ATC130517: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Women, Children, and People with Disabilities on the Revised Strategic Plan of the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities (2013/14) and Budget Vote 8 for the financial year 2013/14, dated 15 May 2013.
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Women,
Children, and People with Disabilities on the Revised Strategic Plan of the
Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities (2013/14) and Budget
Vote 8 for the financial year 2013/14, dated 15 May 2013.
The Portfolio Committee on
Women, Children, and People with Disabilities, having considered the strategic
plan and budget of the Department of Women, Children and People with
Disabilities for 2013/14 on the 08 May 2013, reports as follows:
The strategic plan and
budget of the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities was
referred to the Portfolio Committee on Women, Children and People with
Disabilities on 13 March 2013 for consideration and report. The Committee, in
performing its constitutional oversight mandate, engaged with Department of
Women, Children and People on 08 May 2013.
strategic plan, budget and associated objectives of each programme for the 2013/14
According to the Estimates
of National Expenditure (ENE) for 2013, the aim of the Department of Women,
Children and Persons with Disabilities is to drive, accelerate and oversee Governments
equity, equality and empowerment agenda on women, children and people with
disabilities, especially in poor and rural communities. In order to achieve
these aims, the activities of the Department are divided among the three
designated target groups namely; women, children and persons with disabilities.
More specifically, the
Department aims to:
with civil society to ensure conditions for integrated transformation in the
Governments capacity to align planning across the three spheres of Government.
policy implementation and the realisation of sector specific targets for
attaining the national goal to halve poverty and unemployment by 2014.
global partnerships to strengthen the development of women, children and people
Priorities over the medium-term
The Departments strategic
goals over the medium term are to:
Coordinate and facilitate
the process of establishing the National Council
Gender Based Violence;
empowerment and gender equality, childrens rights and disability
considerations into Governments policies and governance processes;
Monitor and evaluate the
mainstreaming of womens empowerment and gender equality,
rights and disability considerations into Governments policies and governance
support and capacity development programmes for the promotion, protection and
advancement of women, children and people with disabilities.
The Department also
took into consideration the priorities of the National Development Plan which are
to eliminate poverty through economic growth, jobs, education, and skills
development, and to build a capable and developmental state. In so doing, the
Departments activities as outlined in the Annual Performance Plan are related
to job creation, skills development and education.
The budget of the
Department grew from R172.2 million in 2012/13 to R198.3 million in the 2013/14
financial year. Notwithstanding the nominal increase of 2.85 per cent, the
budget has actually been decreased by 2.60 per cent when inflation is taken
into account. Thus, in real terms the Department has less funding to work with
than it had in the previous financial year. The implications of which have a
direct impact on the core programmes of the Department. Moreover, this
Departments budget constitutes a mere 0.013 per cent of the overall national
budget earmarked for the advancement of the rights of women, children and
persons with disabilities.
In terms of economic
classification, 66 per cent of the budget (R 131.6 million) is allocated to
current payments, 61 per cent of which will be used for compensation of
employees. The balance (R 51.3 million) is allocated for expenditure on goods
and services. In addition, 31.8 per cent of the budget has been allocated to
Women, Empowerment and Gender Equality
Children's Rights and Responsibilities
Rights of People with Disabilities
The purpose of this programme is to provide effective leadership,
management and administrative support to the Ministry and other branches in the
Department. According to the National Treasury (2012) between 2009/10 and
2012/13, expenditure increased significantly due
to capacity building in the Ministers office
and the accommodation needs of the Deputy Ministers office.
The Administration programme consists of four main sub-programmes
The Ministry comprising of the Minister and Deputy Minister of
Women, Children and People with Disabilities, ministerial support services
and coordinates interaction between the Ministry Parliamentary Committee
and related activities.
Management which comprises of the Office of the Director-General
including Internal Audit and the Secretariat for the National Council
Against Gender-Based Violence and related support services.
Corporate Management which comprises of administrative and essential
services needed for the smooth running of the Department. This consists of
Resource Management (HRM, IT and Facilities, Financial Administration,
Strategic Management, Research and Policy Development, Inter-sectoral
Coordination and International Relations and Communications.
Office accommodation which is responsible for physical
accommodation and safety of the Department in line with applicable
The programme has been allocated R91 637 million for financial year
In this financial year however, the administration
programme consumes 46 per cent of the budget.
It should be noted that 61
per cent of the overall budget for this programme is allocated for the
compensation of employees. Furthermore, an amount of R 51.3 million has been
earmarked for goods and services (38.98 per cent), while travel and subsistence
accounts for 12.16 per cent (R 16 million). In the previous financial year
2011/2012, travel and subsistence constituted 38.8 per cent of the overall
goods and services allocation. The increase in spending in the medium term will
mainly for the compensation of employees, which goes up 23.1 per cent in
2013/14 to build capacity for the department to implement its turnaround
strategy. The budgetary allocation for the establishment of National Council on
Gender Based Violence was also not stipulated. In addition, it was noted that a
Chief Executive Officer would be appointed for the Council.
Empowerment and Gender Equality (WEGE)
The purpose of this programme is to facilitate national and
international instruments into empowerment and socioeconomic development
programmes as well as overseeing and reporting comprehensively on the national
realisation of womens rights and the progressive realisation of equality. The
overall budget for WEGE 2013/2014 is R 82.9 million. It should be noted that t
he transfer payment for
the Commission for Gender Equality
amounts to R63.1 million,
constituting 76.12 per cent of this programmes budget.
The strategic objectives of
this programme are as follows:
To promote gender equality and the empowerment of
women. This will be done by advancing advocacy and mainstreaming activities to
align with the national policy and gender mainstreaming strategy, and by
increasing the representation and participation of women in various
socioeconomic, cultural and political spheres by 50 per cent by 2014/15.
To monitor and evaluate the mainstreaming of women
empowerment and gender equality outcomes, ensuring that policy and programme
implementation are directed to common goals in line with Government priorities.
This will be achieved by developing and maintaining a monitoring and evaluation
framework and establishing a database with gender responsive indicators and
readily available gender disaggregated data in 2013/2014.
To align international and regional instruments on
womens empowerment and gender equality initiatives with Governments gender
targets, by reviewing related legislation and Government policies by 2014/2015.
aims to achieve these objectives through three sub-programmes:
Mainstreaming for Gender Equality
promotes the mainstreaming of womens empowerment and gender equality
considerations into Governments policies and governance processes. Previously
the total budget for this sub-programme was R9.3 million in 2012/2013. This
year (2013/2014) the budget has decreased to R8.7 million.
The ENE (2013)
indicated that this sub-programme will focus on ensuring the promulgation of
the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill. The bulk of the budget of
Programme 2 in the medium term will focus on this sub-programme, particularly
on the transfer of funds to the Commission for Gender Equality.
This sub-programme coordinates institutional support and capacity
development. It promotes synergy among Government departments, civil society
and the private sector. This sub-programme had a total budget of R6 million in
This year (2013/2014) this sub-programme budget has decreased to R4.8
Evaluation for Gender Equality
This sub-programme tracks delivery on constitutional, regional and
international mandates. It achieves this through the implementation of a sector-specific
performance tracking system; verifying sectoral performance evaluation and
comprehensive reporting systems. It also aims to monitor compliance with
national and international instruments. This sub-programme had a total budget
of R5.9 million in 2012/13. This year (2013/2014) this sub-programme budget has
increased to R 6.3 million.
Programme 3: Childrens Rights and
The overall budget for this programme is R 9.9 million.
The programme aims to oversee the consolidation of the
childrens rights agenda and the alignment of the conceptual frameworks and
strategies across the three spheres of Government to advance delivery in line
with constitutional and international instruments.
It promotes childrens
rights and responsibilities in Government policies, programmes and governance
Developing a national and provincial plan of
action for childrens rights by March 2015;
Facilitating social campaigns and programmes
for the survival, protection and development of children and for child
participation on an ongoing basis;
Developing and implementing a national
monitoring and evaluation strategy to monitor Government and civil societys
progress on the realisation of childrens rights on an ongoing basis and;
Developing and implementing capacity building
and support strategy for Government and civil society stakeholders in the
childrens rights sector over the medium term.
This programme consists of
Advocacy and Mainstreaming for the Promotion and Protection of
The primary objective of this sub-programme
align and advocate childrens rights and responsibilities across the
three spheres of Government. This sub-programme had a total budget of R4.1
million in 2012/2013. The current (2013/2014) allocation is R3.4 million. In
2012/13, 5 national child advocacy events were conducted; and the National Plan
of Action for Children was finalised after public consultations. In 2013/14,
the following will be facilitated: National Childrens Day; the promotion of
access to education for all children; Child Protection Week; International Day
of the Girl Child; the Google online child safety campaign; and the Sanitary
Dignity campaign in partnership with other Government departments, provincial Government,
civil society and United Nations (UN) agencies. The National Plan of Action for
Children will be tabled in Parliament and a provincial plan of action for
children will be finalised in 2013/14. This sub-programme had a staff
complement of 4 in 2012/13.
Institutional Support and Capacity Building for the Promotion and
Protection of Childrens Rights
This sub-programme coordinates institutional support and capacity
development in relation to childrens rights. It promotes synergy among Government
departments, civil society and the private sector
; it had a total budget
of R5.2 million in 2012/13. The current (2013/14) allocation for this
sub-programme has decreased from the previous year to R3.4 million. In 2012/13,
consultations on key policy documents for child rights machinery were held. The
consultations included national and provincial stakeholders from Government and
civil society organisations. In 2013/14, the strengthening and piloting of a
model for child-friendly cities will be facilitated, capacity will be built for
the National Plan of Action for Children, and a monitoring and evaluation tool and
institutional arrangement strategy will be developed for all spheres of Government.
This sub-programme had a staff complement of 1 in 2012/13.
Evaluation for the Promotion and Protection of Childrens Rights
This sub-programme monitors and evaluates the mainstreaming of
childrens rights into Government policies and programmes, and ensures that
compliance reports are submitted. This sub-programme had a total budget of R4.2
million in 2012/13, t
his year (2013/14) its budget has decreased to R 3.2 million. The sub-programme
monitors and evaluates the realisation of childrens rights in
Governments policies and programmes, as well as coordinates compliance by
Government with international and regional reporting obligations. The capacity
building framework for national departments, provinces and municipalities was
finalised in 2012/13 and a first draft of the monitoring and evaluation
framework for childrens rights was developed. Reports were completed on the
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on
the Welfare and Rights of the Child. In this financial year the focus will be
on facilitating capacity building for the national plan of action for children,
and developing a monitoring and evaluation tool and institutional arrangement
strategy in all spheres of government. This sub-programme had a staff
complement of 3 in 2012/2013.
4: Rights of people with disabilities (RPD)
This Programme is aimed at facilitating
the translation of national and international instruments into empowerment and socioeconomic
development programmes. It oversees and reports on the national realisation of
the rights of people with disabilities and the progressive realisation of
It aims to ensure the progressive realisation of the rights of people
with disabilities by:
Reporting periodically: quarterly, annually,
four yearly or as required, on trends on the status of people with disabilities;
Finalising the National Disability Policy and
regulatory impact assessment for a National Disability Rights Bill by the end
Finalising the National Framework for Universal
Access and design of products and environments to ensure that they are
accessible to all people, by the end of 2013/14;
Developing models to accelerate mainstreaming
of disability considerations into sector programmes and services in line with
relevant frameworks and legislation and improve the quality of outcomes by the
end of 2013/14;
Co-ordinating and providing secretariat
services to a national disability system which facilitates the application of
the resolutions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,
the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and the participation in
the Africa Decade of Persons with Disabilities on an ongoing basis.
Co-ordinating the Integrated National Disability
Rights Information and Awareness Campaign, including the National Disability Rights
month and the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, on an ongoing
Programme 4 was allocated R
15.7 million for the 2012/13 financial year. This financial year has seen a
decrease to R13.9 million.
This programme consists of
Mainstreaming for the Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with
and advocates for the rights and responsibilities across the three spheres of Government
equity and improve the quality of life for people with disabilities. It
had a total budget of R4.0 million in 2012/13. The budget for this
sub-programme has decreased to R3.8 million.
integrates actions and creates synergy among Government departments, civil
society and the private sector. This includes implementing the antipoverty
strategy for people with disabilities and developing a national disability
agenda. This sub-programme had a total budget of R6.1 million in 2012/13. The
budget for this sub-programme has decreased to R4.3 million.
Evaluation for the Equalisation of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities
The primary focus of this sub-programme is to track delivery on
constitutional, regional and international mandates by establishing and
implementing sector-specific performance tracking verification and evaluation
systems. This sub-programme had a total budget of R5.7 million in 2012/13.
This year (2013/2014)
this sub-programme budget has marginally increased to R5.8 million.
Having met with the
Department to scrutinise the Revised Strategic Plan 2013-2014, Annual
Performance Plan 2013-2014 and budget, the Committee made the following
The Committee noted that the Revised Strategic Plan
and APP lacked the requisite details in terms targets and indicators that links
to programme activities. As such, given the broad description of initiatives
stipulated the allocation of funding appears to be limited on account of the
lack of detail.
The Committee noted with concern that given the
Departments limited budget it was unclear as to how the remaining activities
of the TAS would be implemented when this was not clearly articulated in the
Revised Strategic Plan or APP.
The Committee noted that the Department has
received the smallest budget allocation and noted that the budget has decreased
by 3%. The Committee was concerned with the budget allocation given the
commitments made with respect to women, children and people with disabilities.
The Committee noted that there was decrease in the
budgetary allocation for all sub-programmes of the Department and was concerned
as to how the Department would be able to fulfil its mandate as a result of
The Committee noted that the National Council
Gender Based Violence has been located within the
Office of the DirectorGeneral and that no budget has been allocated to
implement programmes of the Council. The Committee was concerned as to how the
Council is going to implement its programme given that there is no budget
allocated to it.
The Committee noted that the Women Empowerment and
Gender Equality Bill (WEGE) has not been finalised by the Department and was
concerned about the time frames for finalising the Bill.
The Committee noted that there was lack of
awareness with respect to the Departments programmes and activities.
The Committee noted that the Departments
overarching policies, frameworks,
its respective indicators in its final form was crucial for effective
monitoring and evaluation and as such needed to be implemented.
The Committee noted that the Administration
Programme had an allocation of R5 and R1 million respectively for advocacy
awareness campaigns and a stakeholder forum yet Programmes 2, 3 and 4 had
significantly less funding to undertake such initiatives which formed part of
its core functions.
of Strategic Plan, Annual Performance Plan (APP) and Turn-Around Strategy (TAS)
The Committee noted that the Departments Revised
Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan provided more of a theoretical
perspective of the Departments mission and vision. However, the requisite
details insofar as detailed indicators and targets for the current financial
year were lacking. Clear timeframes for achieving the Departments objectives
were also lacking.
Whilst the Committee acknowledges, the filling of
key vacancies such as that of the Director General, Chief Financial Officer as
well as that in risk management and supply chain management, the establishment
and implementation of systems and procedures to mitigate the concerns
previously raised by the Auditor General was crucial. The implementation of the
TAS and the recommendations of the Auditor General cannot be clearly identified
within the APP except with reference to the filling of key vacant positions.
The Committee noted with concern the disparity
between Programme 1 and the rest of the Programmes namely 2, 3 and 4 with
respect to budgetary allocation and resourcing. To this end, notwithstanding
the importance of the functions located within Programme 1, there are 152 posts
which comprises 73% of the Departmental establishment yet Programmes 2, 3 and 4
which drives the core functions of the Department are significantly
under-staffed to effectively undertake advocacy initiatives, institutional
support and capacity building and monitoring and evaluation at a national
The Committee noted that even thought the
Department had filled 61% of allocated posts, there were still 12% of funded
in various processes that were
not filled and 27% of the allocated posts were unfunded vacancies.
The Committee noted with concern the high turn-over
of staff within the Department.
Having considered the
strategic plan and budget of the Department, the Committee recommends that the
Minister should ensure that:
The Department strengthens its awareness strategy
to ensure that the community is aware of its programmes;
The Department speeds up the finalisation of the
Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill and brief the Committee accordingly;
The Department briefs the Committee on the role,
function, structure and budget of the National Council on Gender-Based
The Department provides the Committee with a
detailed account of all donor money received to date and an indication of what
the deliverables were required in this regard;
The Department expedites the filling of funded
vacant positions and update the Committee in this regard in terms of progress;
All departmental programmes have SMART objectives
that are linked to detailed targets and indicators that coincide with
activities all of which have to be
accordingly. Clear time frames should be stipulated; and
The Department provides the Committee with regular
updated reports on the implementation of the TAS and submit all outstanding
quarterly reports timeously.
The Committee thanked the
Department for the presentation and noted the Departments attempt to address
concerns raised by the Committee. Further engagement in this regard will
Report to be considered.
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