ATC151022: Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR) of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development, on the performance of the Department of Social Development and its entities for the 2014/15 financial year, dated 21 October 2015
Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR) of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development, on the performance of the Department of Social Development and its entities for the 2014/15 financial year, dated 21 October 2015
The Portfolio Committee on Social Development, having considered the performance and the submission to the National Treasury for the medium term period of the Department of Social Development, the South African Social Security Agency (hereafter SASSA or the Agency), and the National Development Agency (hereafter the NDA or Agency) reports as follows:
The Portfolio Committee on Social Development as an extension of the National Assembly of Parliament is tasked with a mandate to conduct oversight over the Department of Social Development and its entities the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and the National Development Agency (NDA).
The Committee’s mandate as prescribed by the Constitution of South Africa and the Rules of Parliament is to build an oversight process that ensures a quality process of scrutinising and overseeing the department’s action and that is driven by the ideal of realising a better quality of life for all people of South Africa. It is also required to facilitate public participation, monitoring and oversight over the legislative processes relating to social development and also to confer with relevant governmental and civil society organs on social development matters. The Committee also enhances and develops the capacity of its members to exercise effective oversight over the Executive Authority in social development. It monitors whether the Department of Social Development fulfils its mandate according to priorities.
It also has a mandate to perform the following:
- Considers legislation referred to it;
- Conducts oversight of any organ (s) of the state and constitutional institution(s) falling within its portfolio;
- Facilitates appointment of candidates to entities;
- Considers international agreements; and
- Considers budget of department and entities falling within its portfolio.
For the current medium term (2014 – 2019), the Committee’s oversight focuses on the department and its entities performance with regard to the implementation of the priorities set in the National Development Plan and in the Medium Term Strategic Framework. The Committee also conducts oversight over the department’s performance in implementing the priorities of the State of the Nation Address (SONA).
NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN (NDP)
These are the priorities of the NDP that the Committee focuses on:
- establishment of a social floor which outlines an acceptable or decent standard of living,
- bringing the informal sector into the mandatory contributory scheme,
- expanding social welfare system,
- reviewing funding to not-for-profit organisations,
- training more welfare professionals and community workers,
- expanding public employment programmes,
- promoting opportunities for youth employment.
- use of social audits to enhance accountability in the welfare system, and
- the integration of all databases of people who receive different forms of social security services.
THE MEDIUM TERM STRATEGIC FRAMEWORK (MTEF)
These are the priorities of the MTEF that the Committee focuses on:
- provision of quality and universal early childhood development (ECD),
- universal access to social assistance benefits,
- strengthening of community development emphasizing the roles of community-based planning and
- profiling of communities, in the process identifying vulnerable households.
2015 STATE OF THE NATIONAL ADDRESS
The 2015 SONA reiterated Government’s commitment to creating a caring, effective and responsive state. With respect to the social development sector, the President:
- Reaffirmed the commitment to fight crime and create safer communities, in particular crimes against women and children.
- Indicated that Cabinet released the draft National Disability Rights Policy for public comment in December 2014, in response to the 2014 SONA commitment to continue to advance and improve the lives of people with disabilities.
- Assures that government will continue to promote opportunities for the youth.
- Highlighted that Government also continues to provide social development support within mining communities.
In terms of the fight against violence on women and children, poverty has been found to be associated with violence against children. For the Department of Social Development this meant that it needed to strengthen its programmes that are closely linked to the eradication of poverty. The National Development Plan identifies Food and Nutrition Security as a key element for reduction of poverty and inequality. The department is implementing a Zero Hunger Programme in response to the crisis of poverty in the country.
Research indicates that exposure of a young child to violence affects the normal development of trust and exploratory behaviours that leads to autonomy in children. Both the Constitution (Act No. 108 of 1996) and the Children’s Act (No. 38 of 2005, as amended) are important in ensuring that children’s rights are protected and that provisions are made to ensure the best interests of the child. Both are based on principles of development, with an emphasis on prevention of harm to children. The Children’s Act (No. 38 of 2005), along with the Amendment Act (No. 41 of 2007), provides for the full continuum of services, from prevention and early intervention to tertiary protection services of different forms of violence against children. The Department of Social Development is the custodian for the implementation of the Children’s Act. The implications of the aforementioned (SONA) call for protection of children requires the department to improve its implementation of the Children’s Act, particularly addressing implementation challenges in the areas of foster care, early childhood development (ECD), adoptions, Part B Child Protection Register, shortage of social workers and probation officers and funding of Not for Profit Organisations rendering statutory children’s services. The department should also improve on its implementation of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development’s Child Justice Act through diversion programmes. The department would also need to speed up the process of amending the Children’s Act aligning it with the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act (No.32 of 2007).
On the other hand, the Department of Social Development determination to fight poverty and the disintegration of families by providing family support received a boost when cabinet approved the White Paper on Families during 2013/14 financial year. Implementation of the White Paper is therefore critical in implementing commitments of the State of the Nation Address.
With the recent (2014) restructuring of the administration of the country, the Department of Social Development inherited two programmes from the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities - People with Disabilities and Children. Therefore, in addition to the child protection services (mentioned above) and services to people with disabilities, the department assumed the responsibility to implement additional programmes from the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities. These include finalising the draft Bill on Social Development Services to People with Disabilities, the National Policy on the Rights of People with Disabilities, mainstreaming children’s rights in line with the National Plan of Action for Children (NPAC), implementing the National Prevention and Early Intervention Strategy, Ulwazi Ngabantwana database as well as Child Friendly Communities (CFC) Framework.
- PURPOSE OF THE BRRR
As part of exercising its oversight work, the Committee considered the 2014/15 annual reports of the department and its entities. This BRRR reports on the financial and non-financial performance of the department and its entities.
In terms of Section 5 of the Money Bills Amendment Procedures and Related Matters Act, No. of 2009, the National Assembly (NA) through its committees must annually assess the performance of each national department. Portfolio Committees must thus annually submit Budget Reviews and Recommendation Reports (BRRRs) for tabling in the NA in order for Parliament to compile a report for the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement.
The Money Bills Amendment Procedure and Related Matters Act therefore make it obligatory for Parliament to assess the department’s budgetary needs and shortfalls vis-à-vis the department’s operational efficiency and performance.
Most importantly the budget review process enables the Committee to amend the budget allocation of the department through the recommendations it makes. Its recommendations are considered during the consideration of the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS). The budget review process also enables the Committee to make recommendations to the Minister of Social Development on issues pertaining to service delivery. This therefore means that the analysis contained in the BRRR is both backward and forward looking.
The BRRR culminated from a very intense and thorough analysis and interaction with the department and its entities. These included a briefing from the Department of Social Development and its entities on their annual reports, a briefing from the Office of the Auditor-General on the audit outcomes, committee briefings and oversight visits.
- MANDATE OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
The department derives its mandate from several pieces of legislation and policies, including the White Paper for Social Welfare (1997) and the Population Policy (1998). The constitutional mandate of the department is to provide sector-wide national leadership in social development by developing and implementing programmes for the eradication of poverty and social protection and development amongst the poorest of the poor and most vulnerable and marginalized.
The department’s mission is “to ensure the provision of comprehensive social protection services against vulnerability and poverty within the constitutional and legislative framework, and to create an enabling environment for sustainable development’’. The department further aims to deliver integrated, sustainable and quality services, in partnership with all those committed to building a caring society.
The vision of the department is to create a caring and integrated system of social development services that facilitates human development and improves the quality of life.
- Overview and assessment of THE financial performance OF THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
4.1.1 Overview of the key relevant policy focus areas
The social development sector derives its overarching mandate from Section 27 of the South African Constitution (Act 108 of 1996). Section 27 makes it a right for South African citizens to have access to social security and food security. In line with this constitutional mandate and the international and regional obligations, the government adopted the 2009 – 2014 Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) in which 12 Government Priority Outcomes were identified. Due to the cross cutting nature of the social development sector, the Department of Social Development had to implement a number of these priority outcomes. Additionally, Government adopted a National Development Plan in 2012, which provided a strategic framework for the 2014 – 2019 MTSF. This MTSF increased the Government Outcomes to 14. The priorities and targets that have relevance to the social development sector are as follows:
- provision of a comprehensive, responsive and sustainable social protection system;
- creation of decent employment through inclusive growth;
- ensuring that all people in South Africa are and feel safe;
- creating a vibrant, equitable, sustainable rural communities contributing towards food security for all;
- developing an efficient, effective and development-oriented public service; and
- creating a diverse, socially cohesive society with a common national identity.
Department Strategic Priorities (2014/15)
The department identified five strategic priorities for the 2014/15 financial year; namely:
- Expanding Child and Youth Care Services through the Isibindi Model;
- Increasing access to Early Childhood Development (ECD);
- Combating substance abuse and gender based violence;
- Increasing household food and nutrition security and
- Protecting and promoting of the rights of older persons and people with disabilities.
- OVERVIEW OF THE KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT FOR 2014/15
The policy developments of the Department of Social Development are shaped by the policy priorities of the National Development Plan (NDP) and the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTEF).
The department made significant progress in achieving the key priorities it had identified for the year under review. With regard to expanding the child and youth care services through Isibindi Model, the department reported that in partnership with the National Association of Child Care Workers (NACCW) it trained 10 000 child and youth care workers over a period of five years. A total of 337 Isibindi projects were established to deliver prevention and early intervention programmes through Isibindi model. During the reporting period 4 879 child and youth care workers continued to deliver prevention and early intervention programmes.
To increase access to ECD, the department developed a draft ECD Policy and it was approved by Cabinet in February 2015 and subsequently gazetted for public comment. The department also developed the Comprehensive ECD Programme, which will be finalised after the approval of the ECD Policy as it is embedded in the Policy. It also completed the ECD Audit and its outcomes provided the basis for finalising the draft ECD Policy.
To combat substance abuse and gender based violence, the department developed a plan to establish five treatment centres in North West, Free State, Northern Cape, Limpopo and Eastern Cape. It reviewed the Ke Moja Drug Awareness campaign to ascertain its effectiveness and strengthen dissemination of information tools. In partnership with the Department of Health, Trade and Industry, the department developed a draft Bill on the content of marketing alcohol beverages. The Bill was approved by Cabinet. Pertaining to combating gender based violence, the department established a Gender Based Violence (GBV) Command Centre, which attends to calls of domestic violence, rape, physical abuse, indecent assault, verbal abuse, abandoned children and non GBV cases.
To increase household access to food security, the department facilitated the implementation of the Households Food and Nutrition Strategy with specific focus on meeting immediate nutritional needs of the most vulnerable and food insecure. Over 400 000 households accessed food through Food Security Programmes and the department distributed over three million kilograms of food supplies to cover 615 898 beneficiaries.
To protect the rights of older persons and people with disabilities, the implemented and trained 408 service providers in all provinces on implementing the electronic elder abuse register. Also, through the GBV Command Centre it attends to the cases of abuse of older persons and then refer them to the relevant NGOs. The department also drafted a Bill on social development services to people with disabilities. It also conducted training on the Disability Mainstreaming Toolkit.
5.1 PERFORMANCE AND EXPENDITURE PER PROGRAMME
During the 2014/15 financial year, the department had an overall spending of 99.3%. The breakdown is as follows:
- Programme 1: Administration – R 326 738 million (99.4%).
- Programme 2: Social Assistance – R 119 994 billion (98.7%).
- Programme 3: Social Security and Administration – R 6 589 million (100%).
- Programme 4: Welfare Services Policy Development and Implementation Support – R599 313 million (93.5%).
- Programme 5: Social Policy and Integrated Service Delivery – R346 567 million (99.9%).
Table 1: Expenditure per programme
Expenditure as % of final appropriation
120 702 101
119 994 761
111 006 841
109 596 591
Social Security & Administration
6 589 561
6 589 081
6 376 646
6 376 560
Welfare Service Policy Development & Implementation Support
Social Policy & Integrated Service Delivery
128 593 644
127 856 460
118 511 600
117 084 949
Programme 1: Administration
Objective: To provide leadership, management and support services to the Department and the Social Development Sector.
There were 58 targets set to be achieved under this programme and 39 of them were achieved reflecting an achievement rate of 67.2%. The main reason for the deviation is that the department anticipates to move most of the unmet targets to the next financial year (2015/16). Achieved targets included – formation of partnerships with eight (8), development of the special needs housing programme, production of the key statistics and annual profiling of vulnerable groups and finalisation of the Terms of Reference for a diagnostic evaluation report on violence against women and children but due to non-delivery by the service providers, Impact Research International, the contract was cancelled.
The department however, failed to achieve its target of conducting four (4) sector management workshops for 40 officials. It also failed to develop the Human Resource Plan due financial constraints. It deviated from its target to improve the sector planning process and complete the review of the Integrated Service Delivery Model (ISDM).
Programme 2: Social Assistance
Objective: To provide social assistance to eligible beneficiaries in terms of Social Assistance Act, 2004 (Act No.13 of 2004) and its regulations.
This Programme had a total of only eight (8) performance targets, and succeeded in meeting five (5) targets reflecting a 62.5 % achievement rate and 37.2% non-achievement rate. The programme overachieved its target of increasing the Grant in-Aid beneficiary coverage to 84 619 by reaching 113 087 beneficiaries. It also overachieved its target to process 27 000 applications for social and disaster relief and processed 353 678 applications instead due to various communities in the country that were affected by disasters. The programme did not achieve its target to increase the uptake of the Foster Care Grant to 533 885 due to slow processing of the applications and placement by the court. It only managed to increase the coverage to 499 774.
Programme 3: Social Security Policy and Administration
Objective: To provide for social security policy development, administrative justice of social grants, and the reduction of incorrect benefits payments.
Out of nine (9) target set for 2014/15, the department managed to achieve only three (3) targets (33.3 %). The department completed a draft discussion paper on the universalisation of the Old Age Grant, but did not manage to consult with all provincial stakeholders. It also achieved its target to complete a discussion paper on the universalisation of the Child Support Grant and also completed a cost and financial implications of the grant’s universalisation. However, it failed to achieve its target of producing the annual survey report on social assistance. Reasons cited for this was that bids were invited, but a suitable service provider could not be found, and the process had to be repeated.
Programme 4: Welfare Services Policy Development and Implementation
Objective: To create an enabling environment for the delivery of equitable developmental welfare services through the formulation of policies, norms and standards and best practices and the provision of support to the implementation agencies.
Out of a total of 66 stated targets, only 44 were achieved, resulting in 66.7% of targets achieved and (22) 33.3% not achieved. The department exceeded its target of providing 800 social work scholarships and provided 1 436 scholarships. It also managed to achieve its target of developing and finalizing the Bill for Social Service Practitioners. It also developed the draft Review Policy on Financial Awards to Service Providers (PFA). The department exceeded its target (20 000) of screening persons working with children against the Child protection register Part B by achieving 63 607.
Additionally a target of rolling out the plan for Early Childhood Development (ECD) was developed and finalised as planned. Nevertheless, monitoring of implementation of Programme of Action (POA) on no violence against children in provinces was not conducted as anticipated. The department finalised the Children’s Amendment Bill and was approved by Community and Development Technical Working Group and Cabinet Committee. It finalized the Trafficking in Persons Policy Framework and it was approved in March 2015. The draft regulations for the Trafficking in Persons Act of 2013 were finalised and published in the Government Gazette for public comments in March 2015
It however, did not achieve its target to finalise the Bill on social development services to people with disabilities. Following the merging of the Children and People with Disabilities programmes of the former Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities into the Department of Social Development, the Bill on social development services to people with disabilities was put on hold to allow the finalisation of the overarching Disability Rights Policy that provides oversight to all national government departments.
Programmes carried over from Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities
The two programmes, Children’s rights and responsibilities (CRR) and Rights of Persons with Disabilities (RPD) were moved from the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities and incorporated into the Department of Social Development. A total of R33 766 million was suspended from the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities (DWCPD) and shifted to the Department of Social Development as part of the National Macro Organisation of State 2014 project.
Fifteen (15) targets were planned to be achieved in the year under review but only ten (10) were achieved. The target to host two child participation sessions on empowerment of children was achieved. The department presented its first report to the African Expert Committee on the Rights and Welfare of the Child as planned.
The department however deviated from its target of publishing the National Rights Policy. It also did not achieve the target to develop a strategy to fast-track the employment of people with disabilities. This was also not achieved in the previous financial year (2013/14).
Programme 5: Social Policy and Integrated Service Delivery
Objective: To support community development and promote evidence-based policy making in the Department and the Social Development Sector.
Under this programme the department had planned to achieve 43 targets but only managed to achieve 31 (72.1%). It developed a policy document on Radical Socio-economic Transformation Contribution of the Social Development Sector was developed in collaboration with relevant directorate, attained its target of awarding 46 bursaries for undergraduate studies, processes all 31 999 applications for NPO registration within two months amounting to a performance rate of 97.1 %. It however failed to achieve its target to establish nine (9) new Kwanda sites (no site was established) citing sustainable funding for the programme as a challenge.
5.2 REPORT OF THE AUDITOR-GENERAL
The audit outcome of the portfolio remained unchanged. The Department of Social Development and the four funds which are the dormant accounts sustained their unqualified audit opinion, without material findings on non-compliance. The audit reports of all four of the funds contained emphasis of matters paragraphs, highlighting the going concern issues disclosed in the notes to the financial statements. The going concern issue related to the uncertain future of the funds due to the planned closure of the funds being in process.
The AG found that the accounting authority did not take effective steps to prevent irregular expenditure, as required by section 51(1)(b)(ii) of the PFMA. This was due to the ineffective implementation of control systems to prevent the ocurrence of irregular expenditure. The consequence management process was insufficient in addressing the transgressions identified.
Fruitless and wasteful expenditure
The AG found that the department incurred fruitless and wasteful expenditure due to staff incurring penalties, fines and costs for late or non-cancellation that could have been avoided for which the entity did not receive any benefit.
5.3 OVERVIEW AND ASSESSMENT OF SERVICE DELIVERY PERFORMANCE
A General Overview of Targets and Achievements of the Strategic Priorities
In line with the strategic plan priorities, there appears to be some disjuncture between the financial expenditure and service delivery performance with an average expenditure of 99.3% while only 67% of targets were achieved. Compared to the previous year’s overall achievement (69%), there was a decrease in the achieved targets by 2% in 2014/15. According to the Auditor-General an interim audit was performed to highlight to management significant findings that may have an impact on the audit outcome. Furthermore, on a quarterly basis, the key controls were assessed on the dashboard reporting tool to highlight key control deficiencies to be addressed by management. The outcome of this was that significant issues were addressed on social assistance grant debtors and predetermined objectives before the financial statements were submitted for auditing.
When looking at the overall deviation of targets, the thematic reasons given by the department was that it anticipated to move most of the unmet targets to the next financial year. This was seen also with the programmes inherited from the former Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities. This means that the department would need to strengthen its planning to avoid carrying over targets again to the next financial year. This might have negative implications in terms of workload and service delivery.
5.4 COMMITTEE Observations
Having considered the briefing by the department the Committee made the following observations:
- The performance report of the department focused only on the achievement of targets and budget expenditure without highlighting the impact of these achievements. The Committee had previously raised this concern with department during the presentation of the quarterly reports.
- The integration between the department and its entities (SASSA and the NDA) is not at the level it should be. This shows that the department still falls short in conducting effective oversight, monitoring and evaluation over the entities. This was made evident by the audit findings of the Auditor-General on SASSA and the NDA.
- Similar to the aforementioned, the Committee observed a duplication of programmes between the department and the NDA, such as, ECD programme and community development through programmes funding to the NPOs.
- The Committee observed the incurred irregular expenditure of R17 878 million as identified by the Auditor-General. It however, notes that compared to the previous year (2013/14), there was a decrease in the year under review. In 2013/14 the incurred irregular expenditure was R21 031 million. Nevertheless, the Committee was concerned that irregular expenditure was incurred due to non-compliance with the National Treasury regulations and the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) procurement management processes. The Auditor-General also attributed irregular expenditure to the fact that review and monitoring processes implemented were not sufficient to identify the instances of non-compliance.
- The Committee also noted that the department incurred fruitless and wasteful expenditure of R152 000 even though this was a decrease from R278 000 in the previous year. It was concerned that this expenditure occurred due to staff incurring penalties, fines and costs for late or non-cancellation that could have been avoided for which the department did not receive any benefit.
- The Committee commends the department for receiving an unqualified audit opinion with no material findings of emphasis.
- The Committee further noted that the department funded LoveLife with the amount of R48 100 million. During its previous engagements with the department and LoveLife the Committee had raised its concerns over the expanded mandate of LoveLife and its relationship with the department. The department explained that it subsequently reviewed its relationship with LoveLife which resulted in LoveLife undergoing transformation in the way it conducts its work.
- OVERSIGHT TO THE DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
The oversight work of the Committee mainly focused on the following areas:
Service delivery issues
- Shortage of social workers: The Committee strongly raised its concerns over the continuous shortage of social workers, especially in the context of implementation of the Children’s Act of 2005 (as amended in Children’s Amendment Act of 2007). The costing plan on the implementation of the Act indicated that for the Act to be fully implemented the department would need 66 000 social workers and the department still falls far short from reaching that number. The Committee further raised concerns over the low absorption of social work graduates into workplaces by provincial departments. Of particular concern was the fact that the department’s request to National Treasury for additional funding for the absorption of social workers was declined. The other concern of the Committee was that there was a disjuncture between the number of social work students enrolled at higher education institutions funded by the department’s social work scholarship and those who graduate and get absorbed by the department.
During its oversight visit to the Eastern Cape, the Committee was informed that the province 661 social work graduates that had not been absorbed. These were social work graduates who were funded through the social work scholarship. Therefore this number did not include social work graduates who were privately funded who were also unemployed.
The department acknowledged that the shortage of social workers is a serious challenge. To address this, the Minister informed the Committee that as a long term strategy the department is moving towards having one (1) social worker per ward. The department would also use the services of the veteran or retired social workers. To retain and attract social workers the department informed the Committee that it would undertake a process of costing, job grading and standardising the payment between the state social workers and those employed by the NGOs.
During the 2014/15 annual report deliberations, the Committee reiterated its concern over the shortage of social workers even though there was an increase in the funding of social work scholarship but the department lacked the capacity to absorb graduated social workers. This is despite the policy stipulating that social work graduates have to be absorbed within three months of graduating. The concern of the Committee was that in the future this challenge may lead to litigations against the department. The Committee suggested that the department should consider providing funding to the NPOs to absorb these social workers. The department explained that the funding of the NPOs is inclusive of salaries of social workers. During the Social Work Indaba it was recommended that the department should consider paying the salaries of social workers directly.
Substance abuse: With regard to substance abuse, the Committee was concerned about the challenges encountered pertaining to the implementation of the National Drug Master Plan (NDMP). During its engagement with the Central Drug Authority (CDA), the Committee was told of the implementation challenges across the three spheres of government, including poor reporting, uncoordinated programmes, unsustained Local Drug Action Committees and limited financial and human resources.
In addition to the aforementioned concerns, the Committee repeatedly raised its concerns over the impact of substance abuse, especially to the youth. Despite the alarmingly high rate of substance abuse in the country, there was a shortage of treatment centres. The department reported that over the medium term period it would build treatment centres in Eastern Cape, Free State, Northern Cape, North West and Limpopo. The Eastern Cape and Limpopo treatment centres were scheduled to be completed within the 2014/15 financial years and the rest during 2015/16 and 2016/17 financial years.
To strengthening its oversight work on the issue of substance abuse the Committee identified it as a focus area for its oversight visit to the Northern Cape Province. It found that the province had taken good initiatives to curb the high levels of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) by conducting public awareness programmes in partnership with NGOs such as the Foundation for Alcohol Related Research (FARR) and the Alfrend Rens Isibindi Centre using the services of Child and Youth Care Workers.
Notwithstanding the aforementioned, the Committee found there were challenges pertaining to the funding of the construction of the treatment centre. The department was allocated a budget of R42 million by the national department. However, the estimated costs of the centre amounted to R97 million, which was eventually reduced to R67 million after consultations with the consultants and the national department. This meant that the number of beds had to be reduced from 60 to 40, which was a concern to the Committee considering the fact that the province is one of the provinces with the high levels of substance abuse. The Committee further found that the province did not have formal or documented anti-substance abuse programmes including social crime prevention and victim empowerment.
- Gender based violence: The increasing violence and murder of women, particularly older women was another area of concern to the Committee. It therefore, undertook to conduct an oversight visit to the Eastern Cape, which had experienced a rise in the murder of older women. It found that substance abuse by the youth, beliefs in witchcraft, older women living on their own and theft of Old Age Pension were the main causes of violence and murder of older women. The Committee requested the department to develop interventions to address this.
- Child protection services: To strengthen its oversight work on the issue of violence, abuse and murder of children, the Committee invited the Medical Research Council (MRC) to brief it on its study on the violence against children and its consequences in South Africa. The finding that the department felt had policy implications was that South Africa does not have a national survey on child homicide and so there was no disaggregated data on child homicide per province, which would serve as a surveillance tool and indicator of the national prevalence of child homicide. Even though the Committee acknowledged the high cost implication of conducting national surveys, it felt that these surveys are essential for the country to have them as they serve as critical assessment tools and provide good evidence for policy interventions.
- Early childhood development (ECD): The Committee focused its oversight on funding model of ECD (subsidisation), state of infrastructure, especially in rural areas, training of ECD practitioners and nutrition. It engaged the department over inequalities in ECD funding between provinces, which in some provinces funding of ECDs is not prioritised. Also, there was inequalities in subsidies paid per child, with some provinces such the KwaZulu-Natal paying R16 subsidy per child while other provinces pay R15. The department informed the Committee that it had engaged with the National Treasury on the proposal to have funding for ECD being made a conditional grant. It was also considering a proposal for a shift from subsidy per child to programme subsidy based on the cost drivers.
With regard to training of ECD practitioners, the department reported that it had signed a service level agreement with the Department of Basic Education, which develops the curriculum and trains the practitioners. The Department of Basic Education commenced the training on the National Curriculum Framework (NCF) for age group from birth to four years on 1 April 2015. During the 2014/15 financial year the Department of Social Development completed the ECD Audit and its outcomes provided the basis for the finalising of the draft ECD Policy. The department had also undertook to renovate 10 000 ECD centres and assist those struggling in complying with the norms and standards. It would also train ECD practitioners to implement the ECD Master Plan commencing from 2014/15 financial year.
During its oversight visits in the Northern Cape and Eastern Cape, the Committee found that ECD centres in rural areas lacked infrastructure and access to land. These centres were operating in privately owned structures, either by church organisations or home owners. Because of that it was difficult for these centres to comply with the norms and standards.
- Financial and non-financial support to the NPOs: The Committee focused its oversight on funding of NPOs, capacity building, monitoring and evaluation to ensure compliance to norms and standards and accountability through reporting. The Committee was particularly interested in ensuring that the department receives the value for money with regard to service delivery. The department explained that it took a decision to provide funding through programme funding in which NPOs are required to identify their programmes and specify how they link to the department’s priorities. Also, funding is disbursed only when an NPO has submitted its business plan and complies with the reporting requirements.
Despite the above-mentioned interventions, during its oversight visit to the Northern Cape, the Committee found that there funding delays of three to four months due to challenges of non-compliance to the submission of business plans. These delays resulted in these centres not having food supplies and required urgent interventions with regard to maintenance, safety and security and programme implementation.
- OVERVIEW OF THE KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE SOUTH AFRICAN SOCIAL SECURITY AGENCY (SASSA or Agency)
The South African Social Security Agency was established in April 2006 as a Schedule 3A Public Entity in term of the PFMA. The Agency derives its legislative mandate from the South African Social Security Act, 2004 and the Social Assistance Act, 2004. The main function of the South African Social Security Act is to make provision for the effective management, administration and payment of social assistance and service through the establishment of the South African Social Security Agency.
The Social Assistance Act provides a national legislative framework for the provision of different types of social grants, social relief of distress, the delivery of social assistance grants and the establishment of an Inspectorate for Social Security.
The mission of the Agency is to administer quality customer-centric social security services to eligible and potential beneficiaries. The objectives of SASSA are to act as the sole agent that will ensure the efficient and effective management, administration and payment of social assistance and to eventually serve and institution to manage broader social security benefits.
SASSA strategic priorities for 2014/15
The priorities of SASSA for 2014/15 financial year were as follows:
- Reducing income poverty by providing social assistance to eligible individuals;
- Improving service delivery;
- Improving internal efficiency; and
· Institutionalising social grants payment system within SASSA.
7.1 PERFORMANCE AND FINANCIAL EXPENDITURE
The achievement of the aforementioned priorities is reflected in SASSA’s overall performance through the achievement of its targets. SASSA managed to increase its grant payment from 15 932 473 beneficiaries in 2013/14 to 16 642 643 beneficiaries in 2014/15 marking an increase of 4.46%. It further achieved its priority of reducing income poverty by achieving a 30% take up rate of social grants among children who were previously excluded (0 – 1 and over 12 year olds, who were found to be approximately 2.3 million), which translated to approximately 138 632 children aged 0 -1, bringing the total of the number of children in receipt of the social grant for this age category to 597 459. The Agency also awarded social relief of distress to 353 678 households, which was an increase from 337 148 households in the previous financial year (2013/14).
In summary with regard to improving service delivery, the Agency established a national call centre, trained front desk officials in sign language, improved on its turnaround time of processing applications processed within 21 days by 99.6%, reduced overcrowding through queue management and improved 52 local offices and 144 pay points. Most importantly, the improved Agency ensured that its offices and service points are disability friendly by installing ramps and making spaces for wheelchairs. To improve efficiency, the Agency developed a strategic Architecture and ICT road map in order to provide an integrated secure end-to-end solution, enable automation of business services and provide optimal on-going support to the organisation. It also procured a Business Intelligence solution to enhance the management of information and reporting within SASSA. Most local offices were equipped with computers, printers and network connectivity to speed up processing of social grants.
In achieving its priority of institutionalizing the social grant payment, the Agency partnered with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) to investigate possible technical solutions for Biometric and Payment Systems.
The overall budget of the SASSA for the period under review was R 6 517 589 billion, SASSA spent 97% of that amount. The bulk of the expenditure was on Corporate Services sub-programme (107%), Internal Audit (102%) and Grants Administration. The over expenditure under Corporate Services was due to procurement of fleet and the Local Office Improvement and Pay Point Development projects that were funded from approved retained cash surplus. Again, SASSA received an unqualified audit opinion with additional matter from the Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA).
Programme 1: Administration
Objective: to provide leadership, management and support services to SASSA.
In the Annual Performance Plan (APP), SASSA had planned to achieve 23 targets under this programme. In the Annual Report (AR) it however reported on a total of 27 targets. Of the reported targets in the AR, the Agency achieved nine (9) targets, not achieved five (5) and overachieved on 13 targets. Under this programme, SASSA had an achievement rate of 33.3%.
The most important targets achieved included conducting internal audit reviews conducted on high risks areas, 72% of reported fraud and corruption reported investigated and 100% achievement of the vetting contracts within ten (10) days, 950 out of 1 328 reported fraud cases were investigated and 266 officials were suspended, 53 dismissed and 11 referred to the Law Enforcement Agencies. It also achieved its targets of developing a Payment Architecture, vetted 402 identified employees, improved 52 local offices and 144 pay points. It however did achieve targets to develop the Employment Relations Model, to implement biometric access to buildings for staff and to implement biometric authentication system.
The Agency reported that for the year under review this programme received a budget allocation of R2 481 115 and spent R2 207 487, which marked an under expenditure of R252 986. However, calculations to verify the under expenditure shows that under expenditure was R273 268. Also, for 2013/14 financial year, the AR reported that this programme received a budget allocation of R2 450 279 and spent R2 424 895 with under expenditure of R7 476. Calculations to verify the under expenditure showed that under expenditure was R26 384.
Programme 2: Benefits Administration and Support
Objective: To improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the administration of the social assistance programme.
The Agency through this programme planned to achieve nine (9) annual targets. In the AR it reported over achievement in seven (7) targets. However, the seven targets reported on in the AR included two targets that do not appear in the APP. These targets are: 150 000 of Foster Child Grant reviews conducted and 420 outreach programmes inclusive of Mikondzo conducted. On the reported targets, the Agency achieved one (1) target (11%), deviated on seven (7) targets and not achieved one (1) target.
The two annual targets that appeared in the APP but not in the AR are: payment of distribution channels investigated/ researched and partnerships established to facilitate linking of SASSA payment system to other benefits. Analysis on the Agency’s performance on these targets was thus difficult to do and that has implications in the oversight work of the Committee in terms of having a clear indication of the performance of the Agency through this programme. Nevertheless, the Agency managed over achieved its target to conduct a Biometric Data clean-up including investigations. It however, under achieved in its target to increase the take-up rates of child grants of children below 1 year by 55%. It only achieved a take-up rate of 30.21% due to continued resistance by care givers to register their new born babies for the Child Support Grant.
This programme was allocated a budget of R4 036 million and spent R4 026 million, with only under expenditure of R9 875.
Fruitless and Wasteful Expenditure
An amount of R7 085 159 was as incurred fruitless and wasteful expenditure as at 31 March 2015 due to claims in respect of damages to hired vehicles, travel and hotel related no shows, interest on late payment and other losses. A total amount of R1 860 872 was condoned and R382 103 was raised as recoverable.
The Agency incurred irregular expenditure to the amount of R40 787 746 and this was due to continuing with services where contracts had expired (mostly leases), non-compliance to Supply Chain Management (SCM) processes and not advertising in the Government Tender Bulletin. There was a decrease in the irregular expenditure for 2014/15 from the previous year’s one which was R70 116 768, which R28 065 682 of it related to Mikondzo events.
7.2 REPORT OF THE AUDITOR-GENERAL
SASSA retained its unqualified audit opinion from the AG, for the 2014/15 financial year. Similarly to the previous year (2013/14), the AG found that the following issues that needed to be resolved:
- Record-keeping in respect of assets;
- Reconciling of financial transactions;
- Management of Social Assistance Debtors;
- Internal control deficiencies in some areas of financial management.
The AG also highlighted the following additional matters:
- Compliance with legislation
Irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure
The accounting authority did not take effective steps to prevent irregular expenditure, as required by section 51(1)(b)(ii) of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). The accounting officer also did not take effective and appropriate disciplinary steps against officials who incurred and/or permitted irregular expenditure and fruitless and wasteful expenditure, as required by 51(1)(e)(iii) of the PFMA. This expenditure increased from R3 152 767 in 2013/14 to R5 302 223 in 2014/15 financial year. This expenditure was incurred due to staff incurring penalties, fines and costs for late or non-cancellation that could have been avoided for which the entity did not receive any benefit.
- Internal Audit
The internal audit did not evaluate the reliability and integrity of the financial and operational information, as required Treasury Regulation 27.2.10(b).
- Internal control
The accounting authority did not establish and communicate policies and procedures to enable and support understanding of internal control activities to ensure complete and accurate financial reporting of irregular expenditure and leases. The accounting authority also did not execute adequate review and oversight to ensure compliance to applicable legislation and regulations and related controls regarding procurement and irregular expenditure.
Financial and performance management
Proper record keeping and review processes were not implemented in a timely manner by management to ensure complete, and relevant and accurate financial reporting on irregular expenditure and leases. Furthermore, record keeping and review processes were not implemented in a timely manner to ensure compliance with applicable legislation and regulations and related controls regarding procurement and irregular expenditure.
The internal audit did not perform a review on the reliability and integrity of financial information.
- Investigations conducted by the fraud management and compliance unit of SASSA and the special investigation unit requested by the Agency on non-compliance to the supply chain management policy and procedures resulting in possible fraudulent actions and possible irregular and fruitless expenditure.
- National Treasury investigations on two cases relating to the awarding of two bids. For one investigation the report had been released to the Minister for further action and the other case was still under investigation. The impact on the financial disclosures is still unknown.
- An investigation performed by a civil society organization on the payment made by SASSA to a service provider amounting to R317 million. Based on the results of the investigation, the organization approached the court to review and set aside the decision to pay R317 million to the service provider. The investigation and court action was initiated based on the public interest on the matter. The matter was still in court.
7.3 COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS
- The Committee noted with concern the audit findings of the Auditor-General particularly on irregular expenditure and fruitless and wasteful expenditure. It felt that reflected negatively on the management as well as on the Department of Social Development’s oversight responsibility.
- It also noted with concern the R1 billion debt reported by the Auditor-General and requested the Agency to conduct an age analysis of legacy debts and brief the Committee on its outcomes. The Committee, however notes the explanation by SASSA that this debt debt pre dates SASSA and it has accumulated over the years. It was incurred due to overpayment of social grants during the period when the administration of grants was done by the provincial Departments of Social Development. It also includes debts identified by the Special Investigation Unit (SIU). SASSA has a set up a three year plan to analyse this debt in terms of debt that can be recovered and the one that would need to be written off. It would appoint debt clerks to do the analysis as it currently does not have debt collection expertise.
- It further noted the explanation by the Agency that the issue of unauthorised deductions from the social grants is a difficult issue to deal with because it is perpetuated in a banking space outside the SASSA’s control. One of the recommendations made by the Ministerial Task Team established by the Minister, recommended that specifications should be developed that would only permit deductions made from commercial accounts not from SASSA payment account. The Agency also established a payment resolution mechanism which beneficiaries can approach to report unauthorised deductions. SASSA also works in partnership with the National Credit Regulator. Another intervention, which SASSA presented to the insurance industry, required insurance companies and beneficiaries to submit to SASSA written notices of the insurance deductions.
- The Committee welcomed the Minister’s initiative of establishing a committee to investigate challenges around foster care system as well as cases of abuse of foster children. The Minister reported that the committee was given 18 months to complete the investigation.
- OVERVIEW AND ASSESSMENT OF SERVICE DELIVERY PERFORMANCE
There were discrepancies between the planned targets in the Annual Performance Plan and targets reported on in the Annual Report. This affects the true reflection of the performance of the Agency through its two programmes. Furthermore, Agency had overachievements in most of its targets, skewing the actual performance in terms of achievement of targets.
- OVERVIEW OF THE KEY DEVELOPMENTS IN THE NATIONAL DEVELOPMEBNT AGENCY (NDA)
In terms of the National Development Agency (NDA) Act (Act No 108 of 1998 as amended), the NDA was mandated to contribute towards the eradication of poverty and its causes by granting funds to civil society organisations (CSOs) to:
- Implement development projects in poor communities, and
- Strengthen the institutional capacity of CSOs that provide services to poor communities.
NDA strategic priorities for 2014/15
The NDA identified key priority areas, namely:
· Implementation of Early Childhood Development (ECD) Campaign;
· Expansion of the Capacity Building Programme;
· Implementation of NDA Programme Management Unit (PMU);
· Conversion of NDA Provincial Offices into Advisory Centres.
8.1 PERFORMANCE AND FINANCIAL EXPENDITURE
The NDA actual expenditure for 2014/15 reached R272.4 million, which constitute an expenditure rate of 94.6%. Assessing the entity’s performance targets is challenging since not all targets specified in the 2014/15 APP were reported on, while there also appeared discrepancies between some of the targets cited in the Annual Report and those specified in the APP.
Of the entity’s 4 programmes, Programme 1 had the most difficulty meeting its targets, while discrepancies are evident in Programme 3’s reporting. In terms of expenditure, the slowest expenditure was recorded for Programme 2, with actual expenditure for 2014/15 recorded at 84.1%.
There are several discrepancies in terms of targets and indicators for 2014/15 – however, the NDA Annual Report (p.37) specifies that no changes were made during the period under review. Such changes would require prior approval.
Programme 1: Capacity Building
Objectives: To expand access to capacity building interventions to CSOs in order to improve the quality of services they deliver to communities.
· To fund ECD, Food Security and Income Generation projects and programme.
The overall performance of Programme 1 for the year under review was far from optimal, with only 33.3% of the reported targets met. In contrast, expenditure stood at 92.3% by the end of the financial year. In the APP the NDA had set to achieve 11 targets but the AR reported only on nine (9) targets. On the reported targets, this programme achieved only three (3) targets. It was unable to meet most of its targets, which include the following:
· Instead of reaching 6 000 beneficiaries for capacity building interventions, only 4 927 were reached.
· Instead of 80% of CSOs demonstrating improved knowledge, the actual performance was 73%.
· Instead of establishing 45 NDA advisory centres, only 36 were established.
· The value of grants disburses was R75.8 million, instead of the targeted R80 million.
It however, managed to achieve to enrol 248 NDA funded ECD practitioners in NQF Level 4 training, exceeding a target of 227. It also created 2 143 jobs through NDA funded, instead of 1 421.
Programme 2: Research and Development
Objective: To monitor and evaluate all (100%) NDA funded programmes by 2019.
· To undertake research aimed at providing the basis for development policy and programme implementation focussing on poverty eradication, unemployment and inequality.
Programme 4 performed well during the year under review, achieving all but one (1) of the targets set for 2014/15. The entity was unable to produce an evaluation report on outcomes and impacts of the NDA programme. This was due to the large sample size of projects included in the evaluation of projects implemented during the past five years. However, the following key targets were achieved:
· Instead of producing the 6 planned case studies on the NDA programme areas, the entity achieved 7 case studies.
· The NDA set itself the target to produce 52 close-out evaluations on grant-funded project reports but achieved 53 instead.
· A total of 113 mid-term evaluations on the NDA grant-funded projects were conducted, slightly exceeding the target of 112.
Programme 3: Resource Mobilisation
Objective: To mobilise resources in cash and in-kind through sustainable partnerships towards supporting and building the capabilities and communities and households for self-reliance.
Programme 3 had two set targets for 2014/15, of which the NDA in its Annual Report identified as all targets met and exceeded. However, there appears to be serious discrepancies between the targets reported in the Annual Report and the targets set in the 2014/15 APP. For instance, two of the targets reported on in the Annual Report were targets for 2013/14. In the 2014/15 APP the NDA had set a target to mobilise R120 million in cash and in kind towards supporting and building the capabilities of communities and households for self-reliance. In the AR the reported target is R100 million and the Agency reported that it mobilised R104.2 million thus exceeded this target. The R100 million target was however for 2013/14 financial year. Again, in the 2014/15 APP the Agency had set a target to have 15 partnership agreements signed towards supporting and building capabilities of communities and households for self-reliance. In the AR the target is 10 and the Agency reported that it exceeded it by having 14 signed partnership agreements. The target of 10 was set for the previous year (2013/14).
Programme 4: Governance and Administration
Objective: To develop and implement systems and processes to improve efficiency and effectiveness of internal control and organisational performance.
The overall performance of Programme 4 is quite high, with an overage of 80% of all targets met for the year under review. Budget expenditure (99.8%) also reflects an overall good performance. It should be noted that the target to achieve an unqualified audit was achieved, while 95% of all NDA staff achieved a performance rating of 3 and higher.
Fruitless and Wasteful Expenditure
The fruitless and wasteful expenditure decreased from R46 249 million in 2013/14 to R22 395 million in 2014/15 financial year. This expenditure was incurred due to staff incurring penalties, fines and costs for late or non-cancellation that could have been avoided for which the entity did not receive any benefit.
8.2 REPORT OF THE AUDITOR-GENERAL
The NDA received an unqualified audit opinion for the 2014/15 financial year. However, the Auditor-General (AG) identified material misstatements in the annual performance report submitted for auditing on the reported performance information for Programme 1: Capacity Building. The AG did not identify any material findings since management subsequently corrected the misstatements. The AG found the following material non-compliance with respect to key legislation:
Procurement and contract management:
- Sufficient appropriate evidence could not be found that a contract was awarded based on points given for criteria that were stipulated in the original invitation to bid – as required by SCM Regulation, Treasury Regulations 16A6.3(a) and Preferential Procurement Policy.
- The preference point system was not applied in all procurement of goods and services above R30 000 – as required by section 2(a) of the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act and Treasury Regulations 16A6.3(b).
Financial and performance management:
- Management did not prepare regular, accurate and complete financial and performance reports that are supported and evidenced by reliable information.
- Compliance with relevant legislation is not regularly monitored, and non-compliance is not timeously addressed.
- COMMITTEE OBSERVATIONS
- The Committee expressed concerns over the discrepancies between planned targets in the APP and reported targets in the Annual Report. This made it difficult for it to assess the performance of the NDA. It was indicative of the leadership gap caused by the absence of the NDA Board, the CEO and the manager in the office of the CEO who are the accounting authorities.
- Summary of previous (2014) key financial and performance recommendations of Committee AND PROGRESS MADE
9.1 Department of Social Development
- The Minister should ensure that there is consistent service delivery in all the provinces with particular focus on rural areas and other poor areas. In addition, the Minister should ensure that NPOs funded by the department expand their foot print in rural areas by fast tracking the implementation of the Policy on Financial Awards by the provinces to eliminate inconsistencies in the funding model.
Report by National Treasury: The National Treasury is working with the Department of Social Development to address inconsistencies between the daft Policy on Financial Awards and the PFMA as well as to develop protocols for the management of transfers to NPOs. This should assist with an improved implementation of the policy.
- The Minister should ensure that the department strengthens its mechanisms to ensure that NPOs are accountable and comply with the NPO Act.
Report by the Department of Social Development: The department implemented a range of national interventions to improve compliance, key amongst them are: (i) NPO Road shows (97) and capacity building (to 3 016 NPOs) which seeks to increase NPO compliance by reaching out to organisations at the municipal level, (ii) Ministerial Imbizos which provide one stop service to all local NPOs in an integrated manner, (iii) Small Message System (SMS) reminders, which provide regular updates to all NPOs and (iv) public media announcement by the Minister to remind NPOs to comply with the provisions of the NPOs Act
- The Minister should ensure that the department works in close collaboration with the South African Police Service to further promote protection of older persons.
- The Minister should ensure that the children residential facilities are provided with necessary training, resources and infrastructure to meet the needs of children with special needs.
- The Minister should ensure that the department expedite the registration of residential facilities of children and older persons.
Report by the Department of Social Development: The department acknowledges and notes the concerns raised by the Committee over the protection and children and older persons. It was planning on conducting victim satisfaction survey to evaluate services provided by the criminal justice cluster departments. It was also in the process of reviewing the Older Persons Act to address areas of concerns raised by the Committee. The ward based approach has been adopted to ensure that luncheon clubs are initiated and active programmes are provided to older persons. The department also embarked on a process to register the residential facilities for older persons in line with Older Persons Act and a total of 150 facilities were registered in 2014/15 financial year.
- The Minister should ensure that the department fast tracks the roll out of Project Mikondzo in all provinces.
- The Minister should lobby the National Treasury to increase funding for food security programmes and public participation in the form of Project Mikondzo. This will ensure that the department reduces virements for public participation.
Report by National Treasury: Funds amounting to R120 million were allocated to the Department of Social Development over the 2013 MTEF period for food security but spending on food relief continues to be slow. National Treasury has worked with the department to improve the budgeting for outreach programmes over the 2015 MTEF to reduce significant virements.
During the 2014 adjustment budget process, funds were provided for ‘public participation’ processes as recommended. An amount of R10.5 million was also rolled over for food relief. Over the 2015 MTEF, approximately R50 million is proposed for reprioritisation from SASSA to DSD for the roll out of Project Mikondzo.
Report by the Department of Social Development: An amount of R120 million was additionally allocated over the 2014 MTEF period towards food security programmes. As part of the 2015 MTEF process, reprioritisation was done within the baseline allocation of the department to allocate R75 million over the 2015 MTEF period towards the Mikondzo outreach programme within the department.
- The Minister should ensure that the department strengthens its psychosocial support services, especially to the people who are live in abject poverty.
Report by the Department of Social Development: The department developed several documents on psychosocial support and organised training workshops with community caregivers, department officials and other implementing partners to ensure understanding of the concepts and services so as to enhance the quality of services provided.
9.2 South African Social Security Agency
- The Minister should ensure that SASSA strengthens the provision of the Social Relief of Distress. The provision of the Social Relief of Distress should be provided in a consistent manner according to the circumstances and needs of the people.
Report by SASSA: Responses: Negotiations have been undertaken with National Treasury to fund this programme more effectively. The implementation of the programme has received a higher priority to ensure that the rules are consistently applied by all regions. Work is underway to develop a system, aligned to SOCPEN, which will assist with reporting on social relief of distress.
- The Minister should ensure that SASSA fills the critical vacant posts during 2014/15 financial year.
Report by SASSA: SASSA undertook a rigorous exercise to identify funded critical posts. The exercise confirmed that 867 posts were funded and out that 804 posts were filled, with 506 through new appointments and 298 by internal candidates. The post of the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) was filled.
- The Minister should further ensure that SASSA addresses the matters of emphasis raised by the Auditor-General so that it can receive an unqualified audit report with no findings at the end of 2014/15 financial year.
Report by SASSA: SASSA appointed a General Manger responsible for Supply Chain Management in an effort to address some of the concerns raised by the Auditor-General. Challenges that were identified in 2013/14 financial year, which were still addressed included issues relating to service delivery as well as the continued legal process around the grant payment tender.
9.3 National Development Agency
- The Minister should ensure that the National Treasury is engaged to provide more funding to the NDA in the light that the mandate of the NDA has been expanded to provide grant funding to food security and ECD programmes as well as build capacity of the NPOs.
Report by the NDA: The NDA recommends that the Minister engages National Treasury to increase the current budget for the 2015/16 financial year from R184 381 000 to R263 511 763.
- The Minister should ensure that the Agency strengthens and expands its branding and awareness campaigns so that it can reach all communities especially rural communities.
- COMMITTEE Recommendations
Having deliberated and made observations on the department and its entities’ annual reports, the Committee recommends the following:
Department of Social Development
- The Committee reiterates its recommendation it had made in the last two financial years that the Minister should facilitate a process to ensure that the five dormant funds of the department are deactivated or a legislation to close them is drafted and submitted to Parliament in the next financial year.
- The Minister should ensure that the department strengthens its oversight role as well as monitoring and evaluation over its entities to ensure that there is integration between them and the department.
- The Minister should ensure that the department and its entities develop action plans to address the AG findings and a commitment should be made to implement measures on the AG findings.
- The Minister should ensure that the department strengthens the monitoring and evaluation of the NPOs.
- The Minister should ensure that the department strengthens the mainstreaming of the employment equity for people with disabilities within different departments according to intergovernmental relationships.
- The Minister should ensure that the department strengthens the early intervention, prevention and treatment of substance abuse across the provinces.
South African Social Security Agency
- The Minister should further ensure that SASSA addresses the matters of emphasis raised by the Auditor-General so that it can receive an unqualified audit report with no findings in 2015/16 financial year.
- The Minister should ensure that the entity aligns the reporting of achievement of targets in the Annual Report with the planned targets in the Annual Performance Plan to avoid discrepancies.
National Development Agency
- The Minister should ensure that the appointment of the new NDA board is given urgent attention as the absence of it has a negative impact in relation to accountability issues.
- The Minister should also fast-track the appointment of the NDA’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and the Manager in the office of CEO.
- The Minister should ensure that the entity aligns the reporting of achievement of targets in the Annual Report with the planned targets in the Annual Performance Plan to avoid discrepancies.
- CONCLUDING REMARKS
The general observation of the Committee is that the audit findings of the Auditor-General confirmed the concerns and issues it raised with the department and its entities during its engagements with them when they presented their quarterly reports. It however, welcomes the commitments made by the Minister to the Auditor-General to address them.
The Committee wishes to express its appreciation to the Department of Social Development and its entities for their continuous co-operation and for making available all the information the Committee requested. It also wishes to express its gratitude to the office of the Auditor General for availing itself to brief the Committee on its audit report, which proved invaluable when it considered and deliberated on the department and its entities annual reports. It also expressed its appreciation to the support it receives from its support staff.
Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (2010). National Policy: Framework on the Child Justice Act. Pretoria, May.
World Health Organisation. (2002).Child Abuse and Neglect by parents and other caregivers. In World Report on Violence and Health, chapter 3. Available Online: http://whqlibdoc.who.int/ hq/2002/9241545615.pdf [Accessed: 25 January 2012].
National Treasury (2014) Standing Committee on Appropriations 4th Quarter Expenditure Report 2014/15 Financial Year
Report to be considered
 WHO, (2012)
 Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (2010).
 DSD, (2015)
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