ATC090825: Report Budget Vote 5: Department of Public Works

NCOP Public Services

Report of the Select Committee on Public Services on Budget Vote 5: Department of Public Works, dated 25 August 2009


Having considered Budget Vote 5 of the Department of Public Works, the Committee reports as follows:


  1. Introduction


On 23 June 2009, the Select Committee on Public Services met with the Department of Public Works to consider Budget Vote 5.


  1. Aim of the Department of Public Works


The aim of the Department is to provide and manage the accommodation, housing, land and infrastructure needs of national departments; lead and direct the implementation of the national expanded public works programme; and promote growth, job creation and transformation in the construction and property industries.


  1. Strategic Objectives


3.1   The 2009/10 – 2011/12 Strategic Plan of the Department is informed by the following government strategic documents:


(i)                   Current Medium Term Strategic Framework.

(ii)                 Fifteen Year Review.

(iii)                2009 development indicators.

(iv)                Medium term Budget Policy Statement and the Budget Vote.

(v)                  Millennium Development Goals.

(vi)                May 2009 Cabinet Lekgotla decisions.


3.2   Public Works Strategic Goals


(i)                   Provide strategic leadership for effective and efficient asset management.

(ii)                 Establish an enabling environment for the creation of short and sustainable work opportunities for the unemployed.

(iii)                Contribute to the national goal of job creation and poverty alleviation.

(iv)                Transform and regulate of the construction and property industries to ensure economic growth and development

(v)                  Ensure effective and efficient implementation of project management in the construction and property management environments.

(vi)                Effective stakeholder management for enhanced implementation of the Department’s mandate.

(vii)               Ensure effective corporate governance processes and sound resources management.

(viii)             Improve service delivery to meet clients’ expectations.


  1. Challenges


The following challenges were highlighted by the Department of Public Works:


(i)                   There was a shortage of built environment skills in the country.

(ii)                 Incorrect and incomplete data complicated the facilitation of projects.

(iii)                Limited integration of business processes also impacted on projects.

(iv)                There was a lack of inter-operability due to unaligned terminology.

(v)                  Finalisation of reclaiming the Department’s mandate.

(vi)                The difficulty in attracting and retaining personnel from the professional and technical fields due to the shortage of skills. Competition for these skills from the private sector and global economy also exacerbated the problem.


  1. Concerns


Having considered and deliberated on the Departmental Budget Vote 5 the Committee noted the following:


(i)                   The Department’s contribution to the 500 000 jobs and whether these would be decent and sustainable, as it is assumed that the DPW could provide for the bulk of the jobs. The Committee also noted that many local governments were not in a position to create jobs.

(ii)                 The Department should engage with the public and private sectors as it could play a fundamental role with regard to skills development, especially in the building sector.

(iii)                The condition of the buildings, mainly schools and hospitals, lacked quality service delivery.

(iv)                Many state buildings had been vandalised. The Department needs to do an audit of buildings belonging to the DPW.

(v)                  Insufficient finance led to many vacancies not being filled with the Department.

(vi)                Unused funds within departments should be spent in different spheres of government to avoid fiscal dumping.

(vii)               Many young people had been recruited and completed practical tests as part of the National Youth Services (NYS). Many had not, however, completed the theory component of the programme.

(viii)             Eight per cent (8%) of National Government Buildings were found to be in a good condition. Twenty per cent (20%) were reported to be in a poor condition.

(ix)               Many new Members of Parliament had difficulty in accessing Parliamentary Villages due to former Members not vacating the residents.

(x)                 Many building were not user friendly for people with disabilities.


  1. Conclusion


The Department should present its plan with regard to the EPWP II. In order to make monitoring possible, the Department must give a breakdown of the expected contributions by provinces towards job creation.


  1. Recommendation


The Committee, having considered Budget Vote 5 of the Department of Public Works, recommends that Budget Vote 5 be passed.



      Report to be considered



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