Questions and Replies

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22 December 2023 - NW3984

Profile picture: Shaik Emam, Mr AM

Shaik Emam, Mr AM to ask the Minister of Finance

What is the total (a) local and (b) foreign debt owed by the three spheres of government and the state-owned companies?

Reply:

Table 3.8 from Chapter 3 of the MTBPS 2023 shows a projected national government’s gross debt. Gross debt is projected to reach R5.28 trillion by end of 2023/24. This debt is made up of domestic debt of R4.64 trillion and foreign denominated debt of R595.2 billion.

22 December 2023 - NW3999

Profile picture: Tambo, Mr S

Tambo, Mr S to ask the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies

Whether the SA Broadcasting Corporation has relinquished its part ownership on videos that were produced during the 1980s in partnership with record companies; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what were the terms of the termination?

Reply:

The Rules Committee took a decision on 4 and 23 November 2022, in respect of questions requesting information prior to 1994, that such questions should take into account the possible non-availability of information before the pre-democratic era (see page 10 of attached ATC).

The SABC has indicated that it is proving difficult to track information dating back to the 1980s.

Thank You.

22 December 2023 - NW3975

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Joseph, Mr D to ask the Minister of Sport Arts and Culture

(1). Whether he can furnish Mr T W Mhlongo with any good reasons why the entire board of Boxing SA (BSA) should not be suspended with immediate effect, given that recent notices served on licensees of BSA to appear at disciplinary hearings in August of 2023 has seen the licensees incorrectly charged as officials of BSA and not as licensees (details furnished); if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2). whether he is able to furnish a (a) clearly defined timeline and (b) date of when the matter of a certain person (name furnished) will be resolved; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (3). what are the reasons that (a) a certain person (name furnished), who has been a boxing promoter for over 15 years, is still unable to promote a tournament without receiving government funding since promoting boxing is a business and (b) his department, and essentially taxpayers, must finance the businesses of a certain select group of boxing promoters; (4). what are the reasons that some of the promoters who are continually assisted by the Government financially are the promoters who do not adhere to the Boxing Act, Act 11 of 2001, and who pay some of the lowest purses?

Reply:

(1). The Minister announced the appointment of the new board on Tuesday, 28 November 2023. The new board assumed it’s duties on 12 December 2023 whilst the erstwhile board concluded its term on Monday, 11 December 2023. The new board has a responsibility to review all outstanding legal and disciplinary matters not concluded by the previous board before the end of the financial year 2023/2024 ending in March 2023

(2)(a). The Qithi matter has been settled.

(3)(a&b). Provincial Departments are at liberty to implement sport programmes that benefit their athletes and communities. However, Boxing and all National Federations must get to a point where they run with limited support from government, this requires corporate investment. To this end, BSA has committed to developing a funding model for the sector. BSA is expected to provide details of this strategy (operating model) with due dates. This will be shared with Parliament as soon as BSA provides these, a timeline of 31 March 2024 has been set for this plan.

(4). BSA cannot interfere with contracts between promoters and the boxers. However, BSA will investigate the possibility of establishing minimum purse monies for specified bouts to ensure that there is no exploitation of boxers. There is a need to ensure that there is profitable business model for the sport of boxing, and this is part of the turnaround strategy that BSA is already implementing.

 

 

22 December 2023 - NW3900

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Alexander, Ms W to ask the Minister of Finance

Whether, noting that the Integrated Financial Management System (IFMS) has reported fruitless and wasteful expenditures of over R2,6 billion by the IFMS project since its inception and Auditor-General South Africa accordingly raised a qualified audit opinion against the National Treasury (details furnished), which subsequently led to various state agencies, including Special Investigating Unit, the Public Protector South Africa and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation conducting investigations to this effect, he will furnish Mrs WR Alexander with the findings of these investigations?

Reply:

The investigations have not been finalised and as a result the National Treasury is unable to provide a response to the above question at this stage. The Honourable Member is encouraged to request the findings from the relevant institutions when the investigations are complete.

22 December 2023 - NW4041

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Majozi, Ms Z to ask the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies

What is the number of (a) international and (b) domestic trips undertaken by senior officials in each entity reporting to him in the 2022-23 financial year?

Reply:

ENTITY

INTERNATIONAL

DOMESTIC

BBI

8

52

FPB

2

3

ICASA

13

18

NEMISA

0

11

POSTBANK

2

162

SAPO

0

6

SABC

0

64

SENTECH

46

2413

SITA

11

50

USAASA

1

42

ZADNA

9

29

Thank You.

22 December 2023 - NW3464

Profile picture: Joseph, Mr D

Joseph, Mr D to ask the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture

(1). Since what date has his department assisted representatives to attend events (a) inside and (b) outside the Republic as ambassadors of SA Sport as is the case regarding a certain person (name furnished); (2). (a) what number of persons is his department currently supporting with the specified initiatives and (b) how are the persons selected; (3). what is the breakdown of cost for each person from the date the financial support started to up to the latest specified date; (4). whether his department has a revolving policy that benefits more than just the persons who have been selected; if not, why not; if so, (a) are persons allowed to apply to his department to become ambassadors and (b) what are the relevant details; (5). what criteria were used to choose the specified person as a super fan who is seen at rugby, cricket and netball matches with her trademark face painting, isicholo hat and flag colours of the Republic?

Reply:

(1). The Department has not assisted any persons to attend events inside the country or outside the country as ambassadors of SA Sport and hence we are not able to respond to;

  • the number of persons that are currently supported,
  • how they are selected
  • , the cost and dates related to the support.
  • The date the financial support started to up to the latest specified date.
  • A revolving policy that benefits more than just the persons who have been selected.
  • How are persons allowed to apply to the department to become ambassadors and
  • The relevant details: what criteria were used to choose the specified person as a super fan who is seen at rugby, cricket and netball matches with her trademark face painting, isicholo hat and flag colours of the republic?

 

22 December 2023 - NW3978

Profile picture: Mabiletsa, Ms MD

Mabiletsa, Ms MD to ask the Minister of Finance

(1)What does investors demand for premiums on debts to compensate for the risk of investing in the Republic imply on the relationship between the State and the financial sector considering that he stated in the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement that regardless of the maturity profile of loans and bonds that most of the debt is domestic; (2) whether the premium demand is one of the key factors determining the fiscal policy trajectory based on investor risk fears; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. The predominance of domestic debt indicates that the local financial sector is heavily invested in government bonds and loans. This scenario fosters a mutually dependent relationship, wherein the financial well-being of the government significantly influences the stability and health of the domestic financial sector. If this risk premium were to increase (due to an impairment in risk perceptions) and National Treasury were not to include this increased premium into the price of government bonds, investors would choose to invest their cash in other instruments (i.e. corporate bonds or equity, which offer better return, albeit at greater risk). This would result in government being unable to borrow the funds necessary to finance the borrowing requirement. The same principle would apply when borrowing in foreign markets; however, there is less quantum demanded for South African bonds at attractive rates in the international markets. Higher premiums on government debt can lead to crowding out of private investment, as the government absorbs a significant portion of available credit. This can slow economic growth, affecting both the state and the financial sector. The risk premium highlights the need for sustainable borrowing practices, efficient debt utilization, and a clear plan for debt reduction.

2. Risk premiums, while a considerable factor, are not the sole determinants of fiscal policy. They are, however, a critical indicator of investor confidence and perceived risk. When investors demand higher premiums, it reflects their concerns about the country's ability to repay its debts, often influenced by factors such as political stability, economic performance, and fiscal management. Most domestic investors in government debt, such as pension funds and insurance companies, are crucial for the country's financial and economic stability. If the government's debt becomes unsustainable, these institutions could face severe challenges, impacting a broad spectrum of the population. The instances of US regional banks facing near collapse due to holding weakened debt, highlights the tangible consequences of fiscal mismanagement and the importance of maintaining liquidity through the appropriate government loans. It underscores the need for prudent fiscal policies and sustainable debt management. Chapter 3 of the MTBPS emphasizes government's commitment to sustainable debt management, ensuring that borrowing is balanced with economic growth and fiscal responsibility. This along with reforms in the Logistics, Electricity, Water and Communications sectors will ensure that government plays its part in reducing the risk premium.

22 December 2023 - NW3994

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George, Dr DT to ask the Minister of Finance

In view of the compelling argument for instituting a debt rule that sets a clear target for the national debt as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), what (a) are the reasons that the National Treasury has not acted on the growing concern that the current expenditure rule has failed to halt the deterioration of our debt-to-GDP ratio and (b) measures will the National Treasury that will manage and control the rising national debt effectively?

Reply:

a) The ceiling on main budget non-interest expenditure was introduced in 2012 to anchor fiscal policy. However, budget deficits and debt have continued to grow, in part because the ceiling was not binding. The target of reducing and stabilising debt has been persistently shifted out, largely because of lower‐than‐expected economic and revenue growth, and large spending pressures such as state‐owned company bailouts and compensation costs. As a result, main budget expenditure has remained relatively high at over 29 per cent of GDP over the past two years. This has led government to consider additional rules to provide an anchor for fiscal sustainability. Further details will be provided in the 2024 Budget.

b) Over the medium term, government will support the economy, stabilise the public finances and protect the social wage. In the context of persistently low economic growth, government’s fiscal strategy remains focused on consolidating the public finances to narrow the budget deficit, stabilise public debt and ensure fiscal sustainability. Fiscal policy will pursue a balanced approach that includes spending restraint, revenue measures and additional borrowing. Tax measures to raise additional revenue of R15 billion in 2024/25 will be proposed in the 2024 Budget. Relative to the 2023 Budget estimates, proposed reductions to main budget non-interest spending mainly baselines and provisional allocations and changes in reserves amount to R33.1 billion in 2023/24 and R213.3 billion over the next two years. On a net basis, non‐interest expenditure will decrease by R3.7 billion in 2023/24 and R85 billion over the next two years. Compared with the 2023 Budget, the main budget deficit increased by R54.7 billion in 2023/24, R51.8 billion in 2024/25 and R66.7 billion in 2025/26. The gross borrowing requirement for 2023/24 has increased from R515.6 billion to R563.6 billion, relative to the 2023 Budget. Gross loan debt is projected to stabilise at 77.7 per cent of GDP in 2025/26. And government will propose new fiscal anchors to ensure a sustainable long‐term path for the public finances.

22 December 2023 - NW3832

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Joseph, Mr D to ask the Minister of Sport, Arts and Culture

(1).What are the reasons that the South African Boxing Act, Act 11 of 2001 and the rules and regulations are only applicable to some licensees, but no action is taken in cases where promoters fail to pay in purse monies within the specified time (details furnished); (2). what (a) measures has he put in place to ensure that the sport does not continue to be run in this manner and (b) are the detailed reasons why the entire Board of Boxing South Africa (BSA) should not be immediately suspended; (3). whether he intends to initiate a full commission of enquiry into the administration of BSA; if not, what is the position in each case; if so, what are the full relevant details?

Reply:

Boxing South Africa has responded as follows to this question:

(1). Most promoters owe Boxing South Africa due to the income declarations that are made after tournaments through affidavits in terms of the Boxing Regulations. The Board resolved to establish a sub-committee that looks at the tournament applications of each promoter and each promoter that is owing Boxing South Africa appears before the committee to commit to some arrangement in terms of which the debt can be settled and once this arrangement is in place the promoter is then allowed to stage tournaments subject to payment arrangements as approved by this committee. All promoters who owe Boxing South Africa are subject to this arrangement.

(2)(a). No formal process with supporting evidence has been submitted to the Minister that warrants the Minister’s action within the ambit of his responsibilities within the legislative framework.

(3). The suspension of a board is based on the formal submission to the Minister of substantive reasons to display any misdemeanors. There has been no process to inform the Ministers decision to suspend the Board or initiate a full commission of enquiry into the administration of BSA.

 

22 December 2023 - NW3908

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Nodada, Mr BB to ask the Minister of Finance

With regard to the correspondence by the Government Employees Pension Fund in November 2022 informing its members who intended to retire in November or thereafter that they would not receive their full pension payments, and in light of the complaint received from a retiree (details furnished) that despite applying for her pension before November and not receiving any letter she did not receive her full pension, (a) what informed the retroactive application of the November correspondence and (b) how many individuals were affected by such retroactive application?

Reply:

a) The GEPF implemented its revised actuarial factors with effect from 1 November 2022. The actuarial factors of the GEPF are updated in accordance with any changes to the actuarial assumptions at each statutory valuation of the GEPF. In terms of the Government Employees Pension Law, 1996, (GEP Law), the actuarial factors are consulted with public sector labour unions. Upon conclusion of this process, the actuarial factors were implemented with effect from 1 November 2022, as referred to above. Pension benefits, as prescribed in the GEP Law, are determined and finally calculated as at date of service termination. The GEP Law specifies the date on which a benefit shall become payable to a member, pensioner or beneficiary, and this date is typically the last day of service at the employer.

Any Estimate of Benefits provided prior to the last date of service, is a mere estimation of current/future benefits. This is clearly indicated on the Estimate of Benefits which indicates that benefits are awarded in terms of the rules of the Fund and will be confirmed by the Fund when the benefits become payable.

Pension benefits are thus not calculated and/or confirmed on the date applying for retirement but on the information as on the last day of service. In this specific instance the Estimate of Benefits referred to, was provided as at 30 September 2022, being a date prior to the last day of service.

The actuarial factors applicable as from 1 November 2022 adjusted the actuarial factors applicable at 30 September 2022 and accordingly influenced the calculations. It is however not correct to state that the member did not receive her full pension. Members continue to receive their full benefits in accordance with the GEP Law, 1996, and rules. The adjustment to the actuarial factors were not applied retroactively as the adjustments were implemented effectively from 1 November 2022 onwards, applying only to exits on or after 1 November 2022.

b) The amended actuarial factors, which became applicable as from 1 November 2022, influenced all resignations as well as other exits where members had less than 10 (ten) years pensionable service and which members terminated service on or after 1 November 2022. Thus, all resignations and other exits from the GEPF, where the members’ exit date was on or after 1 November 2022, would have been influenced by the adjustment of the actuarial factors as all such benefits refer to the actuarial interest a member has in the GEPF. The adjusted actuarial factors was applied to all pension benefits paid as a result of resignation and other exits from the Fund where members had less than 10 (ten) years pensionable service, where the exit from the Fund occurred on or after 1 November 2022.

It is again confirmed that there was no retrospective application of the adjusted actuarial factors as it was implemented from a future date being 1 November 2022. The application of the adjusted actuarial factors follows the approval thereof by the GEPF Board of Trustees after the required consultation process with organized labour as per the GEP Law, 1996 and Rules of the GEPF.

The GEP Law,1996 and Rules provides for the adjustment to actuarial factors as part of the benefit structure of the GEPF. Actuarial interest factors are based on a set of financial and demographic assumptions as recommended by the Fund’s valuator in the statutory actuarial valuation report. These assumptions are expected to reflect the experience of the GEPF membership and its investments. The assumptions are based on reasonable expectations about future events and are guided by actual experience and statistics. The main driver of the actuarial factors is the investment returns above inflation, which the Fund’s investments are expected to earn from now until the pension benefits are payable. Economic conditions however change from time to time and, as a result, the actuarial interest benefits can rise or fall depending on how the actuarial factors is adjusted, as explained above.

Members however still received their pension benefits prescribed in the Rules of the GEPF as per the formula set out in the Rules.

It must be clarified that the adjustment to the actuarial factors apply consistently to all active GEPF members, maintaining fairness across the board and reflecting current economic realities.

22 December 2023 - NW3982

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Skosana, Mr GJ to ask the Minister of Finance

What (a) is the performance of the Bounce-Back Support Scheme relative to the COVID-19 loan guarantee scheme and (b) are the profiles of the beneficiaries?

Reply:

a) In 2020 National Treasury launched the Covid Loan Guarantee Scheme (LGS) as part of a package of measures to help small and medium business survive the most severe lockdowns related the global Covid pandemic. The LGS enabled eligible businesses to access loans via commercial banks in terms of a finance facility administered by the Reserve Bank. At the termination of the LGS scheme (27 March 2021), banks had approved 14 827 in loans, with the LGS providing R14,6 billion in loans.

Following the conclusion of the LGS, South Africa experienced another economic set-back due to civil unrest in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng from the period 8 July 2021 to 19 July 2021. The civil unrest resulted in damage to business properties and caused major supply chain disruptions. The impact of the civil unrest was mostly felt by businesses, some of which were still recovering from economic losses caused by the Covid-19 pandemic induced lockdowns.

The Bounce Back Support Scheme (BBS) was launched in April 2022 and was terminated in April 2023. This scheme operated on an opt in basis. The BBS resulted in 3211 small businesses being provided with support. The total disbursed amounts was around R 1 billion (R935,385,620.)

2. Data on the geographic and other demographic information was not collected.

22 December 2023 - NW3145

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Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Communications and Digital Technologies

On what date was the last SA Social Security Agency (SASSA) payment technical infrastructure and software updated by the SA Postbank, (b) what (i) year and (ii) model is the payment technical infrastructure and software currently in use for SASSA payments and (c) what is the cost of the payment technical infrastructure and software for the current financial year?

Reply:

(a)-(b) The South African Postbank SOC Ltd processes and pays SASSA grants using an Integrated Grant Payment System (IGPS) based on FSS Tech 5.1.0 Software and a payment switch, Postillion Switch 5.6 Software. The payment switch was last updated on 28 September 2023, version 2023.V1.5.0.  

(c) The payment technical infrastructure and software, IGPS are licensed until March 2024 for R32.2 million for the duration of the contract.

Thank You.

22 December 2023 - NW3403

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Manyi, Mr M to ask the Minister of Finance

In light of the fact that the Auditor-General has reported a 31% shortfall in terms of upgrading unqualified audit outcomes into clean audit in the National Treasury and all 16 entities that report to him, what actions has he put in place to achieve 100% clean audit in (a) the National Treasury and (b) all the entities that report to him?

Reply:

1. NATIONAL TREASURY

The department has developed an audit action plan to address audit findings and improve on the quality of reporting on both the financial statements and performance information. The audit action plan will be presented quarterly to the NT Audit Steering Committee, where the responsible officials identified as per the action plan will be invited to provide progress updates on the proposed action plan.

The monitoring of the audit action plan will be facilitated by Internal Audit, wherein they will engage with the respective responsible officials on the inputs for the action plans to be implemented as well as monitoring the effectiveness of the corrective measures.

Continuous improvements on the effectiveness of the Internal Control through frequent assessment and enhancement of current controls to detect and prevent any deficiencies that may potentially hamper the department to achieving a clean audit. These includes amongst others the strengthening controls on the effectiveness of:

  • Contract Management review processes to detect and prevent any possible Unauthorised, Fruitless & Wasteful, and Irregular Expenditure;
  • Proactively engaging relevant stakeholders such as Office of the Accountant General, Internal Control and Audit Steering Committee on significant extra ordinary transactions that pose a potential for material misstatements i.e. Land Bank and ESKOM; and
  • Identifying high risks areas coming from prior year audit to initiate early engagements and discussions to prevent the reoccurrence of material findings.

Of the 11 entities reporting to the Minister of Finance, 6 entities received an unqualified audit opinion, while 5 received an unqualified audit opinion with emphasis of matters.

2. ACCOUNTING STANDARDS BOARD (ASB)

We have only ever received unqualified (“clean”) audits since the inception of the ASB in 2002. This includes the audit for the financial year ended 31 March 2023.

3. CO-OPERATIVE BANKS DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (CBDA)

The CBDA is a relatively small entity without its own internal audit function. The CBDA appointed a service provider to perform qualify reviews during the 2022/23 annual financial statements. This measure resulted in an unqualified audit outcome with no material misstatement for the 2022/23 annual financial statements.

Five of the findings on material misstatements of the 2022/23 annual financial statements were resolved and one, relating to non-compliance with legislation, was resolved. The only outstanding finding relates to consequence management, which is in progress. The Acting Managing Director, after his re-appointment in July 2023, has now concluded the remaining consequence management matters and has sent it to NT Internal Audit for due diligence, as requested by the CBDA Audit Committee. All consequence management issues will be finalised during this financial year.

Yet again, a service provider has been appointed to perform qualify reviews for the 2023/24 annual financial statements.

The AMD is confident that the measures put in place will achieve a 100% clean audit for the 2023/24 financial year.

4. DEVELOPMENT BANK OF SOUTHERN AFRICA (DBSA)

N/A - DBSA achieved a clean audit.

5. FAIS OMBUD

We confirm that the FAIS Ombud Office achieved a clean audit for the 2022/23 financial year and will continue to strive to achieve it.

6. FINANCIAL INTELLIGENCE CENTRE (FIC)

The Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) has achieved a clean audit in its 2022/23 financial year. The FIC will continue on this trajectory of rigorous financial management in the current financial year.

7. FINANCIAL SECTOR CONDUCT AUTHORITY (FSCA)

The Financial Sector Conduct Authority (FSCA) has adopted a comprehensive approach to maintain a clean audit status from the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA). Its commitment to financial prudence, transparency and accountability drives its efforts to ensure that Annual Financial Statements (AFS) are free from material misstatements, whether due to fraud or error and the Annual Performance Report (APR) meets the highest standards of accuracy and compliance. The following are the key measures the FSCA has put in place to maintain a clean audit status:

1. Annual Financial Statements

A dedicated team of qualified and experienced personnel is responsible for preparing the AFS. They ensure strict compliance with relevant accounting standards, the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and other applicable legislation. The Executive Committee (EXCO), Strategic Management Committee (SMC), Audit and Risk Committees provide oversight of the FSCA’s monthly, quarterly and annual financial reporting.

2. Irregular, Fruitless and Wasteful Expenditure

To prevent irregular or wasteful expenditure, the FSCA has implemented a rigorous multi-level approval process and established a system of internal controls. These measures ensure that all financial transactions align with organisational goals and adhere to FSCA internal policies and applicable legislation.

3. Predetermined Objectives

The FSCA’s Monitoring and Evaluation unit reviews quarterly reports and verifies the submissions against each division’s portfolio of evidence to ensure that all reports accurately reflect the performance against the predetermined objectives laid out in the Annual Performance Plan.

4. Procurement and Contract Management

The FSCA procurement decisions benefit from the expertise of supply chain professionals and the counsel of the Head of Office of General Counsel, who advise the Bid Adjudication Committee on the legal aspects of all procurement decisions.

5. Compliance with Key Legislation

The compliance unit continuously monitors the FSCA’s adherence to relevant policies, legislation governing financial matters, including the PFMA and other applicable legislation.

6. Effective Internal Control Systems

The internal audit function overseen by the Audit Committee reviews internal controls annually in alignment with the FSCA's risk profile. The audit annual plan incorporates a pre-assessment of financial and performance reporting. Additionally, all findings raised from audits, if there are any, are recorded in the audit tracker and implementation of controls as per the audit recommendations, are monitored on a monthly basis. The Governance, Risk and Assurance department conducts a thorough annual risk assessment to identify potential risks related to financial and performance reporting and takes steps to mitigate them. Regular training is provided to personnel responsible for financial and performance reporting to ensure that reports produced are in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

7. Governance

The FSCA has four governance committees in place authorised to provide oversight and make recommendations to EXCO. These are the Remuneration, Risk, Audit, and Social and Ethics Committees. These committees have approved terms of reference that outline the purpose, scope, and operational rules for each committee. All committees have annual evaluation processes in place to measure the effectiveness of each committee.

Through these measures, the FSCA is dedicated to achieving and maintaining a clean audit status, demonstrating a commitment to uphold the highest standards of financial integrity, transparency and accountability.

8. GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES PENSION FUND (GEPF)

The GEPF has received unqualified audit outcomes for 26 consecutive years from 1998 to 2023.

9. GOVERNMENT PENSIONS ADMINISTRATION AGENCY (GPAA)

The Government Pensions Administration Agency (GPAA) has historically never achieved a clean audit due to irregular expenditure and the inadequate consequence management related to it. The GPAA has made a concerted progress towards a clean audit outcome during 2022/23 financial year under the guidance of the newly appointed Chief Executive Officer and the Acting Chief Financial Officer. This is evidenced by a visible R14 million (33%) decrease in the irregular expenditure of (R29 million) reported during 2022/23 against the R43 million reported during 2021/22. The R25 million of irregular expenditure was due to the historic irregular recurring contracts emanating from previous financial years. The CEO GPAA has taken a firm stance and decision to terminate these recurring irregular contracts in order to halt the continuation of irregular expenditure.

The decrease in irregular expenditure was achieved due to management initiatives of improving the internal controls around the procurement processes. The GPAA CEO, Acting Chief Financial Officer and relevant Chief Directors also improved on the implementation of historical pending consequence management cases relating to irregular expenditure.

All these initiatives took place even though the GPAA has operated without the following Level 15 Executive positions for a decade:

Chief Financial Officer

Chief Operations Officer

Head Corporate Services

A decade long lack of Director-General Positions at GPAA has led to this void and the fact that we are currently operating at over 200 contract positions, has led to the instability of the work force. The finalisation of vacant Director General positions is currently in the DG: Treasury’s desk and we await feedback. Subsequently on the 7 June 2023; The Minister of Finance has recommended to the Minister DPSA the GPAA structure for approval. The GPAA still await the approval of the baseline structure from DPSA. Some supply chain management vacancies still need to be filled to improve on the capacity and performance of the unit. The approval of the structure will ensure that operationally we are more stable and rigid in achieving our mandate and circumvent matters that impede the organisation from achieving a clean audit, amongst others.

Management’s efforts has been carried forward into 2023/24 and the results should reflect a significant improvement.

10.GOVERNMENT TECHNICAL ADVISORY CENTRE (GTAC)

GTAC had achieved a clean audit for the 2022/23 year

11. INDEPENDENT REGULATORY BOARD FOR AUDITORS (IRBA)

The IRBA already receives a clean audit.

12. LAND BANK

Actions at entity level

Reason for Land Bank’s unqualified audit with findings:

The Land and Agricultural Development Bank of South Africa (Land Bank) received an unqualified audit opinion with findings for FY2023 due to internal control deficiencies that were identified by the Auditor General of South Africa on the reporting of collateral that resulted in material adjustments. The underlying collateral management system works as intended. The finding resulted from the erroneous reporting wherein some portfolios’ collaterals were duplicated.

Remedial Action

The Board of Land Bank instituted an extensive remedial plan post the disclaimed audit opinion in FY2020. The remedial plan process continues to be implemented with focus not only on areas where deficiencies were identified but broadly across the different processes of the Bank to ensure that adequate internal controls are in place.

Specific remedial work is being undertaken on the management and reporting of collateral to address the audit findings raised by the Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA) in the FY2023 audit.

The Land Bank’s Internal Audit Department (which has been strengthened with the appointment of a permanent Chief Audit Executive effective 03 July 2023) provides an independent review of the remedial work by management.

Progress Monitoring and Oversight.

Implementation of the remedial plan is done through a dedicated management forum and monitored through the oversight role of the Audit and Finance Committee of the Board which meets on a monthly basis for this purpose.

13. OFFICE OF THE PENSION FUNDS ADJUDICATOR (OPFA)

Not applicable, the Office of the Pension Funds Adjudicator received a clean audit for the 2022-23 financial year.

14. OFFICE OF THE TAX OMBUD (OTO)

  1. Section 19(1) of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (Act 28 of 2011) (TAA) provides that the Tax Ombud reports directly to the Minister of Finance and the Office of the Tax Ombud must submit an annual report to the Minister of Finance, within 5 months of the end of the South African Revenue Service (SARS) financial year.
  2. In turn, section 19(3) of the TAA makes provision for the Minister of Finance to table the annual report of the Office of the Tax Ombud to the National Assembly.
  3. The Office of the Tax Ombud (OTO) is not a public entity in terms of the Public Finance Management Act, 1999 (Act 1 of 1999) (PFMA).
  4. That said, the Auditor General South Africa (AGSA) currently performs the external audit assurance only on performance information of the Office of the Tax Ombud at the request of the Tax Ombud. The audit conclusion on the performance of the Office of the Tax Ombud against predetermined objectives is included in the 2022/2023 Annual Report of the Office of the Tax Ombud that was tabled by the Minister of Finance in the National Assembly on 29 September 2023 and discussed in the Standing Committee Finance on 11 October 2023.
  5. Therefore, the Office of the Tax Ombud received no material findings on its audit of pre-determined objectives for the 2022/2023 financial year.
  6. To maintain the status-quo the OTO will incorporate combined assurance approach within its governance structure that involves the integration and coordination of various assurance activities to provide a comprehensive and well-rounded view of risk management, control systems, and overall performance. This includes bringing together multiple assurance providers, such internal audit, external audit, and oversight committees, to collaborate and share information, findings, and insights.

15. PUBLIC INVESTMENT CORPORATION (PIC)

  1. Audit opinion: unqualified audit opinion with a finding.

 

The Auditor-General’s finding indicated that the investment activities performed did not, in all instances, comply with investment policies and guidelines, in that in some instances, the risk relating to politically exposed persons (PEPs) identified was not assessed to ensure that the necessary enhanced due diligence and enhanced monitoring processes are applied to the high-risk PEPs identified, as required by the established policy.

  1. Action:
  • The identified PEPs have been included in the PEP register.
  • The custodian of the PEP register is now the Compliance Department that gets weekly PEP activity from the system.
  • The policy will also be workshopped to the business.

16. SOUTH AFRICAN REVENUE SERVICE (SARS)

SARS received clean audits for its Expenditure Accounts (Own Accounts) (1), Revenue Accounts (2) and the report on the Audit of the Annual Performance Report (3) in the 2022/2023 financial year. The three (3) audit opinions attest to the quality of financial management in SARS and is aligned to one of its Strategic Objectives focused on inculcating good stewardship of its resources across the organisation.

SARS Internal Audit regularly perform audits on areas of risk. SARS has appointed resources such as Governance Specialists in the finance teams. Controls have been embedded to detect and pro-actively manage risks related to the regulated environment.

SARS also implemented action plans to not only sustain the audit outcome from 2022/23 but to further embed good financial management practices.

17. SASRIA SOC LIMITED

  1. Audit opinion: unqualified audit opinion with a finding.

Finding related to SASRIA’s failure to comply with section 55 of the PFMA insofar as it relates to the submission of the annual report, annual financial statements and the report of the auditors on those statements.

  1. Actions to be put in place
  • SASRIA will have an Audit Steering Committee, comprising of External Audit, other Assurance functions and management.
  • Ensure active management and implement improvements in communication and efficacy of the audit process.
  • External Audit will be requested to develop a project plan which will be approved by the Audit Committee. The progress against the plan will be monitored by the Steering Committee on a weekly/bi-weekly basis.
  • Significant deviations from the plan will be escalated to the Executive Committee and if no improvement to the Audit Committee.

22 December 2023 - NW3981

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Abraham, Ms PN to ask the Minister of Finance

What is the (a) performance of the amendments of Regulation 28 asset allocation for infrastructure of 40% in relation to public infrastructure as the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery prioritises infrastructure and private investment and (b) impact of the increased allocation of 45% foreign asset exposure on domestic investment?

Reply:

a) It is too early to provide a detailed answer to the question as the amended Regulation 28 only came into effect on 1 January 2023. The first investment reports, post the amendment, will be submitted to the Financial Sector Conduct Authority in 2024. Secondly, it will be difficult to make the comparison since there is no reference point to compare changes in investment in infrastructure due to the ERRP with the amendment to Regulation 28. It is also not only retirement funds that are expected to invest in infrastructure, but other asset managers that are not subject to Regulation 28.

In general terms the financial sector continues to heavily fund government. As noted in the MTBPS, National Treasury will seek to achieve infrastructure investment growth through establishing an Infrastructure Finance and Implementation Support Agency that will systematically address the need to crowd-in private sector finance and expertise into the public infrastructure programme. In addition, government will also widen the scope for concessional borrowing by creating new mechanisms through which private-sector investors and multilateral institutions can co-invest with government for selected infrastructure projects. These interventions will lay the basis for broader investment by private sector including pension funds through the 45% asset allocation to infrastructure investment in Regulation 28.

b) The share of foreign exposure relative to the 45% upper limit increased across all institutional investors moderately. Where increases in offshore asset allocations have occurred, retail investors i.e., unit trusts have accounted for the majority in percentage terms. For all institutional investors, offshore exposure remains at about 23% of total assets under management (AUM). The data suggests that the impact of the increases in offshore allowance has expanded the scope of possible outflows but has not triggered actual large outflows in line with the maximum permissible amounts.

21 December 2023 - NW2298

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Mmutle, Mr TN to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

In view of the position of the Civilian Defence Ministry having two appointed acting officials of which one is from the civilian section and the other one from the uniform section, (a) how has she addressed the anomaly and (b) what is the policy position on acting appointment(s) and their timeframe(s)?

Reply:

Find reply here

21 December 2023 - NW4211

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Roos, Mr AC to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

Whether his department plays a role in the accreditation of venues as voting stations for eligible South African citizens abroad; if not, why not; if so, what mechanisms and/or protocols are followed to accredit a venue that is not an embassy, High Commission or a Consulate of the Republic as a voting station?

Reply:

The Department of Home Affairs plays no role in the accreditation of venues as voting stations for eligible South African citizens abroad. Sections 33(3) and 33(4) of the Electoral Act 73 of 1998, determine the location of voting stations outside of the country at South African Embassies, High Commissions, and Consulates.

END

21 December 2023 - NW4174

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Sithole, Mr KP to ask the Minister of Tourism

Whether her department has any records of the number of ongoing cases in which her department is the (a) plaintiff and (b) respondent; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

I have been informed by the department that the details of ongoing cases are contained in the table below.

NO.

NAME OF THE CASE

DATE STARTED

NATURE OF THE CASE

1.

Minister of Tourism vs. Corporate Skills Development Services.

25/02/2019

This is a claim by Department for the irregular award of a tender to Corporate Skills Development Services. The Department requested the court to cancel the contract.

2.

Minister of Tourism vs. KA Morritt/ Morritt CC

07/11/2016

This is a claim by the Department based on a collision between a Departmental vehicle and a vehicle belonging to and/ or driven by KA Morritt.

3.

Minister of Tourism vs. Bonwelong Skills Development cc and Mr Inama.

27/01/2017

This is a claim for money paid in advance to Bonwelong for the implementation of the Hospitality Youth Programme in Limpopo and North West Provinces. Bonwelong cancelled the Agreement with the Department but failed to pay back the advanced payments.

4.

Minister of Tourism vs. Wayne Smith and Associates & Wayne Smith

04/11/2020

This is a claim by the Department based on a collision between a Departmental vehicle and a vehicle belonging to and/ or driven by Wayne Smith and Associates & Wayne Smith.

5.

Minister of Tourism vs. Second Generation Consulting CC

18/10/2017

This is a claim filed by the Minister for damages emanating from failure by the Defendant to discharge its contractual obligations as per the Agreement.

6.

Minister of Tourism vs. Amathemba Skills Pty Ltd

14/07/2021

This is a claim by the Department against Amathemba Skills for:

  1. Claim for payment of unused project funds totalling R1 335 106-15.
  1. R445 632-12 which was withdrawn by Amathemba after the expiry of the Agreement without authorisation.
  1. R1 412 348-86 for drawings made by Amathemba without furnishing valid invoices to justify the expenses.

7.

Minister of Tourism vs. Samuel Malesela Mogale Business Enterprise CC

10/07/2020

This is a claim by the Department against the Defendant as a result of double payment from a Covid-19 relief fund.

8.

Minister of Tourism vs. Siyanda Mbeki

28/06/2019

On 1 July 2019, the Defendant was transferred from the Department of Tourism. At the time of his departure, he had an existing debt in respect of his bursary debt. The Defendant failed to comply with clause 2(C) of the bursary contract, where upon he had undertaken to “furnish the Department with necessary proof of my examination results immediately after the results of any annual examinations/ supplementary examinations have been made known by the examination authority.” As a result of his non-compliance the Department withdrew his bursary contract in terms of clause 3(b) of the contract and the debt became due.

9.

Minister of Tourism vs. ZM Kubheka.

02/03/2022

This is a claim to recover from the official, overpayment of monthly salary, bond repayment and leave taken without authorisation, which resulted in leave without pay.

10.

Minister of Tourism vs. MBB Consulting Services (PTY) Ltd

01/11/2022

The claim relates to financial loss to the amount of R12 215 308-00 suffered by the Department due to mismanagement of the projects’ funds by the Implementer.

11.

Minister of Tourism vs Kganakga SM

21/04/2022

On 11 November 2020, the Department entered into a written an agreement with the Defendant wherein the latter was to participate in a training programme of Mandarin Language Tourist Guiding.

The Defendant pulled out of the programme before its completion and as a result the Department incurred costs in the sum of R8 395-00 being costs for the preparation.

The Department instructed the State Attorney to recover the amount from the Defendant.

Ongoing Cases against the Department

NO.

NAME OF THE CASE

DATE STARTED

NATURE OF THE CASE

1.

Gerson Nevari vs. Department of Tourism & Director-General of the Department of Tourism

25/06/2020

Applicant is challenging that the Department that he resigned from his employment and if the court finds that indeed he resigned, he alleges constructive dismissal.

2.

Umbuso Training Services (Pty) Ltd vs. The Member of the Executive Committee, Department of Tourism

15/04 2021

This is a claim against the Department for payment in the amount of R246 675-00 (being the 10% retention money) and for payment in the amount of R825 700-00 (being for administration of stipends).

3.

ActionSA vs. Minister of Tourism and Others

16/11/2022

An application regarding the flow of untreated and raw sewage into the rivers and the sea in Durban and surrounding areas.

21 December 2023 - NW4177

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De Freitas, Mr MS to ask the Minister of Tourism

What (a) total amount has been budgeted and/or allocated for the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (i) in each month in the past three financial years and (ii) since 1 April 2023 to date, (b)(i) processes, procedures and/or reporting mechanisms are in place to ensure and monitor that the funds are properly spent and (c) amount has been spent in each month in the specified period?

Reply:

I have been informed that the Department of Tourism has not had a budget line item for transfers to the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) for the financial years 2020/21 to 2023/24 and has not made any transfers to TBCSA in that period.

SA Tourism does not allocate budget for the Tourism Business Council of South Africa (TBCSA) as they have their own budget as the administrators of the Tourism Marketing South Africa (TOMSA) levy.

21 December 2023 - NW3784

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Khanyile, Ms AT to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

With reference to the constitutional defects of section 34(1)(b) and (d) of the Immigration Act, Act No 13 of 2002, which were highlighted in the judgment handed down by the Constitutional Court on 29 June 2017 but suspended the declaration of invalidity for 24 months that expired on 29 June 2019, what total number of (a) persons were (i) detained for the purposes of deportation between 29 June 2019 and 30 October 2023 and (ii) deportations were confirmed and (b) court cases (i) have been initiated against Home Affairs concerning the (aa) detention for purposes of deportation, (bb) prevention of confirmation of deportation and (cc) confirmation of deportation between 29 June 2019 and 30 October 2023 and (ii) did the department defend?

Reply:

(a)(i) There were 31 229 persons detained for the purposes of deportation between 29 June 2019 and 30 October 2023.

(a)(ii) 27 823 deportations were confirmed between 29 June 2019 and 30 October 2023.

(b) For the period between 19 June 2019 and 30 October 2023, the following:

(b)(i)(aa) There were no court cases initiated against Home Affairs concerning detention for purposes of deportation.

(b)(i)(bb) No court cases were initiated against the department to prevent confirmation of deportations.

(b)(i)(cc) There were no court cases initiated against the department regarding the confirmation of deportation.

(b)(ii) There were no court cases which required the department to defend.

 

END

21 December 2023 - NW4209

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Roos, Mr AC to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

What process does his department follow in removing persons who have (a) denounced and (b) lost/forfeited their South African citizenship from the population register; (2) whether there is any backlog in removing persons from the population register; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) what is the total number of persons that constitute the backlog and (b) on what date is it envisaged that the backlog will be eradicated?

Reply:

(1)(a) When an applicant applies for renunciation and submits a guarantee letter, [of a pending offer of citizenship by another country] the applicant is issued with a renunciation letter, and his/her ID number is converted from a SA citizen ID number to a non-SA citizen ID number.

(1)(b) Same as above.

(2)(a) There is no backlog.

2(b) Not applicable

 

END

21 December 2023 - NW4127

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Matumba, Mr A to ask the Minister of Tourism

What (a) has been the progress on the implementation of the summer campaign and (b) total number of jobs does she envisage to create from the summer campaign this year?

Reply:

ACTIVATIONS AND AMPLIFICATION OF THE CAMPAIGN:

I have been informed by SA Tourism that the plan for a summer campaign activation has been approved for implementation during the weekends of December 15-17 and 22-24. The objective is to establish a platform for South Africans to engage in the Tourism Economy while also generating excitement among the public through a diverse range of tourism products and experiences.

The roll out includes the following activities:

  • Out of Home Campaign - running since October 2023
      • SMME Showcase platforms at main route oasis + Festivals through the Sustainability Village platform.
      • Gimme Summer Amplification of PTA summer campaign activations (2 per province)
      • Amplification of the activations through SAT owned social media channels.

(b) total number of jobs does she envisage to create from the summer campaign this year?

SA Tourism uses the “Summer Army” in the activation across all nine provinces. SA Tourism will receive the final job creation figures at the end of the summer campaign.

21 December 2023 - NW4102

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Matumba, Mr A to ask the Minister of Tourism

What are the details of SA Tourism will do differently in the implementation of the Tourism Sector Masterplan against the strategies developed to implement the Tourism Sector Recovery Plan?

Reply:

The Tourism Sector Masterplan which was approved by Cabinet in October 2023 was derived from, among others, the three-year Tourism Sector Recovery Plan (TSRP), approved by the Cabinet in April 2021.

The plan primarily aims to galvanise government, industry, and labour to collectively share a common vision that will position the tourism industry on an inclusive and sustainable competitive path for the benefit of all South Africans.

The Masterplan is anchored on three interlinked pillars or strategic themes:

  • Protect and Rejuvenating Supply;
  • Re-ignite Demand;
  • Strengthen Enabling Capability for long-term sustainability.

Within these pillars, there are seven Strategic Interventions that address key areas of focus.

These interventions include enhancing education and skills development, promoting entrepreneurship and economic growth, improving infrastructure and connectivity, fostering social cohesion and well-being, preserving the environment and natural resources, strengthening governance and institutions, and promoting regional cooperation.

Additionally, there are three enablers that support the implementation of the plan, namely, to form targeted, strategic partnerships between government and industry; partnering with relevant departments to ensure improved travel facilitation through the implementation of e-visas, tourist safety, airlift capacity and quicker turnaround times in the processing of tour operator licences; and stimulate domestic demand through Government Consumption expenditure.

The plan indicates that South African Tourism is the lead partner in destination marketing of South Africa as a key destination and the entity will continue leading in the stimulation of demand in collaboration with the industry and provinces through the following programmes:

  • Targeted domestic initiatives and campaigns through domestic tourism seasonal campaigns.
  • Domestic business events and B2B campaigns.
  • Regional tourism campaigns to increase the number of tourists from the continent/region.
  • A global marketing campaign targeted at high-value source markets.
  • A global business events campaign to drive an increase in the number of events and business events hosted in SA.
  • Drive the number of international bid submissions.
  • Facilitation through the National Association Project to host Business events in VTSDs.
  • Drive the growth in the number of quality-assured establishments.  
  • Confirming and implementing the brand management protocol.

 

21 December 2023 - NW3887

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De Freitas, Mr MS to ask the Minister of Tourism

With regard to the top leadership and management at the levels of (a) Director-General and (b) Deputy Director-General in SA Tourism, (i) what qualifications does each of the specified persons have in each case and (ii) how do the specified qualifications align with the position that must be fulfilled?

Reply:

I have been informed by SA Tourism that the details regarding qualifications of top management are contained in the table below.

With regard to the top leadership and management in SAT

(i) What qualifications does each of the specified persons have in each case

(ii) How do the specified qualifications align with the position that must be fulfilled

(a) Chief Executive Officer

The CEO role is currently vacant and recruitment is in progress.

The acting incumbent has been appointed by the Board to carry the delegation of CEO to allow for business continuity.

The requirements for the Chief Executive Officer are the following:

  • A recognised Bachelor’s Degree;
  • A recognised post graduate qualification. Masters or equivalent will be an added advantage;
  • At least 10 years proven experience in senior management, including 5 years at executive-level;
  • Public Service/Public entity experience at senior management level will be an added advantage;
  • An understanding of the tourism industry (Government Policy and Private Sector Stakeholder landscape) will be an added advantage;
  • Marketing Operations Management

(b) Chief Finance Officer

- Bachelor degree in Accounting;

- Bachelor Honours degree in Accounting; and (CA) SA

The requirements for the Chief Finance Officer are the following:

  • B. Com Financial Accounting Honours Degree or equivalent;
  • Registration with SAICA as CA (SA);
  • Master’s in Business Administration (MBA) or Financial Management will be a definite added advantage;
  • Minimum 10 years in executive financial management role;
  • Minimum 10 years’ experience in managing the Finance function in a public entity;
  • Minimum 10 years experience in managing the Finance function of an entity within the tourism sector will be an added advantage;

The qualifications the incumbent possesses, coupled by their work experience align them to the position fulfilled.

(c) Chief Operations Officer

- Bachelor of Social Science

- GIBS Executive Leadership Development Programme;

The requirements for the Chief Operations Officer are the following:

  • A three-year Commerce degree (major in Marketing would be preferred);
  • Excellent understanding of marketing principles
  • A post graduate business management qualification and/or previous project management experience would be an advantage
  • 8-10 years’ work experience in Marketing and Advertising and communications field, or similar environment, of which 5 should be in senior management.
  • Marketing Operations Management.
  • Government priorities and imperatives.
  • Legislation and regulations that govern the Public Service e.g. the Public Service Act.
  • The PFMA and regulations, and other relevant legislation – e.g. the National Strategic Intelligence Act; the National Archives of South Africa Act; the Promotion of Access to Information Act.
  • Performance monitoring, evaluation and reporting frameworks, systems and processes.
  • Relevant legislation and regulatory requirements namely PFMA, Treasury Regulations and Frameworks on performance information and strategic plans.

The panel at the time of recruitment considered the candidate's experience and knowledge and concluded that it is aligned with job requirements which led to the decision to hire the candidate.

(d) Chief Quality Assurance Officer

- BCom Marketing Degree

- Professional Management Development programme -GIBS

- MASA Diploma in Media Management.

- A Three-year Commerce degree (major in Marketing would be preferred)

- A postgraduate or Master’s Degree in PR/Hospitality/Sales & Marketing/Travel & Tourism Management or equivalent.

- 8-10 years in Senior Operations and/or Marketing and Sales Management experience or a related field, of which 5 years should be in management position.

- Experience in Hospitality Product / Business Development, Destination and/or product knowledge.

The qualifications the incumbent possesses, coupled by their work experience align them to the position fulfilled.

e) Chief Marketing Officer

The CMO role is currently vacant and recruitment is in progress.

The acting incumbent has been appointed to carry the delegation of CEO to allow for business continuity.

  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing/Advertising/Business Development/Management/Business Administration/International Relations/Public Relations or a bachelor’s degree in any other field with relevant experience
  • Postgraduate qualification in Marketing/Advertising/Business Development/ Management and/or relevant field will be an added advantage.
  • 10 years’ work experience in Marketing, Advertising, Communications and Media Marketing (press and digital) with experience from travel and tourism industry or similar background. • 5 years’ experience in Senior General Management experience • Experience in Public Sector will be added advantage • Experience in international/multinational marketing organisation • Ability to operate and manage in a matrix organisation with multiple stakeholders • Savvy marketer and a great communicator

f) Chief Convention Bureau Officer

The CCBO role is currently vacant and recruitment is in progress.

The acting incumbent has been appointed to carry the delegation of CEO to allow for business continuity.

  • Degree Commerce (major in Marketing/Tourism/Economics would be preferred);
  • Excellent understanding of marketing principles, especially business events;
  • A postgraduate qualification in business management and previous project management experience would be an advantage;
  • 8-10 years’ work experience in Marketing and Advertising and communications field, or a similar environment, of which 5 should be in management.

g) Chief Strategy Officer

Vacant

  • Bachelor’s Degree preferably in Business Information Science or Statistics.
  • 8-10 years in data analytics and research or a related field, of which 5 years should be in a management position. • Post Graduate Degree in Business Management would be an added advantage.

- Extensive knowledge of international and domestic travel • Knowledge and understanding of the principles of business, the application thereof, the opportunities within business and the seizure of such opportunities • Knowledge and understanding of research methodology and principles critical in deriving intel that is reliable and integral • Excellent understanding of marketing principles, especially business events. Understanding general data management policies and procedures. • Ability to implement and follow governance and compliance procedures. Previous experience in managing an Analytics/ Research Department is essential

21 December 2023 - NW4226

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Steenhuisen, Mr JH to ask the President of the Republic

Considering that his term is coming to an end in 2024, what are the details of the current progress that has been made in delivering the (a) bullet trains and (b) smart cities he promised during the State of the Nation Address on 20 June 2019?

Reply:

In the State of the Nation Address in June 2019, I invited South Africans to look beyond the challenges of the present and to imagine a country of high-speed trains, smart cities and a high-tech economy.

I said that to reinvigorate the implementation of the National Development Plan, “we must cast our sights on the broadest of horizons”.

This bolder vision of a technologically advanced society has received practical attention over the last few years.

For example, the Department of Transport has developed a High-Speed Rail Framework. The Framework has prioritised and ranked the corridors using internationally benchmarked criteria. The Johannesburg to Durban corridor was identified as the highest-ranking potential high-speed rail corridor, with the Pretoria to Mbombela to Komatipoort corridor, and Johannesburg to Pretoria to Polokwane to Musina corridor, ranking second and third, respectively.

On 1 November 2023, Cabinet approved the High-Speed Rail Framework Framework for implementation, and for the Johannesburg to Durban corridor to be prioritised for a feasibility study. The Department of Transport plans to establish a High-Speed Rail Project Management Office to take this process forward.

Another practical example is the Lanseria Smart City.

The project aims to establish a new smart city in the area currently known as Lanseria that will be home to between 350,000 and 500,000 people by 2030. The Master Plan is managed and coordinated by the Gauteng Growth and Development Agency, with the support of local, provincial and national government.

Support is being provided for the development of bulk infrastructure through the allocation by the Department of Human Settlements of an Urban Settlements Development Grant to the city of Johannesburg.

The current focus of the project is on building a wastewater treatment and land acquisition.

21 December 2023 - NW4087

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Powell, Ms EL to ask the Minister of International Relations and Cooperation

Whether he met with Mr Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader based in Qatar and/or any other members of Hamas whilst in Qatar during November 2023; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the full details of their discussions?

Reply:

The Minister of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) did not meet with Mr Ismail Haniyeh or any member of Hamas during her visit to Qatar in November 2023. It is worth noting that Hamas is headquartered in Qatar and that the organisation is funded by the Government of Qatar. The presence of Hamas has historically been supported by the Government of the United States as the latter required a channel of communication to the organisation. This is part of the reason why Qatar has been able to play a prominent role in negotiating the current humanitarian pause as well as the exchange of hostages and political prisoners between Hamas and Israel.

21 December 2023 - NW4178

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De Freitas, Mr MS to ask the Minister of Tourism

What (a) are the details of the plans of (i) her department and (ii) SA Tourism (SAT) to adhere to the National Treasury circular to all departments requesting them to reduce spending, (b) are the (ii) timelines, milestones and/or deadlines in this regard and (c) is the anticipated impact of the reduction in spending on the (i) functioning and (ii) respective mandates of her department?

Reply:

(i)The Department

(a)(i) What are the plans to reduce spending?

I have been informed by the Department that the Cost Containment Guidelines were issued as advisory and not an instruction in terms of section 76 the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), 1999. The department, however, took an initiative to reduce expenditure on travel and related items as advised in the guidelines. An internal circular was issued to staff in that regard in September 2023.

(b)(ii) What are the timelines, milestones and/or deadlines in this regard?

Based on the guidelines, the Department of Tourism reprioritized and released R63,699m during the Adjustment Estimates of National Expenditure (AENE) process.

(c) What is the anticipated impact of this on the

(i) functioning of the Department

Although travelling was scaled down due to the budget cuts, the department is committed to achieve all the planned targets.

(ii) respective mandates of the department?

The department is committed to implement all the targets in the APP. There have not been any amendments to the APP.

(ii) SA Tourism

(a)(i) What are the plans to reduce spending?

I have been informed by South African Tourism that in 2024/25, SA Tourism’s budget allocation is set to decrease by 7,5%. The budget cuts and spending reviews during the Medium Term Expenditure Committee submission have heightened the entity’s budget optimisation strategy. The entity had already in its annual performance plan identified budget optimisation as an indicator, thus emphasizing efforts to adhere to austerity measures as communicated by National Treasury.

(b)(ii) What are the timelines, milestones and/or deadlines in this regard?

Overhead expenditure, which include operational costs such as communication, office consumables and IT support have been targeted as areas to reduce spending. Where contractual obligations exist, these will not be renewed. This is an ongoing process; however, most savings are expected to be realised in 2024/25 budget.

(c) What is the anticipated impact of this on the

(i) functioning and (ii) the respective mandate of SA Tourism

Marketing costs which are the core operating costs in achieving SAT’s are expected to decrease by 6% in 2024/25. Hosting and capabilities have been targeted to be reduced. These include reduction in travel costs of hosted media and trade.

Also, currently cost efficiency measures are being implemented in procurement of marketing initiatives to ensure that SAT achieves maximum value for money and unnecessary spending is avoided.

21 December 2023 - NW4176

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De Freitas, Mr MS to ask the Minister of Tourism

What (a) steps have been taken to deal with issues related to tourism mentioned in the World Bank report titled Safety First: The economic cost of crime in South Africa, to ensure that the challenges mentioned in the report are addressed in order to ensure growth in tourism and (b) are the timelines, deadlines and/or milestones in this regard?

Reply:

a) What steps have been taken to deal with issues related to tourism mentioned in the World Bank report?

It is the mandate of the South African Police Service to deal with all crime.

The safety of all tourists is paramount and we are determined to do all we can to ensure that all tourists have a safe and memorable experience in South Africa.

The Department continues to engage relevant Departments and implements various initiatives aimed at ensuring that tourists are safe, through the National Tourism Safety Strategy and the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Department and the South African Police Service (SAPS).

I convened the inaugural, quarterly, National Safety Forum (NSF) meeting on 29 May 2023. Two subsequent meetings were held on 29 August 2023 and 12 December 2023.

The NSF comprises all three spheres of government, SAPS, Airports Company South Africa, National Prosecuting Authority, Provincial Tourism entities, the private sector and various tourism product owners.

The NSF meets quarterly and has set targets to be achieved quarterly.

The Department has also budgeted R174 Million for the deployment and training of 2300 Tourism Monitors who will be deployed at major tourist attractions and sites, including strategic ports of entry, national parks and other attractions across the country to assist with tourism and safety related information and matters.

Another aspect of the National Tourism Safety Strategy is the Victim Support Programme (VSP) running in some provinces to support victims of crime.  A Standard Operation Procedure/ “How-to Guide” for the establishment of the VSP for all provinces was developed by the Department to assist provinces in setting up VSPs. Currently Mpumalanga and the western Cape have successful VSPs.

As part of the National Tourism Safety work, on 14 November 2023, I also held a Tourism Safety engagement with members of the Diplomatic Corps. The session was attended by 115 participants including Ambassadors, High Commissioners, Attachés’ as well as the embassy officials who included the locally recruited personnel.  

The briefing document was sent, via the Department of International Relations and Cooperation, to the diplomatic Corps and all SA Missions abroad.

The purpose of the session was to amongst others share South Africa’s programmes, interventions and strategies towards tourist safety.  The session provided prerequisite information with a view to enable the Diplomatic Community to appreciate South Africa’s efforts towards tourist safety and to further transmit the information to their citizens in countries of origin who are planning to visit South Africa in the near future. 

Earlier this year, the private sector launched the Secura Traveller app and 24-hour operations center to assist tourists with a range of services they may need in the event of any incident. The private sector indicates that the app links tourists to more than 200 service providers including private security companies, medical and translation services.

(b) What are the timelines, deadlines and/or milestones in this regard?

The above initiatives are continuously implemented by the department with the Tourism Monitors programme launched in Mpumalanga on 12 December 2023. The deployment to the remaining eight provinces will take place during the festive season.

21 December 2023 - NW4046

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De Freitas, Mr MS to ask the Minister of Tourism

(1)With reference to the seizure of South African Tourism’s assets, (a)(i) when and (ii) where did the seizure take place; (2) What assets (a) were seized and (b) are being utilised in place of the seized assets; (3) What (a) was the value of the assets seized (b) were the reasons for the seizure; (4) Whether legal action has been initiated in this regard; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NW5322E

Reply:

(1)(a)(i) - When did it take place?

I have been informed by South Africa Tourism that, regarding the inquiry concerning the acquisition of assets belonging to South African Tourism, it is imperative to clarify that it was not a seizure but rather a retrieval of assets. Specifically, the laptops in question are the rightful property of SA Tourism and do not constitute the personal assets of the individuals who were instructed to surrender their laptops for the purpose of data preservation. This procedural action transpired on Thursday, July 6, 2023.

(1)(a)(ii) - Where did it take place?

At the SA Tourism Johannesburg office, located in Bojanala House, 90 Protea Road, Chislehurston, Johannesburg, 2196.

(2)(a) - What assets were seized?

NO

LAPTOP/DESKTOP

MAKE

COLLECTION LOCATION

DATA COLLECTED

DATE RETURNED

1

LAPTOP

DELL LATITUDE 5520

SIU OFFICES DELIVERED BY SAT

10-Jul-23

11-Jul-23

2

LAPTOP

DELL LATITUDE 5520

SIU OFFICES DELIVERED BY SAT

10-Jul-23

11-Jul-23

3

LAPTOP

DELL LATITUDE 5520

SIU OFFICES DELIVERED BY SAT

07-Jul-23

10-Jul-23

4

LAPTOP

DELL LATITUDE 5520

SAT

06-Jul-23

10-Jul-23

5

LAPTOP

DELL LATITUDE 5520

SAT

06-Jul-23

10-Jul-23

6

LAPTOP

DELL LATITUDE 7300

SAT

06-Jul-23

10-Jul-23

7

LAPTOP

DELL LATITUDE 7290

SAT

06-Jul-23

10-Jul-23

8

LAPTOP

DELL LATITUDE 7300

SAT

06-Jul-23

07-Jul-23

9

LAPTOP

DELL LATITUDE 5300

SAT

06-Jul-23

07-Jul-23

10

LAPTOP

DELL LATITUDE 7290

SAT

06-Jul-23

07-Jul-23

11

LAPTOP

DELL XPS

SAT

06-Jul-23

07-Jul-23

12

LAPTOP

DELL LATITUDE 5520

SAT

06-Jul-23

07-Jul-23

13

LAPTOP

DELL LATITUDE 5430

SAT

06-Sep-23

08-Sep-23

(2)(b) - What are being used in place of the seized assets?

Individual laptops were returned as per the Table above. The focus remained on expediting the return of laptops to individuals in the minimum amount of time.

(3)(a) - Value of the seized assets?

The average value of laptops taken is approximately R 21 000, therefore the total average value was approximately R 252,000 at the time of collection for data preservation purposes.

(3)(b) - Reason for the seizure?

The assets were collected for the preservation of data to ensure that all information necessary to the investigation was secured and available to the investigators.

(4) - Whether legal action has been initiated?

The event was not a seizure but a collection of assets which already belonged to SA Tourism, not the individuals who were asked to hand them in for data preservation purposes. The assets that were collected are the property of SAT as an employer and were not seized from anyone. Officials were requested to temporarily hand in SAT property. No legal action has been initiated, and the SIU employees seconded to the agency continue their investigations.

 

 

21 December 2023 - NW3766

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De Freitas, Mr MS to ask the Minister of Tourism

With reference to projects undertaken by the SA Tourism in the past three financial years and since 1 April 2023 up to the latest specified date for which information is available, (a) who undertook each project in each month, (b) how were the project suppliers identified and (c) what was the (i) budget allocation for each project and (iv) actual expenditure in each case?

Reply:

The projects, initiated by SA Tourism in the past three financial years, are as captured in the Annual Performance Plans and the relevant implementation reports have been presented to the Portfolio Committee.

The reports can also be accessed on the Parliamentary Monitoring Group (PMG) website.

21 December 2023 - NW3898

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Khanyile, Ms AT to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

Considering that in 2019 the Refugee Appeals Authority South Africa (RAASA) entered into an agreement with the United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees (UNHCR) for a backlog project, what total number of (a) RAASA members (i) were hired and (ii) remain employed and (b) appeal hearings have been (i) heard and (ii) decided after a hearing by the specified members?

Reply:

The Four-Year Partnership Agreement is between the Department of Home Affairs and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The Agreement was signed on 8 March 2021 paving the way for the implementation of Plan 2019: Backlog Project.

A (i) At the heart of Plan 2019, was the recruitment of 36 legally qualified Refugee Appeals Authority of South Africa (RAASA) members to assist with the adjudication and finalisation of Backlog Appeal cases. A total of thirty (30) Members were recruited at different times of the project in 2021. The Project was never fully capacitated with 36 Members due to UNHCR’s financial constraints.

(ii) During the recruitment process, we preferred lawyers who actually practised on arguing cases in court. However, the number has decreased to twenty-two (22) because many lawyers who abandoned their practices during the Covid lockdown have now resigned to go back to their practices since the lockdown is over

The UNHCR has first informed that they no longer have money, however, the EU (European Union) has agreed to help but can only fund ten (10) members. The result is that 12 members’ contracts will have to be terminated.

B (i) A total number of hearings conducted: 3 439.

(ii) A total number of finalised decisions: 3 626. (This figure includes paper determinations, “No Show” decisions, and family joining)

The total number of finalised appeal cases including cancellations/withdrawals of asylum claims: 8 380.

END

21 December 2023 - NW4129

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Matumba, Mr A to ask the Minister of Tourism

Whether her department is responsible for the Mphephu Resort; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what (a) is the status of the Resort, (b) measures has she put in place to rehabilitate the specified resort and (c) time frames have been set in this regard?

Reply:

I have been informed that the Department is not responsible for the Mphephu Resort and has not provided any funding to this facility. I understand that this property belongs to the Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism and the Honourable Member is advised to refer this query to them.

21 December 2023 - NW3910

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Ismail, Ms H to ask the Minister of Tourism

What (a) type of critical skills shortages are there in the tourism sector institutions that report to her and (b) is the detailed report on the number of critical skills currently short in her department?

Reply:

(a) The type of critical skills shortages within the tourism sector institutions are:

  • Financial Management
  • Strategic Leadership
  • Food Safety Quality Assurance
  • Travel consulting
  • Professional Cookery
  • Tourism Information Officers
  • Work Readiness and placement
  • Occupational Health Norms and Standards
  • Career Development
  • Service Excellence
  • Digitalisation Skills

I have, further, been informed that the above critical skills are informed by the existing Skills Audit Report and Tourism Sector Human Resources Development Strategy 2017 – 2027.

(b) The department experiences high turnover is some skills while unable to recruit and retain adequately skilled persons, at the same level as the level of loss, in the following areas:

  • Supply Chain Management Skills
  • Risk Management (Business Continuity Management Skills)
  • Information and Communication Technology Skills
  • Geographic Information System
  • Graphic Designers

The department has also resolved to strengthen existing capacity on the management of Infrastructure Projects through augmenting the following skills:

  • Construction Project Managers
  • Quantity Surveyors

 

21 December 2023 - NW4060

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Marais, Mr S to ask the President of the Republic

(1)In light of the Expert Panel into the July 2021 Civil Unrest’s recommendation of the urgent development of an Integrated National Security Strategy and with reference to his 2022 State of the Nation Address in which he made a call to all South Africans to participate in the development of the Integrated National Security Strategy and pronounced that he intends to approach Parliament’s presiding officers to request that Parliament plays a key role in facilitating inclusive processes of consultation, what is the (a) status and (b) progress of the development of the Integrated National Security Strategy; (2) what (a) public or other consultations have been undertaken in the development of the Strategy and (b) is the envisaged finalisation date for the specified Strategy; (3) (a) when will he engage the presiding officers of the Parliament of RSA for including it in the development of the Strategy and (b) what will be the extent to which he envisages Parliament’s involvement?

Reply:

The development of the draft National Security Strategy is being undertaken by the National Security Council. Once the National Security Council has completed its work and the draft National Security Strategy has been considered by Cabinet, the draft will be made available for consultation and input.

21 December 2023 - NW4103

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Matumba, Mr A to ask the Minister of Tourism

What is the implementation interface between the Tourism Sector Masterplan and the National Tourism Sector Strategy 2016-2026 with regard to the SA Tourism plans; (2) Whether SA Tourism has developed audit action plans to deal with financial management and the cash flow challenges; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) Whether SA Tourism has started to develop a business optimisation strategy; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (4) What measures has SA Tourism put in place to achieve its employment equity targets with the current moratorium in place?

Reply:

  1. What is the implementation interface between the Tourism Sector Masterplan and the National Tourism Sector Strategy 2016-2026 with regard to the SA Tourism plans?

The Tourism Sector Masterplan (TSMP) was approved by Cabinet in October 2023.

It was derived from, among others, the three-year Tourism Sector Recovery Plan (TSRP), which comprises interventions that extend beyond its immediate implementation time period of 2023–2024 and was approved by the Cabinet in April 2021.

The plan primarily aims to galvanise government, industry and labour to collectively share a common vision that will position the tourism industry on an inclusive and sustainable competitive path for the benefit of all South Africans.

The Masterplan is anchored on three interlinked pillars or strategic themes:

  • Protect and Rejuvenating Supply;
  • Re-ignite Demand;
  • Strengthen Enabling Capability for long-term sustainability.

Within these pillars, there are seven Strategic Interventions that address key areas of focus. These interventions include enhancing education and skills development, promoting entrepreneurship and economic growth, improving infrastructure and connectivity, fostering social cohesion and well-being, preserving the environment and natural resources, strengthening governance and institutions, and promoting regional cooperation.

Additionally, there are three Enablers that support the implementation of the plan, namely, to form targeted, strategic partnerships between government and industry; partnering with relevant departments to ensure improved travel facilitation through the implementation of e-visas, tourist safety, airlift capacity and quicker turnaround times in the processing of tour operator licences; and stimulate domestic demand through Government Consumption expenditure.

The plan indicates that South African Tourism is the lead partner in destination marketing of South Africa as a key destination and the entity will continue leading in the stimulation of demand in collaboration with the industry and provinces through the following programmes:

  • Targeted domestic initiatives and campaigns through domestic tourism seasonal campaigns.
  • Domestic business events and B2B campaigns.
  • Regional tourism campaigns to increase the number of tourists from the continent/region.
  • A global marketing campaign targeted at high-value source markets.
  • A global business events campaign to drive an increase in the number of events and business events hosted in SA.
  • Drive the number of international bid submissions.
  • Facilitation through the National Association Project to host Business events in VTSDs.
  • Drive the growth in the number of quality-assured establishments.  
  • Confirming and implementing the brand management protocol.

SA Tourism is the lead on the Effective Marketing Pillar of the NTSS, which is aligned to the strategic interventions of the Tourism Master Plan. The effective marketing is done through engagement with tourism bodies and provinces through a coordinated approach.

(2) Whether SA Tourism has developed audit action plans to deal with financial management and cash flow challenges; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

With regard to audit action plans; for the current financial year South African Tourism has compiled an audit action plan resulting from findings by the Auditor General and Internal Audit services. The plan is monitored on a monthly basis by internal audit to ensure implementation by management. Moreover, SAT has set up an “operation clean audit committee” comprising various business unit managers to ensure that compliance and financial management is achieved throughout the organisation.

Stringent cashflow management is in place given the current cashflow challenges. Controls are to monitor cash flow daily and report more frequently. Measures also include deferring non-urgent payment and transfer of funds to the international office been rationed to transfer only what is required on a monthly basis.

3. Whether SA Tourism has started to develop a business optimisation strategy; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

The budget optimisation strategy which was identified as a deliverable in the approved Annual Performance Plan, is at an advanced stage of development. A change in the approach to strategy development in the beginning of the financial year, and extensive work required in research and benchmarking has resulted in delays in the targeted dates. However, management will ensure that sufficient progress is achieved at the end of quarter 3.

4) What measures has SA Tourism put in place to achieve its employment equity targets with the current moratorium in place?

Two targets have not been met during the period, namely Women in Senior management positions and employment of person with disabilities.

1. Ordinarily the action would be to identify roles for purposes of meeting the Employment Equity targets as part of recruitment planning.

2. Persons with disabilities were prioritised through the recruitment of interns with disabilities,  as well as awareness sessions and management training on reasonable accommodation.

 

21 December 2023 - NW4045

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De Freitas, Mr MS to ask the Minister of Tourism

(1)With reference to forensic audits undertaken by South African Tourism in the last three financial years and since 1 April 2023 to date, (a) which audits have been (i) each per month, (ii) concluded per month, and (b) what was the value of each of the audits in each instance respectively; (2) What was the nature of each audit in each instance respectively; (3) Who conducted the audits in each instance respectively; (4) What was the outcome of each audit in each instance respectively?

Reply:

Forensic Audits 2020-2021

(1)(a)(i+ii) Which audits have been concluded per month

(1)(b) What was the value of each audit

(2) What was the nature of each audit

(3) Who conducted each audit

(4) What was the outcome of each audit

N/A

R0

General complaint received 24 Feb 2020

Independent Forensic Investigators

Closed

N/A

R0

Unethical conduct complaint received 22 July 2020

Independent Forensic Investigators

Closed

Forensic Audits 2021-2022

(1)(a)(i+ii) Which audits have been concluded per month

(1)(b) What was the value of each audit

(2) What was the nature of each audit

(3) Who conducted each audit

(4) What was the outcome of each audit

From 1 January 2022, three investigations were undertaken.

Two investigations were received in May 2022 through the Hotline and one was a direct call from the whistle-blower received in June 2022.

R0

R0

The Direct Call

R89 000

Unethical Conduct

Unethical Conduct

Payment of invoices without work done

All investigations are conducted by independent forensic investigators that are sourced through supply chain management processes.

The process was underway to conclude the three investigations in the FY 2022-2023 table.

 

 

Forensic Audits 2022-2023

(1)(a)(i+ii) Which audits have been concluded per month

(1)(b) What was the value of each audit

(2) What was the nature of each audit

(3) Who conducted each audit

(4) What was the outcome of each audit

N/A

R0

Unethical Conduct

SIU

Irregularities were identified. Matter still underway.

N/A

R0

Unethical Conduct

SIU

Allegations partly confirmed. Matter still underway.

N/A

R390 195

Bribery/Corruption

Forensic Investigators (Outsourced)

Improper conduct and misrepresentation on the part of certain officials identified. Matter still underway.

N/A

R0

Misconduct

Human Capital

False allegations identified.

N/A

R0

Misconduct(duplicate of 10)

Human Capital

False allegations identified.

N/A

R89 000

Payment of invoices without work done

The preliminary investigation was done by forensic investigators (Outsourced)

Referred to SIU for full investigation. Matter still underway.

Forensic Audits since 1 April 2023

(1)(a)(i+ii) Which audits have been concluded

(1)(b) What was the value of each audit

(2) What was the nature of each audit

(3) Who conducted each audit

(4) What was the outcome of each audit

N/A

Pending

Corruption

SIU

In progress

N/A

Pending

Corruption

SIU

In progress

N/A

Pending

Investigation

Pending

In progress

18 September 2023

Pending

Suspected scam

SIU

In progress

04 October 2023

Pending

Complaint on HC process

SIU

In progress

 

21 December 2023 - NW4210

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Roos, Mr AC to ask the Minister of Home Affairs

Whether his department plays a role in the Independent Electoral Commission’s online application process for a special vote abroad; if not, why not; if so, what are the reasons that the process does not require applicants to provide their current physical addresses?

Reply:

The Department of Home Affairs plays no role in the online application process beyond confirming the citizenship status of the supplied identity number. The duty to register voters, compile and maintain a voters’ roll is in terms of section 5 (e) of the Electoral Commission Act 51 of 1996 read with section 5 of the Electoral Act 73 of 1998 within the sole remit of the Electoral Commission.

Voters who register to be included in an international segment of the voters’ roll are not required to provide their physical addresses because they are registered against a South African mission and the mission constitutes a component of the international segment of the voters’ roll for purposes of elections of the National Assembly.

END

21 December 2023 - NW4128

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Matumba, Mr A to ask the Minister of Tourism

(a) By what date will the SA Tourism Board be appointed, (b) what are the reasons for the many delays and (c) what time frames have been put in place in this regard?

Reply:

(a and c)The time allocated in Cabinet for concurrence is as follows:

  • Present to ESIEID Cabinet Committee on 7 February 2024
  • Cabinet approval on 14 February 2024.  
  • Gazette on 23 February 2024.

(b) I was hoping to get this matter onto the November Cabinet schedule.

21 December 2023 - NW4092

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Loate, Mr T to ask the Minister of Employment and Labour

(1)Whether the Government’s negotiations at the National Economic Development and Labour Council in respect of the social compact has progressed substantially in the past 21 months, since the President, Mr Cyril M Ramaphosa, announced the urgent need in his State of the Nation Address in February 2022; if not, why not; if so, (2) how much progress has the Government registered since February 2022 in (a) visibly building a better and more inclusive society, (b) growing the economy, (c) creating jobs and (d) tackling crime and corruption with the help of partners from organised business, Labour and communities in society at large? NW5373E

Reply:

1. There are some imperatives that must be understood by all when it comes to Social Compact and Social Compacting. Among these, are the following:

  1. Social Compacting is both a process and an institutional framework.
  2. Social Compact traverse on the social dialogue path, it then progresses through collective bargaining processes
  3. Social Compact requires elements of societal partnerships.
  4. Given what is stated above and below, it therefore stands to reason that, Social Compacting is about Unity in Diversity, where common interests are maximised in a principled manner.
  5. Social Compacting is premised from a firm belief that working together, coordinating, collaborating, cooperating, converging, co-creating, networking and building trust between important groupings in society will lead to better socio-economic outcomes than each working separately.

2. The dynamic process of Social Compact is advancing, recognising changing conditions, adapting to them, acknowledging different and/or conflicting interests, navigating through them. It should be stated that some of the elements that are listed on this question may not fall under the ambit of Social Compact, whilst others can be grouped together, and as such are globally responded to.

  1. Emerging consensus was achieved on key binding constraints to economic growth and what should be done especially in relation to energy and freight.
  2. Understanding of the nature of the ESKOM crisis and links to the energy crisis was developed
  3. Signing of the social compact to support ESKOM
  4. The implementation plan has been regularly reviewed and updated making the Social Compact a living and interactive process
  5. Birthed the work of Operation Vulindlela, the National Electricity Crisis Committee (NECOM) and the Operational Partnership between business and government.
  6. Changing nature of NEDLAC Energy Work Stream when NECOM was set up.
  7. Set up co-ordinating structures including a 7-a-side of the leadership of social partners and government.
  8. Improve the eco-system for small business
  9. The structures set up under the Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Plan (ERRP) were consolidated into NEDLAC Chambers and Task Teams.
  10. Establishment of the Presidential Climate Change Commission

20 December 2023 - NW4013

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

Whether her department has (a) drilled and/or (b) maintained any boreholes since 1 January 2023 in each province; if not, why not; if so, what (i) total number of boreholes were drilled and/or maintained during the specified period and (ii) was the total cost in each case; (2) whether water was found at each specified borehole; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the further, relevant details?

Reply:

(1)(a),(b),(i),(ii) and (2) Please refer to Annexure A.

Province

(a) Boreholes Drilled

(b)

Boreholes Maintained

Reasons for not drilling/ Maintaining

(i)

Total Number of Boreholes Drilled

(i)

Total Number of Boreholes Maintained

(ii)

Total Cost of Drilling (ZAR)

(ii)

Total Cost of Maintenance (ZAR)

Borehole Identification

Water Discovery

Details if Water Not Found

Additional Relevant Details

Eastern Cape

0

0

The province is planning to drill and maintain 5 boreholes in the 2024/ 2025 financial year.

0

0

R0

R0

0

0

0

A detailed investigation is to be conducted within the community and drilling of boreholes be done at locations where enough underground water is found and pipelines to be used to transfer the water closer to where it is needed. The aquafer in the area does not deliver enough water and is not sustainable; the indicated area is restricted. Existing boreholes are rehabilitated to establish the yield and to determine if a new borehole is required.

Free State

55

32

N/A

55

32

R5,5m

R1,1m

87

54

33

 

Gauteng

24

0

N/A

24

0

R6,8m

R0

24

24

0

 

KwaZulu Natal

6

1

N/A

6

1

R0,6m

R0,03m

7

4

3

 

Limpopo

0

0

There was no target set for borehole projects in the 2023/ 2024 financial year. The province has been granted approval of R3 520 000 for drilling of 11 boreholes for the 2024/ 2025 financial year.

0

0

R0

R0

0

0

0

 

Mpumalanga

0

0

The province is planning to drill boreholes in projects that are being implemented such as Malelane/Nkomati Farmer Production Support Unit (FPSU) and Red Meat value chain projects, if necessary after a feasibility study has been concluded.

0

0

R0

R0

0

0

0

 

North West

7

0

N/A

7

0

R1,8m

R0

7

6

1

 

Northern Cape

2

0

N/A

2

0

R0,7m

R0

2

2

0

 

Western Cape

0

0

The province is planning to drill 7 boreholes and maintain 4 boreholes in the 2024/ 2025 financial year.

0

0

R0

R0

0

0

0

 

Totals

94

33

 

94

33

R15,5m

R1,1m

127

90

37

 

20 December 2023 - NW4223

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Joseph, Mr D to ask the Minister of Police

(I) On what date will the (a) construction of the new Tafelsig Police Station in Mitchells Plain commence and (b) specified project be completed; (2) what (a) areas in Mitchells Plain will the new police station cover and (b) is the total cost of the project?

Reply:

Find reply here

20 December 2023 - NW4161

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Majozi, Ms Z to ask the Minister of Police

Whether his department has records of the number of vehicles (a) at each police station and (b) in each province; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

Find reply here

20 December 2023 - NW4224

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Seitlholo, Mr IS to ask the Minister of Transport

What total number of kilometres of the national roads were resurfaced (a) in (i) 2021 and (ii) 2022 and (b) since 1 January 2023?

Reply:

SANRAL resurfaced the following kilometres of national roads:

a) (i) 2021/22 = 449 km

(ii) 2022/23 = 688 km

b) 2023/24 = 1308 km to date

20 December 2023 - NW3998

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

What measures has she put in place to improve the situation of the Animal Health Directorate that has to date failed livestock farmers, which is also reflected by the Ministerial Task Team’s report which highlighted numerous issues?

Reply:

The Animal Health Directorate has not failed livestock farmers. The mandate of the Directorate is “to provide for the control of animal diseases and parasites, for measures to promote animal health, and for matters connected therewith”.

To this end, the Department has regulations and guidelines for the prevention of entry as well as the control of diseases. The sub-directorates of Epidemiology and Disease Control are constantly monitoring laboratory results which are analyzed, and any suspicion of infection is brought to the attention of the Director and the Chief Veterinary Officer. This is followed up by instructions to the provinces on how to handle the suspicion including control measures to apply. Due to varying resources in the provinces, these are applied differently in each province, with varying success.

One of the high-risk activities that the Department is managing is research conducted using pathogens that could be detrimental to the health status of the country. Ironically this same risk mitigation is found to be unnecessary by the Ministerial Task Team’s report.

The findings of the Ministerial Task Team’s report were all catered for in the Veterinary Strategy that was signed in March 2016. The Strategy has 5 pillars, one of which is to strengthen competencies for animal health, all of which are being implemented and facilitated by Operation Phakisa, at differing rates depending on the availability of resources.

Section 11 of the Animal Diseases Act, 1984 (Act No. 35 of 1984) places the responsibility of preventing the introduction of diseases on owners. The Department has several biosecurity guidelines for different farming practices which include surveillance, some of which is at the owner’s expense and some which the Government pays for. However, many farms do not implement these measures due to the expenses associated with them. The lack of biosecurity on farms has been demonstrated to contribute significantly to the introduction and further spread of diseases into and between farms.

Climate change and international trade in animals and animal products have also led to increased occurrence of animal diseases. Maintaining a biosecure environment is thus always a moving target and this is not unique to animal and animal products.

In the past 5 years, South Africa successfully eradicated 3 separate outbreaks of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza outbreaks in the country, but most importantly, retained trade with neighboring countries. The reason neighboring countries could still accept poultry products from South Africa, at the height of a trade-sensitive disease outbreak, was because of the confidence they have in the Veterinary Services of South Africa, which is brought by its sound technical expertise in the field.

South Africa also reported cases of African Swine Fever outbreaks and equally retained trade with most neighboring countries.

Since 2019, South Africa has not had a free status for Foot and Mouth Disease, and yet trade of livestock, beef, and wool continues; this again is due to the confidence in the South African Veterinary Services’ globally. Recently the Department facilitated the opening of beef exports to China and Saudi Arabia, and a few other countries are in the pipeline, such as Iraq.

Just these three points highlight the support given to the farming communities and how the Department is not failing its livestock farmers.

While some control measures are not solely the responsibility of the Department, classic examples of challenges illustrating plain disregard of the law are indiscriminate movements of cattle even though the Minister had placed restrictions on the movements of livestock at the start of the North West outbreak, and the legal challenges lodged against the Department by the same livestock farmers the Department was trying to protect.

 

As the report recommends, Veterinary Services is strengthening its collaboration with industries; there are already two recent success stories from this collaboration viz. the opening of beef markets for China and Saudi Arabia. The containment of Foot and Mouth Disease is another success story that is due to these collaborative efforts.

20 December 2023 - NW4160

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Majozi, Ms Z to ask the Minister of Police

Whether the SA Police Service (SAPS) has records of the number of firearms (a) that were reported (i) lost, (ii) stolen, (iii) recovered and (iv) unrecovered belonging to (b) the SAPS members and (c) the public during the 2015-2023 period; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

Find reply here

20 December 2023 - NW4069

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Van Zyl, Ms A M to ask the Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development

What (a) are the details of her department’s community outreach projects and plans to spay and/or neuter and provide general care of animals in communities in each (i) province, (ii) municipality and (ii) town and (b) is the (i) time frame and (ii) frequency in each case; (2) whether she will furnish Ms A M van Zyl with a list of state veterinarians for each (a) province, (b) municipality and (c) town; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) whether the programme reaches every community in the Republic; if not, (a) why not and (b) what steps will she take to ensure that the programme reaches into every community?

Reply:

(1)(a)(i),(ii) The Department has a Primary Animal Health Care (PAHC) Strategy which was developed in 2013 for the implementation of primary animal health care services across the country.

The aim of the Animal Health Care Strategy is to provide veterinary services, especially to resource-poor communities of South Africa thus improving the livelihood and Animal Health.

Objectives:

  • To promote accessibility is main element of the PAHC thus ensuring that veterinary services are rendered to the rural and peri-urban areas where the most needy and vulnerable groups of the population live.
  • To promote community participation by meaningful involvement of the community in planning, implementing and maintaining veterinary services.
  • To promote veterinary extension services by providing adequate training to communities on prevention and control of endemic animal diseases.
  • To use appropriate technology that is scientifically sound, adaptable to local needs, and acceptable to those who apply it and for whom it is used.
  • To facilitate inter-sectoral collaboration to improve animal health services and strengthen vertical linkages within government and horizontal linkages at national, provincial, district and municipal levels.

The Strategy also gives effect to the implementation of a Compulsory Community Service (CCS) programme for veterinarians in South Africa.

The CCS programme requires newly qualified veterinarians and those registering with the South African Veterinary Council for the first time to practice as veterinarians in South Africa, to perform a Compulsory Community Service under the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD), in line with the provisions of the Veterinary and Para-Veterinary Professions Act No 19 of 1982. The veterinarians are employed by DALRRD for a period of 12 months and distributed across all provinces.

The CCS programme, in addition to implementing the objectives under primary animal health care, also aims to address the skewed distribution of veterinarians across the country, which has resulted in poor accessibility of veterinary services to under-served and resource-poor areas. The programme also aims to distribute the veterinary profession equitably and provide an opportunity for newly qualified veterinarians to develop their knowledge, critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

The CCS veterinarians provide the following services:

    • Primary animal health care including sterilization (spay and neuter) and vaccination campaigns;
    • Herd health management;
    • Disease surveillance and control;
    • Extension services and awareness;
    • Clinical veterinary services;
    • Imports and export facilitation;
    • Veterinary diagnostics services (laboratories);
    • Regulatory services; and
    • Veterinary Public Health.

(b)(i),(ii) The CCS veterinarians are employed for a period of 12 months and provide the above-mentioned services daily.

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

3. No.

a) The allocation of CCS veterinarians depends on the number of veterinarians entering the CCS programme in a particular year. The DALRRD allocates the veterinarians based on the requests by provinces and the total number available, this therefore means that the distribution differs from year to year and there may be years in which there is a shortage to cover all areas in the country.

b) The programme is dependent on the total number of available CCS veterinarians entering the programme every year, and this dependency is outside the control of the Department. However, it should be noted that provinces, in addition to the CCS programmes, operate various primary animal health care programmes such as spays and neutering, depending on their capacities.

20 December 2023 - NW4170

Profile picture: Buthelezi, Ms SA

Buthelezi, Ms SA to ask the Minister of Human Settlements

Whether her department has records of the number of (a) women, (b) youth and (c) previously homeless people who have been offered subsidized housing during 2019 – 2023 period; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

According to information received from Provinces, the department received applications for housing assistance across provinces. Applications are selected and approved based on the government criteria from Municipalities for allocations on what is available for beneficiaries.

The list below provides information of Women, Youth headed households and previously homeless people who have been living in informal settlements with no proper houses.

EASTERN CAPE for the period, delivered and recorded.

Women

236,391 units

Youth

23,328 units

Previously Homeless People

Nothing was recorded under this category

FREE STATE reported.

Women

116,363 units

Youth

3,235 units

Previously Homeless People

Nothing reported under this category.

GAUTENG for the period, delivered and recorded.

Women

10,848 units

Youth

3,359 units

Previously Homeless People

Nothing reported under the category

KWAZULU NATAL for the period, delivered and recorded.

Women

32,344 units

Youth

6,381 units

Previously Homeless People

49,574 units

LIMPOPO reported.

Women

11,898 units

Youth

4,813 units

Previously Homeless People

There is no information on that.

MPUMALANGA for the period, delivered and recorded.

Women

9,407 units

Youth

127,988 units

Previously Homeless People

Nothing reported under the category

NORTHERN CAPE for the period, delivered and recorded.

Women

31,600 units

Youth

1,444 units

Previously Homeless People

Nothing reported under the category

NORTH-WEST reported.

Women

173,900 units

Youth

16,648 units

Previously Homeless People

There is no information on that.

WESTERN CAPE for the period, delivered and recorded.

Women

170,171 units

Youth

12,074 units

Previously Homeless People

Nothing reported under the category

20 December 2023 - NW4027

Profile picture: Buthelezi, Ms SA

Buthelezi, Ms SA to ask the Minister of Human Settlements

Whether her department has any functional measures in place to combat intimidation and abuse faced by the municipal workers who report and attempt to report corruption and maladministration in municipalities; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

According to the Case Management Register for the past 3 financial years, including the current financial year the Department did not receive complaints or allegations from municipal officials relating to fraud, corruption and maladministration.

Municipal officials can report allegations of housing fraud and corruption by making use of the following reporting mechanisms:

  • DHS Special Investigations Directorate: 012 421 1503/1416/1535
  • DHS Call Centre: 0800 146 873
  • DHS Reception/Call Centre walk in reporting at 240 Justice Mahomed Street, Sunnyside, Pretoria
  • National Anti-Corruption Hotline: 0800 701 701
  • The Presidential Hotline: 17737

.

20 December 2023 - NW4222

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Joseph, Mr D to ask the Minister of Police

What total number of (a) police officers, (b) detectives, (c) support staff and (d) vehicles will be allocated to the planned Tafelsig Police Station in Mitchells Plain, Cape Town?

Reply:

Find reply here

20 December 2023 - NW4159

Profile picture: Majozi, Ms Z

Majozi, Ms Z to ask the Minister of Police

Whether the SA Police Service has records of the number of the estimated population served by each police station in each province; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

Find reply here

20 December 2023 - NW4099

Ceza to ask the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans

Whether she has found that the deployment of the SA National Defence Force to support a multi-sectoral effort that brings together the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster and other relevant departments and stakeholders has made inroads in the fight against illegal mining criminal syndicates and labour brokers that are alleged to be at the centre of recruiting illegal miners from the Southern African Development Community region; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

Find reply here