ATC100413: Report Budget Vote 18: Social Development
REPORT OF THE PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT ON BUDGET VOTE 18: SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT, DATED 13 APRIL 2010
The Portfolio Committee on Social Development, having considered Budget Vote 18, reports as follows:
The following institutions briefed the Committee:
- The Department of Social Development (DSD);
- The South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and
- The National Development Agency (NDA).
The Department of Social Development briefed the Committee on its budget and
2010 – 2015 strategic plan. The Committee was also briefed on the following programmes:
- Comprehensive Social Security including income support and safety net for the destitute.
- Facilitate the approval of a national policy on mandatory retirement provisions.
- Set up a mandatory system of social insurance (pension, disability, survivor benefits and reform of RAF).
- Develop a coherent overarching institutional arrangement for social security provision.
- Increase access to social grants (extended Child Support Grant Extension and equalised Older Age Grant).
- Introduce legislation to legislate the implementation of the Harmonised Assessment Tool (HAT) for disability.
- Provide social relief to indigent persons affected by disasters. This will be done by developing a coherent policy on Social Relief of Distress.
- Develop a Social Assistance Appeals Adjudication Policy and Legislative Framework. The Adjudication of Social Assistance Appeals will promote a fair, just and equitable administrative action.
- Develop an Appeals Adjudication Institutional Model.
- Implement an Appeals Business and Information Enterprise.
2. Care and Protection for the vulnerable groups, especially children and women
- Improve quality of social welfare services to older persons including those in need of care and protection.
- Protect and promote the rights of people with disabilities by developing policies and legislative measures that support the provision of services.
- Invest and ensure the provision of quality social welfare services to children including those in need of care and protection by implementing the provisions in the Children’s Act.
- Intensify the fight against crime and corruption.
- Approve the Social Crime Prevention strategy by March 2011.
- Finalise the approval of a blue print, minimum norms and standards on secure care by March 2011.
- Conclude the policy framework and accreditation system of diversion programmes and service providers by July 2011.
- Review the National Drug Master Plan (NDMP).
- Strengthen and support institutional mechanism (that is, the secretariat, coordination and governance) for the implementation of NDMP.
- Develop best practice models to address substance abuse.
- Finalise Regulations for the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Act, (Act No. 70 of 2008) by March 2011.
- Focus on the successful implementation of the Child Protection Register.
- Standardise programmes that will prevent child abuse, neglect and exploitation.
- Develop best practice prevention models that will prevent child abuse, neglect and exploitation.
- Complete surveillance study on child abuse, exploitation and neglect.
- Implement a strategy that will address the needs of children living and working on the streets.
- Approve policy and strategy guidelines that will address statutory services for child headed households.
- Develop a strategy for services to meet the needs for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in drop in centres.
- Implement the guidelines on the management of unaccompanied minor.
- Implement an adoption strategy.
- Audit programmes for partial care and Early Childhood Development (ECD).
- Develop a partial care strategy for children.
3. Strengthen families and communities
- Strengthen the implementation of family preservation programmes.
- Finalise the green paper on family by March 2011.
- Develop the Integrated Parenting Framework by March 2011.
- Pilot models of cluster foster care scheme.
- Link community initiatives, the poor, vulnerable and marginalised people to sustainable livelihoods and economic development opportunities.
- Ensure integrated and sustainable community development programmes and services by implementing a toolkit for Community Development Practitioners (CDPs), guidelines for the establishment of social cooperatives and establishment of rural community food banks.
- Facilitate the approval of the Community Development Policy Framework.
- Strengthen the capacity for Community Development Forums to stimulate and support community driven development initiatives at the ward level.
- Place a greater emphasis on youth development through the Masupatsela Youth Pioneers.
- Extend the reach of key social service delivery programmes while offering opportunities for youth to pursue post-matric and work opportunities.
- Implement programmes that will assist youth to access decent work and participate in the mainstream economy.
- Mainstream Extended Public Works Programme (EPWP) into social sector sub-programmes.
- Create enabling environment to improve employability of EPWP workers.
- Finalise development of a comprehensive incentive grant model for funding of all social sector programs.
- Finalise Service Delivery Innovation and Incubation of new projects such as Kwanda projects.
- Reduce incidences of and the psychosocial impact of HIV and AIDS.
- Build competency of communities and stakeholders that deal with prevention, care and support to people affected and infected by HIV and AIDS.
- Develop and expand monitoring and evaluation system for Home-Community-Based-Care (HCBC) organisations.
4. Transforming social relations with specific focus on gender and victim empowerment.
- Transform social relations through the development and implementation of gender strategies within the sector.
- Mainstream gender as a major population factor into development planning.
- Implement by March 2011 Men and Boys strategy to prevent gender based violence.
- Implement human trafficking rehabilitation programme.
5. Strengthening of institutional capacity to deliver quality services
- By fostering multi-sectoral partnerships in support of the social development agenda.
- Enhancing the skills levels and recruitment of key social service professionals to support community work.
- By creating a sustainable environment for service delivery partners (NPOs) through capacity building, partnerships, collaboration and agency agreements.
- Developing National NPO funding guidelines and finalization of an NPO policy.
- Introducing improvement on NPO registration (i.e. implementation of an on-line NPO registration and compliance system).
- Improving social development policies (i.e. Social Services Professions, Policy on Financial Awards to Service Providers) and business processes.
- By improving performance through rigorous research, planning and social policy measures (i.e. promotion of evidence based policy making in the sector as well as the region).
- Building a customer care capacity and social infrastructure within the sector.
- Developing functional monitoring systems including reporting for social sector.
- Facilitating and monitoring the implementation of the human capital strategy in the social sector.
- Facilitating financial decision making and availability of adequate levels of resources for service delivery.
- Improving costing, financial forecasting and modelling.
- Improving budget planning and expenditure monitoring and reporting.
- Enhancing the supply chain processes including its alignment with the Broad Based Black Economic Strategy.
- Providing professional executive and administrative support to the Director-General and Ministry.
- The Minister’s office will further develop a Corporate Social Responsibility Strategy (CSR) which will drive and direct Corporate Social Investment (CSI), particularly on social development matters.
- Providing effective and efficient stakeholders management and donor co-ordination.
- Building and integrate Information Management Systems and Technological capabilities that will enable Social Development to deliver its mandate.
- Creating institutional knowledge and enable effective strategic decision making.
- Developing and implementing key legislations, strategies on litigation and contract management.
- Drafting regulations under the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act, 2008.
- Vetting of policy on Victim Support Services.
- Drafting National Development Agency Amendment Bill.
- Drafting South African Social Security Agency Amendment Bill.
6. Reinforcement participation in key bilateral and multilateral initiatives that
contributes most to poverty eradication.
- Support the promotion of integration and harmonization of policies through participation in SADC and AU Social Development and Population structures.
- Support the integration of regional and continental social development agenda in Commission for Social Development, UN Population Commission, Commission on the Status of Women, HIV/AIDS, Crime Prevention.
- Support the implementation of the IBSA Working Group on Social Development programmes.
- Support technical exchanges within European Union, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), International Social Security Association, International Social Services and Industrial Fabrics Association International (IFAI).
The following funds were allocated to each programme:
Comprehensive Social Security
R 85 604 207
Policy Development, Review and Implementation Support for Welfare Services
R 329 324
R 248 361
Strategy and Governance
R 70 072
R86 408 338
The table shows that the budget allocation of the Department for 2009/10 financial year increased to R86 408 338 billion compared to R76 974 007 billion in 2008/09.
The Committee observed that:
- The Department has over-achieved on its target of creating 150 000 job opportunities.
- The Department’s challenge, among others, is the extent of the impact of poverty and unemployment, which is indicated by many poor and vulnerable households in our society.
- The Department had achieved 97% of its strategic plans of 2009/10 financial year.
CONCERNS OF THE COMMITTEE
The Committee was concerned about the savings on the budget, which it was not certain whether they were appropriate, given the needs of the poor. It was however assured that the savings resulted not from curtailing programmes but from maximising efficiency in funding.
THE SOUTH AFRICAN SOCIAL SECURITY AGENCY (SASSA)
The following are the key policy priorities for 2010/11-2012/13 period:
Priority 1: Customer care centered benefits administration and management system
- Increase the projected number of beneficiaries from 13.6 million in 2010 to almost 16 million in 2013.
- Promote electronic forms of payment. The target is to reach 70% beneficiaries by 2014.
- Develop new payment system.
Priority 2: Improved systems integrity
Under this priority SASSA will:
- Improve Financial management;
- Implement institutional review and
- Improve governance framework
Priority 3: Increase access to social security services
- Broaden access to SASSA services, especially in rural areas.
- Link social grant recipients to other economic and developmental opportunities by through referral system.
- Develop stakeholder management strategy.
- Develop customer relationship management strategy.
- Conduct research to investigate the cross border movement of people who come to South Africa to access social grants.
2010/11 – 2012/13 Projected expenditure and the impact on the Strategic Plan
- The variance between the SASSA’s allocations and the projected expenditure is a result of the projected deficit in the 2009/10 which will be funded by savings from the allocations over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period.
- The savings will be realized through the implementation of the Cash Flow Stabilization strategy.
- The major long term turnaround strategy for SASSA will be implementation through the business process re-engineering.
- SASSA’s projected expenditure for the 2010/11 financial year reflects no growth over the 2009/11 projected expenditure. This therefore implies it does not have funds to embark on new projects and contracts but to continue funding existing contracts and projects.
- This has significantly impacted on the Strategic Plan as some of the projects and service delivery improvements had to be deferred to the outer years of the MTEF period.
- The 6 percent increase on compensation of employees only allows for the inflationary adjustment of salaries.
- Payment of contractors does not provide for any increase over the MTEF period.
- The significant portion of the allocations of the budget goes towards funding the existing contracts for lease agreements, including shared services security services, cleaning, municipal services, Special Investigating Unit(SIU), disability medical assessment fees and reviews, maintenance and repairs of vehicles including running costs for mobile trucks.
- The other major portion of the allocations goes towards funding the existing ICT contracts mainly with SITA and others.
The budget for SASSA has increased from R4.5 billion in 2008/09 to R5 134 404 billion in 2009/10. The budget reflects an increase of 13%.
The Committee observed that:
· SASSA made a significant mark in the fight against social grant fraud, which resulted in a saving of R180. 9 million.
· Over 32 687 fraudulent grant recipients were removed from the system in the current financial year only. It started a partnership with the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) and R56 million was already collected from people who were defrauding the system.
· SASSA recorded an unqualified audit opinion for 2008/09, but improvements were still necessary, particularly in the area of supply chain management and asset management.
· The Committee expressed its appreciation of the improvement in the turnaround times.
· Foreigners coming from neighbouring countries are getting access to social grants. SASSA mentioned that it is working with the Department of Home Affairs to put some measures in place to curb this abuse.
· The Committee noted with concern the serious financial difficulties facing SASSA. This is a serious concern because beneficiaries are reliant on SASSA for social grants. In addition, it was concerned about the impact this would have on extension of Child Support Grant up to eighteen years and the extension of Old Age Grant. SASSA also shared and noted these concerns and promised to stabilise the situation as soon as possible.
· The Committee also raised a concern about a deduction of R40 from the grants. During its oversight work the Committee was received complaints from beneficiaries in Nelspruit that they had not been notified about the status of their grants. However, SASSA mentioned that when dealing with 13 million people or beneficiaries some complaints could be expected. It further explained that in Limpopo it seemed that deductions were being made from Old Age grants, and it was following up on this.
Access to pay points has proved to be a challenge to some beneficiaries, especially those living in rural areas, who live far from the pay points. As a result they have to use some of their social grant to pay for transport fare. This has had impact in the payment of social grants, particularly the Child Support Grant. It is suggested that the Department of Transport should be involved in addressing this matter.
THE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY (NDA)
The National Development Agency (NDA) is a Schedule 3 (A) Public Entity established in terms of Section 2 of the National Development Agency Act 108 of 1998.
It gets its funding from Vote 18.
The primary mandate of the NDA is to contribute towards the eradication of poverty and its causes by granting funds to civil society organisations for the purpose of:
- Carrying out projects or programmes aimed at meeting development needs of poor communities; and
- Strengthening the institutional capacity of other civil society organisations involved in direct service provision to poor communities.
The NDA Strategic document 2010/2013 has been developed within the context of the five Government priorities which are:
- Creation of decent work and sustainable livelihoods;
- Rural development food security and land reform; and
- Fight against crime and corruption.
Goal 1: To build the capacity of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to enable them to carry out development work effectively.
Purpose: To strengthen the capacity of CSOs.
- To build institutional capacity of CSOs that deliver services in poor communities.
Goal 2: To grant funds to contribute towards the eradication of poverty.
Purpose: To promote and facilitate sustainable development through funding to CSOs.
- To provide funding to CSOs to implement interventions.
- To provide funding based on geographic, demographic and socio economic profiles.
Goal 3: To facilitate research toward poverty eradication
Purpose: To provide evidence based knowledge to improve development practice and inform policy.
- To promote the role of CSOs in the public policy debate.
- To promote vibrant civil society in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region through dialogue.
- To generate and disseminate relevant development information.
- To identify constraints and needs of CSOs involved in poverty eradication.
- To compile and analyse current, accurate and relevant knowledge on scope and geographical distribution of CSOs.
- To measure performance and impact of NDA funded projects.
Goal 4: To position the NDA as a premier development agency and mobilise resources.
Purpose: To position the NDA, raise funds and leverage resources for development.
- To enhance the profile of the NDA to become a development partner of choice.
- To leverage resources and raise funds from identified sources.
Goal 5 To promote and maintain organisational excellence and sustainability.
Purpose: To enhance and implement business systems to operate efficiently, effectively and economically.
- To improve efficiency of internal systems and processes.
- Create preferential employment opportunities for specified people with disabilities.
- Living the NDA values.
The NDA had initially been allocated a budget of more than R140 million in the 2009/10 financial year, through the Department of Social Development. However, this budget had been reduced by R70 million and R83 million was allocated. Out of R83 million, R70 million will fund projects.
The Committee observed that:
- A major challenge of the NDA related to financing of projects, since it had received a substantial decrease in funding, and would thus need to raise at least R20 million in order to meet its commitments.
- Marketing is a major challenge that is experienced by NDA.
- The NDA is trying to get a national Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Trade and Industry, and is involved in negotiations with a Chief Director dealing with overseas markets.
- The amendment of the NDA Act was being considered, and the Department of Social Development was busy with a number of proposals. The amendments were intended to deal holistically with matters of governance and other shortcomings in the Act.
The Committee was very concerned about the Chief Executive Officer who is currently operating on an “acting” basis. The Minister of Social Development mentioned that the Board first attempted to fill the position through normal recruitment procedures, using firstly advertisements and later a process of headhunting, up to late 2009. There were certain legal requirements concerning the filling of the post. The process was at a point where the shortlisted candidates were going through the final screening processes and an announcement of an appointment of a permanent CEO would be made within a few days.
The Committee wishes to thank the Minister of Social Development, the Department of Social Development, SASSA and NDA for their co-operation during the budget hearings.
The Committee recommends that Budget Vote 18 be passed.
Report to be considered.
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