ATC140313: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development on the Oversight visit to Gauteng Department of Social Development, South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) Regional Office, SASSA SERVICE Area and the National Development Agency (NDA) projects, dated 05 February 2014
REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT ON THE OVERSIGHT
VISIT TO GAUTENG DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, SOUTH AFRICAN SOCIAL
SECURITY AGENCY (SASSA) REGIONAL OFFICE, SASSA
AREA AND THE
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (NDA) PROJECTS, DATED 05 February 2014
The Portfolio Committee on
Social Development conducted an oversight visit on 29 July 02 August 2013 to
the Gauteng provincial Department of Social Development (DSD), South African
Social Security Agency (SASSA) regional office and its
service area in Maponya
Mall, old age home, child and youth care centre, family preservation programme,
victim empowerment programme
and the National Development Agency (NDA)
The oversight visit formed part
of the Committees method of work as stated in its Five Year Strategic Plan:
The Committee resolved
that its method of work
for this Parliamentary term would be more action orientated. It planned to
conduct oversight visits that are well informed and respond to the needs of the
society and ensure that the executive is accountable to their needs. The
Committee thus resolved to conduct oversight to all the nine provinces in the
country during its term of office. The Gauteng was the sixth province to be
visited by the Committee.
1.1 Objectives of the oversight visit
objective of the oversight visit was to assess the performance of the
provincial Department of Social Development, SASSA and the NDA. The oversight
visit particularly focused on the alignment of the provincial department and
SASSAs performance to the strategic priorities and policies set by the
national department in line with the 2013 State of the Nation Address. These
education as an apex priority, job creation,
against violence on women and children and against corruption. The DSD
contributes towards recognising education as an apex priority through the
implementation of the Early Childhood Development (ECD) programme.
The ECD programme is critical in the context of
childrens development and preparation for basic education.
Another objective of
the visit was to evaluate the implementation of the Older Persons Act,
Childrens Act and the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act by
visiting old age homes, childrens home, child and youth care centre and the
It wanted to
assess and evaluate the extent to which these facilities adhere to the policy
and legislative stipulations.
The Committee also wanted
to assess the performance of the regional SASSA and the NDA. Of particular
interest to the Committee was to get progress made on the standardization of
SASSA processes, roll out of biometric system to the retail sector and staff
and progress made on the upgrade of the local offices.
Regarding the performance
of the NDA, the Committee wanted to assess the successes or the impact the NDA
funded projects have had on the lives of the beneficiaries, particularly in the
eradication of poverty and job creation. The Committee aimed to visit food
security and youth skills development projects.
Members of Parliament
Hon Waters M
Hon Gcume, N P
Hon Bhoola R
Hon Makhuba, H N
Ms Ntsabo L
Briefing at the Gauteng Provincial Legislature
Opening remarks by the MEC
In her opening remarks, the
, expressed her appreciation
to the Committee for visiting the Gauteng province as this was in line with
keeping the principle of inter-governmental relations in a democratic
She reported that the
department was continuing to improve ECD and provide access to the ECD services
to children aged 0-5 years as a way of contributing towards the attainment of Governments
Outcome 1 of providing quality education. It will also contribute towards the
attainment of the Millennium Development Goal 2.
To achieve Governments
Outcome 2 to provide a long and healthy life for all South Africans, the
departments output was to provide an integrated substance abuse prevention,
treatment and rehabilitation services to 379 044 recipients in the
2013/2014 financial year . The MEC stated that about 15% of South African
youths were susceptible to drug abuse.
Alcohol remains the primary substance abuse in many communities and it
causes the greatest harm and leads to secondary risks such as injury, premature
non-natural deaths and alcohol syndrome.
To curb this scourge the department was implementing an integrated
Anti-substance abuse strategy to reduce or eliminate the incidence of substance
abuse in the province.
involved school holiday initiatives and the
Drug Prevention Programme.
The department had convened
a summit to find ways to address the classification of
as an illegal drug. The department and the stakeholders had resolved to lobby
for the strengthening of law enforcement efforts to reduce access to this drug
and other drugs. To ensure that criminal justice system becomes an effective
deterrent for offenders through harsher punishment of drug-related offences. To
establish a technical committee to pursue the classification of
as an illegal drug and to conduct a research study
to establish the extent of the problem associated
with this drug and its impact on communities and standardize treatment regimes
at all treatment centres.
With regard to achieving
Outcome 3 to ensure that all people in South Africa are and feel safe, the
department aimed to provide an integrated care and services to older persons. The
MEC pointed out that older persons were vulnerable to various forms of abuse
inflicted to them by the younger generation and from opportunistic diseases
associated with old age.
supported no fewer than 74 luncheon clubs for older persons managed by NPOs and
funded several NPOs to provide services to older persons.
With regard to achieving
Outcome 4, which advocated for an integrated childcare and protection services
for children, the department implemented a number of interventions focusing on
the prevention of child abuse and neglect as well as child trafficking. During
the 2013/2014 financial year the department provided funding to 106 Child and
Youth Care Centres (CYCCs) and it would cater for a total of 6 275 children in
need of care and protection.
The MEC also reported on
the integrated victim empowerment services for victims of domestic violence
wherein she informed the members that the department was intensifying the
implementation of Victim Empowerment Programmes. The department was using an
inter-sectoral and inter-departmental approach which was based on building and
maintaining partnerships between the government and NPOs, media, volunteers,
academics and research institutions as well as communities.
3.2 Remarks by the Chairperson of the Portfolio
Committee on Social Development, Hon Y R Botha
Hon Botha explained that
the purpose of the oversight visit was to assess performance of the department
in delivering services and meeting its strategic plan and objectives in line
with the priorities set by the national Department of Social Development. The
visit afforded the Committee an opportunity to identify challenges and areas of
intervention. The Committee then forwards these to the Minister of Social
Development for her intervention. She explained that
social development is the
crucial service which helps people face daily challenges with dignity.
Therefore, the Committees oversight programme was essential in ensuring that
the Department of Social Development and its entities fulfil their
constitutional mandates. Also, it afforded the Committee an opportunity to
assess the level of intergovernmental relations between the national and
provincial departments. She undertook that the Committee
legislature with the copy of its oversight report. Also, the resident members
(Hon Waters, Hon Makhuba and Hon
) would do a
follow up on the recommendations made by the Committee. These members would make
follow ups with the MEC and the provincial Portfolio Committee on Social
Development. Then they would report back to the national Portfolio Committee on
3.3 Presentation by the Provincial Department of
Social Development on service delivery
the Head of the Department, informed the delegation that the presentation would
provide an overview of the departmental outcome plans and goals for 2013/2014
financial year. She reported that the department had set three strategic
outcome orientated goals, namely:
Goal 1 was to have the departments human capital
management and development improved from adequate to good by 2014;
Goal 2 was to provide efficient and effective
integrated welfare services to 879 846 service recipients including
children, older persons, persons with disabilities and women by 2014/2015
financial year; and
Goal 3 was to provide an
effective community development and youth services to 424 493 sustainable
livelihoods beneficiaries and 31 834 youth within communities.
To achieve Goal 2, the
department set the following strategic objectives for the year under review
have an integrated substance abuse prevention,
and rehabilitation services to 379 044
and services to 34 230 older persons
crime prevention and support services to 72 804
adults and children in conflict with the law;
services to 15 221
persons with disabilities;
provide an integrated child care and protection services
126 818 children;
victim empowerment services to 57 101
victims of domestic
the spread of
HIV and AIDS to 162 079
infected and affected
o provide care
and support services to 32 549
achieve goal 3, the department would
facilitate community development services
through sustainable livelihoods strategies to 424 493 recipients and facilitate
community development services through youth development strategies to 31 824
youth. It also aimed to facilitate the development of institutional capacity to
3 031 non-profit organisations and other emerging organisations. It would also
facilitate, conduct and manage the population and social development research
in support of policy and programme development
achieve the Government Outcomes, the presentation reported that the department
had undertaken to achieve the following:
Outcome 1: Quality Basic Education:
the targeted output of the department to this outcome was to develop an
integrated protection services to children and provision of ECD services to 73
508 children aged 0-4 years. It also intended to increase the number of
registered partial care sites and improve capacity of registered partial care
sites. It aimed to implement the ECD regulating and funding strategy.
department also planned to provide education support services to 310 000
children in the year under review. It also aimed to facilitate the distribution
of dignity packs to ensure that the dignity and the rights of the girl child to
school was restored, the rate of school attendance was
improved and the health and reproductive
rights of the girl children are upheld.
Outcome 2: A long and healthy life for all South Africans:
the target output to this outcome was to combat the spread of HIV and
AIDS to 162 079 infected and affected people. It also intended to integrate
substance abuse prevention, treatment and rehabilitation services to 379 044
Outcome 3: All people in South African are
and feel safe:
the department planned to provide an integrated
care and services to 34 230 older persons in the 2013/2014 financial year. It
also planned to provide integrated crime prevention and support services to 72
804 adults and children in conflict with the law. It also planned to
community based structures. It started with organising active ageing programmes
and provided old age homes with appropriate equipments, such as gym equipment,
medical equipment, Occupational Health and Safety and fire fighting equipments
which have prompt fire alerts to the Fire Department.
department intended to establish an integrated services to 15 221 persons with
disabilities. There was still a need to improve on preferential procurement,
such as, provision of stationery.
Outcome 4: decent
employment through inclusive economic growth:
departments objectives were to have sustainable employment creation by
participation of youth in the departments
internship, learnerships and external bursary programmes.
Deliberations on issues that emanated from the presentation
Having been briefed on the
performance of the provincial department, the Committee raised the following
Adoption was an important policy issue that the
department needed to address urgently by resolving challenges pertaining to red
taping, particularly in the government. There was a need by the department to
embark on awareness campaigns educating communities about adoption. The
campaign should also focus on
The establishment of childrens home and
child and youth care centres was a positive direction taken by the department
to ensure the safety of children. However, the shortage of old age homes was a
serious concern. Also, these homes were not adequately equipped for frail care,
to provide care to patients suffering from
A strategy should be developed to ensure that
old age homes are assessed to ensure compliance with norms and standards.
The existence of the illegal rehabilitation
centres was a serious concern that needed to be addressed urgently.
The department should work with the Faith
Based Organisations in its initiatives to fight substance abuse.
The critical role played by the Local Drug
Committee in the fight against substance abuse in communities needed to be
4. Site visits to NDA projects
a shoe manufacturing cooperative, located in Roodepoort. It was established in
2006. It was formed as a result of a merger between
cooperatives that were founded in 2005.
The cooperative has 23 members who are fulltime workers, 14 are women, 7 are
young people and 2 are people with disabilities. The cooperative had a contract
with the Department of Social Development to produce 55 000 school shoes,
which had to be delivered by November 2013. The workers were recruited from the
impoverished neighbouring townships such as Princess and
The cooperative produces SABS approved school
The department funded the
cooperative with the amount of R150 000 in 2006 for the purchase of equipment
with an intention of ensuring that the cooperative was able to manufacture and
deliver school shoes to the department for the School Uniform Project. The NDA
also funded the cooperative with an amount of R819 000 to purchase a
delivery van, office furniture and computers.
The Department of Trade and Industry also supported the cooperative with
equipment through Cooperative Incentive Scheme. It also received support from
Sasol Chemistry for branding. It also received a financial support from the
Independent Development Trust to pay stipends to trainee workers.
The delegation was told
that the cooperative had a challenge of
mainstream markets to sell its products. The Department of Social Development
approached the National Empowerment Fund to assist the cooperative in
developing a marketing strategy. After the presentation the delegation took a
walk about at the factory floor to witness the shoe production process from
inception to the final stage.
Farming and Multi Purpose Cooperative
Farming and Multi Purpose cooperative was
established by eight young people in plot six in
village, under the
Local Municipality. The
cooperative had a permission to utilise a quarter hectare of land for the
purpose of vegetable production. The Department of Agriculture and Rural
Development supported the establishment of the cooperative by providing funding
for fencing and installing taps for the purpose of irrigation. The department
also provided basic agricultural technical training to the employees.
The main objective of the cooperative was to establish a sustainable
agricultural project for the purpose of income generation, job creation and
local economic development in
Specific objectives of the cooperative
were to erect
production of vegetables (cabbages, tomatoes, etc), create jobs for eight
unemployed members and 20 seasonal workers from
community and develop a strong institutional capacity in organisational
management and technical training.
The NDA funded the cooperative with an amount of R1.5 million for the
purpose of purchasing six tunnels. At the time of oversight the cooperative had
three tunnels, office equipments and an irrigation system. The cooperative had
an agreement with the Spar supermarket in Krugersdorp, Fruit and
supermarket and with the South African Food Bank to supply
them with vegetables. It was planning
its market to the bed and breakfast
establishments and a hotel located nearby the Cradle of Humankind in
. It was also in
a process of purchasing a truck that would assist with deliveries of the
vegetables. The cooperative won a Best Community Project Award in June 2013.
The cooperative is located closer to an informal
settlement and incidents of theft were very high, as a result a bore-pipe was
It did not have a truck to transport production but
it was in a process of purchasing one.
to the National
Development Agency, (NDA) Manger Care Centre
The Manger Care Centre was
established in 1987 as a non-profit organization caring for the homeless,
destitute and abandoned. It was accredited as an education and training service
provider by the
-Seta in terms of the South
African Qualification Authority Act. The organization follows a
non-discriminatory policy and provides for the needs of all those members of
society who are unable to do so for themselves. The initial objective of the
project was to provide beneficiaries with agricultural and management skills to
produce spinach in an 800square meter tunnel. The specific objectives of the
project at the time of the oversight visit were to expand the existing
successful garden produce unit from 6 tunnels to an additional 800 square
, to improve the lives of the target beneficiaries
through skills training, life skills training and job creation and to develop
capacities for self-reliance through skills transfer and income generation.
In 2012, the project
received a funding of R580 000 from the NDA.
The total turnover of the project amounted to R11 million per annum. The
Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries provided agricultural
technical training of six months to the staff.
The project operates in a
five hectare property with an office building that has training facilities, a
pack house, three plant tunnels, drip-irrigation, borehole, tool shed, a cold
room and vermicular (
) for organic fertilizing
and plant nursery. These facilities make it possible to undertake
-processing such as washing and packaging of produce.
For some of its projects
(such as vegetable gardening and carpentry) the centre makes use of services
from homeless people and provides them with accommodation for a period of three
months and pays them a stipend of R20 per day. The vegetable gardening project
comprised of four members. The total staff compliment of the project is 96. The
production of spinach allowed the project to supply commercially to
supermarkets such as OK, Spar, Fruit and
Springs Market, local shops and vendors at the taxi ranks.
In addition to the
aforementioned, the centre had initiated various projects that assisted
communities with services ranging from:
schemes to ECDs, NGOs and homeless people in various centres in
and access to social and medical assistance;
of protective housing to abused women and children and orphanage for HIV
and Aids affected orphans; and
and skills development.
5. Visit to the
SASSA Regional Office
5.1 Presentation by SASSA
(hereafter the Agency or regional office)
presentation reported on four
performance areas, namely; standardisation of the business process, roll out of
the payment biometric system to merchants and registration, upgrade of local
offices and capacity building of staff and filling of vacant posts.
It was reported that
the purposes of standardisation were to standardize the Grants Administration
business processes at service delivery level (at Local Office); to ensure
uniformity in delivering services to customer so that all office lay outs were
the same; to re-organise the flow of work so as to improve the quality of
service delivery, thus implementing the Service Delivery Model and to ensure
that there was provision of the same level of service and standardised Grants
Administration forms for all grants units.
the standardisation process would ensure that all social grants application
processed were carried out in a Four Step process screening, attesting,
quality control and verification. By the time of the oversight visit, the
regional office had managed to implement this process in 37 local offices out
of 38 local offices. All grants applications with the exception of the Social
Relief of Distress (SRD) and the completion of the reviews of grants were done
online using the SOCPEN database. Implementation of the online applications for
SRD and Grant Reviews were still awaiting further enhancement of the SOCPEN to
support these applications, which would be completed in 2014. Despite these
achievements, it was reported that the manual applications were still done at
44 service points.
The regional office
faced challenges pertaining to overcrowding at local offices due to high demand
for services; shortage of staff in level 8; limited space to accommodate
applicants and their children who were supposed to be enrolled once the
application process was approved; not all administration processes were fully
automated and the SOCPEN was not able to accommodate the increased volume of
The delegation was
told that the Agency believed that the challenge of overcrowding would be
resolved through the implementation of the Service Delivery Model. Regarding
addressing the shortage of staff, the office was in the process of filling 11
team leader posts. To address the challenge of limited office space, the
regional office was implementing the
Community Registration Outreach Programme (
also planned to decentralise big service
Roll out of the biometric system and re-registration
The biometric system
was rolled out to 141 pay points and to 129 participating merchants (mainly
n Pay, Shoprite, Boxer and Spar outlets). The Agency
employed 122 Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) school leavers, of which 43
were child support grants recipients, to implement the new SASSA card and
biometric re-registration of beneficiaries.
The advantage of
this system was that SASSA cardholders could use their cards to purchase goods
and draw cash at any merchant store. Other advantages of the system were that
transactions in the merchant stores did not attract any bank
cardholders had access to a wide range of services such as purchasing prepaid
airtime and electricity and making bill payments. The disadvantage of this kind
of payment was that it caused overcrowding and long queues at the payment
outlets. To address this challenge, the regional office embarked on a campaign
to educate beneficiaries on other payment channels available. It also opened
the payment system of a 12 day period to stagger the payment over these days.
It was reported that
3 206 638 beneficiaries and dependants were re-registered during the
re-registration process and 140 396 re-registrations were still
The regional office
reported that it faced the following challenges regarding the implementation of
the re-registration process:
Despite the communication
campaigns there were beneficiaries who still seemed ignorant of the requirement
to be re-registered.
Beneficiaries were not
accompanied by dependants or were not always in possession of the correct
documentation required for the re-registration process. Documents such as birth
certificates or court orders were, for example, not brought to the enrolment
venues where dependants needed to be enrolled.
There were beneficiaries
who were inclined to be afraid of the new technology and were weary of
re-registering as they preferred to continue receiving their social grants as
they had been receiving over the past number of years.
The delegation was told that the regional office would address the
aforementioned challenges through i
communication campaigns targeting beneficiaries who had not re-registered. The
Agency also started with the mop- up process (follow ups) via ICROP in May 2013
and would end in August 2013.
Upgrade of local offices
financial year the regional office had planned to upgrade eight offices but
ended up upgrading 14 offices. The budget allocation for the upgrade was R5,
649 million and the
509 million had been spent by
the time of the oversight visit.
The delegation was
told that the upgrading of local offices encountered challenges relating to the
alignment of SASSA strategic objectives to the National Department of Public
Works (NDPW) policies. For instance the NDPWs long turnaround times required
that all lease renewals should only be for a period of 8 months. Other
challenges related to the non availability of office space in certain areas,
; price collusion amongst service
providers, failure by landlords and/ or service providers to meet their duties
and/ or obligations.
To address the above
mentioned challenges the regional offices reported that it requested approval
from the SASSA Head Office to deviate from the approved procurement strategy.
This was done to address challenges over the upgrade of the Kempton Park,
offices. It would also engage with the Head Office to obtain approval to erect
park homes. With regard to the price collusion, the regional office
cases would be referred to the Head Office for investigation. To address the
failure of landlords and service providers to meet their duties, the regional
office reported that it would implement penalty clauses and/or refer such cases
to the Legal Services unit in the Head Office to implement breach remedies.
Capacity building of staff
The regional offices
reported that it had identified different training programmes for all salary
levels. However, there were certain challenges that needed to be addressed. The
challenges related to the following:
Lack of funding to
capacitate the support posts, resulting in the compromising of service delivery
Lack of sufficient funding
to fill critical posts to implement the 4 step model in line with the
delegations for Social Grants Administration.
Longer processes taken by
the State Security Agency to finalise the Personal Suitability Check during
Longer processes taken by
the National Department of Public Works to improve and identify offices to
provide reasonable accommodation for all customers and people with
To address the above
challenges the regional office informed the delegation that it had identified
funding and/or savings to fill vacant support posts and new posts at local
offices. Particularly, the funding would enable the Agency to fill critical
staff required for the implementation of the four step model. In addition, the
Agency had proposed that it should be allowed to appoint its vetting officers
at a central point to fast track the recruitment process. Pertaining to the
issue of office identification, the Agency had proposed that it should be
allowed to use its own model of office identification.
Deliberations on the issues that emanated from the
welcomed the progress made by the Agency in implementing the standardisation
process as it believed this would address the challenge of regions implementing
different business processes. This had proved to be a serious challenge to the offices
that were affected by the demarcation process where local offices and pay
points were moved to other provinces. This had created inconsistencies in the
applications processes and general service delivery.
were identified as examples of those affected local offices. These offices are
located at the borders of Gauteng and North West; Gauteng and Mpumalanga provinces.
Related to the issue
of office identification, the delegation sought clarity over the closure of the
Kempton Park local office. The office had been closed for over a year. The
Agency explained that, that office used to share office space with the
Department of Social Development. The department vacated the premises because
of problems related to the rent. Subsequently, the landlord decided not to
renew the lease. The Agency then approached the Department of Public Works to
address this issue. It was then found that the landlord did not have a tax
certificate and at that time the building had been taken over by a new
landlord. The new landlord had promised that the transfer of ownership would be
finalised by end of July 2013. The Agency had also tried to find another office
space as an alternative option but it had not been successful. A piece of land
had been identified in
but there were delays
in finalising the documents.
The challenge of
long queues at payment outlets was also raised as an issue of concern. The
delegation wanted to know if it was possible for SASSA to negotiate with local
businesses to pay grants as an alternative option to ease queues at the big
payment outlets. This could also be another measure of empowering local businesses.
The regional office reported that the Minister of Social Development and the
CEO of SASSA were already exploring that option.
The issue of money
lenders was also raised as another area of concern. The regional office
indicated that this was still a challenge but with the introduction of the
payment card, SASSA had been able to monitor deductions from beneficiaries
5.2 Site visit to the Maponya Mall SASSA service
The Maponya service
office is one of the biggest SASSA service offices in Gauteng. The office had identified
certain areas to implement the four step process. It had a designated
disability management unit which processes applications for disability grant.
It also had consulting rooms that accommodate three SASSA doctors. The
delegation observed that the office was adequately resources in all service
visit to the service office coincided with the cut off date (31 July 2013) of
re-registration of beneficiaries who had received follow up letters. These had
not re-registered by the end of April 2013. It therefore observed that there
were long queues of beneficiaries who came for the re-registration. The
beneficiaries complained to the delegation that SASSA officials had turned away
some of them without attending them on a number of times. They also complained
that some officials told them that they were doing them a favour when they
were attending to their applications.
officials not attending to some applications, the regional office explained
that the reason was that the CEO of SASSA had issued a directive that there
should be a cut off time (17:00) of the re-registration system to avoid
6. Site visits to the departments programmes
to the Walter
Sisulu and Youth Care Centre
The centre was officially
launched as a pilot project of the Gauteng Provincial Government on 01 April
1997 by the political stalwart, Mr Walter Sisulu. The primary aim of the centre
was to provide a positive and safe environment for the development and
containment of children and youth at risk.
The aim and objectives of the centre were to assist a child to reach a
balance in his/her life in physical, emotional, educational, social and
spiritual areas. It also assisted a child to adjust in his or her environment
reducing the negative trauma and behavior that the child could have
experienced. It also provided awareness, prevention, early intervention
programmes and counseling services. The centre had two components, namely; the Temporary
Safe Care and the Secure Care. The Temporary Safe Care admits children who are
in need of care and protection referred through the Childrens Court. The
Secure Care admits children in conflict with the law referred through Criminal
Amongst other basic
principles of the child and youth care centres, is to ensure that each young
person has an appropriate development plan (Individual Development Plan) and a
programme of care. It is also to ensure that young persons have access to
educational opportunities, therapeutic services and participate actively in the
development and review of this plan.
Children are also given opportunities to participate in religious
activities. The centre has a Chaplin that provides church services over
weekends and during religious holidays. The centre
to protect young persons from all forms of exploitation, discrimination and
abuse. Children are given opportunities to enable them to learn, develop, and
participate in programmes that seek to promote their rights and care for
Reasons for admission of
boys to the secure centre were mainly due to the possession of drugs, rape,
house breaking, theft, hijacking, fraud, murder and robbery. Girls were mainly
admitted as a result of committing offences ranging from theft, assault with
gravely body harm, murder robbery. The centre had three units with a capacity
of accommodating 20 girls. However, only two units were underutilized. One had
not been utilized due to a small number of girls admitted in the secure centre.
The centre had
for boys and all of them were utilized. It was pointed out
that more children were mostly admitted to the centre during school holidays
and December holiday period.
The centre had partially
implemented the Secure Care Norms and Standards (Blue print) commissioned by
the Department of Social Development. It had established Active HIV/Aids and
Substance Abuse Committees and young persons were participating in various research
In terms of temporary safe
care, it was reported that 22 children were on extended leave of absence as
part of family reunification services and five children with special needs were
placed to alternative care. It was also reported that at least more than six
unaccompanied minors had been reunited with their families or placed in an
alternative care in the past year (2012). The centre held regular meetings
aimed at assisting with the fast tracking of placement of children.
Service delivery challenges
It was reported that the
centre was the only facility that admits girls in conflict with the law.
Another challenge faced by the centre was that
children with mental illnesses had to be admitted without having been properly
diagnosed and therefore with no appropriate medication. Another challenge was
that unaccompanied minors from other countries admitted in the centre were
unable to converse in any of South African languages. This makes it difficult
for the centre to provide services to them. Other problems faced by the centre
included admission of pregnant girls and girls who had babies, children who had
completed the diversion programme and had no place to go afterwards and xenophobic
attitudes among children.
In terms of temporary safe
care challenges, it was reported that the longer the children (especially
orphans) stayed in the centre the more difficult it was
accommodation for new admissions.
The lack of alternative placement options to
admit children was raised as another serious challenge. More children with
special needs were admitted in the centre, even though the staff was not
capacitated to work with such children.
Foster parents were
reluctant to foster children with behavioural problems.
It was further reported
that physical infrastructure of the centre was not conducive for the physically
challenged children. Other infrastructural challenges
identified related to water
seepage, plumbing and sewer problems.
Deliberations on the issues
emanating from the presentation
The Committee expressed its
appreciation for the work done by the officials to ensure the smooth running of
the centre. It however raised a concern over the delays in the registration of
the centre due to the challenges experienced with the local government in
ensuring that the centre was zoned. It encouraged the centre to try and get
additional funding from other donors as this would assist it in meeting its
6.2 Visit to
Place of love.
centre was established in
and it offers residential care to
who were abused, abandoned, neglected or orphaned. It acts as a
place of safety where children are placed until suitable families are found,
either by foster care or adoption agencies. Children who could not be
immediately placed stay at the centre for as long as it is necessary.
The centre has a nursery
which provides care to
nursery receives 24 hour supervision from qualified nurses, auxiliary nurses
and nursery assistants. The delegation was told that babies who had been found
abandoned or neglected were often suffering from a variety of ailments. These
babies are nursed back to health while awaiting adoption, foster care or
re-unification with their families.
In addition, students from the
Occupational Therapy department at the University of Witwatersrand assisted the
home by providing stimulation and support to the babies.
Qualified occupational therapists from
foundation also provide the home with
professional support. They visit the home every Thursdays.
The delegation was told that it was the homes
priority to place babies with suitable families as soon as possible so that
they would not experience prolonged institutionalization, which can be
detrimental to their healthy development.
The home also provides a
granny programme for the babies.
This programme is aimed at
providing much needed nurturing stimulation and bonding programmes for children
who reside in the home.
The programme was launched in 2011 with funding
from an American based NGO, called Spence- Chapin.
programme involves services of 15 grannies (
from the community who spend quality time with specific young children aged
between 0-6 years. Each granny is responsible for two children and they spend 2
hours with each child every day. They offer love, care, support, warmth and
stimulation to the children and ensure that they develop well mentally,
physically, and socially. It was highlighted that children in residential care
institutions who have had minimal or no opportunity to receive proper care from
their parents often developed bonding and attachments issues. This programme
enables them to learn how to form positive social attachments that are
to early childhood developments.
programme also offers supervised care in a family setting to
60 school going children and teenagers
5 to 18 years of age. Children are housed in five cottages. Each cottage is
named according to
values that are core
in any childs development, namely; the Houses of Hope, Dignity, Respect, Trust
These same values are inculcated a
nd re-modelled to the children on a daily basis. The children in each
house live und
er the care of a child care worker.
home also offers therapeutic services and developmental programmes to children.
They also receive counselling from social workers
in recreational programmes such
as soccer, netball, karate, basket ball, indigenous games, gumboot dance,
, traditional dance, music, art, drama, etc.
also offers an independent living programme which was designed for
older children aged 16 years and above to
receive training and guidance to prepare them for a transition from
institutionalized living to an independent living as young adults. Relevant
independent skills are also taught to all children. The
guests to present relevant topics such as financial literacy,
entrepreneurship, career, guidance etc. A social worker was assigned to ensure
that the programme runs smoothly.
The home consists of
40 permanent staff members,
comprising of a manager, assistant
manager, 2 social workers, 1 receptionist, 2 nursery supervisors, 12 nursery
staff, 10 child care workers, 2 laundry staff, 1 driver, 1 cook, 2 gardeners
and 5 general assistants. It also employed
non-permanent staff members. These were relief workers, overnight s
and 15 grannies. Staff members attended workshops, seminars, teambuilding
sessions, debriefing sessions and other relevant trainings to ensure that
professional service is rendered to the beneficiaries
to the Soweto Old Age Home
The old age home was
established in 1988 to address the problem of abandoned older persons. It
provides residential care to 122 older persons both males and females of all
races. Its main objective is to provide health care services and social work
services to the older persons.
The delegation was
informed that the home had, at the time of the oversight visit, an interim
board. It was in the process of recruiting members of the new board. The home
is structured into four departments and its personnel comprised of an
administrator, a secretary, a centre manager, a professional social worker, a
social auxiliary worker, a bookkeeper and an independent auditor. One of the
is the maintenance department, which is under
the supervision of the house keeper. The department also supervises the
security unit. The second department is the nursing department consists of
16 care givers, 3 Enrolled Nursing Assistants, and 2
professional nurses. Two members of the staff had attended a training workshop
in occupational therapy. The rest of the staff was scheduled to attend the
training at the end of August 2013. In addition, the
Fire Department regularly trained older persons and staff on fire drills. The
home is also supported by
clinic for referrals for medical treatment.
The home provides
wellness programmes, golden games, intergenerational activities and indoor
activities. These are organised under the supervision of a social worker and a
social auxiliary worker. With regard to nutrition, it was reported that the
menu was revised every three months and fruit and vegetables were bought every
The delegation was
informed the home faced the following challenges:
It was still waiting to be
issued with a health certificate for it to be registered. The problem was that
the building plan could not be found and so the home was using a temporary
building plan. The National Home Builders Registration Council (NHBRC) was assisting
the home to get a new building plan.
The frail care unit had a
shortage of nurses and health care workers to both attend the elderly people in
their wards and to escort them to the clinics.
It had a shortage of some
medication, particularly pain tablets. The
clinic used to supply it with medication but it had since stopped. It also had
a shortage of diabetes testing machines. It only had one visiting doctor.
It had a shortage of
crockery. The walking freezer was old and it required constant repairs. There
was a need for a
and kitchen for the frail
The homes main
source of funding was the Department of Social Development. In 2013, the
department funded it with an amount of R3 million. Each beneficiary was
allocated an amount of R2 500. The delegation was told that funding from donors
had been reduced. In 2012/2013 financial year the home had received an amount
of R980 894 from its fund raising activities. This money and some of the
amount received from the Department of Social Development was used to pay
salaries of social workers and social auxiliary workers. Despite of this, the
delegation was told that the payment of salaries was not guaranteed because it
was paid largely from the money received from the fund raising activities.
contribute 75% (R890) per month from their Old Age Pension (OAP), which is paid
into the homes account. Older persons who are in frail care contribute 100% of
their OAP to the homes account. This was according to the arrangement the home
made with SASSA.
to the FAMSA Family Preservation Programme in
The centre provides family
and preventative oriented programmes to members of
and surrounding communities. It organises support groups for parents (single
and married), child headed households, teenage mothers, children, individuals
and older people to help them realise their role in the society. Older people
support group sessions are held every Thursdays. These sessions enable older
people to share their experiences. Each group is taught life skills, stress
coping mechanisms, relationships and family preservation skills.
The centre also provides a
variety of trainings which are fully accredited and some of them are
therapeutic. The therapeutic training teaches counselling skills to 150
adolescent counselling groups.
The delegation was informed
that there had been an increase of single parenting in Eldorado Park. FAMSA in
collaboration with the Faith Based Organisations had established a mens forum
to raise awareness and educate men on the responsibilities of fatherhood. It
was also reported that substance abuse and domestic violence were the two main social
ills that affected the surrounding communities. Through these forums, FAMSA
provided couples and families with coping mechanisms that were responsive to
the changing structure of the families, such as single parenthood, divorced
families and teenage parenthood.
The Centre gets referrals
from schools and other entities in the society and its services are free of
charge. It refers the cases which it is not able to provide intervention to the
Department of Social Development for intervention.
The centre also formed a
Senior Survivor Club. The club consisted of a group of elders who are between
the ages of 60 and 80 years. The club consisted of 49 (5 men and 44 women)
members. The club meets every Tuesdays and Wednesdays and they are provided with
paid a membership fee of R30, which was used to buy things that the group
needed. The members are transported to the centre but those who can, walk to
the centre. It was reported that the benefit of the club was that it served as
a place where the members could belong. The groups participate in various
wellness activities like exercising and hairdressing. The members also receive
motivational talks on different social issues. The club had a bookkeeper
responsible for the management of books.
Pre-Primary School (or ECD centre) is located in Eldorado Park. It is managed
by and funded by a Catholic Church. It is funded for 105 beneficiaries between
the ages of 1 to 6 years in accordance with the National Integrated Plan for
Early Childhood Development.
Department of Social Development provided the school with infrastructure aids
to improve the educational stimulation of the children and means to improve the
nutritional status of children. The department also assisted the centre in its
registration to ensure that it complies with norms and standards.
The Department of Basic Education trained the
The Department of
Communications provided the centre with two computers, which came with
educational DVDs. Practitioners were trained on how to teach using these DVDs.
The centre also has a sick bay,
fitted kitchen and classes have fire detectors.
The delegation was
satisfied with the condition of the centre and its cleanliness.
6.6 Presentation by the Department of Community Safety on the report on the
Eldorado Park VEP Functionality and the Department of Community Safety VEP
It was reported that
, alcohol and
the main substances of choice in the area. As a result the VEP centre deals
with a lot of cases of
rape, missing children, domestic
violence, substance abuse, behavioural problems, trauma counselling and any
other family crisis.
school anti substance abuse programmes as part of educational and awareness
Department of Social Development and the South African Police Service hold
regular meetings to discuss crime related issues in the area.
high incidences of crime and substance abuse were attributed to the
dysfunctional family environments. The presenter therefore strongly emphasised
the importance of family preservation programmes.
The delegation was told that the centre had also conducted
the following Social Crime Prevention programmes:
Drug awareness campaigns at
secondary and primary schools according to the Social Crime Prevention plan.
Drug awareness campaigns in
conjunction with the churches and pastors of different denominations.
Weekly radio talks on
to inform listeners on the dangers of drug
A forum for men against
women abuse where issues of drug abuse and domestic violence were addressed.
Frequent publications on
the local newspaper on social crime prevention interventions in the community.
Mens Indaba to address
drug abuse and domestic violence
6.7 Visit to the Eldorado Park Crisis Centre (Victim Empowerment
Programme (VEP) centre
The centre is situated in
Eldorado Park police station. It provides overnight shelter for victims of
domestic violence and counseling sessions. It has a warrant officer who is
responsible for opening cases of domestic violence. It also has a social worker
who is responsible for providing counseling to the victims and makes referrals
to the Department of Social Development and to the courts. The delegation was
told that most community members did not have a clear understanding of the role
and purpose of the VEP. They mainly used it as an information centre.
centre had inadequate office space. For instance, it does not have a
centre had a high volume of cases.
did not have adequate supervision of its programmes.
6.8 Site visit to the SANCA in Eldorado Park
The SANCA Eldorado Park is
a satellite office of the SANCA
(South African National Council on
Alcoholism) Central Rand, which was founded in 1963 by a g
concerned community leaders in the Western Coloured Township (known as
Westbury) to address the scourge of social problems that had manifested in the
community. Their objectives were to address the problems that had escalated due
to the misuse and abuse of alcohol. The group was particularly concerned about
, domestic violence, and abuse of women. The
centre receives funding of R1.4182 million per annum for medical component (
doctor and a nurse) from the Department of Social
Development. It received additional funding from the National Lottery
Distribution Fund. The centre conducts outreach programmes to educate
communities on substance abuse. The awareness and prevention programmes are
funded by SANCA under the
These programmes have a
target to reach 20 000 beneficiaries. The project management component of the
centre is allocated R272 000 per annum.
The Eldorado Park satellite
office was established in 1985. It operates from a donated house that was
turned into an office. The office staff comprises of 2 Social Workers, 2 Social
Auxiliary Workers, 2 Community Development Workers and 1 nurse. This office had
the highest number of clients compared to other SANCA satellite offices. It
received referrals from the Department of Social Development social workers.
During the period of 01 May
26 July 2013 the centre assessed a total of 130 clients. Eighteen of these clients
were working full time, 38 were abusing marijuana and 15 were abusing
. Services that are provided in the centre include:
one on one counselling, group work for significant others and facilitation of
patients into treatment centres, referrals for in-patient service assessments,
drug testing, awareness and prevention programmes on substance abuse, after
care and re-integration programmes. The centre also offers the following school
Programmes of Primary Prevention:
Educating Through Stories (POPPETS)
one of the
oldest SANC A programme that educates children in Early Childhood Development
centres and junior primary schools of the dangers of substance abuse.
This programme aims at
changing behaviours of teenagers who had been in conflict with the law. It
focuses on attitude change and encouraging responsible behaviours among the
youth with the aim to divert them from the criminal justice system. The
the following services:
Family/significant other program
Referrals where indicated
Networking with community resources
Regular reporting to point of referral
The out-patient treatment
programme is provided to the alcohol and drug dependent persons. The programme
conducts therapeutic assessments, medical assessments, on-going therapy and
Training and educational programmes
These programmes encompass
training and educational programmes to schools, professionals,
-professionals and community groups educating them on
the dangers of substance abuse.
Due to the high rate of
poverty, unemployment, crime and substance abuse, SANCA provides a number of
services to communities, such as help with needs assessment, initiate job
creation projects and arrange skills training.
The presentation reported
that the centre faced the following challenges:
facility to offer detoxification programmes and many clients are in need
of this programme at the start of the treatment programme;
of youth unemployment in the community and increased usage of substance
abuse by youth;
members of the users are not always willing to make changes in their own
lives and therefore clients often go back to the same circumstances that
they were exposed to before they received treatment;
financial resources affects the needs to expand programmes to reach more
clients into the treatment centres for in-patient is sometimes a lengthy
process and some clients drop out.
address the above-mentioned challenges, the centre identified interventions
that link recovering users to the economic opportunities, such as, the
Development Centre, SANCA and the Department of
SANCA Johannesburg Society
SANCA Phoenix House)
As part of the
introductory remarks the presenter presented some general facts about the
trends of substance abuse in the country. She reported that children as young
as seven to twelve (7-12) years were starting to abuse alcohol and drugs. The
most affected age groups were adolescents and young adults.
Addiction was prevalent
among males than females. Generally women were found to abuse mostly over the
counter drugs, but, they are not accessing treatment programmes as easily as
men due to gender stereotypes. She indicated that the
most serious addictions were still with socially acceptable drugs like alcohol
The SANCA Phoenix
is a Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) specializing
in the prevention and treatment of chemical dependency.
Over the years, it had expanded to provide a range of services to
address all the stages of the dependency process, which are:
Prevention and awareness
through education and capacity building;
programmes, such as adolescent and adult diversion; and
Out-patient and in-patient
treatment for more severe addictions.
The objectives of the centre are to increase public
understanding of the nature and treatment of addictions in general, and
specifically on alcoholism and drug dependence; to promote the tenets that
substance abuse and addiction is a treatable medical condition with associated
social, physical, psychological and community implications and to network and
co-operate with other organizations or forums that have similar objectives.
The Phoenix House was registered to provide
substance abuse services to adult male and females. It provides both in-patient
and out-patient programmes. It receives an annual funding of R420 000 from
the Department of Social Development. During the presentation, the department
indicated that it would negotiate with the Phoenix House management to increase
its bed capacity. This was critically important due to the high substance abuse
in the country.
Its in-patient programme comprises of a three to
six weeks treatment programme. The programme consists of four to five
therapeutic and educational groups per day, two Alcohol Anonymous sessions per
week, weekly individual, family and group therapy sessions, 12 months aftercare
programme and an integrated treatment model. The latter offers behaviour
modification and psychodynamic services. The out-patient programme consists of
eight to twelve week programme, adolescent diversion programme for youth under
the age of 18 years who had been in conflict with the law, adult diversion
intervention programme for
adolescents, weekly individual, group and family sessions.
community awareness and prevention campaigns for high risk groups, the centre
reached over 40 000 people. The aim of prevention and awareness campaigns was
to supply reduction programme to postpone the onset of experimentation with
substances as well as to reduce the harmful effects of substances for people
already using substances. Examples of campaigns are as follows:
Foetal Alcohol Syndrome
education at 14 Gauteng Community Clinics in Johannesburg and
with expecting mothers;
programme for ECD Centres and crèches with three to ten year olds.
is a programme of primary prevention and education
through stories. It is a structured nine session programme with a manual that
enables ECD and primary school educators to implement this programme for three
to nine year olds. The centre trained 30 ECD practitioners and principals who
were implementing the programme in
Youth Leadership Camps (or
YADA Youth Against Drug Abuse);
Capacity building to
provide skills to parents, educators, community leaders, professionals and
Sewing groups for
Public education and
awareness through organised community marches, door-to-door campaigns and
soccer tournaments; and
Establishment of Local Drug
Action Committees as per the requirement of the National Drug Master Plan.
highlighted the following challenges faced by the centre:
It receives 47% of income
from the Department of Social Development. As a result, i
t could only treat five
in-patients per month and 550 out-patients per annum at both the Sophia Town
and Ebony Park out-patient clinics and conduct 40 000 awareness and prevention
programmes. The demand for free services exceeded what the entre could provide.
It had a long waiting list for the in-patient clinic.
It received no financial support from the National Lotteries Board for
2013. It was therefore expected to raise 37% funding through its fundraising
initiatives. The challenge was that the donors were always reluctant to fund
anti-substance abuse programmes.
It could not afford fulltime staff and so it employed only
social workers and psychologists.
It had staff retention
problems due to its salaries not being competitive. The staff had not received
bonuses for two years.
It could not also afford a fulltime
medical officer and a
To address the
above-mentioned challenges, the centre identified short term and long term
strategies. The short term strategy aimed
at developing and implementing the fundraising and
marketing strategies for financial sustainability, expanding the centres
service delivery to increase accessibility such as Ivory Park and in
revamping the centres
programmes to make them in line with the changing needs of the communities.
The long term strategy
aimed at making SANCA Phoenix House financially sustainable and be able to pay
its staff competitive salaries and thus retain them. The centre also aimed
at opening out-patient
clinics in Ivory Park,
. It also aimed at opening its own adolescent
inpatient clinic. The clinic will use the services of the young people to help
their peers. It also aimed at opening its own half way house with a skills
The Portfolio Committee
recommends that the Minister of Social Development and its entities should
consider doing the following:
provincial Department of Social Development
The Faith Based Organisations (FBOs) play an
important part in the fight against substance abuse.
The challenge of illegal rehabilitation
centres receives an urgent attention.
A coordinated approach between the provincial
department and its stakeholders in the fight against substance abuse is
A strategy to ensure that old age homes are
monitored to ensure compliance with norms and standards is developed.
Gauteng South African Social Security Agency
The Provincial Portfolio
Committee on Social Development and the SASSA Gauteng Office strengthen their
working relationship by having regular meetings to discuss service delivery
issues. One area that the provincial committee and the regional SASSA needed to
urgently address was the issue of cross border local offices. The residing
members of the national Portfolio Committee on Social Development would make a
follow up with the provincial portfolio committee on this issue.
The regional SASSA office
establishes working relationships with the constituency offices, especially
those that serve cross border areas. SASSA acknowledged that the transfer of
these offices had been a challenge and it would appreciate an opportunity to
meet with the provincial portfolio committee to discuss this issue.
The regional SASSA office
establishes working relationships with the non-government organisations (NGOs),
the FBOs and community based organisations (CBOs) to strengthen its information
dissemination and address challenges that were inherited with the transfer of
local offices from neighbouring provinces.
The regional SASSA office
refers the issue of the closure of the Kempton Park local office to the CEO of
SASSA as this was an area of serious concern.
The Walter Sisulu and Youth Care Centre
Allocating additional budget to the centre to cover
for the maintenance expenses.
Assists the centre in developing a funding strategy
that would enable it to source funding from donor organizations.
Assists the home in
its fundraising strategy to look for sponsors to assist with the replacement of
furniture so as to improve its interior decor in order to make the home more
Soweto Old Age Home
Assists the home to
intensify its fundraising activities by approaching businesses that had visited
it during the Mandela Day.
Assists the home in
reporting the challenges of the shortage of medication to the Department of
Health to prevent the situation from escalating.
Report to be considered.
In 2009, the Committee visited the Western
Cape South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) offices and service points.
In the same year, it conducted oversight in
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