The Multi-Party Women’s Caucus (MPWC) met virtually with the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD) to receive a follow-up briefing on the progress made with regards to the implementation of the Gender-Responsive Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring, Evaluation and Auditing Framework (GRPBMEAF).
The Deputy Minister provided an overview to the progress made with regards to the implementation of the GRPBMEAF. Although great strengths and progress has been made in terms of implementing the GRPBMEAF, more still needs to be done in terms of closing the gap in institutionalisation and full implementation of the framework by government departments and related entities. The prioritisation of women through government procurement was a big gain for women. Indicators and targets laid a basis for gender-responsive planning and budgeting where implementation moved the country towards the achievement of a transformed, representative, and inclusive economy which prioritises being Women, Youth, and Persons with Disabilities (WYPD). The GRPBMEAF entailed mainstreaming gender in government, planning and processes through gender-responsive planning, budgeting, monitoring, evaluation, and auditing systems. The Department played an important role in the mainstreaming of gender, youth, and issues affecting persons with disabilities and their focus continued to be on intersectionality and other factors such as geographical location, race, and challenges faced by WYPD. It was said that although the Department had a central role to regulate the promotion of women empowerment and gender equality, youth development and the promotion of rights of persons with disabilities, every public institution had to take responsibility in mainstreaming and institutionalising priorities and rights to improve outcomes and outputs.
The Department presented the ten pillars of the GRPBMEAF implementation and updated Members on the progress made with the implementation of the Framework.
The ensuing discussion by Members was centred around: gender-responsiveness and gender mainstreaming; GRPBMEAF; non-implementation and consequence management; progress relating to lobbying and advocacy; capacitating institutions; attendance at training sessions and filtering of information; oversight and accountability; implementation and presence at local and provincial government level; 40% procurement for women; appointment of vulnerable groups; specific focus being given to GBV, gender-responsive budgeting, and to address the gender gap – particularly in the workplace; passing of new legislation in relation to gender-based violence (GBV); issues of customary law and land distribution; training or engaging traditional leaders; the National Strategic Plan (NSP) and its funding; district development model; progress reports; costing and cost-cutting; private funding and allocation thereof; engagement with the agricultural sector; and engagements with all relevant departments.
The Caucus then proceeded to deliberate and agree on Women’s Month activities for inclusion in the Caucus programme. Proposals and requests from Members included: coming up with a date to launch a report back on the Women’s Charter Review Session; Taking the concerns around the GBV and Femicide (GBVF) Fund forward; Liaising with the Department of Social Development (DSD) to share information regarding civil society funding and where funds were being directed; Having the research team look into concerns around the Thuthuzela Care Centres and assess the effectiveness thereof; Discussing the district development model with the relevant departments; departments possibly having one on ones with sister departments; Including GBV oversight in the programme; and addressing the lack of development and government presence in communities.
The Chairperson greeted everyone in the meeting. After experiencing technical issues, she apologised expressing that she did not know if she would face such a challenge again. If it came to a point where perhaps she was kicked out of the meeting again, she would ask Ms Z Nkomo (ANC), the Whip, to proceed with the meeting, however, she was hoping that nothing would happen as the meeting progressed.
She explained that the Caucus was meeting with the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD) for a briefing on the implementation of the Gender Responsive Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring, Evaluation and Auditing Framework (GRPBMEAF). The Caucus agreed this would be a focus area for the term.
The agenda for the day was adopted.
Deputy Minister Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize was present; however, an apology was received from Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane. The Deputy Minister led the Department.
The Committee Secretary confirmed that 15 apologies had been received from Ms P Kekana (ANC), Ms L Bebee (ANC, KZN), Ms R Siweya (ANC), Ms M Hlengwa (IFP), Minister A Didiza, Ms T Breedt (FF+), Ms H Boshoff (DA, Mpumalanga), Deputy Minister P Tshwete (ANC), Ms N Chirwa (EFF), Ms C Ndaba (ANC), Ms L Dlamini (ANC), Deputy Minister N Mafu (ANC), Ms N Sharif (DA), and Ms L van der Merwe (IFP).
The apologies were accepted.
Deputy Minister’s Overview
Deputy Minister Mkhize extended the Department’s appreciation to the Caucus for having given it the opportunity come and provide updates on progress made with regards to the implementation of the GRPBMEAF. 25 years into democracy, government departments and entities have to reflect on the journey they had travelled in terms of gender equality. Although great strengths have been made in terms of implementing the GRPBMEAF, more still needs to be done in terms of closing the gap in institutionalisation and full implementation of the framework at government departments and related entities. She thought that Adv Mikateko Maluleke (DG, DWYPD) would help provide a clear understanding of those gaps that needed to be closed. The Department acknowledged progress in a number of areas, including improvement in the position of women in society, political representation in education and health, just to name a few, which were great milestones. It was also encouraging that during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) in February, President Cyril Ramaphosa, indicated that the economic empowerment of women would be prioritised in this administration, through the 40% of government procurement set aside for women-owned businesses and enterprises – which was a big gain for women.
With reference to the implementation of the GRPBMEAF, the following progress has been made:
-Progress made with regards to gender-responsive planning and monitoring has been within the Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2019-2024 as the country’s frameworks that guided planning and implementation.
-The MTSF 2019-2024’s responsiveness to the priorities of the WYPD has been demonstrated with cross-counting indictors for WYPD.
The key indicator in priority one focuses on measuring the level of institutionalisation of the Gender, Youth, and Disability- responsive Planning and Budgeting.
The GRPBMEAF contributed immensely to the responsiveness of the MTSF to WYPD. Although it was not yet adopted by then, the Country Gender Indicator Framework (CGIF), as a backbone of the GRPBMEAF, strengthened the Governments ability to plan for and measure progress towards gender equality and the empowerment of women. Indicators and targets within the CGIF lay a basis for gender-responsive planning and budgeting where the allocation of resources and implementation thereof move the country towards the achievement of priorities that include a transformed, representative, and inclusive economy which prioritises WYPD towards the enjoyment of good quality health and better life opportunities.
The Department is currently presenting the CGIF through the government cluster system to support its implementation and reporting. It is envisaged that this advocacy will result in better reporting by the Department on disaggregated data by sex, age, and disability. Members will recall that even when the statistician of the country reported, sometime it would say that it did not have data which helped it to see beneficiation in terms of sex, age, and disability. The implementation of the Gender-Responsive Institutional Planning Pillar had been positively influenced by the development of guidelines on the assessment of draft strategic plans and Annual Performance Plans (APPs) for the responsiveness to the priorities of WYPD. These guidelines were a package that was circulated to the entire government through the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME). The 2021/2022 APPs were gradually moving from gender, youth, and disability blind to targeted. The GRPBMEAF implementation on gender-responsive evaluation, knowledge, and evidence has been the development of a National Gender-Responsive Evaluation Guideline’s integrity and gender perspective across the evaluation cycle. Among the programmes implemented by the Department in this financial year, a formative evaluation on the implementation of the GRPBMEAF was underway.
The purpose of evaluation was to assess progress and enhance knowledge that contributed towards the improved design, as well as to determine the effectiveness and readiness of implementation. The development of a gender knowledge hub was initiated by the Department with a view to have a central repository for gender, youth, and persons with disabilities information for the country. A theory of change workshop and a report is available for the knowledge hub. In working with National Treasury on gender-responsive budgeting, the 2020 MTSF guidelines for the first time included gender, youth, and persons with disabilities tagging. The intention was to determine how much was currently being planned for the gender tagging process of the 18 selected departments. With regards to the implementation of framework on other related systems, including Cabinet and parliamentary systems, the Deputy Minster said that it would be appreciated if the Portfolio Committees and other parliamentary structures could assist in ensuring that all departments were called to account on the responsiveness of their plans and budget for the priorities of gender, youth, and persons with disabilities. The Department had analysed the performance agreement of the Minister and was signed by the President, as part of the implementation of gender-responsive performance management. There was a high level of responsiveness of performance appraisals to the priorities of WYPD.
The Department had a role to ensure that the performance appraisals were implemented accordingly to better results. Communication, advocacy, and training played an important role in capacity building and institutionalisation of a gender, youth, and disability-responsive public service. Training was offered by the National School of Governance (NSG) and the Department has worked with the NSG to develop the accredited module for training on gender-responsive planning and budgeting. The NSG has hosted eight virtual training sessions in the 2021 financial year on gender-responsive budgeting. The Department hosted meetings with national and provincial governments as a platform for progress, tracking against the implementation plan for the GRPBMEAF, learning and sharing of the best practices on the implementation of the GRPBMEAF, as well as strengthening a community of practice. Best practices shared on gender-responsive budgeting during these meetings were provided by the United Nations Women, Amathole District, Gauteng Province, Commission on Gender Equality, and the National Planning Commission amongst others. Provinces and national departments invited the Department for technical support during its strategic planning session. The presentation by the Department would detail these meetings as well as which departments and provinces had received their capacity building.
This GRPBMEAF entailed mainstreaming gender in government planning and processes through gender-responsive planning, budgeting, monitoring, evaluation, and auditing systems. The Department played an important role in the mainstreaming of gender, youth, and issues affecting persons with disabilities and their focus continued to be on intersectionality and other factors such as geographical location, race, and challenges faced by WYPD. Further, WYPD had been adversely affected by effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. In conclusion, although the Department had a central role to regulate the promotion of women empowerment and gender equality, youth development and the promotion of rights of persons with disabilities, every public institution had to take responsibility in mainstreaming and institutionalising priorities and rights to improve outcomes and outputs. The Director-General would also talk to capacity issues of the Department and the challenges which it believed were repositioning. The Department would get full support and backing for Parliament so that all of the plans, legislation, and priorities were realised within a reasonable capacity.
Presentation on the Implementation of the Gender Responsive Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring, Evaluation and Auditing Framework (GRPBMEAF): DWYPD
Adv Mikateko Maluleke, Director-General, DWYPD, lead the presentation on behalf of the Department by first talking to the structure of the Department.
Ms Lawani Hlaisi, Director: Monitoring and Evaluation, DWYPD, presented the contents of the presentation which included the: introduction and background; ten pillars of the GRPBMEAF implementation; progress on implementation; and conclusion.
Adv Maluleke explained that the Department is responsible for regulating, monitoring, and evaluating the socio-economic empowerment of WYPD. The Department is also expected to liaise, coordinate, and monitor the issue of GBV. The Department has little resources, so it is important that the Committee help the Department to function.
On 21 May 2021, the Department had a meeting with National Treasury to discuss integrating the GRPBMEAF in its process of budgeting. On 24 May 2021, the Department had another meeting with National Treasury and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Union (EU), and NSG to discuss the process of capacitating Government officials when it came to implementing and integrating the GRPBMEAF. The IMF will start the assessment in June and training will be rolled out over a period of two years. The Department requested funding from the EU so that four people per province will carry the task of monitoring local government – two will focus on GRPBMEAF and two will focus on the NSP on GBV. The Department is in the process of developing a knowledge management system in order to monitor every province and municipality but due to financial constraints have been unable to procure it as yet. The Department has changed its mandate to being a regulatory Department – not just a facilitating and coordinating Department. This allows the Department to write policy to guide Government over and above legislation.
Recently South Africa has experienced a gender mainstreaming regression, including:
- Poor accountability for Women Empowerment and Gender Equality (WEGE) performance across state sector
- Key Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill (WEGE) policies and systems are outdated.
- Weak institutionalisation of gender mainstreaming.
- Lack of coherent gender responsive policy,
- Research, planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation and gender auditing, policies, programmes, and systems; and many policies are gender blind/silent.
The GRPBMEAF was approved by Cabinet on 27 March 2019 for implementation across the country following key strategic objectives. The overall approach of the GRPBMEAF is to ensure that WEGE is not only a social sector issue but cuts across all sectors and desired outcomes especially economic empowerment, political participation, etc. It also aims to ensure government country-wide planning, and budgeting processes, to promote stronger institutional accountability to gender equality commitments. The approach for the successful implementation include: Pragmatic approach, multi-pronged short to medium-term strategy; mainstreaming gender within existing National planning, Project Monitoring, and Evaluation (PME) systems; Mainstreaming gender within existing budgeting systems, procedures and performance-based budgeting initiatives; CGIF linked to normative frameworks; Accessing multiple evidence and data sources including government, civil society, academia etc.; WEGE interventions and programmes based on diagnostic and desired outcomes for women & girls; and piloting in different contexts to test both conceptual and implementation theory.
Achievement of country gender outcomes requires:
- Setting clear gender responsive policy priorities across government based on diagnostic/needs assessment.
- Translating policy priorities into programmes; and
- The allocation of budgets to achieve gender priorities and expenditure review against gender outcomes.
The ten pillars of GRPBMEAF implementation are: (1) Gender-responsive country planning and monitoring; (2) Gender-responsive institutional planning; (3) Gender-responsive policy priorities; (4) Gender-responsive evaluation, knowledge, and evidence; (5) Gender-responsive monitoring and auditing; (6) Gender-responsive budgeting; (7) Other related systems (8) Gender-responsive legislation; (9) Gender-responsive performance management; and (10) Communication, advocacy, and training.
The progress on implementation as per the pillars are:-Electoral mandate includes gender priorities. The National Development Plan review includes a chapter on WEGE. 2019-2024 MTSF explicit on gender priorities, deliverables, indicators and impacts that cut across the seven priorities. Other areas of progress include Development of CGIF; Commitment to ensure Mandate Paper/Budget Prioritisation Framework is gender-responsive; 25-year Review on WEGE, approved by Cabinet in December 2020; Chapter on WEGE in Government 25-year review; SONA 2020 & 2021 significant WEGE content; Development of GRPBMEAF Implementation Guidelines; and gender-responsive planning and budgeting inclusion on the District Development Model.
-Guidelines on assessment of Draft Strategic Plans and APPs include an annexure that assess the responsiveness to WYPD. This assists institutions to include WYPD priorities in Strategic Plans and APPs. Analysis of gender, youth and disability responsiveness of selected Strategic Plans and APPs was conducted and feedback provided to the Department. The Department assessed the draft APP 2021/22 for WYPD responsiveness to feedback into the final APP. This assisted in improving gender responsive plans that have women-focused interventions aimed specifically at better outcomes for women and girls and gender equality.
-Policy priorities were presented to the Committee on 9 October 2020. Development of proposed Gender Policy Priorities for 2019 to 2024 and to 2030 from multiple sources.
-The Department provided inputs into the Gender Responsive National Evaluation Policy Framework (NEPF), which ensures the inclusion and integration of a gender perspective across the evaluation cycle.
-The Department has engaged with the DPME on a possible collaboration to strengthen gender responsive monitoring systems. The CGIF monitoring tool is being finalised for WEGE performance tracking. An annual performance monitoring report was produced. The CGIF contains indicators from National, Regional, and Global instruments that South Africa is party to. The CGIF is currently being presented through the Government Cluster system for support in implementation and reporting. The Department has initiated a request to engage the Auditor General on the gender responsive auditing systems.
-The Department is working with National Treasury, which issued the 2021 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) technical guidelines that included budget tagging for gender, youth, and persons with disabilities. Discussions are continuous on the disaggregation of the procurement data to track the 40% spent. A meeting was held on gender responsive fiscal policy reforms. The selected Department will provide expenditure data in the MTEF budget process on Women’s economic inclusion, eradication of GBVF and social transformation and governance. Gauteng Province started piloting the Gender Responsive Budgeting. Proposal to conduct training on gender budgeting underway.
-The Department presented on the Policy priorities, the GRPBMEAF and CGIF to the Committee on 9 October 2020. Rapid evaluation was presented at three Director-General clusters. In terms of international obligations, WEGE indicators arising from international and regional instruments included in the CGIF to influence Government planning and data collection systems, and the Department continues to develop international reports as required.
-The Department initiated the process to draft the WEGE Bill in 2021/22, with possible tabling in 2022/23.
-Commitment by DPME to include gender specific indicators in the HOD assessment framework and to include the Department during the moderation of quarterly performance reviews. Commitment by the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) to review Performance Management and Development System (PMDS) to ensure greater accountability for gender performance at all levels of the public service. President committed to inclusion of gender-specific delivery targets in Performance Agreements. The Department assessed the performance agreement of Ministers and the President. Majority of the Ministers performance agreement committed to the implementation of the GRPBMEAF and NSP on GBVF.
-The Department working with the NSG and DPSA developed an accredited training module on Gender responsive budgeting. The module was used by the NSG to conduct eight virtual training sessions from August 2020. 216 officials trained to date and a plan to continue with the roll out of training is in place. National Departments invited the Department for capacity building. The Department set up structures such as the High-Level Steering Committee and Provincial workshop and host meetings every two months. The meeting serves as platform for learning, capacity building and sharing of best practices and are well attended. Individual Departments and Provinces requested the Department to capacitate its official, particularly during its strategic meeting towards the institutionalisation of gender mainstreaming.
Significant progress has been made on the implementation of the GRPBMEAF at various policy levels. There is still a gap in institutionalisation/implementation of the GRPBMEAF at Departmental level. Departments should ensure that the strategic plans and APPs are gender, youth, and disability responsive. There is a need to support Government at both National and Provincial level to mainstream gender, youth and disabilities in plans and budgets as well as monitoring its implementation and reporting in a disaggregated manner. There is insufficient capacity in the Department to provide technical support to all Government and Provinces to ensure the institutionalisation of the GRPBMEAF, however, the capacity of Gender Focal Points can be leveraged if their authority is recognised and utilised appropriately.
Ms J Mananiso (ANC) welcomed the presentation. She was expressed that she was satisfied with the information provided by the Deputy Minister and Department itself as it really showed that the Department could say that it was making progress in some other issues relating to lobbying and advocacy. With what had been said by the Deputy Minister to the Department, it really showed that information was getting further in terms of gender-responsiveness and gender mainstreaming. She acknowledged the fact that the Department had now decided to actually include Gauteng as part and parcel of its piloting. She said that she was speaking from experience as a person who was in charge of gender mainstreaming in the municipality. It would be found that the province was doing its part in terms of ensuring that it was capacitating institutions in terms of uniformity and professionalism of gender mainstreaming and cost cutting.
However, the fact was that when going to local municipalities it would be found that they are just taking general workers for compliance in attending the particular training. As the Department would be rolling this out to local municipalities, she told the Department that it must make sure that it is specific when it comes to who is supposed to be attending particular training sessions. For her, it was actually important that all counsellors were part and parcel of the particular training because they were the ones ensuring that there is safeness in the municipalities.
She also asked the Department to get senior people who were appointed on specific authorities to be a part of the training as well. Each and every Department had to have a champion for gender-responsive programmes. If there were no people per Department, the Department would continuously run in circles trying to find what it is that it actually wants to attain on issues of gender cost cutting. It had been noted that there is political will in South Africa. She added that people should not grandstand in terms of saying that the President did not have any interest in the matter. It was upon Members to ensure that they conducted thorough oversight. When the President announced that 40% must be procured for women, all Members were deployed to specific areas. It was the responsibility of Members to go and check with whoever in the Municipality in terms of who was actually implementing the particular announcement or pronouncement. It was thus collectively up to the Members, as part of the MPWC, to be at the forefront in terms of ensuring that they take charge and do their oversight accordingly and accountably to those who were actually employed as to ensure implementation.
Ms Mananiso said that she was very happy with the inclusion of the private sector. She thought that it had to be noted that at times, in retail stores, they were trying to showcase how mainstreaming was done on issues of persons with disabilities, LGBTQIA+, and women. The private sector thus needed to be copied from. For example, there is a society of people with albinism but when one went to any municipality not a single person could even be found. This showed that there were still so many things to do in terms of lobbying, advocacy, and trying to teach people. What it is that is spoken about with regards to institutionalising gender-responsive mechanisms and other things? She asked the Department not to be found wanting as public sector rather than as private sector. The private sector was doing it and was employing people with disabilities. However, municipalities did not even have certain people with disabilities. She applauded the Department as it was not causing failure by choosing Gauteng. For example, she had seen the advertisement for the Department of Sports with regards to the programme that it is doing for arts and culture. She added that the Department of Sports was so specific in its advertisement in that its target was the LGBTQIA+ society. These were the small things that people had to start looking at as it showed that South Africa was getting somewhere. People had to be able to gauge the message as it should not only be that whatever politicians were speaking about was just for elections. She appreciated the platform today and said that it was so informative and as a gender activist she was very happy that South Africa is better than it used to be.
The Deputy Chairperson of the ANC, Ms S Lucas, apologised for having worn ANC regalia. She appreciated and acknowledged all of the effort and focus that came from the Deputy Minister and Department. The Committee observed that there had been a lot of progress over the past months and that there started to be specific focus given to GBV, gender-responsive budgeting, and to address the gender gap – particularly in the workplace. She was not easily impressed, but she was impressed by the fact that the Department was making the kind of progress that it was making – particularly with regards to the issue of gender-responsive budgeting. She confirmed that Ms Mananiso had covered her with regards to the issue of local government. In the brief regarding the Financial Fiscal Commission there were a few proposals for pilot projects where the Department and Committee could actually begin to pilot gender-responsive budgeting. She commended the Department for the fact that now there was accredited training that could be given to officials and implementers who were supposed to implement the issue of gender-responsive programmes and budgets. She emphasised that the Department needed to take along the local sphere of government because it was the sphere that was not faring very well with regards to making sure that there is equality – particularly with regards to the appointment of vulnerable groups. Sometimes things were faring better at a provincial and national level but not necessarily at the level of local government. She recommended that the MPWC and the Department should work more with the South African Local Government Association to make sure that they received implementation of whatever programme was being proposed at the local level.
She commended the Department for the progress made with regards to legislation of the National Council on GBVF (GBVF National Council). She knew that it was not necessarily mentioned here, but it was a major achievement and she hoped that Parliament would be able to assist the Department or Women’s Ministry to able to implement or fast track that specific legislation so that, at a certain level, and very soon, it could be seen what kind of real progress had been made. She had heard that it was said that the presence of the ministry or department at a provincial level was not yet up to scratch. As a Member and Deputy Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), she asked that the Committee make sure that they put more effort into making sure that the presence is found at a provincial level and more particularly at the level of local government. However, she thought and proposed that it be ensured that the district development model is implemented because it was presenting the MPWC with an opportunity as it was still at a very initial phase of implementation. It was actually presenting the MPWC with an opportunity to use the structure’s order organically, to make sure that it is gender focused.
In talking about gender-focused, Ms Lucas said that she was referring to inclusivity and making sure that the different policies being spoken of are inclusive. She said that the Committee had to be honest in that the Deputy Minister was giving them hope in terms of the fact that she was very committed in terms of wherever things were, whatever issues were occurring, and particularly with some of the issues that were still outstanding – like the issues of customary law, land, almost all of the issues where women were still excluded. It had to be made sure that when speaking about gender-responsiveness, it had to be across the spectrum. She also commended the Department for being focused because if one is all over the place and there is nothing being focused on, it might be that very important things may fall through the cracks. She encouraged the Ministry over the way that it was working now, and eventually with all Members’ commitment, a point could be reached where it could be said that upon assessment things had traversed from 0% to 50% and that it had been able to achieve whatever had been envisaged. She said that anything else she wanted to say she would discuss on other platforms.
Ms W Newhoudt-Druchen (ANC) noticed that in the presentation there was mention of the local government sphere. The Department mentioned that there were provinces that came for presentations or training. If there were four people per province who came for the training, how did the information filter down to everybody else, particularly at local level, so that they received the capacitation as well? She said that Gauteng was one of the pilots and extended congratulations to them. How long is the pilot going to continue until it is applied to other Provinces?
Ms F Muthambi (ANC) congratulated the Deputy Minister and the Department on the good work that they were doing. This brought a breath of fresh air and hope. As was reported, she was excited that most of the departments had now started to take the matter seriously. What was concerning given the commitments, was the two departments that had not taken the matter seriously. She asked that Members be told which departments these were so that if some Members, as women Members of Parliament, were sitting in those Portfolio Committees that took responsibility for those departments, then they would be able to follow up. The other issue was that the Department could have this nice NSP, but her interest was in the funding aspects of it. This was because in her experience, these matters were treated as “by the way” matters. The Committee was excited by the fact that this matter had now been put into the performance agreement of each and every Minister. She thought that as women Members they were representatives of all women on the ground. Now that the Committee would be moving towards the Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR) processes and considering the annual reports of departments, she asked that the Committee make sure that when this was done as part of its oversight, it advocated for NSP matters to all departments as a non-negotiable. The Committee needed to start seeing accountability on the part of the departments. In doing so, the Committee would go a long way to make sure that these matters are not “by the way” matters as they were always presumed to be.
Another critical aspect, as Ms Hlaisi had concluded, was that the Department was a national department. However, it was known that there was a very nice tool called the District Development Model. She asked that the Department, through the Deputy Minister, start to make to make sure that as part of the district development initiative it includes matters of the NSP. She thought that this would go a long way because this was where the Committee would then be able to ensure that municipalities also complied with this critical programme that was dealing with the issues that affected women on a daily basis. The reality was that, whether it was liked or not, the issue of GBV was very rife within South African communities. She proposed that when the Committee meets again, that they receive a briefing on the GBV Fund that was launched. She asked that the Committee be given a progress report so that that they could see whether there was something tangible in line with the funding that was available. Part of the Committee’s oversight as they went into recess, was to check the effect of the implementation of all the projects as identified to receive funding from the fund. What was very critical was the funding aspects. She wanted assurance from the Deputy Minister as to whether National Treasury had actually come on board to fund the strategy. One could have a strategy in place but if it was not funded then Members would come back time and time again and sit in the Committee, letting it become a talk shop. The Committee would be failing on their public representative mandate because they needed the NSP to be funded. She asked that the Department update the Committee on the funding as they were also saying that for the 2021/2022 financial year there would be a Bill that they were going to pass in Parliament. Has the Bill been costed? Before passing a bill, it had to be costed – including for its implementation. What is National Treasury’s attitude towards this? Unless the matter was elevated with proper resourcing, the Committee and Department would keep on talking and at the end of the day nothing would happen without the requisite resources.
Ms B Mathevula (EFF, Limpopo) thought that the issue of 50% women representation in all spheres would assist in economic benefit, especially in political participation, managerial, and leadership responsibility. She said that this was not to be negotiated and that it had to be compulsory. The Committee had to find a way to make it compulsory. On the issue of departments, among those departments which the DWYPD had engaged, does this include the agricultural sector? According to the research that she had; the agricultural sector had an overwhelming number of white men – especially at a top managerial level. On the issue of the distribution of land, especially in rural areas, she felt that government had to find a way to train or engage traditional leaders. As a woman coming from a rural area, she was not happy about the way that traditional leaders were distributing land. For example, where traditional leaders want to distribute land, the overwhelming majority recipient in the distribution of land would be men. As a woman, when one went to these areas and asked for piece of land for residential purposes, the first question that one would be asked is whether they were married. She wanted government to engage with traditional leaders to understand that, as a woman, one did not have to be married to get a piece of land. If Members, as government, could include engagement with traditional leaders then she would be happy.
Deputy Minister Mkhize expressed her appreciation to the Committee as it was always good to meet with a Committee where they raised questions which gave her and the Department something to take home with them. The Department would go back to the drawing board and look at all the comments that Members had made. She picked up on the emphasis of the importance of the local sphere of government. The President, in his wisdom, influenced the thinking towards the District Development Model. The President went on to appoint Ministers and Deputy Ministers to different regions throughout the country to be champions of the District Development Model. She thought that this was coming together, and as Members were emphasising the local sphere there was already a vision from the highest office. The President personally launched the district development model together with the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA). The Department pointed out where it wanted to monitor the budget and whether it was inclusive of WYPD, then it already had an instrument. She appreciated what Members were saying. The Department would look at whether it had tightened this for champions, Ministers, and Deputy Ministers, so that as it went to those districts, it was monitoring how the budgets were going and had a way of reporting on that. Where there were challenges, Members had different Committees where they reported to and could be held accountable at all levels – not only at the President’s Office.
On the issue of funding and resourcing of the programmes, since the Director-General took over to head the administration of the Department, she had been paying particular attention to funding aspects. Hence, whenever the Director-General presented before the Committee, Department, or the Ministry, she kept on raising the issue of funding. The Department would pick up the resourcing aspects of everything they spoke about, whether it was monitoring tools, reporting tools, and the general capacity of the Department to realise its objectives. The Department would thus definitely be looking at this and would need to be guided and think through as to how it should monitor the budgeting processes – especially the BRRR. This was to make sure that the BRRR is in line with what had been raised earlier in saying that the Department had the biggest budget, which was the public purse, and wanting to see outcomes and actually change the quality of life in the immediate future rather than just talking about it for a long period of time. She said that the Director-General would assist with the question as to whether the Department had costed the GBVF National Council so that, as the Department went through the processes of getting the right legislation, it knew what it was talking about so that the GBVF National Council could be a well-resourced one. She liked the emphasis that the Department should not be looking at the so-called soft issues but should be looking at the big current issues like the question of land, mining, infrastructure etc., which were priority projects in terms of which the country was talking billions of rands. It was thus correct that this was where questions should be raised in terms of where WYPD were. She thought that the Department had good framework and that now was the time to raise the right questions and report thereon.
The Chairperson appreciated the Deputy Minister’s commitment in this regard.
Adv Maluleke started with the first question regarding who attended the particular training. As had been said earlier, it would be found that sometimes it was just officials who did not even sit in the budget processes or strategy. The Department was now involving National Treasury to take responsibility for the issue of gender-responsive budgeting as it was its responsibility. When people planned what they were going to implement and the budgeting and expenditure in terms of it, it was National Treasury who assessed it and who decided whether or not to provide more funding in the following year due to commitments that had been made and not achieved. For example, with the Sanitary Dignitary Programme, the Department requested funding for the procurement of sanitary towels. However, National Treasury then decided that the money should go directly to the provinces – in total she thought that it received R200+ million. In some of the provinces, if they did not spend the budget, National Treasury would reduce the funding to them. National Treasury thus had the carrot and the stick. Even in terms of the training on gender-responsive budgeting, when National Treasury called people to come to training, senior managers attended. National Treasury was therefore the strategy to ensure that the Department achieved the implementation of the gender-responsive planning, budgeting, monitoring, evaluation, and auditing process in local, provincial, and national government levels. This would hence ensure that senior managers were attending the training. The Department was also involving the IMF and had also requested funding from the EU. This extra funding would also assist because if there was the involvement of the IMF, she thought that the Director-General’s themselves would attend the training because if there were people being trained at a very senior level, then the process would be implemented.
On the issue of gender disparity in terms of employment and salaries, this was one of the biggest challenges that South Africa faced. Even in government, when salaries were advertised with a Director being level 13, it would be found that in negotiations and when salaries are paid that level 13 had different notches. It could thus be found that someone was at level 13 but was being paid at level 14. Due to the Department being structured and resourced to fail, sometimes it was unable to do things full scale. The Department thus decided to partner with the Department of Public Enterprises and had requested UN Women to appoint an economist for them. The Department was therefore monitoring and had chosen the top 100 Johannesburg Stock Exchange listed companies and state-owned enterprises. The Department was now monitoring these companies and enterprises in order to look at their mainstreaming of WYPD in their employment and procurements. The Department was hoping to launch this report during August. The Department was also procuring a service provider who would investigate, within government, the level of disparities in terms of payment between women and men so that this could be looked into. The Department knew that the report would not say that men and women must be paid equally but it would assist it to develop a regulatory framework that said how men and women should be treated in appointment – for example, if men and women are appointed in the same position then they should earn the same salary going forward.
On the issue of customary law and land, she said that she did not report on something that did not exist. Adv Maluleke showed Members a report titled ‘Consolidated Draft Plan of Action: National Steering Committee to implement the MOU between Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development (DALRRD) and DWYPD’. She said that the report had programmes in terms of what it was that the Department wanted to achieve. This was a plan of action with the DALRRD, with which the Department had entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in the previous year. This was because the Department had an interest in ensuring that women benefitted. This was before the 990 000 hectares that the DALRRD had and before it looked into distributing it, the Department quickly entered into an MOU with them because if it lost the opportunity then women were not going to benefit. The Department had even come up with a criterion that would determine how the DALRRD was to ensure that women benefitted from the plan. What had been agreed upon was that 50% women, 40% youth, and 10% persons with disabilities would benefit from the plan. The Department was thus already working with the DALRRD and did not have an MOU but rather a plan of action as indicated. The plan of action had different areas that were agreed upon in terms of the distribution of land, post-settlement support, rural enterprise cooperatives and support, skills development, and market access. There were thus different things that had been agreed upon where the Department wanted the DALRRD to report to them in terms of how it would achieve it.
She continued onto how the information filtered when four people were implementing, as well as in terms of Gauteng. As South Africans, even when there was legislation on the issue of women empowerment and gender equality for example, the challenge of legislation was non-compliance – especially in the private sector – as companies and entities would rather pay a fine in court. In terms of the Employment Equity Act, she had been at the Commission for Employment Equity and the Department was still working with the Commission, had a meeting with them, and had projects that it wanted to monitor together. However, the Commission told the Committee that the private sector would rather pay a fine instead of complying with what the Act wanted. She thought that non-compliance required something bigger than just a fine to deal with this challenge. In terms of the filtering down of the training, when National Treasury was involved and together with the Department developed the indicators that they wanted to see, people knew that they would not get the budget, so they complied. This was the mechanism that the Department was trying to enforce in government so that government could comply. The private sector would be addressed with the policy, however, as had been said, sometimes they would rather not comply and pay the fine instead.
On the GBVF private sector fund, the fund that was raised during breakfast with the President was R218 million. The Chairperson of the fund had requested a meeting with the Department because when it was raised it was said to fund the civil society organisation. However, she was not sure what the challenge with this was. She thought that it might have been realised that civil society organisations were already funded by the DSD, which was giving them a lot of money and they did not even have to account. The fund thus wanted to meet with the Department and one of the things that it had asked her was where she thought that it could invest the money. At the end of the day, because it was a private fund and because it was a private trust, it could decide themselves but still wanted to hear from the Department. She said that she had told the fund that one area that needed assistance as government, was on the issue of forensic evidence. Forensic labs were needed, and it was heard that to build the lab it took R300 million. If the fund could meet with the South African Police Services (SAPS), the Department could then facilitate the meeting. This was so that the fund could say, for example, that it was going to give SAPS R200 million to invest in building a forensic lab, that SAPS would add the rest of money, and that R18 million would be distributed to civil society. Adv Maluleke said that this would really make a difference because if the Department was told that there were 100 000s of cases that were awaiting forensic evidence then as a country South Africa was playing. The GBVF National Council was not going to end GBV as the GBVF National Council was to coordinate implementation between government, labour, civil society organisations, and the private sector – this was what the Bill would do. However, if government put framework and resources in place to ensure that rape and GBV cases were generally fast tracked then the country would be able to address GBV.
She confirmed that the GBVF National Council Draft Bill was costed by default. The NSP had been costed, so what was in the Bill was in the NSP. When the Bill was taken to the CS process in the Presidency, it gave the Department an exception in that the NSP had been costed and a socio-economic impact assessment was done. Everything required was thus done and it was costed. One other programme that she wanted to share with the Committee was that the Department was in partnership with Gauteng Province on local economy. In this programme was the Department and the DALRRD, and they had also brought in the Department of Small Business Development (DSBD), Department of Trade and Industry, the Competition Commission, and in the Gauteng Premier’s Office, Department of Economic Development and DSD. She said that they had looked at a bakery, which was a billion-dollar industry in South Africa. The people who bought bread were black people and even the poorest people in townships bought bread at least. It was thus said that WYPD had to benefit from this industry. She then requested and had a meeting with the Director-General in Gauteng, who is now the Director-General in the Presidency, and asked if women in townships could be assisted to open bakeries whilst also coming up with a strategy to ensure that Checkers in townships did not undercut them but bought from them.
This project was up and running in terms of preparation and Gauteng Province had even said that it had money for this. She mentioned that she had said that she understood and knew that the province had money but that she wanted to come up with a different strategy so that it could go to a community and mobilise women. For example, even if women could pay R1 000 to this fund, it would be a seed fund. It would then also be known that if there were 1000 women this would not be a challenge. These women would be taught governance processes so that they could understand them and invest, so that they own the bakery – even if the community owned it and contributed to it so that it grew. It also had to be ensured that bakeries which distributed in these places also bought form the bakeries of these women. She thought that she might not be presenting this clearly but that it was easier to pilot this project with Gauteng and if it worked then the Department would be able to roll it out in all provinces because bread was bought everywhere. She knew that people would say that women already had bakeries but as the Department went to these communities, they would look at the bakeries that existed so that women could invest in those bakeries and grow it to a level where not only does it sell to the community but also to bigger companies so that there could be sustainability. The Department had also requested the DALRRD to look at the value chain of the bakery because there was a planting of wheat, there was the production of flour etc. The Department thus wanted women to be involved in the value and chain and asked the DALRRD to assist them to do so. The Competition Commission was also brought in, in case somebody said that competition was being blocked and to determine how to deal with this. This was the level at which the Department was operating because it wanted to see women benefitting.
Ms Hlaisi thanked the Committee for the opportunity and the engagement that had capacitated the Department.
Adv Maluleke asked Members, as they sat in various committees, to invite the departments they oversee and ask them about opportunities for women. For example, there was a tender taking place in terms of housing and women were not involved. If it was being said that women were not involved, the Department wanted to know whether there had been advertisements etc. as there were things that Committees needed to do to ensure that women participated. In terms of the district development models, if there were Committee meetings where the Department needed to present, it would present on the GRPBMEAF and NSP. However, as had been mentioned, the Department was already meeting with COGTA to integrate this. The Department was invited and told that there were nine committees as each province had a committee on the district development model. The Department was thus told to send its people to be represented. The challenge was that the Department did not have these people as the Office on the Status of Women did not represent them. As a Department she said that it was very understaffed. In terms of the people who dealt with the NSP, in this unit she thought there were about four or five people at different levels which made it very difficult for the Department to be represented in different structures – hence she kept on coming back to the point that the Department was structured and resourced to fail.
The Chairperson thanked the Department and appreciated the special offering that had been given to the Committee. She believed that all Members were coming from different Portfolio Committees to make the MPWC and would really call the Department to come and assist them or give a briefing in order for them to do their oversight well. She asked Members if they needed anything to be clarified by the Department.
Ms Muthambi said that there was a question that she had raised regarding the two Departments that were not complying and that was not responded to.
Ms Hlaisi said that she did not remember the names of the departments but explained that the analysis that indicated that the Minister did not include the GRPBMEAF and NSP in their plan and not the Department as such. When looking at what was in the Minister’s plan, it would then be enforced to the Department if it is not indicated. She could not remember the name but said that one of the departments had engaged with the Department in ensuring that it was responsive in its plan. In that case, even if the Minister’s performance agreement was not specific to the GRPBMEAF and NSP, the Department would have done something. However, it gave the Department the great mandate to say, “do as the Minister has done”. She said that she would check this and give feedback later as she did not want to mention names and find that she had made a mistake.
Ms Dineo Mmako, Chief Director: Monitoring and Evaluation, DWYPD, said that in terms of the departments that the Department had accessed, they had analysed the 26 Departments. Out of the 26 Departments there were six departments in terms of the issues that spoke to both the NSP, GRPBMEAF, and procurement. The six departments included the Department of Tourism, DSBD, DALRRD, Department of Employment and Labour, and DWYPD itself, which were the departments that really spoke to the highest targeted project in terms of the implementation and targeting of WYPD. The other 13 departments had shown inclusion of the NSP but were more targeted and less responsive. The two departments that were in question included the Department of Science and Innovation as there were issues that were coming through but that were not really clear in terms of its overall target towards the implementation of WYPD. The other department that was also identified was the Department of Human Settlements, where there were projects, but it was not really responsive in terms of what was coming across. She reiterated that these were the two departments and that it was unluckily on the projects that had to do with water and sanitation – thus, when doing the analysis, these departments seemed to be less responsive to the priorities of WYPD. She said that it was not necessarily the fault of the departments per se, but it was in terms of the overall assessment of the performance agreements of Ministers which could not necessarily translate into the plans. When the Department assessed the plans, it looked at the alignment between what the Ministers had committed to vis a vis what the Department was committing to.
Ms Muthambi thought that the information had to be shared with Members as it was very critical for them to also assess the Department in terms of oversight. She appreciated the invitation by the Director-General in asking Portfolio Committees to feel free to invite the Department to their meetings. She thought that it would go a long way to enforce matters of women and gender issues in particular. If all Members could adopt this it would take them a long way and the Committee would be much busier than it currently was.
The Chairperson thanked the Department for honouring the Committee’s invite and presenting themselves in front of the MPWC. The Committee appreciated the commitment and effort that the Department put into making sure that the Department was leading in this regard. She said that everyone was in this together because, as Members or lawmakers, it was their responsibility to ensure that they did oversight. She thanked Members for their contributions to and deliberations on the presentation. She allowed the Department to leave so that the Committee could continue with the agenda.
Committee Discussion on Women’s Month Activities
The Chairperson said that the item that followed was the discussion of possible Women’s Month activities for inclusion in the third term programme.
Ms Lucas requested that the Committee come up with a date in August to launch a report back on the Women’s Charter Review Session. She thought that it should be brought to the Committee for discussion so that Members could provide their inputs. However, for now, she was just requesting a possible date for launching the report back on the review of the Women’s Charter.
The Chairperson suggested that the Committee come up with a date for Ms Lucas’ proposal. She asked if Ms Lucas had a date in mind.
Ms Lucas said that if there was no date then the Committee could then proceed to the programme to the Secretariat of the MPWC so that they could check and consult further with the Steering Committee for the MPWC.
Ms Muthambi said that, flowing from what had been heard earlier from the responses, she thought that the GBVF fund was a matter that needed to be taken forward. This is especially given that the Director-General was heard saying that even though the GBVF fund was a private funding it was meant for civil society. Indeed, civil society was getting a lot of funding from the DSD. When looking at this vis a vis the impact that they had in communities, she thought that the Committee needed to find a way forward because it would be found that all of them were dealing with matters for WYPD but their actual presence was not felt in the constituencies. She pleaded with the Chairperson to liaise with the DSD so that it could come and share information with the Committee regarding civil society funding wherein it was funding things that had to do with gender, women, etc. The private/civil society funding was not accountable to anyone and they did as they wished, and at some point they even ran parallel programmes that were not in line with what they were supposed to do. She thought that the Committee should be very critical and strategic in stating to champion these issues and hold these people to account. She did not think that anything barred the Committee from engaging the Office of the President about the funding. It could be seen that even though it was private funding, it did not seem to have a place as to where it would be directing the funds and wanted to duplicate it, whereas there were so many issues within constituencies that the Committee could start to deal with so that such resources were channelled and contributed to the improvement of the lives of all of the vulnerable groups.
Time permitting, one normally heard from the Security Cluster in that there were Thuthuzela Centres which was where women went to when they were being abused but normally women went to police stations. She said that she had once done oversight in one of the centres. The conditions that she found at the Centre in terms of the facilities was that they were all well and good on paper, but that some of the institutions were more depressing to women instead of women getting comfort by going there. These centres are normally run by civil society as well. Women went to the centres to find comfort but were finding the opposite in terms of what they were experiencing there. She thought that the research team should look at this as well. Perhaps one day the MPWC could have a meeting wherein they assessed the effectiveness of these centres and do the plotting. Her understanding was that at each and every police station, where there was a local police station, there had to be such a facility. This was so that the Committee could also be given a report as it was known that, in some areas, these facilities were not there. Women and children were terrorised on a regular basis, and it was known that this was happening in the villages and townships especially. These were some things that would inform the Committee's programme so that they were proactive rather than being reactive. She thought that the Committee should call the Minister of Social Development and Minister of COGTA to talk about the district development model and how it will improve the lives of women and young people. In terms of the constituencies that Members represented, this was the MPWC, and these were the issues, so she asked that she be allowed to flood them in this Committee. She apologised for dominating this part of the meeting and thought that perhaps she should have given the Chairperson a call outside of the meeting.
The Chairperson thought that Ms Muthambi had done well in raising her issues in the MPWC. She had assisted a lot of Members and she was relevant to the issues that she had spoken to. She said that she would ask the team of researchers to do their work so that the Committee could engage with the DSD and Department of COGTA. She also thought that it would assist Members in doing their oversight, in order to go out and know very well what oversight they would be doing. The issue of funds in the Presidency had been raised and she said that she would ask the researchers to find out which departments were benefitting. Civil society funding had also been spoken about and she thought that the MPWC also needed to know exactly how it was used and hold them to account insofar as the funds that they were receiving concerning GBV. GBV was happening everywhere, every day. It was seen in constituencies that, time and again, they were reporting on this but that the funding that was put in place to assist in making sure that the Committee listened or got rid of GBV could not be seen by the Committee or civil society was not accounting for it. She said that the Committee would make sure that they followed up and made sure that the MPWC discussed it going forward.
Ms B Dlulane (ANC) thanked the Department for its presentation and thanked Members for their contributions. She added onto what Ms Muthambi was proposing. She proposed that the Steering Committee should again, in their programme, have one on ones with its sister departments. Members were talking about GBV, and she suspected that the Steering Committee needed to have a one on one with the Department of Justice and get information from them. The Committee was looking at all evils that were happening in each and every department but could not afford to call them to present all at one time. However, she asked if the Steering Committee could have a programme prioritising those departments. As it was known, there were sex workers etc. who sometimes came to this Committee talking about the way that people who were doing this kind of work were being abused, and that when they reported it to the police they were not taken seriously. She recalled one other time where sex workers had reported in this forum and said that even the police themselves were accused of wanting to do some sex work with them without paying them. The Committee needed to put these things in their programme. As Ms Muthambi had said, one other time, the Department had come to the Committee and presented on the increase in identifying Thuthuzela Centres that would be built. This information had to come to the Steering Committee and if it could not come then the Steering Committee have to look at those who are ready to present. She appreciated the work that the Department was doing.
The Chairperson said that the Steering Committee would do as Ms Dlulane had proposed.
The Deputy Minister wanted to make a small contribution to the issue of the private fund as earlier it was said that in a day the Department had seen commitments of about R128 million. She was happy that the Committee was showing interest in the fund because the original donors were powerful leaders in business, the financial sector, the banks, the mining sector etc. She thought that it would be good to have an opportunity to quickly see how the Committee could assist with priorities. The Director-General had been thinking of the gaps and saying that perhaps money should go towards forensic labs. However, it was known that the biggest problem that South Africa had was that rural communities were not well resourced – from the police stations, courts, forensic labs, shelters, and all the things that were critical for the successful prosecution of perpetrators. Perhaps with the power and voice of the Committee, the Department could even invite the Chairperson of the fund. The fund consisted of independent people and businesspeople, who did not really have an interest in meeting – all that they wanted to do was support the President as he was calling out and saying that GBV was a societal issue. If the Department were to influence them, the Department really had to look at the rural communities. Even most of the NGOs that were funded by the DSD were strong on television and in big cities but when one went to rural areas it would be heard that women were being killed and called witches and that there were no NGOs that were as well-resourced as those in big cities. She said that she would be happy if there could be a way to quickly influence thinking about this fund, so as to uplift efforts in preventing these social ill in rural communities and areas like informal settlements as there was definitely a gap there. Members had recently seen Zandspruit, which since 1994 had never had infrastructure and was the poorest of the poor informal settlements – worst than Diepsloot. This showed that there were communities that were not being reached out to. As one went to a district it would be found that many communities were not accessing help.
The Chairperson said that it was painful if, after 27 years, it could still be said that there were communities that had never received any development or seen any government coming to assist them. She believed that the Committee Secretary would liaise with the Department’s office. This was for the Committee to be assisted and get hold of the Chairperson of the private funding to brief the Committee as to what could be done in order for the Committee, communities, or relevant structures to access the fund for usage at local level or in rural communities. She said that Members had to take care of themselves and their loved ones as coronavirus was real and killing our people. She thanked Members for attending the MPWC and thanked the parliamentary staff for facilitating the meeting.
The meeting was adjourned.
Bilankulu, Ms NK
Dlulane, Ms BN
Gela, Ms A
Lucas, Ms SE
Mananiso, Ms JS
Mathevula, Ms B
Mente, Ms NV
Mkhize, Prof HB
Moatshe, Ms RM
Muthambi, Ms AF
Newhoudt-Druchen, Ms WS
Nkomo, Ms Z
Ntuli, Ms M M
Semenya, Ms MR
Tlhomelang, Ms KB
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