ATC201019: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development on the Fourth Quarter Performance and Expenditure Report for 2019/20 of the Department of Social Development (DSD), dated 14 October 2020

Social Development

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development on the Fourth Quarter Performance and Expenditure Report for 2019/20 of the Department of Social Development (DSD), dated 14 October 2020



The Portfolio Committee on Social Development (hereinafter referred to as the Committee) having examined the Fourth Quarter Performance and Expenditure Report for 2019/20 of the Department of Social Development (hereinafter referred to as the Department) on 11 June 2020, reports as follows:


1.      Introduction


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


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 Policy priorities for 2019/20


The following are the strategic goals of the Department of Social Development for this relevant period:


  • Expand Child and Youth Care Services (Isibindi programme).
  • Attain Welfare Sector Reform and services to deliver better results.
  • Deepen Social Assistance and extend the scope of Social Security.
  • Increase access to Early Childhood Development (ECD).
  • Strengthen Community Development interventions.
  • Combat Substance Abuse and Gender-Based Violence.
  • Increase household food & nutrition security (Food for All).
  • Protect and promote of the rights of older persons and people with disabilities.
  • Establish Social Protection Systems to strengthen coordination, integration, planning, and monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of services.


National Development Plan (NDP)


The abovementioned priorities are in line with the (NDP) vision 2030, which inter alia promotes social protection and is defined by:


  • Protective measures to save lives and reduce levels of deprivation;
  • Preventative measures which help people avoid falling deeper into poverty and reduce their vulnerability;
  • Promotive measures which enhance the capabilities of individual communities and institutions;
  • Transformative measures which tackle inequities through changes in policies, laws and budgets; and
  • Developmental and generative measures, which increase the poor’s consumption by promoting local economic development.










The following key strategic themes emerged from the February and June State of the Nation Address (SONA) 2019, which have a bearing on the Department:


  • Social security – The Department of Social Development has given effect to the Constitutional Court’s directive for phasing out the services of Cash Paymaster Services. At the time, the majority of social grant beneficiaries were successfully migrated from Cash Paymaster to the South African Post Office (SAPO). Concurrently, former social security cards were replaced with new ones.


  • Early Childhood Development (ECD) – from 2019 the responsibility for ECD centres would migrate from Social Development to Basic Education. In addition, Government will proceed with the process towards two years of compulsory ECD for all children before they enter Grade 1.


  • Job creation – the President highlighted the need to accelerate inclusive economic growth and create jobs. In June 2019 the President committed Government to ensuring that young people are employed in social economy jobs such as early childhood development and health care.


  • Gender-based violence – Over the preceding year, Government focussed particular attention on violence and abuse perpetrated against women and children. As such, a Summit on Gender-based Violence and Femicide was convened, which provided a firm basis for a coordinated national response to the crisis. The Summit resulted in a road map to end gender-based violence, improve coordination of planning, and establish a commitment to resourcing and accountability. Work is underway to implement the decisions of the summit, including preparing the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence. The President further committed Government to, in partnership with civil society, work towards the implementation of decisions taken at the Summit.


  • Substance abuse – South Africa has extremely high levels of substance abuse, which creates crime and violence against women and children; it deepens poverty and causes great adversity and pain for families.

4.         An overview of the fourth quarter expenditure of the department of social development


Table 1: Adjusted Appropriation and Expenditure at the end of 4th Quarter


Adjusted Appropriation



DSD Figures



DSD Figures



DSD Figures






421 388




Social assistance

175 155 593

175 155 6

190 040 841

190 044.0



Social Security Policy and Administration

7 659 416

7 688.9

7 634 290

7 634 1



Welfare Services Policy Development and Implementation Support

1 071 807

1 055.8

979 191




Social Policy and Integrated Service Delivery

413 282

413 .3

406 127





184 721 972

184 722 0

199 481 837

199 466.2





Expenditure per main programme ranges from 91.3% to 108.5%. The highest expenditure was recorded for the Social Assistance programme. Lower than expected expenditure in the Welfare Services Policy Development and Implementation Support programme was recorded. The department was allocated a total budget of R184.7 billion for the 2019/20 financial year (compared to R172.8 billion the previous year).  Its allocation included R175.155 billion (as compared to R171.9 billion in 2018/19 financial year) for transfers and subsidies; mainly to households for social grants. Additionally, another R7.5 billion was transferred to South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) for the Administration of Social Grants. The Department experienced over expenditure of R14.7 billion as of the end of March 2020. The reason reported by the Department was that it had to pay social grants earlier than anticipated.


A total of R529.2 (as compared to R481.1 million in the previous financial year this quarter) was spent on Compensation of Employees; constituting 100.3% of the available budget of R527.4 million (R490.4 million in 2018/19). Committee should note that there was over expenditure of 0.3% and the Department needs to explain this deviation from its allocated budget.  Expenditure on Goods and Services amounted to R340.4 million or 67.3% as compared to R334.0 million in the previous financial year (2018/19) of the available allocation.


5.         Performance targets information (2019/20)


In terms of the 2019/20 Annual Performance Plan (APP), the Department has set itself 45 performance targets. It achieved 27 targets, partially achieved 9 and did not achieve 13 targets. Some of the targets reported on were carried over from the third quarter, particularly on Programme 4. Some of the targets were not reported on. This does not give an accurate reflection of the department’s performance.




Table 2: Performance on targets


Annual targets

Q4 targets

Targets achieved

Targets partially achieved

Targets not achieved







Social assistance






Social Security Policy and Administration






Welfare Services Policy Development and Implementation Support






Social Policy and Integrated Service Delivery













6.         Performance and expenditure per programme


6.1        Programme 1: Administration


The operational expenditure from January-March 2020 was R421.4 million (compared to R361.3 million spent in the same quarter in 2018/19), against the projected expenditure of R421.9 million.  A total of 4 targets was set under this programme for the 4th quarter of the 2019/20 financial year.


The following was the reason cited by the Department for lower expenditure under this programme:


Higher than projected spending on software and intangible assets, consisting mainly of a large once-off payment of R24.7 million in March to suppliers of IT services for the Turnkey project after the Department ceded the contracts from SITA.


6.2        Programme 2: Social Assistance


South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) administers Programme 2 of the Department in providing quality customer-centric social security services to eligible and potential beneficiaries. Out of the available budget of R175.1 billion (as compared to R162.9 billion in 2018/19), an expenditure of R190.0 billion (or 108%) was recorded for the 4th quarter. The programme over-spent by R14.9 billion of the available budget. This over-expenditure was mainly due to the early payment of social grants for April 2020 because of lockdown Covid-19 health pandemic.


The department had planned to achieve one (1) target under this programme and it achieved it. It planned to transfer of 100% (14 596 299) of funds to SASSA. SASSA paid 18 290 592 beneficiaries of grant-in-aid, 12 787 448 beneficiaries of Child Support Grant (CSG), 3 676 791 beneficiaries of Old Age Grant and 1 042 025 beneficiaries of Disability Grant.


6.3        Programme 3: Social Security Policy and Administration


Budget expenditure in this Programme was R7.63 billion or 99.6% against the available budget of R7.65 billion. This implies that the Programme expenditure is R54.8 million lower than the available budget at the end of March 2020.




Reasons for under-expenditure include:


Lower than expected expenditure is mainly on salaries and wages due to the delay in establishing the Inspectorate for social assistance.  Of the 4 targets (as per APP) planned, the department fully achieved two targets. The Department achieved the targets to complete the discussion paper on linking CSG beneficiaries with government services and to draft Regulations to support the Social Assistance legislation and have them ready for public comments.


With regard to the other two targets, 1) to submit revised policy on mandatory cover for retirement, disability and survivor benefits to FOSAD and, 2) to Submit policy on voluntary inclusion of informal sector workers in social security to FOSAD, the Department does not clearly report whether it submitted to FOSAD. It reported that in preparing to submit the revised policy on mandatory cover for retirement to FOSAD, it submitted a detailed progress report to the Technical Working Group of the SPCHD Cluster. With regard to the second target, the department updated a policy paper on voluntary inclusion of informal sector workers. However, the NEDLAC stakeholder engagements on this policy had to be postponed and is being prioritised in the new financial year to obtain technical inputs into the policy.


6.4        Programme 4: Welfare Services Policy Development and Implementation Support

This Programme was allocated a budget of R1 billion for the year under review. At the end of the fourth quarter (year-end) it spent R963 million, which marked an underspending of R92.3 million or 8.7%. Lower expenditure was recorded under goods and services in the Social Crime Prevention and Victim Empowerment Sub-programme. The Department had received an additional budget of R93.0 million appropriated through the adjusted budget appropriations in October 2019. The additional budget was for the employment of 200 social workers to work in high risk areas of gender-based violence. This was one of the intervention areas identified under the Emergency Response Plan on gender-based violence and femicide.

The reason given for underspending was that the Department funded the employment of these social workers through the compensation of employees budget, instead of goods and services.

The Department planned to achieve 20 targets under this Programme for the fourth quarter. In the APP, however, there were 17 targets set. It managed to achieve 12 targets, partially achieved 1 target and not achieved 7 targets. The other two targets it did not report on. The Department managed to achieve these critical targets:

  • It conducted capacity building workshops on the National Plan of Action for Children in Free State, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal provinces. The target was to reach 2 provinces.
  • The Inter-Sectoral Protocol on the Management and Prevention of Violence against Children, Child Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation was approved. The Department explained that this policy intends to strengthen sheltering services for victims of violence and crime.  This was however a target for quarter 3 and not for quarter 4. For the fourth quarter, the Department had set a target to develop a first draft document on sheltering services that would culminate to an inter-sectoral policy on sheltering services.
  • The National Frameworks on Disability Rights Awareness and Self-Representation were revised and updated. It is important to note that this target is not in the Department’s 2019/2020 Annual Performance Plan and no explanation was given by the Department.
  • Draft guidelines on the Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities and Disability Mainstreaming (DEM) approach towards Community-Based Inclusive Development Programme (CBID) were developed, consulted and finalized.


The critical targets that were not achieved are as follow:

  • The first draft document on the provision of counselling services was not compiled because the Department could not source technical support (service provider).
  • Participation in the Parliamentary process to approve the Children's Amendment Bill did not take place as the processes did not commence.
  • Consultation on the Revised White Paper on Families in 4 provinces did not take place.

6.5.       Programme 5: Social Policy and Integrated Service Delivery

This Programme was allocated a budget of R413.3 million and by the end of the fourth quarter it spent R405. 6 million, which was R7.7 million (or 1.9%) less than the allocated budget. The reason for underspending was due to low spending on outreach programmes in the last six months of the financial year due to a political intervention to have limited participants in major events. 

During this quarter, the Department received an approval to shift R29.1 million from the transfers to households for Food Relief: Cost of meals towards the transfer to non-profit organisations for Food Relief: Operations resulting in a single transfer of R63.3 million to implementing agents for the Food Relief programme. The Food Relief: Operations was originally allocated a budget of R34.2 million.

The Department had planned to achieve 16 targets under this Programme. It achieved 12, partially achieved 5 and did not achieve 2. The most important target the Department achieved was that of having 103 750 vulnerable individuals accessing food. It reached a total of 112 259 vulnerable individuals through feeding programmes through the Community Nutrition Development Centres (CNDCs) and other DSD centre-based feeding programmes. The critical targets not reported on are as follows:



  • Gazetting of the NPO Bill for Public Comment,
  • To have in place a finalized Service Prioritization and Standard Service Names Protocol. This target contributes towards the annual target of facilitating the implementation of the DSD Sector Funding Policy,
  • Capacitating one province to implement Partnership Model and formalize partnership agreement with network structure/s. This target contributes to the annual target of facilitating implementation of the DSD-NPO Partnership Model.
  • Compiling Capacity building report on Women Empowerment Framework. This target contributes to the annual target of facilitating the development of Women Empowerment Framework.


7. Committee deliberations and observations

  • The Committee raised a concern on the stigma people living with HIV/Aids still face. This stigma results in some of them (particularly youth and children) not following up on their treatment. This is a serious concern because it is life threatening. The Committee wanted to know what programmes the department in partnership with community based organisations, was implementing to support these age groups.

The department explained that it implements a stigma reduction programme in partnership with the South African National Aids Council (SANAC).  This programme can be accessed through community based programmes.

  • The Committee also raised a concern that a lot of budget was allocated for IT related programmes but targets were not achieved and the department has recurring challenges in this area.


The department reported that under Goods and Services it had a 101% spending. It made significant progress in the implementation of IT infrastructure since terminating its agreement with SITA related to the Turnkey project. During this quarter, this programme spent R96 million on goods and services of which the following related to IT Infrastructure:


Replacement of servers -   R 41 million

Cabling & Switches        -    R 4.8 million

Anti-Virus                       -     R 3.6 million

  • The Committee wanted to know what was the impact of the targets not achieved on service delivery and how this affected planning for the 2020/2021 Annual Performance Plan and budget allocation.

The department reported that at the time of the presentation, it had managed to achieve 80% of the targets not achieved at the end of the fourth quarter.

  • The Committee noted the commitment by the Acting Director-General that the department takes responsibility on targets not met.


  • It further wanted to know what impact assessment was done on the social assistance programme with regard to uplifting beneficiaries and enabling them to exist the system.

The department responded that the department had conducted a comprehensive assessment study in partnership with the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) on the impact of the Child Support Grant. It also conducted a study on the impact of the Older Persons Grant. For 2020/2021 financial year, it will conduct a study on the impact of the SRD grant.

  • The Committee further wanted to know what actions has the department taken to ensure that the four provinces (Northern Cape, Gauteng, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal) endorse Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) business plans.


  • The Committee sought clarity on the reason why the budget for the employment of additional 200 social workers was taken from compensation of employees budget. The department reported still report R1.7 million over spending.

The department explained that in terms of the Standard Chart of Accounts (SCOA) Classification and SCOA regulations, all expenditure related to salaries and benefits is payable under the SCOA Classification – Compensation of Employees (CoE) on PERSAL. The 200 social workers were appointed on PERSAL for a 4-month period in the national department and in terms of correct recording of expenditure the budget had to come from the economic classification on the Financial Statements, CoE.

  • The Committee noted with concern that it appears when it comes to services for people with disabilities it is just a matter of ticking a box. No significant progress was made on reaching targets. It wanted to know how many people with disabilities were employed by the department. It also wanted to know which departments were not cooperating in employing people with disabilities. The Committee called to the department to revive programmes for people with disabilities that were abandoned.

The department reported that it employed 1.4% of people with disabilities. In all of its job adverts, it specifically encouraged people with disabilities to apply.

  • The Committee expressed a concern over the withdrawal of funding to Albanism Society of South Africa and Abba Foundation. It wanted to know what engagements the department had with these organisations.

The department explained that the withdrawal of finding to these organizations was due to misuse of funds. In accordance with the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) the department can withdraw funds if they are not spent appropriately. The department was working with these NGOs to ensure that they comply.

  • It wanted to know how can best can the department sustain the shelters for the homeless, working with the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA).


  • The Committee noted with concern the continuous underspending in all programmes throughout the quarters. This was especially the case in Programme 3.


  • The Committee wanted to know the length of time it takes to process application of NPOs and the actual registration of an NPO.

The department explained that the Non Profit Organisations Act requires that application processes and registration of NPOs be registered within 2 months and the department has been registering them within 2 weeks.

  • The Committee expressed a concern that department’s documents are not accessible on the department’s website. It requested the department to address this.


8. Committee Resolutions

  • The department to forward the GBVF safety plans and referral pathways to the Committee.
  • It would also forward the statistics the Committee requested.
  • The department would also forward the concept document linking CSG beneficiaries to economic opportunities.
  • The Committee would invite MECs to give a report on how they have been implementing the Covid 19 responses. The department to coordinate their participation through MINMEC.


Report to be considered




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