ATC160505: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Women in the Presidency on Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan (Budget Vote 13) of the Department of Women in the Presidency and the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) for financial year 2016/17, dated 4 May 2016

Women in The Presidency

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Women in the Presidency on Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan (Budget Vote 13) of the Department of Women in the Presidency and the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) for financial year 2016/17, dated 4 May 2016

 

The Portfolio Committee on Women in the Presidency, having considered the Annual Performance Plan and Budget of the Department of Women in the Presidency for 2016/17 as well as the Commission for Gender Equality’s Annual Performance Plan for 2016/17 on the 12 and 19 March 2016 respectively, reports as follows:

 

1. Introduction

 

The Department of Women in the Presidency (hereafter ‘the Department’) was established in 2014 following the national elections. In 2015, the Department received its first standalone budget allocation, Vote 13. In the 5th Parliament, oversight over the Department was assigned to the Portfolio Committee on Women in the Presidency. To this end, the Committee in performing its constitutional mandate engaged with the Department of Women in the Presidency’s the Annual Performance Plan and budget for 2016/17 on 12 April 2016 and on 19 April 2016 with the Commission for Gender Equality. 

 

2. Mandate and purpose of the Department of Women in the Presidency

 

The purpose of the Department of Women is to lead, coordinate and oversee the transformation agenda on women’s socio-economic empowerment, rights and equity. It derives its mandate from the Constitution and the presidential proclamation following the 2014 national elections. The mandate of the Department is to champion gender equality and the achievement of women’s socioeconomic empowerment and rights. The vision of the Department is to realise the socio-economic empowerment of women and the advancement of gender equality. The mission is to accelerate socio-economic transformation for empowerment and the advancement of gender equality.[1]

 

3. Policy Priorities for 2016/17[2]

 

The Department indicates that its focus over the medium term will be directed at three core areas as highlighted below.

 

  1. Analysing and monitoring policy, and providing knowledge

 

This will be achieved by:

  1. Analysing existing policies on the socio-economic empowerment of women and their implementation.
  2. Identifying gaps in implementation of these policies and determining the need for interventions in this regard.
  3. Monitoring and evaluating progress on the socio-economic empowerment of women in relation to national laws, as well as regional, continental and international treaties.
  4. Intensifying efforts to acquire knowledge on the socio-economic empowerment of women by conducting audits of existing information and the establishment of an information knowledge management system.

 

  1. Mainstreaming women’s socio-economic empowerment

 

The Department aims to develop mechanisms to address identified gaps in the implementation of existing policies on women’s socio-economic empowerment. These mechanisms include, amongst others:

  1. Interventions for skilling women in the economy.
  2. A gender-responsive planning and budgeting framework.
  3. A prevention strategy for the integrated programme of action on violence against women and children.

 

  1. Awareness raising and outreach

 

The Department indicates that it will host a number of awareness and outreach initiatives on a quarterly, annual and once-off basis. These initiatives will take the form of national and community dialogues and campaigns and will focus on women’s economic empowerment, gender-based violence, women’s health and harmful cultural, religious and traditional beliefs.

 

4. Budget Analysis for the Department[3]

 

The 2016 Estimates of National Expenditure indicates that the Department receives a budgetary allocation of R196.9 million for the 2016/17 financial year. Of this R 69.9 million constitutes the transfer payment to the Commission for Gender Equality, leaving the Department with an operating budget of R127 million. This is approximately R6 million more than in the previous financial year.

 

Table 1: Appropriated budget 2015/16 – 2018/19

 

 

Programme

 

Budget

Nominal Rand change

Real Rand change

Nominal % change

Real % change

R million

2015/16

2016/17

2017/18

2018/19

2015/16  -

2016/17

2015/16     –

2016/17

Programme 1: Administration

80.5

89.4

87.4

90.5

8.9

3.4

11.06%

4.18%

Programme 2: Social Transformation and Economic Empowerment

 

 

 

 

87.2

 

 

 

 

84.4

 

 

 

 

98.9

 

 

 

 

104.4

 

 

 

 

- 2.8

 

 

 

 

- 8.0

 

 

 

 

- 3.21%

 

 

 

 

- 9.20%

Programme 3: Policy, Stakeholder Coordination and Knowledge Management

 

 

 

 

 

19.4

 

 

 

 

 

23.1

 

 

 

 

 

21.2

 

 

 

 

 

21.1

 

 

 

 

 

3.7

 

 

 

 

 

2.3

 

 

 

 

 

19.07%

 

 

 

 

 

11.70%

TOTAL

187.1

196.9

207.5

2016.0

9.8

 - 2.4

5.24%

- 1.28%

 

The above table indicates the overall budget and budget allocation per programme for the 2016/17 financial year. The 2015/16 figure for Programme 3 is the amalgamated totals for the previous programme 3 and 4 which were allocated R 6.2 million and R13.2 million respectively. As noted previously, due to the change in programmes between 2015/16 and 2016/17, the comparison between programmatic budgets is difficult and the R19.4 allocated to Programme 3 is therefore based on a crude calculation.

 

Table 1 indicates that despite a nominal increase of R9.8 million in the allocation between 2015/16 and 2016/17, there has in fact been a real decrease by R2.4 million, i.e. when inflation is taken into account, the Department has 1.2% less to spend than it did in the previous financial year. In terms of the key cost drivers, 57% (R72.6 million) of the Department’s operating budget (R127 million) is allocated for compensation of employees and 39.9% is allocated for goods and services.

 

Research analysis of the budget indicates that there have been increases in the Administration Programme (R8.9 million) and the Policy, Stakeholder Coordination and Knowledge Management Programme (R3.7 million). Programme 2, Social Transformation and Economic Empowerment sees a R2.8 million decrease.

 

The Department indicated that the mandate of the Department will be realised through the following programmes with a details analysis of the funding allocation:

 

4.1 Programme 1: Administration

 

The purpose of the Administration Programme is to provide strategic leadership, management and support services to the Department. The total allocation for this programme is R89.4 million, which constitutes the bulk of the Department’s budget. There are no listed objectives for the programme in the 2016/17 ENE.

 

Expenditure under Programme 1 is allocated to:

Programme

Budget allocation

Ministry

R19.6 million

Departmental Management

R20.1 million

Corporate Services

R20.2 million

Financial Management

R14 million

Office Accommodation

R15.2 million

Total

R89.4 million

 

Approximately 57% of the budget allocation for the programme is spent on compensation of employees. The ENE indicates that for the 2016/17 financial year, the programme will have 85 staff members with the majority of these in salary levels 7 – 10 (26 personnel at a unit cost of R400 000) and salary levels 13 – 16 (24 personnel at a unit cost of R1.2 million).[4]

 

4.2 Programme 2Social Transformation and Economic Empowerment

 

The purpose of the programme is to facilitate and promote the attainment of women’s socio-economic empowerment and gender equality.

 

The objective of the Programme 2 is to promote women’s social and economic empowerment by:

 

  1. Identifying gaps in the implementation of existing policies or frameworks that promote women’s empowerment by engaging with Government clusters and individual departments on an ongoing basis.
  2. Developing intervention mechanisms to address the existing gaps identified in the implementation of frameworks that promote women’s empowerment on an ongoing basis.
  3. Developing sector-specific intervention mechanisms for gender mainstreaming over the medium-term.

 

The programme consists of 4 sub-programmes namely;

  1. Management: Social Transformation and Economic Empowerment provides overall strategic leadership and management to the programme. This sub-programme has been budgeted R3.4 million.
  2. Social Empowerment and Transformation develops intervention mechanisms that address the gaps that exist in the social empowerment and transformation of women. This sub-programme has been budgeted R3.2 million.
  3. Governance Transformation, Justice and Security provides guidance for enhancing existing systems and procedures and addresses gaps that create barriers to the equal participation of women in private and public sector. This sub-programme also contribute to the elimination of gender based violence. The allocation is R4. 1 million.
  4. Economic Empowerment and Participation develops intervention mechanism that will position to have equal access to opportunities and participate in the mainstream economy. The allocation for the sub-programme is R4. 3 million.
  5. Other expenditure under this sub-programme: transfer payment to the CGE is R69.8 million. The total allocation is R4.4 million.

 

Although the total programme allocation is R84.4 million, it must be noted that R69.8 million constitutes the transfer payment to the CGE, leaving the programme with an operating budget of R14.6 million. Of this, R7.2 million (49%) is for compensation of employees and R6.8 million will go towards goods and services – R2.2 million of the goods and services budget is allocated for travel and subsistence. The ENE indicates that for the 2016/17 period, the programme will have a staff complement of 13, with 6 staff members on salary levels 7-10 (at a unit cost of R400 000) and 4 staff members on salary levels 13-16 (at a unit cost of R1.1 million)

 

4.3 Programme 3:  Policy, Stakeholder Coordination and Knowledge Management

 

The purpose of programme 3 is to conduct policy analysis, coordination and knowledge management in respect of the socio-economic empowerment of women and gender equality.

 

The programme objectives are to:

  1. Influence Government policies and programmes on women’s empowerment by conducting gender sensitive research on women’s - empowerment on an ongoing basis and coordinating and conducting policy reviews and analyses to inform measures to be put in place to ensure women’s economic empowerment on an ongoing basis.
  2. Position the Department as a knowledge hub on women’s socio-economic and gender equality by ensuring that the data it collects on women’s socio-economic matters are accessible to the public on an ongoing basis.
  3. Ensure compliance with international treaties and obligations by facilitating and coordinating inputs from the relevant stakeholders (domestic, regional and international) to report on international treaties and obligations for women’s socioeconomic empowerment and gender equality, as and when the reports are required.

 

The programme consist of the following sub-programmes:

 

  1. Management: Policy, Stakeholder Coordination and Knowledge Management provides overall strategic leadership and management to the programme.  The allocation is R4.0 million.
  2. Research and Policy Analysis manages the research agenda and conducts policy analysis to intervene and influence the socioeconomic empowerment of women and the promotion of gender equality. This sub-programme has been allocated R4.4 million.
  3. Information and Knowledge Management positions the department as the knowledge hub on issues or content relating to the socioeconomic empowerment of women and gender equality. The allocation is R2.2 million.
  4. Stakeholder Coordination and Outreach coordinates stakeholder participation in women’s empowerment and the promotion of women’s rights initiatives at the national, regional and international levels. This sub-programme also ensures compliance with international treaty obligations, and conducts outreach initiatives which promote women’s socioeconomic empowerment and gender equality. This sub-programme has been allocated R8.1 million.
  5. Monitoring and Evaluation monitors and evaluates progress on the empowerment of women in line with national laws, regional, continental and international treaties and commitments. R4.2 million has been allocated to this sub-programme. The total allocation for the programme is R23.1 million.

 

The programme has a total allocation of R23.1 million, of which R13.9 million (60%) is allocated for compensation of employees and R8.4 million is allocated for goods and services. Of the goods and services budget, R2.6 million (31%) is allocated for travel and subsistence. The ENE indicates that for the 2016/17 period, the programme will have a staff complement of 21, with 7 staff members on salary levels 7-10 (at a unit cost of R300 000) and 8 staff members on salary levels 13-16 (at a unit cost of R1.1 million).

 

 

 

5. Commission for Gender Equality

 

5.1 Background

 

The background and context of CGE’s work emanates from Section 181 of the Constitution (1996) and it is one of the Chapter 9 institutions which are independent entities for strengthening democracy. The CGE is therefore required to report to the National Assembly at least once a year regarding the progress of carrying out its strategic objectives. Section 187 of the Constitution stipulates that the Commission should promote respect for gender equality, and protect and develop its attainment, as well as monitor, educate, lobby, advise and report on issues related to gender equality.

 

5.2 Powers Assigned to the CGE

 

In line with the CGE’s obligation to strengthen constitutional democracy with a focus on the attainment of gender equality, the CGE has a legislative mandate and functions stemming there from which include the following:-

 

  1. To monitor and evaluate policies and practices of organs of state, statutory bodies, public bodies, private businesses and institutions;
  2. To cultivate an understanding of gender equality and the role and activities of the Commission through developing, conducting and managing information and education programmes;
  3. To evaluate whether Acts of Parliament (existing or proposed), systems of personal and family law or custom, systems of indigenous law, custom or practices or any other law, will affect the status of women, and to make recommendations to Parliament in this regard;
  4. To recommend to the national and provincial legislatures, any new legislation that would promote gender equality;
  5. To investigate on its own initiative or due to a complaint, any gender related issue;
  6. To maintain close relations with institutions that undertake similar work, and to facilitate cooperation in handling complaints;
  7. To interact with civil society to further the work of the Commission;
  8. To monitor compliance to international conventions, covenants and charters related to gender issues, and to submit reports to Parliament in this regard;
  9. To conduct research on gender related issues;
  10.  To consider recommendations, suggestions and requests made with regards to gender equality as received from any source.

 

The Commission is publicly funded and is thus subject to the reporting requirements of the Public Finance Management Act (Act No 1, 1999). The obligations of the PFMA include an audit by the Auditor General. In line with its Constitutional mandate, the vision of the Commission for Gender Equality remains to strive for “a society free from all forms of gender oppression and inequality”, while its mission includes to “advance, promote, protect, monitor and evaluate gender equality through undertaking research, public education, policy development, legislative initiatives, effective monitoring and litigation”.

 

5.3 Strategic Focus of the CGE[5]

 

The Commission for Gender Equality aims to ensure that gender equality is promoted and unfair discrimination is eradicated within the policies and practices of Government, other state institutions, and private organisations, in line with outcome 3 (all people in South Africa are and feel safe) and outcome 11 (create a better South Africa, a better Africa and a better world) of Government’s 2014-2019 Medium Term Strategic Framework. The CGEs focus over the medium term will be on ensuring that gender equality is promoted and unfair discrimination is eradicated within the policies and practices of Government. This will be achieved through, amongst others:

 

  1. Hosting quarterly gender transformation hearings on a selection of organisations across economic sectors and,
  2. Assessing the performance of the country in implementing policies and programmes geared towards ending the marginalisation of women.

 

The mandate of the CGE will be realised through the following strategic objectives and sub-strategies:

 

 

5.3.1 Strategic Objective 1

The purpose of the Strategic Objective is to ensure the creation and implementation of enabling legislative framework that promotes the attainment of gender equality. This programme has been allocated R11.534 220 million. This objective has four sub-strategies as follows:

 

  1. To monitor equality and evaluate the promotion of gender equality and relevant policies and practices of the public and private sector and report to Parliament. This sub-programme has been allocated R4 353 656 million.
  2.  To initiate and participate in the review of the legislative framework in all spheres of Government that impact on gender equality.  The allocation is R544 235.
  3.  To conduct periodic performance assessment of priority Ministries, State institutions, Government departments, political parties and private sectors on the effective implementation of gender equality legislation policies and practices. The allocation for 2016/17 is R4.812 685 million.
  4.  To evaluate the implementation and effectiveness of national justice facilities in addressing gender discrimination. This sub-programme has been allocated R784 513.
  5.  To convene direct dialogues with relevant policy makers at national and provincial level on recommendation to promote gender equality contained in research reports and research activities. This sub-programme has been allocated R1.061 130 million.

 

5.3.2 Strategic Objective 2

 

The purpose is to protect and promote gender equality by engaging with relevant stakeholders to educate and raise awareness on issues of gender equality, challenge patriarchal perceptions and stereotypes and take action against infringements of gender rights through the implementation of appropriate redress. This objectives has been allocated R23.224 906 million. This Strategic Objective has the following sub-strategies:

 

  1. To timeously investigate complaints of violations of gender rights and identify appropriate redress. This sub-strategy has been allocated R9.112 354 million.
  2. To initiate an investigation into systematic violations of gender rights and identify remedial action. The allocation for 2016/17 is R3.138 943 million.
  3. To develop co-ordinated programme to promote gender equality. This has been allocated R1.167 577 million.
  4. To initiate intervention for the sustainable development and promotion of gender equality by addressing violations in the social, cultural, political and economic security and human rights dimensions. This has been allocated R6.570 692 million.
  5. To collaborate with organs of state civil society and other institutions for the effective development, protection, promotion and attainment of gender equality. The allocation for 2016/17 is R3.235 340 million.

 

5.3.3 Strategic Objective 3

 

The purpose is to monitor state compliance with regional and international conventions, covenants and charters which have been acceded to or ratified by the Republic relating to the object of the Commission for Gender Equality. The Strategic Objective has been allocated R4.885 798 million for financial year 2016/17. This objective has the following sub-strategies:

 

  1. To conduct annual reviews and audits of state compliance with obligations under the conventions, covenants and charters and to report to Parliaments and the Office of the Speaker. This sub-strategy has been allocated R1.050 650 million
  2. To interact with and to present reports to national, regional and international bodies on state compliance with conventions, covenants and charters acceded to or ratified and to make recommendations for the improvements and monitor implementation. This sub-strategy has been allocated R3.835 148 million.

 

5.3.4 Strategic Objective 4

 

The purpose of this objective is to build an effective and sustainable institution that will fulfil its constitutional mandate on gender equality. This Strategic Objective has been allocated R30.245 977 million for 2016/17. It has the following sub-strategies:

             

  1. To maintain optimal governance and oversight structures and policies between Commissioners and the Secretariat. This sub-strategy has been allocated R10.854 182 million.
  2. To maintain the financial management strategy so that it promotes effective, efficient and economic utilisation of resources as well as accountability. This sub-strategy has been allocated R10.162 446 million.
  3. To develop and maintain an IT infrastructure that supports and promote the organisational objectives of the Commission. The allocation for this sub-strategy is R2.562 242 million.
  4. To develop comprehensive HR policies procedures and practices. The allocation for this sub-strategy is R4.322 445.
  5. To develop a coherent communication strategy that promotes a positive public image of the CGE. This sub-strategy has been allocated R2.344 662 million.[6]

 

6.         Observations

 

Having met with the Department to scrutinise the Strategic Plan, Annual Performance Plan and budget for 2016/17 and the Commission for Gender Equality on its APP for 2016/17, the Committee made the following observations:

 

6.1        Department of Women in the Presidency

 

The intent of the programme and sub-programmes are commended, however the translation into tangible outcomes and outputs was of concern to the Committee which is hereby expanded on below.

 

6.1.1 Alignment of Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan (APP)

  1. The Committee noted with concern the lack of alignment between the Strategic Plan and the APP as was pointed out by the Auditor General of South Africa (AGSA) in a previous briefing to the Committee.

6.1.2 SMART Targets

  1. The Committee indicated that the targets specified within the Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan were not SMART and instead vague and not specific enough e.g. intervention mechanisms were not explained; no detail provided on outreach/advocacy initiatives such as the number of intended beneficiaries that would be targeted, the location and how the impact would be measured.
  2. The Committee was concerned that the Department had taken on too many activities and this was unrealistic with its existing small budget.
  3. The Committee questioned what the impact of discussion papers, frameworks and reports would be when there was no clear indication as to how the impact would be determined.
  4. The Committee questioned what the tangible outcomes would be that the Department envisages achieving at the end of 2016/17 which would demonstrate “Building a capable state” and contributing to “An efficient, effective and development oriented public service”.

 

6.1.3 Mandate & Strategic Direction

  1. The Committee was not clear as to how exactly the Department was giving effect to its mandate with the revised Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan.
  2. The Committee acknowledged the Department’s reference to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the presentation but noted the lack of reference to these in the Strategic Plan and APP. Furthermore, the mere links to the SDGs were insufficient as no detail was provided as to who would be responsible for the implementation, how this would be achieved, what resources would be required, by when this would be implemented and an explanation of the monitoring and evaluation hereto.
  3. The Committee was unclear as to how exactly the Department reconfigured (i.t.o. finances and human resources) the former Programme 4 with Programme 3 as reflected in the current APP and requested more information in this regard.

 

6.1.4 Monitoring and Evaluation

  1. The Committee questioned the monitoring and evaluation of recommendations from various country reports or resolutions implemented from e.g. UN Commission of the Status of Women.
  2. The Committee was concerned as to how the Department was monitoring and evaluating the performance of other departments and the private sector from a gender perspective in the absence of a complete M&E framework.

 

6.1.5 Outcomes and outputs

  1. The Committee sort clarity as to exactly how the Department intended analysing the 9-Point Plan.
  2. The Committee was unclear as to exactly what programme the Department was implementing within Provinces and municipalities given the limited resources.
  3. The Committee was unclear as to what the difference in outcomes and outputs were between Programme 2 and 3 thus bringing into question the similarities and differences with these two programmes.

 

  1. Finances
  1. The Committee acknowledged that the Department received the smallest allocation as compared to the rest of Government departments which was unacceptable.
  2. Notwithstanding that, the largest proportion of the Department’s budget resides within Programme 1, Administration and the core programmes namely 2 and 3 receiving the smallest budgetary allocation. This was noted as a concern which has remained an issue since the inception of the Department despite the Committee’s numerous calls to urge the Department to allocate more funding to core programmes that are responsible for fulfilling the Department’s mandate.
  3. The Committee noted that it appeared as if the Department had structured itself in such a manner with the funding received as if it was a service delivery department with a huge budget. This was problematic as the Department had insufficient resources to function in that manner. Furthermore, the Committee noted with concern that the Department was one of the top 5 departments in Government that spent the largest proportion of its budget on personnel and the Administration programme.

 

  1. Human Resources
  1. The Committee was concerned about the core programmes (2 and 3) which lacked the adequate personnel as compared to programme 1 which was Administration.
  2. In addition, the Committee noted that officials previously known to the Committee to be within the employ of the Department were not listed in the organogram and questioned whether these staff were redeployed, resigned, suspended and or had their contracts terminated.

 

  1. Skills Audit
  1. The Committee questioned what the Department identified as skills shortages as per the skills audit and whether a process was in place to lobby National Treasury for more funding.

 

  1. Collaboration
  1. The Committee noted that the Strategic Plan and APP was not very clear as to who in the private sector the Department intends engaging with.
  2. The Committee enquired as to whether the Department collaborated with strategic partners and stakeholders in order to avoid duplication and ensure funding was used optimally given the fiscal constraints. Furthermore, the Committee noted that based on its engagement with other departments during briefings and on oversight visits, the Committee was informed that most departments had not met with the Department of Women and as such were unsure of its mandate nor were any formal MOUs entered into.
  3. The Committee was unclear as to exactly which Government departments the Department will be focussing on for 2016/17 financial year as the Minister indicated previously that only a select few departments will be targeted. In addition, the Committee was unclear as to the nature of the partnership envisaged.
  4. The Committee was also concerned that there were no partnerships stipulated that indicated how the Department intended collaborating with stakeholders to mobilise women.
  5. Office on the Status of Women (OSW): The Committee noted that the previous Department worked closely with OSW but that was not apparent in the APP at present nor in the Strategic Plan which was of concern.

 

  1. Gender-Based Violence (GBV)
  1. The Committee questioned why the Department continued to focus on service delivery type of interventions in relation to GBV even though the funding had been shifted to the Department of Social Development from the former Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities. Instead, the Committee queried whether the Department should rather be focussing their efforts on monitoring the Departments of Police, Justice and Constitutional Development, Health, Social Development, Basic Education and Higher Education insofar reducing GBV is concerned.
  2. The Committee questioned whether the Department was able to demonstrate whether a reduction in GBV incidents could be shown as a result of the activities implemented by the Department. In addition, the Committee questioned whether the Department’s role should not also be on examining the secondary victimisation experienced by victims of GBV within the criminal justice system.
  3. The Department was asked as to whether it had met and engaged with UN Special Rapporteur on violence on her recent visit to the country.
  4. The Committee was concerned that the Department would be duplicating existing work given the research on Thuthuzela Care Centres that has already been undertaken.
  5. The Committee noted with concern that the deadline for prevention strategy which the Department intended developing did not coincide with that of the Department of Social Development’s for the South African Integrated Programme of Action Addressing Violence Against Women and Children (2013-2018) which stipulated an earlier deadline.

 

  1. 9-Point Plan
  1. The Committee acknowledged the importance of the role of the Minister in the Presidency Responsible for Women to monitor, evaluate and report on the implementation of the 9-Point Plan.

 

6.1.12 Programme specific matters

Programme 1:

  1. The Committee was concerned that this programme had significantly more funding and personnel as compared to the core programmes 2 and 3.
  2. The Committee was concerned about the amount of R15 million allocated for accommodation at a building leased by Department of Public Works that was not an ideal conducive working environment. The projected expenditure forecast was considered exorbitant.

Programme 2:

  1. The Committee was concerned that this programme’s funding was actually reduced between 2015/16 and 2016/17 yet it formed a key component of the Department’s core business.
  1. Overall, the programme lacked specificity with respect to its targets and given the limited personnel the Committee questioned whether the Department would be able to achieve all the targets identified in the APP.
  2. The Committee was unclear as to what intervention mechanisms entailed and requested more information in this regard.
  1. The Department does not clearly specify which Departments are being targeted w.r.t. the 9-Point Plan, Ocean’s economy, socio-economic empowerment, economic empowerment, gender mainstreaming and gender responsive budgeting.
  2. Department of Trade and Industry (DTI): The Committee noted that the Minister had previously stated that the Department intended focussing on the policies and programme of the Department of Trade and Industry and the extent to which women were benefitting in this regard. However, it was unclear as to whether this was continuing or not as the APP is not clear in this regard.
  3. Sanitary Dignity: The Committee was concerned about the number of girls who are absent from school on a monthly basis because of a lack of access to sanitary towels due to poverty. To this end, the Committee noted that this should be a priority issue for the Department and that it should report back on the magnitude of the problem and how it intends addressing the issue.
  4. Gender Focal Point (GFP): The Committee noted with concern that the Department lacked a clear strategy that outlined how it would address the challenges regarding gender focal points.
  5. Gender Responsive Budgeting (GRB) Framework: The Committee was concerned that in the absence of a finalised framework what guided departments in the interim.
  6. Women and care work: The Committee was concerned that the Department would be duplicating work that has already been done by DPME on ECD.
  7. Agri-Parks: The Committee was unclear as to exactly what the Department intends investigating as this was not specified e.g. number of women to potentially benefit, number of women currently benefitting etc. Furthermore, the Committee noted that the issue of land reform was crucial if Agri-parks were to work and as such more information was required in this regard.

 

Programme 3:

  1. The Committee acknowledged the slight increase to this programme’s budget but was still concerned by the limited funding allocation and personnel to fulfil all the targets stipulated in the APP.
  2. The Committee commended the Department for prioritising country reports but questioned whether the recommendations that emerged from the respective committees are being implemented.
  3. The Committee commended the Department’s focus on the justice system but was concerned as to whether it would be able complete the investigations in this regard given the limited resources.
  4. The Committee enquired as to whether the Department was examining the awareness levels in civil society about the call centre run by the Department of Social Development as part of the Department’s monitoring and evaluation focus re GBV.
  5. The Committee also questioned whether the Department focussed on services rendered to victims of GBV after a case has been opened and the possible secondary victimisation as a result hereafter.
  6. The Committee questioned as to what exactly the Department was doing regarding women/girls and STEM.

 

6.1.13 Gaps identified

The Committee identified the following gaps/areas that were not addressed by the Department namely;

 

  1. Teenage pregnancy – Impact on girl child and education.
  2. Women with children – Even though the former programme on children from the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities was transferred to the Department of Social Development, the Department makes no reference to how it deals with matters related to women with children as these cannot be divorced from each other and should be considered holistically.
  3. Women and the Green Economy – The Department makes no mention of women and the green economy.
  4. Women with disabilities – The Department makes no reference as to how it would be addressing matters related to women with disabilities within its core functions.
  5. Violence and discrimination against e.g. Albinos, LGBTI persons, young girls subjected to ukuthwala – The Department appeared to be silent on addressing issues related to the aforementioned.
  6. Sanitary Dignity Campaign: Access to sanitary towels more than health matter, enabler and facilitating access to education.
  7. Women in prisons: Rights of women in prisons. Focus on harsher sentences for female perpetrators that kill partners after long standing abusive relationship.
  8. Customary law: Its impact on women and their livelihoods e.g. the implications for widows and inheritance in the context of customary law.
  9. Equality courts – Lack of awareness and under-utilisation of these courts.

 

Whilst the Committee acknowledges that the Department is not able to address all gender related matters and that the services and programmes to address the aforementioned matters resides with departments with a service delivery mandate, the Committee is still of the view that particular gaps require attention. To this end, the Department should take note of matters related to women with disabilities; the impact of customary law on the economic empowerment of women and not losing sight of the plight of Albinos, LGBTI persons and young girls affected by ukuthwala. The Committee further acknowledges that the Green Economy forms part of Government’s 9-Point Plan for which the Department intends focusing on.

 

Response by the Department of Women in the Presidency with respect to issues raised by the Committee during its deliberations:

 

The Department welcomed the feedback, matters of concern and suggestions raised by the Committee with regards to but not limited to the following; Mandate & Strategic Direction, SMART Targets, Budget: Human Resources, Collaboration and specifics on all three programmes of the Department. Where relevant the Department provided the Committee with more details and an explanation and as requested would submit more information in writing where it was requested to do so. The DG reiterated that the Department would continue its engagement with National Treasury to lobby for more funding. Given the fiscal constraints, the Department reassured the Committee that it would leverage from developing partnerships in order to implement activities such as the proposed national dialogues.

 

6.2        Commission for Gender Equality

 

6.2.1 Budgetary allocation

  1. The Committee noted the issue of the CGE’s limited budget and would raise this as an issue that requires attention with National Treasury and the Standing Committee on Appropriations.
  2. The Committee noted that the Commission’s allocation for some sub-strategies had either increased or decreased with no explanation provided within the APP, as such the reasons for these changes were requested.
  3. The Committee questioned whether the Commission would be able to deal with an increase in the number of complaints as a target given its limited resources and budgetary constraints.
  4. The Committee noted with concern that R2 million will be spent on the AGSA for auditing. This is a substantive amount given the limited budget. The Committee also noted that R1 million has been budgeted for internal auditing which was raised as a concern given that the cost of the personnel has already been allocated for under the compensation of employees.

 

6.2.2 Collaboration

  1. The Committee questioned if the Commission collaborated with any Government Departments in order to implement its programmes.
  2. The Committee questioned which Departments the CGE collaborates with, the nature of the collaboration and the envisaged outcomes.
  3. The Committee enquired as to whether the CGE will be participating in the dialogues to be hosted by the Department of Women in the Presidency in the current financial year.

 

 

6.2.3 GBV

  1. The Committee noted that the CGE would focus on Goal 5 of the SDG which deals with the elimination of harmful cultural practices such as early and forced marriage and female genital. In relation to this, the Committee enquired as to firstly how the CGE intends dealing with this issue and secondly what can be to deal with secondary victimisation e.g. in terms of training officials who take complaints from victims of gender-based violence.
  2. The Committee asked when the Commission intends to engaging with the Department of Justice and Correctional Services, Social Development and Police with regards to the monitoring and implementation of the Domestic Violence Act and Maintenance Courts.
  3. The Committee questioned what the CGE was doing to monitor and evaluate the Integrated Programme of Action on Violence against Women and Children of the Department of Social Development.

 

6.2.4 Commissioner’s term of office

  1. The Committee will also follow up on the issue of the term of office of the Commissioners to avoid a gap in service delivery.

 

6.2.5 Enforcement of recommendations

  1. The Committee observed that CGE intends producing reports but was concerned about the enforcement of the recommendations as the Executive Authority appears to be slow in implementing these recommendations despite the follow-up efforts of the CGE.

 

6.2.6 Programme specific matters

  1. The Committee enquired as to which policy and legislation the Commission intends reviewing and when these will be submitted to the Committee for consideration.
  1. The Committee requested more information on the decriminalisation of sex workers once Cabinet has considered the position paper of the South African Law Reform Commission.

 

 

 

 

 

7.         Conclusion

 

The Committee thanked the Department and the Commission for Gender Equality for the presentations and emphasised the importance of submitting the additional information as requested.

 

8.         Recommendations

 

Having considered the Strategic Plan, Annual Performance Plans and budget for the Department of Women in the Presidency and the Commission for Gender Equality, the Committee recommends as follows:

 

8.1        Department of Women in the Presidency:

 

Mandate & Strategic Direction

  1. The Department must ensure that there is alignment between the APP of 2016/17 and the Strategic Plan (2015-2020).
  2. The Department should expedite the completion and implementation of the Gender Mainstreaming Framework and the Gender Responsive Budgeting Framework and report on progress every quarter.
  3. The Department should report on proposed changes to the Strategic Plan and APP to the Committee before submitting to National Treasury.
  4. The Department to submit written report on the reconfiguration of the former Programme 4 with Programme 3 clearly outlining how resources were reallocated.

 

SMART Targets

  1. The Department should reformulate the targets in the APP and ensure these are SMART.
  2. The Department should;  
  1. Clearly define what intervention mechanisms are;
  2. Indicate how these interventions would be implemented;
  3. Stipulate who would implement these interventions;
  4. Identify the cost implications and who would be responsible for bearing the cost;
  5. Provide more detail on outreach/advocacy initiatives such as the number of intended beneficiaries that would be targeted, the location and how the impact would be measured;
  6. Clearly stipulate which policies and laws will be assessed in relation to which specific Departments; and
  7. Clearly indicate which country reports will be submitted for consideration during this financial year.

 

9-Point Plan

  1. The Department should refine its targets relating to the assessment of the Department’s that are implementing the 9-Point Plan from a gendered perspective and focus specifically on the Economic Cluster.  
  2. The Committee requested an action plan that expands on the following:
  1. The list of departments/entities that will be examined;  
  2. Provide a clear indication of how gender mainstreaming will be assessed within each department/entity identified,
  3. Indicate how each of the departments/entities mainstreams gender and identify the envisaged outcomes;
  4. Provide a clear indication of how gender responsive budgeting will be assessed within each department/entity and determine how much each of the identified departments/entities is currently allocating towards women’s economic empowerment;
  5. Identify the number of women that each department/entity intends targeting per province; and
  6. Indicate how the Department will be working with the respective Gender Focal Points within various departments/entities identified in this regard and note challenges experienced as well as best practice. 
  1. The Department to submit quarterly progress reports on the implementation of the aforementioned and brief the Committee accordingly.

 

 

 

Sanitary Dignity Campaign

  1. The Department should investigate the magnitude of the problem related to girls’ lack of access to sanitary towels as well as the gaps, what the best practices are and how the provision of sanitary towels to girls in living in poverty can be improved.

 

Gender Based Violence

  1. The Department should focus more attention on monitoring and evaluating the performance of relevant departments responsible for the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act and the Sexual Offences and Related Matters Act.
  2. The Department to report back to the Committee on how the envisaged prevention strategy coincides with the Department of Social Development’s Integrated Programme of Action and required implementation deadlines.

 

Office on the Status of Women (OSW)

  1. The Department should work on ensuring a uniform approach for the location and function of OSW within Premiers offices.

 

Collaboration

  1. The Committee reiterated that the Department should work with other departments that have the budget and ensure that the lives of women are improved through the services and programmes rendered by Government.
  2. The Department is strongly urged to collaborate with key stakeholders.

 

Finance

  1. The CFO to provide in writing an explanation as to why the funding for Programme 2 was reduced between 2015/16 and 2016/17 when taking into consideration only the operating budget after the transfer of the CGE has been accounted for.
  2. The Department should lobby for more funding for Programme 2 and 3 – for bolstering its core business.

 

 

 

Human Resources

  1. The Department to provide a comprehensive report which details number of resignations, suspensions, cases before the CCMA, names and reasons for the aforementioned.
  2. The Department should expedite the completion of its restructuring process.
  3. The Department should examine the relocation and utilisation of the existing personnel in Programme 1 in order to support Programme 2 and 3 so as to achieve the desired targets.

 

Accommodation

  1. The Department should re-examine the lease agreement and expenditure of R15 million per annum.

 

8.2        Commission for Gender Equality

 

  1. The Commission should forward all outstanding responses to the Committee in terms of concerns and questions raised by the Committee.
  2. The Committee requested the CGE to keep it abreast of developments with regards to the review of the Strategic Plan.
  3. The Commission should assess the election manifestos of all political parties for the local government election from a gender perspective.

 

Unless, otherwise stated the Committee hereby requests a response to the aforementioned recommendations within 3 months after the adoption by the National Assembly.

 

Report to be considered.

 

References

Commission for Gender Equality (2016) Annual Performance Plan 2016-2017

Commission for Gender Equality (2013) Commission for Gender Equality Five-year Strategic Plan 2013-2018

Department of Women in the Presidency (2016) Annual Performance Plan 2016-2017

Department of Women in the Presidency (2015) Strategic Plan 2015-2020

Levendale, C (2016) Budget Vote 2016/17 – Vote 13: Department of Women

Levendale, C (2016) Commission for Gender Equality, Analysis of the Strategic Plan, Budget and Annual Performance Plan: 2016/17, Parliament Research Unit, 18 April 2016

National Treasury (2016) 2016 Budget, Estimates of National Expenditure

 

 


[1] Department of Women in the Presidency (2015) Strategic Plan 2015-2020

[2] Department of Women in the Presidency (2016) Annual Performance Plan 2016-2017

[3] Levendale, C (2016) Budget Vote 2016/17 – Vote 13: Department of Women

[4] National Treasury (2016) 2016 Budget, Estimates of National Expenditure

[5] Commission for Gender Equality (2013) Commission for Gender Equality Five-year Strategic Plan 2013-2018

 

[6] Levendale, C (2016) Commission for Gender Equality, Analysis of the Strategic Plan, Budget and Annual Performance Plan: 2016/17, Parliament Research Unit, 18 April 2016

 

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