ATC200605: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs on the 2020/21 Annual Performance Plans And Budgets of the Departments of Cooperative Governance, the Department of Traditional Affairs, and Entities Reporting to them, Dated 21 May 2020

Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs



Having met with the Departments of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, and the associated entities, on their 2020/21 Budgets, Strategic and Annual Performance Plans (APPs), the Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, reports as follows:





The Money Bills Amendment Procedures and Related Matters Act (2009) empowers Parliament to recommend, reject or amend budgets of National Departments and Organs of State. The Act also enjoins Committees of Parliament to compile and adopt Budget Vote Reports, based on interactions with the relevant Departments - and Entities reporting to them - on their Strategic Plans, Annual Performance Plans and Budgets.


The Portfolio Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs has a constitutional mandate to exercise oversight over the following Departments and Entities:


  • Department of Cooperative Governance (DCoG), which seeks to ensure that municipalities perform their basic responsibilities and functions without comprise.


  • Department of Traditional Affairs (DTA), which provides a national traditional affairs governance system in support of cooperative governance for an improved quality of life for South Africans.


  • Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL Rights Commission), which fosters the rights of cultural, religious and linguistic communities to freely observe and practice their cultures, religions and languages.




  • South African Local Government Association (SALGA), which seeks to be consultative, informed, mandated, credible and accountable to its membership and to provide value for money.


  • Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB), whose objective is to create spatial conditions for sustainable development and transformation of local communities through municipal and ward boundary demarcation.


  • Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA), which provides integrated municipal infrastructure support services to municipalities through technical expertise and skills development towards efficient infrastructure delivery systems, processes and procedures.


From 08 – 15 May 2020, the Portfolio Committee met with all the above Departments and Entities to receive briefings on their 2020/21 Annual Performance Plans, 2019-2024 Strategic Plans and 2020/21 Budgets. This Report consolidates the key highlights from these briefings, and summarises Committee observations, and recommendations in line with the requirements of the Money Bills Amendment Procedures and Related Matters Act (2009).





Department of CooperativeGovernance



The implementation of the second phase of the ‘Back to Basics’ Programme was the Department’s key policy priority for the 2019/20 financial year. The Department introduced the Programme during the 2014/15 financial year, and implemented its first phase in the course of the 2014-2019 Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) period. In its first iteration, the Programme consisted of five pillars, which aligned to the Department’s five 2014-2019 MTSF sub-outcomes, as tabulated below.







1.  Putting     people    first:     let’s

listen and communicate

Local     public     employment     programmes     expanded

through the Community Work Programme.

2.   Consistent        provision        of services to the right quality

and standard

Members of society have sustainable and reliable access to basic services

3.  Good        governance         and transparent administration

Democratic, well-governed and effective municipal institutions capable of carrying out their development

mandate as per the Constitution

4. Sound financial management

and accounting

Sound financial management

5.   Robust       institutions        with skilled and capable staff

Strengthened intergovernmental arrangements for a

functional system of cooperative governance for local government


Marking the second phase of Back to Basics was the introduction of three additional pillars: disaster management, spatial transformation and local economic development. Progress in the implementation of the five pillars of the Back to Basics Programme has been less than expected. For example, in respect of pillar four, the 2019 Budget Review notes that ‘financial management in local government has deteriorated, as reflected in the widespread adoption of unfunded budgets across all types of municipalities.’1


Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent



Over the 2019/20 financial year, the work of the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA) focused on:


  • Developing and implementing municipal infrastructure support plans towards improving infrastructure planning, delivery, operations and maintenance.
  • Deploying District Support Teams to improve spending on the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG).





1 National Treasury (2019).


  • Deploying the MISA Inspectorate to assess functionality of water and sanitation infrastructure in District municipalities.
  • Enrolling learners in MISA’s Apprenticeship, Experiential Learnership, and Young Graduate Programmes.
  • Conducting feasibility studies to address misalignment of bulk water and reticulation in Water Services Authorities.


The Cabinet Lekgotla of July 2019 also stressed the need to strengthen MISA’s role and capacity. This is to enable the entity to respond faster in respect of municipalities struggling to implement municipal infrastructure projects or experiencing severe disruption of services due to dysfunctional infrastructure assets.


Department of Traditional Affairs



  • A key development in 2019/20 was the enactment of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act (2019), which provides for the recognition of the Khoi and San Leadership, and for the integration of Khoi and San leaders into existing Houses of Traditional Leadership.


  • The year also saw the revival of the Customary Initiation Bill, which had lapsed during the Fifth Parliament. The Bill seeks to eliminate the high rate of deaths and injuries from cultural initiation practice.


CRL Rights Commission



Over the 2019/20 financial year, the work of the CRL Rights Commission involved:



  • Making submissions that contributed to the content of the Traditional and Khoi-San Leadership Act (2019), as well as the Customary Initiation Bill currently before the National Council of Provinces.


  • Holding the legislatively prescribed National Consultative Conference where all the stakeholders specified in the CRL Rights Commission Act (2002), gathered to consider the recommendations from the Commission’s Commercialisation of Religion Report.


  • The Commission also reports have achieved all 35 targets set during the year under review. However, these were not yet audited targets in terms of usefulness and reliability.


South African Local Government Association



Over the 2019/20 financial year, the South African Local Government Association (SALGA) remained a relatively high performing institution, achieving 94.8 percent (37/39) of its annual performance targets. Further activities and performance highlights include:


  • Participating actively in the Parliamentary processes around the Municipal Systems and Municipal Structures Amendment Bills;
  • Lobbying for Local Government concerns in relation to the review of the Municipal Cost Containment Regulations;
  • Providing advisory support to municipalities pertaining to the implications of the Constitutional Court Order declaring the Municipal Systems Amendment Act, 2011, invalid; and
  • Hosting the United Cities and Local Government (UCLG) World Congress, which was the single biggest gathering of local government leaders from around the world.


Municipal Demarcation Board



  • In 2019/20, the Municipal Demarcation Board (MDB) geared its performance towards preparations for the 2021 local government elections. This entailed pursuing targets relating to the delimitation of municipal wards, including conducting media campaigns to raise public and stakeholder awareness of the technical municipal boundary alignments awareness; finalising the spatial boundary descriptions of municipalities; and consulting municipalities and the public on first draft wards.


  • The conducting of municipal capacity assessments, in accordance with legislative requirements, also continued to inform the work of the MDB in 2019/20. This involved compiling reports on minimum norms and standards for municipal capacity to fulfil constitutional obligations.


  • The MDB achieved 18 out of the 19 targets set during the period under review, translating to an achievement rate of 95%. However, these were not yet audited targets in terms of usefulness and reliability.


  • A major challenge identified during this period was limited funding, which constrained the Board’s ability to implement some of its key projects, including the establishment of a regional footprint across the country. Consequently, the Board does not have presence in localities or regions, and is thus unable to decipher adequately local knowledge and understanding.





Department of CooperativeGovernance



  • The Department’s policy priorities for 2020/21 align to Chapter 13 of the National Development Plan (NDP), which envisions building a capable and developmental State through interdepartmental coordination and strengthening local government. It also relates to Priority 4 (spatial integration, human settlements, and local government) of Government’s 2019-2024 Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF), which gives expression to the NDP vision.


  • A key policy development in 2020/21 is the implementation of the District-Metro Development Model (DDM). This Model seeks to foster integration and intergovernmental coordination in the planning, funding and implementation of programmes across sectoral departments. The DDM remains an integral part of the Back to Basics Programme and continues to incorporate its key pillars as outlined in the previous section.


Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent



Informing the policy mandates of the Municipal Infrastructure Support Agent (MISA) for the 2020/21 financial year are the following policy instruments:


  • The National Development Plan (NDP). MISA responds to the NDP’s call on Government to adopt a long-term approach that focuses on skills development strategies for technical specialist. In this regard, MISA will continue to support distressed municipalities to create sufficient internal capacity for the optimal delivery of basic services infrastructure


  • Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The work of MISA in 2020/21 aligns to five of the 17 SDGs, namely clean water and sanitation; affordable clean energy; industry, innovation and infrastructure; sustainable cities and communities; and climate action.


  • District Development Model (DDM). MISA will undertake the coordination of municipal infrastructure programmes within the ambit of the DDM. Its work in 2020/21 aligns to some key elements of the DDM, including integrated service provisioning, infrastructure engineering, spatial restructuring and economic positioning for each district and metropolitan municipality.


  • National Spatial Development Framework (NSDF). The Spatial Planning and Land Use Management Act, Act 16 of 2013 (SPLUMA) guides the NSDF, and in this context, MISA will continue supporting municipalities to develop and implement spatial development plans that are SPLUMA compliant.


  • Medium Term Strategic Framework 2019-2024 (MTSF). MISA’s activities for the 2020/21 period respond, both directly and indirectly, to the MTSF’s priority 1 (Economic Transformation and Job Creation), priority 2 (Education, Skills and Health), priority 4 (Spatial Integration, Human Settlements and Local Government) and priority 6 (A Capable Ethical and Developmental State).


Department of Traditional Affairs



  • National Development Plan (NDP). The Department of Traditional Affairs (DTA) will continue supporting the NDP’s vision of creating an inclusive rural economy (Chapter 6); building a capable and developmental state (Chapter 13); and transforming society and uniting the country (Chapter 15).


  • Medium Term Strategic Framework 2019-2024 (MTSF). Through its work on social cohesion and nation building, the DTA contributes directly to Priority 5 of Government’s 2019-2024 MTSF. The DTA’s work on the involvement of the institution of traditional in economic development initiatives, on the other hand contributes to Priority 1: (Economic Transformation and Job Creation).


  • Further legislation and policy implementation initiatives envisaged for 2020/21 include the establishment of a Commission on Khoisan Matters; supporting Parliamentary processes towards the promulgation of the Customary Initiation Bill (CIB) to regulate the cultural initiation practice; as well as the legal constitution of kingship and queenship councils, principal traditional leadership councils, and traditional councils.


CRL Rights Commission



  • National Development Plan. The work of the CRL Rights Commission will continue aligning to Chapter 15 of the National Development Plan, which advances the national vision of social cohesion and nation building.


  • Medium Term Strategic Framework 2019 2025. Priority 5 of Government’s MTSF (Social Cohesion and Safe Communities) is a policy mandate that is central to the Commission’s continued work on social cohesion and nation building. The Priorities relating to a capable, ethical and developmental state, and a better Africa and the world, will also be relevant to the Commission’s work during the year under review.


South African Local Government Association



SALGA has aligned its strategic and policy priorities for 2020/21 with the critical success factors of the National Development Plan (NDP), as well as the seven priorities of Government’s 2019-2024 Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF). The 2020/21 APP advances four outcomes towards the realisation of a responsive, accountable, effective, efficient and developmental local government:


  • Sustainable inclusive economic growth underpinned by spatial transformation;
  • Good governance and resilient municipal institutions;
  • Financial sustainability of local government and greater fiscal equity;
  • Effective and efficient administration.


To realise these outcomes, SALGA envisages delivering 70 outputs, and associated targets, in the course of 2020/21. These will form the basis for assessing the entity’s annual performance in 2021/22.


Municipal Demarcation Board



  • 2019-2024 Medium Term Strategic Framework. The MDB contributes directly to Priority 4 (Spatial Integration, Human Settlements, and Local Government) of the Seven Priorities, which President Cyril Ramaphosa outlined in the June 2019 State of the Nation Address (SONA). It also contributes indirectly to Priority 1 (Economic Transformation), Priority 5 (Social Cohesion and Safe Communities) and Priority 6 (Capable, Ethical and Developmental State).


  • Key deliverables for the financial year under review include the development of a capability maturity model for the organisation; finalisation of wards and handing over of final wards to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC); completing the spatial boundary description of the last 58 municipalities; compiling profiles for all 4 468 wards and conducting a stakeholder perception survey.


4.IMPLEMENTATION                    OF             2019/20             BUDGETARY                 REVIEW RECOMMENDATIONS





1. The CRL Rights Commission should consider raising the profile of its work and activities around linguistic matters to ensure balance vis-à-vis its work and activities around cultural and religious matters

The Commission has started some work related to language matters. It is now working on the use of official languages in the public sector. There will also be more research on the promotion and protection of community languages, as well as recommendations that will assist in resuscitating diminishing languages of


2. The CRL Rights Commission should improve the implementation of its post-audit action plan to prevent

stagnation of audit opinion


3. The CRL Rights Commission should consider raising supplementary income from other funding sources,

as it has a high potential to do so

The Commission still relies on the Government Grant for 99.9 percent of its funding

4. The Portfolio on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs should develop mechanisms to ensure that there are consequences for inadequately explained failures to adhere to the prescribed timeframes

for the tabling of Annual Reports

The Department has employed a new Director-General, following the removal of the Accounting Officer responsible for late tabling of Annual Reports

5. The Portfolio Committee should commence with the process of introducing             the           proposed amendments to the Demarcation Act

as a Committee Bill to ensure that the

The Bill is still with the Department of Cooperative              Governance.              This recommendation therefore still stands.





Bill is in time for the post 2021

municipal demarcation cycle.


6. The Portfolio Committee should  make it a standard Committee agenda item for Committee Members to report on the current issues affecting their constituencies instead of

waiting for petitions


7. The Portfolio Committee should engage more robustly with the work of the National House of Traditional Leaders and assess the House’s

impact on traditional communities.








The Committee welcomed the fact that all Departments and Entities tabled their Annual Performance Plans and Strategic Plans within the stipulated timeframes, and that there were no offenders in thisregard.


There was a lack of detailed information on the cost incurred on the Community Work Programme versus the benefit derived. Given the large amounts involved, a cost-benefitanalysisoftheProgrammewouldassisttheDepartmentofCooperative Governance to exercise fiscal prudence and obtain value formoney.


The explanation regarding the remodelling of the CWP was not consistent with previous ideas shared with the Committee, including the possibility of abolishing theNon-ProfitOrganisationswho,accordingtotheMinister,wereactuallymaking handsome profits from theProgramme.


How the Department of Cooperative Governance was dealing with the Auditor- General findings relating to corruption, ghost workers and payments to deceased CWP participants, did not come out clearly in the presentation of the CWP turn- around plan.




It was not acceptable for the Department of Cooperative Governance to aim for an unqualified audit as the best audit opinion it can achieve in the short and medium term. This amounted to setting the bar toolow.


The Department of Cooperative Governance has not articulated clearly the links, and synergies between the new District Development Model and the previous policy initiative of Back to Basics. While Back to Basics supposedly informs the DDM, there is little effort on the part of the Department to explain thecontinuities.




The role of traditional communities in the District-based Development Model (DDM) needed further clarity, as the Plans were not specific on the nature of their involvement.ThePlanswereevenmoreopaqueonthequestionoftheemancipation of women who still endure the worst of patriarchal practices under the jurisdiction oftraditionalleadership.Thepresentedprojects,includingtheAgrarianRevolution Programme, did not seem to take the plight of oppressed women into sufficient consideration.


The municipal context where traditional leaders were relatively less capacitated comparedtomunicipalcouncillorsmilitatedagainsttraditionalleaders’meaningful participationintheaffairsoftheirlocalities.Capacitybuildingwasalsocriticalin


respect of the Cooperatives through which the DTA was planning to pursue its Agrarian Revolution Programme. A key aspect of this capacity building should involve the provision of land, otherwise the Programme and its social cohesion objectives are likely to remain a pipe dream.


The Auditor-General has consistently highlighted the problem of procurement irregularities in local government, but this does not seem to feature strongly as an important research area in the plan of the South African Local Government Association.


Over the last several years, the South African Local Government has been advancing well-meaning goals for the revitalisation of municipal governance, but this has not slowed the rapid degeneration of local government witnessed over the same period. The entire system of local government needed a comprehensive review, as municipalities were getting worse notwithstanding the billions of rand invested in supporting them. However, municipal deterioration was not a problem for SALGA alone, but a challenge that called for collectiveeffort.


The Municipal Demarcation Board’s lack of footprint and visibility in provinces posed major problems on the ground. There was still excessive reliance on municipalities to facilitate public participation on the Board’s behalf.


There is high demand for the work of the CRL Rights Commission in rural areas, but the Commission lacks footprint in these areas. The CRL engagement with legislation that negatively affect the rights of cultural, linguistic and religious communities – as well as issues relating to language and patriarchal cultures – was inadequate and needed improvement.


How the COVID-19 pandemic was affecting the work of the Commission - aswell as the activities the CRL Rights was undertaking towards supporting affected linguistic, cultural and religious communities – was not clear in the Commission’s plans.


The budget allocated to the CRL Rights Commission was insufficient and incommensurate with the important mandate vested in the Commission. Therewas acriticalneedtoequiptheCommissionwiththenecessaryresourcestodoitswork.





The Department of Cooperative Governance should furnish the Committee with a Report detailing the circumstances around the arrest of the MISA Chief Executive Officer on allegations of corruption, as well as the potential impact of this development on organisational performance.




The newly appointed Team Leader for the remodelling of the Community Work Programme should consult those officials familiar with previous Committee deliberations on the future of the Programme, and submit a full report on the remodelling exercise.


The Municipal Demarcation Board should improve its public participation processes,astherewerestillmanycomplaintsrelatingtoitslackofvisibilityamong local communities. This should involve minimisation of the excessive reliance on municipalities to facilitate public participation on the Board’sbehalf.


To address the difficulties around the involvement of youth in its work, the CRL Rights Commission should consider instituting coordinated efforts with the Department of Basic Education – an opportunity, which the Commission was currently not exploiting maximally in its programmes and plans.


The Portfolio Committee should prioritise the matter of inadequate funding to the CRLRightsCommissionbyholdingintoaccountthoseresponsibleforallocating


funding to it. Advocating for the right funding model for the Commission should be at the top of the Committee’s agenda.



Report to be considered



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