The Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development on the performance of the Department of Social Development for the 2010/11 financial year, dated 18 October 2011

 

The Portfolio Committee on Social Development having assessed the performance of the Department of Social Development for 2010/11, reports as follows:

 

1.        Introduction

 

1.1 The role of the Committee

 

The Committee’s mandate as prescribed by the Constitution of South Africa and the Rules of Parliament is to build an oversight process that ensures a quality process of scrutinising and overseeing Government’s action and that is driven by the ideal of realising a better quality of life for all people of South Africa.  It is also required to facilitate public participation, monitoring and oversight over the legislative processes relating to social development and also to confer with relevant governmental and civil society organs on social development matters. It also enhances and develops the capacity of its Members to exercise effective oversight over the Executive Authority in social development.  It monitors whether the Department of Social Development fulfils its mandate.

 

The Committee also processes and approves legislation and international protocols and conventions relating to social development. It participates in the National and International social development conferences. It confers with the National Council of Provinces on social development legislation affecting the Provincial Legislatures, and engages in any activities and programmes aimed at the development and delivery of quality social development to all South Africans.

 

1.2 Purpose of the report

 

In terms of Section 5 of the Money Bills Amendment Procedures and Related Matters Act, No. of 2009, the National Assembly (NA) through its committees must annually assess the performance of each national department. Portfolio Committees must thus annually submit Budget Reviews and Recommendation Reports (BRRRs) for tabling in the NA in order for Parliament to compile a report for the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement. The purpose of this report is therefore to assess the performance of the Department of Social Development and provide recommendations.

 

1.3. Sources of information

 

The Committee as part of exercising its oversight function received a briefing from the Auditor General on the audit outcomes of the 2010/11 annual report of the department. It also received a presentation from the Researcher on the analysis of the annual report of the Department of Social Development. The Committee also used the following source documents for its analysis:

 

  • Report on the review of the 2010 State of the Nation Address;
  • Progress report on the department’s contribution towards achievement of the Millennium Development Goals;
  • Report of the budget vote tabled in April 2011  to assess progress made in respect of the set targets;
  • The Committee on Public Accounts resolutions; and
  • The report of the Auditor General.

 

1.4 The mandate of the Department

 

The department derives its mandate from several pieces of legislation and policies, including the White Paper for Social Welfare (1997) and the Population Policy (1998). The Constitutional mandate of the department is to provide sector-wide national leadership in social development by developing and implementing programmes for the eradication of poverty and social protection and development amongst the poorest of the poor and most vulnerable and marginalized.

 

The department’s mission is “to ensure the provision of comprehensive social protection services against vulnerability and poverty within the constitutional and legislative framework, and to create an enabling environment for sustainable development. The department further aims to deliver integrated, sustainable and quality services, in partnership with all those committed to building a caring society.”[1]

 

2. Department’s Strategic Priorities and Measurable Objectives

 

2.1 Strategic Plans of the Department

 

 

The department’s key strategic objectives for the period 2010-13 include: [2]

 

·         Caring for and protecting vulnerable groups, especially children, women and people with disabilities;

·         Strengthening families and communities;

·         Transforming social relations, with a specific focus on gender and victim empowerment;

·         Providing comprehensive social security, including income support, and a safety net for the destitute;

·         Strengthening institutional capacity to deliver quality services; and

·         Reinforcing participation in key bilateral and multilateral initiatives that contribute to poverty eradication.

 

Furthermore, the department contributes to the realisation of some of the following 12 government outcomes:[3]

 

1.       Improved quality of basic education;

2.       A long and healthy life for all South Africans;

3.       All people in South Africa are and feel safe;

4.       Decent employment through inclusive economic growth;

5.       A skilled and capable workforce to support an inclusive growth path;

6.       An efficient, competitive and responsive economic infrastructure network;

7.       Vibrant, equitable and sustainable rural communities with food security for all;

8.       Sustainable human settlements and improved quality of household life;

9.       A responsive, accountable, effective and efficient local government system;

10.   Environmental assets and natural resources that is well protected and continually enhanced;

11.   Create a better South Africa and contribute to a better and safer Africa and world; and

12.   An efficient, effective and development-oriented public service and an empowered, fair and inclusive citizenship.

 

3.        Measurable objectives of the Department

 

Five (5) critical programmes determine the work of the department.  Within each of these programmes, the department identified a number of measurable objectives, which relate specifically to the mandate of the department:

 

3.1          Programme 1: Administration

 

The aim of this programme is to provide policy and strategic direction to the Ministry and top management, and to provide overall management and support services to the department.[4]

 

This programme focuses on policy formulation, corporate governance, support services  including human resource management, financial and risk management, information technology and management, legal services, security services, internal audit and communication services as well as executive management services, including ministerial services, deputy ministerial services, and services to the Office of the Director-General.

 

3.2          Programme 2: Comprehensive Social Security

 

The strategic goal of this programme is to ensure the provision of a comprehensive package of social security measures and interventions, focusing on income support.

 

This programme develops policies and programmes to provide income support to the children, elderly, disabled and households in distress through social assistance and policies that mandate employed persons to contribute to social insurance, in order to prevent reversal in the fortunes of the employed and their dependents in the event of loss of income as a result of contingencies such as unemployment, sickness, disability, death, etc.

 

For over the MTEF period, under this programme the department had set objectives and measures to do the following:

 

Expand the social assistance safety net

 

The department aimed to phase in, over the MTEF period, the extension of the Child Support Grant (CSG) to eligible children under the age of 18 years.  It also aimed at providing for the final phase of the age equalisation for the Old Persons Grant (OPG). It aimed to facilitate the reduction of people’s vulnerability to life cycle hazards by developing proposals for mandatory social insurance measures that will provide income support in the event of disability, the death of the bread winner and old age by March 2011.

 

Improve access to social assistance and the fair application of social assistance legislation by:

 

  • Adjudicating all new appeals within 90 days; and
  • Eliminating the 60 000 backlog of appeals by March 2012.

 

3.3          Programme 3 Policy Development, Review and Implementation Support for Welfare Services

 

The aim of this programme is to create an enabling environment for empowering poor, vulnerable and previously marginalized groups, including youth, women and people with disabilities to achieve sustainable livelihoods.[5]

 

For over the MTEF period, under this programme the department had set objectives and measures to do the following:

 

Support and strengthen families and communities by

 

  • Finalising the Green Paper on Family by March 2011; and
  • Developing the Integrated Parenting Framework by March 2011.

 

Reduce the risk of sexual and physical violence against women (gender based violence) by:

 

  • Developing and facilitating the implementation of prevention programmes on gender based violence by March 2011. It further planned to develop and facilitate the implementation of rehabilitation programmes for victims of human trafficking by March 2011. 
  • The department also planned to facilitate the rollout of the men and boys strategy on gender based violence by March 2011.

 

Reduce social crime

 

The department aimed to reduce social crime by strengthening the capacity of civil society organisations in the victim empowerment area over the MTEF period.  It also planned to develop a responsive secure care models (blue print, minimum norms and standards) for victim empowerment by March 2012.  It set a target to have a national policy framework and accreditation system for diversion programmes tabled in Parliament for implementation by non-profit organisations and government by March 2011.

 

Reduce substance abuse and related criminal acts leading to a drug free society

 

In relation to the above measurable objective the department had set a target to finalise the Regulations on Substance Abuse by March 2011.  It planned to facilitate the rollout of the Ke Moja campaign by March 2011. It also planned to develop a monitoring and assessment tool for substance abuse services by March 2012.  It set a target to review and coordinate the implementation of the Mini Drug Master Plan by March 2011.

 

Create an environment that enables the promotion, development and protection of older person’s rights by:

 

·         Piloting a community based model in 3 provinces by March 2011; and

·         Facilitating the implementation of the Older Persons Act (2006), with a key focus on the care and protection of older persons in accordance with the South African plan of action for older persons by March 2011.

 

Protect and promote the rights of people with disabilities by

 

  • Aligning social services policies and programmes for people with disabilities with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities by March 2012. 
  • Developing legislation on social on social services for people with disabilities by March 2012. 
  • Developing and facilitating the implementation of the social development specific disability mainstreaming strategy by end of 2013.
  • Developing psycho-social programmes to enhance the wellbeing and self-esteem of youth with disabilities by March 2013.

 

Create sustainable environment for social development service

 

The department planned to implement the recruitment and retention strategy for social workers over the MTEF period.  It will also develop and facilitate the implementation of the minimum norms and standards for social welfare services by March 2013. It further planned to develop and facilitate the implementation of a costing model (with funding norms) for the delivery of social welfare services by June 2011.  By June 2010 the department had planned to develop a social development funding policy and guidelines for NPO. The funding policy was developed and presented to Parliament in August 2011.

 

Facilitate the provision of quality social welfare services to children, including those in need of care and protection, by ensuring:

 

  • The implementation of the Children’s Act (2005) over the MTEF period;
  • The development and implementation of a strategy to expand national adoption services by March 2013;
  • The implementation of the national surveillance study on child abuse and neglect (phase 2) by March 2013;
  • The transformation of residential care facilities for children into child  youth care centres by March 2013;
  • The implementation of the national integrated plan for Early Childhood Development by March 2013; and
  • The development and implementation of a policy framework and guidelines for statutory services for child headed households and children living on the streets by March 2013.

 

3.4 Programme 4: Community Development

 

For over the MTEF period, under this programme the department had set objectives and measures to do the following:

 

Enhance the livelihoods of poor households and communities by:

 

  • Facilitating the implementation of the guidelines for social cooperatives in all provinces by March 2012, and
  • Facilitating linkages between Community Based Organisations and community Food Banks by March 2012.

 

Develop and facilitate the implementation of responsive and focused youth development programmes by:

 

  • Conducting research on the impact of poverty on youth development by March 2012, and
  • Conducting an audit of youth development services in the North West, Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Free State, Northern Cape and the Eastern Cape by March 2011.

 

Contribute to reducing the incidence and minimise the psycho-social impact of HIV and AIDS as well as the burden of the disease by:

 

  • Facilitating the development and implementation of behaviour change programmes by 2012;
  • Facilitating the implementation of the integrated Home Community Based Care monitoring and evaluation system by March 2013;
  • Monitoring compliance with the norms and standards for Home Community Based Care on a quarterly basis to confirm that 90% of funded non-profit organisations comply with norms and standards; and
  • Monitoring the implementation of the LoveLife prevention programmes for youth on a quarterly basis to confirm that 500 youth are reached by the end of the year.

 

3.5          Programme 5: Strategy and Governance

 

The mandate of this programme is to lead the strategic planning process across the national and provincial departments. It ensures that the department’s core strategic functions are integrated into its oversight, monitoring and evaluation capacity. It also has the responsibility of improving social policy planning and strengthens policy implementation by all entities reporting to the department.

 

Under this programme the department aimed to achieve the following objectives and measures

 

Improve the sector’s performance in line with the demands for social

development services and products by

 

  • Facilitating the expansion and strengthening of the social sector Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) through the creation of 96 000 jobs by March 2011;
  • Institutionalising evidence based policy making in the department and the social development sector over the MTEF period;
  • Developing and facilitating the review of social sector performance indicators over the MTEF period, and
  • Conducting programme evaluations and research by March 2013.

 

4. Analysis of the Department’s Annual Report and Financial Statements

 

The department remained focused on ensuring that it delivered on the commitments it made in the strategic plan of the period under consideration. 

 

4.1   Programme 1:  Administration

 

The aim of this programme is to provide policy and strategic direction to the Ministry and top management, and to provide overall management and support services to the department.[6] It focuses on policy formulation, corporate governance, support services  including human resource management, financial and risk management, information technology and management, legal services, security services, internal audit and communication services as well as executive management services, including ministerial services, deputy ministerial services, and services to the Office of the Director-General.[7]

 

This programme spent 96.7 per cent of its budget of R201.677 million in the 2010/11 financial year which is 3.3 per cent less than the total allocation after 12 months. The lower spending mainly related to the efficiency savings on travelling, accommodation, venues and facilities.

 

4.1.1          Human Capital Management

 

The department’s vacancy rate was reduced from 9% to 8%. A total of 135 appointments were made, while 74 officials left the department.  In order to enhance the formal skills base of the department, 105 officials received bursaries to further their studies in various fields. The internship programme continued to be implemented and 45 interns were placed in various positions and 8 interns secured full time employment within the department.

A total of 61 learners completed the Child and Youth Care Learnership, in partnership with the Gauteng Provincial Government and the Health and Welfare Sector Education and Training Authority (HWSETA). All the graduates secured permanent employment.

 

As part of the department’s recruitment and retention strategy, the department, in partnership with the HWSETA and the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP), implemented the first Social Work Exchange Programme. It was launched by the Minister in February 2011, and the first phase of the programme was completed when eight local social workers and eight social workers from the United Kingdom were exchanged.

 

4.1.2          International Relations

 

The department continued to play an active role in advancing and promoting the social development agenda internationally. It has bilateral agreements with Mali, Brazil, Cuba, China, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola and Mexico. These agreements focus on information exchange, good practice models for poverty eradication, the training of social services professionals, social security reforms, the management of Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs), and support at international meetings. The department hosted benchmarking delegations from Tanzania, China, and Kenya who visited South Africa to study its successful social security systems, youth and children programmes, and community development initiatives. It continued to develop agreements with Zimbabwe and other neighbouring countries.     

 

The department successfully hosted the World Social Security Forum in Cape Town in December 2010. It also participated in the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and European Union (EU) activities focusing on social policy and employment and social issues.

 

4.1.3          Information Management System and Technology (IMST)

 

The department through this sub-programme developed services to complete the Child Protection Register (CPR) and Child and Youth Care Administration (CYCA) in compliance with the Children’s Act and Child Justice Act.

 

4.2        Programme 2: Comprehensive Social Security

 

The strategic goal of this programme is to ensure the provision of a comprehensive package of social security measures and interventions, focusing on income support.

 

This programme develops policies and programmes to provide income support to the children, elderly, disabled and households in distress through social assistance and policies that mandate employed persons to contribute to social insurance, in order to prevent reversal in the fortunes of the employed and their dependents in the event of loss of income as a result of contingencies such as unemployment, sickness, disability, death, etc.[8]

 

4.2.1          Social Assistance

 

The department increased the number of beneficiaries in the social assistance programme, from 14 012 143 in March 2010 to 14 782 190 in March 2011, marking an overall increase of 5. 2%. During 2010/11, access to social assistance improved further for children and older persons mainly due to the amended social assistance policy.

 

4.2.2          Social Transfers

 

Table 1: Social Grants and Target Achievements

 

Type of Grant

Estimated Beneficiary Number by 2011

Actual Output March 2011

Older Person’s

2 540 257

2 658 969

War Veterans

1 218

969

Disability

1 291 264

1 218 916

Foster Child

506 284

479 058

Care Dependency

119 532

116 039

Child Support Grant

9 539 516

10 308 239

 

Total

 

139 98071

 

14 782 190

 

4.2.3     Older Persons Grants (OPG)

 

Recipients of the OPG increased by 4. 67% to 2. 65 million. In the final phase of age equalisation, which began in the 2008/9 financial year, males aged 60 years started accessing the OPG. At the end of March 2011, 53 787 males aged 60 years to 64 years were receiving the OPG, increasing the number of males aged 60-64 years receiving the OPG to 283 765. The National Treasury approved the universalisation (removal of the means test) of the OPG, to be phased in by gradually raising the means test ceiling up to the tax threshold.

 

4.2.3          War Veterans Grant

 

As a result of natural attrition, recipients of the War Veterans Grant declined by 20, 44%, from 1 218 to 969.

 

4.2.4     Disability Grant

 

Recipients of the Disability Grant declined by 5.60%, from 1 291 264 to 1 218 916. The decline was largely due to the review of the temporary disability grant.

 

4.2.5     Foster Child Grants

 

Foster Child Grants (FCGs) were lapsed with a view to review them and hence the decline in the number for foster care recipients. FCG recipients decreased by 5. 38%, from 506 284 to 479 058.

 

4.2.6     Care Dependency Grants

 

Recipients of the Care Dependency Grant (CDG) decreased by 2. 92%, from 119 532 to 116 039.

 

4.2.7     Child Support Grants

 

The Child Support Grant was extended to children aged 16 years and 17 years, and beneficiaries increased by 8. 06%, from 9 539 516 to 10 308 239. An agreement was reached with the Department of Basic Education to work with the Department of Social Development to ensure that children of school going age who receive the CSG attend school.

 

4.2.8     Policy and Legislation

 

The National Treasury approved the universalisation of the OPG to be phased in by raising the means test ceiling and ultimately eliminating it. This will bolster the government’s attempts to address poverty among older people. Other policy initiatives included the approval by MINMEC of a consolidated policy on social relief and a Social Relief Bill; the finalisation of the Green Paper on the Family; the development of a transformation strategy for child and youth care centres, and norms and standards for cluster foster care for the care and protection of children in alternative care.

 

The Social Assistance Amendment Bill, 2010 was passed by Parliament, assented to by the President, and came into force in September 2010 as the Social Assistance Amendment Act, 2010 (Act No. 5 of 2010).

 

Proclamations relating to the commencement of the Children’s Act, 2005, the Older Persons Act, 2006 and the Children’s Amendment Act, 2007 were approved by the President and published in the Government Gazette on 1 April 2010. The two Acts came into force in April 2010.

 

A policy for the Care Dependency Grant (CDG) will be developed and costed and presented to Cabinet in the 2011/12 financial year. This policy will develop an assessment tool for Care Dependency Grant applicants.

 

4.2.9          Social Insurance and Social Security Reform

 

The policy on mandatory retirement was drafted and approved by the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Social Security on 8 February 2011. The department, working together with the Interdepartmental Task Team on Social Security Reform, is in the throes of developing a revised approach to social security that could deal with [international and local] economic shocks. This includes developing a revised social security institutional framework (blueprint currently completed) as well as a National Social Security Fund.

 

The department proposed that the policy-making function for social security should be consolidated under one department and that a new social insurance fund (the National Social Security Fund) should be created to provide retirement, disability and survivor benefits to all formally employed contributors who will be mandated by government to contribute. Furthermore, it proposed that the different social security agencies currently providing similar benefits should be streamlined in order to achieve efficiencies and economies of scale.

 

4.2.10      Appeals Tribunal

 

During the period under review, the Appeals Tribunal achieved the following:

 

·         By end of March 2011, the Tribunal had processed 41 162 appeals more than the annual target of 40 000 set in the Estimate of National Expenditure (ENE). The turnaround strategy for dealing with appeals, which included hiring personnel via the Expanded Public Works Programme, increased the number of appeals adjudicated from 400 to 4 000 a month. Outstanding cases (about 20 000) were due to be dealt with within the first six months of the next financial year.

 

·         All new appeals relating to SASSA decisions after 1 April 2010 were dealt with within 90 days. In terms of the ENE Target, 15 000 new appeals should have been considered. However, the Social Assistance Amendment Act, 2010 (Act 5 of 2010) stipulates that all appeals have to be reconsidered by SASSA before being adjudicated. As a result, all new appeals received after the 16 September 2010 were referred back to SASSA for reconsideration prior to them being adjudicated upon as appeals. This process has since resulted in the reduced intake of new appeals for adjudication.

 

·         The Tribunal established provincial offices in all nine provinces, thereby ensuring public access to appeal services.

 

4.3         Programme 3 - Policy Development, Review and Implementation Support for Welfare

 

Programme 3 creates an enabling environment for the delivery and accessibility of integrated social welfare services in partnership with all relevant stakeholders.[9]

 

4.3.1          Service Standards

 

The department developed generic norms and standards for social welfare services. The social welfare sector was broadly consulted on the norms and standards, which are meant to guide the delivery of social welfare services in different settings.

 

4.3.2          Service Provider Support Management

 

NPOs assist the government to deliver social welfare services in both urban and rural settings and therefore receive significant government funding. In the year under review, the department allocated funds to 22 national NGOs. In order to address disparities in the funding of NGOs, both on a national and provincial level, the Minister and Members of the Executive Committee (MINMEC) reviewed and approved a policy on financial awards to service providers (PFA) in March 2011. The policy was presented to Parliament in August 2011.

 

The South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP) and the Professional Board for Social Workers (PBSW) were established and inaugurated in December 2010. An Interim Structure for Child and Youth Care was established to help prepare for the establishment of a Professional Board on Child and Youth Care Workers (PBCYC) and the registration of child and youth care workers.

 

A policy on social services and occupations was drafted in consultation with all the relevant stakeholders, including the SACSSP. This will serve as the basis for developing a new legislation to replace the Social Service Professions Act, 1978 (as amended).

 

 

 

4.3.3          Older Persons

 

The Older Persons Act (No. 13 of 2006) came into force on 1 April 2010. In order to ensure compliance with its provisions on community-based care, a situational analysis of these services was completed in the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State and Gauteng, and research was conducted on community-based frail care services in all nine provinces.

 

In recognition of the need for an integrated approach to service delivery, programmes for promoting intergenerational solidarity and cohesion were piloted and audited in the Northern Cape and Kwazulu-Natal.

 

4.3.4          People with Disabilities

 

The department finalised the amalgamation of all policies on people with disabilities in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities.

 

4.3.5          Social Crime Prevention

 

The blueprint for minimum norms and standards on secure care was finalised and approved by the Heads of Social Development (HSD) in August 2010. These norms and standards complement the requirements of the Child Justice Act.

 

A strategy on social crime prevention aimed at enabling the social sector to contribute to crime prevention and ensuring coordination and partnerships with key stakeholders is in progress.

 

The following five social crime prevention therapeutic programmes were developed to ensure the stimulation of children awaiting trial in communities and in secure care facilities:

 

·          Sexual offences;

·          Substance abuse;

·          Personal development/life skills;

·          After care and reintegration; and

·          Restorative justice.

 

Personnel in all nine provinces were trained to implement these programmes. A total of 420 practitioners in all provinces were trained on implementing the probation practice guidelines.

 

4.3.6          Substance Abuse

 

Regulations under the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act (No 70 of 2008) were drafted and submitted for consultation with the stakeholders in all nine provinces. Inputs were consolidated and incorporated in the draft. A community-based model for dealing with substance abuse was implemented on a trial basis in Limpopo and North West, while an aftercare and reintegration model was implemented in Mpumalanga and Western Cape. A substance abuse prevention model for adults was approved and the development of the treatment model continued.

 

Door to door visits coupled with surveys were conducted in all nine provinces, aimed at creating awareness of substance abuse and related challenges. The survey was aimed at assessing community awareness of substance abuse, and identifying ways of addressing this scourge. The door to door campaign was followed by provincial substance abuse summits in all provinces excluding KwaZulu-Natal and Mpumalanga.

 

The second Biennial Summit on Substance Abuse was held in Kwazulu-Natal (Durban) in March 2011. It produced resolutions guiding the development of the National Drug Master Plan and the Programme of Action for combating substance abuse.

 

4.3.7          Families

 

The families programme contributes to the Government Outcome 8, namely sustainable human settlements and improved quality of household life. It also contributes towards achieving the sectoral goal of supporting and strengthening family and community interventions that foster social cohesion.

 

The department drafted a Green Paper on Families which was presented to departmental structures for approval. The Green Paper provides strategic guidance on the integrated provision of services to families. The department also developed an integrated plan for services to families, an integrated parenting framework, and a monitoring and evaluation framework for services to families.

 

4.3.8 Victim Empowerment

 

A final report on developing legislation for victim support services was completed. A costing model or a victim empowerment programme was developed, aimed at standardising victim empowerment services and funding. The strategy for engaging men and boys in preventing gender-based violence was implemented in all nine provinces.

 

4.3.8          Children’s Act

 

The Children’s Act came into force on 1 April 2010. Norms and standards and practice guidelines aimed at guiding the uniform implementation of the Act were finalised.

 

 

 

 

 

4.3.9 Child Protection and Alternative Care

 

Parts A and B of the Child Protection Register (CPR) were introduced as specified by the Children’s Act. Cases of abuse, neglect and exploitation were entered in the register and heard by the Children’s Courts.

 

Challenges arose in respect of the new responsibility of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development for foster care and alternative care, where court orders had to be extended by the Children’s Courts. The Department of Social Development Chief Directorate: Children, worked with the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJ&CD), South African Social Security Agency, and the provincial departments to address these challenges.

 

4.3.10 Adoptions and International Social Services

 

The Register of Adoptable Children and Prospective Adoptive Parents (RACAP) was operationalised and 740 parents and 936 children appeared on the Register. A total of 2 236 national adoptions and 200 inter-country adoptions were registered. The department accredited 23 child protection organisations for adoption services. The year under review saw an increase in cases involving unaccompanied minors, especially from African countries.

 

4.3.11 Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) and Early Childhood

Development (ECD)

 

The Strategy and Guidelines for children living and working on the streets were implemented and service providers were capacitated. Furthermore, provincial coordinators were trained on norms and standards related to Child and Youth Care centres and Drop in centres.

 

4.4 Programme 4: Community Development

 

The aim of this programme is to create an enabling environment for empowering poor, vulnerable and previously marginalized groups, including youth, women and people with disabilities to achieve sustainable livelihoods.[10]

 

4.4.1 HIV and AIDS

 

A total of 19 895 Home and Community Based Carers (HCBC) were trained, as part of the EPWP. There are currently 2 000 HCBC organisations in existence across the country. Furthermore, the department was actively involved in the HIV counselling and testing campaign (HCT)) announced by the President on World AIDS Day in 2009.

 

 

 

 

4.4.2 Community Development and Service Standards

 

The department finalised a Memorandum of Understanding with HWSETA on training Community Development Practitioners on integrated development plans (IDPs), community-based planning (CBP), the sustainable livelihoods approach (SLA), and a toolkit for sustainable livelihoods.

 

4.4.3 Youth Development

 

Youth work was successfully handed over to the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) in February 2011.

 

The norms and standards for implementing the Masupatsela Youth Pioneer Programme (MYPP) were developed, and a booklet was produced.

 

4.4.4 Sustainable Livelihoods

 

The department trained 354 Community Development Practitioners and supervisors on the use of the sustainable livelihoods concept and the toolkit for facilitating community development.

 

Workshops were held to build the capacity of Community Development Practitioners (CDPs), CDP managers, and Masupatsela Youth Pioneers on the concept of social cooperatives and the implementation guidelines.

 

The department helped four provinces to establish Food Banks. A delegation from the North West and the City of Tshwane Food Bank Task Team undertook a two-day visit to Gauteng to learn on how to operate a Food Bank Officials from Gauteng, Free State and North West met in Rustenburg to exchange ideas on how to successfully operate a Food Bank. The department achieved its target to enhance the livelihoods of poor households and communities by developing guidelines on social cooperatives.  It linked 1 250 food distribution agencies with Food Banks and provided an equivalent of 16 892 795 meals.

 

The Department continued to support the “War on Poverty” campaign, championed by Deputy President Motlanthe.

 

4.4.5 Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs)

 

The department undertook four major projects, namely developing an NPO policy, developing and implementing an NPO capacity building framework, and developing NPO management guidelines, norms and standards for NPO governance, and NPO funding guidelines. The department continued its efforts to improve NPO registration: The NPO unit received 15 232 new applications for registration. A total of 10 238 organisations were registered and 4 723 failed to meet the requirements set out in the NPO Act. This translated into 69% registration compliance by organisations.

 

Monitoring the on-going compliance of registered NPOs with the NPO Act is a key function of the NPO unit. A total of 12 625 notices were issued to non-compliant organisations (which failed to submit annual reports) as opposed to 6 987 in the previous year, marking an increase of 45%. A total of 11 172 annual reports were submitted.

 

4.5        Programme 5: Strategy and Governance

 

The programme’s mandate is to lead the strategic planning process across the national and provincial departments. It ensures that the department’s core strategic functions are integrated into its oversight, monitoring and evaluation capacity. It also has the responsibility of improving social policy planning and strengthens policy implementation by all entities reporting to the department.

 

4.5.1 Strategy, Planning, Development and Risk Management

 

The department developed a model for sharing local offices with SASSA. These facilities will be disability-friendly; child care and old age friendly, and will have dedicated sick bays; reception facilities, and queue management systems. Implementation of the model started in the Western Cape, the Eastern Cape, Kwazulu-Natal and the Northern Cape. Other provinces committed themselves to developing and implementing the model.

 

4.5.2 Monitoring and Evaluation

 

The department embarked on a major exercise to align its monitoring and evaluation systems with the government’s new outcomes-based approach. A catalogue of indicators for the social sector was reviewed, and specific outcome statements, social sector indicators, and tools for measurement were developed and linked to the 12 Government Outcomes.

 

4.5.3 Population and Development

 

The unit produced a research report entitled Population Trends Analysis on HIV and AIDS and Health Issues with Demographic Implications (March 2011). The research encapsulated evidence from two research reports dealing with aspects of HIV and AIDS and other health concerns with demographic consequences. The unit also produced HIV and AIDS Case Study Volume 3 and disseminated it to provincial population units (PPUs) and municipal districts which participated in the research.

 

A paper on discovering and developing the untapped economic and social potential of young people was prepared and presented to a stakeholder meeting in May 2010. A study of factors associated with teenage pregnancies was piloted in Limpopo.

 

The research proposal for a gap analysis of youth services was revised to accommodate the social sector infrastructure demand model (SSIDM). A gap analysis concept paper on the delivery of services to youths was completed as part of the project.

 

An overview of the state of gender equality, equity, and the empowerment of women in South Africa was presented to a two-day stakeholder meeting in May 2010.

 

Capacity-building and training workshops were held as part of the initiative to introduce population issues into local development plans. A strategy was approved to help municipalities roll out a guide on integrating population information into IDPs, and four local workshops were held on applying the guidelines for mainstreaming gender into IDPs.

 

4.5.4 Social Policy

 

The unit made further progress in institutionalising evidence-based policy-making in the country by ensuring that all new policies were based on research evidence.

 

4.5.5 Entity Oversight and Management

 

The Minister and the National Development Agency (NDA) Board signed a Memorandum of Agreement aimed at strengthening the NDA’s accountability in respect of performance and reporting. Powers related to the PFMA and powers under Treasury regulations were delegated to the NDA.

 

4.5.6 Special Projects

 

The department, through the Special Projects Office, continued to play a vital role in coordinating EPWP initiatives for the social sector. This will enable the department to contribute to the creation of decent employment through inclusive growth.

 

Among the most notable achievements in the reporting period (for the Social Sector) was the expansion of EPWP beyond the pilot programmes of HCBC and ECD to include the mass literacy campaign Kha-Ri-Gude, the National School Nutrition Programme, the Mass Participation Programme in Sport, and the Community Safety Programme.

 

The social sector created 110 653 jobs, exceeding the annual target of 96 000. Some 61 322 of these were full-time equivalents. This achievement will contribute significantly to the sector target of creating 750 000 jobs by 2014.

 

The revised Ministerial Determination and Code of Good Practice were completed and submitted to NEDLAC. These instruments are meant to protect EPWP workers against exploitation as they prescribe minimum conditions of work, for example, the minimum daily pay for EPWP workers.

 

National Treasury approved a R5. 3 billion EPWP incentive grant across all sectors for creating more jobs and expanding service delivery. The social sector received R243 million for this purpose in the year under review.

 

The department worked on providing services to destitute war veterans and their dependents, including: supporting the South African Military Veterans Association (SANMVA); providing psychosocial support and trauma counselling to veterans or/and families of veterans; assisting with the profiling of veterans; and providing Social relief of Distress grants to those requiring such support.

 

The Kwanda Social Mobilisation Programme, run in partnership with Soul City was extended beyond the original communities to Galeshewe in the Northern Cape and Meyerton in Gauteng. The 257 participants in Galeshewe built a crèche, renovated an old age home, established a two-acre garden as well as recycling and catering enterprises, and participated in the HIV and STI prevention programme, “One Love”. Furthermore, “Phuza Wize”, an anti-alcohol abuse initiative was rolled out.

 

5. Analysis of Section 32 Expenditure Reports

 

The Department of Social Development spent 99, 1% of its total budget of R95. 941 billion by the end of March 2011. The reason for the under-spending of 0.9% was due to efficiency savings on travelling, accommodation, venues and facilities. Social assistance transfers underspent because of the lower than expected beneficiary uptake. The department also underspent because of Appeals Tribunal projects that were not finalised before the closure of the 2010/11 financial year. The low spending also related to the delays in the implementation of planned projects and invoices from service providers that were submitted late.

 

Programme spending trends

 

Social Development Programmes

Voted Amount  2010/11

Total Expenditure as at 31 March 2011

 

R'000

R'000

 %                     Spending

Administration

      201,677

     195 082

96.7%

Comprehensive Social Security

95,140,156

94,298,757

99.1%

Policy Development, Review and Implementation Support for Welfare Services

345,791

336,512

97.3%

Community Development

186,534

177, 032

94.9%

Strategy and Governance

  66,903

   60,942

91.1%

TOTAL

95,941,061

95,068,325

99.1%

 

Programme 1: Administration

This programme spent 96.7% of its budget of R201.677 million in the 2010/11 financial year which is 3.3 per cent less than the total allocation after 12 months. The lower spending mainly related to the efficiency savings on travelling, accommodation, venues and facilities.

 

Programme 2: Comprehensive Social Security

This programme spent 99.1% of its budget of R95.140 billion in the 2010/11 financial year. The lower spending mainly related to the social assistance transfers because of the lower than expected beneficiary uptake rate. The Appeals Tribunal projects were not finalised before the closure of the 2010/11 financial year.

Without transfer payments, this programme spent 82.9% of its budget of R134.018 million. As already mentioned, the low spending related to the Appeals Tribunal projects that were not finalised before the closure of the 2010/11 financial year and because of the efficiency savings on travelling, accommodation, venues and facilities.

 

Programme 3: Policy Development, Review and Implementation Support for Welfare Services.

This programme spent 97.3% of its budget of R345.791 million in the 2010/11 financial year. The under-expenditure was mainly due to the savings realised on operational costs as a result of the cost saving measures implemented on travelling, consultancy fees, venues and facilities.

Without transfer payments, this programme spent 91.0% of its budget of R101.306 million. The low spending related mainly to the delays in the implementation of the planned projects and invoices from service providers that were received late. The under spending also related to the cost saving measures implemented on travelling, consultancy fees, venues and facilities.

 

Programme 4: Community Development:

This programme spent 94.9% of its budget of R186.534 million. The reason for low spending related mainly to the savings on accommodation and consultancy fees due to efficiency savings implemented and payments not transferred to the National Association of Burial Societies of South Africa (NABSSA) and National Association of People Living with HIV and Aids (NAPWA) due to outstanding compliance aspects.

Without transfer payments, this programme spent 85.9% of its budget of R56.945 million in the 2010/11 financial year. The low spending related mainly to the savings on accommodation and consultancy fees due to the efficiency savings implemented.

 

Programme 5: Strategy and Governance.

This programme spent 91.1% of its budget of R66.903 million in the 2010/11 financial year. The low spending related mainly to the savings realised on the operational costs as a result of the cost savings measures implemented on travelling, accommodation and consultancy fees.

Economic classification spending trends

Compensation of employees: The department spent 96.9% of the budget of R254.939 million by the end of the 2010/11 financial year. The reason for underspending was mainly due to the vacant posts not filled in time. 

Goods and Services:  The department spent 86.1% of the budget of R294.162 million by the end of March 2011.

The under-expenditure was mainly due to the savings realised on the operational costs as a result of the cost savings measures implemented on travelling, consultancy fees, venues and facility costs.

Transfers and subsidies: The department spent 99.1% of the budget of R95.381 813 billion by the end of March 2011.

The lower spending mainly related to the social assistance transfers because of the lower than expected beneficiary uptake rate and the Appeals Tribunal projects were also not finalised before the closure of the 2010/11 financial year.

Underspending was also due to payments not transferred to the National Association of Burial Societies of South Africa (NABSSA) and National Association of People Living with HIV and Aids (NAPWA) as a result of outstanding compliance aspects.

Capital Assets: The low spending mainly related to the stricter measures that were put in place in terms of the acquiring the new office equipment and furniture due to the modification and standards of office branding that were to be implemented.

 

6. Consideration of Reports of Committee on Public Accounts

 

The 2009/10 report of the Committee on Public Accounts noted that the department received a qualified audit report[11] and it made the following resolutions regarding AG’s audit report on transfers and subsidies:

 

The Accounting Officer should ensure that:

 

  • Management reviews application forms as well as the supporting documentation to make sure that they are complete before the approval of the grant;
  • Beneficiary files are properly maintained and safeguarded against loss or misplacement; and
  • Reviews are performed quarterly in order to identify any changes in circumstances of the beneficiary.

 

Pertaining to the dual accountability between the department and SASSA, it made these resolutions:

 

The Accounting Officer should ensure that:

 

  • Arrangements relating to the flow of funds so as to clear any uncertainties on the roles, responsibilities and accountability for the expenditure of funds allocated to SASSA, are reconsidered;
  • Corporate governance and accountability of SASSA are addressed; and
  • Responsibilities of the department with regard to in-year monitoring of SASSA management of funds are properly managed.

 

The department received a qualified opinion for 2010/ 11 due to the matters of emphasis highlighted above. The department during its briefing on 2010/11 Annual Report[12] to the Committee reported that it was still waiting for a directive from the National Treasury on how the issue of dual accountability and flow of funds should be addressed. Nevertheless, it reported that it will improve its oversight over SASSA by conducting physical audit to verify beneficiary files instead of it relying on reports from SASSA. The department will also develop systems and guidelines to standardize the implementation of policies across SASSA offices.

 

To improve its internal controls and management of files, SASSA in partnership with the Minister of the Department of Social Development and Director General of the department contracted Ernst & Young accounting firm at a cost of R15 million to train SASSA employees on the above until May 2012. This resulted in SASSA receiving an unqualified audit report for 2010/11.

 

7. Consideration of Other Sources of Information

 

7.1 Review of the 2010 State of the Nation Address

 

The 2010 State of the Nation Address was delivered within the context of the economic downturn that started in 2008, and in 2009 South Africa was also affected by the economic recession. This resulted in the South African economy shedding almost a million jobs (900 000), many of which affected bread winners from poor households. This situation had critical importance for the Department of Social Development, specifically given the department’s mandate to provide comprehensive and integrated social development services to vulnerable and poor communities and individuals.

 

The department had during the 2009/10 financial year embarked on a number of projects and initiatives that were set as its goals to be met. These were the commitments identified by the 2010 State of the Nation Address. This section summarises some of the goals and review the department’s performance in this regard.

 

Extension of the Child Support Grant (CSG)

 

The State of the Nation Address indicated few strategies meant to alleviate poverty and offset the negative impact of the global financial crisis. This included the extension of the CSG for children over the age of 14 years to those under the age of 18 years. By the time the 2010 SONA was being delivered, the Social Assistance Regulations were again in a process of being amended to effect the policy changes in the extension of the CSG. According to the December 2009 Regulations, only children born on or after 1 October 1994 were eligible for the CSG.

 

However, a few challenges occurred from those Regulations, including the possibility of excluding some children and misinterpretation of the Regulations. By March 2010, amended Social Assistance Regulations had been released and they stated that: All children born after December 1993 are eligible for the CSG (that is other eligibility criteria permitting). These latest Regulations implied that as from the 1st of January 2010 children under the age of 17 years qualified for the CSG and as from the 1st of January 2011 children under the age of 18 years also qualified for the CSG.

 

At the end of December 2010, there was a total of 10.05 million CSG beneficiaries (of which 230 000 were those between the ages of 16 and 17 years). The 10.05 million beneficiaries represent a 7.9% growth when compared to December 2009. It is also worth noting that since the implementation of the extensions, the total number of children over the age of 14 year mounted to 1.2 million. Overall, the CSG covers between 70 – 80% of children living in poor households (using the R350 per month poverty line). With the extension to children under 18, this percentage is likely to rise in the next coming few years. In terms of population numbers, about 54% of all children under the age of 18 years in South Africa receive the CSG. With the current eligibility criteria, this percentage is expected to rise and peak at around 60 – 65% in the next coming few years.

 

Eradicating fraud and corruption

 

The department implemented an Anti-Corruption and Fraud Policy. The Anti-Corruption and Fraud Policy is the departmental policy document which forms part of the Anti-Corruption and Fraud Prevention (ACFP) Strategy as required by the Treasury Regulations and the Public Service Anti-Corruption Strategy.  The Anti-corruption Strategy advocates that the fight against corruption be conducted in an integrated and coherent manner. This Strategy recognizes the importance of detection, prevention and combating.  It further recognizes that solid management practices are as important as the laws that allow investigation and prosecution. This strategy is aimed at fighting corruption in a holistic and preventative manner.

 

Awareness booklets were distributed to all personnel of the department via the email to provide a better understanding of the department’s Anti-corruption and Fraud Strategy namely:

 

·         Anti-corruption and Fraud policy of the department. This guide is targeted at personnel of the department to provide an overview of the Anti-corruption and Fraud Strategy.

 

·         A guide for managers: Promoting Public Sector Accountability, Implementing the Protected Disclosures Act was implemented. This guide is targeted at managers in order to prepare them to be able to respond adequately to whistle blowers.

 

·         Guide for Managers and Employees (Fraud Awareness and Preventative Compliance Framework) was implemented. The departmental responsibilities in relation to the management of fraud risk are set out in this booklet. The purpose of this booklet is to show how the principles of sound risk management, governance and control apply to fraud and other irregular activities that might lead to fraud.

 

·         Understanding the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act was also implemented. This booklet explains the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act of 2004

 

International anti-corruption day: 09 December 2010

 

On 31 October 2003, the United Nations Assembly, declared the 9th of December to be celebrated as a World Anti-Corruption Day. The Planned Social Development Programme will be an ongoing initiative that was launched on the 9th December 2010 coinciding with the International Anti-Corruption Day. The Human Science Research Council (HSRC) in partnership with the Department: Social Development and its entities namely; the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and the National Development Agency (NDA) is educating employees on corruption and thus raising awareness.

 

The theme of the 9th December event was “Blow the whistle on Corruption” and it was aimed at raising awareness on corruption and the role of the various role-players in combating and preventing it. The department launched its Anti Fraud and Corruption Policy at the event. Furthermore, all officials attending the event were requested to sign a pledge to “blow the whistle on Corruption”.

 

A campaign of this nature provided an opportunity for the department and its entities to express their commitment in line with the Cabinet’s efforts to eradicate corruption within the public service.

 

Reducing serious and violent crimes

 

The department implemented the social crime prevention strategy. This strategy seeks to promote joint efforts, share a common understanding and vision on how to tackle crime, bringing together concerted interventions within the department as core in relation to social crime prevention initiatives.

 

The Strategy was presented at various fora within the department. It was further discussed within the JSCPS Cluster departments and was supported; hence a cluster task team was established to develop an action plan by the end of January 2011.

 

Blue print, minimum norms and standards for secure care centre

 

In the past few years a range of new laws and policies had been introduced regarding the treatment of children in conflict with the law. Foremost among these is the Child Justice Act (No 75 of 2008), which has established a comprehensive procedure for dealing with children in the criminal justice system. It became crucial for the department to develop a blue print, minimum norms and standards for secure care centre as the Act clearly outlines procedures of treating children in conflict with the law. This was done in order to standardize the provision of services to children across the country. It was presented at all departmental structures and was finally approved by Heads of Social Development Sector on the 5th of August 2010.

 

Policy framework for accreditation of diversion services

 

The policy was developed in line with the requirements of Child Justice Act.,. Section 56 of the Act requires the Cabinet member responsible for social development to create a policy framework to develop the capacity in all levels of government and the non-governmental sector to establish, maintain and develop programmes for diversion.

 

Policy was approved by the department in March 2010 and was tabled in Parliament on 31 May 2010.  On the 20th of August 2010 a Notice was published in the Government Gazette requesting diversion service providers to apply for accreditation as the organization as well as the content of the programme and closing date was 30th of November 2010. Three structures (Accreditation, Quality Assurance and Site Verification) were set up in all provinces.  Training was conducted in all provinces and completed on the 24th of November 2010.

 

 

 

 

Guidelines for Probation Officers, Assistant Probation Officers and Child and Youth Care Workers

 

The department in partnership with UNICEF developed guidelines for Probation Officers, Assistant Probation Officers and Child and Youth Care Workers to provide appropriate services to children in conflict with the law. The guidelines are there to provide practical advice on the appropriate services to all role players. A total of 150 Master trainers received training and furthermore a total of 270 probation practitioners were trained in all provinces.

 

Building a performance oriented state

 

In support of government’s effort to build a performance-based state, the department partnered with the Technical Assistance Unit of the National Treasury to review its planning processes and capacity of the Strategy Unit. The scope of the partnership included strategic facilitation and better understanding of development theories which would bring about the desired change to communities. Strategic Information Analysis is also another critical element of the partnership and would contribute to the integrity of performance data and high quality analysis of performance information including evaluation which would in turn be used to strengthen planning and investment by the department. Training on the collection of baseline information, indicator formulation and target setting was extended to managers at national office, provinces and entities. 

 

 In the past two years over 30 technical staff were trained on result based monitoring and evaluation which was important in performance planning. As part of efforts to promote accountability and better performance, the department conducted rigorous quarterly programme performance reviews which served as means to assess performance against predetermined targets as contained in the Strategic Plan; identify critical areas that needed timely interventions and identify obstacles to service delivery.

 

In addition, the department will publish annually a Service Delivery Improvement Plan with the strategic plan in accordance with the Public Service Regulation. This will amongst other things establish and sustain a service delivery improvement program for the department and set out the service standards that citizens can expect.

 

Expanded Public Works Programme Expansion

 

The social sector managed to expand beyond the two pilot projects of Home Community Based Care (HCBC) and Early Childhood Development (ECD). The programme is reported through the following additional programmes:

 

·        Kha Ri Gude.

·        National School.

·        Mass Participation Programme in Sport.

 A Community Safety Summit was held in November 2010 in order to mobilise all provincial Community Safety departments to account and report on their job creation initiatives as part of the Social Sector EPWP. The summit was concluded successfully with a commitment from all the attending provinces to enrol with the social sector.

 

Sector performance

 

  • The Social Sector created 206 421 work opportunities in the 2009/10 financial year against the set target of 80 000. This was the first year performance of a Five-year plan that is meant to elicit 750 000 work opportunities by 2014. The latter is the Social Sector contribution to the 4.5 million work opportunities for the rest of the EPWP.

 

  • During the second year of implementation under the EPWP 2, the social sector had already created a total of 78 615 as at the end of September 2010 against the set target of 96 000 work opportunities for the year.

 

Comprehensive EPWP Incentive Grant

 

The social sector managed to mobilise R56 million for HCBC in the 2010/11 financial year and a further R243 million for all qualifying social sector programmes in the 2011/12 financial year. The sector was also finalising the review of findings and proposals from the study concerning a “desirable dispensation” for EPWP extension workers which is meant to advise government on an appropriate mechanism for employment of all categories of workers that provide social service delivery through EPWP.

 

Challenges

 

The issue of a minimum daily wage within EPWP in general and social sector in particular was identified as a major challenge for implementing departments EPWP. While the departments were expected to use line function budgets to create work opportunities, the resources had not been sufficient to pay at the prescribed minimum daily wage in line with EPWP standards. In response to these and other challenges the EPWP introduced an Incentive Grant allocation which allowed for the elimination of unpaid beneficiaries while also contributing to the expansion of work opportunities.

 

7.1 Report of the Auditor General of South Africa

 

The Auditor General (AG) gave the Department of Social Development a qualified audit opinion for the following reasons:

 

The AG was unable to satisfy himself as to the occurrence of social assistance grant expenditure with an approximate value of R891 million (2009/10:R10.5 billion).

 

A number of grant beneficiary files requested from SASSA were not presented for audit purposes. Furthermore, numerous files presented by SASSA did not contain the necessary information that is required to form the basis for a valid grant payment.

 

A dual accountability relationship exists between the department and SASSA over the social assistance grants. The status of the current relationship therefore results in actions of SASSA having an impact on the audit report of the department regarding matters concerning social assistance grant expenditure.

 

7.2 Technical Aspects of the Report

 

The Department’s Annual Report was well structured. Also, it was easy to read making it user- friendly. It was also submitted on time or as required by Parliament and in accordance with the Treasury guidelines for submission of annual reports.

 

8. Report on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

 

The department plays a critical role in the achievement of Goals 1 (Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger), Goal 2 (Achieve universal primary education), Goal 3 (Promote gender equality and empower women), Goal 4 (Improve maternal health), Goal 6 (Combat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases) and 8 (Develop a global partners partnership for development).

 

Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

 

The department contributes significantly in the reduction of poverty through the social assistance programme. Studies on South Africa’s social assistance programme suggest that social grants reinforce developmental impacts within households in terms of nutrition, education, health, vital services and employment.

 

The number of beneficiaries of the social grants increased from 2. 5 million in 1994 to over 14 million in 2011. The rapid expansion of the social assistance programme accounted for the growth in expenditure levels of the poor. The most notable expansion had been that of the CSG and the OPG, which had increased to over 10 million and 2 million respectively in 2011. This was due to the implementation of the age equalisation in the OAP, which lowered the eligibility age from 65 years to 60 years for men. The eligibility age for CSG was increased to 18 years; hence there was an increase in the CSG beneficiaries.  

 

The social assistance programme has had remarkable impact in the eradication of poverty in the following way:

 

  • Social grants, along with wages earned through employment, contributed to the growth in per capita income between 1995 and 2005.

 

  • Although levels of inequality remain high in South Africa, social grants had made a significant contribution to reducing the levels of the Gini estimate of the country.

 

  • The percentage of the population living below the food poverty line of R148 in 2000 and R209 equivalent in 2006 declined from 28.5% to 24.8% respectively.

 

  • The proportion of males living below the food poverty line declined from 26.7% to 22.9% while the number of females living below the poverty line declined from 30.2% to 26.4% between 2000 and 2006

 

The department further contributed to the attainment of this Goal through the distribution of food parcels and community Food Banks to the needy households through the Social Relief of Distress. In 2010/11, the department supported five provinces (Mpumalanga, Western Cape, North West, Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal) to establish Food Banks. It also linked 1 250 food distribution agencies (Community Based Organisations) with the Food Banks and provided an equivalent of 18 892 795 meals.

 

Through the continuous implementation of the EPWP through the HCBC and ECD, the department contributed towards South Africa meeting Target 1b (creation of employment and decent work)  of this Goal.

 

 Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education

 

The department does not directly contribute to the achievement of Goal 2. It however indirectly contributes through the ECD programme, which however cannot be measured by the indicators of this Goal. The indicators for Goal 2 do not include children in the 0-4 age cohort, which the department is responsible for in the implementation of the ECD programme. Nevertheless, the ECD programme is widely believed to provide a firm foundation for a life-long learning, which is a key element of a dynamic, literate, and knowledge based society. Hence, by March 2011, the department registered 9 000 ECD centres with 790 000 children benefitting from ECD services. Seven hundred and twenty thousand (720 000) children were directly subsidised by the State.

 

In addition, the CSG contributed in the attainment of Goal 2. According to the Statistics South Africa’s General Household Survey report 2003-2007 released in July 2009, the most notable impact of the expansion of the CSG was that children benefitting from the grant were likely to go to school. In 2007, the percentage of low income households that received any kind of grant and were sending their children aged 5-19 years to school increased from 73% in 2003 to 81% in 2007. The school attendance ratio for individuals aged 5-19 years was higher in households who received grants than those who did not receive them.

 

 

 

Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women

 

Similarly to the achievement of Goal 2, the expansion of the CSG indirectly contributed to the attainment of Goal 3 and 4. The CSG was designed with the intention of targeting women as recipients with the expectation that women would be more likely to spend on essential items that will benefit the child.

 

Goal 4: Improve maternal health

 

The department contributes towards the achievement of Goal 4 through the Victim Empowerment Programme (VEP) and HCBC. Through these programmes the department provides psycho-social support to families. It is a generally acknowledged fact that women and children are mostly the victims of domestic abuse. Also, women are the ones who attend to ill family members. Such responsibilities often times have an impact on the mental health of women. Thus VEP and HCBC are important in helping women handle their responsibilities.

 

In relation to the above, the department in the year under review, has finalised and presented a Green Paper on the Family to the departmental structures for approval. The Green Paper seeks to promote and strengthen family life through a coherent, well coordinated framework for all government policies, programmes and civil society initiatives. In addition, it capacitated 81 service providers on the Manual for Families in Crises in three provinces. It capacitated 258 service providers on Marriage Preparation and Marriage Enrichment in nine provinces. It also capacitated 123 service providers on Family Preservation Services and 54 service providers were capacitated on the implementation of the department’s Strategy for Families in two provinces.

 

The implementation of the VEP has been critical in providing shelter, counseling and protection for abused women and children. The department trained 270 social workers to implement the Shelter Strategy for abused women and children in nine provinces. It also completed a research report on feasibility of developing a Victims Support Services legislation, which will provide basis for developing a VEP legislation.

 

Goal 6: Combat HIV and AIDS, malaria and other diseases

 

The department contributed to the achievement of this Goal through a number of HIV prevention programmes which include among others, a number of awareness and advocacy programmes that are it runs. Through a partnership with LoveLife, the department contributed to the government strategy to reduce new HIV infections by 50% as contained in the National Strategic Plan for HIV and AIDS, STI, Malaria and Tuberculosis for 2007-2011. To reduce the incidence of and minimise the psychosocial impact of HIV and AIDS, the department launched a maternal health orphan surveillance system in KwaZulu-Natal (uMzinyathi). Furthermore, 36 out of 280 municipalities (22 in North West, 4 in KwaZulu-Natal and 10 in the Free State) are utilising the maternal orphan database for planning purposes.

Goal 8: Develop a global partners partnership for development

 

The department in line with the country’s foreign policy, plays an active role in advancing and promoting the social development agenda internationally, which is in keeping with the MDG 8.

 

  • Bilateral relations: the department forged bilateral agreements with Mali, Brazil, Cuba, China, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Angola and Mexico, amongst others. The agreements focused on exchanges of information and good practice models on poverty eradication programmes, training of social service professionals, social security reforms, and partnership with non-profit organizations and supporting each other during international meetings.

 

  • The department hosted a number of international delegations who were on benchmarking expeditions from Tanzania, China, Kenya and other countries to learn about South Africa’s successes in social security, youth and children’s programmes and community development initiatives.

 

  • Multilateral relations: the department is an important member of various Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), African Union (AU) and United Nations (UN) institutions. It uses these institutions to ensure that social development issues are advanced, build a regional and continental consensus and to advocate for a strong African voice in social development.

 

It participates in the SADC Labour and Social Affairs Sector and the SADC Population and Development Commission. The Minister participates in the AU Ministers of Social Development and the African Population Commission.

 

It also participates in the following UN Commissions: UN Commission on Social Development, UN Commission on Population and Development, UN Commission on Status of Women, UN Commission on Commission on Narcotic Drugs.

 

  • Each year the department leads consultations on the Social Dimension of NEPAD on behalf of the Africa Group and the G77 in the UN Commission for Social Development.

 

  • International organisations: The Deputy Director-General: Welfare Services serves on the Board of the International Social Services while the Director-General and three senior officials serve on the highest structure of the International Social Security Association (ISSA). This not only enhanced the stature of the department but of the country as a whole. In 2010 the department successfully hosted the World Social Security Forum in Cape Town.

 

  • The department also participates actively in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the European Union (EU) activities where the focus is on social policy and employment and social issues. These social development organizations are the platforms for sharing of experiences and capacity building.

 

9. Committee’s Observations

 

 The Committee commends SASSA for the unqualified audit report. However it draws attention to the AG’s remarks that a number of grant beneficiary files requested from SASSA were not presented for audit purposes. Furthermore, numerous files presented by SASSA did not contain the necessary information that is required to form the basis for a valid grant payment.

 

The Committee noted with concern the existing dual accountability between the department and SASSA over the flow of funds (transfers and subsidies), which resulted in the department receiving an qualified audit report in 2009/10 and 2010/11 financial years.

 

The Committee further noted that the department will strengthen its oversight over SASSA by developing internal audit processes and financial inspections. This is critical to ensure that the department strengthens its governance over its entities.

 

The Committee noted with concern the low or non reporting by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJ&CD) on the convicted cases of child abuse to be uploaded to Part B of the Child Protection Register (CPR). Thus far only one case of unsuitability was recorded. The Committee was informed that the determination to verify that a person is not suitable to work with children has been a challenge and has not been done by the DoJ&CD.  

 

The Committee expressed its satisfaction for the improvement of SASSA’s audit report from a disclaimer to unqualified audit opinion.

 

10. Conclusion

 

Despite the above mentioned observations the Committee is satisfied with the Department’s overall achievements in meeting its targets. It is also satisfied with efforts undertaken by SASSA in conjunction with the department to ensure that SASSA received an unqualified audit report. Nevertheless, the issue of dual accountability needs to be urgently addressed as it will continue to impact on the audit opinion of the department.

 

 

 

 

 

 

11. Recommendations

 

In line with the observations made above, the Committee recommends that the Minister of Social Development should ensure the following:

 

  • The issue of dual accountability between the department and SASSA should be addressed so as to clarify the problem of accountability over the flow of funds (through transfers and subsidies) to SASSA.  

 

·         The audit committees of the department and SASSA should meet regularly to monitor, review and recommend improvements with regards to internal controls and systems.

 

·         The department and SASSA should ensure that there should be skills transfer from contractors to SASSA employees so that there would be sustained effective functioning of SASSA.

 

  • The Committee noted that SASSA had been paying the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) R3 million monthly since its inception to conduct investigation on fraud and corruption with regards to social grants. This is very costly.  It therefore, recommends that the department should fast track and finalise the establishment of the Inspectorate for Social Security provided for in the Social Assistance Act (N0. 13 of 2004), so that SASSA can conduct its own investigations to save costs.

 

The Committee refers back to the recommendation below which it made in its 2010 Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report:

 

  • The department should consider amending the Social Relief Act. The amendment should address the issue of the department having five dormant funds. The amendment may consider merging these funds into one fund.  

 

12. Resolution

 

The Committee made the following resolutions:

 

  • The department should brief it on the progress made in the drafting of the Green Paper on Families and engage the Committee on further developments.

 

  • The department should brief it on the progress made in implementing the recommendations made in the 2011 Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR).

 

  • The department should brief the Committee on its plan of action to address the matters of emphasis raised by the Auditor General.

 

Report to be considered

 

 

Reference list:

 

Briefing by the Department of Social Development on its 2010/11 Annual Report, to the Portfolio Committee on Social Development, 12 October 2011, RSA Parliament

 

Department of Social Development Annual Report 2011.

 

Department of Social Development Strategic Plan 2010/11 – 2014/15. Republic of South Africa.

 

Zuma, 2010. State of the Nation Address. Government Printers. Pretoria.

 

 



[1] Department of Social Development Annual Report 2010/11

[2] ibid

[3] ibid

[4] Department of Social Development 2010/11 Annual

[5] Department of Social Development (2011)

[6] Department of Social Development (2009).

[7] ibid

[8] Department of Social Development (2011)

[9] Department of Social Development (2011)

[10] Department of Social Development (2011)

[11] Details are available on the 2009/10 Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development

[12] Briefing on the Department of Social Development 2010/11 Annual Report, 2011