiase, Mr NS

Matiase, Mr NS to ask the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

What (a) total number of (i) farmworkers and (ii) farm dwellers have been evicted from farms since 1994 and (b) is the total breakdown of evictions in each province?

Reply:

 

a) (i),(ii) The Extension of Security of Tenure Act of 1997 does not distinguish between farmworkers and farm dwellers. All persons (whether farmworker or farm dweller) residing on farms may be evicted legally in terms of the Act ie with a court order, or illegally which is an eviction without a court order as provided in the Act.

According to the Department’s records, 1 066 households were evicted from the farms from 2007 to 2020. This figure is the number of evictions granted from 2007 to October 2020 by Magistrates’ courts throughout the country. Evictions granted by the Land Claims Court from 1994 to 2020 are not included above as the court is still compiling its statistics and such information will be made available once received on or before 18 December 2020.

It should further be noted that not all evictions are reported to the Department or brought before courts.

b) The provincial breakdown of the 1 066 households is as follows:

Province

Eastern Cape

Free State

Gauteng

KwaZulu Natal

Limpopo

Mpumalanga

North West

Northern Cape

Western Cape

TOTAL

Legal/Court Order

20

112

10

21

2

37

11

8

548

769

Illegally

33

65

27

4

11

48

9

2

98

297

Total

53

177

37

25

13

85

20

10

646

1 066

21 December 2020 - NW2435

Profile picture: Abrahams, Ms ALA

Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Social Development

What would be the budgetary and expenditure implications for (a) her department and (b) the SA Social Security Agency should all (i) disability and (ii) care dependency grants that are due to lapse on 31 October, 30 November and 31 December 2020 be extended until 31 March 2021?

Reply:

(a) The temporary disability grants and care dependency grants which were due to lapse at the end of October 2020 have all been extended to 31 December 2020. The costs for this extension have been accommodated within the financial allocation for the social grants for the 2020/21 financial year.

(b) (i) The financial implications for the extension of the care dependency grants from October to December 2020 is R41 823 960.

(ii) The financial implication for the temporary disability grants for the period from October to December 2020 is R784 094 160.

(iii) The numbers of grants affected, should they be extended to 31 March 2021 is 11 243 care dependency grants and 210 778 temporary disability grants. To continue paying these for an additional 3 months will cost R62 735 940 for the care dependency grants, and R1 176 141 240 for the temporary disability grants (total of R1 238 877 180).

21 December 2020 - NW1924

Profile picture: Masipa, Mr NP

Masipa, Mr NP to ask the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

With regard to the Agricultural Research Council and Onderstepoort Biological Products, what are the (a) latest findings from the investigation ordered by the Auditor-General on (i) serious mismanagement, (ii) irregular expenditure and (iii) serious supply chain irregularities that took place over the past four financial years, (b) details of the refurbishment and modernisation of the existing Good Manufacturing Practice facility and (c) details of all procurement done for Covid-19 related purposes?

Reply:

AGRICULTURAL RESEARCH COUNCIL (ARC)

(a) Latest findings from the investigation ordered by the Auditor-General on:

(i) Serious Mismanagement

  • AGSA previously reported findings of serious financial misstatement at the ARC which relates to over expenditure for the 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 financial years; this was classified as a serious mismanagement by AGSA in their management reports.
  • Irregular Expenditure of the ARC for the years ended 31 March 2016 (R205 177 358), 31 March 2017(R 199 263 480.40) and 31 March 2018 (R103 810 688.60) are attributed to over-expenditure on the budget.
  • Included in the irregular expenditure for the year ended 31 March 2017 of R199 263 480 is an amount of R30 642 913 taken from the Foot and-Mouth Disease (FMD) Account to finance the overspending of R168 620 567.
  • For the year ended 31 March 2018, included in the irregular expenditure of R103 810 688.60 is the amount of R27 808 410.60 taken from the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) Account which was used to finance the overspending of R76 002 278.
  • The 2017/18 calculation of the overspending was based on excess expenditure over break- even budget as advised by the AGSA and was not in line with the calculations done for the other two years.

The overspending for the 3 years was as a result of the ARC not having sufficient budget to cover their operating expenses as the former Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries had the Parliamentary Grant (PG). Based on the analysis of the cash balance for the 3 years under review, the reflected cash balances were not a true reflection of the cash available for the operations of the organisation as it had cash designated for conditional grants as well as deposits received as advance payments from customers.

For the year ended 31 March 2017, the ARC actually had a negative cash balance of R133 million over expenditure on the ARC’s budget that resulted in an irregular expenditure finding by the AGSA.

National Treasury’s Irregular Expenditure Framework provides that if the irregular expenditure is irrecoverable and there is no person who is liable in law, the Accounting Authority may write off the amount in line with the policies and procedures of the Public Entity.

The investigation by Internal Audit noted that:

  • The Executive Management Committee (EMC) of the ARC has regularly, through quarterly performance reports, reported the financial position of the ARC to the Accounting Officer of DAFF. This was done in compliance with the PFMA.
  • The ARC has through its Council Committees raised concerns about the financial situation of the entity and letters were submitted to the Executive Authority about this matter.
  • The financial situation of the ARC as a going concern was raised by the Audit and Risk Committee; and Council to the Minister and to the Portfolio Committee in each of the years. This was reported in the annual reports of the ARC for the relevant years. This is indicative of prudent and responsible management pertaining to the situation the ARC founds itself in and it was recommended that cost saving measures be implemented by the office of the Chief Financial Officer, which would include monitoring of expenditure on a monthly basis.
  • Details of the serious mismanagement and investigations are in Annexure A.

(ii) Findings on Irregular Expenditure.

  • Irregular expenditure to the value of R2 414 755.84 was identified during the 2017/18 financial year. The matter was investigated, and consequence management was finalized against 3 employees; disciplinary hearings are continuing against the remaining 2 employees.
  • During the 2018/19 financial year, irregular expenditure of R9 173 094.38 was identified by the AGSA. The irregular expenditure resulted from a misinterpretation of Treasury Instruction 3 of 2016-17 that Single Source procurements above R500 000 must be approved/supported by National Treasury; investigations have not yet been completed.

(iii) Same as (i) and (ii).

(b) Not applicable to the ARC.

(c) Please refer to Annexure B for details of COVID-19 related procurement.

ONDERSTEPOORT BIOLOGICAL PRODUCTS (OBP):

Following the Auditor General’s (AG) Report, the OBP Board requested that all tenders awarded in the past five years including the Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility upgrade be investigated. Four companies were selected for the investigation viz,

  • Succoth: security services;
  • Hadi holdings: supply of animal feed;
  • Pressure group: supply of coal; and
  • DEC: GMP facility upgrade

a) The latest findings from the investigation ordered by the Auditor-General on:

(i) Serious mismanagement:

Several cases of serious mismanagement were identified and led to the following consequence management actions:

  • The CFO was suspended in October 2019 for serious breach and non-compliance with supply chain policies and processes. He lodged a dispute at the CCMA against the suspension and the case was settled at the CCMA.
  • Operations executive was suspended in January 2020 for gross dereliction of duties.

(ii) Irregular expenditure:

  • The awarding of Development Engineering Consultant Ltd (DEC) a tender was found to be irregular because it did not comply with the definition of deviation. An application for condonation in line with National Treasury Irregular Expenditure Framework is in progress.
  • Succoth was found to be irregular due to the owner being a state employee. The contract was immediately terminated. An application for condonation in line with National Treasury Irregular Expenditure Framework is in progress.

(iii) Serious supply chain irregularities that took place over the past four financial years:

  • The review of the contracts with four of the above service providers found several irregularities and were terminated during the third quarter of 2019-2020, namely
    • Succoth – security services: as described above.
    • Hadi holdings – supply of animal feed: terms of the contract were crafted to be unfavourable to OBP (over-priced and over supply).
    • Pressure group – supply of coal: contract crafted in a way that encouraged delivery of non-compliant coal.
  • Two procurement administrators were suspended for amongst others collusion between staff and the tenderer / sub-contractors. They were charged and eventually resigned during the disciplinary hearings.

b) Details of the refurbishment and modernisation of the existing Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) facility.

In 2013 National Treasury approved and awarded OBP a grant of R493 million for the construction of a modern GMP compliant vaccine production facility. Upon receipt of the grant, Executive Management decided to use R130 million from the R493 Million received for refurbishment and procurement of equipment, leaving a balance of R363 million available for the GMP facility project. Later when the Executive Management established that the R363m will be insufficient for the initially planned new vaccine production facility (Green Field), they resolved to embark on the upgrade of the current facility (Brown Field Project).

The consulting engineers were then requested to drastically reduce the provisional sums, but the scope was not revised. The tender was advertised where DEC Engineering was appointed with a tender pricing of R31 million excluding value added tax, on a contract which includes a multidisciplinary team of consultants. ISF Construction was appointed for the construction and process equipment with a tender pricing of R277 million excluding value added tax.

Both internal and external audit raised a range of concerns. In November 2019, the project Manager resigned, leaving the Operations Executive as the driver. In January 2020, the Operations Executive was suspended and later charged for misrepresentation, gross dereliction of duties including lying to the Board. He resigned on mutual separation whilst the disciplinary process was in progress.

The CEO appointed a Project Manager reporting directly to his office and to a Project Steering Committee comprising of several executives and managers directly relevant to the project. The CEO and the Board resolved to commission an independent review that will provide a comprehensive status of the project including year to date variances, extrapolated expenditure, completion date and legislative impact.

To date the procurement of equipment is in progress and construction of the facility resumed after level 3 lockdown. The expected date of completing construction is 1 June 2021.

However, the CEO discovered that certain critical processes at downstream level were not included during the planning and advised the Board who resolved that a revision of process flow be conducted with the involvement of the Project Engineers, Operation Management and the Quality Assurance Manager. The Quality Assurance Manager was tasked to lead the process given the vast experience and certification in GMP of the newly appointed manager. The adjusted facility plan and subsequent budget will be finalised and presented to the board.

c) Details of all procurement done for Covid-19 related purposes

Below is a table listing all Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) procured during the COVID period. On or about 22 June 2020 it was brought to the CEO’s attention that surgical masks were purchased in a period of two weeks at a unit price of R32 (while the price from most suppliers was around R7 per mask). This resulted in an investigation which led to the suspension of the Supply Chain Manager on 25 June 2020. An investigation has taken place and the charges have been drafted and sent to the Supply Chain Manager; she is now facing a disciplinary hearing for gross misconduct on three charges. The Company will soon start with the disciplinary hearing into the matter.

Company Name

Description

Quantity

Unit Price

Total

Siphumelele Industries

Surgical Face Masks

150*50(per box)

R32

R240 000

Siphumelele

Industries

Surgical Face

Masks

180*50 (per box)

R32

R288 000

Rashuma Consulting

Surgical Face Masks

300 * 50 (per Box)

R7,20

R108 000

ACS Promotions

99% Ethanol

160*25 Liters

R22,59

R90 390

KRU Energy

Ethanol

600*25 Liters

R69

R1 035 000

KRU Energy (Pty) Ltd

Ethanol

2 000 liters

R50,60

R105 685

KRU Energy (Pty) Ltd

Hand Sanitizer

2 000

R69

R138 000

KRU Energy (Pty) Ltd

Hand Sanitizer

7 020

R69

R484 380

21 December 2020 - NW2460

Profile picture: Selfe, Mr J

Selfe, Mr J to ask the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services

(1)Whether any correctional centres in the Eastern Cape are confronted with water shortages as at the latest specified date for which information is available; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, which specified correctional centres; (2) what (a) immediate and (b) longer-term steps are being taken to alleviate the water shortages; (3) whether he has found that such water shortages have had any effect on (a) discipline and (b) operations of the specified correctional centres; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. Yes, the DCS centres have been affected by water shortages.

1.1 The following are the centres under OR Tambo District Municipality

  • Lusikisiki;
  • Flagstaff;
  • Mqanduli; and
  • Ngqeleni.

The major challenge is the capacity of water treatment plants that cannot cope with the demand. However, the Department has bought water tankers for those centres to augment when there is no municipal supply.

1.2 In addition, the following centres under Chris Hani District Municipality:

  • Sada;
  • Queenstown;
  • Dordrect;
  • Cofimvamba;
  • Lady Frere;
  • Engcobo; and
  • Middelburg

The biggest challenge in this District is the high demand versus the capacity of the plant and ageing municipal infrastructure.

1.3 Furthermore, the following are the centres under Amathole District Municipality

  • Idutywa
  • Butterworth
  • Middledrift

The biggest challenge is drought (drying up of dams which causes silting). DCS has also bought water tankers for those centres to augment when there is no municipal supply.

1.4 The following are centres under Nelson Mandela Metro:

  • St Albans Medium A;
  • St Albans Medium B; and
  • St Albans Maximum;

The main challenges are lack of rainfall and this started beginning of this year. DCS is procuring Jojo tanks and 3 water tankers and is in talks with the municipality for alternative ways of supply.

(2)

(a) The immediate intervention undertaken by the Department is procurement of storage tanks and water tankers for various areas;

(b) Medium to long term plans are to survey ground water availability in order to drill boreholes. The process of surveying has started at St Albans.

Municipalities, as water services authorities, need to upgrade their water treatment plants to be in line with the population demand and maintenance of plants thereof.

(3) 

(a) Discipline

Offenders were addressed regarding the problem of water in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metropolitan (NMBM), and how this problem will affect the normal running of the activities in the Correctional centre. They were also alerted of attempts that were being made to mitigate the risk of no water. The briefing made offenders not to revolt or be aggressive as they see that even though there is no running water is provided for drinking and bathing.

(b) Operations

Water shortages in centres compromises security and the entire operations of a centre due to the following reasons:

  • No steam to prepare food for offenders;
  • No hot water generation for bathing;
  • The hygiene of offenders is severely compromised. The security of the centres is also at risk.

END

21 December 2020 - NW244

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Steyn, Ms A to ask the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

Whether, with reference to her reply to question 992 on 19 December 2019, the Gwatyu community in the Eastern Cape applied to be registered as a Communal Property Association (CPA); if so, (a) why was this community not included in the specified reply, (b) on what date did the community apply and (c) what are the reasons that this community cannot be registered as a CPA?

Reply:

No. Some members of the Gwatyu community, acting through an attorney, submitted an application for registration of a Provisional Association on 30 July 2014. Question 992 sought information on applications for registration as communal property associations, which were outstanding. The interpretation applied to the word “outstanding”, meant an application that was in the possession of the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform and was still being processed. The Gwatyu application was not included since it was neither an application for registration of a communal property association nor an outstanding application.

Notwithstanding the above, the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development has since undertaken a land rights enquiry on all the farms and once finalised, the affected communities will be workshopped on various land holding arrangements and will be given an opportunity to choose the best suitable land holding structure that suits their existing circumstances taking into consideration various land rights that may exist on these farms.

If the community then chooses to register a CPA, the Department will ensure that the requirements that are set out in section 8(4) and (5) of the Communal Property Association Act, 28 of 1996 are met.

(a), (b), (c) Falls away.

21 December 2020 - NW2533

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Steyn, Ms A to ask the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

What (a) total number of farms have been bought for land reform purposes in the Dr Ruth Segomotsi Mompati District Municipality since inception of the Recapitalisation and Development Programme of her department up to the latest specified date for which information is available and (b) is the breakdown of each (i) local municipality, (ii) farm name, (iii) name of previous owner, (iv) amount that the land was bought for, (v) GPS coordinates of the farm, (vi) name of current beneficiary/project name and (vii) contact details of current beneficiary; (2) whether each farm received recapitalisation and development programme assistance; if not, why not; if so, what amount?

Reply:

1. (a) 54 farms.

(b)(i),(ii),(iii),(iv),(v),(vi),(vii) Please refer to Annexure A.

2. Please refer to Annexure A.

21 December 2020 - NW1321

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Steyn, Ms A to ask the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

What is the total outstanding amount for all invoices not paid by her department (a) within 30 days and/or (b) within 60 days or longer; (2) What steps has her department taken to ensure that it will be able to meet the target of paying all invoices within 30 days?

Reply:

(1)(a),(b) As at 31 March 2020, please refer to the table below.

(a)

No. of days

Quantity

Value

30-60

98

5 615 867.06

(b)

61-90

9

1 807 241.98

91-180

24

1 496 044.94

>180

5

  1. 09.60

(2) Please refer to the table below.

Reason for non-compliance

Mitigation

The main contributor to the late payment of service providers is lack of proper internal controls which relate to the tracing of the status of a particular invoice and supporting documents as they are processed through the various verification channels within the Department including from provinces to national office.

  • The Department implemented the invoice tracking system which allows for more effective tracing of the status of invoices as they are processed through verification channels. The system requires that the Department has one central point for receiving invoices; this makes invoice tracking more effective and efficient.
  • Each official on the chain is allocated a timeframe to perform the relevant function pertaining to that invoice. If there is non-compliance to timeframes, the system escalates the matter to the next level of authority.
  • Change management sessions with all internal stakeholders will be conducted through the Corporate Services Branch.
  • Officials’ performance agreements include the payment of invoices within 30 days as a key performance area on which performance is assessed.
  • Officials found to be non-compliant are issued with letters of non-compliance as a punitive measure and to alert officials of their responsibility in ensuring compliance to the 30 days’ requirement.

21 December 2020 - NW816

Profile picture: Cebekhulu, Inkosi RN

Cebekhulu, Inkosi RN to ask the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

What mechanisms did her department put in place to encourage and assist persons and/or communities in rural areas to utilise the land for food production and food security, since most productive agricultural land in communal areas is fast becoming residential developments; (2) what policies does her department have in place to revive the farms that are lying fallow because of land beneficiaries fighting over resources, to pursue achieving Goal 1 of Agenda 2063 in the next 43 years?

Reply:

1. In an effort to encourage and assist persons and /or communities in rural areas to utilize the land for food production and food security, the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) has developed the Agriculture and Agro-processing Master Plan which focuses on district-based commodity production schemes driven through mass production by rural communities and households within a given radius and supported by a Production Support Centre. All existing farmer support programmes of DALRRD are being aligned to this plan which should ensure that at least 1 270 340 rural households are food-secure by 2030.

The issue about agricultural land in communal areas fast becoming residential developments is a function that is currently being managed by traditional councils in whose area of jurisdiction the land currently falls. DALRRD stands ready to assist traditional councils and communities to develop land use schemes that will provide a legal and orderly basis on which the land use can be regulated.

2. DALRRD’s position is that no development or support can be provided on farms that are lying fallow due to land beneficiaries fighting over resources until the dispute is resolved through social facilitation.

21 December 2020 - NW2433

Profile picture: Abrahams, Ms ALA

Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)With reference to her reply to question 1319 on 19 August 2020, what comparative progress has been made to reduce the backlog in each province of the (a) temporary disability and (b) care dependency grants that will lapse on 31 December 2020; (2) what comparative progress has been made to employ doctors that are experienced in making such assessments in each province; (3) what is the (a) current number of (i) disability and (ii) care dependency grant backlog and (b) total number of the specified grants that will lapse on 31 December 2020; (4) what plans have (a) her department and (b) the SA Social Security Agency put in place to address the backlog?

Reply:

1. The backlog in the disability related grants is with new applications. The temporary disability grants and care dependency grants which will lapse at the end of December 2020 are all grants which were already in the system as at February 2020. The backlog of new applications reported in the response to Parliamentary question 1319 was 19 053. This has been reduced to 6 707 by end October 2020.

The provinces which still have a backlog of new applications are Gauteng with 1 282 and Mpumalanga with 277 and Western Cape with 5 148.

2. The numbers of doctors assisting with assessments is 472. This is 3 less than what was reported previously, as a result of 3 of the contracted doctors having passed away – 1 in Western Cape and 2 in KwaZulu-Natal. However, there are additional doctors from the Department of Health, particularly in the Western Cape Metro that are now assisting with assessments. Northern Cape, North West and Western Cape (for the Boland/Overberg and Eden/Karoo districts) are currently finalizing a procurement process to contract additional doctors to assist with the assessments.

Negotiations are also continuing with Provincial Departments of Health to identify additional medical officers who can assist with medical assessments. These discussions also extend to identifying facilities which can be used for assessments.

3. (a)(i) The number of temporary disability grants which will lapse at the end of December 2020 is 210 778.

(ii) The number of care dependency grants which will lapse at the end of December is 11 243.

(b) The total number of disability related grants which will lapse at the end of December is 222 021.

4. SASSA, with the Department of Social Development have been working on a plan to ensure that the beneficiaries who will be affected by the bulk lapsing have an opportunity to re-apply for the required grants by 31 March 2021.

Once care dependent children turn 18 years of age, their care dependency grants lapse, and they have to apply for a disability grant. This is because the care dependency grant is paid to a care giver of a severely disabled child, while a person over the age of 18 years is considered an adult, and must apply for the grant in his/her own name. For this reason, it cannot be an automatic conversion, but an application process.

However, in order to avoid the necessity for these young adults with severe disabilities to have to report to a SASSA office or health facility for a medical assessment and then to return at a later date to complete the application process, SASSA has developed a project plan to complete paper-based medical assessments, using the medical report already on file for the care dependency grant. The assessment will be done in the absence of the young person. This is provided for in the Social Assistance Act and can be implemented as there is a medical history for the applicant in SASSA’s possession.

Once the medical assessment has been completed, the care giver of the young person will be called in to the SASSA office on an appointment basis to complete the application as the procurator for the young person, in terms of Section 15 of the Social Assistance Act, 2004.

Measures have been put in place to manage cases where a medical report cannot be traced, or does not contain adequate information for the assessing doctor to make a recommendation, in order to manage risks associated with the process, and to ensure that SASSA can be accountable for decisions taken.

The above process will cater for the 11 243 care dependency grants which will lapse on 31 December 2020.

For the temporary disability grants, for those beneficiaries who are still unable to work as a result of the disability, assessments can start being scheduled in December already, with the application being done from January, since these can only be done once the temporary grant has lapsed. It should be borne in mind that a temporary disability grant is provided for a specific period only, because the assessment indicates that the condition can improve to the extent that it is not the disability which prevents the person from working. It is therefore not automatic that all those currently in receipt of the temporary disability grants will re-apply for the grant; or, if they apply, that they will qualify for the grant. A full application process, with a new assessment is thus required.

The process will be closely managed and all exceptions will be dealt with to ensure that inconvenience is limited as much as possible, and all who require access to services are attended to and people with disabilities are treated with care and respect.

21 December 2020 - NW2265

Profile picture: Arries, Ms LH

Arries, Ms LH to ask the Minister of Social Development

What (a) criteria does her department use to appoint doctors to assist citizens with grant applications (b) Total number of the doctors have had their contracts terminated for fraudulent applications and (c) Total amount has been lost through this kind of fraud over the past five financial years?

Reply:

1. Regulation 3(b) to the Social Assistance Act, 2004 confirms that a person is eligible for a disability grant if that person has attained the age of 18 years, and “the disability is confirmed by an assessment ….” The Act further defines an assessment as “the medical examination by a medical officer of a person or child in order to determine disability or care-dependency for the purposes of recommending a finding for the awarding o social grant..” and medical officer is defined as “any medical practitioner in the service of the State, or a person appointed under a contract to perform the functions or render the services of a medical officer in terms of the Act”.

Given the challenges in the Health environment with the provision of assessment services for all applicants and beneficiaries for disability-related grants, SASSA strategically decided to contract medical officers to supplement the services provided by the Department of Health by contracting doctors directly through an open tender process for a period of 36 months. A set criteria is used to select doctors who are contracted to conduct social assistance assessments, see below:

The medical doctors must:

1.1  Have a Medical Qualification or a Medical Degree;

1.2 Be currently registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as a medical practitioner for at least 2 years;

1.3 Must demonstrate Tax compliance through the submission of a Valid Tax Clearance Certificate as issued by the South African Revenue Services;

1.4 Must be Registered with the Central Supplier Database held by National Treasury;

1.5 Have an understanding of Social Assistance issues; and

1.6 Be willing to attend induction workshops on the assessment tools and the Social Assistance Act No 13 of 2004 as amended and related Regulations. This ensures that the contracted doctors are able to comply with the requirements for the rendering of disability assessment services prior to commencement of undertaking assessments.

2. The doctors must not have:

2.1. Been convicted in any court of law for Social Grants Related Fraud; or

2.2. Been excluded or suspended from conducting medical evaluations for SASSA or any other organ of state. An affidavit is sufficient at the point of Bid submission but should any bidder fail a vetting process, SASSA has the right to terminate the services of that particular service provider.

b) There are no doctors who have had their contracts terminated because of fraudulent transactions

c) There is no loss that is attributable to fraudulent doctors over the past five financial years.

21 December 2020 - NW578

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Ceza, Mr K to ask the Minister of Social Development

What measures did her department undertake to ensure that priority is given very early to the (a) rural areas and (b) informal settlements during the lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19?

Reply:

Eastern Cape:

Departmental Interventions

As part of intervention strategies, the Department of Social Development has implemented the following activities to Rural Areas and Informal Settlements:

  • The Eastern Cape Department of Social Development teamed with South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and co- ordinated the lists of destitute people from all Local Municipalities who were forced to stay at home, as per COVID- 19 Regulations and were not able to do their temporal work for their living. These lists were submitted to SASSA for assessment and received Social Relief of Distress in the form of food parcels from their budget.

 

  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the form of face masks, hand gloves and sanitizers were provided by Provincial office to all Department of Social Development (DSD) offices in order for Social Service Practitioners to be able to interact with all communities in their sphere of operations and continue the services during lockdown as essential service workers.
  • The Department formed part of the COVID-19 Ward-Based Rapid Response Teams which were created by Eastern Cape Provincial Government that aimed at prevention, outreach and educational programmes to the rural and informal communities through joint operations with other stakeholders such as Department of Education and Health on the learner support programmes for the Grade 12 learners (e.g. coping mechanisms and family support programmes).

 

  • Community Nutrition Development Centres (CNDC) were closed as per the national directive however food parcels were provided to all 33 CNDCs in 6 District Municipalities and 2 Metropolitan through “Knock and Drop” for CNDC participants to prepare food from their homes and not eating from the centre in order to apply social distancing.
  • Psycho- Social services in the form of In-Depth Telephone Interviews and Counselling Services were provided to people infected and affected by COVID- 19 living in Informal Settlements and Rural Areas including those referred by Department of Health and Department of Education. The service was later extended to contact sessions with the change of levels of lockdown.
  • The Department established 19 Shelters for the Homeless People in the 6 Districts and 2 Metropolitans Municipalities for the vulnerable individuals that were found homeless around Towns, Cities and Informal Settlements. Homeless People were provided with food, accommodation and psychosocial support during their stay in the Shelters. Social Service Practitioners also unified some of the homeless people with their families after being screened for COVID-19.
  • The Eastern Cape Department of Social Development has spent R5, 239, 000 from Social Relief of Distress (SRD) budget on food parcels for 3,362 households/ families who are needy especially those staying in Informal Settlements and Rural Areas. The Department has also received additional budget of R78 million on SRD to cover families in need. The Department is considering provision of food voucher or bank generated coupons amounting R750 per family and discussions are at an advanced stage between Provincial office and the bank for implementation to take place.
  • Early Childhood Development Centres (ECD) centres were closed as per the national directive ever since 26 March 2020 when Lockdown started. The Department funds 2, 933 Early Childhood Development Centres from the Equitable Share amounting to R219, 704, 000 and 1310 ECD centres from Conditional Grant amounting to R123, 817, 000. Households with ECD learners within Rural Areas and Informal Settlements were prioritised for provision of Food Parcels under Social Relief of Distress. The DSD has embarked on the process of assessment and verification of ECD centres, in preparation for supporting their opening which revealed that most of them were not ready due to unavailability of PPE.
  • The steep rise of Gender Based Violence statistics after the National Lockdown, necessitated the Department of Social Development to re-open Victim Empowerment Programme (VEP) Centers to back up Social Service Practitioners with all volunteers who were recruited under VEP in May 2020. Volunteers together with Social Workers were providing Psychosocial Support and Counselling to the infected and affected individuals in the rural and informal communities.

Free State:

At the time of responding to this question; the province had not yet provided their response.

Gauteng:

The Department funds NPOs across the Province. These NPOs targets risk areas with high rates of poverty, unemployment and social related issues. These areas include informal settlements and rural areas, noting that Gauteng demographics is characterized by semi-rural / urban areas.

Whilst ECDs remained closed during the Lockdown, all other NPOs rendering services to vulnerable groups were provided with 1st Quarter subsidy payment to assist the NPOs in putting the necessary safety compliance measures in place to ensure minimal disruption in service delivery and curb the spread of COVID-19.

In addition, the Department had firstly partnered with the Church of Scientology to decontaminate residential facilities (Old Age Homes and Homes for Disabled) and Homeless, secondly facilitated and supported NPOs with the procurement of Personal Protective Equipment, and thirdly guided and provided training on safety protocols.

In all of the above interventions, the Department targets all areas where there is a need for services whilst ensuring safety measures are in place at all times.

KwaZulu-Natal:

KwaZulu-Natal Social Development suspended operations in the ECD Centre, Community Care Centres for the elderly, rehabilitation programs for people living with disability, CND’s including youth academies operations were suspended during lockdown to curb the spread of covid19.

The Department further suspended public visits to residential facilities and gatherings targeting more than 50 people.

In the main, a large proportion of services provided by the department target communities in rural areas, per-urban areas including informal settlements and townships therefore the suspension of these services was a way of curbing the spread of covid19 in communities mentioned above.

 

Limpopo:

The Limpopo Department of Social Development has put in place the following measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19 in rural areas:

  • Provision of directions prevented members of the public from visiting residential facilities and our institutions
  • Psychosocial support services to the infected and affected members of the community
  • Appointment of Covid-19 compliance officers in all institutions
  • Training by Department of Health to the Covid-19 members of the screening committee
  • PPE’s provided to our facilities and institutions
  • Strategies and protocols have been developed on the management of COVID-19 in residential facilities and service points in the rural areas.
  • Capacity has been built on officials working in communities such as Social Workers and Community Development Practitioners and those working in facilities of care for ability to self-protect and that beneficiaries in facilities.
  • Ongoing plans in place to monitor facilities of care and to ensure that measures are in place to prevent spread of the virus in line with national regulations.

The facilities have been provided with PPE’s for all officials as well as all beneficiaries.

Mpumalanga:

  • All services that required direct contact with clients were suspended to curb the spread of COVID 19.
  • The Department operated as a nerve centre at Provincial, District and Local level to coordinate and provide services to clients in distress.
  • The Department also opened a call centre for clients to call and or send sms and please call me for services required.
  • The Department worked closely with other stakeholders to ensure proper referrals for clients who needed services.

North West:

The Department of Social Development in the North West implemented the following measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 in rural areas:

Developed strategy and protocols on management of COVID 19 in residential facilities for older persons and Persons with Disabilities.

Training provided to 96 on the strategy and protocol to employees in the Department and those working in residential care facilities so that they protect themselves in their respective communities and the residents / beneficiaries in facilities.

61 x Residential care facilities monitored to ensure that measures are in place to prevent the spread of the virus as per the protocols.

61 x facilities provided with PPE of 2x5lt sanitizer and 2 x boxes of 50 pcs of mask per facility.

Intervened in 15 residential care facilities that had outbreaks of COVID 19 to ensure that protocols are complied with to curb the spread of the virus.

Northern Cape:

(a)(b) Rural areas and informal settlements. All officials were available to intervene in the following:

  • Reported cases of Child abuse, Elderly Abuse or Neglect as well as Gender Based Violence.
  • Victims were removed and placed in Child and Youth Care Centres, Old Age Homes or Shelters for Victims of GBV.
  • Homeless persons were accommodated in temporary shelters and re-unified with family members as soon as possible.
  • DSD took responsibility for transporting persons from these areas to the appropriate facilities and also linked with the Department of Health for assistance when needed.
  • Officials received PPEs and were informed about the protocol to be followed when interacting with community members to limit the risk of infection with the Corona virus.
  • Quarterly subsidies were paid for April - June 2020 to all funded organisations to pay the salaries of their professional and support staff including volunteers and caregivers and administration costs. From July 2020 the normal subsidy payment process applied.
  • Monthly subsidies are paid to ECD Centres from April - September 2020 despite being closed. It is applicable to those who are subsidized, registered and submitted business plans and they receive 60% of the subsidy (40% for salaries and 20% for administration).
  • Social Relief of Distress (Food Parcels and Clothing vouches) were provided to families assessed to be unable to meet their basic needs and are victims of disasters e.g. houses or belongings destroyed because of fires and floods.

• In essence the DSD services are rural biased. Out of a cohort of 143 Nutrition Centres, a total of 123 Nutrition Centres are located in rural areas and rendering food provision services in these rural areas.

• The Department took a deliberate decision not to open the Nutrition Centres, as that would have caused the convergence of people at these centres (creating a conducive environment for the spread of the virus).

• The Department instead worked with its DSD District Offices and Local Municipalities on rendering food provision services to DSD beneficiaries and indigent households on their indigent registers/beneficiary lists. The majority of the municipal indigent households are residing in rural areas and informal settlements and received food security services in the form of food parcels.

• To date 58 136 households received food parcels and to facilitate social distancing and to ensure that the poor and vulnerable are not exposed to risks associated with Covid-19, these food parcels were hand delivered/door-to-door to individual households.

• Officials from the Department were also provided with PPEs to protect themselves and household members to whom food provision services were rendered.

Western Cape:

  • Protocols have been put in place between the WC provincial DSD and the Department of Health with regards to referrals of COVID-19 outbreaks at old age homes.
  • Guidelines were also developed for Disabled Homes, Homeless Shelters and Shelters for Abuse Women
  • Guidelines were developed for rendering statutory services related to child protection services.
  • All NGOs contracted by the Department of Social Development was still paid a monthly subsidy and all NPOs received their full subsidies during the lock-down period in Western Cape. This ensured that NPOs could continue supporting vulnerable groups.
  • Funds were made available to old age homes for the management of COVID19, providing of PPE, relief staff and covid 19 health training and support to the staff.
  • Funds have been made available for disabled Homes for the management of COVID 19
  • Funds were made available for PPE in preparation for the re-opening of ECD partial care facilities
  • ECD facilities were assisted in the self-assessment of readiness for the re-opening after lockdown level 3.
  • Additional masks, sanitizers, soap and hygiene products have been distributed to 117 old age homes, 40 Disabled Homes, 26 Homeless Shelter, 6 Foster Cluster Care Homes and 20 Shelters for Abuse Woman.
  • Various NPOs rendering child designated work were also provided with masks for the Social Workers. The PPE’s were donations from private companies.
  • Child Designated NPOs and DSD local offices continued providing psycho-social support to children and their families.
  • DSD also facilitated the deployment of volunteers to deep-clean old age homes, disabled Homes, Shelters and inpatient treatment centres – with a focus on facilities in vulnerable communities, hotspot areas and rural areas
  • Food parcels were distributed to communities
  • WC Department of Education continued with their school feeding schemes during lockdown
  • ECDs also provided food to children during lockdown
  • Drop-in-centres and Isibindi Sites provided food during lockdown.

21 December 2020 - NW2434

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Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Social Development

Whether, in light of the current disability assessment backlog and the shortage of doctors who are specialists to make such assessments in the Republic, she will consider extending the (a) disability and (b) care dependency grants which will lapse on 31 October, 30 November and 31 December 2020 to 31 March 2021; if not, why not, if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

The care dependency and temporary disability grants which would have lapsed at the end of October and November have already been extended to 31 December 2020. The cost for this extension has been accommodated within the budget allocation provided for these grants for the current financial year.

We are now working on a plan to address the significant number which will expire at the end of December, costing approximately R1.2 billion. This estimated cost cannot be accommodated within the existing budget, so we are considering alternatives to prevent bulk lapsing on 31 December 2020 by introducing staggered dates for lapsing between December 2020 and March 2021 to manage the influx for citizens who may wish to reapply for the disability grant.

21 December 2020 - NW2274

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Ngwenya, Ms DB to ask the Minister of Social Development

What total number of (a) police stations and (b)(i) Thusong service centres and (ii) Thuthuzela care centres around KwaZulu-Natal have had social workers placed in their services since March 2020?

Reply:

(a) There are ninety-four (94) police stations around KwaZulu-Natal that have had Social Workers placed in their services since March 2020.

(b)(i) There are fifteen (15) Thusong Centre that have had Social Workers placed on specific days of the week

(b)(ii) There are eight (8) Thuthuzela Care Centres around KwaZulu-Natal that have had Social Workers placed in their services since March 2020.

21 December 2020 - NW2794

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Masango, Ms B to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)What (a) are the conditions and (b) is the state of the kitchen at the Gauteng Drug Abuse and Rehabilitation Clinic; (2) whether the staff at the clinic have been paid their salaries in full and timeously in (a) 2019 and (b) 2020; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) what months in 2020 were the tranches disbursed on time?

Reply:

The Gauteng Department of Social Development does not have a registered treatment centre called “Gauteng Drug Abuse and Rehabilitation clinic” on its database.

The Department is kindly requesting the Member to provide more details.

21 December 2020 - NW2559

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Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Social Development

With regard to the findings of the National Income Dynamics Study Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey Wave 2 showing that early childhood (ECD) attendance dropped to just 13% from July 2020 to mid-August 2020, which is the lowest rate of attendance in 18 years, what (a) financial and/or (b) other support is her department offering to the ECD sector and the millions of children who are dependent on this essential service for care, protection, nutrition and education?

Reply:

The NIDS-CRAM Wave 2 Reports[1] provided insightful information to the Department of Social Development. The Department of Social Development appreciates that national surveys and studies assist with strategic decisions, while it is always important to interpret the findings of any study with rigour. However, the following needs to be noted with regard to findings and the generalisation thereof.

1. The NIDS-CRAM Wave 2 data was collected through telephone interviews from a total sample of 5,676 individuals (80% of the original wave 1 sample), of which only 2,722 individuals (48% of the sample) indicated that they are in a household with children age birth to six years (sub-sample)[2].

2. Furthermore, the data indicated that of this sub-sample 950 individuals (35% of sub-sample and 16.7% of total sample) indicated that their child(ren) aged birth to 6 years attended and early childhood development programmes “such as a pre-school, creche, playgroup or day-mother”. The questionnaire explicitly excluded attendance of Grade R in primary schools, where a large majority of 5 and 6 years find themselves2.

3. NIDS-CRAM Wave 2 data, most likely due to the design of the questionnaire, does not differentiate between attendance of registered and unregistered early childhood development programmes2, which is an important factor to be considered in the understanding and interpretation of data and trends, especially under the national state of disaster, for some of the following reasons:

3.1 ECD programmes are legally required to be registered in terms of the provisions of the Children's Act 38 of 2005 as to operate as a legal entity under the law passed by the Legislature and to be eligible for funding from government. Thus, a disaggregation in this study (and other studies by civil society) will be of value to indicate whether the impact of the minimum health, safety and social distancing measures to address, prevent and combat the spread of COVID-19 has affected and is comparable between registered and unregistered ECD programmes similarly or not.

3.2 ECD programmes that are registered generally have the capacity to meet the minimum norms and standards prior to the onset of the national state of disaster, which could have made them more resilient towards re-opening. Furthermore, lumping registered and unregistered ECD programmes together as one homogenous sample excludes a number of critical variables that differentiate these two groups significantly, while it prevents an analysis to determine whether there is bias in the finding towards unregistered or registered early childhood development programmes. Thus, it is not sure whether the findings of the NIDS-CRAM Wave 2 data are skewed towards the one or the other.

3.3 Registered ECD programmes are eligible to be funded by the provincial Departments of Social Development in accordance with section 93(1) of Children's Act 38 of 2005 should they meet the necessary requirements and subject to availability of funding. A disaggregation in such data will also assist in determining the different experiences between registered and unregistered early childhood development programmes.

3. At the time of the survey (July/August 2020), shortly after the re-opening date of all early childhood development centres on 6 July 2020, only 127 (13% of 950 individuals responded) of children attending an ECD centre in March 2020 had return to that ECD centre2. In this respect the following:

a) This was a relatively short time after the date of re-opening and as the NIDS-CRAM Wave 2 data confirms1 the reports that the Department of Social Development received from the field is that significant numbers of ECD centres, especially in in under resourced and rural areas, did not re-open2 (NIDS-CRAM Wave 2 data indicates that 55% of the respondents cited this as a reason)2.

b) Furthermore, 5.6% of the respondents indicated that they did not return their children due to the fact that they believe that the ECD centre is not prepared for COVID-19, while a third (33.1%) cited fear of their child contracting COVID-19 at an ECD centre as the reason for not returning a child to an ECD centre1;2.

4. The findings of the NIDS-CRAM Wave 2 data should not be compared with other historic data as the methodology and sample sizes differs significantly, i.e. “attendance dropped to just 13% from July 2020 to mid-August 2020, which is the lowest rate of attendance in 18 years”. Firstly, it compares historic data with an extraordinary time in South Africa. Secondly, the GHS of 2002 (18 years ago) was based on a different sample size and methodology, while it confirmed the findings of the 2000 ECD audit was done with 22,256 ECD sites across the country of 16% attendance of ECD programmes for children aged to birth to 6 years, which was also prior to the introduction of Grade R.

5. ECD programmes have not been determined to be an essential service, though it is regarded as an invaluable part of young children’s growth, development and early learning. Other than with schools, attendance of early childhood development programmes is not compulsory and remain the choice of the parent at any time (before the national state of disaster and there-after). The closing of ECD programmes, however, did follow roughly the same timelines of closure and re-opening as schools. During the same period of the NIDS-CRAM Wave 2 cited by the Member, the attendance if schools showed a similar trend, with return to school at 37.3% (for open grades) at that time1, while it is currently still well below the percentage of attendance in March 2020.

6. At the time of the NIDS-CRAM Wave 2 (July/ August 2020) on which the question is based:

Part (a) of question

6.1 the Minister of Social Development has issued Directions that directed the Provincial Departments of Social Development to continue paying subsidies to early childhood development programmes (see Government Notice 517 published in Government Gazette No 43300 of 9 May 2020 and Government Notice No. 762 in Government Gazette No. 43520 of 10 July 2020), which was executed by the Provincial Departments of Social Development in accordance with section 93(1) of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 as provincial competency (see responses to Question NW1318).

6.2 The payment of social relief in distress grants during this time is believed to also indirectly benefitted children birth to 6 year old in households (see response to Questions NW2068 & NW1853)

6.3 Minister announced on 30 July 2020 the Department of Social Development’s contribution in relation to the Presidential Employment Stimulus (South Africa’s Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan) towards the early childhood development workforce. Since the following was approved by the national Treasury for the National and Provincial Departments of Social Development to continue to mitigate the impact of the national state of disaster on ECD programmes and to facilitate the continues re-opening of ECD programmes:

a) R380 million was allocated for unemployment risk support that will benefit 83 333 existing ECD related workers

b) R116 million was allocated for the support of 25 500 compliance support officers, who are existing staff members at early childhood development programmes that will play a compliance support role within their ECD programmes, contributing to mitigating a second wave of COVID-19

c) R16.5 million was allocated for registration support officers who will assist in scaling up registration as part of Phase 2 of the Vangasali campaign

d) The Department of Social Development engaged with experts from UNICEF and the Nelson Mandela Foundation as well members of the Inter-Sectoral Committee for ECD to develop an implementation plan for the implementation of this grant as part of the ECD stimulus package.

Part (b) of question

6.4 Funding was repurposed from the existing conditional grant allocation to provide PPE’s to qualifying ECD programmes (see responses to Questions NW1318NW1578 & NW1652)

6.5 The Department distributed food parcels since the beginning of the lockdown to curb the spread of the coronavirus to indigent persons and those whose income was affected, which is believed to also provided support households with children birth to 6 years (see responses to Question NW1561)

6.6 The National and Provincial Departments of Social Development continued to provide advice and guidance to early childhood development programmes regarding re-opening, which include information on how to re-open safe and in the best interest of children (see responses to Question NW1652)

  1. Spaull et al. NIDS-CRAM Wave 2 Synthesis Findings.

  2. Wills, G., Kotze, J., Kika-Mistry, J. (2020) A Sector Hanging in the Balance: ECD and Lockdown in South Africa (National Income Dynamics Study-Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (NIDS-CRAM) 2020, Wave 2)

21 December 2020 - NW2176

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Breedt, Ms T to ask the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

(1) On what basis does her department continue to support the contested export of live animals, such as the export of thousands of sheep from the Northern Cape, via East London to the Middle East, given the cruelty to the animals and the potential loss of local jobs and loss of income; (2) how does her department intend to replace the jobs and income lost to the local farming communities and the meat processing industry and its dependants; (3) what progress has been made with the introduction of a proposed new Animals Protection Bill, undertaken by her predecessor in 2013 in the National Assembly, and pending this, regulations governing live export, especially in anticipation of the new export trade with Kuwait and the ongoing export of cattle to Mauritius; (4) whether she will make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

1. The National Development Plan (NDP) articulates the importance of both the domestic and exports markets towards realization of the inclusive growth of the agricultural sector. Further, the strategic plan of the Department supports cogent and sustainable agricultural business practices that will ensure economic transformation, inclusive growth and international competitiveness of the sector. Critical to inclusive growth is the participation of previously disadvantaged producers and communities in the mainstream agricultural value chains and export markets. Inclusive growth relates to creating value chain opportunities for penetration and participation by agribusinesses accompanied by growing jobs for the sector. The export of live animals from South Africa allows and provides the base for such participation. The Department only allows these exports when conducted within and in compliance to applicable legislation, including welfare legislation, the Animal Protection Act, 1962 (Act No. 24 of 1962) which regulates against cruelty to animals.

2. Inclusive economic growth is reliant on the competitiveness of the agribusinesses. Further, competitiveness of the agribusinesses drives the ability of the agricultural sector to create sustainable jobs.

3. The Department is working on a draft Animal Welfare Bill for introduction to the National Assembly in the next financial year. The department has received a positive response in the Phase 1 socio-economic impact assessment system (SEIAS) application to the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) and has started with internal consultation (DALRRD and provincial Departments of Agriculture) on the draft.

A two-pronged approach towards addressing regulations has been adopted by the Department. Firstly, the Department is drafting regulations relating to the export of live animals under the current Animals Protection Act, 1962 as an interim measure. Secondly the Department will draft new Regulations under the intended Animal Welfare Act once the new Bill has been assented to.

4. No.

21 December 2020 - NW2663

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Matiase, Mr NS to ask the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

Whether she has included any farms falling under the Gwatyu area in the Eastern Cape in the list of farms advertised for disposal to emerging farmers; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what will happen to the black communities already living and farming in the area?

Reply:

Yes. The land rights enquiry has already been conducted and priority will be given to the current occupiers (black communities) confirmed to be having land rights for occupancy and land use formalization.

19 December 2020 - NW2249

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Kohler-Barnard, Ms D to ask the Minister of State Security

(1) With reference to the recommendations of the High Level Panel report, referring to wide-ranging resource abuse, (a) has it yet been determined what amount was looted from the State Security Agency slush fund, (b) who took it and (c) where did it go; (2) whether anyone has been charged for the theft; if not, why not; if so, on what date will they appear in court?

Reply:

1. (a)(b)(c) and (2) investigations are still on going.

19 December 2020 - NW2775

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Marawu, Ms TL to ask the Minister of State Security

Given the growing influence of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) that has spread from Tanzania to Mozambique where innocent citizens were beheaded recently, what (a) is the likelihood that ISIS is already operating in the Republic and (b) steps has her department taken to thwart such a threat?

Reply:

This Parliamentary question deal with sensitive State Security Agency operational issues, of which Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI) in Parliament has been created to deal with. Accordinly, reply to this parliamentary question has been submitted to the Parliament’s Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI).

19 December 2020 - NW2247

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Kohler-Barnard, Ms D to ask the Minister of State Security

(1) With reference to the recommendations of the High Level Panel report, (a) what has been done to deal with the politicisation and factionalisation within the State Security Agency (SSA) and (b) how has the issue of those with liberation struggle background who are unable to separate their professional responsibilities from their political inclinations been dealt with; (2) how far along is the dismantling of the parallel structures created under the Zuma era, in breach of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, and legislation; (3) how far along is the reversal of the amalgamation of National Intelligence Agency and SA Secret Service into the SSA; (4) (a) who has been held to account for the moves referred to above and (b) on what date will action be taken against the responsible person(s)?

Reply:

Reply to this Parliamentary Question has been logged with the Parliament Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI), which has also received briefing on the Progress with regard to the implementation of the recommendations in the High Level Review Panel Report.

19 December 2020 - NW2248

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Kohler-Barnard, Ms D to ask the Minister of State Security

In light of the fact that there is no sign in the operations of the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence that speaks to the recommendations of the High Level Panel report, what are the details of the progress that has been made in terms of the implementation of the recommendations of the High Level Panel report regarding the disproportionate application of secrecy?

Reply:

There is no disproportionate secrecy applied by the State Security Agency with regard to the Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI) which oversees the State Security Agency. Section 4(1) of the Intelligence Services Oversight Act, 1994 (Act 40 of 1994) (“the Act”) makes it mandatory that the JSCI shall, in the performance of its functions, have access to intelligence, information and documents in the possession or under the control of a Service, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained in any other law or the common law, but subject only to the stated conditions in the Act.

Progress reports on implementation of the High Level Review Panel Report were presented to the Parliament Joint Standing Committee on Inteligence (JSCI). The Honourable D Kohler, Member of Parliament can access these progress report from the JSCI.

19 December 2020 - NW2127

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Gondwe, Dr M to ask the Minister of State Security

Whether the State Security Agency has a vetting backlog; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) what are the relevant details including the (i) total figures and (ii) reasons for the backlog and (b) by what date is the backlog likely to be cleared?

Reply:

Reply to this Parliamentary Question has been logged with the Parliament Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI).

18 December 2020 - NW2442

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Gumbi, Mr HS to ask the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

(1)What is the average percentage water loss per annum in terms of the allocation to the (a) Great Fish River Water Users Association, (b) Lower Sundays River Water Users Association, (c) Glen Melville Dam and (d) Lower Fish Permit Area; (2) what infrastructure upgrades does her department envisage that will (a) ensure increased efficiency and (b) reduce water loss in terms of the allocation to the (i) Great Fish River Water Users Association, (ii) Lower Sundays River Water Users Association, (iii) Glen Melville Dam and (iv) Lower Fish Permit Area; (3) whether her department does the water infrastructure upgrades in respect of the infrastructure that supports the (a) Great Fish River Water Users Association, (b) Lower Sundays River Water Users Association, (c) Glen Melville Dam and (d) Lower Fish Permit Area?

Reply:

(1)(a) The average percentage water loss per annum in terms of the allocation to the Great Fish River Water Users Association in terms of the allocation is as follows:

Annual allocation (Mm3 )

Average annual water loss (Mm3)

Percentage (%) water losses

426

106.5

25%

(b) The average percentage water loss per annum in terms of the allocation to the Lower Sundays River Water Users Association in terms of the allocation is as follows:

Annual allocation (Mm3 )

Average water loss (Mm3)

Percentage (%) Water Losses

170

19

11.3%

(c) The average percentage water loss per annum in terms of the allocation to the Glen Melville Dam in terms of the allocation is as follows:

Annual allocation (Mm3 )

Average annual water loss (Mm3)

Percentage (%) Water Losses

110

16.5

15%

(d) The average percentage water loss per annum in terms of the allocation to the Lower Fish Permit Area forms part of Greater Fish River Water User Association (GFRWUA), therefore GFRWUA’s water loss also incorporates the Lower Fish Permit Area.

(2)(a)&(b) The short-listed Water Use Efficiency (WUE) interventions which were identified and screened as part of Water Reconciliation Strategy for the Algoa Water Supply System - Orange River Project/Nooitgedacht Low-Level Scheme are as follows:

(b)(i) The lining of the 500 km earth canals in the GFRWUA (Intervention 1) is not recommended to be considered further for the purposes of this study, as the relative cost of water saved of this intervention is far too high. The lining of prioritised “hot spot” canal sections (about 10% of the total 500 km earth canals) is likely a more feasible option as this will potentially lead to substantial volumes of water saved at a relative lower cost. The compulsory removal of overgrown riparian vegetation in and along the GFRWUA earth canals and ongoing maintenance is recommended.

(ii) Improved measuring and monitoring in the GFRWUA and Lower Sundays River Water User Association (LSRWUA) areas of jurisdiction. Although the potential water saved as a result of the implementation of this intervention was not quantified as part of this study, this intervention will lead to improved management and operation of the system and improved compliance to water allocations and water requests made, and will potentially reduce losses in the process.

(iii) Glen Melville Dam obtains its water from the Orange Fish River Scheme. It is an off-channel storage dam. Water is diverted via the Hermanuskraal Weir via the Ecca Tunnel. When Glen Melville Dam is at 50% of Full Supply Capacity (FSC), water is released from Elandsdrift Weir on the OFS into the Great Fish River to fill Glen Melville Dam to 100% of FSC. This operational procedure occurs 2 or 3 times per annum, depending on the water usage. The GFRWUA and the LSRWUA has no inputs to the operations and maintenance of the Lower Fish Permit Area and fall directly under DWS.

(iv) The Lower Fish Permit Area forms part of Greater Fish River Water User Association (GFRWUA) and Lower Sundays River Water User Association (LSRWUA), and therefore the interventions in GRWUA and LSRWUA are applicable in Lower Fish Permit Area.

(3) The Department of Water and Sanitation, through its National Water Resources Infrastructure (NWRI) branch conducts the Water Resources upgrades in respect of infrastructure related to the Great Fish River Water Users Association, Lower Sundays River Water Users Association, Glen Melville Dam and Lower Fish Permit Area. Currently, the rehabilitation of Darlington Dam is the major project that is being planned.

18 December 2020 - NW2975

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Sukers, Ms ME to ask the Minister of Basic Education

In view of the reports that public schools will have to choose their source materials that achieve the learning outcomes of the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement curriculum before the end of 2020, (a) what is the status of the pilot studies on the Scripted Lesson Plans (SLPs), (b) have the final SLPs been approved and (c) by what date does her department intend to roll out the SLPs nationally?

Reply:

(a) what is the status of the pilot studies on the Scripted Lesson Plans (SLPs), and (b) have the final SLPs been approved:

The Grades 4 - 12 Scripted Lesson Plans have been  piloted and approved by the DBE. These are available on the DBE website.

(c) by what date does her department intend to roll out the SLPs nationally?

The SLPs are a teacher tool used to guide the provision of CSE content in the classroom. The roll-out in high HIV burden districts was planned to start in 2020. However, this has been deferred to 2021. 

18 December 2020 - NW2193

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King, Ms C to ask the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

What (a) total number of housing projects does her department have outstanding in the Buffalo City Municipality since 2016, (b) are the reasons for the delays and (c) date will the beneficiaries occupy the Reconstruction and Development Project housing units in the specified municipality?

Reply:

(a) According to information received from the Eastern Cape Provincial Department of Human Settlements, there are six (6) Housing Projects outstanding since 2016.

Data on the Housing Subsidy System (HSS) captured by the Eastern Cape Province indicates that there are 72 projects within the Buffalo City Municipality, with 27 457 beneficiaries registered on them. Of these 72 projects, 27 projects have already been completed since April 2016.

A total of 45 projects have a “running” status which implies that some expenditure has been incurred. These are at various stages of progress but are yet to be completed.

A total of 17 895 housing units have been delivered in terms of the completed and partially completed (running) projects, as at 30 September 2020. This implies that 9 562 units are in projects that are to be completed in the coming years from the 45 (running) projects.

(b) The reasons for the delays in the housing projects are:

  • Lack of integrated planning between the Province and Metropolitan Municipality for the provision and linking of bulk infrastructure and the top structure development;
  • Delays in electricity connection leading to deferrals in occupation and sometimes illegal invasion;
  • Delays in beneficiary verification in cases where the applicant is deceased and heirloom is not confirmed;
  • Untraceable beneficiaries as well as illegal occupation of the completed units, especially those that are 95% completed, awaiting final inspections and electricity connection;
  • Poor performance of contractors

c) The Eastern Cape Provincial Business Plan (as revised) has indicated that 1 253 houses are planned to be delivered in Buffalo City Municipality during the current (2020/21) financial year. In the financial year 2021/22, 1 377 units are planned to be built by the Buffalo City Municipality, and in the 2022/23 financial year 1 380 units are planned to be constructed.

18 December 2020 - NW2441

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Whitfield, Mr AG to ask the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

(1)What is the (a) maximum capacity of the Teebus Tunnel and (b) total volume of water being diverted from the Gariep Dam to the Fish River Valley by the Teebus tunnel per annum; (2) whether the Teebus tunnel is currently being utilised at maximum capacity; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) what is the total volume of water from the scheme that has been allocated per annum to the (a) Great Fish River Water Users Association, (b) Lower Sundays River Water Users Association, (c) Glen Melville Dam and (d) Lower Fish Permit Area?

Reply:

(1)(a) The maximum capacity of the Teebus Tunnel is 40 m3/s.

(b) The volumes being diverted vary per operational year. The table below indicates the volumes (million m3/annum) diverted over the past six years:

Year

2014-2015

2015-2016

2016-2017

2017-2018

2018-2019

2019-2020

Volume Million m3/a

757

779

756

727

774

801

(2) The maximum transfer capacity through the tunnel is only implemented when both Gariep and Van Der Kloof dams are spilling in order to maximise the use of water resources and improve the water quality. The monthly transfers are based on the water requests from the Great Fish Water Users Association (GFWUA), Lower Sundays River Water Users Association (LSRWUA) coupled with domestic water use and calculated dilution requirements to maintain the acceptable water quality provided to the LSRWUA.

(3)(a) The total volume of water from the scheme that has been allocated per annum is as follows:

  • Great Fish River Water Users Association: The farms in the northern part of the valley between Teebus and Elandsdrift have an allocation of 13 500 m3/ha/a, while those between Elandsdrift and Middleton receive 12 500 m3/ha/a, with a total water allocation of 426 million m3/a for the scheduled area of 32 565 ha. The allocations apply at “farm gate”. An additional provision of 25% (106 million m3/a) has been allocated for canal distribution losses.

(b) For the Lower Sundays River Water Users Association, the current scheduled area for the LSRWUA is 18 845 ha at 9 000 m3/ha/a (170 million m3/a).

(c) For the Glen Melville Dam 1.1 million m3/a is allocated to supply Grahamstown.

(d) The Lower Fish Permit Area is part of the Great Fish River Water Users Association with the scheduled area of 32 565 ha, amounting to an allocation of 426 million m3/a.

18 December 2020 - NW2673

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van der Merwe, Ms LL to ask the Minister of Communications

Whether, with regard to the urgent need to restore financial stability at the public broadcaster, as well as the abrupt departure of a former manager (name furnished) in 2013 who left the employ of the SA Broadcasting Corporation within only a 24-hour notice under a cloud of financial mismanagement, an investigation was ever conducted into the allegation that the specified former manager employed and paid approximately 31 ghost employees for a period of two years; if not, why not; if so, what are the further relevant details in this regard?

Reply:

I have been advised by the SABC as follows:

The SABC confirms that Mr Manamela left the employ of the SABC in 2013. He resigned with immediate effect and stated reasons for leaving as career progression. Furthermore, the SABC confirms that no investigation was ever conducted against Mr Manamela. The SABC has no record of an allegation or complaint of the 31 ghost employees as stated in the question.

 

MS. STELLA NDABENI-ABRAHAMS, MP

MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES

18 December 2020 - NW2767

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van der Merwe, Ms LL to ask the Minister of Communications

(1)Which public relations (PR) company has been hired to clean up the image of the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC); (2)(a) what is the total monetary value of the specified contract and (b) why was it deemed necessary to hire a PR company to do work for the SABC considering that the SABC does have an internal PR component and personnel; (3) Whether proper procurement processes were followed to appoint the specified PR company; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

I have been advised by the SABC as follows:

(1) PR WORX

(2)(a) R2,3 million including VAT

(2)(b) To further add to the SABC’s turnaround strategy, addressing and better managing its reputation and corporate image is a priority for the broadcaster. The SABC therefore sought a suitably qualified and competent firm as the reputation management; corporate image building; and market research services that the SABC required, were not available from an internal skillset and resource perspective.

(3) Proper procurement processes were duly followed to appoint the PR company. The SABC went on an open and competitive tender via the SABC website and E-tender portal. A compulsory briefing session took place with all interested agencies on 20 February 2020. The tender closed on 4 March 2020. The evaluation process commenced on 10 March 2020. All due diligence was performed and only when the SABC was satisfied that it had found a suitable service provider that understood the scope of work, and possessed the necessary experience to effectively execute the stipulated reputation mandate, was the contract awarded on 29 June 2020. The SABC then entered into an agreement with PR Worx as the agency of choice on 2 July 2020 for a 12-month period.

 

MS. STELLA NDABENI-ABRAHAMS, MP

MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES

18 December 2020 - NW2424

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Van Damme, Ms PT to ask the Minister of Communications

1. What total number of (a) national and/or provincial departments, (b) municipalities and (c) state entities owe money to the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC); 2. what is the name of each specified (a) department, (b) municipality and/or (c) state entity that owes money to the SABC; 3. (a) what total amount is owed in each case, (b) what is the nature of each specified debt, (c) for how long has each debt been outstanding and (d) what plans are in place to recover each debt owed?

Reply:

I have been advised by the SABC as follows:

1. Government departments owe money to two divisions of the SABC that is TV Licences and Advertising. The following is in accordance with the TV Licence database:

(1)(a) A total of 20 National departments have outstanding TV licence fees balances. 126 Provincial departments have outstanding licence fees,

(1)(b) A total of 249 municipality accounts owe television licence fees

(1)(c) A total of 57 SOEs have outstanding TV licence fees on their accounts.

The following with regard to SABC Sales (Advertising):

National Department: 3

Provincial Departments: 24

Municipalities: 6

SOEs: 8

(2)(a) National/Provincial Departments

Department

Segments

Province

Government Communications

National

National

National Department of Health

National

National

Department of Trade and Industry

National

National

Department of Education Polokwane

Provincial

Limpopo

Free State Department of Health

Provincial

Free State

KZN Department of Health

Provincial

Kwa-Zulu Natal

Department of Education and North West

Provincial

North West

Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature

Provincial

Eastern Cape

Free State Department of Provincial Treasury

Provincial

Free State

Department of Health North West

Provincial

North West

KZN Department of Transport

Provincial

Kwa-Zulu Natal

Department of Public Works Polokwane

Provincial

Limpopo

Department of Community Safety and Liaison

Provincial

Kwa-Zulu Natal

Department of Co-operative Governance - KZN

Provincial

Kwa-Zulu Natal

Kwa-Zulu Natal Education Department

Provincial

Kwa-Zulu Natal

Department of Health Mmabatho

Provincial

Kwa-Zulu Natal

The office of the Premier KZN

Provincial

Kwa-Zulu Natal

KZN Provincial Treasury

Provincial

Kwa-Zulu Natal

Premiers Office Mpumalanga

Provincial

Mpumalanga

Eastern Cape Provincial Treasury

Provincial

Eastern Cape

North West Legislature

Provincial

North West

Department Sport, Art and Culture - Mpumalanga

Provincial

Mpumalanga

Department of Human Settlements KZN

Provincial

Kwa-Zulu Natal

Department of Agriculture KZN

Provincial

Kwa-Zulu Natal

Department of Social Development KZN

Provincial

Kwa-Zulu Natal

Department of Agriculture Mpumalanga

Provincial

Mpumalanga

Department of Human Settlements Mpumalanga

Provincial

Mpumalanga

(b) Municipalities

Department

Segments

Province

Ethekwini Municipality

Municipality

Kwa-Zulu natal

Mopani District Municipality

Municipality

Limpopo

Thabo Mofutsanyana District

Municipality

Free State

Umzinyathi District Council

Municipality

Kwa-Zulu Natal

Maluti A Phofung Local Municipality

Municipality

Free State

Nkangala District Municipality

Municipality

Mpumalanga

(c) State Owned Entities

Names

Segments

Province

Compensation Funds Pty Ltd

SOE

National

Legal Aid South Africa

SOE

National

South African Social Security Agency

SOE

National

Sassa Province of the Eastern

SOE

Eastern Cape

Western Cape Conservation Board

SOE

Western Cape

Small Enterprise Finance Agency Ltd

SOE

National

Ithala Soc Ltd

SOE

Kwazulu Natal

Auditor-General

SOE

National

3. (a) TV License

Departments

Amount Owe

National Departments

R1 688 295.30

Provincial Departments

R18 694 129.47

Municipalities

R6 302 170.10

SOEs

R1 595 601.76

 

Sales Advertising

Departments

Amount Owe

National Departments

R13,139,832

Provincial Departments

R 9,221,629

Municipalities

R 2,343,711

SOEs

R 4,535,975

(b) The debt is for TV licence and sales (Advertising)

(c) Sales Advertising

 

Department

Segment

PROVINCE

TERMS

Total Outstanding

Ethekwini Municipality

Municipality

Kwa-Zulu Natal

30 days

1,179,182

Mopani District Municipality

Municipality

Limpopo

30 days

950,000

Thabo Mofutsanyana District

Municipality

Free State

30 days

89,944

Umzinyathi District Council

Municipality

Kwa-Zulu Natal

30 days

58,538

Maluti A Phofung Local Municipality

Municipality

Free State

30 days

54,165

Nkangala District Municipality

Municipality

Mpumalanga

30 days

11,881

Total Municipality

     

2,343,711

Government Communication And

National

National

30 Days

12,272,622

National Department of Health

National

National

30 Days

840,823

Department of Trade and Industry

National

National

30 Days

26,388

Total National Departments

     

13,139,832

Department of Education Polokwane

Provincial

Limpopo

30 days

1,904,762

Free State Department of Health

Provincial

Free State

30 days

862,500

KZN Department of Health Communication

Provincial

Kwazulu Natal

30 days

708,996

Department of Education and North West

Provincial

North West

30 days

701,247

Eastern Cape Provincial Legislature

Provincial

Eastern Cape

30 days

659,749

Free State Department Of Provincial Treasury

Provincial

Free State

30 days

575,000

Department of Health North West

Provincial

North West

30 days

453,282

KZN Department of Transport

Provincial

Kwa-Zulu Natal

30 days

421,274

Department of Public Works Polokwane

Provincial

Limpopo

30 days

416,566

Department of Community Safety and Liaison

Provincial

Kwa-Zulu Natal

30 days

405,375

Department of Co-operative Governance - KZN

Provincial

Kwa-Zulu Natal

30 days

381,967

Kwa-Zulu Natal Education Department

Provincial

Kwa-Zulu Natal

30 days

373,371

Department of Health Mmabatho

Provincial

Kwa-Zulu Natal

30 days

215,296

The Office of the Premier KZN

Provincial

Kwa-Zulu Natal

30 days

186,818

KZN Provincial Treasury

Provincial

Kwa-Zulu Natal

30 days

163,254

Premiers Office Mpumalanga

Provincial

Mpumalanga

30 days

158,107

Eastern Cape Provincial Treasury

Provincial

Eastern Cape

30 days

126,500

North West Legislature

Provincial

North West

30 days

105,727

Department Sport, Art And Culture - Mpumalanga

Provincial

Mpumalanga

30 days

97,257

Department of Human Settlements KZN

Provincial

Kwa-Zulu Natal

30 days

91,931

Department of Agriculture KZN

Provincial

Kwa-Zulu Natal

30 days

82,189

Department of Social Development KZN

Provincial

Kwa-Zulu Natal

30 days

65,723

Department of Agriculture Mpumalanga

Provincial

Mpumalanga

30 days

51,957

Department of Human Settlements Mpumalanga

Provincial

Mpumalanga

30 days

12,782

Total Provincial Departments

     

9,221,629

Compensation Funds Pty Ltd

SOE

National

30 days

3,760,219

Legal Aid South Africa

SOE

National

30 days

359,649

South African Social Security Agency

SOE

National

30 days

172,638

SASSA Province Of The Eastern

SOE

Eastern Cape

30 days

96,773

Western Cape Conservation Board

SOE

Western Cape

30 days

56,870

Small Enterprise Finance Agency Ltd

SOE

National

30 days

36,819

Ithala SOC Ltd

SOE

Kwazulu Natal

30 days

29,360

Auditor General

SOE

National

30 days

23,649

Total SOE

     

4,535,975

TOTAL ALL GOVERNMENT

     

29,241,147

Note: For more information of sales (advertising) attached is the spreadsheet

Attached is a PDF documents with regards to how long is the TV license debt outstanding

(d) The SABC continues to follow its collection processes to collect outstanding debts by communicating these balances to the departments and SOEs. However, “special” additional campaigns commenced in the month of October with priority on SOEs. Intervention through the Group Chief Executive Officer’s communique is planned for distribution in the months to follow to all the departments and municipalities.

 

MS. STELLA NDABENI-ABRAHAMS, MP

MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES

18 December 2020 - NW2173

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Marawu, Ms TL to ask the Minister of Communications

Whether, based on Mr Edwin Sodi’s recent testimony at the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector including Organs of State, which implicated her Deputy Minister as a beneficiary of Mr Sodi’s company, her Deputy Minister declared the funds she had received in accordance with the requirements of the Executive Members’ Ethics Act, Act 82 of 1998, to the Registrar of Members’ Interests in Parliament; if not, what (a) total number of contracts have been awarded to Mr Sodi’s company under her leadership in her (i) previous and (ii) current executive position and (b) is the monetary value of each specified contract so awarded?

Reply:

I have been advised by the Deputy Minister as follows:

a) No payments were made in the current financial year as well as in the previous financial years.

b) Not applicable.

 

 

MS. STELLA NDABENI-ABRAHAMS, MP

MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES

18 December 2020 - NW2674

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van der Merwe, Ms LL to ask the Minister of Communications

Whether, with regard to reports that the SA Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) News Division has spent R1,8 million on bulletproof vests for staff, she will furnish Ms L van der Merwe with the relevant details as to (a) on what date the vests were deemed necessary equipment for SABC staff, (b) which company received the tender, (c) the total number of vests that were purchased, (d) the total cost per unit vest and (e) which staff members the vests were assigned to; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) Whether she will confirm that the SABC incurred an R11 million independent contractors wage bill for its News Division for July 2020 alone, which constitutes a R4 million increase from the previous month; if not, why not; if so, (a) what are the relevant details in this regard, (b) is it the case that the SABC cannot function and/or execute its mandate with its current staff complement only and (c) what is the SABC’s total spend on independent contractors from 1 April 2020 up to the latest specified date for which information is available; (3) what is the (a) SABC’s total legal bill as at the latest specified date for which information is available and (b) total breakdown of amounts spent per legal firm; (4) whether, with regard to the lockdown period, wherein the SABC News Division made use of the Nasrec facilities for a period of five months for the rental fee of R1 million a month (details furnished), she will justify the overspending during a time where austerity measures should have been the primary motivator behind spending; if not, why not; if so, what are the further relevant details; (5) what measures has she put in place to ensure that the low staff morale at the SABC is addressed?

Reply:

I have been advised by the SABC as follows:

(1)(a) The signed Business Case was received by SCM on the 9 March 2018. This is a date in which vests were deemed necessary equipment for staff in the SABC News Division.

(1)(b) Mayehlome Communications

(1)(c) A total of 100 vests with various sizes were purchased

(1)(d)

 

Bullet proof vest Sizes

Number

Price per Unit (Excl. VAT)

Price per Unit (Incl. VAT)

Total Price

Medium

25

R9,305.88

R10,701.76

R267,544.05

Large

25

R9,667.35

R11,117.45

R277,936.31

X-Large

25

R10,175.28

R11,701.57

R292,539.30

XX-Large

25

R10,978.53

R12,625.31

R315,632.74

TOTAL PRICE

     

R1,153,652.40

(1)(e) The vests are to be distributed equitably to all SABC News offices and not assigned to individual reporters.

(2) Yes, the wage bill for July 2020 was R11 million which was R9 million actual paid, plus a further R2 million for accrued expenses and not R4 million as alleged.

(2)(a) During the hard lockdown period, journalists were complemented by the independent contractors, and this is the period that more COVID-19 cases were reported in the News Division, and freelancers were utilised.

(2)(b) The nature of the SABC news operation is such that services of independent contractors are indispensable.

(2)(c) The total independent contractors spend from April to October 2020 is R58.4 million.

(3)(a) Total = R65 351 000.00

(3)(b) Total breakdown is as per attached Annexure A.

4. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the SABC used the Nasrec Sentech DR site for a period of about 6 months free of charge. This was the agreement between SABC and Sentech which was extended to the end of September 2020.

5. The SABC has a Wellness Centre which conducts wellness programmes for all SABC employees.  Individual counselling is also available for employees with such needs.  An assistance programme will be rolled out for all employees affected by the Labour Relations Act section 189 process. 

 

MS. STELLA NDABENI-ABRAHAMS, MP

MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES

18 December 2020 - NW2698

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Clarke, Ms M to ask the Minister of Communications

With reference to a certain post (details furnished) within the Department of Communications being filled by a Ms Kamogelo Mgotsi, what (a) is the level of the specified position and (b) level was the specified person appointed at?

Reply:

I have been advised by the Department as follows:-

The person in question is not an employee of the Department of Communications and Digital Technologies.

 

MS. STELLA NDABENI-ABRAHAMS, MP

MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES

18 December 2020 - NW2906

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Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

(1)Whether her department has any data on the growth of the social housing sector since the start of the Social Housing Initiative to date; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) what is the total number of the social housing units that have been built in each (a) province and (b) municipality since the start of the Social Housing Initiative?

Reply:

(1) Yes.

(2) Below is the table outlining the number of social housing units in each province and municipality since the inception of the social housing programme.

Province and District Municipality

No. of Projects Awarded

Prior to 2014*

2014/15

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

2020/21

GP

30

607

423

1423

698

2198

1575

2140

278

City of Johannesburg

14

586

341

1423

267

475

981

258

 

City of Tshwane

8

21

82

 

281

853

288

822

 

Ekurhuleni

5

     

150

100

246

592

 

Mogale City

1

       

770

60

300

 

Merafong

2

           

168

278

KZN

7

 

520

623

888

551

 

 

 

Amajuba

1

   

253

550

149

     

eThekwini

6

 

520

370

338

402

     

EC

8

531

368

150

250

72

522

452

 

Buffalo City

2

184

       

102

   

Nelson Mandela Bay

6

347

368

150

250

72

420

452

 

WC

6

370

128

672

329

 

 

304

 

City of Cape Town

6

370

128

672

329

   

304

 

FS

4

 

614

82

173

250

187

 

 

Mangaung

4

 

614

82

173

250

187

   

MP

2

 

 

104

 

 

 

114

 

Nkangala

2

   

104

     

114

 

NW

1

 

 

 

720

448

 

 

 

Matlosana

1

     

720

448

     

Total

58

1508

2053

3054

3058

3519

2284

3010

278

Cumulative Number

 

1508

3561

6615

9673

13192

15476

18486

18764

18 December 2020 - NW2880

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Mohlala, Ms MR to ask the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

Given that the Dr J S Moroka Local Municipality in Mpumalanga has collapsed due to maladministration, where R18 million that was meant for drought relief was stolen and R8 million was spent on 10 boreholes while residents buy water from tankers owned by local councillors, what plans has her department put in place to ensure that the community of the Nkangala District in the specified municipality is connected to bulk infrastructure services of her department, such as water and sanitation?

Reply:

(a) The Dr JS Moroka Local Municipality relies on raw water supply from the Mkhombo Dam which is located North West of Siyabuswa. The dam level has drastically declined to approximately 2% due to severe drought being experienced in the Eland River Catchment Area. In order to assist in addressing the drought at the municipality, the following measures have been put in place and/or are proposed:

(i) As a short term relief measure, the Department has allocated 64 water storage tanks for the Dr JS Moroka Municipality. The interventions included the supply, delivery and installation of the water storage tanks in areas identified by the Municipality. However, due to inadequate sources of bulk water supply as a result of the ongoing scourge of drought in the Western Highveld, the municipality is unable to fill up the installed water storage tanks regularly.

(ii) In the medium term, there is a joint partnership intervention with the Mpumalanga Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and Nkangala District Municipality to support the Dr JS Local Municipality with the drilling of 19 boreholes through the Municipal Infrastructure Grant at an estimated cost of R12,2 million. The boreholes are expected to be completed within the 2020/21 municipal financial year.

Furthermore, there are approved interventions in place that are currently being undertaken and implemented as a matter of urgency to address the current water supply shortages in the Dr JS Moroka local municipality due to the prevailing drought that include:

  • Refurbishment of the bulk pipelines from Mthombo Balancing Dam to the Weltevreden Water Treatment Plant raw water abstraction works;
  • Refurbishment of the Mthombo Weireir.

These interventions will provide 6 mega litres of water per day on completion. The cost of the interventions were assessed and quantified to be R40.5 million, and were recommended by the Department of Water and Sanitation for implementation under the Municipal Infrastructure Grant. The expected completion date for these interventions is 30 September 2021.

(iii) In the long term, the bulk water requirements for the Mathanjana Cluster in the Dr JS Moroka Local Municipality shall be addressed through the Rust de Winter Bulk Water Supply Scheme. The proposed bulk water scheme project is at the Implementation Readiness Study and will be completed within the current financial year. The project implementation is expected to start in 2021/22 national financial year. The scheme is intended to serve the western part of the municipality, targeting a population of 88 000, projected over a 20-year horizon.

18 December 2020 - NW2868

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Ngwezi, Mr X to ask the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

(1)What progress has been made with the distribution of the R600 million that formed part of her department’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic that was allocated as rental relief to tenants occupying affordable housing, in order to assist tenants to meet their monthly rental obligations; (2) what are the relevant details of (a) the selection criteria, including the means test, that were utilised to determine who was eligible for the specified funds, (b) how the specified budget has been spent and (c) the number of tenants who have been allocated at each (i) provincial and (ii) municipal level?

Reply:

(1) The South African Government remains committed to providing support to the persons and households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and has introduced a number of measures including the declaration of a state of disaster under the Disaster Management Act, 2002, to support households affected by the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, with specific reference to persons and/or households renting accommodation. The intent of the Residential Rent Relief Scheme (RRS) is to provide temporary financial relief for residential low-income tenants and landlords in circumstances where tenants have been unable and are unable to meet their rental obligations as a consequence of financial distress associated with the COVID-19 lockdown. While the assistance is targeted to the tenant, a landlord will receive a secondary benefit in the form of security of income.

(2)(a) Funds should benefit all the tenants occupying affordable rental housing whether in the unsubsidized and state subsidized rental sectors.

(b) No funds have been used to date.

(c) No allocations have been made to date. A detailed policy framework for the Residential Rent Relief Scheme Programme is currently being developed by the National Department of Human which will provide guidelines.

18 December 2020 - NW2121

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Gondwe, Dr M to ask the Minister of State Security

(a) What total number of recommendations in the High Level Review Panel of the State Security Agency (i) has been successfully implemented and (ii) still need to be implemented and (b)(i) on what date will the remaining recommendations be implemented and (ii) what are the timelines in this regard?

Reply:

Reply to this Parliamentary Question has been logged with the Parliament Joint Standing Committee on Intelligence (JSCI), which has also received briefing on the Progress with regard to the implementation of the recommendations in the High Level Review Panel Report.

17 December 2020 - NW3002

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Winkler, Ms HS to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Technology

With reference to the reply to question 2458 on 9 November 2020, what are the reasons that Esayidi Technical, Vocational, Education and Training (TVET) College received no funding for laptops considering that most of the attendant students hail from rural areas and impoverished circumstances and thus have limited to no access to resources to continue their academic work during the COVID-19 lockdown period; (2) whether he has been informed that Esayidi TVET students have not received laptops; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, on what date will Esayidi TVET receive funding for (a) data and (b) laptops?

Reply:

(1) The Department has not received any funding from the National Treasury to provide laptops to Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) college students. NSFAS has advised that there are savings from previous years of unutilised bursary funding that will cover the cost of laptops for NSFAS recipients in TVET colleges. The procurement of laptops by NSFAS is still underway and it is expected that these laptops will be distributed in the 2021 academic year once the process of identifying qualifying students has been completed.

(2) Going forward a proposal has been made that there should be a baseline increase in NSFAS funding for TVET colleges to accommodate this cost. Furthermore, TVET colleges will have to incorporate some funding into their annual budgets to cater for gadgets for new students entering the system. Given the relatively shorter time that some students spend in TVET colleges, a loan system might be considered by colleges to make the availability of devices to students affordable and sustainable. All TVET colleges will therefore be required to develop an institutional policy for the provision and/or loan of devices to students. The above response covers the distribution of laptops to NSFAS recipients in all TVET colleges and the anticipated period for distribution of these laptops.

17 December 2020 - NW2928

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van der Merwe, Ms LL to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

Following renewed attacks on truck drivers, what (a) progress has his department made to identify all undocumented and/or illegal migrants within the borders of the Republic and (b) has he done, in partnership with the Minister of Labour, to address the concerns of South African truck drivers and South Africans in general that illegal and/or undocumented migrants are preferred for low skilled or no skilled job opportunities?

Reply:

a) The department continues through its inspectorate to actively conduct inspections and operations in partnership with other law enforcement agencies to deal with all transgressors of immigration legislation. The department has continued with its enforcement and deportation functions throughout the period of the lockdown.

b) With regard to the issues relating to migrant employment the Minister of Employment and Labour and the Minister of Home Affairs co-chair an inter-ministerial committee on migration which is preparing a programme to address these issues which include, amongst others, policy directives, international benchmarking and enforcement responses.

END

17 December 2020 - NW2768

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van der Merwe, Ms LL to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)What total number of staff members do the (a) Standing Committee for Refugee Affairs and (b) Refugee Appeal Board have in each province; (2) (a) what total number of appeals are the specified (i) committee and (ii) board currently seized with and (b) how long will it take to clear the backlog of cases that must be finalised; (3) (a) what total number of asylum seekers and/or refugee appeals were turned down over the past 10 years and (b)(i) how did his department ensure that those who were asked to leave the country did in fact do so and (ii) what number of the specified individuals were deported?

Reply:

1(a) Standing Committee for Refugee Affairs (SCRA) has a Chairperson and 2 members at head office Pretoria (3). Admin Support staff at head office Pretoria is a total twelve (12).

There are no SCRA members at the regions, members at the head office from time to time visit the five centres on rotational basis., process is underway to appoint 2 Members for Desmond Tutu RRO; 1 for Cape Town and PE RRO; 1 for Durban RRO for a period of two years to attend to the backlog. Over and above that 2 additional Members shall be appointed for a period of five years to be based at the SCRA head office.

(1)(b) The Refugee Appeals Board (currently Refugee Appeals Authority) have the following staff in numbers :

  • Pretoria: 1 Member and Chairperson and 13 Admin staff/Officials,
  • Cape Town: 1 Member
  • Musina, Port Elizabeth and Durban have no staff

(2)(a)(i) SCRA has 29579 cases as at 11 November 2020

(2)(a)(ii) The total number of appeals is 123 424 as at 18 September 2020.

(2)(b)(i) It will take about 2 years to clear the SCRA backlog.

(2)(b)(ii) Based on the Auditor General’s 2019/2020 report if the current capacity of RAASA remains the same, it would take more than 60 years to clear the backlog. However currently, a plan is in place to increase the Authority’s capacity with 36 members, this will mean that the backlog can be cleared within 4 years.

(3)(a)(i) 317245

(3)(a)(ii) The total number of appeals rejected over the last 10 years is 13 572.

(3)(b)(i) Failed Asylum Seekers are either given an order to leave the Republic of South Africa or are detained for the purposes of deportation.

(3)(b)(ii) The records of failed Asylum Seekers who have been deported is as follows :

2015 - 1

2016 - 113

2017 - 561

2018- 110

2019 - 69

2020 - 22

It is only in recent years that we have been doing a breakdown of the analysis of deportees prior status.

END

17 December 2020 - NW2897

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Tito, Ms LF to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

What number of offices of his department in each province are capacitated with the system of GENDER maker to assist transgender people to change their gender on their identity documents?

Reply:

All 412 Offices of the Department of Home Affairs are capacitated to receive applications for the category of Alteration of Sex Description and Sex Status and are henceforth dispatched to Head Office for further processing. There is a back office unit at head office, Rectifications and Amendments Unit that implements the gender marker on the system to amend the status of transgender people by changing their gender on their respective identity documents, provided the applicants meet the requirements as per the regulations and standard operating procedures has been followed

END

17 December 2020 - NW2752

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Motsepe, Ms CCS to ask the Minister of Health

What (a) total number of interns has his department employed to work at Jubilee Hospital in Hammanskraal in the past three years, (b) were the job categories of the interns and (c) total number of these interns were paid and/or given a stipend in each specified financial year?

Reply:

According to the records received from the Gauteng Provincial Department of Health and confirmed by the PERSAL System –

a) there were only 6 students employed as medical interns, after completion of their studies, during the past three years period (i.e. 2018 to 2020) and no other professions including administration categories were placed or appointed for Internship at the Hospital during the said reporting period;

b) the medical interns were placed under supervision in the eight domains of medical rotation, i.e General Medicine; General Surgery; Paediatrics; Obstetrics and Gynaecology; Anesthesiology; Orthopaedics; Psychiatry; Family Medicine/Primary Care) as prescribed by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) and their log-books were signed off at the end of their two years of the internship period;

c) all medical interns in the Public Service are remunerated in accordance with the Occupational Specific Dispensation (OSD) for medical practitioners and as such all the six (6) medical interns at Jubilee Hospital were remunerated accordingly and did not receive a stipend

END.

17 December 2020 - NW2754

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Thembekwayo, Dr S to ask the Minister of Health

Whether he has been informed that the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Health has funded four groups of Orthodontist and Prosthetics, and that Groups A and B were placed in 2017 and 2018 respectively in Wentworth Hospital, while Groups C and D have not been placed since 2019; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the reasons that other groups of trained medical workers have not been placed in hospitals yet?

Reply:

The KwaZulu Natal Provincial Department of Health provides students with bursaries with a view that they will return and serve back to the Department, this is done in good faith and is dependent on the Department having the necessary funding to employ the said bursary holders. Unfortunately, the KZN Department of Health is experiencing financial constraints and so is the entire Public Service.

It must be mentioned that the categories mentioned above which are Medical Orthotics and Prosthetics are not the only group of students that were funded by the Department and are yet to be placed for employment.

There are currently 39 bursary holders for Medical Orthotics and Prosthetics that are yet to be placed.

The KZN Health Department has confirmed that it is working with the Office of the Premier and KZN Treasury to find a solution in this regard.

END.

17 December 2020 - NW2946

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Roos, Mr AC to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

With reference to the Home Affairs office in Nigel which was offline from 13/11/2020 until 18/11/2020 due to a faulty data line, (a) why did it take four working days to repair the faulty data line, (b) which entity and/or service provider is responsible for resolving issues on the data line, (c) what is the resolution turnaround time on a faulty data line as per the service level agreement with the responsible entity and/or service provider, (d) what penalties and/or actions will be taken against the responsible entity and/or service provider in cases where the resolution time exceeded the service level agreement time and (e) why was a mobile unit not provided outside the office to assist citizens while the office was offline for four days?

Reply:

(a) SITA was notified on Friday 13 November 2020 about the faulty data line in Nigel office and were supposed to dispatch the Telkom technician to the site but that did not materialise. Later that day after a remote diagnosis SITA called the DHA Regional IT Officer informing her that there is no sound from the office’s router, they suspected that it was switched off and then asked her to confirm if it had power. It was confirmed to SITA that power was on for the router and pictures were sent as proof and that is when the latter confirmed that it implies that there was nothing wrong on their side with reference number: Ref 20894281

On Monday,16 November 2020 the Regional IT Officer revisited Nigel to check the equipment in liaison with the departmental HQ networks technician and that is when it was confirmed that indeed the router was not responding as the Network Card slot was dead. The card slot was changed but unfortunately that slot was not configured as the password to configure was not working, all passwords were tried and still did not work. On the 17 November 2020, the networks technician managed to crack the password, did new configurations on the other slot and inserted the router as they had removed it on 16 November 2020 and that caused a delay. The matter was resolved late and thus clients could not be assisted and were only attended to on 18 November 2020.

(b) SITA and the internal DHA IT Infrastructure team were responsible for resolving the problem.

(c) In Terms of the Service Level Agreements between SITA and DHA the following are adhered to:

  • Mean time to respond is 4 Hours
  • Mean Time to Resolve is 16 Hours

(d) The penalties are applied when Service Level Agreements are not met by the service provider in this case the responsibility was on both DHA IT and State Information Technology Agency and the contracts management team will advise on the penalties to be levied if any, due to shared responsibilities.

(e) The allocated and limited number of mobile units have a set schedule and were already deployed as confirmed with various stakeholders as they relieve the offices when there is high influx of clients for management of queues.

END

17 December 2020 - NW2831

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Komane, Ms RN to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

What has he found to be causing delays with issuing of identity documents?

Reply:

When level 5 lockdown was implemented on 27 March 2020, there were approximately 20 000 identity documents applications at the Department’s Back Office processing facility.

When the Department re-opened to capture first time applications, it was initially necessary for operations to be conducted with the most essential staff only to adhere to the limitations of the Disaster Management Act protocols (social distancing, wearing of masks, washing of hands as well as ensuring sufficient ventilation).

Furthermore, the Department’s operational facilities are generally open plan offices, consequently, as and when there are confirmed Covid-19 cases, the Department has to release officials who were in contact with a positive case, who must then isolate and are not available for duty, which also causes delays in the finalising and issuing of Identity documents.

END

17 December 2020 - NW2927

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van der Merwe, Ms LL to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)Following his comments that his department led by the Acting Director-General, Mr Jackie McKay, did due diligence to ensure that the self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary Bushiri were not on the plane with the President of Malawi, what does he make of reports that in fact his statements to Parliament on Tuesday 17 November were not correct and that the Bushiris did leave on the plane with the Malawian President; (2) whether he will launch an investigation into whether any officials of his department were involved in the unlawful exit of the Bushiris from the Republic; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the details of the investigation that will be conducted?

Reply:

1. Honourable member, I told the committee what I know according to information at my disposal.  If some people have information to the contrary, then they are duty bound to bring it out into the open.  I suggest you approach them to provide proof of their statements. Honestly, I don’t know what they are talking about.

2. The total investigation around the whole Bushiri matter are being conducted by a Joint Team of the whole Justice, Peace and Crime Prevention Cluster. When it is completed, the country shall be informed accordingly.

END

17 December 2020 - NW2827

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Chabangu, Mr M to ask the Minister of Health

(a) On what date will the project commence to refurbish the wards at Dr George Mukhari Academic Hospital in Ga-Rankuwa and (b) what amount is budgeted for the project?

Reply:

According to the Gauteng Provincial Department of Health,

a) The project of refurbishing the eight (8) wards as, indicated in the response to Question 2743 by Ms N Chirwa was successfully completed and the wards are fully operational. Below are the dates of occupation achieved for each of the wards:

 

Ward 1: 13 July 2020

Ward 2: 08 July 2020

Ward 3: 31 July 2020

Ward 4: 28 August 2020

Ward 5: 13 July 2020

Ward 6: 08 July 2020

Ward 7: 28 August 2020

Ward 8: 28 August 2020

b) The refurbishment project was done at a cost of R186,000,000.

END.

17 December 2020 - NW2877

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Ceza, Mr K to ask the Minister of Health

What urgent actions has his department taken to deal with the (a) overflow of patients, (b) infrastructure debilitation, (c) lack of essential (i) medication and/or drugs and (ii) equipment, (d) dysfunctional water tanks, (e) staff (i) demotivation and/or (ii) resignations and (f) laundry dysfunctionality at the Witbank Provincial Hospital in Emalahleni, Mpumalanga?

Reply:

Information is being collated from all the provinces to enable us to respond to these questions. The full details will be furnished to Parliament as soon as they are received from the provinces.

END.

17 December 2020 - NW3051

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Ngcobo, Mr S to ask the Minister of Higher Education, Science and Innovation

In view of his proposal of a university fee increase of no more than 4,7% for the 2021 academic year, following earlier announcements that fee structures for tuition and accommodation would largely remain even as learning was moved online for many students and that many students will not be occupying their accommodation for extended periods, (a) what rationale did he employ to arrive at such a bold proposal and (b) how does he intend to justify this proposal to students and parents, when his department has not increased its contribution to the university sector in preceding years and in view of the 2021-22 budget being reduced to fund the SA Airways business rescue plans?

Reply:

(a)  It should be noted that fee increases were implemented for the 2020 academic year. The costs of providing tuition did not reduce as a result of the introduction of emergency remote multi-modal teaching and learning. In fact, universities, in many areas incurred increased costs, including the provision of electronic devices and data, improvements to learning management systems, the cost of health and safety and other costs. Given that no additional funding was available for this, the Department worked with universities to re-prioritise existing funding from earmarked funds, which were approved as a COVID Responsiveness Grant to support institutions and limit the effects of in-year subsidy reductions. The national framework for fees gazetted in October 2020 aimed to guide institutions on tuition and accommodation fees remaining at the same level for the academic year despite the extended academic year. 

Public universities have three main sources of income: State subsidies, tuition fees and other (third stream) income. The bulk of funding is received through subsidies and tuition fees. Tuition fees are determined by university Councils. 

However, since the agreement on a 0% increase on fees for 2016, there has been a sector-wide agreement/compact in place to ensure that fee increases be kept at an affordable rate, while the development of a policy framework is underway. In 2017 and 2018, this was set at a maximum of 8% increase, and in 2019 and 2020, the increases were CPI-linked, with CPI for tuition and CPI+2 for accommodation. This is determined based on the realistic cost increases incurred by institutions for their operations. 

It should also be noted that in 2016 when fees were not increased, university expenditure nonetheless increased, and although fees were charged to users/students at the same level as 2015, the cost of the gap between the fee income and required budget was covered by substantial funding from government, which resulted in a baseline increase in the subsidy budget in following years. In addition, through the gap grant (fee adjustment grant) provided from 2017 onwards, students with family incomes up to R600 000 received support from the government to cover the gap between the 2016 and increased fee required. 

The proposal is a reasonable one, given that universities have CPI-linked increases in costs and therefore require fee increases, and this increase is designed to balance the income requirements of universities, with keeping fee increases at reasonable levels. The proposals are also discussed extensively within the university system before being finalised. 

(b)  Through the compact on tuition fees, the State, working with universities, has kept university fees at affordable levels since 2015, while increasing support to poor and working-class students and providing relief to missing middle families. Universities cannot operate without tuition fee income, and the compact is focused on keeping fees at affordable levels for fee-paying individuals and the National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) despite the fact that university subsidies have declined in 2020 due to COVID in particular.