ATC121023: The Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report of the Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs on the Department of Environmental Affairs for the 2011/12 Financial Year, dated 23 October 2012
The Budgetary Review and
Recommendation Report of the Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental
Affairs on the Department of Environmental Affairs for the 2011/12 Financial
Year, dated 23 October 2012
Portfolio Committee on Water and Environmental Affairs having assessed the
service delivery performance, financial governance and future budgetary
allocation of the Department of Environmental Affairs, reports as follows:
The Money Bills Amendment
Procedure and Related Matters Act, 2009 (Act No. 9 of 2009) requires that the
National Assembly conduct an annual assessment of the performance of each
national department with regards to the medium-term estimates of expenditure,
strategic priorities and measurable objectives as tabled in the National
Assembly. In line with the Money Bills Act 9 of 2009 and the constitutional
obligation of Parliament to conduct oversight over the executive, the Portfolio
Committee on Water and Environment Affairs (the Committee) considered the
Annual Report of the Department of Environmental Affairs for the 2011/12
This report, therefore, provides the committees assessment of the
service delivery performance of the Department and its oversight over its
entities for the 2011/12 financial year. An assessment of the performance of
the Department and related public entities was based on of the following:
An overview and analysis of the Departments strategic
priorities, measurable objectives, performance indicators and attainment of
Financial and non-financial performance of the department
for the year under review;
Report of the Auditor-General of
Financial governance and future budgetary allocation;
Achievements and challenges in the service delivery
Committee observations; and
Strategic Priorities and Measurable Objectives
Strategic priorities of the Department
The key strategic
priorities, in line with the vision and mission of the Department, over the
medium-term comprise the following:
Support to local government in areas of air quality, waste
management, coastal planning and open-space planning;
Strengthening compliance and enforcement on, amongst other
things, rhino poaching and environmental impact assessments;
Aligning governance systems with Outcome 10, that is, mining
integrated permitting, environmental management framework and land use issues;
Drawing linkages between climate change, green economy and
sustainable development; and
Focus on key national and international engagements.
Measurable objectives of the Department
Six programmes determine
the work of the Department.
of the programmes, the Department identified a number of measurable objectives,
which relate specifically to the purpose:
In Programme 1:
Administration and Support:
The purpose is to provide strategic leadership,
administration, executive support and corporate services. Within this
programme, and for the 2012/12 financial year, the Department achieved the
The Department set a target of 14% to fill its vacancy rate
but achieved 11.5%;
The target for the turnover rate was set at 14%, but 10.6%
A target of 56% on women representivity was set and this was
On procurement on BEE enterprises, the target set was 58%,
but 65% was achieved;
On public awareness and participation, the target of 5
events was set, and the actual result was 10;
The 55% target on share of the media voice was attained; and
The Department attained an unqualified audit report for the
2011/12 financial year and spent 98% of the expenditure.
encountered in this programme related to a delay in the initiation of the
construction phase for the Departments building.
Key issues that were outstanding have been concluded
with the preferred bidder and construction has begun in the first quarter of
The Department was unable
to meet its target of employing 2% of people with disabilities due to an
insufficient pool of relevant skill available, especially in scarce skills
The strategy to address this
is expected to be finalised for implementation in 2012/13.
In Programme 2:
Environmental Quality and Protection
The purpose is to improve the quality and safety of the environment in
order to give effect to the right of all South Africans to an environment that
is not harmful to their health and well-being. The achievements for 2011/12
reflect the following:
Although the target set was to address and process 75% of
complaints and incidents related to the programme, it attained 100%.
Fifty eight (58) cases were received and
Two hundred and fifty two (252) environmental management
inspectors attended specialised training courses/capacity building
A target of 50 was set to train officials in environmental
impact management, but training reached 66 officials; and
A target of 42 ambient air monitoring stations reporting to
the South African Air Quality Information System was set, but 60 were achieved.
The key challenges noted in
this programme, focused primarily on:
Although the Department targeted the inspections of 70
facilities for this financial year, only 46 facilities were inspected. This
target could not be met due to financial constraints;
In relation to the integrated waste management plans, the
decision by industry to review the plans meant that the targets are still being
reviewed and not approved;
A baseline was established for the recovery of waste
streams, but consultants and discussions with industry required more time than
In Programme 3: Marine and Coastal Management
The purpose is to promote the conservation
and sustainable use of marine and coastal resources to contribute to economic
growth and poverty alleviation.
also aimed at facilitating transformation and job creation within the
The Department, in this
financial year, achieved the following:
The adoption by Cabinet of the Draft Green Paper on Oceans
The approval by Cabinet of the review of the Draft Estuary
The three relief voyages undertaken to
The bi-annual State of the Oceans Report was completed; and
Twenty five (25) peer review publications were completed
against a target of twenty three (23).
The key challenges noted
in this programme related to:
Objections were raised during consultations on the Prince
Edward marine protected areas declaration.
This was in relation to targeted areas for declaration, which led to
delays as additional time was required to finalise the project; and
In respect of the needs analysis and system design for South
African ocean and coastal information systems, the systems specification is
complete, however the availability of expertise delayed progress in achieving
planned annual targets.
In Programme 4:
The purpose is to
promote, coordinate and manage an effective national mitigation and adaptation
response to climate change.
The White Paper on National Climate Change Response was
approved by Cabinet and gazetted;
Nine (9) climate change provincial summits were successfully
The climate change response expo was successfully hosted
alongside the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)
COP 17 conference in Durban between 28 November and 9 December 2011; and
Four climate change sectors adaptation plans, including
biodiversity, water forestry and agriculture, were at an advanced stage of
completion at the end of the financial year.
The key challenges in the
The initiation of the Long-Term Adaptation Scenarios (LTAs)
process was delayed, as the LTAs had to be aligned with national policy and
further consultations need to be undertaken;
The finalisation of the toolkit review for the South African
Weather Service (SAWS) forecasting and Phase II of the South African Risk and
Vulnerability is still in progress as it required more time to complete than
The greenhouse gas sector study on transport was delayed due
to human resource constraints.
In Programme 5: Biodiversity and Conservation
The purpose is to promote the conservation
and sustainable use of natural resources to contribute to economic growth and
The Department, for
the 2011/12 financial year, achieved the following:
100% of genetically modified organisms (GMO) applications
were assessed for environmental compliance;
An amount of 7.3% of land surface is under conservation;
Five management plans finalised as planned; and
31 398 hectares of land rehabilitated and conserved.
In Programme 6: Sector Services, Environmental Awareness and
The purpose is to
promote a global sustainable developmental agenda.
The Department achieved the following:
65 182 employment opportunities were created through its
(SRPP) and National Resources Management (NRM) programme against a total of 48
846 small, micro-medium enterprises were used as part of the
Departments commitment to empower emerging businesses against a target of 250;
41 476 indigenous trees were planted against a target of 10
32 923 households benefited from collection initiatives led
by the Department against a target of 30 000;
The National Strategy on Sustainable Development was
finalised and approved by Cabinet;
100 environmental education and awareness workshops were
49 746 accredited persons days were created against a target
of 32 675.
The key challenges
reflected in the programme relate to the fact that the National Resource
Management Programme was transferred from the Department of Water Affairs in
April 2011. This transition contributed to delays in achieving some of the
planned annual targets, as there was a need to align the work of the programme
to departmental processes as well as deal with human resource capacity issues.
Analysis of the
Departments 2011/12 Annual Report and Financial Statements
Expenditure trends for 2011/12
An overview of the final
appropriation in Vote 30 and the expenditure trends for 2011/12 show that the
final appropriation to the Department between 2008/09 and 2011/12 increased
from R2.4 billion to R4.2 billion, at an average annual rate of 19.9 per
This was mainly due to the increased
expenditure to replace the polar research vessel in the Oceans and Coasts
programme and to implement job creation programmes in the Environment Sector
Programmes and Projects programme.
Expenditure as %
quality and protection
services, coordination and information management and international relations
2 128 980
2 046 461
4 201 626
4 108 549
For the period under
review, the Department reflected an
in Programme 2: Environmental Quality and Protection.
The reasons for under spending of R19 million
related to the incorporation of Buyisa-e-Bag into the Department during
December 2011 after the approval of the adjusted estimates.
The funds were still under Programme 2.
National Treasury granted approval to move
the funds of Programme 2 and to increase the transfer payments under the Social
Responsibility Policy Programme (SRPP) under Programme 6.
The funds were, therefore, shifted to fund
the waste management projects under the SRPP.
An amount of R9.1 million was under spent, as the acquisition process
and installation of the air quality monitoring stations were slower than
Funds will be reprioritised
during the 2012/13 financial year.
In relation to
for the financial year under
review, the Department shifted funds from Environmental Quality and Protection
to Administration of an amount of R7.166 million due to administrative
expenditure with regard to the hosting of COP17.
Funds from this programme were also shifted
to Climate Change and Sector Services Coordination and Information Management
and International Relations.
Department shifted funds from Sector Services Coordination to Oceans and Coasts
to fund the cost for the additional voyages to
National Treasury granted
approval to increase
for the following, and after the adjusted Estimates of National Expenditure:
Increase in the transfer payment to South African National
Parks (SANParks) with R4.5 million for the acquisition of two new machinery
Increase the transfer payment to Social Responsibility
Policy Programme (SRPP) with R19 million to manage the waste projects
incorporated into SRPP as a result of the incorporation of Buyisa-e-Bag into
the Department; and
Increase the transfer payment to Working on Water with R56.3
million to clear invasive alien plants in inaccessible areas and clear areas at
risk of veld fires.
Report of the Auditor-General
The report of the
Auditor-General showed that the Department received an unqualified audit.
The donor-funding audit for 2011/12 is in
progress and will be finalised by end of October 2012.
On other aspects, the
Auditor-General reported on the following:
Irregular expenditure was incurred in the current financial
year and condoned by National Treasury during the 2012/13 financial year;
The Department complied with all disclosure requirements,
classifications and policy frameworks as prescribed by Treasury; and
Transfers to agencies and other organisations made are per
prior arrangement and Treasury approval, as well as within disclosure
Expenditure Framework for Additional Funding Proposals
is of the view that the Department of Environmental Affairs is well managed,
compliant with relevant Treasury regulations and achieves satisfactory outcomes
against the annual business plan. The Department is, however, not realising its
full potential, as it is, hampered by inadequate allocations and a lack of
skilled human resources in some projects/programmes.
of the baseline allocation over the MTEF was provided to ascertain the extent
to which the Department would effectively undertake its work within the current
The baseline allocation for
2011/12 is R5 billion and over the medium term will increase slightly, reaching
an amount of R5.3 billion in 2015/16. A further breakdown of the baseline
allocation trends over the MTEF period per programme reveals that money has
already been allocated for capital assets or for earmarked funds and cannot be
Department argues that there is very little growth in funds, while there is
growth in expenditure.
has indicated that all departmental budgets will be reduced by 1% in 2013/14,
2% in 2014/15 and 3% for 2015/16.
Treasury also indicated that there may be no additional resource
allocation in the first two years of MTEF, as priority will be given to
adopted by the Department to National Treasury has been packaged according to
the three priority areas adopted by Government infrastructure investment,
science-based priorities and job creation.
The table below provides a breakdown of the additional funding requests
over the priority areas:
the identified challenges related to infrastructure build programmes and
lengthy authorization processes.
an integrated permitting system to accommodate any current and future
permitting/licensing/authorization requirements of the Department and its
provincial/local government partners.
area expansion, high performance computer system for meteorological purposes
and waste services infrastructure.
coasts hazards risk management, effective management and conservation of
biodiversity and implementation of National Climate Change Response Strategy.
1 184 571
1 298 210
Fund, Environmental Programmes: Working for Waste, Working for Coasts and
People and Parks.
1 363 727
1 817 353
Oversight by the
Department of its Entities
Due to time and other
constraints, the Committee could not call each of the entities to the Budgetary
Review and Recommendation Review hearings. The Department presented the
relevant information to the Committee on the following entities:
South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)
iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority
South African Weather Service (SAWS)
South African National Parks (SANParks)
All the entities listed
above received unqualified annual audit reports.
However, SANBI received an unqualified audit
with emphasis of matter on the following:
Material under spending resulting in a surplus at year end;
Financial and performance management.
The Committee noted that
the Department is performing its functions and duties at a strategic level in a
highly professional and acceptable manner, but made the following observations:
Access to national parks
and other protected areas by persons from historically disadvantaged
communities needs to be significantly increased.
The Department should
look at creative ways of ensuring that more visitors from historically
disadvantaged communities access national parks and conservation areas in
Fragmentation of the
environmental regulation of air, land, mining and water issues at national and
local government levels is a very worrying reality. Integrated permitting may
have considerable potential for achieving greater regulatory integration and
improved environmental outcomes.
Committee requests a full report on progress in this regard in the near future.
enforcement on rhino poaching
The Committee notes with
concern that there continues to be an increase in rhino poaching incidents. The
Committee had a high-level engagement with the Department and other government
stakeholders involved in the fight against rhino poaching at the end of the
last financial year. The Committee requests a detailed presentation by the
Department on outcomes achieved since that meeting. The briefing should include
details of coordination efforts between the Department and other government
departments and entities.
An update on the
Departments progress in coordinating from a national level the oversight over
the granting of hunting permits for rhinos is also required
Green Fund Working on
There is currently a
pilot project under the Green Fund for the Working for Waste programme.
The approach does not only look at certain
elements of waste but at the entire value chain.
The Department does not have adequate capacity
to implement the project and therefore the management function is transferred
to an implementing agent, which receives a management fee of 12%.
The Department should provide more detail to
the Committee on the way it will monitor and evaluate the process and outcomes
of this project.
Strategy adopted by the
Department to motivate for increased allocations in the outer years
The Committee noted that
the Department receives an amount of R5.1 billion in 2012/13, whereas the
Department has requested additional funding of R13 billion over the medium-term
framework. This amounts to a 20% increase of their yearly budget.
Therefore, while the presentation to the
Committee on this aspect was excellent in terms of its forward thinking and
planning, the broad generic scope of the strategy may hinder the Department
receiving additional allocations over the MTEF period within its infrastructure
development, job creation and science-based activities.
The reprioritisation and structured approach
to motivating for year-by-year allocations for specific projects and programmes
would have been a better and more successful approach.
The Committee finds it difficult to request
additional allocations from National Treasury for the Department in this
financial year as the scope is too broad, and without any detailed presentations,
it becomes a complex task. The Department needs to start engagements with the
Committee much earlier next year.
Whilst the Department is
performing administratively in a professional manner, the Committee recommends
The Department oversee the work of SANBI to correct the
financial management issues raised by the Office of the Auditor General;
It was difficult for the Committee to assess the targets, as
the Committee was not part of the process in determining these targets.
The Department of Environmental Affairs, with
the Department of Water Affairs, need to sit down with the Committee and the
Office of the Auditor-General to assess if targets were justified. Two days in
January 2013 will be set aside to deal with these issues and to discuss how
best to work toward the determination of realistic indicators and targets for
The Committee convenes a workshop at the beginning of 2013 with
the Department of Water and the Department of Environmental Affairs, along with
other relevant stakeholders and government departments, to examine the
crosscutting functions that various departments have with regard to water and
environmental governance; and
The Committee understood the concerns raised by the Chief
Financial Officer with regard to baseline allocations in the outer years, as
well as the National Treasury reducing all departmental budgets by 1%, 2% and
3% over the MTEF.
In principle, the Committee
supports the initiative undertaken by the Department with regard to drafting a
generic framework of motivations for additional allocations from National
Treasury within the infrastructure development, job creation and science based
However, the Committee
was concerned that the Department did not carefully and strategically limit its
prioritization list from year to year.
The Committee supports the additional allocations requested by the
Department for the outer years for conservation, infrastructure, and the
rollout of the integrated permitting system.
Report to be considered.
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