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15 June 2021 - NW1515

Profile picture: van der Merwe, Ms LL

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

Whether there has been any feedback yet from the Treasury with regard to her department’s request to have the R350 grant extended; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

The request for the extension of the R350 grant has been processed through the relevant structures within government and as soon as guidance has been provided, the Department will be in a position to respond to the public accordingly.

15 June 2021 - NW1439

Profile picture: Opperman, Ms G

Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)Whether, in light of the number of social grants that increased from 2 million in 1994 to 18,2 million in December 2020, she has found that the SA Social Security Agency (SASSA) can sustain the R190 billion annual social assistance programme, taking into account the extra 6 million unemployed Social Relief of Distress grant beneficiaries since May 2020; (2) whether SASSA is considering a more comprehensive social protection system; if not, how does SASSA envisage to sustain the current programme; if so, what are the relevant details of the programme?

Reply:

1. Yes, the Department can sustain the social assistance budget of R190 billion. This allocation is made in terms of the Social Assistance Act (Act 13 of 2004),which mandates government to provide social assistance to specified categories of vulnerable people, including children, the elderly above the age of 60 years and persons with disabilities. All the social grants are means tested, with the exception of the foster child grant, to ensure that only the most vulnerable are able to access it. Over the past 20 years, the budget has been kept constant at around 3% of the national gross domestic product (GDP), thus staying more or less in line with the economic performance of the country.

2. Yes, the Department is considering a more comprehensive social security system, which will create a three-pillar system comprising social grants, contributory social insurance and voluntary insurance to ensure that those who are able to contribute towards their own social security provision are provided with appropriate institutional platforms to participate in social security cover. The policy makes extensive proposals for ensuring that all working people in the country, both in the formal sector and those in atypical forms of employment are mandated or encouraged to make contributions during their working years, so that they will have adequate income in the event of retirement, death or disability. These policy proposals will be the subject of wide stakeholder consultations during this financial year.

15 June 2021 - NW1279

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)With reference to the special COVID-19 report of the Auditor-General, what (a) number of beneficiaries were over-paid in May 2020, (b) amount was overpaid and (c) number of beneficiaries were not paid as a result of the specified overpayments; 2) (a) what consequence management measures were instituted due to the food parcels not agreeing with the content list of the Social Relief of Distress grant and (b) how was the distribution of food parcels monitored; (3) whether the food parcels only reached the intended beneficiaries; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1(a) Following a reconciliation of all available information, a total of 31 929 grants were paid to clients who did not qualify for these in the period from May to July 2020. The grants were paid as the information available to SASSA at the time excluded databases of COVID relief paid to citizens through other government programmes such as the relief to sportsmen, spaza shop owners and farmers. In addition, SASSA only received the database from correctional services which included information on inmates in correctional facilities later in the process.

(b) A total of R11 175 950 was paid to citizens who did not qualify.

(c) No qualifying beneficiary was not paid as a result of the above incorrect payments.

2(a) All food parcels which were identified as not complying with the standard set for food parcels issued by SASSA were replaced by the relevant service provider.

(b) The distribution of food parcels was monitored by SASSA staff in the provinces, as the food parcels were distributed. SASSA staff were available at all distribution points to confirm the content of the food parcel, that the food parcel was collected by the approved beneficiary and that the invoices for food parcels distributed was received from the relevant service provider.

3. The food parcels were distributed to the approved applicants. Where an approved applicant did not arrive to collect the allocated food parcel, the parcel would be distributed to another approved beneficiary, after following a standard process to cancel the initial application and replace it with another applicant, who met the qualifying criteria.

The processes followed at the time were all manual, as SASSA was operating under Level 5 lockdown restrictions, with minimal staff available for this project.

In conclusion of the project, SASSA undertook a reconciliation process, to ensure that for every food parcel ordered and distributed, there was an approved application form; and that the support provided was captured on our grant system. This has taken a lot longer than initially planned, but has been now been completed.

15 June 2021 - NW1430

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Gondwe, Dr M to ask the Minister of Social Development

With reference to her reply to question 696 and question 697 on 23 March 2021, (a) on what date did the specified SA Social Security Agency (SASSA)-led investigations commence, (b) what number of the specified investigations (i) have actually been resolved and (ii) are still outstanding, (c) who specifically at SASSA is conducting the investigations, (d) what number of people at SASSA are currently responsible for conducting the investigations and (e) how are the investigations being conducted?

Reply:

With reference to her reply to question 696 and question 697 on 23 March 2021, (a) on what date did the specified SA Social Security Agency (SASSA)-led investigations commence

On 9 July 2020, SASSA received the findings from the Auditor General containing 20797 exceptions relating to the Covid-19 SRD grant. These exceptions included 216 government employees (PERSAL registered) who received the special COVID 19 SRD grant for the month of May 2020.

On 16 July 2020, SASSA received additional findings from the Auditor General containing 11845 exceptions of which 25 related to government employees (PERSAL registered) who received the special COVID 19 SRD grant for the month of May 2020.

Thus the total number of government employees who were flagged by the Auditor General is 241.

On 7 August 2020 SASSA received additional findings from the Auditor General containing 1513 exceptions consisting of company directors whose companies had received payment for government contracts. It is important to highlight that SASSA did not have access to the databases that the Auditor General used to identify the exceptions.

SASSA’s Project Management Office, upon consideration of the reports of the Auditor General and in consultation with management immediately suspended payments to certain categories of Covid 19 SRD grant beneficiaries. Among those that were immediately suspended were payments to the implicated government employees and the 1513 company directors.

As a result of the suspension of the payments, the implicated government employees each received R350 for May 2020 and no more.

SASSA engaged the Auditor General on the exceptions/findings with particular focus on some of the discrepancies. For instance, of the sample records tested from the findings provided by AGSA for instance the Grants it was noted that the applicants did not receive any grants in April 2020 – they only received grant payments from May 2020 and thus qualified to receive the R350 in May 2020. This was confirmed during a walkthrough with the AGSA on the system in terms of two records which AGSA themselves had chosen for verification and validation.

SASSA placed a focus on the 1513 company directors and the 241 government employees who received the Covid-19 SRD grant for further investigation.

SASSA has since written to the Departments where the implicated officials are employed so that disciplinary action can be taken including recovering the monies that were paid. Most of the implicated government employees work for the Department of Education (75), Department of Health (71) and the Department of Transport (45), with the remaining 50 officials spread across 16 departments.

The investigation into company directors who benefitted from the Covid funds was referred to the Fusion Centre that consists of various law enforcement bodies for further processing.

(b) what number of the specified investigations (i) have actually been resolved and (ii) are still outstanding

Please note that none of the investigations have been finalised. The Fusion Centre is still conducting the investigation into the company directors. Regarding, public servants, SASSA is engaging the relevant departments to ensure that the monies are recovered.

(c) who specifically at SASSA is conducting the investigations

The investigations at SASSA Head Office are conducted by 2 Fraud managers, 2 assistant managers and 1 specialist.

(d) what number of people at SASSA are currently responsible for conducting the investigations

The Fraud Management department at Head Office has 5 investigators, two of which are managers (level 12), 2 are assistant managers (level 10) and 1 level 8 specialist.

The post of General Manager: Fraud Management has been vacant for more than 5 years. However, this position has been advertised and a new GM: Fraud Manager has been appointed and expected to start duty as of 01 June 2021. The Fraud Management department does not have senior managers. In the interim the General Manager: Information Management has been assisting in managing the Department in addition to his normal functions.

This team is responsible for conducting all the investigations that emanate from Head Office or are cross-cutting, including SASSA card related fraud, general administration including supply chain matters, and the special Covid 19 SRD grant related matters.

(e) how are the investigations being conducted?

Due to shortage of staff, the SASSA fraud team relies primarily on data analytics in conducting its investigations. In addition the Fraud Management team works with law enforcement agencies, other state institutions and banking industry partners. Where possible the team also conducts field visits as part of the investigations.

It should be noted that the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) is also conducting investigations emanating from the presidential proclamations numbers R.37 of 2019 and R. 23 of 2020.

In addition, in February 2021 SASSA requested the Special Investigating Unit to assist the Agency with forensic specialists to conduct complex investigations.

04 June 2021 - NW1089

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

With reference to her department’s presentation on its Third Quarter performance to the Portfolio Committee on Social Development on 17 March 2021, what (a) are the root causes for the 14% performance decline in the Third Quarter compared to the Second Quarter and (b) corrective measures have been implemented to address the 14% decline?

Reply:

National Assembly Written Reply: 1089 of 2021

a) The following are performance areas which contributed to the decline in performance during the third quarter. There has been significant progress made in meeting some of the targets that could not be met at the end of the third quarter:

  • Entity Oversight: At the time of reporting, The Entity Governance and Oversight Framework could not be presented at governance structures as anticipated. DSD Management decided that the framework be finalized using internal expertise. As a result, DSD has since finalized the Framework and it was approved before end of March 2021. The implementation of the Framework will continue in the new financial year.
  • Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E): The Analysis of existing M&E tools within Social Sector Programmes was not achieved at the time of reporting. More substantial work has since been concluded including the draft “as-is report” on all existing M&E tools in the Sector as well as a draft M&E Framework with indicators for 5 priority programmes within DSD.
  • Human Capital Management: The Sector Human Resources Plan was to be presented in the relevant Departmental management structures. The Plan did not serve on time as planned because critical inputs were being incorporated and the targets were also to be presented in the 4th quarter. To date, the Sector Human Resource Plan (SHRP) has been finalised and has been approved by Departmental Management Committee and a forum of all Heads of Social Development on 9 March 2021.
  • Social Assistance: The target of Monthly transfers of funds to SASSA was not achieved, since the DSD does not “transfer’ the funds, but the funds are provided in monthly allocations to SASSA to pay social grants. The Auditor-General has advised that the use of the word “transfer” is inaccurate, which means the target will never be achieved. The DSD has revised the indicator in its 2021/22 APP to address the ambiguity.
  • Social Security: The Regulations to the Social Assistance Amendment Act were not approved for public comment until early January 2021. The Regulations were subsequently published for public comments with the closing date of 24 February 2021. The Regulations were revised and completed based on public comments. The Regulations will be finalised during the first quarter of 2021/22 financial year.
  • Early Childhood Development (ECD): The target to employ 36 111 compliance monitors to monitor the norms and standards and COVID-19 compliance in DSD managed and supported facilities was not achieved. This was due to funds being allocated towards the ECD Stimulus Relief Fund instead of appointment of compliance monitors. However, many ECDs will be supported through the allocated R496 million for the ECD Presidential Employment Stimulus Relief Fund, which seeks to provide employment protection for an additional 80 000 employees in the ECD sector.
  • Families: The Framework for review of the White Paper on Families was not completed due to misalignment between the third quarter APP target and the set process to achieve the annual target. To date, consultations have been completed and the review of the White Paper has been completed.
  • Professional Social Services: The Draft Social Service Practitioners Bill could not be submitted to the Office of Chief State Law Advisor (OCSLA) for precertification due to lack of capacity to support the drafting process at the National office. Provincial departments have assisted with the redrafting of the Bill and the Bill has been submitted to the office of Chief State Law Advisor for Pre-Certification.
  • Population and Development: The annual target of Research report on Youth perception survey on Socio-economic, health, & gender on Impact of COVID19 was not achieved. The appointment of a Research Institution to conduct this study required approval from National Treasury, which was only granted in October 2020. Other procurement and contract management processes had to follow after receipt of National Treasury approval. The remaining time was not sufficient to complete the final study reports as planned. The timelines of the study have been adjusted to ensure that the study is completed in the new financial year.

b) The Department held intensive Programme Performance Review meetings in February 2021 to interrogate the root causes of decline in performance. During these Review Meetings, Management committed to implement various corrective actions to ensure improvement in performance for all areas where targets were not achieved in the third quarter. Preliminary analysis of the year-end performance of the Department shows improvement in achievement of set targets as compared to the third quarter. This improved performance may be attributed to the intensive Branch Performance Review Sessions and corrective actions which were implemented during the last quarter of the financial year.

04 June 2021 - NW1079

Profile picture: Masango, Ms B

Masango, Ms B to ask the Minister of Social Development

What is the total (a) amount paid by the SA Social Security Agency to recipients who did not qualify for all types of grants in 2020 and (b) value of double dipping where recipients are being paid for more than one grant, essentially taking advantage of the system?

Reply:

a) Normal practice is that SASSA does not pay people who do not qualify for the different type of grants. SASSA only pays recipients who are deemed to have met the qualification criteria for the different types of grants. However, SASSA may under exceptional circumstances end up paying people who do not qualify, where there is misrepresentation from the grant applicant.

During 2020 SASSA detected possible fraud involving the following:

(i) 1 768 SAPO employees who were receiving social grants. The grants were suspended saving SASSA approximately R1.5 million per month.

(ii) 4 726 grant beneficiaries who transacted outside South Africa during the lockdown period when the international borders were closed. The grants were suspended saving SASSA approximately R7 million per month.

(iii) 105 active Correctional Services inmates who were receiving social grants. These grants were cancelled saving SASSA approximately R196 000 per month.

b) The Social Pensions System is configured in such a way that double dipping between different social grants can be detected and prevented. Thus there have been no incidents of double dipping that have been detected within the social grants system administered within SASSA.

The Auditor General of South Africa has identified incidents of double dipping involving the applicants of the special COVID 19 SRD grant who also applied for other COVID 19 relief measures administered by other government entities. While AGSA identified a total of 80 117 cases in the first 3 months of this grant, on confirming information, 25 088 people were identified with a value of R8 780 800 as having received the R350 grant to which they were not entitled. Debts are being raised for these citizens. It should also be noted that, as soon as the anomalies were identified by AGSA, payment of the special relief grant to these clients was stopped, thus limiting the loss to the state.

National Assembly Written Reply: 1079 of 2021

________________________

Approved by the Minister of Social Development

Date……………………….

04 June 2021 - NW1033

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Arries, Ms LH to ask the Minister of Social Development

In view of the Western Cape that has implemented an online booking system for disability grant medical assessments, what provisions have been made by her department for persons who do not have access to devices to make online bookings?

Reply:

The online booking system for disability grant medical assessments is being piloted in the Western Cape, but will be rolled out to all provinces for use by all applicants for disability-related grants.

However, this does not replace the face-to-face service which is offered to SASSA clients at local offices. For those persons who do not have access to devices to make online bookings, the option remains for them to report to the SASSA local office. There the staff will use the same system to book their medical assessments. This should speed up the service provided, as bookings can be made for people while they are still in the queue, thus reducing the need for everyone to only be served inside the office.

SASSA still retains a total number of 389 local offices throughout the country. All are staffed with staff who can attend to the citizens.

04 June 2021 - NW1001

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Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Social Development

With reference to the Early Childhood Development-Employment Stimulus Relief Fund (ECD-ESRF) applications received in each of the provinces before 26 February 2021 deadline, (a) on what date will applicants receive the relief package and (b) what (i) total number of applications have been received, (ii) is the ECD registration status of applicants, (iii) is the number of applications that fall within poor wards according to the Statistics SA Multidimensional Poverty Index and (iv) is the total number of (aa) ECD employees who will benefit, (bb) children who attend the ECDs and (cc) ECDs who have committed to re-opening within 60 days of receipt of the ECD-ESRF?

Reply:

a) The applicants receive the relief package as and when they pass the verification process. Currently eight thousand and eighty-seven (8 083) ECD services with thirty-three thousand five hundred and twenty three thousand and seventy nine (23 079) employees have been paid.

b) (i) A total of 28,283 applications were received.

Eastern Cape

3778

Free state

1493

Gauteng

6023

KwaZulu-Natal

5415

Limpopo

4250

Mpumalanga

1928

North West

1478

Northern Cape

749

Western Cape

3169

 

(ii) The applicants received are either fully/conditionally registered or unregistered.

(iii) 39% of applications falls within poor wards according to the Statistics SA Multidimensional Poverty Index. The breakdown according to provinces:

Province

% Applications in Poor Wards

% Wards that are poverty declared

Eastern Cape

67%

72%

Free State

4%

8%

Gauteng

12%

10%

KwaZulu-Natal

55%

74%

Limpopo

84%

82%

Mpumalanga

37%

17%

North West

53%

43%

Northern Cape

22%

12%

Western Cape

0%

0%

(iv) (aa) A total of 108 833 ECD employees is targeted to benefit, however after the verification based on the applications received 116 578.

(bb) There are over 450 000 children who attend the ECD programmes since reopening of ECD services in July 2020. It is not immediately possible

to have the accurate numbers.

(cc) Every applicant committed to re-open within 60 days after receipt of funding as it was one of the requirements.

04 June 2021 - NW1021

Profile picture: Shembeni, Mr HA

Shembeni, Mr HA to ask the Minister of Social Development

To date, what (a) total number of persons have benefited from the R350 social relief grant, (b) impact has she found that the specified grant had on the lives of those to whom it was paid and (c) has she found would the social and livelihood implications of stopping the grant be on those who have been recipients of the grant?

Reply:

a) To date a total of 9 998 879 applications have been received for the relief grant. The numbers approved per month varied as validation of every application was done monthly. The number approved per month for the duration of this grant is indicated below:

May 4 424 449

June 5 061 088

July 5 570 962

August 5 963 465

September 6 037 809

October 6 135 121

November 6 088 879

December 5 930 154

January 5 934 216

February 5 924 709

March 5 780 422

April 5 917 068

b) The department has conducted a Rapid Assessment of the Covid-19 R350 grant and has also reviewed other independent studies conducted on relief measures. All studies confirm that the relief measures have made significant impact on the livelihoods of not only those receiving the grant, but also those in a household of a grant recipient. From our rapid assessment study we found that around 88% of recipients of the COVID SRD grant pooled the grant with their other household incomes to take care of the needs of everyone in the household; thereby confirming that the reach of the grant to reduce poverty, thus goes far beyond just the recipient. It is estimated that between the CSG Caregivers allowance and the COVID SRD grant of R350, approximately 36 million individuals benefited from these both directly and indirectly.

Our utilisation surveys also confirms that the grant was mainly used for the purchase of food. This triangulates well with other research indicating that hunger declined during the period May to October 2020 when the relief package was at its maximum level and then increased from November onwards when part of the relief package, and notably the care givers allowance, was withdrawn. It is expected that with the withdrawal of the last portion of the relief package, whilst in 3rd wave of the pandemic, more households and individuals will become vulnerable to hunger.

The research findings by The National Income Dynamics Study - Corona Virus Mobile Survey, 2020 (NIDS CRAM) confirms that the special COVID-19 grant has brought millions of previously unreached individuals into the system, and application for and receipt of the grant has been relatively pro-poor. This is further confirmed by the department’s rapid assessment study:

  • Over 6 million new applicants accessed this grant, the majority being youth.
  • Most found the application process relatively easy to navigate.
  • Of those who received the grant, the majority are in low-income households.
  • 30% of those who were retrenched between February and April report no household-level grant protection at all; and hence the new COVID SRD grant was able to provide them with some form income support.

In terms of poverty and inequality, microsimulation work done by Southern Africa – Towards Inclusive Economic development (SATIED), a collaboration between National Treasury, UNIWIDER, SARS, TIPS and others; found that poverty measured at the Food Poverty line would have increased from 20.6% of the population living below the food poverty line to 32.1% if there were no COVID social relief interventions. However with these interventions, not only were we able to prevent further deepening of food poverty, but also decrease this from 20.6% to 18.8%. Similar results were found at the lower and upper bound poverty lines.

Similarly with inequality, as measured by the Gini coefficient, without the relief measures, inequality would have increased from 0.64 to 0.67, however with the relief measures our Gini coefficient has declined to 0.61.

The policy brief on the distributional impact of COVID-19 and the state emergency packages in South Africa by SA-TIED provide recommendations that is important to note that comprehensive social security helps protect people from economic shocks by operating as an automatic stabiliser that is built into the tax-benefit system and that there is an urgent need to establish social assistance for poor people of working age, as a permanent rather than temporary feature of the system

c) The evidence provided by the various research, and analysis, confirms the assumption that ending relief programmes will reduce household demand as well as increase hunger and social alienation. These factors will add to social and political stress, which in turn will slow down the economic recovery over the coming year or two at least.

 

04 June 2021 - NW1173

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Ngcobo, Mr S to ask the Minister of Social Development

Whether she will furnish Mr S Ngcobo with a list indicating (a) the total number of non-governmental organisations (NGO) that (i) are registered in the disability sector and (ii) are funded by her department in each province and (b) the total amount of funding allocated for each specified NGO; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

a) (i) The total number of non-governmental organisations (NGO) that are registered in the disability sector is 3 765; as below:

Province

Count of NPOs by Province

Eastern Cape

337

Free State

226

Gauteng

975

Kwa-Zulu Natal

605

Limpopo

526

Mpumalanga

375

North West

230

Northern Cape

107

Western Cape

384

Grand Total

  1. 765
  1.  

(ii) the number of NGOs funded by the department in each province as follows:

Province

Number of NPOs funded by the Province

Eastern Cape

86

Free State

97

Gauteng

111

Kwa-Zulu Natal

180

Limpopo

87

Mpumalanga

141

North West

47

Northern Cape

27

Western Cape

154

Grand Total

930

(b) the total amount of funding allocated for each specified NGO, detailed as per attached Annexures:

Annexure A - Eastern Cape

Annexure B - Free State

Annexure C - Gauteng

Annexure D - Kwa Zulu Natal

Annexure E - Limpopo

Annexure F - Mpumalanga

Annexure G - Northern Cape

Annexure H - North West

Annexure I - Western Cape

 

04 June 2021 - NW1118

Profile picture: Masango, Ms B

Masango, Ms B to ask the Minister of Social Development

(a) On what date was the last SA Social Security Agency system update to accommodate all grants to be automated, (b) what types of grants need to be captured manually and (c) what is the total number of applications that need to be recaptured manually?

Reply:

(a) SASSA Online Grants application system has been progressively implemented as of 14 September 2020. The system is used by applicants for the older persons grant, child support grant and foster child grant. The system is continuously updated based on feedback that is received from members of the public and system users.

(b) All applications for all social grant types are captured directly on the SOCPEN system during in person applications. However, the online application system does not currently interface directly with SOCPEN and applications submitted online have to be captured manually on the SOCPEN system. The integration between the Socpen system and the online application system is development which is being attended to. The future vision is to ensure that the information provided through the online system is automatically updated to Socpen as it is submitted, for staff only to quality assure the information provided.

(c) A total of 23 732 online grant applications were received since September, of which 21 401 have been captured and processed on Socpen system. The balance are in process.

National Assembly Written Reply: 1118 of 2021

________________________

Approved by the Minister of Social Development

Date……………………….

04 June 2021 - NW633

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Arries, Ms LH to ask the Minister of Social Development

What (a) total number of early childhood development (ECD) centres are equipped to handle disabled children in the Republic and (b) measures has she taken to ensure that the needs of disabled children are provided for in ECD centres?

Reply:

PROVINCE

(a) total number of early childhood development (ECD) centres are equipped to handle disabled children in the Republic

(b)Measures taken to ensure that the needs of disabled children are provided for in ECD centres

EC

The Eastern Cape has 34 Special Day Care Centres for Children living with Disabilities.

The 34 Special Day Care Centres for Children living with Disability has been funded for 2021/22 financial year.

FS

There are 10 ECD centres equiped to handle children with disabilities.

All these centres are equiped with ramps, rails and disablitiy accesable toilet facilities.

A 5% of the subsidy is utilised to procure stimulation material that includes children with disablities.

In ECD centres where children with disablities are admitted, the Department in partnership with the Department of Education and Health provides appropriate care and support using the strategy on scerening, idenfication and Support (SIAS) to assess in order to curb the unnecasessary placement in day care centres thereby promoting mainstreaming.

The ECD classrooms are made approriate and play equipment adapted to accomodate children with Disabilities.

GP

There are 73 ECD centres that are currently accomodating children with disabilities.

The province has partnered with a Sector on Persons with Disabilities to capacitate ECD Practitioners on the identification, learning and stimulation of children with special needs to promote inclusion.The indicator is on the Province APP to ensure inclusion of children with disabilities in the sector.

KZN

All the funded ECD centers in KwaZulu Natal are equipped to handle disabled children.

The educators in ECD Centers were trained to handle children with disabilities. The Province did revamps in the ECD Centers for easy access by children with disabilities.

LP

There are hundred and two (102) centres

There are on-going capacity building sessions on management of children with disabilities offered by a multi-disciplinary team (Primary Health Care Practitioners, Occupational, speech and hearing therapists) from the Department of Health. A 5% of the subsidy is utilised to procure stimulation material.

NC

The centres are not fully equipped to render ECD services to all children with disabilities. The Northern-Cape Province had seven (7) ECD Facilities registered as centres providing ECD services to children with disabilities, but two (2) of the seven (7) centres closed and two (2) decided to mainstream due to poor attendance of children younger than seven (7) years.

parents and practitioners are supported and capacitated through programmes rendered by Uhambo, an NGO appointed by the Department of Health and Occupational Therapists stationed at clinics and some appointed by DBE to stimulate the children at the centres and at home.

NW

The Provincial Social

Development has

equipped 150 ECD

centres through

training of ECD

Practitioners on

Inclusive Education

for children with

special needs during

2019/20

financial year

The Department is continuously

Conducting workshops on the

minimum Norms and Standards that provides guidance on the accessibility of Partial Care and ECD Centres to children with disabilities.

A total number of 400 parents and caregivers were trained on parenting programme to enable them to provide Early Childhood Development services for children with special needs.

Training was also conducted in partnership with the Department of Health on the Nutrition Guideline for ECD practitioners from 134 ECD Centres.

WC

5 Registered facilities accommodates children with disabilities.

The focus on children with disabilities is an imperative. To this end, the Department is piloting the registration of partial care facilities/day care centres for children with disabilities to give effect to the legislative mandate prescribed by Chapter 5 of the Children’s Act, 38 of 2005.  One registration was concluded already.

In addition, the department funds two social service organisations to provide capacity to ECD practitioners to encourage inclusion of children with special needs using the inclusive education and persona dolls approaches.

National Assembly Written Reply: 633 of 2021

________________________

Approved by the Minister of Social Development

Date……………………….

04 June 2021 - NW282

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Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Social Development

What is the current status of government-run night shelters in each province with regard to (a) the total number of shelters, (b) bed space capacity and (c) government funding allocation for the past five financial years?

Reply:

The Free State Province has 5 shelters for gender based violence and 1 safe house (white door). Their bed capacity and funding is detailed below:

NAME OF THE SHELTER

TOWN

BED CAPACITY

FUNDING OVER

5 YEARS

COMMENTS

Goldfields Family Advice Organization

Welkom

16

R 1 927 242

Funded over 4 years

Phelononofa Shelter

Bothaville

28

R 3 183 783

Funded over 4 years

Wepener Shelter(Child Welfare SA)

Wepener

10

R 3 641 978

Funded over 3 years

Child Welfare SA (shelter)

Bethlehem

8

R 1 878 939

Funded over 4 years

Thusanang Advice Centre

QwaQwa

10

R 2 375 363

Funded over 5 years

NAME OF THE SHELTER

TOWN

BED CAPACITY

FUNDING OVER

5 YEARS

COMMENTS

Tumahole Victim Support shelter

Parys

10

R 8 28927

Funded over 3 years and a quarter due to non-compliance they could not be funded for the remaining 3 quarters

 

WHITE DOOR

NAME OF THE SHELTER

TOWN

BED CAPACITY

FUNDING OVER

5 YEARS

COMMENTS

Reaphela Safe House

Bloemfontein

10

R1  336 404

Provides safety for 72 hours yet there cases when victims stays longer

Total

6

81

R 14343 709

 

Western Cape

(a) The Western Cape Department of Social Development has zero government-run night shelters

(b) Western Cape Social Development subsidize 2031 bed spaces to 32 NPO Homeless shelters.

(c) 20/21 – R26, 156 million

19/20 – R20, 205 million

18/19 – R19, 397 million

17/18 – R18, 621 million

16/17 – R17, 876 million

Northern Cape

a) There are no Government-run night Shelters in the Northern Cape Province.

The focus is on locating families of persons on the street and focussing on family re-unification programs.

Children on the street are assisted as prescribed in the Children’s Act 37 of 2005, Chapter 9

b) Not applicable

c) Not applicable

Gauteng

The Gauteng Department of Social Development does not have Government run ‘Night Shelters’.  However, the Department provides NPO funding and monitors Shelters for Homeless and Shelters for Women that operates 24 hours and is not specifically a ‘Night Shelter’.

Limpopo

(a) There are two shelters one run by government and one privately run

b) Huis Maroela in Phalaborwa with a bed capacity of 10 and Khuseleka One Stop Centre in

Polokwane with a bed capacity of 40.

c)

Funding allocation in the past 5 years

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2019/20

R 4 800 000

R 7 746 000

R3 718 000

R4 947 000

R4 467 000

Huis Maroela

R 317 500

R 317 500

R317 500

R317 500

R317 500

North West

  1. There are two (2) shelters in the province of which one (1) is state run and the other is NPO run.

(b) Bed space capacity

State-run = 40

NPO-run = 30

(c) Government funding allocation for the past five financial years?

  • State – run = The state-run was taken over from NPO management in 2019 and received R1 900 000 for operational cost and R 5.7m. Prior to 2019 the facility was run by an NPO for
  • NPO-run = For the past five years, the NPO received a funding of, R900 000 for 2016/17, R870 000 for 2017/18, R1 000 000 for 2018/19 and R 1 200 000 for 2019/20 R1 300 000 for 2020/21 for rendering the Victim Support Services.
  • Funded NPO-run crisis centres

2016/17 : 10 130 000 (24 centres)

2017/18 : 10 869 000 (22 centres)

2018/19 : 12 488 955 (22 centres)

2019/20 : 18 094 000 (20)

2020/21: 18 656 000 (20)

Eastern Cape

a) The total number of shelters,

Currently there are 4 shelters for homeless people that are still operational in the province which are located in Buffalo City Metro, Sarah Baartman and Nelson Mandela Metro. This number has dropped from a total of 42 shelters across the province during the Level 5 Covid 19 Lockdown.

b) Bed space capacity

The total bed capacity of the current shelters is 171.

c) Government funding allocation for the past five financial years?

There was no government funding during the past 5 years as all shelters for homeless people were established during the Covid 19 Lockdown which came into effect during the 2020/21 financial year. Shelters were established to accommodate homeless people and assist them to comply with the Lockdown Regulations.

04 June 2021 - NW398

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

With regard to the R22 million blanket saga in KwaZulu-Natal that was exposed by a forensic investigation (details furnished), what (a) charges and/or any other punitive action has been brought against her department’s officials who have been implicated and (b) measures has she put in place to curb corruption within her department at national and provincial level?

Reply:

(a) The reports recommended disciplinary action against all implicated Officials. Out of (12) twelve implicated Officials, 9 (nine) are on suspension with pay. (1) One Official resigned, one passed on.

Out of (9) nine implicated officials (1) one official could not be charged due to lack of evidence.

Eight (8) implicated officials were served with charges and appeared before the Presiding Officer. One case has been finalised, seven cases are under subjudicare.

(b) 1) The Department has and maintains an approved Policy on management of fraud, corruption and theft, which seeks to:

a) Establish the zero-tolerance stance of the Department against fraud, corruption and theft;

2) In addition to this policy, the Department maintains the Whistle-blowing policy which further seeks to:

a) Encourage and enable employees to disclose information relating to suspected or alleged criminal or other irregular conduct within the Department.

b) Provide avenues for employees to disclose information relating to suspected criminal activities and receive feedback on any action taken; and

c) Re-assure staff that they will be protected from reprisals or victimisation for whistle blowing in good faith.

3) The Department also maintains the Fraud Prevention Plan which outlines the three strategies which are:

a) Prevention;

b) Detection; and

c) Investigate.

4) Allegations that needs to be investigated are reported to Provincial Anti-corruption hotline and directly to the Department.

5) The Department constantly conduct anti-fraud and anti- corruption awareness campaigns to its employees and stakeholders such as funded NPOs

6) Where there is manifestation of allegations of fraudulent and corrupt activities within the Department and to funded NPOs, the Department sanction investigations to probe those allegations and fully implement recommendation of investigation.

7) Lastly the Department also conducts fraud risk assessment with the aim of identifying new fraud risk areas.

04 June 2021 - NW1423

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

What are the reasons that R666 million was not billed in the 2018-19 financial year, (b) who is not paying as her department is struggling to recover debts and only two material irregularities were found which amount to a loss of R1,9 million and (c) how far is the investigation regarding the lease agreement with the Department of Defence?

Reply:

I would like to inform the Honourable Member that neither the Department nor any of its entities has a lease agreement with the Department of Defence.

04 June 2021 - NW1376

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Arries, Ms LH to ask the Minister of Social Development

What (a) is the current backlog of adoption services in the Republic and (b) impact does the delay in processing adoption applications have on the (i) children and (ii) prospective parents?

Reply:

a) Currently, the Department does not have backlog as we have cleared all outstanding adoption cases.

(i) Not applicable

(ii) Not applicable

12 May 2021 - NW944

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)What are the reasons that her department is in arrears with regard to office hire in Williston; (2) (a) what amount does her department currently owe to municipalities for municipal services in the Northern Cape, (b) which municipalities does her department owe and (c) what is the outstanding amount owed to each municipality?

Reply:

(1) Northern-Cape Department of Social Development does not owe any rental to anyone for the Williston offices - as the Department owns the office building in Williston.

(2) (a) We do not owe money to municipalities in the Northern Cape. (b) None. (c) None.

National Assembly Written Reply: 944 of 2021

________________________

Approved by the Minister of Social Development

Date……………………….

12 May 2021 - NW494

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)With reference to the presentation to the Portfolio Committee on Social Development on 3 February 2021 regarding the temporary disability grant, (a) what number of doctors has her department contracted to date to supplement capacity and (b) how will a six-minute assessment per client be conducted; (2) in view of the fact that assessment stood at 5% of 14385 Northern Cape clients, (a) what number of doctors have been deployed and (b) will the target be reached by 31 March when one doctor can only see 3520 clients on the 80 client per day ratio; (3) what number of care dependency grants have been concluded to date since the reassessments stood at 70% in January 2020; (4) what amount will be spent on overtime for each hour including weekends; (5) what number of (a) support offices have her department opened to support local offices and (b)(i) volunteers are currently deployed to manage queues and (ii) have they been found to be sufficient to handle congestion?

Reply:

1(a) The total number of doctors contracted nationally currently stands at 290. These doctors supplement the capacity provided by the Department of Health

(b) Every client who is seen by a contracted doctor comes with a referral form, which details the history of the condition, as well as the diagnosis, treatment and prognosis. This assists the assessing doctor to make a recommendation based on both the presentation by the client as well as the documents provided.

Where the doctors undertake file based assessments, they have access to the clinical file which contains all the information related to that client. Where the information on the file is inadequate, then a telephonic interview is conducted.

The above measures all assist in ensuring that informed recommendations are made.

2(a) With the removal of duplicates on the lists and re-instatements that occurred in January 2021, the baseline for the Region was reduced to 13 488. Out of this baseline of 13 488, by end March 2021 a total of 12 344 clients had been booked for assessments, 10 458 assessments (77%) had been conducted and 9 260 applications processed on the system.

The contracts of 28 medical doctors have been approved for the Northern Cape and all are currently conducting medical assessments throughout the Region.

(b) During this project, a total of 10 458 assessments translating to 77% of the baseline were conducted. Staff worked over-time (after-hours & week-ends) to ensure that this target was reached.

3. While the file based assessments have been conducted for the care dependency grants, there has been a slow response to the request for the care giver to return to complete the application process. Of the 11 243 which were lapsed at the end of December, only 5 865 have returned as disability grant recipients as at 31 March 2021.

4. It is not possible to indicate in advance what the amount is that will be spent on overtime for the staff, as the amount to be paid depends on the number of hours worked as well as the salary level of each particular staff member. There is not a standard amount per staff member.

Each region has to manage the overtime within the regulations, which stipulate that no staff member may earn more than 30% of his/her salary in overtime payments and no staff member may work more than 10 hours overtime per week; as well as within the available budget.

5.(a) No support offices have been opened to support the local offices, However, where possible, previously utilised service points are used to provide the services to limit the number of clients who have to report to a local office.

(b) A total of 1 013 volunteers are assisting with multiple services offered by SASSA, including assisting with queue management at local offices, post offices and other grant access points. These volunteers assist greatly in ensuring that social distancing is maintained while the clients are in the queues. However, there are certainly areas where there are insufficient volunteers.

National Assembly Written Reply: 494 of 2021

________________________

Approved by the Minister of Social Development

Date……………………….

06 May 2021 - NW261

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Arries, Ms LH to ask the Minister of Social Development

Whether her department has conducted any study to find out what total number of children have been left orphaned as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic; if not, why not; if so, what interventions has she made to ensure that the specified children are not left destitute?

Reply:

No, the Department has not conducted such study. However, in collaboration with the relevant stakeholders, the Department developed an Emergency Response Plan to address the needs of vulnerable children who have been affected by the global COVID-19 pandemic. The plan complements other services to orphans and vulnerable children which include psychosocial support services and social assistance in a form of social grants.

It is important to point out to the Honourable Member that the Department renders services to orphans and vulnerable irrespective of the cause of orphanhood as guided by the provisions of the Children’s Act (Act No. 38 of 2005). This is to avoid stigma and discrimination.

The department further implements Community Based Prevention and Early intervention programme to ensure early identification of orphans and vulnerable children. Others include training and deployment of Child and Youth Care Workers at a community level who work in a space of a child and support and empower children who are vulnerable and those orphaned with life skills, home works and household chores. They refer and link these children with other resources where necessary.

06 May 2021 - NW721

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

(a) What extra-territorial jurisdiction does she rely on in the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act, Act 7 of 2013, or powers given to her by the courts to monitor adoptive South African children living in foreign countries and (b) what mechanisms are in place to prevent human trafficking of children in foreign countries, taking into account the more than 1500 inter-country adoptions in the past 10 years?

Reply:

a) The South African courts have extra-territorial jurisdiction to prosecute acts of trafficking committed outside its borders as per section 12 (1) of the said Act.

If a person adopt a child in South Africa for the purposes of exploitation of child in a foreign country, such person is guilty of an offence as stipulated in section 4 (2) (a) of the said Act. The person can be prosecuted in South Africa regardless of whether or not the acts (trafficking) constitute an offence in the country where they were committed.

b) The South African Central Authority have put measures in place to prevent trafficking of children adopted in foreign countries by entering into inter-country adoption working agreements with those countries. These measures include post adoption services that are expected to be rendered by the accredited foreign adoption agencies for a period of five years to the children and adoptive families.

The foreign accredited adoption agencies are expected to compile post adoption reports twice in the first year then annually which are forwarded to the SA child protection organisations and the SA Central Authority. Engagements on progress are in place on the wellbeing, adjustment and functioning of children and their families.

The Central Authority and the accredited child protection organisations do visit the foreign adoption agencies, Central Authorities and adoptive families to ensure compliance to post adoption measures. During the financial year 2019/2020, some of the officials from the Central Authority and accredited CPO visited Belgium and Denmark to monitor children who were adopted.

03 May 2021 - NW562

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

What (a) total number of social workers of the SA Council for Social Service Professions have been capacitated in the Northern Cape and (b) was the overall cost of the special training of the 230 social workers to handle adoption services?

Reply:

(a) Five (5) Senior Social Workers were trained on the rendering of adoption services - one per District. These officials have also registered with the SACSSP as such. Due to the relatively low number of adoption applications received annually (25 to 30), and the fact that Child Welfare South Africa is also accredited to provide these services in the Northern-Cape, there is no need for more social workers to specialize in this field at the moment.

b) The overall costs of the special training of the 230 social workers to handle adoption services was R 779 200.00 which was paid for by the National Department

________________________

03 May 2021 - NW400

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

In light of the fact that her department did away with the issuing of food parcels when it became riddled with corruption and a voucher system was introduced (details furnished), what is the current status with regard to these food vouchers?

Reply:

The Social Development Sector has not stopped the provision of food parcels as a form of relief completely. A number of the Provincial Departments of Social development still provide food parcels as an immediate form of relief for citizens facing severe challenges and food insecurity.

The sector has agreed to implement a hybrid model for the provision of assistance. This will entail a combination of food parcels, cash and food vouchers, depending on circumstances, and availability of service providers.

The interim decision not to continue issuing food parcels as the main form of social relief of distress by National Department of Social Development and SASSA was informed by a number of factors, including the costs, extensive logistics for the receipt, storage and issuing of food parcels as well as the lack of dignity for the citizens who receive the food parcels.

A decision was then made to explore alternative options for the provision of support for citizens who find themselves in situations of distress. The options considered include the provision of social relief in the form of cash as well as vouchers. Manual vouchers are already being utilised by SASSA and some provincial Departments of Social Development, such as KwaZulu-Natal, North West, Mpumalanga, Limpopo and Gauteng.

Initially the intention was to go on an open tender for an e-voucher solution as another option to be considered. However, given that some organisations, including the Solidarity Fund were piloting an e-voucher solution, it was agreed that the tender would rather be converted to a Request for Information (RFI) to determine what innovations exist in the market, and to have the opportunity to learn from the pilot implemented by the Solidarity Fund.

The RFI has been drafted and will be advertised in the new year. It will cover the entire social development sector, not only SASSA. This will then ensure that the hybrid model of support is implemented fully.

National Assembly Written Reply: 400 of 2021

________________________

09 April 2021 - NW259

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Arries, Ms LH to ask the Minister of Social Development

(a) What are the reasons for the lack of SA Social Security Agency (SASSA) offices in Knysna in the Western Cape and (b) by what date does she intend to open SASSA offices in Knysna?

Reply:

SASSA does not have a fixed office in Knysna. However, before the national lockdown a SASSA mobile service team served the following 7 communities in the Knysna area 4 days in the week:

Karatara,Sedgefield,Rheenendal,Hornlee,Dan se bos, Khayeletu, and White Location.

Services to these 7 communities were suspended since the inception of the national lockdown due to the halls not complying with occupational health and safety (OHS) requirements.

SASSA is liaising with the Knysna Municipality with the intention to reopen the above service points and to ensure they comply with OHS and COVID-19 requirements.

Mobile services for Hornlee and Sedgefield commenced on 1 March 2021. The SASSA George Local Office will continue with efforts to ensure that the halls in the 5 remaining communities are OHS compliant to enable SASSA mobile services to these communities to commence as soon as possible.

08 April 2021 - NW260

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Arries, Ms LH to ask the Minister of Social Development

What are the reasons that there are no assessment doctors to assess persons who qualify for temporary and/or permanent disability grants in (a) Mossel Bay and (b) Knysna in the Western Cape?

Reply:

Since the inception of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA), a service level agreement (SLA) has been in place between SASSA and the Western Cape Provincial Department of Health which includes the Garden Route district. The SLA makes provision for medical assessment services to be performed by the Provincial Department of Health for all disability related social assistance applications, for which they are reimbursed.

In 2018, the WC Department of Health indicated their inability to provide medical practitioners for provision of assessment services in the Garden Route district due to other competing priorities. SASSA then embark on a procurement process through an open tender process to recruit medical practitioners to service the area. However, this did not yield good results as only 4 doctors could be contracted to service the entire Garden Route District on a part time basis. One of the doctors who serviced Mossel Bay passed away and another who previously serviced Knysna is also no longer available for this area.

The Covid19 pandemic has had an immense impact on assessment services as doctors are mostly needed by the Provincial Department of Health.

Given the poor response to the open tender, SASSA approached National Treasury in 2019, for authority to deviate from the open tender process, and recruit doctors through a closed tender process. This involved sending bid requests for the required service directly to doctors registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa.

The above process has yielded some positive results, in that SASSA has now contracted 2 additional doctors to add to the 3 remaining contracted doctors. Services both in Mossel Bay and Knysna, commenced in March 2021.

08 April 2021 - NW150

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Masango, Ms B to ask the Minister of Social Development

(a) What recourse does her department have in place for women in a case such as the one in September 2020 where a victim of gender-based violence (GBV) had her child taken away without her permission by the father who was the alleged perpetrator of GBV, and the SA Police Service have not assisted the mother to get the child back and (b)(i) on what legal provisions did the Children’s court rely to close the case in Gauteng and transfer it to Venda without informing the mother and the social worker working on the case (details furnished) and (ii) what is the proper procedure in such an instance?

Reply:

a) The member is encouraged to provide specific details of the case mentioned in the question of September 2020 in order for a detailed response on same to be provided. Nontheless, it is important to highlight that the Department provides psychosocial services to victims of GBV, they are two issues involved in this regard. 1) is the provision of psycho social services to the victim of GBV. 2) The provision of Child protection services to the affected child. The latter entails assisting the victim to secure an interdict against the party that is taking away the child; in terms of section 151 and 152 of the children’s act, a child may be removed from a person to temporary safe care; the recourse therefore entails the provision of psycho social services to the victim of GBV and assisting the victim to secure the removal of the child from the perpetrator.

Over and above the Department of Social Development (DSD) is currently advocating for the establishment of the Victim Friendly Rooms/Facilities (VFR/F) in Police Stations across the country to address challenges of cases such as the one referred here. There are currently over 1000 Victim Friendly Facilities in Police Stations across the country. The DSD has currently resourced majority of the VFR/F within the Police Station with social work professionals who are capacitated to deal with cases of GBV. They are assisting in ensuring that GBV cases are not solely dealt with by SAPS members. But that social workers as mandated by the legislation, Children’s Act 38 of 2005 form part in provision of holistic services in these types of cases especially in ensuring that the best interest of a child is considered as of paramount importance at all times. Similarly, the victim as stipulated in the Victims Charter, should be offered information and has the right to be treated with fairness and with respect for her dignity and privacy.

Furthermore, the recent appointment and deployment of GBV social workers at provincial and local level is meant to limit cases of this nature whereby the rights of the victims are violated. With regards to the perpetrator, SAPS is mandated as a law enforcement agency to arrest perpetrators of an unlawful conduct such as violent crime. The Department of Correctional Services also has a critical role to play in terms of perpetrator reform. For example, there are various perpetrator programmes conducted within the correctional facilities including perpetrator programmes on issues of domestic violence.

Further, the department is currently developing legislation, viz, Victim Support Services Bill, that is aimed at protecting the rights of victims and affording victims support services as the situation may require. The Bill will provide for, amongst others, registration of victim facilities that will ensure provision of quality services to victims and a further protection of their rights in this regard.

b) (i) The Children’s Courts are managed and run independently of the Department and where these matters are adjudicated, the department only participates in the proceedings but the final verdicts and rationale thereof lies with the presiding officer. Thus, in the absence of the court judgment, it is difficult to ascertain what provisions did the court rely on in this regard; Even if the court relied on certain provision of the children’ s act; such provision would have been used taking various factors in ordinary cause of event. It must however be noted that there is no provision in the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 that indicates that a child can be transferred to another magisterial district without informing the mother and a social worker involved in the case. However, section 44 of the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 states that the children’s court that has jurisdiction in matter of a child is the court in the area in which the child involved in the matter is ordinarily a resident. This means the court where the child is will preside over the case.

(ii) Section 35 of the Children’s Act provides for a co-holder of parental responsibility and right to inform the other party when there is an intention to move with a child from the address that is known by the other party. Where there is dispute over parenting, a parenting plan through mediation is supposed to be drafted and agreed upon by the co-holders of parental responsibilities and rights. The development of a parenting plan minimises dispute over parenting.

08 April 2021 - NW281

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Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Social Development

What is the (a) total number of social workers at (i) national and (ii) provincial level who are dedicated field officers to assist homeless persons in the Republic and (b) family and/or society reintegration success rate over the past five years?

Reply:

(a)(i) No Social Workers are specifically dedicated to perform these activities at National level. This is part of the functions provided by the Families unit at national level.

(ii) No Social Workers are specifically dedicated to perform these activities at Provincial level. Social workers perform comprehensive basket of services of which homelessness is one of them. Provinces are subsidising NGOs to provide services to homeless people

(b) Family and/or society reintegration success rate over the past five years.

Province

Family and/or society reintegration over the past five years

Eastern Cape

2 555 people benefited from reintegration services

Limpopo

74 people benefited from reintegration services, only 3 individuals are still in the shelter for homeless

Northern Cape

1 003 persons benefited from reintegration services

Western Cape

3 031 people benefited from reintegration services

Free State

902 people were reintegrated with their families

Gauteng

583 beneficiaries from permanent funded shelters were reunified with their families

Kwazulu-Natal

3 940 people were reintegrated with their families

North West

231 people benefited from reintegration services

(These are responses received from some provinces, others have not responded as yet.)

08 April 2021 - NW908

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Arries, Ms LH to ask the Minister of Social Development

Whether her department has conducted any investigations into the phenomenon of loan sharks confiscating the SA Social Security Agency cards of pensioners; if not, why not; if so, (a) how widespread is the specified practice and (b) what steps has she taken to put a stop to the practice?

Reply:

The SASSA card is owned and managed by the Postbank according the South African Reserve Bank designation.

Both SASSA and the South African Post Office (SAPO) investigators have been collaborating with the South African Police Service to combat the phenomenon of loan sharks preying on social grant beneficiaries.

This ongoing collaborative effort has culminated in several arrests of suspected loan sharks who were found in possession of several SASSA cards.

(a) The illegal moneylending is widespread and has been detected across the provinces. The following are some of the examples of arrests of people who were found in possession of several SASSA cards:

(i) On the 07 March 2021, a 47 year old suspect was arrested after withdrawing cash from an ATM using some of the 70 SASSA cards that were in his possession. He was found with R7 640 in cash.

(ii) On the 09th February 2021, the Cape 'fraud syndicate' was busted after 49 SASSA cards were found hidden in a chocolate box. The suspects were arrested in Mitchells Plain and Bo-Kaap by members of the Special Operations Team. The interrogation of the suspects led the Special Operations team members to an address in Albow Gardens in Rugby where a further 191 SASSA cards were seized.

(iii) On the 11th October 2020, SAPS arrested two suspects in a Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu Natal operation and seized 495 SASSA cards.

(iv) On the 1st May 2020 police arrested seven suspects in Tshwane with 91 SASSA cards and nearly R191 671 in cash.

(b) SASSA has conducted ongoing media awareness campaigns directed at all social grant beneficiaries not to give their SASSA cards to anyone as this practice is a contravention of Section 20 of the Social Assistance Act 13 of 2004 and Section 133 read with Section 90(2) (l) and Section 91(b) of the National Credit Act 34 of 2005.

The Agency continuously communicates with social grants beneficiaries through various channels to discourage them from dealing with loan sharks. Social grant beneficiaries and members of the public are encouraged to report loan sharks in possession of their social grant cards and/or identity documents.

SASSA has also conducted awareness among its employees so that they can share the information with grant beneficiaries and the broader public.

SASSA has partnered with law enforcement agencies and the National Credit Regulator (NCR) to conduct operations during the social grant payment periods. These operations have resulted in the arrests of loan sharks in provinces such as the Eastern Cape.

SASSA will double its efforts in tackling this moneylending phenomenon together with the South African Post Office and the law enforcement agencies.

08 April 2021 - NW983

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)Whether, with reference to the Temporary Disability Grant that lapsed in December 2020, all recipients who have not had access to a doctor for assessment received Social Relief of Distress grants of R500 for the past 2 months; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details (2) with reference to the many persons in the Northern Cape who lost the opportunity to see a SA Social Security Agency (SASSA) doctor for assessment and therefore had their last payment on 2 December 2020, what assistance is available to persons living with disabilities living on rural farms who have to travel in order to have access to health facilities and the SASSA doctors for assessment; (3) in light of the fact that millions of SASSA grants are paid to commercial banks monthly and a grant recipient pays up to R30 in bank costs, what are the reasons that total exemption on bank costs are not given on SASSA grants?

Reply:

1. Not all clients whose temporary disability grants lapsed at the end of December 2020 were provided with SRD. The table below indicates the numbers of clients who received SRD:

SRD ISSUED PER PROVINCE

PROVINCE

TOTAL NUMBER OF SRD ISSUED

Western Cape

2941

Eastern Cape

397

Northern Cape

2397

Free State

418

KwaZulu-Natal

206

North West

5

Gauteng

303

Mpumalanga

3017

Limpopo

0

TOTAL

9684

Many clients came to the SASSA offices only once, for an assessment and as a result they were not provided with SRD because the complete process of assessment and application was completed within a short space of time. This included clients who were booked for an assessment telephonically or their bookings done through other alternative channels.

SRD was provided to clients where bookings with the SASSA doctor was beyond a period of two weeks or beyond the payment run for the normal social grants. Other factors taken into account included where delays for a booking were as a result of an assessment site having to close on the day of the booking due to Covid19 risk exposure.

SRD was therefore not automatic for every client. Clients assisted within reasonable turnaround times were not provided with SRD.

2. Clients in the Northern Cape who could not be assisted on time were provided with SRD. In the Northern Cape a total of 2 397 clients were provided with SRD.

In order to assist clients living on farms or in the remote areas, engagements with Traditional Leaders in different villages took place for them to assist with the handing out of referral forms, which SASSA would collect at an agreed place and time. This facilitated the booking for a medical assessment with one of the contracted doctors. A regional booking strategy was implemented to ensure that all clients had the opportunity to be booked for the assessment necessary prior to a grant application.

In addition, district staff did conduct home visits in the rural areas with the aim of ensuring access to services for these citizens.

3. SASSA as a public entity is unable to grant total exemption on bank costs. SASSA is unable to prescribe to the banks what their fee structures should be, because that environment is also highly regulated. What SASSA can negotiate with the banks is for banks to provide affordable products which are user friendly to social grant beneficiaries.

Attempts were made in 2017/18 for banks to agree to an account product subsidised by government but at that time, parties could not agree as banks were clear that they have existing products which are offered to social grant beneficiaries.

There are renewed engagements with the different stakeholders within government to consider the feasibility for subsidisation of the clients receiving their social grant money through the National Payment System. In addition, the banks are also being engaged to try and identify more cost effective options for social grant beneficiaries. The consultation processes are at an initial stage. SASSA will update all stakeholders as these negotiations progress.

08 April 2021 - NW984

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

What total number of (a) home visits have been conducted by doctors of the SA Social Security Agency to do assessments of persons living with disabilities in the Northern Cape, (b) home visits have been booked and/or registered (c) persons have been (i) assessed and (ii) persons living with disabilities remains to be assessed?

Reply:

a) Due to the coronavirus pandemic home visits across South Africa were stopped because of transmission risks associated with the virus for both the Doctors, SASSA employees and the beneficiaries who are most vulnerable.

b) Three home visits were booked and done in the in Frances Baard District.

c) (i) A total of 9 008 persons have already been assessed.

(ii) 3 571 assessments remain to be completed.

26 March 2021 - NW850

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)What (a) number of shelters are currently operating in the Hantam Local Municipality and (b) are the relevant details of the persons and/or institutions assisting homeless people with food and shelter in the municipality; (2) (a) what number of shelters that are supported by her department are within the Northern Cape and (b) in which towns are the shelters situated; (3) whether all the shelters in the Northern Cape are operating and/or functional; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

(1)(a) There are currently no shelters for the homeless operating in the Hantam Local Municipality. During Level 5 Lockdown shelters were operational in Calvinia and Brandvlei respectively. Buildings at the Sport Grounds were utilized. A total of thirteen (13) individuals made use of the services during this time, (11 in Calvinia and 2 in Brandvlei). Upon investigation, it was found that eleven (11) of the beneficiaries were residents of the area, but were refused accommodation with their families, where they usually reside, due to disruptive behaviour. Family preservation services were rendered, and all persons were re-united with their families within three(3) months. Two (2) of the residents were from outside the Northern-Cape and were transported back to Pretoria and the Eastern Cape, respectively, as soon as restrictions on travel were relaxed.

(1)(b) No assistance or services are currently required.

(2)(a)(b) No shelters for the homeless are currently operational.

(3) No shelters for the homeless are currently operational in the Province. The approach of the Department of Social Development is to render psycho-social and family reunification services. If cases are reported the circumstances under which an adult male would report himself as homeless will be investigated. In most cases it is found that he has accommodation, but due to conflict or unacceptable behaviour could no longer stay there. Through family group conferences and other interventions, the matter is usually resolved and there is no need for accommodation in a shelter.

There are six (6) shelters available for women who need temporary shelter, or became homeless due to violence. Support and counselling are given in order to return these victims to a safe family environment as soon as possible. All these shelters are operational and funded by the Department of Social Development.

In cases of homeless children, one of the ten (10) funded Child and Youth care Centres are utilized for the placement of these children - if they cannot be returned to their families.

Maintaining shelters in the Province (at least one per District) will require a large budget. If only one (1) shelter is operational, beneficiaries might have to be transported up to 800 km to stay at a shelter for a few days, which is also not cost effective.

The number of adult males (the target group of shelters) reporting to be homeless is very low, and matters relating to their temporary housing problems can usually be resolved in a short space of time. The available budget in the Province will be much better utilized by funding existing VEP Shelters and Child and Youth Care Centres.

26 March 2021 - NW843

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

(a) With what amount is the SA Social Security Agency in arrears for hiring the offices in Williston in Karoo-Hoogland Local Municipality and (b) what are the reasons that they are behind in paying the rentals?

Reply:

a) The lease for the Williston Office is entered into and managed by the National Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (NDPWI). SASSA is the User Client. As a result, SASSA pays all the rentals payable to DPWI and not directly to the landlord. All amounts due for rental for this office have been paid to DPWI.

b) Payment was due and payable by NDPWI for the months of October, November and December 2020 respectively amounting to R28 339.95 (R9.446.65 per month). This balance was duly settled in February 2021 by DPWI.

It is reported that DPWI was paying the rental into the bank account of the deceased Lessor/Landlord. DPWI received an instruction from the Attorneys of the deceased Lessor/Landlord, to change the banking details accordingly. This was not done timeously and the payments were returned as this bank account was closed. Subsequently NDPWI processed the new banking details as instructed and has paid the outstanding amounts, thereby putting this matter to rest.

26 March 2021 - NW793

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Arries, Ms LH to ask the Minister of Social Development

What total amount has the SA Social Security Agency lost as a result of cash-in-transit heists over the past five financial years?

Reply:

SASSA has not lost any money as a result of cash in transit heists. Over the past 5 years, there have been two payment contractors. For the period from 2016 to 2018, payments were made by Cash Paymaster Services and for the period from 2018 to date, social grant disbursement services have been made by the South African Post Office.

In terms of the contracts entered into, the contracted service providers have to carry insurance against losses as a result of cash in transit heists. The risk is therefore transferred from SASSA to the service providers.

26 March 2021 - NW486

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Masango, Ms B to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)What (a) total number of children without birth certificates were paid grants by the SA Social Security Agency (SASSA) in the December 2020 pay-run and (b) is the breakdown of the specified number for each province; (2) what (a) total number of children without birth certificates were paid grants by SASSA in January 2021 and (b) is the breakdown of the specified number for each province; (3) what (a) total number of these children had their grants stopped on 31 December 2020 due to SASSA enforcing its internal 3-month rule in terms of which the caregiver must submit the outstanding identity document (ID) and/or birth certificate or proof that she has applied to Home Affairs for these documents and (b) is the breakdown of the specified number for each province; (4) taking into account that the country is under lockdown level 3 to curb the spread of COVID-19 and the Department of Home Affairs is not processing new ID applications or late birth registrations, what are the reasons that SASSA allowed the grants to lapse at the end of 2020; (5) whether SASSA intends to reinstate these children’s grants; if not, why not; if so, for how long will they remain in payment before they lapse again?

Reply:

1(a) The total number of children in payment in December 2020 without birth certificates was 24 756.

(b) The numbers per province are indicated below:

 

Province

Number

Eastern Cape

1 967

Free State

161

Gauteng

14 696

KwaZulu-Natal

1 637

Limpopo

275

Mpumalanga

584

Northern Cape

358

North West

99

Western Cape

4 979

2(a) The total number of children in payment in January 2021 without birth certificates was

28 178.

(b) The numbers per province are indicated below:

 

Province

Number

Eastern Cape

2 064

Free State

418

Gauteng

15 852

KwaZulu-Natal

2 080

Limpopo

353

Mpumalanga

665

Northern Cape

1 124

North West

193

Western Cape

5 429

3(a) The total number of grants for these children which were lapsed at the end of December were 1 792.

(b) The breakdown per province is as follows:

Province

Number

Eastern Cape

73

Free State

155

Gauteng

358

KwaZulu-Natal

302

Limpopo

37

Mpumalanga

32

Northern Cape

87

North West

575

Western Cape

173

4. Applications for social grants are accepted, where the applicant does not have the required critical documents, The applications are conditionally approved, with the applicant required to show proof of having applied for the required documentation, within a 3 month period of have applied for the grant. It is important to note that the applicant does not necessarily have to produce the required document within the 3 month period, but just produce proof of having approached the Department of Home Affairs to apply for the required documents. Should the applicant not provide that proof, then the grant is lapsed.

This action is taken to mitigate the risk of continuing to pay a grant to someone who does not qualify to obtain South African identity documents. However, SASSA is working closely with the Departments of Social Development and Home Affairs to determine alternative methods to mitigate these risks, without necessarily putting the responsibility on individual citizens.

The lapsings of the grants for the above children were initiated when the country was under level 1 of lockdown restrictions. However, as soon as the country moved back to level 3, discussions were entered into with the Department of Social Development to obtain approval to reinstate these grants. In addition, an agreement has been reached not to lapse any grants for any beneficiaries who do not have the relevant critical documents (both ID documents for adults as well as birth certificates for children) for as long as the state of disaster persists, regardless of the lock down level.

 

5. All 1 792 children’s grants which lapsed at the end of December were reinstated, with back pay for the month of January and paid in February 2021.

The total number of children’s grants for children without birth certificates in payment for February 2021 has increased to 29 064, as indicated below:

Province

Number

Eastern Cape

2 074

Free State

431

Gauteng

16 585

KwaZulu-Natal

2 108

Limpopo

367

Mpumalanga

671

Northern Cape

1 153

North West

203

Western Cape

5 472

26 March 2021 - NW310

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Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Social Development

(a) What are the relevant details of the (i) progress made and (ii) implementation processes of the migration of early childhood development from her department to the Department of Basic Education and (b) will she furnish Ms A L A Abrahams with the framework with requested details?

Reply:

National Assembly Written Reply: 310 of 2021

a) The Department of Social Development is working with the Department of Basic Education on the ECD Function shift process. Both Departments recently briefed the Joint Portfolio Committees of Basic Education and Social Development, who noted the progress made by both departments in terms of the migration process and further called for a joint workshop to better understand the processes in terms of the policies and programmes of the ECD sector and the work being done by both departments to ensure that there is quality ECD services and support, being provided to the sector.

The following progress has been made in this regard:

(i) Diagnostic review: ECD diagnosis, validation and review Session with provinces were conducted to get a better sense of the status of ECDs and to determine the principles that would underpin the migration process. The findings thereof formed the basis for the establishment of 7 interdepartmental technical teams that are key in the migration process. These technical teams are;

(1) Human resources and Labour relations, (2) Finance and budgets,

(3) Legal and contracts,

(4) Movable and immovable assets,

(5) Data, information, monitoring & Evaluation,

(6) Stakeholder management and communication, and

(7) ECD programme implementation.

Governance structures: In addition to the 7 technical teams that have been established, an inter-departmental Project Management Team has been established and meets weekly. These structures have been decentralised at provincial level. In addition, the DGs meet on a monthly basis and joint meetings between Heads of Department of Basic Education and Social Development are held at least monthly to gauge progress with regards to each of the workstreams.

Legal and contracts: Concurrence was reached between the two departments regarding the scope of the function shift. Final proclamations, the President’s Minute and the President’s Note have been sent to the Office of the Chief State Law Advisor. Provincial proclamations have been shared with the State Law advisors in the provinces.

Human Resources (HR) and Labour relations: Both the departments have concluded arrangements HR at national level. The process of identification of human resources to be shifted with the function at provincial level is at different level due to its complexity. The social workers are generalists and are performing a range of functions in addition to ECD function. Progress in this regard is uneven, it differs from province to province.

Finance and budget: The budget lines that could follow the function has been identified and it includes grants & subsidies budget; Non Profit Organisation transfer budget; and capital asset budget. The budget relating to HR will be finalised after the HR matter has been finalised.

Data, information, monitoring & Evaluation: Identified databases, information systems, strategies and other information sets, programmes used to manage the function and analysed data on the scale of ECD provision in all provinces.

Stakeholder management and communication: The stakeholder engagement plan and communication strategy has been developed.

(ii) below are the envisaged timeframes the teams are working towards the implementation processes of ECD migration:

(b) The framework has been developed but cannot be availed as it is not yet for public consumption.

23 March 2021 - NW635

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Arries, Ms LH to ask the Minister of Social Development

Whether her department has provided any support to early childhood development (ECD) centres that could not generate any revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic; if not, why not; if so, what total number of ECD centres did her department provide support to?

Reply:

The Department of Social Development has provided support to early childhood development (ECD) centres, which include ECD centres that could not generate any revenue due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in 2020 and 2021 in the following ways to mitigate the impact of the minimum health, safety and social distancing measures to address, prevent and combat the spread of COVID-19 (including lockdowns) due to the national state of disaster:

  • The provincial Departments of Social Development, by direction of the Minister of Social Development continued with the payment of subsidy to 626 574 children accessing registered funded ECD programmes through equitable share and conditional grant, irrespective whether they were open or not.
  • The conditional grant for ECD’s infra-structure component (as this could not proceed under the lockdown restrictions) was repurposed to provide essential protective personal equipment (PPEs) to assist ECD centres to comply with COVID 19 health and safety requirements. A total of 13 780 ECD centres were supported.
  • The Department of Social Development also applied for the Presidential Employment Stimulus as a measure to support the ECD sector, an amount of R496 million was received from the National Treasury in this regard. The allocation seeks to minimise the loss of income, support continued operation and reduce the risk of permanent closure. This is implemented through ECD Employment Stimulus Relief Fund (ECD-ESRF) with a focus on providing additional financial support towards the ECD workforce as part of a once-off temporary intervention, through ECD programmes. The ECD-ESRF will provide 108,833 ECD related workers with income support through about 28,283 existing ECD programmes (registered and unregistered centres and programmes) that applied to this Fund. The process for the payment of those who applied and verified is currently underway.

23 March 2021 - NW602

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

Whether she has found that she has been able to strengthen relationships and support to (a) nongovernmental organisations and (b) non-profit organisations that provide vital services on behalf of the State; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

The Department of Social Development is mandated by the NPO Act 71 of 1997 to create an enabling environment that create opportunities for the NPOs to thrive.

Note that the country was ravaged by Covid -19 pandemic, the NPO sector could not spared either. During the Covid -19 Pandemic, the Department took major strides in ensuring that the sector is taken care of. The Department has been able to strengthen and provide necessary support to non-profit organisations rendering vital services to vulnerable South African citizens.

In relation to funding of non-profit organisations (NPOs), several interventions were made by the National Department including issuing a circular that was sent to all Provinces in May 2020.

The Circular outlined the measures to be taken in order to avert the delayed non-payment and to speed-up processing of claims and allocation of funds to the Non-profit organizations (NPOs) for the 2020/21 financial year. As part of our support to Provinces, Provinces were advised to use the 2020/21 Service Level Agreements (SLA) and extend them for six months to enable them to pay first trenches.

The Department encouraged provinces to consider a two-tranche payment method, with guidance sought from the National Treasury as a way to speed the transfer of funds to deserving NPOs. The proposed tranche payment significantly reduced the administrative burden associated with processing the transfer payments.

This is considered in the light that most of the NPOs funded by the Department are rendering on-going vital services and as such have a good compliance record with the Department.

Towards executing the function of administering the Non-Profit organisation Act 71 of 1997, the Department ensured that there is continued provision of registration and report submission by NPOs. Due to limitations posed by different Levels of National Lockdown in terms of gatherings and face to face interaction, the Department initiated and strengthened online platforms to ensure continued support for non-profit organisations in the country.

A social media platform was also created to provide NPO related information and to respond to immediate queries posed by organisations. The Department also supported the NPO sector through a social media platform wherein “Know Your NPO Status Campaign” was launched by the Minister in November 2020.

The Campaign was launched through a Webinar and attended by the NPO Sector. The online interaction provided an opportunity for the Minister to engage with the Sector on pertinent issues affecting NPOs including mechanisms to improve compliance with NPO’s related legislations.

In addition; the Department also ensured that prioritisation for registration and issuing of compliant letters was given to organisations that intended to provide COVID related services to communities. Prioritisation of support to such organisations ensured that communities under distress due to COVID 19 pandemic were provided with required services.

National Assembly written Reply: (Question 83 for oral reply converted to written Question 602) of 2021

________________________

Approved by the Minister of Social Development

Date……………………….

23 March 2021 - NW564

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Sharif, Ms NK to ask the Minister of Social Development

Whether her department funds any (a) programmes and (b) non-governmental organisations that offer services to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex community; if not, in each case, why not; if so, in each case, what (i) services are rendered and (ii) are the further relevant details?

Reply:

a) The Department of Social Development provide funding to various programmes targeting all vulnerable group in society in terms the legislation and policy prescripts. (b) The criteria that is utilised for funding non-governmental organisations is designed to ensure that funded organisations (i) render services to the benefit of all vulnerable groups. There is no specific sets of rules that are for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex community. But the emphasis is on ensuring that services rendered are equitable, accessible, and transformative and promote social cohesion in the broader community. (ii) For example in relation to LGBTQI+ Community, the DSD provide ongoing sensitization training to frontline staff both the DSD and from non-governmental organisations as part of promoting non-discriminatory practices as well as mainstreaming of service delivery to respond to the needs of all vulnerable group.

National Assembly Written Reply: 564 of 2021

________________________

Approved by the Minister of Social Development

Date……………………….

23 March 2021 - NW563

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Sharif, Ms NK to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)Whether, with reference to night and Victim Empowerment Programme (VEP) shelters available to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and other sexuality and gender diverse (LGBTQI+) community, she will provide Ms N K Sharif with a list of (a) contact details and (b) physical addresses of night and VEP shelters which are (i) operated and (ii) funded by her department in each province; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) which from the provided list of night and VEP shelters are for the sole use of vulnerable members of the LGBTQI+ community?

Reply:

1. Based on the list provided previously on night and Victim Empowerment Programme (VEP) shelters, the Department of Social Development (DSD) in response to question (a) and (b) does not have shelters neither any plans to establish exclusive shelters to accommodate Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and other sexuality and gender diverse (LGBTQI+) victims of GBV. (i)Therefore there is no LGBTQI+ specific shelter in operation and (ii) nor any funded by the department.

The DSD subscribes to its obligation to provide psychosocial services, social protection, and respect for human dignity as well as promoting rights of all victims of GBV including LGBTQI+ community. Any shelter exclusive to accommodate LGBTQI+ community will therefore perpetuate forms of discrimination, including labelling, stigmatization and stereotyping thus exposing the said community to unnecessary victimisation. Furthermore, the DSD strives to ensure that services that are provided upholds the principle of no discrimination based on gender, sexual orientation, race, religion, culture, ethnicity and disabilities.

2. None, as all shelters on the list that was provided previously can accommodate LGBTQI+ community. The DSD recommends that the admission criteria in all shelters across the country be inclusive and not discriminate against anyone due to a person’s gender, sexual orientation, disability, race, culture, ethnicity or expression of gender identity. There are therefore no shelters that are for the sole use of the vulnerable members of the LGBTQI+ community that have been established by DSD. This approach is also based the principle of building social cohesion amongst diverse groups and minimize risk related to safety and security of an exclusive LGBTQI+ shelter in a community.

National Assembly Written Reply: 563 of 2021

________________________

Approved by the Minister of Social Development

Date……………………….

23 March 2021 - NW561

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)With reference to the children's amendment bill relating to adoption services and in light of the fact that the Republic has had about 700 inter-country adoptions in the past five years, what mechanisms and/or measures are in place to monitor the safety of children in their adopted countries to prevent human trafficking; 2) what steps have been (a) taken against service providers who did not comply with the legal accreditation requirements in the past and/or (b) implemented to rectify the situation?

Reply:

1. The South African Central Authority have put measures in place to prevent child trafficking by entering into inter-country adoption working agreements with foreign countries. In the working agreements there are post adoption services that are expected to be rendered by the accredited foreign adoption agencies for a period of five years to the children and adoptive families.

The foreign accredited adoption agencies are expected to compile post adoption reports twice in the first year then annually which are forwarded to the SA accredited adoption agencies and the SA Central Authority. Engagements on progress are in place on the wellbeing, adjustment and functioning of children and their families.

The Central Authority and the accredited child protection organizations do visit the foreign adoption agencies, Central Authorities and adoptive families to ensure compliance to post adoption measures. During the financial year 2019/2020, some of the officials from the Central Authority and accredited CPO visited Belgium and Denmark.

(2) (a) There are no steps that were taken against any service provider as they all complied with the legal accreditation requirements, none of the service provider will be allowed to provide adoption services if they are non-compliant.

(b) No steps were taken to rectify as the applicants complied with the legal requirements.

National Assembly Written Reply: 561 of 2021

________________________

Approved by the Minister of Social Development

Date……………………….

23 March 2021 - NW522

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De Villiers, Mr MJ to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)Whether any staff member in her department (a) performed work in addition to the responsibilities related to his or her work, outside normal working hours, in the past five financial years and (b) has been performing such work during the period 1 April 2014 up to the latest specified date for which information is available; if not, in each case, how is it determined whether such work is being performed or not; if so, in each case, (i) what number of staff members and (ii) in what job or work categories are the specified staff members employed; (2) whether approval for such work was obtained in each case; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, (a) what is the policy of her department in this regard, (b) by whom are such applications considered and approved, (c) what number of contraventions of this policy were brought to the attention of the National Treasury in the past five financial years and (d) what steps have been taken against the transgressors?

Reply:

(1)(a) Yes, there were staff members performing remunerative overtime duty during the past five financial years.

(1)(b) Information pertaining to staff members who have been performing such work during the period 1 April 2014 up to 28 February 2021is depicted in the attached Annexure A.

(2)(a) Remunerative overtime duty is permitted when prior approval is obtained on the pro forma “Request for approval to work remunerated overtime duty”; work performed is in excess of normal working hours; in circumstances where an abnormal high workload cannot be managed by other more cost-effective arrangements; or when an employee must perform the duties over and above his/her normal duties as a result of another employee who is on prolonged sick leave or maternity leave. Members of the Senior Management Service are not entitled to compensation for overtime duty. Employees may only perform remunerative overtime duty from date of approval by the delegated authority. The monthly compensation for authorised overtime duty may not exceed 30% of the employee’s monthly basic salary.

(2)(b) The authority to approve remunerative overtime duty has been delegated to the Chief Director: Human Capital Management.

(2)(c) None.

(2)(d) Not applicable.

National Assembly Written Reply: 522 of 2021

________________________

Approved by the Minister of Social Development

Date……………………….

23 March 2021 - NW498

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Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)With reference to the Early Childhood Development-Employment Stimulus Relief Fund (ECD-ESRF), (a) what are the reasons that the ECD Covid-19 relief package decreased significantly from R1,3 billion announced in July 2020 to R588.8 million announced in November 2020 to R496 million announced in February 2021; (2) whether these funds were not ring-fenced for the ECD sector; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) (a) what amount of funding did each provincial social development department receive and (b) how were these amounts determined?

Reply:

(1) (a) The initial indication of R1,3 billion announced in July 2020 was subsequently revised based on the outcome of the assessment of the bid process through the National Treasury. The department received an amount of R588 728 000 from National Treasury. This included an amount of R380 million is allocated for unemployment risk support that will benefit 83 333 existing ECD related workers; R116 million allocated for the support of 25 500 compliance support officers, who are existing staff members at early childhood development programmes that will play a compliance support role within their ECD programmes; R16.5 million for registration support officers who will assist in scaling up registration and R76 million to sustain 1 809 social workers who have been appointed on contract. The R496 million is the total allocated to provide 108 833 ECD workers with income support through existing ECD services (unemployment risk support and compliance support officers).

(2) These funds were ring-fenced for the ECD sector under ECD Conditional Grant.

(3) (a) The Presidential Employment Initiative

funds are allocated as follows:

  • Eastern Cape: R60 million
  • Free State: R39 million
  • Gauteng: R78 million
  • KwaZulu-Natal: R90 million
  • Limpopo: R58 million
  • Mpumalanga: R42 million
  • Northern Cape: R42 million
  • North West: R34 million
  • Western Cape: R53 million

(b) In the absence of workforce data in the ECD sector, the department used the children’s population and the current formula for ECD conditional grant to determine allocations per province which were just the estimates.

National Assembly Written Reply: 498 of 2021

________________________

Approved by the Minister of Social Development

Date……………………….

23 March 2021 - NW474

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Masango, Ms B to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)Whether the post of Senior Manager: Human Resource Capital in the SA Social Security Agency is vacant, if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, for how long has the post remained vacant; (2) whether the specified post is a critical position for her department; if not, why not; if so, (a) what are the relevant details and (b) are the reasons that it has not been filled?

Reply:

1.The post of Senior Manager: Human Resource Capital does not exist on the approved structure of SA Social Security Agency, however there is a vacant post of Senior Manager: Human Operations Management which has been vacant since 01 July 2019.

2. The post is critical, however due to CoE budget cut during the 2020/2021 financial year, the post could not be prioritised for filling. The post of Senior Manager: Labour Relations was prioritised due to a need to promote and ensure sound working relations, manage the collective bargaining processes and facilitate labour relations, dispute resolutions in cases of grievances and discipline. The post was filled with effect from 04 January 2021

National Assembly Written Reply: 474 of 2021

________________________

Approved by the Minister of Social Development

Date……………………….

23 March 2021 - NW376

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

What (a) is the total number of children who are living with disabilities in each town in (i) Hantam and (ii) Karoo-Hoogland Municipalities and (b) kind of disabilities are the children living with mostly in Calvinia?

Reply:

The Department renders, as one of the programmes, services to Parents and Children with severe and profound Intellectual disabilities accessing Day-care centres (Partial care services). We work in a co-ordinated manner with provinces in ensuring the mobilisation of Parents and identification of children with disabilities. Whilst the information provided in response to this parliamentary question was sourced from the DSD disability programme and SASSA, the DSD programme is hard at work with the identification and mobilizing parents to ensure an updated database.

The shared information is the consolidated data inputs from DSD disability programme and the SASSA Provincial office.:

a) Total number of children with disabilities:

NO

MUNICIPALITY

LOCAL OFFICE AREA

NUMBER

(i)

Hantam

Calvinia

18

   

Brandvlei

12

   

Niewoudtville and Louriesfontein

16

TOTAL

   

46

       

(ii)

Karoo Hoogland

Williston

20

   

Frazerburg and Sutherland

19

TOTAL

   

39

GRAND TOTAL

   

85

b) Types of disabilities in identified children in the Calvinia Area:

8 Physical Disabilities

2 Cerebral Palsy

2 Multiple disabilities

6 Intellectual Disability

Total: 18

                                                                                           

National Assembly Written Reply: 376 of 2021

________________________

Approved by the Minister of Social Development

Date……………………….

23 March 2021 - NW372

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Masango, Ms B to ask the Minister of Social Development

What is the total number of SA Social Security Agency (a) grant pay points and (b) open space pay points that are currently in operation?

Reply:

Currently, all social grant beneficiaries receive their social grants payments in their bank accounts, thus are able to transact electronically (including the withdrawal of funds) at any ATM or retail store with a point of sale device. Through the contract with the South African Post Office, additional access channels have been made available for beneficiaries who have a SASSA/SAPO card. These include post offices and mobile cash pay points.

(a) In addition to the transaction points in the National Payment System (NPS), SAPO also provides an additional 1 611 mobile pay points, and all SAPO branches in communities where the NPS access is limited.

(b) 713 of the 1 611 mobile cash pay points operate in open spaces, as indicated in the table below:

BREAKDOWN OF CASH PAY POINTS PER REGION

REGION

NUMBER OF MOBILE CASH PAY POINTS

NUMBER OF OPEN POINTS

Eastern Cape

507

 292

Free State

36

8

Gauteng

9

0

KwaZulu-Natal

334

192

Limpopo

482

203

Mpumalanga

60

14

Northern Cape

27

0

North West

143

4

Western Cape

13

0

TOTAL

1 611

 713

23 March 2021 - NW304

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Opperman, Ms G to ask the Minister of Social Development

What (a) is the monthly amount of (i) petrol and (ii) vehicle maintenance for the visits of the departmental official to Loeriesfontein, (b) is the number of times that the SA Social Security Agency official, who handles grant applications, visit Loeriesfontein in each month, (c) is the ratio for an official to grant beneficiaries for Loeriesfontein and (d) number of beneficiaries are helped on a daily basis or during each visit?

Reply:

a) The average monthly amount for petrol is

(i) R4 366.00

(ii) Maintenance is performed annually at an average cost of R7 000 if the vehicle is out of warranty.

b) The officials of Nieuwoudtville Local office visit the Loeriesfontein Service point on a weekly basis. More frequent visits are provided as informed by the number of people who need SASSA services.

c) The ratio is 1: 24 grant applications per day per single staff member

d) The average number of applications per day is between 10 and 15. This may increase to 40 on days when medical assessments are done for the disability related grants.

23 March 2021 - NW371

Profile picture: Masango, Ms B

Masango, Ms B to ask the Minister of Social Development

What is the total number of compliance monitors who have been appointed to monitor the norms and standards of COVID-19 compliance in the facilities managed by her department?

Reply:

The department has not appointed any compliance monitors to monitor the norms and standards of COVID-19 compliance in the facilities managed by her department. Monitoring of compliance to norms and standards of COVID 19 is an added responsibility to the current existing personnel. In some cases the established structures are used to monitor compliance of norms and standards for COVID 19, for example in facilities that provide services to victims of Gender Based Violence. These facilities utilises established Task Teams across nine provinces to monitor compliance with norms and standards for COVID 19.

National Assembly Written Reply: 371 of 2021

________________________

Approved by the Minister of Social Development

Date……………………….

23 March 2021 - NW703

Profile picture: Abrahams, Ms ALA

Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)Whether the Vangasali early childhood development campaign has been able to determine if any (a) previously registered, (b) conditionally registered and/or (c) or unregistered early childhood development centres in each province have (i) temporarily and/or (ii) permanently closed their doors since 27 March 2020; if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details; (2) what monitoring mechanism does her department have in place to determine what number of registered, conditionally registered and/or unregistered early childhood development centres in each province have temporarily and/or permanently closed their doors?

Reply:

(1) The Vangasali early childhood development campaign was not intended to determine if ECD services are temporary or permanently closed. It was aimed at confirming ECD services that are (a) registered (fully or conditional) and establish a database of those that are (b) unregistered in each province.

(i) National Treasury granted the department an allocation of R496 million as an ECD Employment Stimulus Relief Fund (ECD-ESRF). The allocation seeks to minimise the loss of income, support continued operation and reduce the risk of permanent closure. This is implemented through ECD Employment Stimulus Relief Fund (ECD-ESRF) with a focus on providing additional financial support towards the ECD workforce as part of a once-off temporary intervention, through ECD programmes. The ECD-ESRF will provide 108,833 ECD related workers with income support through about 28,283 existing ECD programmes (registered and unregistered centres and programmes) that applied to this Fund.

(2) The provincial departments of social development continue to submit monthly reports indicating the number of ECD programmes that have reopened. This include registered, conditionally registered and unregistered early childhood. These reports are consolidated and presented at Heads of Social development structure constituted by EXCO and provincial Heads of Department, chaired by the accounting officer of the department.

With the implementation of the ESRF, provincial social development offices will be monitoring the ECD programmes to determine whether the paid ECD programmes have reopened 60 days after receipt of the funds.

23 March 2021 - NW702

Profile picture: Abrahams, Ms ALA

Abrahams, Ms ALA to ask the Minister of Social Development

With reference to the Vangasali early childhood development campaign, what (a) is the current status of (i) registered, (ii) conditionally registered and (iii) unregistered early childhood development centres in each province and (b) has she found to have been the (i) successes and (ii) challenges of the Vangasali early childhood development campaign to date?

Reply:

The Vangasali campaign is progressing fairly well and is scheduled to continue until at least end of March 2022. There are three phases to Vangasali, the first was data collection which happened between June and October 2020 and resulted in a database of 52,288 ECD services which includes centre and non-centre based services.

Phase 2 focussed on orientation of provincial, district and local officials from DSD and Environmental Practitioners at local level in preparation for phase 3.

The Phase 3 will then focus on the registration massification which will commence in 2021/22 financial year.

(a)Current status on registration:

PROVINCE

(i) NUMBER OF FULLY REGISTERED

(ii)NUMBER OF CONDITIONALLY REGISTERED

(iii)NUMBER OF UNREGISTERED

SERVICES

EC

1 174

1 816

1 685

FS

310

972

1 674

GP

1 242

624

13 717

KZN

1 696

1 854

4 516

LP

478

3 021

2 695

MP

578

919

3 011

NC

95

197

660

NW

386

842

2 188

WC

850

635

4 839

TOTAL

6 423

10 880

34 985

 

(b)(i) The campaign was a success as the department was able to get the data base of the majority of ECD services that are not registered. This will assist the department in planning on assisting those services to be supported to register.

This database will be used in phase 2 of the project to drive registration massification and verify the existence of all these services.

Phase 2 began in October 2020 and builds on the great collaboration with Department of Health, Environmental Health Directorate that has been ongoing over the last four years. Phase 2 has so far resulted in the following:

  • Orientation of 474 DSD officials and 160 Environmental Health officials on the Vangasali Registration Toolkit in all 52 districts/metropolitan municipalities
  • Vangasali Social Service Professionals Manual on ECD Registration has been developed.
  • 22,000 Standardised Vangasali ECD Registration Application Packs (available in 7 official languages) were printed and will be distributed to DSD Districts by end March 2021.
  • ECD Registration Framework Rollout for ECD Service Assessment Visits has been developed
  • Online ECD Registration Management Tool has been developed.
  • Registration Jamborees have begun in 4 provinces and the remaining provinces will begin registration Jamborees this month once the ECD stimulus administration is complete. We are targeting 10,000 new ECD services to enter the registration system in the next 12 months.

Phase 3 of Vangasali is in the planning phase and involves bringing sector wide collaboration on resourcing and improving infrastructure at ECD services, drawing in the private sector, civil society and government resources into a focused effort on improving ECD services directly in line with norms and standards.

(ii) Some of the challenges that have been identified during the campaign include amongst the other:

  • Duplications
  • Missing information on the data base that makes it difficult to follow up on the service to be assisted.

The data has been cleaned to deal with the duplicates. The data is now instrumental during verification process on the ECD Stimulus Relief Package to check the applicants against the Vangasali data base.

23 March 2021 - NW697

Profile picture: Gondwe, Dr M

Gondwe, Dr M to ask the Minister of Social Development

(1)Whether, with reference to the findings by the auditor-general that some government employees applied for the Social Relief of Distress Grant (SRD Grant), her department took any disciplinary and/or legal steps against the implicated government employees; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; 2) whether any steps have been taken to recover the monies from the implicated government employees; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details; (3) whether any systems have been put in place to ensure that no government employee will be able to fraudulently and/or unlawfully apply for and/or receive the SRD grant; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?

Reply:

1. As at the 28th of February 2021, a total of 39672 government employees had applied for the Covid 19 SRD grant. No disciplinary or legal steps have been taken against these government employees because investigations have not yet been concluded. Once the investigations are concluded SASSA will recommend to the relevant Heads of Departments to institute disciplinary action and also to recover money paid over to the individuals.

SASSA has received numerous complaints from people whose ID numbers were used to apply for the Covid 19 SRD grant without their knowledge. Some government employees submitted applications in order to test the system or to assist applicants to apply as all applications were submitted electronically.

The Auditor General flagged 241 government employees who received the Covid 19 SRD grant payment for May 2020. This happened at the inception phase when SASSA did not have access to all the relevant databases. Some of the databases were not up to date, partly because of the lockdown.

2. SASSA has not yet concluded the investigation into the cases that have been flagged by the Auditor General of South Africa. Once the investigations have been concluded, the fraudulent cases will be referred to the relevant government departments and SASSA’s Debt Management unit to recover the money from implicated people.

3. SASSA has implemented a system to ensure that government employees do not receive the SRD grant. Through this system, the applications of 39,672 government employees who applied for the SRD grant were declined.

Monthly, ID numbers of approved and new applications for Covid-19 R350 SRD grant applicants are matched against various databases such as the databases of government employees, namely PERSAL and PERSOL. If the ID number of the Covid SRD grant applicant appears in the databases of government employees, the application is declined.

SASSA is still awaiting the Government Employees Pension Fund database which will strengthen the ability to verify applicants.

 

National Assembly Written Reply: 697 of 2021

________________________

Approved by the Minister of Social Development

Date……………………….

23 March 2021 - NW696

Profile picture: Gondwe, Dr M

Gondwe, Dr M to ask the Minister of Social Development

Whether, with reference to the findings by the auditor-general that some government employees applied for the Social Relief of Distress Grant (SRD Grant), her department has been able to conclusively establish the number of government employees who have fraudulently applied for the SRD Grant; if not, why not; if so, what (a) is the total number of government employees who actually received the SRD Grant and (b) is the total amount that the implicated government employees received from the SRD Grant?

Reply:

a) The total number of government employees who received the Covid-19 SRD grant payments as at February 2021 is 241.

b) The total amount paid is R 84 350.00, which was for the month of May 2020 only. Subsequent applications were declined after they were flagged as possible fraudulent applicants that were not eligible for the grant. Investigation regarding this matter is ongoing. Upon completion, SASSA will approach the relevant institution to recover the money, including requesting the institution to take appropriate disciplinary steps.