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19 June 2020 - NW270

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Van Damme, Ms PT to ask the Minister of Communications

What number of employees have been found to have criminal records in (a) The Ministry, (b) her department and (c) all entities reporting to her; 2. What mechanisms has her department put in place to conduct vetting of potential employees to ensure that persons with criminal records are not employed as public servants in her department?

Reply:

The Departments and Entities has advised me as follows:

1(a) None

(b) None

(c) At FPB, ICASA, ZADNA, Nemisa, USAASA and Sentech, there are no employees with criminal records

BBI has embarked on a vetting process for all employees in October 2019. It is still awaiting one (1) employee’s result, which is expected before end of the financial year 2019/20.

SAPO has 147 employees with criminal records.

SITA has confirmed 130 employees have criminal records.

SABC has one employee with a criminal record.

2 All new employees, on assumption of duty, are under an obligation to apply for security clearance from State Security, as their appointment is subject to security clearance being obtained. Should they fail to obtain such clearance the Department, will terminate after having adhered to due process, the employment relationship. In addition, the Department, now request an SAP69 from SAPS before appointment to ensure the person to be appointed has no criminal record before appointment.

Further, prior to appointment, the department submits the fingerprints of potential employees to the South African Police Services [SAPS] Criminal Record Center for criminal checks due to long delays from the State Security Agency [SSA] to provide the outcomes of security checks/vetting of potential employees.

MS STELLA NDABENI-ABRAHAMS, MP

MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS & DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES

19 June 2020 - NW991

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Thring, Mr WM to ask the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs

At what alert level will the employees of religious organisations be able to resume their weekday administrative duties, as well as financial and compliance functions from the office, including but not limited to the payment of salaries, essential information technology support, the co-ordination of feeding schemes and essential building maintenance, subject to the observance of standard hygiene and health protocols that would apply as in any other workplace?

Reply:

According to Disaster Management Act , 2002: (Act No 57 of 2002) Determination of Alert Levels and Hotspots, “movement of persons 33 (1) a person may leave his / her place of residence to – (a) perform any service as permitted under Alert Level 3, (b) travel to and from work.

Thank you

19 June 2020 - NW313

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Brink, Mr C to ask the Minister of Public Service and Administration

Whether a certain person (name and details furnished) has been transferred and/or is currently employed in (a) any other position in the Public Service or (b) a ministerial office; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what position does the specified person currently hold?

Reply:

a) Yes, He is currently employed in the Public Service

b) He is not in a Ministerial office, but in the Presidency, employed as a Special Advisor to the Deputy President

 

19 June 2020 - NW910

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Marawu, Ms TL to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

(1) What (a) measures are in place to ensure that those who were drawing on the Unemployment Insurance Fund are removed from the system upon securing a permanent job, (b) steps will he take regarding the employment equity tables to provide for a small quota of non-South African nationals and (c) percentage quota will be reserved for other nationals; (2) whether the percentage quota that will be reserved for other nationals will reflect the shortage of scarce and critical skills; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NW1199E

Reply:

1. What (a) measures are in place to ensure that those who were drawing on the Unemployment Insurance Fund are removed from the system upon securing a permanent job

(a) There are statutory measures that are in place to ensure that those who were drawing on the Unemployment Insurance Fund are removed from the system upon securing a permanent job. These measures are outlined in the provisions of the Unemployment Insurance Contribution Act, 4 of 2002 (“the Act”). The provisions of section 10 (1) and (2) of the Act respectively place a duty on every employer; which the Act applies to, to register with the Unemployment Insurance Fund and before the seventh day of each month, submit to the Unemployment Insurance Commissioner information relating to:

(i) The termination of the employment of any employee; and

(ii) The appointment of any employee by the employer

(b) The Department of Employment and Labour is in a process of drafting a Labour Migration Policy (LMP). The LMP is one of the Sub-themes of the National Employment Policy (NEP) that we are currently working on. The LMP covers a range of topics that include amongst others, work visas for scarce and critical skills, quotas of foreign nationals in the labour market etc. once we have completed we will publish this policy for public comment.

2. Yes, it will reflect the shortage of scarce and critical skills. Our policies provide for the importation of skills in an event that they do not exist in the country.

19 June 2020 - NW245

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Powell, Ms EL to ask the Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

(1)Whether, in light of the Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (SEZ) that is proposed for development within the Vhembe District Municipality in Limpopo, her department undertook an assessment of how the agricultural sector, which is one of Limpopo’s primary sources of income, will be impacted by the construction of several mines, industries and coal-fired power stations in the area, particularly in terms of the limited water resources and associated impact of acid mine drainage on existing water resources; (2) whether the Department of Water and Sanitation conducted an in-depth (a) analysis of the water resource availability and (b) a climate change vulnerability assessment for the water resources in the Southern African region and/or neighbouring countries that are required to supply the SEZ with water; if so, (3) whether this study includes areas immediately under water stress and/or which are likely to be under water stress within 5-10 years and beyond; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (4) whether the Department of Water and Sanitation compiled a list of regions within the vicinity of the proposed SEZ that face imminent water insecurity; if not, why not; if so, will she furnish Ms E L Powell with the list of these regions; (5) whether the Department of Water and Sanitation has determined the status of water resources and water services infrastructure required to ensure that communities are provided with water services in a progressive and prioritised manner taking into consideration the limited resources available and are not prejudiced by the supply demands of the SEZ; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

(1) The Musina-Makhado Special Economic Zone (SEZ) proposed for Vhembe District Municipality in Limpopo is an integrated industrial development at Musina on a 60 square kilometre development polygon. Twenty three (23) core plants to be constructed at the site include a coal wash plant, a coke plant, a heat recovery power generation plant of 390 Mega Watt capacity, thermal power, ferrochrome, ferromanganese, silicon manganese, vanadium-titanium magnetite, high manganese steel, high vanadium steel, stainless steel factory, lime, cement, and refractory plants at a designated site. The plants form a connected sequence of energy and metallurgy production, from coal mining, coal wash, coking plant, power plant ferroalloy plant, iron making to steel manufacturing.

Several core plant and enabling local infrastructure comprising roads, rail sidings, air transport terminals, electricity grid, sewer and potable water facilities will be required at the SEZ polygon. Other feeder linear infrastructure like roads, rail, and electricity grids, will need to be developed or upgraded for supply of raw materials and transport of manufactured products to markets.

Current and potential source mines for input raw materials like coal, ferrochrome, manganese, vanadium, iron ore, silicon ore, nickel ore and limestone have been identified in various Provinces of South Africa, and neighbouring countries like Zimbabwe and Botswana. The minerals from neighbouring countries will require the upgrade of import and export terminals, and the upgrade of infrastructure like the road and rail bridges over the Limpopo River.

The potential raw ore source mines are widely geographically distributed beyond Limpopo in South Africa as far as Northern Cape for instance for manganese, Rustenburg and Thabazimbi for ferrochrome and iron ore. Other countries like Zimbabwe are also potential supply areas for coal and ferrochrome at which the stricter environmental standards across the two countries shall be applied as per standard adopted international practice. Hence, the potential impacts of the SEZ activities spread beyond Limpopo, but the assessment of impacts and benefits will of necessity transact at the local, linear and the regional level.

Whilst of necessity the assessment focuses on the potential negative impacts on agriculture, potential benefits also warrant exploration. These benefits include increased market access due to increased population in the area, and potential expansion of agricultural production in both Zimbabwe and South Africa due to increased water availability arising from the water resources developments for the SEZ.

With respect to assessments of impacts of the contemplated development on agriculture in Limpopo, it is important to note that the core, feeder and enabling facilities are in the planning phase. The planning of the relevant infrastructure is progressing and shaping over time. To that end, the assessments of impacts of the contemplated activities continue to evolve as more information becomes available. The activities’ impact on the different areas is regulated by various competences and authorisations will be issued by various spheres of government.

For the geographically distributed source mines, the Special Economic Zone polygon with its multiple plants, and enabling local and feeder linear infrastructure, relevant and strict protocols of assessment before authorization shall be followed on a case by case basis for each facility, to comply with the relevant environmental legislation, including for the protection of water resources to minimize negative impacts.

My department has a precautionary approach which is followed, and shall be followed to guide the management of water at the mine and SEZ site, and the issuance of any authorisations. The assessment hierarchy prioritises zero discharge of contaminated effluent, the re-circulation and reuse of water to minimise the taking from resources and discharge, and containment and treatment before discharge of any contaminated water. This precautionary approach applies to all water streams that are identified at the sites, including storm water and any other wastewater streams from raw and product stockpiles. It will be the condition of the authorisations, if any, that the facilities shall be subject to long term monitoring during the life of the facilities. The post closure rehabilitation with associated financial provisioning is also a standard practice as per the legislation.

For the supply of water to the SEZ, my Department is investigating a number of potential local and international water sources to augment the limited resources in the area. The aim is to minimize and mitigate any impact on existing lawful water users as guided by section 27 of the National Water Act.

2. My Department conducted an in-depth study of the analysis of the water resource availability in the area. We issued a report called Limpopo Water Management Area North Reconciliation Strategy. This study identified that there are limited water resources in the Musina area, where the SEZ is located. A further update for the local Musina area is ongoing, and will be part of the outcomes of the water resource planning study for the area. The reconciliation study is available on my Department’s website at http://www.dws.gov.za/projects.aspx. I have also attached a copy to this response as Annexure A for your ease of reference.

My Department conducted a Climate Change Risk and Vulnerability Assessment of Water Resources in the Limpopo WMA during 2016/17. This assessment identified and proposed possible measures to deal with current and future Risk and Vulnerability of Water Resources due to Climate Change in the Limpopo Water Management Area. The assessment proposed solutions to deal with the climate change risk and vulnerability on water resources, namely: (i) improvement of water governance, (ii) further infrastructure development, operation and maintenance, as well as (iii) strengthening water management. The Climate Change Risk and Vulnerability Assessment report is attached to this response as Annexure B for your ease of reference.

Furthermore, a climate change vulnerability assessment is also implicit when a water reconciliation study is conducted. The water availability assessment study analyses past hydrological data and stochastically simulates flows. This takes into account the recent trends in climate.

My Department shall be initiating further studies to confirm water sources for the SEZ. These sources include both local and international potential sources. In this regard, the studies will among other things assess the climate change assessments in the source and water use region at a wider spatial scale.

The Zimbabwe-South Africa Joint Water Commission is about to initiate planning studies to investigate water resource development options in Zimbabwe for the benefit of both countries. Since the signing of the agreement, the technical teams of both countries have been continuously meeting to initiate the joint studies and to make updates on water related issues of mutual interest to both parties.

My Department has set up institutional structures with all co-basin states to co- manage common river basins. As part of these Commissions function is to assess the water availability and come to decisions on how to best use common rivers.

3. The Reconciliation Strategy covers the Musina-Makhado SEZ and surrounding areas. It had a planning horizon of 25 years to 2040. It is updated at 3-5 year intervals. The study is all encompassing, and is not only limited to water stressed areas, but also identifies the water demands, water surplus areas and explores the means to balance the water needs over time.

4. My Department did compile a regional water availability assessment, indicating the water situation in each area, and the potential sources. Areas that face imminent water insecurity within the vicinity of the proposed SEZ are contained in the Reconciliation Strategy which is available under Integrated Water Resource Planning on the Department’s Website (http://www.dws.gov.za/projects.aspx ).

5. The Assessment of Water Resources is a dynamic exercise through the Reconciliation Strategies and the updating thereof. My Department undertakes planning investigations for the progressive and prioritised water supply, which mainly entails Bulk Raw Water Supply Infrastructure.

The Water Services Infrastructure refers to Water Treatment Works, Potable Water Pipelines, Reservoirs and Reticulation, which is the responsibility of the Municipality. It is financed through the Regional Bulk Infrastructure Grant (RBIG), which is a Conditional Grant for developing new bulk water and sanitation infrastructure as well as refurbish, upgrade and replace aging bulk water and sanitation infrastructure. Furthermore, the Water Services Infrastructure Grant (WSIG) facilitates the Implementation of various water and sanitation projects to accelerate backlog reduction and enhance sustainability of services.

The Special Economic Zone development planned will effectively supplement the water in the overall area of Musina. The anticipated population growth from the industrial hub is included in the estimates of water that will be required in the area.

 

19 June 2020 - NW938

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

(1) (a) What number of illegal migrants were deported back to their countries of origin since the start of the national state of disaster due to the Covid-19 pandemic and (b) to which countries were they deported; (2) what are the time frames for the repatriation of the migrants who are currently at the Bellville and Wingfield repatriation camps? NW1227E

Reply:

1. A total number of 1,376 illegal foreigners were deported since lockdown; comprising:

  1. 488 Mozambicans,
  2. 705 Zimbabweans,
  3. 178 Basotho and,
  4. 5 Swazi.

2. Refugees and asylum seekers have status in the country and cannot be repatriated, including those with appeals at the Standing Committee on Refugee Affairs (SCRA) and the Refugee Appeal Board (RAB).

END

19 June 2020 - NW943

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Ngwezi, Mr X to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

(1) What number of persons have claimed from the Compensation Fund for cases where Covid-19 is acquired occupationally since the Covid-19 pandemic has hit our shores; (2) whether any technical glitches were experienced through the Compensation Fund’s computer system (name furnished); if not, what has his department identified to be the hold up; if so, what are the full relevant details of what is being done to address the specified glitches in order to speed up the process?

Reply:

1. The Compensation Fund has received and registered 168 claims related to COVID-19.

2. There haven’t been any glitches reported to date with regards to registration and adjudication of COVID-19 claims.

19 June 2020 - NW431

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Clarke, Ms M to ask the Minister of Public Service and Administration

(1)What is the name of each official in each (a) national and (b) provincial department who has been suspended for more than 60 days; (2) What are the reasons for each disciplinary action being instituted against each official; (3) What is the (a) period of each suspension and (b) cost thereof; (4) What are the reasons that the cases have not yet been concluded? NW612E

Reply:

(1) (a) Tag A provide the names of officials from National Departments who have been suspended for more than 60 days.

(b) Tag B provide the names of officials from Provincial Departments who have been suspended for more than 60 days.

(2) Tags A and B provide reasons for each disciplinary action instituted against each official.

(3) Tag A and B provide (a) the period and (b) the cost of each suspension.

(4) Tag A and B provide the reasons why the cases have not being concluded.

(5) These responses are those of the departments which have submitted their information to the Department

19 June 2020 - NW1000

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Groenewald, Dr PJ to ask the Minister of Health

(1)(a) Until what date will the Cuban health care workers who travelled to the Republic to render assistance with the Covid-19 pandemic, be needed, (b) by what date will all the Cuban health care workers return to Cuba, (c) to whom will the remuneration for the services of the health care workers be paid and (d) which country will pay for the return of the health care workers; (2) whether he will make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

1. (a) South Africa appreciates the help from the Cuban Government. The Cuban health care workers will stay as long as needed and the current arrangement is for a period of 12 months, and reviewed quarterly;

(b) It is expected that if all goes as planned the Cuban brigade will travel back to Cuba on the month of May 2021;

(c) The salaries for the Cuban health care workers will be paid to the health care workers individual bank accounts, like any other employee employed in the South African Public Health Sector;

(d) In accordance with the signed Government-to-Government Agreement between the Republic of South Africa and the Republic of Cuba, the air transport at the end of the contract will be at the expense of the receiving Country.

2. As the statement was made when the Cuban brigade arrived in South Africa, it will be necessary for the government of the Republic of South Africa to make a statement when they leave, to thank them for their selfless service in assisting the Republic in its fight against COVID-19.

END.

19 June 2020 - NW237

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Mackenzie, Mr C to ask the Minister of Communications

Who has been acting as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the State Information Technology Agency since the resignation of certain person (name furnished); 2. Whether any steps have been taken to fill the CEO position permanently, if not, why not; if so, 3. Whether any prospective applicants were interviewed; if not, why not; if so, what number of applicants were interviewed; 4. Whether any steps of the applicants were found to be suitable for the position; if not, (a) why not and (b) what further steps are being taken to recruit a permanent CEO?

Reply:

I have been advised by SITA as follows:

1. The position of CEO has been vacant since 31 March 2019, after the employment contract of the previous incumbent came to an end. Mr Ntutule Tshenye was then appointed as an acting Chief Executive Officer, whilst the process of sourcing a replacement candidate was underway.

2. Yes, the recruitment process was initiated on 28 April 2019. Inputs were received from key stakeholders, the candidates were sourced through the SITA Website, Sunday Times and Linkedin. The pool of potential candidates was not satisfactory. The then Board of Directors requested additional CVs to be sourced through recruitment agencies.

3. Two (2) shortlisting sessions were held. The first session of the considered CVs received via SITA’s Website, Sunday Times and Linkedin was held on 28 May 2019 and the second session was held on 14 June 2019 to consider CVs received via the recruitment agencies. Five (5) candidates were shortlisted and interviewed on 28 June 2019 and none of the candidates were found suitable for the position.

4. The second phase of the recruitment process was initiated by the previous Board of Directors where the approach was to utilize the services of headhunting firms specialising in executive search. This process required a deviation from the current recruitment panel, which was requested from National Treasury, however it was not granted. The term of office expired for the Board of Directors expired on 31 December 2019. The Minister appointed and Executive Caretaker and Accounting Authority, Mr Luvuyo Keyise from 28 January 2020 and the acting tenure of Mr Ntutule Tshenye ceased on 28 January 2020. As a result, the recruitment process did not proceed.

MS STELLA NDABENI-ABRAHAMS, MP

MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS & DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES

19 June 2020 - NW921

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Mulder, Mr FJ to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

(1)Whether his department awarded any tenders connected to the Covid-19 pandemic; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what (a) are the names of the businesses to whom these tenders were awarded, (b) are the amounts of each tender awarded and (c) was the service and/or product to be supplied by each business; (2) whether there was any deviation from the standard supply chain management procedures in the awarding of the tenders; if so, (a) why and (b) what are the relevant details in each case; (3) what was the reason for which each specified business was awarded the specified tender; (4) whether he will make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

  1. The Department followed all three National Treasury’s Instruction notes numbers 8 of 2019/2020, 3 of 2020/2021 and 5 of 2020/2021 in respect to all procurement relating to the COVID 19 pandemic. The details of each transaction are disclosed in the attached spreadsheet.
  2. The method of procurement is indicated in the spreadsheet.
  3. The reason for which the specified business was awarded the specified bid is also indicated in the spreadsheet.

END

19 June 2020 - NW998

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Hlengwa, Ms MD to ask the Minister of Health

(1)In view of reports that clinics and other essential healthcare providers for other illnesses are being shunned due to fear of contracting Covid-19, as well as the general fear of harassment from the SA Police Service and/or SA National Defence Force, what steps has his department taken to ensure that persons are still able to receive other essential medical care during the Covid-19 pandemic; (2) what total number of deaths were caused by (a) tuberculosis and (b) HIV and/or Aids-related illnesses since the lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 began; (3) whether the specified number of deaths caused by such illnesses has increased as the lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 continues; if not, why not; if so, what has his department identified as the reason for the increase?

Reply:

1. The Department of Health has been implementing the Central Chronic Medicines Dispensing and Distribution (CCMDD) programme. The CCMDD programme is a National Department of Health (NDoH) initiative to improve access to chronic medicines to stable patients by enabling them to collect their repeat medicines from a convenient collection point near their home or place of employment thereby decreasing the patient volumes in health care facilities.

  • (a) Eligible patients collect their diabetes, hypertension, ARVs and other chronic medication for free from a convenient pick-up point like Dis-Chem, Clicks, Pick n Pay or even a local spaza shop. Majority of these service providers have been open during the National lockdown, allowing clients to collect their treatment without interruption.
  • (b) The majority of these service providers have been open during the National lockdown, allowing clients to collect their treatment without interruption. However, lockdown restrictions created a confusion around availability of public transport services to access these service outlets.
  • (c) In health facilities, before and during the lockdown patients were given 2-3 month Tenofovir + Lamivudine + Dolutegravir (TLD) supply and 2 months Tenofovir +Emtricitibine + Efavirenz (TEE) supply;

2. The Department of Health has also strengthened in-facility processes and support to People Living with HIV (PLHIV) on ART in order to maintain adherence. Tracking and tracing (telephonically and then in-person) of clients lost to follow-up is ongoing in majority of our facilities during lockdown;

  • (i) The Department of Health has developed messaging for PLHIV and people living with TB regarding the importance of treatment. These various messages have been sent to clients through SMS and social media;
  • (ii) The Department of Health in partnership with the SABC and other partners, have initiated COVID-19 radio programme. This communication is cutting across all health programmes in relation to the pandemic through daily pre-recorded interviews in all SABC radio stations, to address what needs to happen during the lockdown period regarding treatment adherence and access to services.

(2) The registered deaths from the civil registration system are maintained by the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and the Department of Health is not in a position to provide the requested information.

(3) The Department of Health is not able to provide the requested analysis because of access restrictions to the civil registration system data, which is hosted by the Department of Home Affairs.

END.

19 June 2020 - NW988

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Denner, Ms H to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

(1) Whether his department awarded any tenders connected to the Covid-19 pandemic; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what (a) are the names each tender awarded, (b) are the amounts of each tender awarded and (c) was the service and/or product to be supplied by each business; (2) whether there was any deviation from the standard supply chain management procedures in the awarding of the tenders; if so, (a) why and (b) what are the relevant details in each case; (3) what was the reason for which each specified business was awarded the specified tender; (4) whether he will make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

1. The Department of Employment and Labour did not award any tenders connected to Covid-19 pandemic. Only Personal Protective Equipment was procured during this period and that was done through the prescribed emergency procedures.

(a) Not applicable; because there were no tenders awarded during the period in question.

(b) Not applicable; because there were no tenders awarded during the period in question.

(c) Not applicable; because there were no tenders awarded during the period in question.

(2). (a) and (b) Not applicable; because there were no tenders awarded during this period

(3) Not applicable; because there were no tenders awarded during the period in question.

(4) Emergency procurement procedure had to be applied to procure Personal Protective Equipment for all the Department of Employment and Labour officials declared as essential services, especially the Labour Inspector who had to ensure compliance with Occupational Health and Safety Act and Regulations during all levels of the lockdown.

19 June 2020 - NW269

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Van Damme, Ms PT to ask the Minister of Communications

(1)What was the total amount that was spent on international travel by (a) her and (ii) her spouse and (b) the Deputy Minister and (ii) her spouse since 1 May 2019; (2) what was the (a)(i) purpose and (ii) breakdown of each trip undertaken in terms of the (aa) date on which the trip took place and (bb) total number of persons who were part of the delegation, (b) costs of flights, (c) cost of accommodation, (d) hotels used in each case, (e) total subsistence and travel allowance approved for each member of each delegation on each trip and (f) cost of special vehicles and/or chauffeur driven transport? NW357E

Reply:

I have been advised by the department as follows:

(1)(a) R1, 397,393.62

(1)(a)(ii) R212,236.93

(1)(b) R374, 413.28

(1)(b)(ii) R0.00

(2)(a)(i) Refer to the attached

(a)(ii)(aa) Refer to the attached

(a)(ii)(bb) Refer to the attached

(b) Total cost for flights – R3, 212,273.22

(c) Total cost for accommodation – R1, 435,681.07

(d) Refer to the attached

(e)Total subsistence and travel allowance – R506, 882.48

(f) Total cost for ground transport – R479, 949.64

MS STELLA NDABENI-ABRAHAMS, MP

MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS & DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES

19 June 2020 - NW996

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Luthuli, Mr BN to ask the Minister of Sports, Arts and Culture

Given the trend in some countries around the world to resume sporting activities without spectators, what is his department’s position regarding the implementation of the same in the Republic, especially with non-contact sport?

Reply:

The Regulations published in Government Gazette Notice No. 608 of 28 May 2020 made under section 27(2) of the Disaster Management Act, 2002 (Act No. 57 of 2002) has made provision for the easing of the lockdown to permit the return to play in the Sporting Sector at Level 3.

The Minister has consulted the sector and has received their proposed plans on the resumption of play.

As required by the regulations, the Minister has finalised directions and has submitted them to the relevant structures. Once approved, the directions will be signed by the Minister and gazetted for implementation by the sporting sector.

19 June 2020 - NW879

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Brink, Mr C to ask the Minister of Public Service and Administration

(1)Whether his department will offer any form of Covid-19 financial or other relief to small businesses; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) whether the Covid-19 financial or other relief will only be allocated to qualifying small businesses according to the Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment Act, Act 53 of 2003, as amended; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) on what statutory grounds and/or provisions does he or his department rely to allocate Covid-19 financial or other relief only to small businesses according to the specified Act and (b) what form of Covid-19 financial or other relief, if any, will be made available to other small businesses?

Reply:

1. The Department of Public Service and Administration will not be offering any Covid-19 financial or other relief to small businesses as this is not within the mandate of the department to provide relief to any private organisation.

2. Not applicable as no financial or other relief will be provided by the department.

19 June 2020 - NW437

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Van Damme, Ms PT to ask the Minister of Communications

What (a) number of (i) films and/or (ii) publications were classified XX by the Film and Publications Board in the past three years, (b) is the title of each specified film and/or publication and (c) was the reason for the XX classification in each case?

Reply:

I have been advised by FPB as follows:

a) (i) None

(ii) None

b) None

c) None

MS STELLA NDABENI-ABRAHAMS, MP

MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS & DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES

18 June 2020 - NW1128

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Komane, Ms RN to ask the Minister of Health

With reference to the admission by The Presidency that information regarding Covid19 was intentionally withheld from the public stating managing of panic as a reason to do so, (a) which information in particular was kept away from the public, (b) how has and/or will this affect public response to lockdown regulations and (c) what is the true status of hospitals in handling the pandemic?

Reply:

a) We cannot respond specifically on this question as it is a matter that was relating to The Presidency. It is best that this question is addressed to The Presidency;

b) As indicated above it is not clear what information The Presidency was referring to therefore we cannot provide more details in this regard;

c) The details are as follows:

(i) The Modelling consortium Incident Management Team has developed detailed projections and recommendations of the hospital requirements in all provinces including isolation beds, general beds and critical care beds;

(ii) A National Hospital Readiness Task Team has been established comprising of clinicians, disaster management experts and experienced hospital managers. The role of this team is to provide guidance and support to the provinces on all aspects of hospital readiness;

(iii) The Department has developed a surge strategy, which guides the provinces in various areas of health system support. The strategy also includes guidance on the management of the various categories of the covid-19 patients. Alongside this strategy, a detailed guidance has already been provided to all hospitals on all aspects of hospital readiness including in the form of Action Plans. Ten of these plans have already been provided to the hospitals covering: Preparation, Area allocation, Command and Control, Bed Statistics, Safety, Communication, Assessment, Decontamination, Surge capacity and Triage;

(iv) All hospitals have been provided with an on-line assessment of readiness including: equipment requirements, oxygen requirements, operational management, case management, infection prevention and control, human resources, infrastructure, medicines, linen, supply chain and support services;

(v) Hospitals have been provided with detailed clinical guidelines for the clinical management of patients;

(vi) Ventilators that were donated by the US Government have been distributed to hospitals in Gauteng, Western Cape and Eastern Cape Provinces;

(vii) All provinces have developed and have started implementing detailed hospital readiness strategies;

(viii) The bed allocation for the covid-19 response is as follows:

  • General beds = 12 029;
  • High Critical Beds = 2 309;
  • High care beds = 13 129.

END.

18 June 2020 - NW1103

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Hicklin, Ms MB to ask the Minister of Health

Following the announcement by the National Coronavirus Command Council on 2 April 2020 that South Africans may travel overseas to seek medical attention, what measures are in place to accommodate South Africans stranded in (a) Zimbabwe, (b) Mozambique, (c) Botswana and (d) Eswatini who need to be repatriated back to the Republic for health reasons?

Reply:

Measures have been put in place to allow all South Africans to be able to come back home, the below-mentioned is applicable to all countries including those listed (a) to (d):

Medical Evacuation processes have been developed to accomodate every person who requires to travel into South Africa for medical attention including foreign nationals. South Afrcians who are in need of medical attention may travel back into the country to obtain all necessary medical attention. This is managed through the embassies who then communicate through to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (Dirco). Depending on the condition or nature of illness of the person, they are allowed to enter the country by means of an ambulance or general transportation in cases that do not warrant ambulance services. The application process for medical evacuation is facilitated by the referring health facility or directly from the embassy in the case of outpatients.

END.

18 June 2020 - NW1126

Profile picture: Thembekwayo, Dr S

Thembekwayo, Dr S to ask the Minister of Health

With reference to his undertakings that the Republic’s participation in vaccination trials for coronavirus as the country is part of the Health Emergency Solidarity Trial under the auspices of the World Health Organizations and further made an assertion that fears raised by society around this should not be the case as the nature and ethics of the trials are unfounded because times have changed, in what way (a) have the ethics of the trials changed from their historical association with the abuse of human rights and dignity and (b) will the Republic be participating as guinea pigs and/or as collaborators of the scientific process from initial stages and not just on the receiving end?

Reply:

a) The World Health Organisation (WHO) Solidarity Trial is a global study that is evaluating therapeutic interventions to support the treatment of patients admitted with COVID-19. This protocol describes a randomised trial among adults (age ≥18 years) hospitalised for COVID-19 that randomly allocates them between four treatment arms, each to be given in addition to the usual standard of care in the participating hospital. Randomisation is proposed into the following 4 arms: a) Standard of care; b) Remdesivir; c) Lopinavir-Ritonavir with Interferon β1b; and hydrochloroquine. This trial will be subjected to South African research standards to protect human rights through regulatory approval for clinical trials and ethics, besides similar processes being undertaken at a global level. The ethical review is rigorous and robust in ensuring that a relevant Research Ethics Committee protects potential participants by taking into account potential risks and benefits for the community in which the research will be carried out. In line with ethical principles, the Ethics Committee ensures protection of individual autonomy through informed consent; protecting participants against grievous bodily harm, and justice in assessing risks and benefits of the study

The South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) is statutorily obliged to ensure that medicines, drugs and other health care products available in the country comply with the requirements for safety, quality and efficacy. It is also authorised to terminate a trial when serious breaches of Good Clinical Practice (GCP) occur, and where participants in clinical trials have had, their safety or well-being compromised. To date, a number of clinical trials have been approved in South Africa to determine the effectiveness of different therapeutic interventions to treat and prevent SARS-CoV-2 infection. SAHPRA has reviewed and approved one COVID-19 vaccine trial application submitted by Professor Shabir Madhi who is one of South Africa’s leading vaccinology experts and is the director of Wits University and the Medical Research Council Respiratory and Meningeal Pathogens Research Unit (RMPRU). The proposed vaccine study will be undertaken by RMPRU, in partnership with the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute and the Setshaba Research Unit, organised under the auspices of Wits University’s flagship vaccinology programme, the African Leadership in Vaccinology Expertise (ALIVE).

b) The South African Solidarity Trial Team is led by Prof Helen Rees and senior academics and clinicians from eight medical schools who have made major contributions to the study design. These researchers have been conducting community advocacy, as well as engaging communities and healthcare workers on the ground.

The leading hospitals in South Africa are:

• Livingston Tertiary Hospital and Dora Nginza Hospital (Nelson Mandela University)

• Dr George Mukhari Hospital (Sefako Makgatho Health Science University)

• Tygerberg Hospital (Stellenbosch University)

• Groote Schuur Hospital (University of Cape Town)

• Military Hospital, NHLS Universitas Hospital, Pelonomi Hospital and a private hospital with Mediclinic (University of Free State)

• King Edward Addington and Inkosi Albert Luthuli Hospital (University of KwaZulu-Natal)

• Steve Biko Academic Hospital (University of Pretoria)

• Baragwanath and Charlotte Maxeke (Wits University)

The candidate COVID-19 vaccine that has been approved for study was developed by Oxford University in the UK and is called ChAdOx1. The Oxford University vaccine developers have completed the early Phase 1 trials in the UK and have demonstrated that the vaccine is safe and immunogenic. There is now a second phase clinical trial being undertaken in the UK to determine the safety and efficacy of the vaccine. There are over 1200 participants already enrolled, and a further 9,000 participants to be enrolled over the next few months. Brazil and Kenya will also be involved in clinical trials of the same vaccine. In South Africa, it is proposed that 2000 volunteers will be recruited to join the study, with similar numbers to be enrolled in the study planned in Brazil. The ability of RMPRU to lead the proposed study has been assessed and approved by the governing regulatory authorities in South Africa.

COVID-19 vaccine development is proceeding at an unprecedented speed, with many of the world’s leading scientific institutions contributing to this effort. There are currently over 100 vaccines in development and clinical trials have been undertaken in the UK, USA and France. For products such as vaccines, it is critically important that studies are performed in Southern Hemisphere countries including in the African region, concurrently with studies in Northern Hemisphere countries. This allows evaluation of the efficacy and safety of candidate vaccines to be assessed in a global context, failing which the introduction of many life-saving vaccines into public immunization programmes for Low Middle Income Countries (LMICs) frequently lags behind that in High Income Countries (HIC). Furthermore, if South Africa participates in the development of a vaccine it places an ethical obligation on the vaccine developers to allow early access to that vaccine in the countries where the research was undertaken.

END.

18 June 2020 - NW994

Profile picture: Van Staden, Mr PA

Van Staden, Mr PA to ask the Minister of Health

(1)Whether, with reference to his media release on 17 May 2020, in which he reported that a total number of 10 737 341 persons have been screened throughout the Republic for Covid-19, he can indicate (a) what number of persons have been screened in each province, (b) on what date(s) did the specified screening in each province take place, (c) in what areas and/or suburbs of each province the screening took place and (d) what period of time will it take to screen each and every citizen in the Republic; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details in each case; (2) whether he will make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

(1) (a) As of 3 June 2020, 15,224,792 individuals have been screened for COVID19. The provincial breakdown is tabulated below:

Province

Number of Individuals Screened

Eastern Cape

1,419,988

Free State

1,914,289

Gauteng

1,835,140

KwaZulu-Natal

1,755,049

Limpopo

3,098,840

Mpumalanga

1,889,989

North West

1,892,341

Northern Cape

838,831

Western Cape

580,325

National

15,224,792

(b) The community screening campaign started on the 8th of April 2020 and continues to date, however a shift to a more targeted screening strategy commenced on the 18th of May 2020;

(c) The screening activities focussed in areas with confirmed CODIV-19 cases such as townships, villages, farms, suburbs including vulnerable groups such as old age homes, prisons, supermarkets etc. The number of people screened is highest in Limpopo Province as a result of careening even in districts with no confirmed COVID-19 cases. The list of areas where community screening was done received from GP,NW, EC and LIM is attached. Some provinces did not respond to the request on the areas covered through community screening;

(d) There is no evidence on the time it will take to physically screen every person in the country as this will be influenced by the distance and travel time between households, demographic structure, the number of household members per household and the working hours per each person doing screening. In order to reach others an application called Healthcheck was deployed. It can be used by anyone with a mobile phone to check and report symptoms. Between April 13 to June 3,922,626 users screened for symptoms through Healthcheck.

2. Statements are made on the screening activities as part of the media release on COVID-19.

END.

18 June 2020 - NW1122

Profile picture: Chirwa, Ms NN

Chirwa, Ms NN to ask the Minister of Health

(1)With reference to the recent oversight visit to the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, where it was brought to our attention that there is a challenge with managing personal protective equipment (PPE) stock for workers, which is a challenge in many other hospitals, what has the department done to standardise stock control of PPEs (a) nationally, (b) provincially and (c) in local clinics; (2) whether the system differs per capacity of each facility; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. (a) In order to standardize stock control of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) nationally, the Department of Health has taken measures as follows:

  • Seventeen (17) PPE items were identified as minimum requirements for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19;
  • Specifications for the identified 17 PPE items have been developed for use and adopted by Provincial Departments of Health and they are currently being used in procuring PPE equipment of acceptable quality;
  • Prices were set for each PPE item in by National Department of Health in collaboration with National Treasury and issued under National Instruction Note 3 of 2020/21 and subsequently repealed and replaced by National Instruction Note 5 of 2020/21 in an attempt to prevent price exploitation or unnecessary price hike by manufacturers and distributors;
  • The Department issued Infection Prevention Control (IPC) guidance to cover PPE use and change regimes. The correct use of PPE is key to forecasting PPE demand and ensure correct stock holding is secured at facilities;
  • A Demand Forecasting Model was developed to ensure that the correct PPE items that are compliant with the set specifications are procured at the right price, right quantity and correct quality;
  • Stock Visibility Systems (SVS) was expanded for it to cater for both PPE and Pharmaceutical products which is funded and procured by NDOH and distributed devices were rolled out to provinces. Currently facilities in the provinces can capture their stock levels using SVS;
  • Another tool called PPE Reporting Tool (PPERT) was developed at National and was rolled out to provincial level to capture stock levels and order information of PPE at depot level;
  • In cases of shortages, donations were used to augment stock levels at the facilities in the provinces;
  • Training in the use of SVS were provided to provincial users and access to National Surveillance Centre (NSC) provided to empower provincial decision makers to access, interpret and take action regarding stock levels, distribution and logistics of PPE and sourcing and procurement of PPE items;
  • A Supplier Mapping Portal was developed to provide Provincial Health departments access to information of PPE manufacturers and distributors available in their prospective provinces.

(b) In order to standardize stock control of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) provincially, the Department of Health has taken measures as follows:

Ensure that each province appoints a dedicated Provincial PPE coordinator who monitors stock level continuously from depot to facilities so that they can be able to track the following:

  • Provincial visibility of stock on hand;
  • Stock use, quality and specification of PPE;
  • Storage and distribution;
  • Demand forecasting;
  • Allocation of PPE stocks.

(c) In order to standardize stock control of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in local clinics, the Department of Health has taken measures as follows:

  • Stock Visibility System (SVS) has been expanded and rolled out thereof to local clinics.

2. The stock management systems differ per province and per facility depending on the IT infrastructure in so far as monitoring the following activities:

  • storage capacity;
  • distribution method of PPE;
  • stock ordering system, and
  • replenishment methods;
  • stock count procedures; and
  • controls of PPE.

END.

18 June 2020 - NW1099

Profile picture: Ismail, Ms H

Ismail, Ms H to ask the Minister of Health

(1)What is the current average collection rate of medication at all public health facilities in each province; (2) in view of the fact that patients with tuberculosis and/or HIV/Aids are more susceptible to the coronavirus, what measures will his department put in place to (a) trace patients who have defaulted on their medication because of the lockdown to curb the spread of Covid-19 and (b) assist in the distribution of the medication in each province?

Reply:

(1) There is variability in the average medicine collection rates overtime, taking into consideration public holidays and the number of months supplied to patients on chronic medication at various facilities. Based on the information available to the National Department of Health, the average rate of collection for the first four months of 2020 is depicted in the table below:

 

Jan

Feb

Mar

April*

National

89.9%

92.6%

86.7%

84.8%

Eastern Cape

94.5%

94.4%

87.8%

87.0%

Free State

94.6%

96.9%

87.0%

75.9%

Gauteng

91.0%

96.2%

86.1%

81.6%

KwaZulu Natal

92.3%

94.4%

88.0%

85.5%

Limpopo

95.3%

96.2%

88.4%

81.5%

Mpumalanga

93.1%

97.2%

91.8%

87.5%

North West

95.6%

96.1%

83.1%

85.6%

Northern Cape

94.5%

93.4%

77.1%

78.9%

2. (a) Tracing of patients who defaulted on their medication

  • Tracking and tracing (telephonically and in-person) of clients lost to follow-up is ongoing in the majority of our facilities. District supporting partners and Community Health Workers (CHWs) assist with community tracking and tracing of patients; a list of missed appointments is drawn weekly from Tier.Net and those who missed appointments are contacted via SMS (by District support partners) and in some cases are delivered to patients directly;
  • The Department of Health has developed messaging for People Living with HIV (PLHIV) and people living with TB regarding the importance of treatment. These various messages have been circulated to clients through SMS and social media;
  • The Adherence Guidelines SOP also provide the procedure to track and trace patients who defaulted.

(b) Distribution of medicines in each province

  • The Department of Health has been implementing the Central Chronic Medicines Dispensing and Distribution (CCMDD) programme, a National Department of Health (NDoH) initiative to improve access to chronic medicines to stable patients by enabling them to collect their repeat medicines prescriptions from a convenient collection point near their home or place of employment.
  • Eligible patients (i.e. stable on treatment) on ARVs and other chronic medication collect their medicines for free from a convenient contracted pick-up point such as Dis-Chem, Clicks, Pick-n-Pay, Pharmacy, or even a local Spaza shop. The majority of these service providers have been open during the National lockdown, allowing clients to collect their treatment without interruption.
  • In health facilities, before and during the lockdown, all stable patients are given two months TEE supply and three months TLD supply of ARVs.
  • The Department of Health has also strengthened in-facility processes and support to PLHIV on ART in order to maintain adherence.
  • For TB patients, the Department of Health has made arrangements for home delivery of TB medicines by Community Health Workers. The Community Health Workers also collect sputum from patients who require follow up testing.

END.

18 June 2020 - NW964

Profile picture: Phillips, Ms C

Phillips, Ms C to ask the Minister of Social Development

Whether she will furnish Mrs C Phillips with a list containing the (a) names of each person who registered with her department to receive food parcels in the (i) Rustenburg and (ii) Kgetlengrivier Local Municipalities and (b) dates on which the specified persons received food parcels from her department?

Reply:

Yes.

The Attached list contains the (a) names of each person who registered with the department to receive food parcels in the (i) Rustenburg and (ii) Kgetlengrivier Local Municipalities and (b) dates on which the specified persons received food parcels

18 June 2020 - NW649

Profile picture: Steyn, Ms A

Steyn, Ms A to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)What (a) criteria does her department use to determine which persons qualify to receive food parcels from the Government, (b) number of persons have received food parcels from the Government each day since 1 February 2020, (c) food and other goods does a standard food parcel contain and (d) is the cost of each food parcel; (2) what is the name(s) of the service provider(s) that was contracted to provide food parcels in each province; (3) whether her department collaborates with nongovernmental organisations to identify needy persons and distribute food parcels; if not, in each case, why not; if so, what are the relevant details in each case; (4) what are the details of the plans her department has put in place to ensure that more needy persons receive food parcels, especially in light of the national lockdown to combat the COVID-19 pandemic; (5) Whether her department took any steps to liaise with and mobilise civil society and businesses to assist the Government with hunger-relief initiatives; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. (a) The regulation 9 of the Social Assistance Act 2004 indicates the following: A person in need of immediate temporary assistance qualifies for SRD if he or she:

i. has insufficient means;

ii. Is a South African citizen or permanent resident or a refugee

And complies with any of the following conditions-

(i) is awaiting payment of an approved social grant; or

The breadwinner -

i. has been assessed to be disabled for a period of less than six months

ii. of that household has died and an application is made within 12 months following the death of the breadwinner; or

iii. that household has been admitted to a public or private institution for at least one month

In addition to the above, Regulation 9(5) makes provision for social relief of distress to provide to persons where the households have been affected by a disaster (declared or undeclared). The above provisions are what informs the provision of any social relief of distress, including food parcels, by SASSA.

On the COVID-19 food parcels issued by DSD the following is considered:

  • Households that have no source of income to buy food
  • Households that were serviced by DSD centre based feeding programmes such as Community Nutrition and Development Centres (CNDCs), Drop-in Centres, Home Community Based Care Centres (HCBCC), Luncheon Clubs and etc that are closed due to lock-down,
  • Households of orphans and vulnerable children needing support due to closure of the Early Childhood Development Centres (ECDs) National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP)
  • Child-headed households

(b) The number of persons have received food parcels from the Government each month since 1 February 2020 (please note that information is not available for daily statistics) is indicated below:

Month

No of food parcels (SASSA)

February 2020

2,485

March 2020

5,378

April to 11May 2020

116 206

The Department started distributing food parcels specifically for COVID-19 through the Provinces on the 30th March 2020. Not all the provinces started on the same day due to procurement delays. The number of persons that have received food parcels from the Government each day since 1 February 2020 is as reflected on the table below:

DATES

EC

FS

GP

KZN

Limp

Mp

NC

NW

WC

TOTAL

30-Mar

0

0

514

0

0

0

0

0

0

514

31-Mar

0

0

293

0

0

0

0

0

0

293

01-Apr

0

0

451

0

0

0

0

0

0

451

02-Apr

0

0

936

0

0

0

0

0

0

936

03-Apr

0

0

1 385

0

0

0

105

0

0

1 490

04-Apr

0

0

0

0

0

0

20

0

0

20

05-Apr

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

06-Apr

0

0

2 379

0

0

0

5 693

0

0

8 072

07-Apr

0

0

2 438

0

0

0

1 056

0

0

3 494

08-Apr

0

0

2 790

0

0

0

2 011

0

0

4 801

09-Apr

0

0

2 303

0

0

0

1 570

0

0

3 873

10-Apr

0

0

0

0

0

0

141

164

1 050

1 355

11-Apr

0

0

0

0

1 751

495

1 121

164

2 000

5 531

12-Apr

0

0

0

0

833

1 506

0

164

2 500

5 003

13-Apr

0

0

1 843

0

2 000

351

0

1 310

1 500

7 004

14-Apr

0

0

1 963

0

8 847

131

705

164

490

12 300

15-Apr

0

0

2 952

0

1 500

0

1 018

164

2 020

7 654

16-Apr

0

0

3 151

0

1 990

0

3 258

164

1 655

10 218

17-Apr

354

0

3 126

0

1 990

2 627

1 161

0

750

10 008

18-Apr

546

0

814

0

500

2 375

188

164

2 750

7 337

19-Apr

890

0

0

0

1 990

2 627

0

164

486

6 157

20-Apr

666

0

3 224

540

1 819

1 805

1 223

164

4 575

14 016

21-Apr

400

0

2 680

1750

1 819

432

1225

164

1 080

9 550

22-Apr

575

0

2 159

3 000

473

1 831

1 644

5 082

2 010

16 774

23-Apr

1 010

0

2 440

2 000

3 277

82

1 523

0

576

10 908

24-Apr

380

525

1 467

1 250

1 983

131

1 528

0

666

7 930

25-Apr

875

782

617

2 500

1 000

4 352

364

856

3 400

14 746

26-Apr

275

394

54

2 000

233

4 192

0

6 296

2 010

15 454

27-Apr

369

434

855

2 500

1 500

1 943

0

1 206

5 200

14 007

28-Apr

384

414

2 146

2 441

1 500

2 538

0

206

1 450

11 079

29-Apr

1 000

443

12 058

1 300

267

83

0

1 338

4 700

21 189

30-Apr

330

454

4 713

875

1 500

316

0

462

3 650

12 300

01-May

530

309

5 163

335

1 000

0

0

412

2 355

10 104

02-May

0

466

234

200

500

0

450

0

3 030

4 880

03-May

141

503

3 936

450

1 322

0

100

0

2 015

8 467

04-May

675

0

2 421

750

350

0

1 682

668

3 000

9 546

05-May

2 289

918

2 983

2 300

1 300

138

2 502

1 030

342

13 802

06-May

1 074

271

6 140

2 400

2 000

186

1 704

412

478

14 665

07-May

2 400

148

3 729

575

1 200

133

1 786

618

450

11 039

08-May

1 059

570

2 552

800

780

0

2 645

998

2 000

11 404

09-May

2 300

875

2 081

875

650

0

913

750

1 950

10 394

10-May

754

300

5 527

985

1 200

0

0

800

1 900

11 466

11-May

898

243

4 965

1 075

1 000

0

2 421

650

2 700

13 952

12-May

154

566

4 518

586

570

0

2 639

1 300

1 060

11 393

13-May

0

639

3 634

789

380

0

0

0

1 500

6 942

TOTAL

20 328

9 254

107 634

32 276

49 024

28 274

42 396

26 034

67 298

382 518

(c) The food parcels contains the following food and other goods/ none food items:

Food Group

Items

Unit

Qty

Indicative cost per unit

Monthly cost (Rands)

Starch

Maize meal

KG

10

6

R60

R226

 

Rice

KG

8

12

R96

 
 

Potatoes

KG

7

10

R70

 
 

Protein

Pilchards

400g TIN

6

20

R120

R350

 

Baked Beans

410g TIN

6

10

R60

 
 

Lentils

KG

2

20

R40

 
 

Milk Powder

KG/Litres

1 / 6

130

R130

 
 

Veg

Butternut

KG

10

6

R60

R60

 

Seasoning

Onions

KG

2

6

R12

R52

 

Oil

LIT

2

20

R40

 
 

Other

Soap

Bar

2

8

R16

R16

 

Total monthly cost for food per month

R704

R704

Please also see food parcel content attached as Annexure A for normal SASSA SRD food parcel

See Annexure B for an amended food parcel being provided as a response to the current disaster.

(d) The cost of the food parcel was determined through the tender process. The cost of a food parcel varies by supplier, but cannot exceed R1 500. However, the food parcels provided by SASSA, with the reduced content is R1 200.

The DSD cost of each food parcel is R700.00 per food parcel. This was done to create uniformity and reduce the levels of disparities between the SASSA SRD and the DSD Food Relief food parcels. This amount excludes the sourcing, handling & distribution costs and the SASSA amount is inclusive.

(2) The name(s) of the service provider(s) that was contracted to provide food parcels in each province are:

Province

Name of service provider

Eastern Cape

Adventist Development & Relief Agency (ADRA)

Free State

Adventist Development & Relief Agency (ADRA)

Gauteng

Kagisano

 

Believers Care Society

 

Entokozweni Development

 

Siyabonga Development

 

Carol Shaw

 

Bokamoso Development

 

Rorisang PTY LTD

 

Barath Chemicals & Engineering

 

Mohlodi 247 Business Solutions

 

Schutz Trading and Enterprise

 

Chobokwane PTY LTD

KwaZulu Natal

Action Development Agency (ADA)

Limpopo

Makotse Womens Club

Mpumalanga

Kago Yabana Foundation

Northern Cape

Motswedi Wa Sechaba

 

Islamic Relief South Africa

 

Lunchbox

North West

Motswedi Wa Sechaba

 

Wolrd Focus Projects

 

Mekgwe Mobile Shop (PTY) LTD

 

RXD Logistics 9

 

Re Thusa Botlhe Catering & Cleaning Services

 

Mabogo Dinku Enterprise & Projects

 

DM Mega Enterprise

 

Mojero Trading

 

Blink Of Africa Group of Companies

 

Matshota Trading Enterprise

 

Owabo Bonke Trading Projects

 

Pefect Girlz

Western Cape

Ilitha Labantu

 

Islamic Relief South Africa

 

Mustadafin Foundation

 

The South Africa Red Cross Society

 

SANZAF

 

The name(s) of the service provider(s) that have been contracted by SASSA to provide food parcels in each province are attached as Annexure C.

(3) The majority of the applicants for social relief are also self-referrals by citizens experiencing undue hardship. However, SASSA does work with a range of stakeholders in administering this programme. These stakeholders include the Department of Health and Department of Education for the zero hunger programme which supports nutritionally challenged children.

With regards to social relief in the form of food parcels provided as a response to the current disaster, SASSA is a member of the provincial coordinating structures (Provjocs) in all provinces where the provision of social relief of distress is jointly coordinated by different key stakeholders (Municipalities and Government departments). In addition, SASSA has received lists of citizens who have been unable to contact SASSA directly from various NGOs and civil society organisations. The citizens off these lists have been contacted and an application form completed for each one. Those applications which have been approved are then issued with food parcels.

The Departmental officials profile households to identity people in need of food assistance and refer those in need to various social development centres that provide social development services including food assistance.

A community member is then serviced by one of the following DSD centre based programmes depending on the age and other social needs of the individual: Early Childhood Development Centre (ECD), a Community Nutrition and Development Centre (CNDC), Drop-in Centre (DIC), Home Community Based Care Centre (HCBCC), or the Luncheon Club.

The Department collaborates with non-profit organisations to then service the identified persons in need of social services. All DSD centres are operated by non-profit organisations and food parcels were 1st provided to DSD centres with already profiled beneficiaries that were receiving food assistance even prior to lock-down.

During lock-down these beneficiaries would have been more vulnerable. The food parcels intervention targeted them through the DSD centre based programmes. Refer to the attached - list of CNDCs from the provinces operated by NPOs.

Another mechanism is the call centre, which was established in most provinces during COVID-19 lock-down for receiving more people in need of assistance beyond DSD centres and self-referrals.

Call-centres in Provinces:

The Provinces received requests for food relief through the Call Centre or provided email. The information is shared with Provincial DSD Team, which then cluster requests by District and service area. Teams are then allocated to respond to the requests. On assessment, the team on the ground makes the determination based on set assessment criteria. Food parcels then get delivered to the households by the officials.

(4) The demand for food parcels has definitely increased since the lock-down was announced. In trying to ensure the Department was able to respond to the increased demand, the application form for SRD was reduced, to capture only essential information and Ministerial Directions signed on 30 March 2020 enabling SASSA to take telephonic applications, so that the need for face to face interviews could be dispensed with.

The content of the relief parcel and price was reduced as a strategy to stretch the budget and provide assistance to as many deserving beneficiaries as possible. The fresh produce, samp (which requires a long time to cook which means increased energy costs for those already struggling) were excluded and each parcel was issued at a standardised price of R1 200 per food parcel in all provinces.

The qualifying criteria for SASSA applications was limited to include specific categories only, in an effort to prevent duplication with other organisations also providing food relief. The following categories of clients were identified for assistance by SASSA:

  • People who did not receive grants in April 2020 because their grants were suspended: temporary disability grants;
  • Children who turned 18 after lockdown
  • Grant beneficiaries who experienced challenges in April to access the grants (card lost or faulty; failed bank verification; fraud; etc)
  • People who should have applied but could not do so as a result of the lockdown (people who turn 60 years old; new born babies whose care givers would have applied for CSG)
  • Persons experiencing undue hardship but do not fall into one of the above categories.

A number of the above categories of clients have been addressed through the latest Directions signed on 9 May – these include the reinstatement of temporary disability grants and care dependency grants and care dependency grants where the care dependent children turn 18 years of age in February, March and April 2020. The grant amounts have also been increased as from May 2020 has also been implemented to try and ensure that social grant beneficiaries are cushioned from the impact of the disaster.

The introduction of the special relief grant of R350 per month as from May has also addressed the last category – that is persons experiencing undue hardship.

(5) The Department and SASSA has, as indicated above, cooperated with various civil society organisations in receiving information about citizens who could potentially qualify for food relief. However, distribution was done by Departmental (SASSA & DSD) staff only to ensure accountability.

National Assembly written Reply: 649 of 2020

18 June 2020 - NW235

Profile picture: Mackenzie, Mr C

Mackenzie, Mr C to ask the Minister of Communications

1. What number of times has the (a) SA Post Office (SAPO) Board and (b) SAPO board subcommittees met since the board’s appointment on 1 November 2019; 2. What (a) were the (i)(aa) dates and (bb) times that the meetings took place and (ii) names of the directors who attended the meetings, (b) was the purpose of each meeting and (c) total remuneration amount was paid to each director; 3. Did she and/or the Deputy Minister attend any of the meetings; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

I have been advised by SAPO as follows:

1. The SAPO Board and Committees met as follows:

SAPO Board & Committee meetings November 2019-February 2020

No of meetings

(a)

SAPO Board

16

(b)

SAPO Board committee meetings November 2019-Feb 2020

 
 

Docex Subsidiary Board

2

 

Audit Committee

3

 

Risk Committee

1

 

IT Governance and Procurement Committee

1

 

Strategic Turnaround & Investment Committee & Properties

8

 

Govt service delivery and Corp Contracts Committee

3

 

Remuneration and Performance Committee

2

 

HR & Transformation Committee

4

 

Social, Ethics and Stakeholder Committee

4

 

Stamp Advisory Committee

2

Oversight meetings with Departments by identified Board Members

 

Financial meeting

1

 

Debt Management meeting

1

 

Operations meeting

1

 

Distribution Network Optimisation Task Team

2

2. (a)(i)(aa)(bb)(ii)(b)(c) Refer to the attached table.

3. The Minister and Deputy Minister only attended the Board induction meeting on 01 November 2019, as the Shareholder is not required to attend Board and Sub-Committee meetings.

 

MS STELLA NDABENI-ABRAHAMS, MP

MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS & DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES

18 June 2020 - NW704

Profile picture: van der Merwe, Ms LL

van der Merwe, Ms LL to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)(a) What number of foreign nationals are currently receiving grants from the SA Social Security Agency and (b) from which countries do they originate; (2) what number of (a) documented and (b) undocumented foreign nationals are currently receiving help from her department during the period of the national state of disaster?

Reply:

1(a) The number of foreign nationals in receipt of social grants as at January 2020 is 48 062.

(b) SASSA does not record the countries from which these citizens emanate, so is unable to provide that detail.

2(a) A total of 112 foreign nationals have received support in the form of social relief of distress (food parcels) since 1 April 2020.

(b) No undocumented foreign nationals have received assistance from SASSA during the period of the disaster.

18 June 2020 - NW1014

Profile picture: Steyn, Ms A

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

What amount has been (a) made available for drought relief since 1 April 2016 and (b) spent in each province; (2) whether any funds have not been spent; if so, what were the reasons for that; (3) whether her department received any applications from provincial departments for drought-relief funding since 1 January 2020; if so, (a) which provinces applied for drought-relief funding, (b) what amount was requested, (c) what amount was allocated and (d) what was the money spent on?

Reply:

(1)(a),(b) Please refer to Annexure A.

(2) The grant allocations were spent.

(3)(a),(b),(c),(d) Drought relief applications were received from 7 provinces. Table below depicts the amounts applied by each specific province and the allocated amount as well as projects earmarked. Please refer to Annexure B.

ANNEXURE A OF NA-QUES 1014 OF 2020

ANNEXURE B OF NA-QUS 10 14 OF 2020

  1. PROVINCE
  1. APPLIED FOR

(c) ALLOCATION R

(d) PROJECTS EARMARKED

   

2020/2021

2020/21

Eastern Cape

395 000 000

35 000 000

Fodder production and boreholes

KwaZulu-Natal

Not specified

4 000 000

Desilting of dams

Limpopo

117 000 000

18 500 000

Boreholes

Mpumalanga

400 000 000

12 500 000

Boreholes and fodder provision

Northern Cape

600 000 000

36 000 000

Removal of alien vegetation and provision of fodder

North West

252 000 000

8 000 000

Provision of fodder

Western Cape

123 000 000

25 000 000

Provision of fodder

Province

ALLOCATION R

EXP

ALLOCATION R

EXP

ALLOCATION R

EXP

 

2016/17

 

2018/19

 

2019/20

-

Eastern Cape

29 000 000

29 000 000

20 000 000

20 000 000

-

-

Free State

31 000 000

31 000 000

13 500 000

13 500 000

-

-

KwaZulu-Natal

23 000 000

23 000 000

-

-

-

-

Limpopo

28 000 000

28 000 000

10 000 000

10 000 000

9 000 000

9 000 000

Mpumalanga

26 000 000

26 000 000

10 000 000

10 000 000

8 000 000

8 000 000

Northern Cape

25 000 000

25 000 000

43 000 000

43 000 000

34 000 000

34 000 000

North West

38 000 000

38 000 000

-

-

   

Western Cape

12 000 000

12 000 000

170 000 000

170 000 000

   

Total

R 212 000 000

R 212 000 000

R266 500 000

R266 500 000

R51 000 00

R51 000 00

18 June 2020 - NW1029

Profile picture: Ismail, Ms H

Ismail, Ms H to ask the Minister of Health

(1)What oversight measuring tools does his department use to ensure that provincial health departments use the monies allocated to them adequately and appropriately; (2) whether he has found that each provincial department of health has used the allocated monies adequately in the past three financial years; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. The oversight measuring tools to strengthen health system effectiveness based on the use of cost-effective interventions that are rendered at an appropriate level of the health system, the Provincial Health Departments report monthly, quarterly, half yearly and annually to National Department as per Public Finance Management Act No.1 of 1999 as amended, section 40. The reports entails In-Year Monitoring, Division of Revenue Act (Conditional Grants) and Pre-determined sets of Non Negotiables.

The reports are tabled and discussed through the National Health Chief Financial Officers Forum, Technical National Health Council and National Health Council.

2. Yes, the allocated funds were used adequately.

The Provincial Departments of health spending for the past three years are as follows;

EASTERN CAPE

ll Financial Values: R'000

2018/19

2017/18

2016/17

2015/16

2014/15

 

AUDIT OUTCOME

Qualified

Financially Unqualified

Financially Unqualified

Financially Unqualified

Qualified

 

APPROPRIATION STATEMENT

Total Final Appropriation

24 026 752

22 337 081

20 650 214

19 033 530

17 714 926

Actual Expenditure

24 472 665

22 275 458

20 506 290

18 957 776

17 549 854

Employee Compensation

15 980 940

14 558 949

13 454 333

12 562 282

11 576 335

Goods and Services

6 110 829

5 784 042

5 206 207

4 522 995

4 595 261

Capital Assets

1 287 172

1 236 256

1 277 587

1 280 152

1 020 742

 

UIFW EXPENDITURE

Unauthorised Expenditure

-

-

-

-

90 403

Irregular Expenditure

295 570

176 117

241

946

91 209

Fruitless & Wasteful Expenditure

1 224

998

6 855

2 161

1 819

 

HUMAN RESOURCES

Posts Approved

48 005

52 246

45 140

45 140

43 210

Posts Filled

41 519

40 424

40 282

40 225

39 216

 

SOURCE

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

FREE STATE

Financial Information

All Financial Values: R'000

2018/19

2017/18

2016/17

2015/16

2014/15

 

AUDIT OUTCOME

Qualified

Financially Unqualified

Financially Unqualified

Qualified

Qualified

 

APPROPRIATION STATEMENT

Total Final Appropriation

10 381 697

9 738 931

9 043 067

8 728 675

8 327 177

Actual Expenditure

10 238 606

9 801 950

9 077 195

8 694 952

8 293 755

Employee Compensation

6 678 866

6 262 519

5 814 798

5 539 463

5 258 723

Goods and Services

2 586 120

2 647 858

2 365 315

2 375 189

2 287 592

Capital Assets

686 059

654 221

714 398

621 435

648 642

 

UIFW EXPENDITURE

Unauthorised Expenditure

-

140 791

67 634

31 814

11 167

Irregular Expenditure

359 511

324 525

300 966

56 055

16 707

Fruitless & Wasteful Expenditure

32 910

1 171

662

691

7 966

 

HUMAN RESOURCES

Posts Approved

22 902

21 629

21 596

20 952

23 930

Posts Filled

17 781

17 371

17 329

17 810

17 916

 

SOURCE

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

GAUTENG

Financial Information

All Financial Values: R'000

2018/19

2017/18

2016/17

2015/16

2014/15

 

AUDIT OUTCOME

Financially Unqualified

Financially Unqualified

Financially Unqualified

Financially Unqualified

Qualified

 

APPROPRIATION STATEMENT

Total Final Appropriation

47 543 133

42 739 750

38 192 111

35 816 383

32 015 230

Actual Expenditure

46 010 560

42 013 459

37 440 067

34 864 555

31 005 212

Employee Compensation

26 902 299

25 085 331

23 289 574

20 648 000

18 654 909

Goods and Services

15 229 603

13 583 390

11 078 374

11 257 325

9 735 281

Capital Assets

1 572 106

1 476 113

1 582 158

1 481 189

1 031 499

 

UIFW EXPENDITURE

Unauthorised Expenditure

-

-

-

-

-

Irregular Expenditure

2 292 068

1 352 204

1 860 020

493 155

-

Fruitless & Wasteful Expenditure

26 682

37 918

-

7 433

159 759

 

HUMAN RESOURCES

Posts Approved

72 244

71 943

72 894

73 199

n/a

Posts Filled

63 962

66 124

67 467

65 118

n/a

 

SOURCE

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

KWAZULU-NATAL

Financial Information

All Financial Values: R'000

2018/19

2017/18

2016/17

2015/16

2014/15

 

AUDIT OUTCOME

Qualified

Qualified

Qualified

Qualified

Qualified

 

APPROPRIATION STATEMENT

Total Final Appropriation

42 850 312

40 228 250

37 337 104

34 213 586

31 409 398

Actual Expenditure

42 549 830

39 911 321

37 026 397

34 110 724

31 245 510

Employee Compensation

26 336 189

24 614 793

23 354 896

21 793 160

20 014 422

Goods and Services

13 342 400

12 343 292

11 382 844

10 105 233

8 895 999

Capital Assets

1 758 330

1 592 882

1 106 314

1 257 629

1 505 879

 

UIFW EXPENDITURE

Unauthorised Expenditure

14 248

-

18 997

147 119

127 693

Irregular Expenditure

2 977 103

1 464 342

1 325 084

1 257 484

708 803

Fruitless & Wasteful Expenditure

6 089

3 186

5 763

5 117

3 033

 

HUMAN RESOURCES

Posts Approved

n/a

74 080

79 087

78 669

81 226

Posts Filled

n/a

68 125

69 924

72 078

71 257

 

SOURCE

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

LIMPOPO

Financial Information

All Financial Values: R'000

2018/19

2017/18

2016/17

2015/16

2014/15

 

AUDIT OUTCOME

Qualified

Qualified

Qualified

Qualified

Financially Unqualified

 

APPROPRIATION STATEMENT

Total Final Appropriation

19 801 784

18 609 439

17 300 715

15 501 794

14 618 588

Actual Expenditure

19 722 686

18 389 158

17 217 613

15 432 088

14 526 110

Employee Compensation

14 199 041

12 978 967

12 218 486

11 352 270

10 336 806

Goods and Services

4 839 161

4 259 771

3 785 515

3 012 337

3 122 861

Capital Assets

425 597

457 016

421 877

499 136

493 679

 

UIFW EXPENDITURE

Unauthorised Expenditure

-

-

-

-

-

Irregular Expenditure

80 243

165 956

217 342

259 062

544 881

Fruitless & Wasteful Expenditure

1 728

3 523

3 378

15 901

43 356

 

HUMAN RESOURCES

Posts Approved

64 343

63 460

63 640

63 460

63 460

Posts Filled

32 908

33 848

34 613

35 552

35 202

 

SOURCE

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

MPUMALANGA

Financial Information

All Financial Values: R'000

2018/19

2017/18

2016/17

2015/16

2014/15

 

AUDIT OUTCOME

Qualified

Qualified

Qualified

Qualified

Qualified

 

APPROPRIATION STATEMENT

Total Final Appropriation

13 119 591

12 160 053

10 611 965

10 163 902

9 045 682

Actual Expenditure

13 055 943

12 083 013

10 579 880

10 080 392

8 879 292

Employee Compensation

7 662 953

7 217 105

6 686 678

6 102 017

5 537 663

Goods and Services

3 913 891

3 439 974

3 064 888

2 902 264

2 639 473

Capital Assets

1 028 712

1 057 356

509 496

595 955

434 074

 

UIFW EXPENDITURE

Unauthorised Expenditure

-

33 999

-

-

190 115

Irregular Expenditure

138 899

309 920

1 552 623

1 919 578

1 918 896

Fruitless & Wasteful Expenditure

487

317

2 306

1 007

3 614

 

HUMAN RESOURCES

Posts Approved

22 338

22 516

21 970

21 670

31 277

Posts Filled

20 412

20 421

20 288

20 090

19 244

 

SOURCE

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

Note

         

NORTH WEST

Financial Information

All Financial Values: R'000

2018/19

2017/18

2016/17

2015/16

2014/15

 

AUDIT OUTCOME

Qualified

Qualified

Qualified

Qualified

Financially Unqualified

 

APPROPRIATION STATEMENT

Total Final Appropriation

n/a

10 600 197

9 681 617

9 199 705

8 184 743

Actual Expenditure

n/a

10 303 417

9 767 254

9 042 677

8 372 853

Employee Compensation

n/a

6 412 002

6 051 077

5 609 901

5 389 881

Goods and Services

n/a

3 005 112

2 802 201

2 581 210

2 286 569

Capital Assets

n/a

641 097

600 349

675 411

579 777

 

UIFW EXPENDITURE

Unauthorised Expenditure

n/a

-

99 647

-

262 564

Irregular Expenditure

n/a

880 911

682 777

696 654

763 834

Fruitless & Wasteful Expenditure

n/a

1 770

1 501

15 254

20 374

 

HUMAN RESOURCES

Posts Approved

n/a

21 809

21 357

21 334

21 103

Posts Filled

n/a

17 536

17 310

17 946

18 929

 

SOURCE

n/a

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

Note

         

NORTHERN CAPE

Financial Information

All Financial Values: R'000

2018/19

2017/18

2016/17

2015/16

2014/15

 

AUDIT OUTCOME

Qualified

Qualified

Qualified

Qualified

Qualified

 

APPROPRIATION STATEMENT

Total Final Appropriation

4 858 837

4 631 443

4 494 185

4 228 961

3 758 130

Actual Expenditure

4 839 637

4 567 470

4 369 138

4 168 520

3 714 324

Employee Compensation

2 804 762

2 572 131

2 322 039

2 150 712

1 936 740

Goods and Services

1 627 617

1 452 145

1 479 782

1 317 295

1 150 049

Capital Assets

350 015

480 835

395 290

583 256

486 084

 

UIFW EXPENDITURE

Unauthorised Expenditure

1 261

100 296

51 576

92 790

91 636

Irregular Expenditure

714 939

412 379

574 183

805 906

537 169

Fruitless & Wasteful Expenditure

5 394

5 270

10 537

4 392

6 212

 

HUMAN RESOURCES

Posts Approved

7 533

7 196

7 703

9 020

8 929

Posts Filled

6 828

6 924

6 882

6 840

6 694

 

SOURCE

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

Note

         

WESTERN CAPE

Financial Information

All Financial Values: R'000

2018/19

2017/18

2016/17

2015/16

2014/15

 

AUDIT OUTCOME

Clean Audit

Financially Unqualified

Financially Unqualified

Financially Unqualified

Financially Unqualified

 

APPROPRIATION STATEMENT

Total Final Appropriation

23 215 861

21 738 171

20 234 419

19 154 794

17 552 380

Actual Expenditure

23 045 811

21 498 184

20 080 640

18 740 193

17 307 548

Employee Compensation

13 515 392

12 660 391

11 833 864

10 949 652

10 072 353

Goods and Services

7 219 595

6 892 429

6 457 483

5 976 263

5 510 960

Capital Assets

1 004 040

751 434

784 560

747 064

746 805

 

UIFW EXPENDITURE

Unauthorised Expenditure

-

-

-

-

-

Irregular Expenditure

12 886

23 553

11 330

7 284

24 426

Fruitless & Wasteful Expenditure

-

-

7

-

-

 

HUMAN RESOURCES

Posts Approved

33 857

33 018

32 626

33 055

33 190

Posts Filled

31 914

31 549

31 463

31 432

31 267

 

SOURCE

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

Annual Report

END.

18 June 2020 - NW973

Profile picture: Masango, Ms B

Masango, Ms B to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)What are the names of the partners who work with the SA Social Security Agency to process (a) applications and (b) payments of the Covid-19 social relief grant system; (2) what (a) existing partnerships does GovChat have and/or work with and (b) role do the partners play; (3) (a) what will the collected data of persons who qualify for the Covid-19 social relief grant of R350 be used for once the payment of the grant is terminated and (b) who will have access and full rights to this data?

Reply:

1. (a) SASSA is utilising the services of:-

  1. Vodacom SA to provide the USSD channel for capturing the grant applications.
  2. GovChat to provide the WhatsApp channel for capturing the grants applications.
  3. Prosense Technology to provide the WebApp channel for capturing the grant applications, as well as the processing of applications and creation and reconciling of payment files for the Special Covid-19 social relief grant.
  4. National Treasury for Account verification and Cash flow Management
  5. Bankserv for processing of the payment files from SASSA as per the Industry EFT payments process.
  6. Banks for the payment of grants

(b) SASSA has used an existing contract and service provider, Prosense Technology, to leverage and expand on existing capabilities to assist to create and effect payments.

2. (a) SASSA is not privy to the partnerships which GovChat has and who they work with, but is aware that GovChat is also providing data service platforms to COGTA (since 2017) and the Department of Health.

(b) SASSA is not privy to the role that other partners play.

3. (a) Upon termination of the payment of the Covid-19 social relief grant of R350, the collected data will be stored or disposed of in terms of the applicable personal data protection laws.

(b) SASSA will have access and the full rights to the data will remain vested in the Data Subject as per the Protection of Personal Information Act. SASSA and GovChat have signed a Data Processing and Confidentiality Agreement which protects beneficiary data against access by any other party or sale of the beneficiary data or use for any other purpose other than for application for the special Covid 19 SRD grant.

18 June 2020 - NW1002

Profile picture: Hlengwa, Ms MD

Hlengwa, Ms MD to ask the Minister of Health

(1)What total number of ventilators have been procured in the fight against Covid-19; (2) whether any of the total number of ventilators were and/or are being procured from local suppliers; if not, why not; if so, (a) what number of ventilators, (b) what are the names of the local suppliers they were and/or are being procured from and (c) on what date(s) in each case?

Reply:

1. As at 15 June 2020, a total of 1138 ventilators have been procured through Provincial Health Departments as well as National Department and they are all imported with a lead-time of minimum of 3 months and maximum of 9 months. Eastern Cape and Limpopo received 15 of the 60 and 3 of the 133 procured ventilators, respectively. The remaining 1120 ventilators are still to be delivered. Table below give a full illustration of all ventilators procured and the numbers that were delivered.

Province

Current ventilator capacity

No of Ventilators Procured

Supplier

Date of delivery

National

Procurement

 

300

SSEM Mthembu

Delivery expected on 1st week of August

EC

68

30

Mbuso Medical

15 delivered. 15 will be delivered on 31-Jul-2020

 

 

30

SSEM Mthembu

5 on 30-Jun-2020, 10 on 31-Jul-2020, 15 on 31 Aug 2020

EC Total

68

60

 

 

FS

200

50

Phoenix Neomed

15 -31 July 2020

 

  

 

 

 

     

Mbuso Medical

 
     

SSEM Mthembu

 
     

Drager

 
     

Marquet

 
     

Medhold

 
     

Respiratory Care Africa

 

FS total

200

50

 

 

GP total

409

145

 

Drager

An incorrect order was placed for 145 circuits instead of ventilators. This will be amended & an order for 145 ventilators will be processed on today (15 June 2020)

KZN

164

18

Drager

26-Jun-20

     

SSEM Mthembu

3 on 7 Jul 2020

   

11

 

8 on 5 Aug 2020

   

6

Marquet

05-Aug-20

KZN Total

164

35

 

 

LP

78

3

 

Only 3 delivered

   

30

SSEM Mthembu

30-Jun-20

   

100

Mbuso Medical

27 on 25-June-2020

       

73 on 21-July-2020

LP Total

78

133

 

 

MPU

130

75

SSEM Mthembu

31-Jul-20

   

50

Drager

31-Aug-20

   

75

Marquet

31-Aug-20

   

75

Mbuso Medical

31-Aug-20

MPU total

130

275

SSEM Mthembu

Awaiting delivery

NC total

17

   

No ventilator ordered

NW total

59

40

Drager

Jan-Mar 2021 - They are currently looking for another supplier who can deliver earlier

 

125

70

Respiratory Care Africa

31 July 2020

   

30

 SSEM Mthembu

15 July 2020

WC total

125

100

   

Total

1250

1138

 

18 delivered

         

2. Yes, all are procured through local suppliers;

a) 1120 Ventilators are still to be delivered;

b) Local suppliers are SSEM Mthembu, Mbuso Medicals, Phoenix Neomed, Drager, Marquet, Medhold and Respiratory Care Africa;

c) Delivery dates are expected from end June to August 2020 and between January and March 2021.

END.

18 June 2020 - NW1123

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Chirwa, Ms NN to ask the Minister of Health

With reference to his department’s submission to the Portfolio Committee on Health that the current supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) sits at 10% local and export from other countries at 90%, what steps has his department taken to ensure that local suppliers of PPE are included, especially rural and township designers and suppliers?

Reply:

The National Department of Health collaborated with the National Treasury and Department of Trade and Industry to identify local manufacturers and distributors to enable departments to procure locally manufactured Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) products. To this effect, the following initiatives have been concluded:

  • Visibility of local manufacturers and distributors: A market intelligence tool was developed listing all local manufacturers and their distributors of the key seventeen (17) PPE items used in the prevention of the spread of COVID-19. The tool enables public sector buyers to inter alia identify manufacturers and their distributors as follows:
    • According to their provinces, cities, towns and districts;
    • It also provides information such as GPS coordinates of manufacturers and distributors;
    • Contact details of manufactures and distributors for ease of use
    • Information of where the PPE comes from such as country of origin and quality assurance;
    • It allows public sector buyers to identify exactly where the stock they are procuring coming from.
    • Local manufacturers’ information regarding BBBEE Level;
    • % Black Ownership;
    • Manufacturer information
    • Product Name
    • Product Price;
    • Shipper Pack Quantities; and
    • Product Category (Distinguishing between 17 Essential PPE Categories and Non-Essential PPE Product Categories).

(2) The National Department of Health and all provincial departments have allowed access to this tool for use in the sourcing of PPE items/products. The tool is available online and data / information is continuously updated with the information of new entry of service providers to PPE market.

  • On Central Supplier Database (CSD) there are approximately 20 000 suppliers registered who have indicated that they are able to for deliver PPE items. On the basis of that information the National Department of Health collaborated with National Treasury to ask Treasury to do modification on CSD that will allow all service providers who are registered on CSD for the supply of PPE to be able to provide additional information such as stock-on-hand information;
  • As at 7 June 2020, approximately 2600 suppliers have uploaded stock-on-hand information. This initiative will enable public sector buyers to be able to source PPE products with service providers who actually have stock;
  • They can select service providers according to their province, districts and towns etc;
  • They can further select service providers according to their BEE status, % black ownership, military veterans, black youth, black women, owned by black persons with disabilities, rural or township based business and SME status.

END.

18 June 2020 - NW993

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Van Staden, Mr PA to ask the Minister of Health

(1)Whether, with reference to his media release on 17 May 2020, in which he reported that a total number of 21 314 tests for Covid-19 were done on citizens throughout the Republic during the 24 hour period since 16 May 2020, he can indicate (a) what total number of test results are outstanding and still need to be finalised by public and private laboratories on a daily basis for Covid-19, (b) from what dates these test results are behind in each province and (c) what are the reasons for the (i) specified delays and (ii) Republic not being able to reach the stated goal of 30 000 tests per day; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details in each case; (2) whether he will make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

(1) (a) The total number of outstanding tests fluctuates on a daily basis, mainly due to the increased community screening that was undertaken in the provinces with corresponding increase in demand for testing for persons under investigation. The number of outstanding COVID-19 tests as at 16 June 2020 in the public sector is currently 54 901, obtaining data from the private sector is proving difficult. The weekly outstanding tests are tabulated below, with backlogs being cleared:

 

09/05/20

14/05/20

21/05/20

25/05/20

28/05/20

04/06/20

09/06/20

10/06/20

11/06/20

16/06/20

Total

49 550

58 930

101 000

96 480

83 767

81 069

70 219

63 244

57 034

54 901

(b) Currently the outstanding tests are about 107 hours old, this is approximately 4 and a half days.

(c) (i) The outstanding tests started in the first week of May 2020 when demand exceeded supply, this was due to:

  • A global shortage of extraction and high throughput kits for undertaking the tests;
  • Logistical issues – interruptions with production, flights cancellations, customs delays;
  • The number of tests allocated to the country is not determined by what the country ordered or needs but by what the supplier can provide.

(ii) The Republic has the capacity to undertake 30 000 tests per day, the key challenge being faced is the supply of chemicals and reagents to undertake the testing. Testing will be prioritised in the hotspot areas especially among the vulnerable persons (greater than 60 years of age and those with underlying medical conditions).

END.

18 June 2020 - NW995

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Van Staden, Mr PA to ask the Minister of Health

(1)Whether, given the worldwide trend that statistics of positive cases and deaths due to Covid-19 are made available in terms of age, gender and race, he will consider to release statistics for positive cases and deaths in the Republic in terms of age, gender and race on a daily basis; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) whether he will make a statement on the matter?

Reply:

1. We release data on Covid-19 daily. The following information is contained in the data daily reports to the public:

  • Cumulative number of tests conducted by public and private sector laboratories;
  • Daily new number of tests conducted by public and private sector laboratories;
  • Cumulative number of positive cases identified by province;
  • Cumulative number of recoveries by province;
  • Cumulative number of deaths per province, including age and gender distribution of deaths; and
  • We will indicate the issue of race classification later.

2. I am willing to make a statement in the House in this regard.

END.

18 June 2020 - NW1124

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Thembekwayo, Dr S to ask the Minister of Health

(1)Whether he has been informed about an anonymous tip-off from a healthcare worker in Gauteng that the National Institute Communicable Disease has advised to no longer conduct secondary retests to patients who have supposedly recovered; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what the relevant details; (2) what are the conditions of second tests being conducted on those who have tested negative and then requested a second test and (b) how often do healthcare workers in hospitals and clinics undergo testing of Coronavirus, more so the workforce that works with patients of Covid-19?

Reply:

1. Policies are constantly reviewed to meet the demands of an evolving epidemic. Due to the global shortage of testing extraction kits, earlier policies that advocated repeat testing had to be revised. The National Institute for Communicable Diseases has aligned its recommendation to WHO Guidelines and national resources imperatives. Second tests are not conducted on persons who are negative and asymptomatic due to the shortage of testing kits.

2. (a) Those persons that test negative and are asymptomatic are not tested again, however those that are symptomatic- tests are repeated for these individuals, especially those that are at high risk.

(b) The health professional staff are not tested routinely except if they have symptoms of Covid-19 or fulfil the criteria of a high-risk exposure with a person who tested positive with Covid-19. They may after seven days of self-isolation be clinically evaluated and tested on day 8 with the possibility of early return to work if they have a negative test and are clinically well. They will continue to be monitored for symptoms till day 14 and are counselled on personal hygiene measures. Health professional staff are monitored daily through symptom screening. The rationale is that there are not enough test kits and targeted testing is needed. Risk assessments in health care settings, use of public health measures, personal hygiene, training on Covid-19 and personal protective equipment all contribute to a lowered risk of transmission exposure.

END.

18 June 2020 - NW1030

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Ismail, Ms H to ask the Minister of Health

(1)Whether in the past three years his department has come across any cases of the condition called Paediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome that is responsible for the hospitalisation of hundreds of children overseas; if so, (a) what number of cases and (b) where were they found; (2) whether his department has found that this condition is in some way linked to the coronavirus; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. The Department is not aware of any cases of Paediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in South Africa. This is not unexpected. The condition remains very rare, and has only been documented in areas which have experienced a very high incidence of COVID-19 infection. In addition, most children have presented two to four weeks after the peak of the epidemic.

It is therefore likely that any cases which may occur in South Africa will present later in the year, during or after the expected peak in COVID-19 cases. It is however important that health care workers and parents remain alert as cases may be missed unless a high index of suspicion is maintained.

Any cases that are identified will be notified through the Notifiable Medical Conditions system, as well as to the World Health Organization clinical database.

(2) Evidence of past infection with coronavirus or exposure to someone with COVID-19 infection is part of the WHO case definition of the condition. The Department of Health currently uses the same case definition.

END.

Background

Most children with COVID-19 infection are asymptomatic or exhibit mild symptoms. However, in the last three months a small number of children have been identified who develop a significant systemic inflammatory response[1].

This rare syndrome shares common features with other paediatric inflammatory conditions including: Kawasaki disease, staphylococcal and streptococcal toxic shock syndromes, bacterial sepsis and macrophage activation syndromes. It can also present with unusual abdominal symptoms with excessive inflammatory markers. Affected children may require paediatric intensive care and input from paediatric infectious diseases, cardiology, and rheumatology specialists.

This syndrome has been named Paediatric Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, and the World Health Organization has developed the following case definition[2]:

Children and adolescents 0–19 years of age with fever > 3 days AND two of the following:                                

  1. Rash or bilateral non-purulent conjunctivitis or muco-cutaneous inflammation signs (oral, hands or feet).
  2. Hypotension or shock.
  3. Features of myocardial dysfunction, pericarditis, valvulitis, or coronary abnormalities (including ECHO findings or elevated Troponin/NT-proBNP),
  4. Evidence of coagulopathy (by PT, PTT, elevated d-Dimers).
  5. Acute gastrointestinal problems (diarrhoea, vomiting, or abdominal pain).

AND

Elevated markers of inflammation such as ESR, C-reactive protein, or procalcitonin. 

AND

No other obvious microbial cause of inflammation, including bacterial sepsis, staphylococcal or streptococcal shock syndromes.

AND

Evidence of COVID-19 (RT-PCR, antigen test or serology positive), or likely contact with patients with COVID-19.

As data on this condition remains very limited, clinicians have been requested to submit details of identified cases to a Global COVID-19 Clinical Data Platform.

  1. Royal College of Paediatricians and Guidance: Paediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome temporally associated with COVID-19. https://www.rcpch.ac.uk/sites/default/files/2020-05/COVID-19-Paediatric-multisystem-%20inflammatory%20syndrome-20200501.pdf. Accessed 1st June 2020.

  2. World Health Organization. Scientific Brief: Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children and adolescents with COVID-19. Geneva, World Health Organization. 15th May 2020. https://www.who.int/publications-detail/multisystem-inflammatory-syndrome-in-children-and-adolescents-with-covid-19. Accessed: 1st June 2020.

18 June 2020 - NW1031

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Ismail, Ms H to ask the Minister of Health

(1)Whether his department has investigated the effects of wearing masks for long periods of time in view of reports of both adults and children fainting due to wearing the mask for long hours; if not, why not; if so, (2) whether, since it is now mandatory for citizens to wear masks when they leave the house, his department can and will take responsibility for persons who develop adverse health effects due to wearing of the masks for long periods of time; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. No, the Department has not undertaken any investigations on the effects of wearing masks for long periods as there is substantial published research on this important topic. The wearing of cloth masks by the general public for long-periods is commonplace in several countries prior to Covid-19. Similarly, the wearing of surgical masks by healthcare personnel for long periods is standard practice and has been found to be safe. Cloth masks are better tolerated than surgical masks or N95 respirators used by healthcare workers. Fainting may occur when the mask is worn incorrectly such that the nose and mouth are occluded, but as far as we have been able to ascertain, there are no peer-reviewed scientific reports of this. There are anecdotal accounts of people passing out from long-term use of N95 respirators;

2. Wearing of cloth masks has been shown in many reports to reduce community transmission of the virus and therefore is a necessary intervention like hand hygiene and social distancing. The National Department of Health will ensure that whether the person wears a mask or not, anyone in respiratory distress will be provided the best possible care in our healthcare facilities. 

END.

18 June 2020 - NW1100

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Ismail, Ms H to ask the Minister of Health

(1)How does his department (a) choose and (b) allocate the service providers that provide food at each quarantine site; (2) whether the tenders to provide food at quarantine sites are advertised; if not, why not; if so, where are they advertised; (3) (a) on what basis are the service providers procured and (b) what amount is budgeted for the tenders?

Reply:

1. When private sites are procured to function as quarantine facilities, the rate negotiated includes all meals and forms part of the Service Level Agreement signed between the National Department of Public Works & Infrastructure and the facility. Where National or Provincial parks are being used, the park itself or tourism board provide catering. If such a site decides to outsource the service it is done based on their Supply Chain Management processes. For state-owned sites however, the processes for providing food is managed by the Provincial Department of Health and procured based on government Supply Chain Management processes;

2. There is an approved protocol agreement between the National Department of Public Works & Infrastructure and National Department of Health related to procurement of private facilities that include catering. Where the tenders or procurements are advertised for public facilities it would depend on the size of the contract and the normal Supply Chain Management processes the provincial departments follow;

3. (a) The service providers are procured as per standard Supply Chain Management principles;

(b) The budget for the provision of food is not fixed. It is need based and would vary based on the size of the site, the number of people that it needs to cater for, the duration that the food is to be supplied for and the basis for provisioning.

END.

18 June 2020 - NW1096

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

What (a)(i) assistance and/or (ii) funding will his department provide to technical and vocational education and training centres (TVETs) to ensure that they are able to implement Covid-19 national health protocols as they apply to tertiary institutions and (b) oversight will his department perform over TVETs to ensure that Covid-19 national health protocols as they apply to campuses are implemented across campuses?

Reply:

(a) Assistance is provided to TVET colleges through Higher Health, which conducts daily screening and provides health care volunteers on every campus. Capacity development webinars on the COVID-19 Post-School Education and Training (PSET) guidelines and protocols have been conducted for TVET management in all the regions. Higher Health facilitated these sessions and over 1 000 management staff at TVET colleges have been trained. Colleges have reprioritised their budgets to take the necessary measures in line with the COVID-19 protocols and guidelines. Amongst others, college budgets have been redirected towards the procurement of personal protective equipment, sanitisers, facial masks, fumigation and the deep cleansing of campuses.

(b) The Department has been administering the TVET readiness assessment questionnaire on a weekly basis for the past four weeks. This was intended to assess the state of readiness of TVET colleges and report progress to the Department and Ministerial Task Team on COVID-19. Continuous monitoring, which includes on-site visits and the through the regional offices, the Department verifies the information provided by colleges. In addition, the Minister and Deputy Minister have recently visited several PSET institutions to assess and monitor the state of readiness for the phased return of students and staff to campuses under level 3.

18 June 2020 - NW1129

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Komane, Ms RN to ask the Minister of Health

What is the new strategy for curbing new community infections for coronavirus since the lockdown has not manifested tangible outcomes of reducing new infections in communities?

Reply:

The strategy for curbing infections in communities is in keeping with the World Health Organisation’s recommendations, which is to undertake contact tracing, community screening and testing - which has now evolved into targetted community screening, especially in the hotspots (where there is greater than 5 cases per 100 000 population). The National Department of Health is also working closely with its provincial counterparts to also ensure hospital readiness for COVID-19. Moreover, community messaging on social distancing and hygiene practices are being stepped up in provinces, especially where the hotspots have been identified. A revised testing strategy will prioritise those persons who are at very high risk and are symptomatic.

The lockdown has been effective in managing new infections. The mathematical models have shown us that we would have had a five times higher mortality if the lockdown was not implemented.

Additionally the lockdown provides the health system an opportunity to plan for the surge of infections. The lockdown has achieved both these objectives reducing new infections and providing the healthcare system with more time to prepare for the surge.

The new strategy is a risk adjusted model of alert levels based on the level of infection and the health system capacity in an area. The health system must focus its energy and resources on these areas where there are high levels of infection. These areas are different from other areas where there is little or no infection. The areas with low risk do not require the stringent restriction that areas of high risk require. There is little value in a generalised lockdown when the reality is that there are specific areas of the country that are of high risk (Hotspot). These areas require intervention to curb the spread of infection. The risk adjusted approach is intended to focus our attention on areas that are at high risk. This is a much more efficient approach to responding to COVID-19.

END.

18 June 2020 - NW899

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Khawula, Ms MS to ask the Minister of Social Development:

What are the reasons that women are not receiving food parcels in Ward 75 in (a) Lamontville Spingo and (b) KwaMashu hostels?

Reply:

Social Relief of Distress (SRD) is provided to an applicant, both male and female, who meets the eligibility requirements as set in the Social Assistance Act, 2004. SASSA has not issued food parcels only to males in the areas noted, as is illustrated in the summary below:

(a). WARD 75: ISIPINGO AND LAMONTVILLE:

1. PERIOD APRIL 2019 TO MAY 2020

Of the total of 152 citizens who received social relief of distress in this period, 77 were females, while 75 were males.

2. PERIOD APRIL 2020 TO MAY 2020:

During this period a total of 56 food parcels were issued by SASSA, Provincial Department of Social Development and Ethekwini Municipality. Of these, 48 went to females and only 8 were issued to males.

(b) KWAMASHU MENS HOSTEL: WARD 39:

1. PERIOD: MAY 2019 TO MARCH 2020:

For this period a total of 294 qualifying citizens received social relief of distress. Of this number, 150 were female and 144 were male.

2. PERIOD APRIL 2020 TO MAY 2020

For the period from April to May 2020 a total of 47 food parcels were issued, of which 32 were issued to females and 15 to males. The food parcels were issued by both SASSA and Ethekwini Municipality.

18 June 2020 - NW1101

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Ismail, Ms H to ask the Minister of Health

Whether any medical studies have been conducted on the effects of 5G radiation; if not, why not; if so, what (a) studies have been conducted and (b) are the effects thereof?

Reply:

a) Yes, several studies have been done internationally on the effects of 5G radiation and published in accredited scientific journals. Some of these studies are:

(i) Towards 5G communication systems: Are there health implications? International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health (2018);

(ii) 5G Radiation and COVID-19: The Non-Existent Connection. International Journal of Research in Electronics and Computer Engineering (2020);

(iii) 5G Wireless Communication and Health Effects—A Pragmatic Review Based on Available Studies Regarding 6 to 100 GHz. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (2019);

(iv) 5G wireless telecommunications expansion: Public health and environmental implications. Environmental Research (2018);

(v) Adverse health effects of 5G mobile networking technology under real-life conditions. Toxicology Letters (2020);

The World Health Organisation (WHO): 5G mobile networks and health (February 2020) acknowledges two international bodies that have produced electromagnetic fields exposure guidelines that countries need adhere to: a) The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (2020) guidelines for limiting exposure to Electromagnetic Fields; and b) The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, through the International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety has produced guidelines for radiofrequencies up to 300 GHz, including the frequencies under discussion for 5G.

b) According to the International Commission on Non‐Ionizing Radiation Protection 2020 Guidelines, 5G is safe. These Guidelines are the revision of the 1998 Guidelines and provide protection for humans from exposure to Electro-Magnetic fields from 100 Kilo Hertz to 300 Giga Hertz. The only substantiated adverse health effects caused by exposure to radiofrequency Electro-magnetic Fields are nerve stimulation, changes in the permeability of cell membranes, and effects due to temperature elevation. Kostoff et al (2020), and Russell (2018) have argued that radiofrequency radiation (RF) used in 5G is increasingly being recognized as a new form of environmental pollution, and adverse systemic health effects beyond skin and eyes.

The WHO (2020) conclusion on 5G mobile networks and health was that no adverse health effect has been causally linked with exposure to wireless technologies. Health-related conclusions were drawn from studies performed across the entire radio spectrum but, so far, only a few studies have been carried out at the frequencies to be used by 5G. Tissue heating was identified as the main mechanism of interaction between radiofrequency fields and the human body. Radiofrequency exposure levels from current technologies resulted in negligible temperature rise in the human body. As the frequency increases, there is less penetration into the body tissues and absorption of the energy becomes more confined to the surface of the body (skin and eye). Provided that the overall exposure remains below international guidelines, no consequences for public health are anticipated.

END.

Annexure: Reply to Question No. 1101 References

Reference

Abstract

Findings

1. Di Ciaula, A. (2018). Towards 5G communication systems: Are there health implications? International journal of hygiene and environmental health, 221(3), 367-375.

Preliminary observations showed that MMW increase skin temperature, alter gene expression, promote cellular proliferation and synthesis of proteins linked with oxidative stress, inflammatory and metabolic processes, could generate ocular damages, affect neuro-muscular dynamics. Further studies are needed to better and independently explore the health effects of RF-EMF in general and of MMW in particular. However, available findings seem sufficient to demonstrate the existence of biomedical effects, to invoke the precautionary principle, to define exposed subjects as potentially vulnerable and to revise existing limits.

  • RF-EMF exposure is rising and health effects of are still under investigation.
  • Both oncologic and non-cancerous chronic effects have been suggested.
  • 5G networks could have health effects and will use MMW, still scarcely explored.
  • Adequate knowledge of RF-EMF biological effects is also needed in clinical practice.
  • Underrating the problem could lead to a further rise in non-communicable diseases.

2. Uthman, M., Shaibu, F. E., Bara’u Gafai Najashi, I. F., Labran, A. S., & Umar, U. S. A. (2020) 5G Radiation and COVID-19: The Non-Existent Connection. International Journal of Research in Electronics and Computer Engineering, Vol. 8 Issue 2 Apr.-June 2020

This paper presents an overview of the 5G mobile technology alongside an overview of coronavirus diseases and demonstrate that there is no connection between them by providing the scientific evidence of research carried out by international organizations in charge of 5G technology.

From all the discussions it has been established that coronaviruses are not new disease pathogens but there have been various outbreaks of the disease over the years with various strains. The latest of which is COVID-19. 5G technology is still in development and has not been fully deployed around the world yet. As such, there is no correlation between COVID-19 and 5G technology. COVID-19 originate from animals (bats) and are transmitted to humans and subsequently spread from human to human, certainly not through 5G radiation.

3. Simkó, M., & Mattsson, M. O. (2019). 5G Wireless Communication and Health Effects—A Pragmatic Review Based on Available Studies Regarding 6 to 100 GHz. International journal of environmental research and public health, 16(18), 3406.

This review analyzed 94 relevant publications performing in vivo or in vitro investigations. Each study was characterized for: study type (in vivo, in vitro), biological material (species, cell type, etc.), biological endpoint, exposure (frequency, exposure duration, power density), results, and certain quality criteria.

In order to evaluate and summarize the 6–100 GHz data in this review, it draws the following conclusions:

Regarding the health effects of MMW in the 6–100 GHz frequency range at power densities not exceeding the exposure guidelines the studies provide no clear evidence, due to contradictory information from the in vivo and in vitro investigations.

Regarding the possibility of “non-thermal” effects, the available studies provide no clear explanation of any mode of action of observed effects.

Regarding the quality of the presented studies, too few studies fulfil the minimal quality criteria to allow any further conclusions.

4. The International Commission on Non‐Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) Guidelines (2020)

The Germany-based scientific body that assesses the health risks of radio broadcasts, called for new guidelines for millimetre-wave 5G, the most high-frequency version of the telecommunications standard.

5G is safe, according to the international body in charge of setting limits on exposure to radiation.

5. Russell, C. L. (2018). 5G wireless telecommunications expansion: Public health and environmental implications. Environmental research, 165, 484-495.

This article will reviews relevant electromagnetic frequencies, exposure standards and current scientific literature on the health implications of 2G, 3G, 4G exposure, including some of the available literature on 5G frequencies.

5G technologies are far less studied for human or environmental effects. It is argued that the addition of this added high frequency 5G radiation to an already complex mix of lower frequencies, will contribute to a negative public health outcome both from both physical and mental health perspectives. Radiofrequency radiation (RF) is increasingly being recognized as a new form of environmental pollution. Like other common toxic exposures, the effects of radiofrequency electromagnetic radiation (RF EMR) will be problematic if not impossible to sort out epidemiologically as there no longer remains an unexposed control group.

6. International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection. (2020). Guidelines for limiting exposure to Electromagnetic Fields (100 kHz to 300 GHz). Health Physics, 118(5), 483-524.

This document presents the revised guidelines, which provide protection for

humans from exposure to EMFs from 100 kHz to 300 GHz.

The only substantiated adverse health effects caused by exposure to radiofrequency EMFs are nerve stimulation, changes in the permeability of cell membranes, and effects due to temperature elevation. There is no evidence of adverse health effects at exposure levels below the restriction levels in the ICNIRP (1998) guidelines and no evidence of an interaction mechanism that would predict that adverse health effects could occur due to radiofrequency EMF exposure below those restriction levels.

7. Kostoff, R. N., Heroux, P., Aschner, M., & Tsatsakis, A. (2020). Adverse health effects of 5G mobile networking technology under real-life conditions. Toxicology Letters, 323, 35-40.

This article identifies adverse effects of non-ionizing non-visible radiation (hereafter called

wireless radiation) reported in the premier biomedical literature.

  • Identifies wide-spectrum of adverse health effects of non-ionizing non-visible radiation.
  • Most laboratory experiments were not designed to identify the more severe adverse effects reflective of real-life conditions.
  • Many experiments do not include the real-life pulsing and modulation of the carrier signal.
  • Vast majority of experiments do not account for synergistic adverse effects of other toxic stimuli with wireless radiation.
  • 5G mobile networking technology will affect not only the skin and eyes, but will have adverse systemic effects as well.

8. World Health Organisation

(5G mobile networks and health

27 February 2020 | Q&A)

Two international bodies produce exposure guidelines on electromagnetic fields. Many countries currently adhere to the guidelines recommended by:

The International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection and,

The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, through the International Committee on Electromagnetic Safety

These guidelines are not technology-specific. They cover radiofrequencies up to 300 GHz, including the frequencies under discussion for 5G.

To date, and after much research performed, no adverse health effect has been causally linked with exposure to wireless technologies. Health-related conclusions are drawn from studies performed across the entire radio spectrum but, so far, only a few studies have been carried out at the frequencies to be used by 5G.

Tissue heating is the main mechanism of interaction between radiofrequency fields and the human body. Radiofrequency exposure levels from current technologies result in negligible temperature rise in the human body.

As the frequency increases, there is less penetration into the body tissues and absorption of the energy becomes more confined to the surface of the body (skin and eye). Provided that the overall exposure remains below international guidelines, no consequences for public health are anticipated.

18 June 2020 - NW1097

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

(1)Whether his department has been informed that the Springfield Campus of Ethekwini College, although offering courses with practical components, has not been offering any practicals for students enrolled in engineering courses, despite these being advertised as part of the curriculum; if not, what is the position in this regard; (2) whether students are paying for the practical course from (a) their own funding and/or (b) the National Students Financial Aid Scheme; (3) whether his department has been informed that the Springfield Campus of Ethekwini College, is in a complete state of disrepair with collapsed perimeter fencing and/or walls, no access control and that entry to the campus is obscured by a dumpsite; if not, what steps will he take to investigate the matter; if so, how does his department plan to intervene?

Reply:

(1) The campus offers Engineering and Related Design (E&RD) NCV programmes where students are doing practical activities as part of the Internal Continuous Assessments (ICASS). For the students to qualify for entry into the examinations the ISAT (practical exam component) needs to be administered. The Campus yearly is conducting relevant practical tasks. We are not aware of any programme offered at Springfield Campus where practicals are supposed to be offered and they are not offered.

(2) ERD NCV programmes are paid for by NSFAS to all financial needy and qualifying students.

(3) Parts of the precast walls are missing due to thuggery from the neighboring informal settlements. Last year, in November 2019, missing precast walls were replaced, but the thuggery continued. Additional security is deployed to ensure the safety and security of the college property and its stakeholders. The dumpsite is a challenge as it is on an access road to the Campus. The municipality cleaning of the road is unsatisfactory and there is continuous engagement with the municipality to devise a permanent solution.

18 June 2020 - NW118

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Sonti, Ms NP to ask the Minister Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation

Why do residents in Wonderkop, Marikana, in the North West not have water?

Reply:

Honourable Member, I wish to first correct a very common misunderstanding. The Department of Water and Sanitation is responsible for ensuring water security for the whole country. This includes ensuring that water as a resource is allocated equitably and used beneficially in the public interest, while promoting environmental values. In accordance with the Water Services Act, 1997, Municipalities are responsible for ensuring that the right of access to basic water supply and sanitation which mandates that “everyone has a right of access to basic water supply and basic sanitation” is realised. Further, Section 11 of the Water Services Act mandates that “every Water Services Authority has the duty to all consumers or potential consumers in its area of jurisdiction to progressively ensure efficient, affordable, economical and sustainable access to water services.”

Rustenburg Local Municipality (LM) is a Water Service Authority (WSA) with a mandate to provide water and sanitation services within its jurisdiction, which includes areas such as Wonderkop and Marikana in the North West Province. The Department of Water and Sanitation has allocated R88 million through the Water Services Infrastructure Grant (WSIG) to the Rustenburg Local Municipality for additional projects in the 2019/20 financial year.

The Rustenburg Local Municipality submitted their Business Plans for the three (3) projects listed below and funding was allocated accordingly by DWS.

No

Project Name and Description

Project Cost

Allocation

Progress

1

Marikana

Upgrading Marikana rising mains, conservancy tank, size of the pumps, pump station.

R12 513 355,9

R12 513 355,9

The progress is at 67%

2

Rustenburg DMA Zones

Water audit, meter replacement, sub-zoning, advanced metering infrastructure, reservoir telemetry, repair and replacement of infrastructure, pressure management, water monitoring dashboard and water conservation campaigns.

R37 000 000

R37 000 000

The progress is at 97%

3

Rustenburg North

Replacement of AC pipes with PVC pipes and aged water meters, fire hydrants, valves.

R57 082 000

R38 486 645

The progress onsite is at 65%

The Department of Water and Sanitation does not have a mandate for reticulation and the installation of water taps in local government areas.

Furthermore, it should also be noted that the Wonderkop informal settlement is situated on privately owned land which belongs to a mine. The other portion of Wonderkop is under the jurisdiction of the Madibeng and Rustenburg Local Municipalities. The Rustenburg Local Municipality is currently providing water through tankers in the Madihloka area where the informal settlement is situated.

The Rustenburg Local Municipality together with Magalies Water will be implementing a groundwater development project in Wonderkop in the current financial year. The project will entail drilling, testing, equipping of three (3) boreholes, elevated storage tank, pipe connections and installation of communal taps. Unfortunately the current Covid-19 lockdown has delayed this project.

17 June 2020 - NW1161

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Ismail, Ms H to ask the Minister of Basic Education

Whether her department has put any measures in place to ensure the safety of learners who (a) are asthmatic and (b) suffer from other underlying health conditions, including claustrophobia when wearing masks; if not, in each case, why not; if so, what are the relevant details in each case?

Reply:

(a) and (b) The Department has sought and received advice from the Department of Health through the Ministerial Advisory Committee on COVID-19 (MAC) on the medical conditions in children that place children at risk of severe COVID-19. Specifically, the MAC advisory is that children with well controlled asthma are NOT at high risk. Through the completed Learner Health Questionnaire that is submitted to schools, schools will be able to identify learners with medical conditions that pose a risk, and together with the parents/caregivers, agree on a plan to protect the health and on-going education of the child. 

17 June 2020 - NW1044

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Tarabella - Marchesi, Ms NI to ask the Minister of Basic Education

(1)       Whether, with reference to her reply to question 102 on 13 February 2020, (a) a timeframe has been set for the 2020 collection of national dataset to be completed; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) whether her department has any plans to get schools to reinstate Mathematics as one of the subjects to be offered; if not, what plans are in place to increase the number of learners taking Mathematics as a subject; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

Response to Parliamentary question 1044

(1) 

EMIS data is captured at source level (schools) on the transactional system called the South African School Administration and Management System (SA-SAMS) and uploaded to the National Data Repository called the Learner Unit Record Information and Management System (LURITS) from which statistical reporting takes place. The LURITS has built-in validation rules to verify data. This system was opened on 23 March 2020 for processing of the 2020 Enrolment Upload by the Provincial Education Departments and the initial closing date of LURITS uploads was planned for 30 June 2020. This date was reviewed to close LURITS on 12 June 2020 for 2020 Enrolment data in response to the growing need of updated data.  There is a further verification exercise and process of approval from the Provincial Heads of Departments, prior to finalization of the data for reporting purposes. The 2020 data will therefore be finalised by end July 2020 for reporting.

2)

To increase learner participation and performance in the MST subjects, the Department of Basic Education (DBE) has developed an Integrated Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST) Strategy (2019-2030), in close collaboration with sister departments namely Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET) and Department of Science and Innovation (DSI) and  Various  directives from the Director-General regarding the mandatory offering, by all Public Ordinary Schools, of Mathematics or Technical Mathematics in Technical High Schools.

This was issued in Circular S13 of 2015, entitled, “THE MANDATORY OFFERING OF MATHEMATICS AS A CHOICE SUBJECT IN ALL SECONDARY SCHOOLS FOR THE COMPLETION OF THE NATIONAL SENIOR CERTIFICATE(NSC)”. .

Since then, Circular S15 of 2015, Circular S1 of 2016 and Circular S6 of 2016 were issued regarding the implementation of Technical subjects including Technical Mathematics and Technical Science. The purpose of these directives was to reiterate the policy requirement of ensuring that all NSC pupils taking Technical subjects were to offer Technical Mathematics, not Mathematical Literacy. In addition, the policy precludes NSC candidates from offering Mathematical Literacy in conjunction with Physical Science.

Interventions of the DBE include directed funding support to 1000 schools, provided to all Provincial Education Departments (PEDs), via the MST Conditional Grant which also specifically aims at supporting PED’s programmes that will increase the number of girls who take MST subjects.

To address the challenge posed by schools that are unable to recruit Mathematics teachers, the DBE, in 2016 concluded a MoU with TEACHSA.

This Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) recruits and trains recently graduated young men and women, termed TEACHSA Ambassadors, with MST-related degrees, who are then placed in ‘difficult to staff’ schools.

Since 2015, 289 TEACH Ambassadors have served school communities throughout the country. Their contributions have resulted in measurable increases in pupil enrolment as well as improving quality of outcomes. The work done by them has been recognised for its excellence, as evidenced by their receipt of accolades in the National Teacher Awards.

17 June 2020 - NW1033

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De Freitas, Mr MS to ask the Minister of Tourism

With reference to the duties of the National Registrar of Tourist Guides, (a) what number of tourist guides were registered on the central database in each province in each month (aa) in each of the past three financial years and (bb) since 1 April 2020 and (b) what (i) number of tourist guides had their applications for registration rejected in the specified period in each province in each month and (ii) were the reasons for rejecting the applications in each case?

Reply:

(aa) 2017/2018

These figures show the total number of registered guides per province for the 2017/18 financial year.

PROVINCE

AFRICAN

COLOURED

INDIAN

WHITE

TOTAL

 

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

1. Gauteng

610

284

14

6

12

7

1357

1193

1993

1490

2. Limpopo

244

47

0

0

2

0

572

169

818

216

3. North West

80

3

1

0

0

0

116

24

197

27

4. Mpumalanga

758

109

5

0

5

1

1126

300

1894

410

5. Northern Cape

22

22

32

27

0

1

83

52

137

101

6. Free State

26

22

0

0

0

0

20

9

46

31

7. Eastern Cape

218

103

60

19

0

1

454

181

732

304

8. KwaZulu- Natal

191

66

1

2

2

3

249

87

443

158

9. Western Cape

332

76

685

255

32

16

1414

945

2463

1292

Sub Total

2481

732

798

309

53

29

5391

2960

8723

4029

Grand Total

3213

1107

82

8351

12752

4402 Blacks

8351 Whites

 

(aa)2018/2019

These figures show the total number of registered guides per province for the 2018/19 financial year

PROVINCE

AFRICAN

COLOURED

INDIAN

WHITE

TOTAL

 

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

1. Gauteng

614

287

14

6

12

7

1370

1197

2010

1497

2. Limpopo

244

47

0

0

2

0

572

169

818

216

3. North West

83

4

1

0

0

0

125

25

209

29

4. Mpumalanga

787

116

7

0

5

1

1152

302

1951

419

5. Northern Cape

25

23

36

33

0

1

91

60

152

117

6. Free State

26

22

0

0

0

0

23

10

49

32

7. Eastern Cape

218

103

60

19

0

1

454

181

732

304

8. KwaZulu- Natal

204

67

1

2

3

3

261

89

469

161

9. Western Cape

372

109

766

291

34

17

1528

997

2700

1414

Sub Total

2573

778

885

351

56

30

5576

3030

9090

4189

Grand Total

3351

1236

86

8606

13279

4673 Blacks

8606 Whites

 

(aa)2019/2020

Based on what was reported by Provincial Registrars in the last financial year, these figures show the number of new tourist guides registered monthly per province for the 2019/20 financial year.

PROVINCE

Quarter 1

Quarter 2

Quarter 3

Quarter 4

TOTAL

 

APR

MAY

JUN

JUL

AUG

SEP

OCT

NOV

DEC

JAN

FEB

MAR

ANNUAL

Limpopo

14

17

29

18

16

10

10

10

4

29

17

5

179

Mpumalanga

22

18

4

9

19

8

10

8

4

9

17

5

133

Gauteng

47

7

8

20

14

9

25

5

12

13

5

1

166

KwaZulu-Natal

5

14

8

7

14

15

18

3

5

9

54

6

158

North West

9

1

2

3

1

2

1

2

0

6

0

0

27

Eastern Cape

3

0

14

21

9

3

9

12

2

9

4

3

89

Western Cape

76

56

56

65

62

45

93

46

28

25

64

46

662

Northern Cape

0

0

0

0

1

0

10

0

0

0

0

0

11

Free State

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

7

0

0

4

0

11

MONTHLY SUB - TOTALS

176

113

121

143

136

92

176

93

55

100

171

66

 

QUARTERLY TOTALS

410

371

324

331

1436

(bb)2020/2021

Due to the Covid-19 lockdown, no new tourist guide registrations were processed between 01 April 2020 – 01 June 2020.

(b) (i) and (ii)

The Department does not maintain records in this regard. Those who feel aggrieved by the decisions taken by the Provincial Registrars are entitled to lodge appeals with the National Registrar as outlined in PQ 1034.

17 June 2020 - NW596

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Ngwenya, Ms DB to ask the Minister of Social Development

Whether, in view of the fact that an attempt to move social grant payments to different dates did not work, her department has considered going back to the previous normal dates and put practical measures around hygiene in place to assist grant recipients at pay points?

Reply:

The measure implemented to limit the numbers of beneficiaries who try to access their grants on the day the money becomes available will not be reversed and the payment dates agreed with National Treasury for the remainder of the financial year will stand. This means that SASSA will continue with the split payment files as it is believed that the numbers would have been significantly higher had this split not been done.

The measures which will be implemented to try and manage the numbers of beneficiaries who access their social grants are as follows:

  • The grant payments will continue in accordance with the dates as agreed with National Treasury (namely 3rd of each month for older persons and persons with disabilities and 5th of each month for all child grants – except where the 3rd and 5th respectively fall on a weekend or public holiday, in which case that specific date will be moved forward to the next working day after the 3rd or the 5th)
  • Further splitting of the file between the older persons and persons with disabilities is being considered for the July payment cycle. (This cannot be done in June, as we are still finalising the development for the payment of the care givers grants as well as the special relief grant)
  • Every beneficiary has their grant paid into a bank account – regardless of whether the account is with their personal bank or the SASSA/SAPO card account. Communication to advise beneficiaries of the fact that their card is a bank account and can be used as a debit card to swipe to pay for purchases and that there is no need to withdraw cash will be strengthened. The communication will also emphasize the fact that, once the grant is paid into the account, it will not be taken back if not utilised immediately.
  • SASSA is negotiating with the banking sector to introduce additional mobile banking ATMs in rural areas in an effort to limit the numbers of beneficiaries who have to travel to towns to access their money. However, issues such as the availability of the infrastructure and security still have to be finalised.
  • SASSA is also engaging the retail sector to see how they can assist. However, it should be understood that the banking and retail sector are not SASSA pay points – they are access channels through which beneficiaries and all other South Africans transact. All retailers have been implementing the relevant hygiene protocols in their stores, and have also dedicated additional till points specifically for older persons on the first few days of grant payments, in an effort to manage the numbers of beneficiaries. The challenge remains outside the stores, in malls and other points which is extremely difficult to control.
  • SASSA is working with other stakeholders, including local authorities, to ensure that there are marshals at the busier access points to help with queue management and the maintenance of social distancing while waiting to access the retail outlets, bank ATMS and post office premises.
  • In the Eastern Cape, negotiations have been undertaken with SAPO for them to utilise community halls to distribute the cash from, rather than some of their post offices which were not designed to cater for large number of beneficiaries. These community halls are used as extensions of the post office over the counter service and has really assisted to reduce the queues outside the facilities.
  • Eastern Cape has also identified specific communities where there is a concentration of infections and arranged for SAPO to go to these areas, to prevent the beneficiaries from going into the towns – supporting the need to self-quarantine
  • SASSA will continue to service the 1 740 cash pay points in the rural areas. At these pay points, hygiene protocols and social distancing is managed directly by SASSA and challenges have not been experienced.

An appeal is made to all in leadership positions to support SASSA in trying to limit the numbers of beneficiaries who go to the various access channels to access their grants.

17 June 2020 - NW1084

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King, Ms C to ask the Minister of Basic Education

(a) What are the relevant details of the special arrangements that will be made to reopen schools for children with special needs and (b) by what date will the specified schools be opened?

Reply:

(a) Details on the arrangements for the reopening of schools for children with special educational needs are encapsulated in the Directions that were published in the Government Notice signed by the Minister on 1 June 2020 as well as in the Department of Basic Education’s Standard Operating Procedures (SOP).

(b) The dates and other details are contained in the afore-mentioned Government Notice.

17 June 2020 - NW974

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Masango, Ms B to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)What is the breakdown of the costs incurred by Government through the SA Social Security Agency for (a) procuring and (b) having the system operational to receive applications for social relief grant; (2) whether a new system was developed to process payments for the special social relief grant; if not, what is the position in this regard, if so, what is the breakdown of the costs involved; (3) what (a) business is a certain company (name furnished) doing with her department and (b) are the details of the costs involved in all business deals concluded with the specified company; (4) what are the reasons that her department decided to have a different WhatsApp number for applications which is now 082 046 8553, rather than continuing with the previous number used for the trial of the social relief grant applications? NW1263E

Reply:

1. The costs in terms of procurement to have the system operation are:

(a) The USSD application platform was procured through the National Treasury RT 15 Transversal Contract with an estimated usage value of R15m.

SASSA has used an existing contract and service provider, Prosense Technology, to leverage and expand on existing capabilities to create and effect payments. The same contractor also effected the development of a website to receive applications and for the secure upload of banking details for the special Covid 19 SRD grant. This also included the building of Applications Programme Interface (APIs) to interface with other government datasets for the purposes of validation. It also includes API’s and other interface mechanisms to do account verification and payments. The services was procured through the variation of this existing contract with Prosense Technologies to the value of R2.9 million which includes the development work as well as monthly support and maintenance of the environment till 31 March 2021.

(b) No other costs were incurred to have the system operational to receive applications.

2. SASSA has used an existing contract and service provider, Prosense Technology, to leverage and expand on existing capabilities to create and effect payments. The same contractor also effected the development of a website to receive applications and for the secure upload of banking details for the special Covid 19 SRD grant. This also included the building of Applications Programme Interface (APIs) to interface with other government datasets for the purposes of validation. It also includes API’s and other interface mechanisms to do account verification and payments. The services was procured through the variation of this existing contract with Prosense Technologies to the value of R2 967 000.00 which includes the development work as well as monthly support and maintenance of the environment till 31 March 2021.

3. SASSA has no contract with the company Capital Appreciation and therefor there is also no costs involved.

4. The initial number was used for test/pilot purposes. It became apparent that the anticipated numbers of applications would burden and overwhelm the Covid 19 Department of Health WhatsApp Hotline. SASSA was advised to apply for its own WhatsApp line which would have taken anything between 6 weeks and possibly several months to obtain. SASSA was then offered a free WhatsApp platform by GovChat.