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16 May 2022 - NW1601

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

In light of the fact that a person may only be 18 years old before they can relinquish their parental right, therefore enabling such a person’s child to be adopted, what assistance is there then for teen mothers who don't want their babies and/or are unable to care for them?

Reply:

Teen mothers who do not want their babies and / or are unable to care for them are assisted by providing them with the necessary support services and intensive counselling, where information on all the options available are explored with them, including taking care for their babies as a priority, with availability of resources such as social grants and family support system to assist them. Other options to consider is kinship care, foster care and adoption. Option counselling is provided to these teen mothers, to assist them to make an informed decision on what will be in their best interest and more particularly the best interest of their babies.

If adoption is opted for, adoption counselling is provided to the teen mothers. The Children’s Act 38 of 2005 in section 233 indicates that a child may be adopted only if consent for adoption has been given by each parent of the child and counselling must be provided before consent to the adoption is granted. Therefore, counselling assists teen mothers to understand what adoption is, its legal implications

including the right of the biological father of the child to consent for the adoption of the child. If adoption is finally being considered, teen mothers are well prepared about the process of signing of consent for adoption of their babies at the Children’s Court, where they are informed about the implications thereof and the 60 days period if they wish to withdraw their consent for adoption.

The Children’s Act in section 233 further provides that if the parent is a child, that parent has to be assisted by his or her guardian. Hence, teen mothers’ parents or guardians must be involved if possible in the counselling and when consent to the adoption is signed at Court. This allows the parents or guardians to support their children to ensure that they are making informed choices and understand the consequences of signing consent to the adoption of their babies. This ensures that teen mothers have the support system that would go beyond giving their babies up for adoption.

Support services are further provided to teen mothers after signing of consent to assist them to deal and cope with the reality of giving up their children for adoption and are referred to appropriate resources or other professionals to assist them, where necessary.

16 May 2022 - NW1603

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

What is the total number of illegal foreign children who are currently in South African schools in terms of section 39 and 42 of the Immigration Act, Act 13 of 2002?

Reply:

Please note that PQ 1603 has been misdirected and should be transferred to the Department of Basic Education instead, as it does not fall within our mandate.

16 May 2022 - NW1738

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

What assistance is the Department of Home Affairs giving to undocumented orphans in the North West province especially in (a) Maquassi Hills and (b) the Moses Kotane Local Municipality?

Reply:

Please note that PQ 1738 has been misdirected and should be transferred to the Department of Home Affairs instead, as it does not fall within our mandate.

16 May 2022 - NW1657

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Masango, Ms B to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)Whether all staff members at the office of the Chief Executive Officer of the SA Social Security Agency (SASSA) and her office security are vetted; if not, why not, in each case; if so, on what date and at what level were they vetted; (2) Whether she will furnish Ms B S Masango with the security clearance reports in this regard; if not, why not; if so, on what date; (3) whether vetting by the State Security Agency was undertaken for the company and/or by companies doing Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) at SASSA; if not, why not; if so, (a) on what date was the vetting conducted and (b) what was the outcome for each member and/or director of each of the companies; (4) whether the specified companies have experience in doing BPR; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) at which organ of State have they separately or together done the BPR and (b) on what date; (5) whether any of the companies doing BPR was appointed at SASSA and her department for any other services prior to the BPR; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) on what date, (b) what process was followed, (c) for what services and (d) what total amount was each company paid?

Reply:

1. All staff members in the office of the Chief Executive Officer and her office are in the process of being vetted at the level of Top Secret by the State Security Agency. Forms submitted between the period 2020/02/12 and 2022/05/04

CEO submitted in 2021/11/10- Top Secret

Senior Manager: Office of the CEO- submitted in 12/02/2020- Top Secret

General Manager: Office of the CEO submitted 04/05/2022- Top Secret

Manager: Intergovernmental & Stakeholder Liaison - submitted 04/05/2022- Top Secret

Chief Coordinator: Office of the CEO: her completed form in the year 2016 and has since been awaiting the results. She now has to complete a new form since 5 years has lapsed.

2. A request for the vetting status for the members mentioned above was submitted to the State Security Agency on Friday, 06 May 2022.

3. Vetting by the State Security Agency (SSA) was conducted for the company, 4 Chakras Consulting CC which is doing Business Process Re-engineering (BPR) at SASSA on (a) 21 December 2021 and received report back in January 2022.

(b) The following Directors/members of 4 Chakras Consulting CC were vetted:

Dr. M Kuppen, Ms SA Meadows and Mr I Hassim. No negative information of national security relevance was received on behalf of the above members.

(4) 4 Chakras Consulting CC comes with lot of experience in conducting BPR. See attached annexures for (a) and (b) replies.

(5) Yes, 4 Chakras Consulting CC was appointed for other services in SASSA prior to BPR.

(a) 26 August 2019 and 21 February 2021

(b) These two services were acquired through a quotation process.

(c) For Strategic planning facilitation and skills audit services

(c) For Strategic planning facilitation, the company was paid R499 150 and R498 400 for skills audit.

16 May 2022 - NW1608

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Gondwe, Dr M to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)With reference to the finding of the Office of the Auditor-General that at least 5 812 public servants fraudulently applied for and received the R350 Social Relief of Distress Grant, what (a) informed the decision to investigate only 242 of the implicated public servants, (b) is the current status of the specified investigations and (c) date will the investigations be concluded; (2) Whether her department is providing updates to Department of Public Service and Administration on the progress of the investigations and their outcomes; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details? NW1934E

Reply:

1 (a) A multi stakeholder forum comprising of the South African Police Service (SAPS), National Prosecution Authority (NPA), Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) and the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) Discipline Management Unit is meeting under the auspices of the Fusion Centre with the intention of investigating the 5812 cases involving public servants who benefited from Covid -19 Social Relief of Distress grant. A directive was issued at Fusion Centre that a sample of 242 civil servants be dealt with in order to learn from it through identification of challenges and their resolution.

1(b) The investigation of the 242 sample found the following:

  • Investigation revealed that 44 civil servants qualified to receive SRD grant as they were employed on sessional basis resulting in 198 civil servants to be taken for disciplinary and criminal action.
  • Of the 198 civil servants, DPSA advised that 44 were no longer in the employ of government resulting in 154 disciplinary files being handed over to DPSA for the coordination and monitoring of the disciplinary hearings with Departments at Provincial and National level.
  • Internal investigations involving 198 civil servants were concluded and opening of individual cases is in progress. The processes of opening of 198 cases is scheduled to be concluded by the 10th May 2022.
  • For the purposes of loss recovery from government employees who refuse to sign acknowledgement of debt forms, Section 300 of the Criminal Procedure Act, will be invoked.

1(c) regarding the 5812 civil servants - SASSA intends to finalise the following two processes on or before the 31st September 2022:

  • Handing over files to DPSA for the purpose of disciplinary hearing coordination with affected National and Provincial Departments, and
  • Opening criminal cases within various Provinces.

(2) There is an ongoing working partnership between SASSA and DPSA which has culminated in:

  • the identification of the 242 civil servants, 44 civil servants qualified as they were sessional employees, resulting to 198 civil servants being under investigation.
  • of the 198 civil servants it was further established that 44 civil servant were no longer in the employ of government resulting in 154 civil servants disciplinary files being handed over to DPSA for the coordination and monitoring of the disciplinary hearing processes with Departments at Provincial and National level.

On 21st April 2022 SASSA was invited by the DPSA to attend an event wherein 154 files were handed over to National and Provincial Departments for the commencement of the disciplinary hearing processes.

16 May 2022 - NW1620

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Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Social Development

Whether the SA Social Security Agency (SASSA) is able to determine the province where a SASSA application is made and where the SASSA grant is drawn; if not, (a) how does SASSA measure demand versus allocation of (a) offices, (b) staffing and (c) other resource capacity; if so, what is the breakdown of beneficiaries in each province?

Reply:

SASSA is able to determine the province where the application for a social grant is made, if such an application was done in person at a SASSA office. For online applications done through the internet, SASSA is unable to determine the location from which the application was done. However, the address provided by the applicant confirms the province in which the applicant resides.

In addition to knowing where an application emanates, SASSA is able to determine where the grant money was withdrawn for beneficiaries who receive their money through the SASSA/SAPO card. This information is provided by the South African Post Office to SASSA. However, where the grant is deposited into a personal bank account, SASSA is unable to determine where the grant is withdrawn.

a) The principles for establishment of offices was derived from the SASSA Service Delivery Model (SDM) which was introduced in 2010. In terms of the SDM SASSA committed to the establishment of service offices within a 40km radius. Where there is insufficient infrastructure available in the 40km radius and/or the beneficiary numbers do not justify a physical building, a mobile office unit and field workers would be deployed. In the process of attempting to establish these service offices, SASSA does take reasonable consideration of available resources (staffing, finance and other tools of trade) to help achieve the progressive realisation of this objective.

b) In order to establish any additional service point, funded posts must exist on the organisational structure. Where mobile services are provided, the staff are taken from the local offices to provide the service on specific days.

c) Existing offices are allocated resources on the basis of the following critical elements :

    • Number of beneficiaries serviced by the affected office.
    • Number of communities the office services which may require extensive travelling
    • Financial resources available at the time.

d) Breakdown of beneficiaries in each province

 

Total number of BENEFICIARIES in Payment by region and Grant Type as at 202203

Region

Care Dependency Grant

Child Support Grant

Combination (foster child and care dependency)

Disability Grant

Foster Child Grant

Grant-In-Aid

Old Age Grant

War Veterans Grant

Grand Total

Eastern Cape

21419

1079071

1578

172623

47387

36422

595873

6

1721073

Free State

8293

418796

518

75276

15573

11673

214703

 

672672

Gauteng

20441

1179473

638

115924

26651

11366

700253

7

1951636

KwaZulu- Natal

36983

1642112

1331

215294

38724

81766

741335

4

2476262

Limpopo

16170

1064528

546

95731

26332

56198

494929

 

1589530

Mpumalanga

11122

655480

343

76135

14772

23877

270796

 

957640

North West

9123

498010

411

61456

16755

17676

280052

1

807904

Northern Cape

5121

181501

479

47226

6463

21162

93362

1

301871

Western Cape

15259

636676

942

145133

19633

23631

383301

6

1125222

Grand Total

143931

7355641

6786

1004798

212290

283771

3774604

25

11603801

16 May 2022 - NW861

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Gumbi, Mr HS to ask the Minister of Social Development

What total amount in Rand has been spent on (a) catering, (b) entertainment and (c) accommodation for (i) her, (ii) the Deputy Minister and (iii) officials of her department since 29 May 2019?

Reply:

The expenditure information as required will be separated as follows:

(a) Catering

Year

Total

(i)

Minister

(ii)

Deputy Minister

(iii)

Officials of NDSD

2019/20

10 795 884

53 581

87 013

10 655 290

2020/21

144 900

2 497

59 635

82 768

2021/22

3 286 527

3 156

21 799

3 261 572

 TOTAL

14 227 311

59 234

168 447

13 999 630

(b) Entertainment

Year

Total

(i)

Minister

(ii)

Deputy Minister

(iii)

Officials of NDSD

2019/20

154 900

55 019

15 170

84 711

2020/21

85 782

18 073

5 430

62 279

2021/22

76 727

11 594

14 945

50 188

 TOTAL

317 409

84 686

35 545

197 178

(c) Accommodation

Year

Total

(i)

Minister

(ii)

Deputy Minister

(iii)

Officials of NDSD

2019/20

28 212 901

616 029

1 716 252

25 880 620

2020/21

7 364 301

381 849

1 849 220

5 133 232

2021/22

18 731 457

1 039 023

2 529 654

15 162 780

 TOTAL

54 308 659

2 036 901

6 095 126

46 176 632

16 May 2022 - NW1533

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Arries, Ms LH to ask the Minister of Social Development

What is the total number of social workers that her department dispatched to the flood-stricken KwaZulu-Natal area to provide psychosocial services to affected families?

Reply:

The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Department of Social Development has deployed three hundred and eighty-two (382) social workers to provide psychosocial support services to individuals and families in the flood-stricken areas.

16 May 2022 - NW1466

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Masango, Ms B to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)What (a) process was followed to appoint members of the (i) Technical Committee for Payments of Social Grants and (ii) SA Social Security Agency (SASSA) Governance whose names were given upfront by the former Minister of Social Development, Ms S Shabangu, (b) was the role of each member and (c) total amount was each member paid; (2) whether there are any reports coming out of the Technical Committee for Payments of Social Grants and SASSA Governance; if not, why not; if so, will she furnish Ms B S Masango with a copy and/or copies of the reports?

Reply:

a) (i) The Technical Committee for SASSA was appointed by the previous Minister of Social Development to assist SASSA in implementing the Constitutional Court judgment of 23rd March 2018 and to advise on business model review of SASSA.

Various Constitutional Court judgments in the course of 2017 made it clear that there were challenges with the existing contract with service providers for cash payment, without which SASSA would not be able to execute its mandate and the extra capacity for a period of time was required.

The Technical Committee was appointed from May 2018 until October 2018.

Hon Minister Susan Shabangu appointed the Technical Committee for Payments of Social Grants in accordance with Regulation 20 of Treasury Regulations published in terms of Public Finance Management Act 1 of 1999 (PFMA). Also, see the attached Affidavit to the Constitutional Court filed by the then Minister of Social Development.

a)(ii) The following names were given as part of the committee:

1.

Ms. Dipuo

Peters

Former Minister of Transport and former Premier of the Northern Cape Provincial Government

2.

Adv Vusi

Madonsela

Former Director-General of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and former Director-General of the Department of Social Development (Withdrew from the committee due to other commitments

3.

Ms Manoko

Nchwe

Former Deputy National Commissioner: South African Police Service

4.

Ms.Totsie

Memela

Non-Executive Chairman of Memela Pratt and Associates

5.

Mr.Selwyn Jehoma

Former Deputy Director-General of the Department of Social Development

6.

Ms Zodwa Manase

A Chartered Accountant to help with numbers

7.

Mr Sipho . Shezi

Former Special Adviser to the Minister of Social Development

(b) The roles of the Technical Committee for Payments of Social Grants is outlined in the attached Terms of Reference (See Attached Annexure B)

(c) The total amount paid to the Technical Committee for Payments of Social Grants was R2, 534 831,05 Please see below breakdown of payment per committee member:

Name of Committee Member

Total Amount Paid

Ms.Dipuo Peters

R468,503.05

Ms Manoko Nchwe

R449,040.00

Ms.Totsie Memela

R235,592.00

Mr.Selwyn Jehoma

R383,466.00

Ms.Zodwa Manase

R348,580.00

Mr.Sipho Shezi

R649,650.00

2. Yes, the Technical Committee for Payments of Social Grants submitted monthly reports (See attached Annexure C)

 

16 May 2022 - NW1454

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Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)Whether, based on the Statistics South Africa mid-year population estimates that provinces such as Gauteng and Western Cape have the highest provincial in-migration numbers, while provinces such as Eastern Cape, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal have the highest provincial out-migration numbers (details furnished), the SA Social Security Agency (SASSA) intends to (a) establish more SASSA offices and (b) increase staff capacity within the Western Cape in order to keep up with increased demand; if not, why not; if so, what the relevant details; (2) whether SASSA intends to reinstate the regular usage of community halls and civic centres within the Western Cape to service its clients; if not, why not; if so, what other interventions have SASSA actioned to address challenges brought about by increased provincial migration with regard to the improved service delivery for existing clients as well as access for new clients?

Reply:

1(a) In the Western Cape, SASSA is busy with a process to establish 4 additional offices. Procurement Instructions have been issued to the National Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) for the establishment of these offices, which are two (2) in Khayelitsha and two (2) in Gugulethu. These areas have been prioritised as a result of the high number of applicants in these areas. To date NDPW has signed one (1) lease for an office in Khayelitsha. The lessor will be constructing a new building for SASSA. The other 3 sites received non-responsive bids and NDPW will have to go out on tender for these areas specifically once again.

(b) The staff establishment will be reconsidered, once the outcome of the Business Process Re-Engineering exercise (BPR), which is underway is concluded. The exercise was to consider the current organisational structure and review staff capacity in order to ensure that SASSA can deliver on its mandate. However, it should be borne in mind that government is on a drive to contain the structure and not to grow it. This has been one of the considerations in the decision to automate many of the processes for grant applications and reviews. The automation should reduce the need for people to report in person at SASSA offices, but to ensure that the face to face channel is available for those who do not have access to the internet for online processes, or otherwise require the interaction with a staff member.

2. The Region is in the process of securing funding for opening of 102 sites linked to community halls and civic centres. The procurement process will be initiated once the funding has been sourced.

16 May 2022 - NW1452

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Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Social Development

In light of the fact that once a child turns 18, they no longer qualify for a child support grant and a foster care grant, unless they are still enrolled in schooling, what total number of children (a) who previously received the grants have exited the system due to reaching the age limit in the period 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2021 in each province and (b) are expected to exit the child support grant and the foster care system in 2022 in each province?

Reply:

a) The tables below provide the detail of foster child and child support grants which were lapsed as the child turned 18 years of age for the calendar years from 2017 to 2021. It should be noted that the child support grants lapse at the end of the month in which the child turns 18, while the foster child grant lapses at the end of the year in which the child turns 18 years. The number of foster child grants has excluded the numbers of foster children who returned to the system, as they are still in an educational institution.

b) The table below indicates the projected number of both child support grants and foster child grants which will lapse in 2022.

16 May 2022 - NW1428

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

Whether the abuse and misuse of the child support grant renders the mother unfit to have the child under her care; if not, why not; if so, on what legislative provisions does her department rely in this regard?

Reply:

The management of social grants, including the child support grant is done in terms of the Social Assistance Act, 2004. Section 19 of the Social Assistance Act empowers SASSA to appoint a person to investigate suspected abuse of a social grant. If the abuse is confirmed on objective grounds, SASSA may suspend payment of that grant, or appoint another person to receive the grant in respect of the beneficiary or child.

The determination as to the fitness of the care giver to care for the child is being dealt with in terms of section 150 of the Children’s Act, Act 38 of 2005. The investigation needs to be conducted by a social worker which will assist to compile a report that will guide the court to make a decision in terms of the caregiver’s fitness to care for the child.

16 May 2022 - NW1427

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)Whether, in light of the fact that baby savers and safe anonymous abandonment of babies are illegal in the Republic, she intends having haven laws promulgated in the Republic; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) how does the absence of laws regarding havens affect the children’s right to life?

Reply:

(1) The current legislative regime does not provide for the matter in question. There is no legal provision for baby savers The Department’s policy position does not support this option because are sufficient measures in place to mitigate abandoned of children. Temporary safe care is one of such measures in place that is regulated in terms of the Children’s Act (Act No. 38 of 2005).

Furthermore, as already indicated, child abandonment is a criminal offence as it puts the lives of children in danger if such children are not safely left with relatives or even given up for adoption. The spirit of the Children’s Act is to care and protect the child whilst upholding the child’s best interests. Abandonment of children already has long term negative impact on the child whether abandoned safely or not. Therefore, abandonment of children as in all categories of abuse, neglect and exploitation of children remains a criminal offence.

(2) The absence of laws regarding havens does not affect the children’s right to life whatsoever. Right to life should come naturally and in a legal way and not be forced by breaking existing laws to have it fulfilled. In fact, the systems and processes referred to in paragraph 1, such as offering a child for adoption are more protective of the right to life than havens do.

16 May 2022 - NW1378

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Tafeni, Ms N to ask the Minister of Social Development

What steps has she taken in order to initiate the upgrade of the 25-year old computer system of the SA Social Security Agency, which crashes on a frequent basis?

Reply:

It is important to note that, despite downtime being registered against the system, the Social Pensions System (SocPen) has always been able to pay SASSA beneficiaries each month without fail.

The system had downtime related challenges which have been resolved since 15 March 2022. The system was continuously monitored since then and has been stable with no downtime being required. However, periodically downtime was caused by external factors such as load shedding or network related matters, which are dealt with on an individual, per occurrence basis. It usually also just affects a certain location and not the whole system.

A firm decision was taken to replace the system with a modern, progressive and technologically advanced system, which can be fully integrated with current SASSA systems and technologies.

In this regard SASSA is busy developing a roadmap to replace the old mainframe legacy system. The system replacement is amongst others, based on industry comparative studies that will guide and benchmark what other government and agencies are using for government social security benefits distribution and disbursement. By the end of the second quarter, the roadmap will be finalised.

16 May 2022 - NW1359

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Matiase, Mr NS to ask the Minister of Social Development

What (a) is the current total number of persons who are beneficiaries of the Government’s social welfare grants and (b) is the (i) age, (ii) gender and/or (iii) race of each specified person?

Reply:

a) The total number of beneficiaries (that is people who actually received the social grants) as at March 2022 is 12 787 866.

The number of children benefitting from the grants is 13 610 113.

(i) and (ii) The age and gender split for the 12 787 866 social grant beneficiaries is indicated in the table below:

(iii) SASSA does not collect information along racial lines.

12 May 2022 - NW1272

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)(a) Which towns in the Northern Cape do not have walk-in service points of the SA Social Security Agency (SASSA) and (b) what are the reasons in each case; (2) what (a) are the names and (b) is the number of rural towns in the Republic that still do not have SASSA walk-in offices and/or service points?

Reply:

1(a) Annexure A reflects the list of the towns in Northern Cape which do not have SASSA local offices or services points

2. The only provinces which have a SASSA presence in all towns are Eastern Cape and Gauteng. For Eastern Cape, the towns of Bedford, Dimbaza, Adelaid and Sterkstroom had local offices, but these have been converted to periodic mobile services due to very low intake which did not warrant the continuation of the full time services.

For all other provinces, the attached annexures indicate the towns which do not have a fixed presence, with an indication of how those citizens are able to access SASSA services.

12 May 2022 - NW1375

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Arries, Ms LH to ask the Minister of Social Development

Noting that R144 million of unspent budget was returned to the National Treasury for the 2020-21 financial year, what measures has her department put in place to ensure that non-profit organisations in the Northern Cape, which lack funding for crucial services rendered, actually receive funding?

Reply:

The Department of Social Development in the Northern Cape funded all NPO’s approved for funding during the 2020-21 financial year. NPO’s are required to demonstrate that they can implement effective, efficient and transparent financial management and internal control systems as required by section 38 (1) (j) of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA Act No. 1 of 1999). Approval for funding is subject to compliance with the above provision of the PFMA. The Department conducts quarterly monitoring at all funded NPO’s to ensure compliance with the Service Level Agreements (SLA) and provide the necessary support.

 

12 May 2022 - NW1376

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Arries, Ms LH to ask the Minister of Social Development

What steps and/or measures has her department put in place with regard to the lack of spending of the allocated budget in the Eastern Cape, where the provincial department of social development returned R67 million in unspent food aid to the National Treasury?

Reply:

The unspent budget that the Honourable Member is referring to is part of the 2021/22 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) roll Over allocation totalling R134 million in the Eastern Cape which was approved and confirmed by the National Treasury on 15 November 2021. The tender was only advertised on 10 December 2021 and the closing date for the adverts was scheduled for 21 January 2022 as a result of Provincial Treasury directives for Tenders not to close in the month of December but be extended to January 2022.

After the finalisation of tender processes, the actual distribution of food parcels to the intended beneficiaries only commenced on 2 March 2022. By 28 March 2022, only 22 787 beneficiaries were able to receive food parcels constituting 26% of the total target of 85 741 beneficiary households. This is attributed to other various factors in addition to the stringent time frames that are related to Service Provider challenges with capacity to deliver as expected including unnecessary demands made by local truck drivers in the various local municipalities.

The Department through the Internal Audit Unit is currently exploring appropriate internal control systems and Risks involved in considering the operationalisation of the SRD Programme as transfers in future utilising a Zero Monthly Fee Digital Account as a Bank Card System possibly with no Bank Charges.

The Department remains convinced that exploring the utilisation of an Easy Zero Bank Card system is the most efficient and cost-effective mechanism to enable SRD beneficiary family households' easy access to food.

This system and/or mechanism remains the best option for the operationalisation of the SRD Programme in the Eastern Cape, given its largely rural terrain and thus difficult to access particularly during rainy days.

The Department has further initiated a process of preparing a submission in the form of a motivation to Provincial Treasury for the approval of additional allocation of funding to the Social relief of Distress Programme as a specialist and most urgent intervention to enable the 62 954 beneficiary family households to have access to food as well as to address immediate needs of hunger, child poverty and malnutrition amongst the Eastern Cape poor and vulnerable groups of family households who are mostly falling under the category of No Income Households.

12 May 2022 - NW1377

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Arries, Ms LH to ask the Minister of Social Development

With reference to the migration of Early Childhood Development to the Department of Basic Education, what measures have been put in place by her department to appoint the more than 9 000 qualified social workers who are unemployed?

Reply:

In the 2020/21 financial year, the sector employed 1 037 social work graduates. An additional 3 473 were employed in the same financial year which contributed significantly to the reduction of the number of unemployed social work graduates using the database of 9 000 unemployed social workers and social auxiliary workers that the Department developed in 2019.

In 2020/21-2021/2022 the department employed 3 388 unemployed social work graduates through the COVID-19 pandemic Presidential Stimulus Package.

As part of the long-term solution to address this issue, the Department has developed a draft sector strategy for the employment of social service professionals. The strategy addresses employment of social service professionals not only in the sector, but also in other departments/agencies, including at local government and the private sector where their professional services are required. This is an ongoing initiative within the context of the Inter-Departmental Forum. The forum resolved that all affected departments should submit a joint Funding Bid to the National Treasury in the current financial year for the permanent employment of social service professionals.

12 May 2022 - NW1679

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

Whether, in light of the fact that over the past year there have been reports linking a senior official of the SA Social Security Agency (SASSA) (name and details furnished) to fraudulent contracts worth R45,5 million, and considering that the 2021-22 Annual Report of her department points to the fact that her department has not done enough in playing its oversight role over SASSA, she has launched any investigations into the claims against the senior official; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

I wish to advise the Honourable Member that the only SIU report that I am aware of, is the one that implicates the current SASSA CEO of alleged involvement in corrupt activities. Upon receipt of the final report, I made it available to the implicated official, the SASSA CEO to allow her an opportunity to state their cases in response to the SIU investigation and findings, as per the provision of our laws.

In addition, the Department is currently in legal consultation with the SIU and its investigators who have offered their assistance as we initiate the disciplinary process with the view to engage and implement the next steps.

12 May 2022 - NW972

Profile picture: Abrahams, Ms ALA

Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)In light of the meeting of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development held on 9 March 2022 where her department confirmed that public servants had applied for the Early Childhood Development Presidential Stimulus Relief Fund, (a) how did her department discover the matter, (b) what number of public servants applied for the fund and (c) in which department(s) are the specified public servants employed; (2) whether any public servants who applied for the specified fund received payment; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what disciplinary measures have been taken against the public servants in question?

Reply:

1. (a) Prior to processing the applications for payment, the Department conducted a due diligence process, which include verification of name, surname, and identity number against existing national database such as the Department of Home Affairs’ National Population Register and the DPSA’s Personal and Salary System (PERSAL). It is during this verification process that the department identified that some of the ECD staff were on PERSAL.

(b) Three Thousand Seven Hundred and Twenty-Nine (3 729)

(c) PERSAL does not reflect the departments within which these staff are employed. The data has been sent to DPSA, which is the custodian of the public service payroll to identify in which departments/entities they are currently employed.

2. No, public servants who were found on PERSAL were disqualified and no payments were made and therefore is no need for any disciplinary action. The Department will further engage the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) and the DPSA in this regard.

26 April 2022 - NW1085

Profile picture: van der Merwe, Ms LL

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

Whether her department will provide statistics on the total number of children who have survived abandonment annually since 2010; if not, why not; if so, what total number of such children (a) have been (i) reunited with family and (ii) adopted, (b) are still in institutions, temporary safe care and/or temporary foster care and in need of permanent family care and (c) are being added to the system annually?

Reply:

(a) (i) The total number of children reunited with families is 565 with annual breakdown from the following provinces:

PROVINCE

TOTAL

Limpopo

14

FS

19

KZN

143

EC

38

WC

173

Mpumalanga

15

Gauteng

158

NC

0

NW

5

(ii) There are 893 abandoned children that have been adopted.

These numbers are from the adoption register database with the following breakdown:

Period

Number of adopted children

1 Apr 2010 to 31 Mar 2011

0

1 Apr 2011 to 31 Mar 2012

0

1 Apr 2012 to 31 Mar 2013

67

1 Apr 2013 to 31 Mar 2014

134

1 Apr 2014 to 31 Mar 2015

86

1 Apr 2015 to 31 Mar 2016

99

1 Apr 2016 to 31 Mar 2017

87

1 Apr 2017 to 31 Mar 2018

142

1 Apr 2018 to 31 Mar 2019

171

1 Apr 2019 to 31 Mar 2020

40

1 Apr 2020 to 31 Mar 2021

67

 Total

 893

(b) The total number of children in Institutional care is 3 279 with provincial breakdown as follows:

PROVINCE

TOTAL

Eastern Cape

255

Western Cape

1 594

KwaZulu Natal

1 129

Free State

17

Mpumalanga

0

Gauteng

143

NC

10

NW

119

Limpopo

12

Since 2010 there were 1 530 children in temporary safe care.

There is no provision of temporary foster care in the Children’s Act, 2005 (Act No 38 of 2005) only short term in accordance with section 159 and long-term placement in terms of section 186.

Since 2010 there are 507 adoptable children who survived abandonment and are in need of permanent family care. These figure is from the Register on Adoptable Children and Prospective Adoptive Parents (RACAP).

(c) The number of reported cases of abandoned children are added to the National Child Protection Register annually, with the following breakdown:

Period

Number of abandoned children added on the CPR system

1 Apr 2010 to 31 Mar 2011

135

1 Apr 2011 to 31 Mar 2012

71

1 Apr 2012 to 31 Mar 2013

128

1 Apr 2013 to 31 Mar 2014

134

1 Apr 2014 to 31 Mar 2015

41

1 Apr 2015 to 31 Mar 2016

24

1 Apr 2016 to 31 Mar 2017

45

1 Apr 2017 to 31 Mar 2018

144

1 Apr 2018 to 31 Mar 2019

229

1 Apr 2019 to 31 Mar 2020

40

1 Apr 2020 to 31 Mar 2021

67

 Total

 1058

26 April 2022 - NW950

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Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Social Development

By what date will she provide replies to questions (a) 486, (b) 487 and (c) 488 published on 25 February 2022?

Reply:

The honourable member is informed that question 486 was responded to and tabled on 04 April 2022 and questions 487 and 488 on 14 March 2022.

 

26 April 2022 - NW1278

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Gondwe, Dr M to ask the Minister of Social Development

With reference to the 177 108 public servants who were found to have received social grants, excluding the Social Relief of Distress Grant, (a) on what date did her department suspend the payment of the grants to the specified public servants, (b) in which (i) national and (ii) provincial government departments are the implicated public servants employed and (c) other than the suspension of the grants, what other measures has her department taken in order to address the issue?

Reply:

a) Payment of the identified grants was suspended on 10 September 2021. However, all were reinstated, after having discovered that many of the suspended grants were being received by interns and contract workers, who may qualify to continue receiving these grants. The reinstatement was done in order to afford the review process to be done according to the prescripts of the Regulations to the Social Assistance Act, 2004.

b) (i) The public servants identified were found in the following national departments

NATIONAL DEPARTMENTS

CIVILIAN SECRETARIAT FOR POLICE

DEEDS REGISTRATION TRADING ACCOUNT

DEPART AGRICULTURE LAND REFORM RURAL DEVELOPMENT

DEPART COMMUNICATIONS AND DIGITAL TECHNOLOGIES

DEPART OF EMPLOYMENT AND LABOUR

DEPART OF ENVIRONMENT FORESTRY AND FISHERIES

DEPART OF MINERAL RESOURCES AND ENERGY

DEPART OF WOMEN YOUTH AND PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

DEPART SPORTS ARTS AND CULTURE

DEPART TRADE INDUSTRY AND COMPETITION

 

DEPARTMENT OF BASIC EDUCATION

DEPARTMENT OF HIGHER EDUCATION AND TRAINING

DEPARTMENT OF MILITARY VETERANS

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC ENTERPRISES

DEPARTMENT OF SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND SANITATION TRADING ACCOUNT

DEPT GOVERNMENT COMMUNICATIONS AND INFO SYSTEMS

GOVERNMENT PENSIONS ADMINISTRATION AGENCY

GOVERNMENT PRINTING

INDEPENDENT POLICE INVESTIGATIVE DIRECTORATE

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION

MUNICIPAL INFRASTRUCTURE SUPPORT AGENT

NAT DEPT COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AF

NAT DEPT JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONAL SERVICES

NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF HOME AFFAIRS

NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SETTLEMENTS

NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS

NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF TOURISM

NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORT

NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF WATER AND SANITATION

NATIONAL DEPARTMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

NATIONAL DEPT OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION

NATIONAL PROSECUTING AUTHORITY

NATIONAL SCHOOL OF GOVERNMENT

NATIONAL TREASURY

OFFICE OF THE CHIEF JUSTICE

OFFICE OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION

PLANNING MONITORING AND EVALUATION

PROPERTY MANAGEMENT TRADING ENTITY

SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE

STATISTICS SOUTH AFRICA

THE PRESIDENCY

(ii) The following provincial departments also had staff members receiving the social grants.

EASTERN CAPE PROVINCE

EAST CAPE COOPERATIVE GOVER AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIR

EAST CAPE ECONOMIC DEV ENVIRONM AFFAIRS TOURISM

EAST CAPE EDUCATION

EAST CAPE HEALTH

EAST CAPE HUMAN SETTLEMENTS

EAST CAPE OFFICE OF THE PREMIER

EAST CAPE PROVINCIAL LEGISLATURE

EAST CAPE PROVINCIAL TREASURY

EAST CAPE PUBLIC WORKS

EAST CAPE RURAL DEVELOPMENT AND AGRARIAN REFORM

EAST CAPE SAFETY AND LIAISON

EAST CAPE SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

EAST CAPE SPORT AND RECREATION ARTS AND CULTURE

EAST CAPE TRANSPORT

 

FREE STATE PROVINCE

FREE STATE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

FREE STATE COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRAD AFFAIRS

FREE STATE ECONOMIC SMALL BUS TOURISM AND ENV AFF

FREE STATE EDUCATION

FREE STATE GOVERNMENT MOTOR TRANSPORT TRADING ACC

FREE STATE HEALTH

FREE STATE HUMAN SETTLEMENTS

FREE STATE MEDPAS TRADING ACCOUNT

FREE STATE OFFICE OF THE PREMIER

FREE STATE POLICE ROADS AND TRANSPORT

FREE STATE PROVINCIAL TREASURY

FREE STATE PUBLIC WORKS AND INFRASTRUCTURE

FREE STATE SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

FREE STATE SPORT ARTS CULTURE AND RECREATION

 

GAUTENG PROVINCE

GAUTENG AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

GAUTENG COMMUNITY SAFETY

GAUTENG COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFF

GAUTENG DEPARTMENT OF E-GOVERNMENT

GAUTENG ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT

GAUTENG EDUCATION

GAUTENG HEALTH

GAUTENG HUMAN SETTLEMENTS

GAUTENG INFRASTRUCTURE DEVELOPMENT

GAUTENG INFRASTRUCTURE FINANCING AGENCY

GAUTENG OFFICE OF THE PREMIER

GAUTENG ROADS AND TRANSPORT

GAUTENG SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

GAUTENG SPORTS ARTS CULTURE AND RECREATION

GAUTENG TREASURY

GG TRANSPORT TRADING ACCOUNT

MEDSAS TRADING ACCOUNT

 

KWAZULU NATAL PROVINCE

KZN AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

KZN ARTS AND CULTURE

KZN COMMUNITY SAFETY AND LIAISON

KZN COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRAD AFFAIRS

KZN ECONOMIC DEV TOURISM AND ENVIRO AFFAIRS

KZN EDUCATION

KZN HEALTH

KZN HUMAN SETTLEMENTS

KZN OFFICE OF THE PREMIER

KZN PROVINCIAL TREASURY

KZN PUBLIC WORKS

KZN SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

KZN SPORT AND RECREATION

KZN TRANSPORT

 

LIMPOPO PROVINCE

LIMPOPO AGRICULTURE

LIMPOPO COOPER GOV HUMAN SETTLEMENTS TRAD AFFAIRS

LIMPOPO ECONOMIC DEVELOP ENVIRONMENT TOURISM

LIMPOPO EDUCATION

LIMPOPO HEALTH

LIMPOPO OFFICE OF THE PREMIER

LIMPOPO PROVINCIAL TREASURY

LIMPOPO PUBLIC WORKS ROADS AND INFRASTRUCTURE

LIMPOPO SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

LIMPOPO SPORT ARTS AND CULTURE

LIMPOPO TRANSPORT AND COMMUNITY SAFETY

 

MPUMALANGA PROVINCE

MPUMALANGA AGRICULTURE RURAL DEV LAND AND ENV AFF

MPUMALANGA COMMUNITY SAFETY SECURITY AND LIAISON

MPUMALANGA COOPERATIVE GOV AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS

MPUMALANGA CULTURE SPORT AND RECREATION

MPUMALANGA ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM

MPUMALANGA EDUCATION

MPUMALANGA HEALTH

MPUMALANGA HUMAN SETTLEMENTS

MPUMALANGA OFFICE OF THE PREMIER

MPUMALANGA PROVINCIAL TREASURY

MPUMALANGA PUBLIC WORKS ROADS AND TRANSPORT

MPUMALANGA SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

 

NORTHERN CAPE PROCINCE

NORTH CAPE AGRIC ENVIRON AFF RURAL DEV LAND REFORM

NORTH CAPE COOP GOVERNM HUMAN SETTLEM TRAD AFFAIRS

NORTH CAPE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM

NORTH CAPE EDUCATION

NORTH CAPE HEALTH

NORTH CAPE OFFICE OF THE PREMIER

NORTH CAPE PROVINCIAL TREASURY

NORTH CAPE ROADS AND PUBLIC WORKS

NORTH CAPE SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

NORTH CAPE SPORT ARTS AND CULTURE

NORTH CAPE TRANSPORT SAFETY AND LIAISON

 

NORTH WEST PROVINCE

NORTH WEST AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

NORTH WEST ARTS CULTURE SPORTS AND RECREATION

NORTH WEST COMMUNITY SAFETY AND TRANSPORT MANAGEME

NORTH WEST COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS

NORTH WEST ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT ENVIR CONS TOURISM

NORTH WEST EDUCATION

NORTH WEST HEALTH

NORTH WEST HUMAN SETTLEMENTS

NORTH WEST OFFICE OF THE PREMIER

NORTH WEST PROVINCIAL TREASURY

NORTH WEST PUBLIC WORKS AND ROADS

NORTH WEST SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

 

WESTERN CAPE PROVINCE

WESTERN CAPE AGRICULTURE

WESTERN CAPE COMMUNITY SAFETY

WESTERN CAPE CULTURAL AFFAIRS AND SPORT

WESTERN CAPE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND TOURISM

WESTERN CAPE EDUCATION

WESTERN CAPE ENVIRONMENTAL AFFAIRS DEVELOPMENT PLA

WESTERN CAPE HEALTH

WESTERN CAPE HUMAN SETTLEMENTS

WESTERN CAPE LOCAL GOVERNMENT

WESTERN CAPE PREMIER

WESTERN CAPE SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

WESTERN CAPE TRANSPORT AND PUBLIC WORKS

c) The grants were reinstated and all affected employees were sent notices that a review of their social grant was being conducted. The review process will enable SASSA to correctly apply the means test and update personal details. If any public servant is found to have received a grant that he/she is not entitled to, following the review process, further action will be implemented, which will include recovery of the amounts overpaid, as well as an official report to the department that employs them for disciplinary action to be taken by the respective department.

In addition to the above review project which is underway, SASSA is currently implementing the following measures to prevent persons who are not eligible for a social grant being able to receive these:

    • Engaging the Department of Public Works to establish a data sharing mechanism that will assist in identifying citizens who are part of the EPWP programme, though their wages may qualify them to receive the normal grants it is still necessary their applicants are taken through a means test.
    • SASSA, together with the Department of Public Service Administration (DPSA) and administrators of Persal (the government employees salary system) are currently engaging to look at future mitigations. The team is refining the criteria and specifications for data extraction and data sharing.
    • Engaging DPSA to consider mechanisms which will assist the state to take consistent actions against public servants who access social grants unlawfully.

 

26 April 2022 - NW1105

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Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Social Development

Whether, with reference to her reply to question 2601 on 13 December 2021, wherein she indicated that the relevant information would be ready by 17 December 2021, she will honour this commitment and forward the specified information to Ms A L A Abrahams; if not, why not; if so, by what date?

Reply:

With regards to Parliamentary Question 2601, we can avail the following information that we have on our system. In doing so, I will respond to all the questions again, to ensure a comprehensive response.

What is the total number of cases of abuse of the SA Social Security Agency (SASSA) Child Support Grant that have been reported to her department in each province since 1 January 2015;

As mentioned in our previous response, SASSA does not maintain separate statistics on abuse of child support grants and is thus not able to provide this information. However, all cases where a change of care giver is requested are attended to.

What is the total number of cases in which the Child Support Grant (CSG) has successfully been transferred to an alternative caregiver;

The total number of child support grants (counted per child), which have been transferred from one care giver to another from 2015 to date is indicated in the table below:

Province

Number

Eastern Cape

249 490

Free State

90 831

Gauteng

175 558

KwaZulu-Natal

301 318

Limpopo

142 709

Mpumalanga

106 043

Northern Cape

50 379

North West

97 308

Western Cape

103 942

Total

1 317 578

What happens to the (a) CSG and (b) child in question in cases where there is no alternative caregiver;

(a) The child support grant is only paid to a primary caregiver, and therefore lapses until a new primary care giver is appointed.

(b) Where no alternative care giver is identified, the case is referred to social workers who will then attend to the placement of the child as per the relevant provision of the Children’s Act, 2007. SASSA would in these cases be guided by the outcome of the social work investigation.

What mechanisms have been put in place by her department and/or the SASSA to mitigate against the abuse of the CSG grant by the caregiver;

Where abuse is reported, social workers are requested to investigate and make a recommendation to SASSA regarding the administration of the child support grant.

What support does her department and/or SASSA offer in order to assist the caregiver who has been reported as allegedly abusing the CSG grant?

Cases of abuse of the child support grant are referred to social workers within the provincial departments of Social Development to investigate. Neither, SASSA, nor the National department, is able to render such support, which is a provincial competency.

25 April 2022 - NW1322

Profile picture: Masango, Ms B

Masango, Ms B to ask the Minister of Social Development

Whether there was an investigation into the cause of the irregular expenditure of approximately R12 million relating to the appointment of a company for communications and marketing; if not, why not, if so, what was the outcome?

Reply:

According to available records, the Department of Social Development has not incurred any irregular expenditure relating to the appointment of a service provider/company for communications and marketing. I will appreciate it if the Honourable Member can furnish me with further details on the matter, including the financial year so I can provide the relevant information.

25 April 2022 - NW1320

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Masango, Ms B to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)Whether there is currently and/or has ever been research conducted by a certain company (name furnished) for the SA Social Security Agency (SASSA); if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what process was followed to appoint the specified company; (2) whether there were any terms of reference from SASSA in respect of the research undertaken by the company; if not, why not; if so, (a) will she furnish Ms B S Masango with a copy and (b)(i) how and (ii) by whom were the terms of reference approved?

Reply:

1. SASSA and DSD officials have sat on and advised the steering committees which guides some of the work of FinMark Trust (FMT). FMT is a non-profit organisation (NPO) focused on making financial markets work for the poor in Southern Africa (SA). The NPO is financed from donor funding and conducts research work that the country as a whole, including SASSA, can benefit from. Some of the research they conduct include the following:

  • (i) FMT conducts an annual Finscope consumer survey in SA funded by the Banking and Insurance sectors, National Treasury, South African Reserve Bank and the Financial Sector Regulatory Authority. The results from the survey form part of the financial inclusion dialogue in SA and are presented to key stakeholders. The presentations to SASSA have happened regularly over the years at no cost to SASSA. FMT also publishes the results from these surveys on their website to make their results accessible.
  • (ii) FMT/United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) approached SASSA in 2018/2019 to conduct research on the SA Grant population to understand the need for digitisation of recipient payments, their requirements of financial literacy/education and to assess support for grant recipients to improve their capacity for livelihoods. The support was offered to SASSA at no cost and approved by the then Acting CEO. The scope of work was approved by, National Treasury, and Department of Social Development. Attached is the letter of support for the project which the then Acting CEO signed as well as the concept note for the projects which was formulated by both FMT and UNDP.

In 2020, SASSA approached the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for capacity building support on various areas including, improving customer experience and cost through improved digitisation, strategic communication, cyber security, data architecture, project management and gender integration (letter attached). After agreeing on the scope of work, the Gates Foundation using its own procurement processes secured the services of FMT to support SASSA in the aforementioned areas.

2. 

(a) Scope of work done is available and provided for in the attached documents.

(b i) The Memorandum of understanding (MoU) underscores the scope of work

ii) The MoU was signed by the current Chief Executive Officer of SASSA

25 April 2022 - NW1426

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

What has he found to be the financial impact on (a) unmarried and (b) unemployed fathers for DNA testing to determine that they are the biological father?

Reply:

There is currently no research findings on this matter and I would not want to speculate. However, it is important for the Honourable Member to note that Section 21(1)(b) of the Children’s Act (Act No.38 of 2005) provides, that an unmarried father of a child, regardless of whether he has lived or is living with the mother of the child, acquires full parental rights and responsibilities over the child if he –

(i) consents to be identified or successfully applies to in terms of section 26 to be identified as the child’s father or pays damages in terms of customary law;

(ii) contributes or has attempted in good faith to contribute to the child’s upbringing for a reasonable period; and

(iii) contributes or has attempted in good faith to contribute towards expenses in connection with the maintenance of the child for a reasonable period’.

Furthermore, the Act confirms in Section 36 a presumption in respect of a child born out of wedlock (parties who were not married to each other). The presumption is that the person whom had sexual intercourse with the mother at any time when that child could have been conceived will be presumed to be the biological father of the child in the absence of evidence to the contrary which raises reasonable doubt. The Act also states that as paternity is determined on a balance of probabilities, the man is not entitled to demand scientific proof and that in relevant instances, the court has the inherent power as upper guardian of all minor children to order such tests if it is in the best interests of the child.

25 April 2022 - NW1291

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Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)Whether, in light of the fact that her department utilised 2% of the Presidential Early Childhood Development Stimulus Relief Fund for administration fees, what (a) was the total amount from which the administration fees were deducted and (b) was the total amount of the administration fees in Rands; (2) whether second and third administration fees were charged in 2021 and 2022 respectively; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what (a) was the value in Rands of the second and third administration fees, (b) is the breakdown of how the administration fees were utilised, (c) are the names of the service providers who were paid with the administration fees and (d) are the amount(s) paid to the specified service providers?

Reply:

1. The amount was used for administration costs which may include administration fees, staff costs, travel costs required for administration of the grant by Provincial Departments of Social Development.

a) The total budget allocation for the Presidential ECD Stimulus Relief Fund was R496,250 for the 2020/21 financial year;

b) Of the total budget above, an amount of R6,409 million was budgeted for a once-off administration cost.

c) No, administration costs were charged as a once-off (refer to b). Of the budgeted administration costs, an amount of R1,282 million was spent as per the breakdown below:

Province

Amount

Commodity

Northern Cape

R 283 920-00

Advertising and Marketing

Western Cape

R 998 380-00

Service Providers staff cost and travel costs for site visits across the Province conducting second level verification of ECD facilities and practitioners

Total

R1 282 300-00

 

(c)(d)

Province

Service Provider

Amounts

Northern Cape

NCRF (National Community Radio Forum) Northern Cape

R283 920-00

Western Cape

Foundation for Community Work

R 998 380

Total

 

R1 282 300

25 April 2022 - NW1087

Profile picture: van der Merwe, Ms LL

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

(1)Noting that many children’s homes have announced that they have matched children to adoptive parents, but that they are waiting for her department to confirm the placements before the specified children can go to their new homes, what (a) are the full, relevant details of the total number of placements that her department is currently processing and (b) is the reason for the backlog; (2) whether her department has any action plan to speed-up the placement issue; if not, why not; if so, what is the (a) timeline and (b) action plan for the resolution of the specified issue?

Reply:

It is important for the Honourable Member to note that adoption is regulated in terms of the Children’s Act (Act No. 38 of 2005), which outlines which processes must be followed to protect the best interest of the child. The Department has to follow all the regulations to comply with the provision of the Act.

1. (a) It should be noted that there is no backlog for adoption applications. The total number of adoption cases that the department is currently processing is 41, with provincial breakdown as follows:

Province

Number of applications being processed currently

Eastern Cape

10

North-West

8

Mpumalanga

6

Northern Cape

4

Free-State

0

KZN

13

Gauteng

0

Western Cape

0

Limpopo

0

TOTAL

41

(b) Not applicable as there is no backlog

2. (a) Refer to (b)

(b) Refer to (b)

25 April 2022 - NW587

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Jacobs, Mr F to ask the Minister of Social Development

How (a) will the underpayment of provisional tax, including its penalty, be managed better regarding the Social Relief of Distress grant of R350,00 and (b) has its mismanagement further influenced possibilities for an increase by the National Treasury?

Reply:

The matter in question relates to the competence of the Ministry of Finance and the Honourable Member is advised the question to the relevant Executive Authority.

25 April 2022 - NW1321

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Masango, Ms B to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)(a) What total number of officials in her department at the senior management level of (i) director, (ii) chief director and (iii) deputy director-general are on suspension, (b) how long has each specified official been on (i) paid and (ii) unpaid suspension and (c) what are the reasons for their suspension in each case; (2) whether each official is undergoing disciplinary hearings; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, on what date is it envisaged that each disciplinary hearing will be finalised?

Reply:

A senior manager at the level of Chief Director is currently on precautionary suspension in the department. The official has been on suspension for a period of 212 days for allegations in relation to attack and assault of a fellow colleague. Disciplinary processes relating to this matter are at an advanced stage.

18 April 2022 - NW1240

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Arries, Ms LH to ask the Minister of Social Development

What total number of early childhood development practitioners will be absorbed by the Department of Basic Education?

Reply:

The transfer of ECD function from the Department of Social Development to Basic Education does not involve the absorption of ECD practitioners. ECD practitioners are not employed by Government, but by ECD facilities that are registered with the Department and are privately owned.

18 April 2022 - NW1273

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

What (a) number of registered nonprofit organisations are in the Hantam Local Municipality, (b) services do they render to the community and (c) amount in funding do they receive from the National Development Agency?

Reply:

a) There are 61 (sixty-one) NPOs registered in terms of NPO Act in Hantam Local Municipality. The registered NPOs are based in the following towns that fall under the municipality, namely; Brandvlei, Calvinia, Loeriesfontein, Middelpos, Nieuwoudtville, Swartkop.

b) Registered NPOs in the Hatam Municipality are grouped as per the NPO Register under the following activity areas (sectors) as depicted in the table below:

Town

Sector

Number of NPOs

Brandvlei

11

Development and Housing

3

 

Law, Advocacy, and Politics

1

 

Religion

2

 

Social Services

5

     

Calvinia

26

Culture and Recreation

2

 

Development and Housing

10

 

Education and Research

1

 

Environment

3

 

Health

1

 

Law, Advocacy, and Politics

2

 

Philanthropic intermediaries and voluntarism promotion

1

 

Social Services

6

     

Calvinia West

9

Culture and Recreation

2

 

Development and Housing

2

 

Social Services

5

     

Loeriesfontein

9

Development and Housing

3

 

Health

1

 

Religion

1

 

Social Services

4

     

Middelpos

1

Social Services

1

     

Nieuwoudtville

5

Development and Housing

3

 

Education and Research

1

 

Religion

1

(C) The NDA has funded 4 CSOs in the Hantam Local Municipality in the past years, these organisations are in income generation projects in the agriculture sector (vegetable and poultry farming, others are providing social services such as support to vulnerable groups and food security (soup kitchen). The total amount of funding the NDA has granted to the organisations in Hantam Local municipality is R1 844 175.00 to date.

18 April 2022 - NW1279

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Gondwe, Dr M to ask the Minister of Social Development

With reference to the 177 108 public servants who were found to have received social grants, excluding the Social Relief of Distress grant, what (a) number of the specified public servants have been found (i) to have qualified for the grants that they received and (ii) not to have qualified for the grants that they received, (b) amount of money has been recovered from public servants who have been found not to have qualified for the grants that they received and (c) have been the consequences for the public servants who have been determined not to have qualified for the grant that they received as at the latest specified date for which information is available?

Reply:

a) In total 165 297 public servants were found to have received social grants. These were suspended in September 2021, because it was suspected they did not qualify for the grant they had been receiving. All 165 297 cases were then subjected to a full review process, as required in terms of the Social Assistance Act. Progress with the review process is as follows:

(i) 63 212 have been found to qualify for the grant after they completed the review process.

(ii) 3 268 have been found not to qualify for the grant after they completed the review process.

The grant review process is not yet finalised and 98 817 beneficiaries are still to be reviewed.

The process to determine eligibility is an intensive manual process. The teams are still engaging the public servants as they come forward to complete the review process. All those found to have received a grant to which they were not entitled will repay the amount, and also face disciplinary action through their respective departments.

b) An amount of twelve million six hundred thousand rand (R 12, 6 million) has been recovered from public servants who have been found not to qualify for the grant that they received.

c) In following consequence management procedures due processes must be followed. The affected public servants have completed debt acknowledgement forms to enable SASSA to recover the debt. This information has been shared with each Province and affected government departments for them to be able to take appropriate action. To date, SASSA has not receive any reports of the outcomes of these processes.

 

18 April 2022 - NW1226

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Marais, Ms P to ask the Minister of Social Development

What measures of intervention have been put in place by her department for the thousands of unemployed persons who never received their R350 grants and have been waiting for more than a year with no assistance?

Reply:

To date, all qualifying applications received for the R350 grant since May 2020 to March 2022 have been paid. There are approximately 20 000 applications in an appeal status which have not been paid as yet. Work is currently underway to resolve outstanding appeals.

Improvements have been implemented to ensure that everyone who is approved is able to access their funds. Additional access channels introduced are; Payment into personal bank accounts, which accounts for 58% of all payments for those who access their funds through the post office. Additional channels through retailers have been opened. The retailers currently participating are Pick & Pay, Boxer, Checkers, Shoprite and Usave. Negotiations with the Spar group to allow approved applicants to access their relief grant are at an advanced stage, further announcements will be made shortly.

Payment through mobile phones, will be another access channel available as soon as the contracts with the banks have been finalised. It is expected that this option will be available for the next iteration of the grant from April 2022 to March 2023.

18 April 2022 - NW1103

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

What total (a) number of registered and funded civil society organisations (CSOs) are in the Northern Cape and (b)(i) amount in funding is each specified CSO receiving from the National Development Agency and (ii) services are they rendering?

Reply:

The National Development Agency fund CSOs to strengthen their capacities in contributing towards eradication of poverty. The NDA funds CSOs, including Cooperatives to respond to social and developmental challenges experienced in poor communities across the 9 provinces.

(a)In the Northern Cape the NDA funded 66 CSOs in the current MTSF: 2018/19 – 2022/23 financial year to the tune of R8 545 779,03. The funding of the CSOs resulted in the creation of 494 job opportunities (see the breakdown below):

Table 1: Breakdown of CSOs funded by NDA in the Northern Cape

#

Name of CSO

District/ Local municipality

Amount Funding

Services rendered

Number of work opportunities

 

Val’s Primary Cooperative

Frances Baard/ Sol Plaatje

R66 846.61

Sewing Cooperative

5

 

Kgatelopele Sewing Cooperative

J. T. Gaetsewe/ Joe Morolong

R195 551.26

Sewing Cooperative

4

 

Women Outside the Box

J. T. Gaetsewe/ Gasegonyana

R66 846.61

Sewing Cooperative

6

 

Souskyn Cooperative

Z. F. Mgcawu/ Dawid Kruiper

R65 632.78

Sewing cooperative

2

 

Bona Bontle Cooperative

J. T. Gaetsewe/ Gasegonyana

R46 103,82

Sewing Cooperative

6

 

Katleho ECD

Frances Baard/ Phokwane

R47 656,54

ECD

3

 

Ipeleng ECD

J. T. Gaetsewe/ Dikgatlong

R49 803,48

ECD

2

 

Thutopele Cooperative

Z. F. Mgcawu/ Dawid Kruiper

R104 392.20

Sewing Cooperative

6

 

Litlho lentle cooperative

Frances Baard /Dikgatlong

R31 314.77

Sewing Cooperative

5

 

Legacy Network

Z. F. Mgcawu/ Dawid Kruiper

R44 121.94

After care services

2

 

Sonstraaltjies Kleuterskool

Z. F. Mgcawu/ Dawid Kruiper

R40 370.91

ECD

3

 

Vrolike Vunkies ECD

Z. F. Mgcawu/ Dawid Kruiper

R51 834.77

ECD

3

 

Loxton Laslappies Cooperative

Pixley Ka Seme/ Ubuntu

R48 041.76

Sewing Cooperative

6

 

Sambese Cooperative

Pixley Ka Seme/ Emthanjeni

R85 185,46

Sewing Cooperative

6

 

Kgotso Arts & Crafts

Frances Baard/ Phokwane

R57 354.02

Arts & Crafts

2

 

Emmanuel ECD

J. T. Gaetsewe/ Gasegonyana

R50 343.20

ECD

4

 

Kalahari All Trade

J. T. Gaetsewe/ Gamagara

R49 846,78

Sewing Cooperative

5

 

Isago ya Bahumi

Frances Baard/ Sol Plaatje

R93 778,35

Sewing Cooperative

11

 

Baheso Brick Making Cooperative

Frances Baard/ Sol Plaatje

R293 034.00

Bricks

9

 

Happy Kids Day Care

Frances Baard/ Sol Plaatje

R48 895,57

ECD

3

 

Popagano Food Garden

Z. F. Mgcawu/ Tsantsabane

R50 736.14

Food garden

12

 

Tswelelang Agricultural Cooperative

J. T. Gaetsewe/ Joe Morolong

R103 106.76

Food Garden

5

 

Ubunele Cooperative

Z. F. Mgcawu/ Dawid Kruiper

R44 617,87

Sewing

Cooperative

8

 

Op en Wakker Cooperative

Z. F. Mgcawu/ Kai Garib

R57 472,45

Sewing Cooperative

11

 

BCAMS cooperative

Z. F. Mgcawu/ Dawid Kruiper

R40 442.91

Sewing Cooperative

2

 

SASDO

Frances Baard/ Sol Plaatje

R371 100.31

Food garden

4

 

Lebelelang Centre for Disability

Z. F. Mgcawu/ Tsantsabane

R53 351.00

Disability Centre

2

 

Remmogo recycling

Frances Baard/ Dikgatlong

 R87 880.44

Recycling waste

9

 

Vinknessie ECD

Z. F. Mgcawu/ Dawid Kruiper

R77 725.75

ECD

1

 

Tshenolo Drop in Centre

Frances Baard/ Dikgatlong

R90 031.90

Soup Kitchen

6

 

Chrysanthemum Cooperative

Frances Baard/ Sol Plaatje

R43 816,15

Sewing Cooperative

5

 

Zenisha Play & Learning Centre

Pixley Ka Seme/Siyathemba

R 92 043.60

ECD & Disability centre

6

 

Ezebeleni ECD

Z. F. Mgcawu/ Dawid Kruiper

R28 655.79

ECD

6

 

Rethabile ECD

Frances Baard/ Sol Plaatje

R74 885,69

ECD

6

 

Boitumelo Special School

Frances Baard/ Sol Plaatje

R370 147.59

Disability Centre

3

 

Rerokela Sechaba

Z. F. Mgcawu/ Tsantsabane

R95 260.00

Sewing Cooperative

8

 

Green Plan Cooperative

Z. F. Mgcawu/ Dawid Kruiper

R98 164.00

Recycling waste

5

 

Boago Care Village

J. T. Gaetsewe/ Gasegonyana

R90 145,92

Food garden

5

 

Susanna Wesley ECD

Z. F. Mgcawu/ Dawid Kruiper

R56 972,25

ECD

3

 

UAP Soup Kitchen

Z. F. Mgcawu/ Dawid Kruiper

R69 453,45

Soup Kitchen

4

 

Enkosi Crèche & Preschool

Pixley Ka Seme/ Umsombovu

R143 214,23

ECD

6

 

22 CSOs for the Covid 19 Response Plan

All Districts

R4 110 000.00

Response to Covid 19

222

 

3 CSOs for the Presidential Economic Stimulus Programme

Pixley Ka Seme & Namakwa

R759 600.00

Community profiling

62

 

Total

 

R8 545 779,03

 

494

(ii) The CSOs are involved in providing various development services in the communities, including Early Childhood Development services, income generation interventions and food security through Co-operatives.

18 April 2022 - NW1095

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

What total number of early childhood development facilities actually belong to social workers in the North West?

Reply:

According to the North West Provincial Department of Social Development, there are no records of ECD facilities that belong to social workers. Instead, social workers are employed by the Department to provide monitoring and oversight to ECD facilities to ensure compliance with norms and standards as per the provision of the Children’s Act.

18 April 2022 - NW1094

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

What psychosocial support does her department currently offer for (a) orphaned children and (b) child-headed households?

Reply:

The Department is providing psychosocial support to orphaned and child – headed households through the following community-based services :

  • Food and Nutrition: The Child and Youth Care Workers provides a safety net for children within their communities and where they can access food when the food provision in their families is insecure or where the children are at risk of stunting and malnutrition. This service thus improve the children’s food security & nutrition intake by ensuring access to community nutrition opportunities (cooked meals, food parcels, and food vouchers).
  • Educational Support: This support is aimed at increasing access to and attendance of schools through for example, supporting children to overcome obstacles to attendance – such as lack of school uniform, transport, lack of parental support for schooling and to support children in their educational performance. Furthermore, children are assisted to develop post-matric plans and to access tertiary education.
  • Economic strengthening: The service aims at supporting and increasing the economic base of households through facilitating access to social security grants, entrepreneurial and other economic strengthening activities.
  • Health promotion: This service is aimed at empowering children and adolescents to access health care services consistently. Improve children’s health through better access to health care, promote and support access to sexual reproductive health services for girls and boys, and the early identification and support to children with disabilities, promote and support good water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) habits.
  • HIV and AIDS services: The services are aimed at reducing children’s risk of contracting HIV by improved HIV awareness and sexuality education, promoting known HIV status of children, support ART uptake and adherence and mitigating sexual and substance risk-taking behaviour of adolescents.
  • Social behaviour change groups: The children are referred to these programmes which are aimed at promoting positive life changes. The groups such as YOLO, Chommy, Family matters, counselling sessions and loss and Grief Support.

If further intervention is required, these target groups are being referred to the Social Workers for by Child and Youth Care Workers for further assistance.

18 April 2022 - NW1086

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

What are the relevant details of the adoption figures for (a) national adoptions as well as (b) inter-country adoptions from 1 March 2020 up to the latest specified date for which information is available?

Reply:

(a) The total number of national adoptions from the period of 1 March 2020 to 28 February 2022 is 1634.

(b) Figures of inter-country adoptions from 1 March 2020 to 28 February 2022 are 174.

18 April 2022 - NW1043

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Siwisa, Ms AM to ask the Minister of Social Development

What (a) informed the decision to terminate the employment contract of a certain person (name and details furnished), after being on contract for more than five years and (b) are the reasons for the specified person’s employment not being made permanent during that period?

Reply:

(a) The Department appointed contract employees after having identified a need for such employees in a number of Sub-Programmes.The Department then undertook a process to create posts on the Organizational Structure, in line with the identified need. Upon approval of the new Organizational Structure, the Department then advertised a number of posts, including a level 7 post in terms of Customer Care.

(b) The Department informed all Contract Employees that their contracts will not be renewed upon expiration date as the Department intended to advertise such posts. The person in question was advised to apply like all other Contract Employees. The person in question indicated that she is not interested in a Salary Level 7 post, which was the level of the post she occupied all along. The person in question declined the offer in writing to apply. She therefore forfeited the right to lay claim to the post or any other post because she conscientiously opted to not apply, consequently she terminated her own service in this regard as she denied herself the opportunity to be appointed permanently through the normal recruitment processes prescribed by law.

18 April 2022 - NW593

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Masango, Ms B to ask the Minister of Social Development

(a) On what date did she receive a copy of the Special Investigating Unit’s Report of Proclamation R23 of 2020, dated 10 December 2021, which implicates her department and some agencies reporting to her in the investigation, and (b) what are the names of the persons and/or entities implicated in the investigation?

Reply:

The Honourable Member is advised to refer to my reply to Parliamentary Question 122 on the same subject.

18 April 2022 - NW1179

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Arries, Ms LH to ask the Minister of Social Development

Whether she has been informed that Grey Village in Kagisano-Molopo, North West, is without a SA Social Security Agency pay point, and that currently the community withdraw their money at local Shazam shops that cost R10 per R100 and/or must drive approximately 220 km to Vryburg to withdraw their grant money; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what steps has she taken to resolve the problem?

Reply:

There is currently no cash pay point serviced by the South African Post Office (SAPO) in the area in question as it was decommissioned during the 2017/2018 financial year as the area had two merchants, namely Net 1 and a Bray Shop named Solomon shop (operated by Shazam) which were offering cash back services.

The number of beneficiaries receiving their grants in Bray reduced over time to less than 50 clients which led to Net 1 withdrawing its services in the area as it became too expensive. Solomon shop was then left as the sole merchant servicing the area. The current number of social grant beneficiaries is very low, which makes it uneconomical to maintain a fully-fledged cash pay point services in the area.

The Morokweng SASSA local office conducts monthly monitoring oversight visits on the merchant, and has so far not detected any untoward behaviour. However, investigations will be conducted to ascertain if the Merchant (Solomon Shop) is charging beneficiaries a fee to withdraw money,. SASSA will also conduct consumer education to empower beneficiaries, and engage its banking stakeholders to offer mobile banking services in the area. Monitoring processes, in Bray, will be intensified henceforth.

The nearest Post Office to Bray is at Tosca which is about 54 kilometres, which, although still far, is nearer than the Vryburg that is 220km away.

08 April 2022 - NW973

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Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Social Development

Whether she will furnish Ms A L A Abrahams with a detailed report on the Gender-Based Violence Command Centre (GBVCC) for the period 1 January 2021 until 28 February 2022 with respect to, but not limited to, the (a) number of (i) calls, (ii) SMSs and (iii) USSDs received in each province, (b) types of abuse and/or incidents reported, (c) number of individuals referred to (i) a social worker and/or (ii) the SA Police Service for assistance, (d) the breakdown of the GBVCC staff compliment and (e) the breakdown of the total operational cost for the financial year ending March 2022?

Reply:

a) The following tables reflects the (a) number of (i) calls, (ii) SMSs and (iii) USSDs received in each province,

Table

Description automatically generated

TICKETS LOGGED AND REFERRED

PROVINCE

GBV

NON - GBV

REFERRED

Eastern Cape

287

383

37

Free State

204

261

25

Gauteng

2 654

3 049

318

KwaZulu - Natal

736

913

105

Limpopo

363

545

52

Mpumalanga

312

375

44

North West

245

304

34

Northern Cape

66

71

10

Western Cape

501

469

65

TOTAL

5 368

6 370

691

The statistics cited in the above table represent the number of tickets/files opened on the GBV Command Centre Information System.

(b)

GBV cases:

Abandoned Children, Abduction/Kidnapping, Assault, Bullying, Child Neglect, Child Pornography, Elderly Neglect, Emotional Abuse, Forced Initiation, Forced Prostitution, Hate Speech, Human Trafficking, Incest, Indecent Assault, Molestation, Physical Violence, Rape, Sexual Harassment, Stalking, Verbal Abuse Or Intimidation

Non-GBV cases:

Anger Management, Behavioural Problems, Child Adoption, Child Custody/Visitation, Child Maintenance, Counselling Death, Counselling Depression, Counselling Marriage & Relationships, COVID – 19, Economic/Financial Abuse, Funding, Home Affairs Related, Labour Dispute, Legal Advice, Matric, SASSA Grants, Substance Abuse, Other type of Incident

(c)

Number of individuals referred to:

  1. Social Workers: 691
  2. SA Police Service: 642

(d)

The Centre presently employs 48 Social Work Agents, 8 Social Work Supervisors, 2 Quality Assurers and 1 Centre Manager to operate and offer services to victims of Gender Based Violence.

(e)

 

Baseline R'000

Compensation

Goods and services

GBV Comm Center

26 145

17 676

8 469

08 April 2022 - NW1056

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Arries, Ms LH to ask the Minister of Social Development

Whether her department has sufficient Environmental Health Safety Officers and/or professionals to monitor adherence to safety and health issues at early childhood development centres; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

I would like to inform the Honourable Member that recruitment and deployment of Environmental Health Officers are employed by the Department of Health (DOH) and local municipalities.

Early Childhood Development (ECD) is an integrated service delivered by different departments and the roles and responsibilities thereof are clearly outlined in the National Integrated Early Childhood Development Policy approved by Cabinet in 2015.

08 April 2022 - NW1050

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Komane, Ms RN to ask the Minister of Social Development

What (a) total number of persons who have been approved to receive the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant are yet to claim their money and (b) measures has her department put in place to ensure that all those entitled to the SRD grant are able to access it?

Reply:

a) According to the reconciliation received from the SA Post Office, (SAPO) a total of 328 477 beneficiaries have yet to collect their grant from the first cycle which ended on 30 April 2021 and 442 602 from the second cycle which covers the period from August 2021 to March 2022. Approval has recently been provided to SAPO, in line with the Directions published on 10 February 2022, for beneficiaries from the first cycle to be paid their funds, should they report to the post office.

b) The access channels provided to beneficiaries of the R350 social relief of distress grant include bank ATMs where the beneficiaries request payment directly into their personal bank accounts, as well as through the post office. Currently, of the 10 563 123 approved beneficiaries, 42% collect their grants through the post office while 58% receive the grant in their own personal bank accounts.

In order to improve access to the grants distributed by the post office, additional channels through the retailers have been opened. The retailers currently participating are Pick & Pay, Boxer, Checker, Shoprite and Usave. Negotiations with the Spar group to also allow access to the relief grant are at an advanced stage and further announcements will be made shortly.

SASSA is also finalising the contracting with banks, to allow for the payment to be made to mobile phones. This channel will be available for the extension of the grant from April 2022 to March 2023.

These channels have all contributed to the significant improvement in reducing the queues at post offices, and provide a range of options for approved beneficiaries to be able to access their grants conveniently.

08 April 2022 - NW1030

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

Whether, with reference to the Deputy Director-General (DDG): Civic Service of the Department of Home Affairs reporting to the Portfolio Committee on Social Development on 2 March 2022 that copies of 2018 Naki v Director General Home Affairs judgment and the 2021 Centre for Child Law v Director General: Department of Home Affairs and Others judgment, both regarding unmarried fathers, had been sent to all the local offices of her department and the DDG further advising that her department had revised their Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) to allow for unmarried fathers the right to register their children’s births in the absence of the mother, she will furnish Ms L L van der Merwe with a copy of the (a) letter sent to local offices of her department in which she communicated the judgments and their impact on protocols and procedures going forward and (b) revised SOP; if not, why not; if so, on what date?

Reply:

Please refer to my reply to parliamentary question 1029 on the same subject.

08 April 2022 - NW1029

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

Whether the directive explaining the 2018 Naki v Director General Home Affairs judgment and the 2021 Centre for Child Law v Director General: Department of Home Affairs and Others judgment has been finalised, as it was reported to the Portfolio Committee on Social Development on 2 March 2022 that finalisation was imminent; if not, by what date is it envisaged that the directive will be (a) finalised and (b) sent to local offices; if so, will she furnish Ms L L van der Merwe with a copy of the final directive?

Reply:

As the Honourable Member is aware, the matter in question relates to the Constitutional Court judgment against the Director-General of the Department of Home Affairs. I am therefore unable to respond to the question as it relates to the mandate of another Department.

 

08 April 2022 - NW1000

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Masango, Ms B to ask the Minister of Social Development

With reference to visits to some offices of the SA Social Security Agency (SASSA) that revealed ongoing and disruptive downtimes that sometimes run for up to whole days, causing problems for grant application and resulting in a loss of working hours, and in view of the social pension (Socpen) system cited as being too old and unable to take the load, (a) what (i) number of whole day downtime has been experienced by SASSA offices nationally over the past two years, (ii) are the causes of most of the downtimes and (iii) is being done to reduce and/or eradicate downtime and (d) how old is the Socpen system?

Reply:

(i) number of whole day downtime has been experienced by SASSA offices nationally over the past two years

The Socpen system downtime experienced started in May 2021 and the hours downtime was measured from September 2021. The system downtime was never more than three (3) hours per system incident or on any given day. Where it was longer than three (3) hours, it was linked to other contributing factors such as load shedding, electricity failures, network or server malfunction etc. The table below illustrates the downtime incidents per month as a consequence of the Socpen system. In each instance, the downtime did not exceed four to six (4 - 6) hours downtime per incident.

Month

Total Incidents

May

15

June

2

July

6

August

10

September

15

October

17

November

17

December

4

January

11

February

13

March

9

Total

119

(ii) are the causes of most of the downtimes

Some of the downtime can be linked to when verification of transactions using the Biometric solution was rolled out nationally. We are however, continuously monitoring the system to identify if there could be other causes.

Some of the downtime is attributed to other causes such as power failures, network or server malfunction.

(iii) What is being done to reduce and/or eradicate downtime

Currently Software AG and IBM who are respectively the product owners of the Mainframe Technology and MQ (Messaging and Queuing middleware) on which SOCPEN is running have been requested by SITA to assist with the investigation and resolution of the intermittent system downtimes.

In order to further eliminate some of the possible causes, on 15 March 2022 a system change was done on the Mainframe. Since its implementation, no downtime has been recorded. The implemented change is still being monitored on an ongoing basis until we are certain the problem has been resolved.

(iv) how old is the Socpen system?

The Socpen system is about 25 years old.

The Agency has a five (5) year target to replace the legacy systems, including SOCPEN. The implementation of new technology such as the online application and the SRD R350 systems, is a step towards achieving this target. This will amongst other opportunities, enable ease of integration and interface with other new technology systems.

08 April 2022 - NW938

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

What is total number of orphaned learners in schools in the North West?

Reply:

According to available records from the North West Provincial Department of Social Development, there are currently fifteen thousand one hundred and one (15 101) orphaned learners receiving services.