ATC201019: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development on the Second Quarter Performance and Expenditure Report for 2019/20 of the Department of Social Development, dated 14 October 2020
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development on the Second Quarter Performance and Expenditure Report for 2019/20 of the Department of Social Development, dated 14 October 2020
The Portfolio Committee on Social Development (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) having examined the Second Performance and Expenditure Report for 2019/2020 of the Department of Social Development (hereinafter referred to as the Department or DSD) on 20 November 2019, reports as follows:
The Quarterly Performance and Expenditure Reports of the Departments are compiled in accordance with the requirements of Section 92 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 1996, Department of Performance, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) Guidelines on the Preparation of Quarterly Performance Reports. It is also compiled according to other government legislative prescripts such as the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) (Act No.1 of 1999), relevant National Treasury Regulations and Frameworks. These guide performance managements in the public sector to display and promote transparency and accountability to stakeholders and the general public.
To monitor performance and expenditure of the Departments, Committees of Parliament are obliged to consider quarterly reports of the Departments.
2. Mandate of the Committee
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 scrutinizing and overseeing the department’s action. It is to conduct oversight that is driven by the ideal of realizing a better quality of life for all people of South Africa. The Committee is also required to facilitate public participation, monitoring and oversight over the legislative processes relating to social development. In doing this, it also confers 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.
3. The Department of Social Development (the Department)
3. 1 The Mandate of the Department
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), which sets out the principles, guidelines, policies and programmes for developmental social welfare in South Africa. The White Paper for Social Welfare has provided the foundation for social welfare in the post-1994 era.
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.
3.2 Strategic Goals and Objectives of the Department
The key strategic goals (SGs) of the Department are derived from the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) for 2014 – 19 with the following key priorities as follows:
- Expand Child and Youth Care Services (Isibindi programme)
- Social Welfare Sector Reform and services to deliver better results
- Deepening Social Assistance and Extending the scope of Social Security
- Increase access to Early Childhood Development (ECD)
- Strengthening Community Development interventions
- Combat Substance Abuse and Gender-Based Violence
- Increase household food & nutrition security (Food for All)
- The protection and promotion of the rights of older persons and people with disabilities
- Establish Social Protection Systems to strengthen coordination, integration, planning, monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of services
4. Overview and assessment of performance information on the predetermined objectives for the second quarter (July - September) of 2019
The overall departmental expenditure by the end of the 2nd quarter amounted to R R46 558 billion (25.1%) of its overall allocation. For this quarter the department had planned to achieve 44 targets but achieved 25. Cautioned should be made that this number does take into account partially achieved targets. The department reported that it achieved 62% targets (compared to 64% in the 1st quarter), partially achieved 7% (14% in the 1st quarter) and did achieve 31% (22% in the 1st quarter). Most targets (10) were not achieved in Programme 5.
5.1 Programme Performance
5.1.1 Programme 1: Administration
The purpose of the programme is to provide leadership, management and support services to the Department and the Social Development Sector.
Under this programme, the department had set to achieve four (4) targets and it managed to achieve three (3). One of the most important targets it achieved involved designing and developing a prototype Integrated Systems into single integrated case management solution. The department mapped
The department did not achieve the target to conduct an evaluation on social sector infrastructure.
This programme spent R178.9 million (43.8%) of its allocation of R408.4 million, which was lower than the projected expenditure by R19.6 million. Lower than expected expenditure is mainly due to delays in implementation of the IT Turn Key Solution project. The department reported that it had terminated its agreement with State Information Technology Agency (SITA) in August 2019, and is currently in the process to take control of all sub contracts for this project.
5.1.2 Programme 2: Social Assistance
The purpose of this programme is to provide social assistance to eligible beneficiaries in terms of the Social Assistance Act (No. 13 of 2004) and its regulations.
Under this programme, the Department had planned to achieve eight targets for the 1st quarter. That target was transferring 100% funds to SASSA monthly, which it achieved. This programme was allocated a budget of R175.2 billion for 2019/20 financial year. By the end of the 2nd quarter, it spent R86.6 billion (49.4%). The programme expenditure is R787.4 million lower than the projected expenditure of R87.4 billion as at the end of September 2019. The reasons cited for the lower expenditure was due to lower than expected beneficiaries in the child support grant and old age grant.
5.1.3 Programme 3: Social Security Policy and Administration
The purpose of this programme is to provide for social security policy development, administrative justice, the administration of social grants, and the reduction of incorrect benefit payments.
Under this programme, the department had set to achieve four (4) targets and it achieved three (3). The targets pertained to the reforms in the social security programmes. The department achieved the target to update the draft policy paper with inputs from NEDLAC social partners. It completed and presented to NEDLAC Technical reports on the Governance Framework for the entire pension system, along with Tier Three Pension arrangements to provide top-up retirement, disability and survivor benefits through private sector schemes. The department also drafted Regulations to the Social Assistance Amendment Bill, which is before the Portfolio Committee on Social Development for processing and passing. Amendments of this Bill are critical in responding to judgement of the North Gauteng High Court on the litigation brought against the department by the Centre for Child Law on the high backlog on the foster care system.
This programme was allocated a budget of R7.7 billion, of which it spent R3.73 billion (48.2%) by the end of the 2nd quarter. This means it spent R27.5 million less than the projected expenditure of R3.76 billion projected for the period. The reason for this was the delays in the establishment of the Inspectorate for social assistance under compensation of employees and goods and services.
5.1.4 Programme 4: Welfare Services Policy Development and Implementation Support
The purpose of this programme is 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 support implementing agencies.
The department indicated in their 2019/20 APP reports that it was set to achieve 19 targets. Key targets included:
- Participate in the parliamentary process to approve the Children’s Amendment Bill. This target was not achieved due to delays in obtaining full certification of the Bill from the office of the State Law Advisor.
- Submit the White Paper for Social Welfare for consideration by Cabinet. This target was not achieved instead the department reported that it continued with the processes towards finalizing the White Paper in preparation to present it to Cabinet for approval. It however, developed an implementation plan of the White Paper.
- Submit Draft National Drug Master Plan (NDMP) for approval. This target was achieved.
- Training on the Department of Social Development Anti-Gangsterism Strategy in two provinces. Training was conducted only in KwaZulu-Natal province.
- Develop good practise models on Community-Based Disability Incisive Development (CBID) in four Provinces. This target was not achieved.
- Appoint service providers 1) to develop inter-sectoral policy on sheltering, 2) develop framework/policy on provision of counselling and 3) revise the White Paper on Families. These targets were not achieved. These targets were not achieved.
- Present to Heads of Social Development the Inter-Sectoral Protocol on the Management and Prevention of Violence against Children, Child Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation. This target was not achieved.
This programme was allocated a budget of R1.1 billion for the 2019/20 financial year. By the end of the 2nd quarter, it reported expenditure of R375.4 million (35.2%). This means it spent R235.7 million less than the projected expenditure of R611.2 million at the end of September 2019. It should be noted that by the end of the 1st quarter, Programme 4’s expenditure was 16.9% This programme had a very low expenditure rate for the following reasons:
- delays in transfers to households for social worker scholarships, amounting to R125.3 million,
- delays in transfers to HIV/AIDS organisations for the implementation of Social Behaviour Change programmes, amounting to R66.1 million.
5.1.5 Programme 5: Social Policy and Integrated Service Delivery
The purpose of this programme is to support community development and promote evidence-based policy making in the department and SDS.
This programme planned to achieve 16 targets for the 2nd quarter of 2019/20. The following were among the targets set for this 2nd quarter:
- Present the NPO Amendment Bill to Social Cluster. This target was not achieved and no reasons were given for this non-achievement.
- Process all received NPO applications within 2 months. This target was achieved. The department reported that it received 8 715 applications and it processed 8 599.
- All submitted reports of registered NPOs are to be processed within 2 months. This target was partially achieved where the department received 13 849 reports and it processed 4 177.
Under this programme, the department spent R222.8 million (53.9%) out of the budget allocation of R413.3 million by end of September 2019. This means it spent R1 million more than the projected expenditure of R221.8 million. The department reported that the higher than anticipated spending on this programme was because of regrading of employees.
6. Committee deliberations and observations
The Committee was interested to know why Western Cape officials were not included in the training on the Anti-Gangsterism Strategy. It was reported that training was conducted in 2018.
The Committee wanted to know the status on the President’s announcement of moving some elements of the Early Childhood Development to the Department of Basic Education. The department responded that it waiting for joint concept paper to be approved by Cabinet which will culminate to the proclamation by the President. In the interim National Treasury was continuing to allocate ECD budget to the Department of Social Development.
The Committee advised the department to consider including a Monitoring & Evaluation graph on compliance by NPOs reporting so as to monitor progress.
The Committee wanted to know what progress has the department made to ensure that that NPOs are aligned to the transformation agenda of the country e.g. HIV related programmes, GBVF programmes. It also wanted to know whether the department has developed proper accounting systems.
In relation to the Non-Profit Organisation Bill, the Committee wanted to know progress made in finalizing this Bill, and whether the problem that were encountered during the consultation process were resolved. It was reported that the Bill would be submitted to Cabinet during the third quarter. It’s costing model was finalized.
The Committee pointed out that the report of the department did not reflect on any interventions that the department has made against Gender Based Violence.
The Committee felt that the entire report focused on mechanisms of interventions and not on areas where interventions are meant to change. The main reasons why interventions (e.g. trainings, policies, programmes, registration of NPOs, etc) are made is not included. This information is critical for effective oversight of the committee to ascertain the change, i.e. impact, development on people’s lives. The risk of focusing only on mechanisms of intervention is that a lot of money is spent but it is not known on what. For instance, the department reported on entity oversight but it is not clear why. The focus of analysis should be on results.
7. Committee Resolutions
- The department to provide the Committee with breakdown of people that were reached out during the five (5) provincial workshops that were conducted in Gauteng, Western, KwaZulu Natal, Northern Cape and Limpopo on the implementation of the youth strategy.
- The department to provide numbers of beneficiaries from the household food and nutrition security programme from KwaZulu Natal, Mpumalanga and Eastern Cape to the Committee.
- The department to forward the report on the absorption of social workers to the Committee.
Report to be considered
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