ANC Gauteng Legislature
Budget speech by Agriculture and Rural Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza

Budget speech by Agriculture and Rural Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza

29 May 2012

Honourable Acting Speaker, Members of the Executive Council present, the Chief Whip, Political Leaders and members of the legislature, members of the mayoral committee for Social Development, the Social Development Head of Department and Senior Managers present, representatives of Non-Profit and Faith-Based Organisations, other organs of civil society, members of the community and media, present.

Let me also acknowledge, Honourable Acting Speaker, our children from the institutions that are funded and supported by Social Development Department, I think they are seated, I do not see them there, I think they are this side. Yes, they are from Gugulethu Children`s Home, Don Mathera Children`s Home, Father Smangaliso Mkhatswa Home, Abram Krill Home, Maria Kloppers Home, Mary Moodley Home and Walter Sisulu Home, as you can see they represent our rainbow nation and that is why I am using this language so they can understand .

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, Honourable Acting Speaker, we present the third Social Development Budget, Vote speech just four days after our province and the country celebrated one of our greatest days in our continent, the Africa Day on 25 May 2012. This is the day for us as Africans to actively participate in defining our future and find space to become more active agents of our own development. This budget is also presented and debated against the backdrop of the centenary celebration of our country`s ruling party and the continent`s oldest and modern liberation movement, the African National Congress, long live the ANC, long live!

Additionally, Honourable Speaker, this occasion is of great symbolism because it reminds us of the inaugural speech of the former president, Nelson Mandela on 10 May 1994, which ignited a national vision of creating a better live for all as he put it and I quote:

"Our daily deeds as ordinary South Africans must produce a South African reality that will reinforce humanity`s believe in justice, strengthen its confidence in the nobility of the human soul and sustain all our hopes for the glorious life for all".

That is despite several challenges, we pledge ourselves to escalating the battle against poverty, the prevention, gender and other discriminations and to illustrate progress made in improving the lives of our people in our communities.

In her State of the Province Address, the Honourable Premier indicated amongst other things that government`s mid-term review demonstrates that there is steady progress in pursuing government`s priorities and that despite this progress; we need to "address the triple challenges of unemployment, of poverty and inequality which continue to affect Africans, women and youth in particular."

As the Social Development Department, we therefore deliver the Budget Vote in the context of our continued resolve to recommit ourselves to work together with civil society, to accelerate our programmes, to improve the quality of life of our people in general and those who are vulnerable in particular.

It is a commitment we make to ensure that our people, women, children, elderly and people with disabilities in particular enjoy greater freedoms and human rights our forebears fought for over a century under the leadership of the African National Congress.

Honourable Acting Speaker, over the 2012/2013 MTEF, the budget grows from R2.5, it is billion, not million, we apologise for that, in the 2012/2013 financial year to R2.9 billion in 2013/2014 financial year.

The increase in budget is allocated for the expansion of the following services: early childhood development, home-based and community-based care services, and services to children in conflict with the law and the expansion of poverty reduction programmes.

Our attack on poverty, unemployment and inequality seek to empower people to take themselves out of poverty through various economic exit strategies to prevent dependency on government, while creating adequate social security nets to protect the most vulnerable in our society.

Honourable Acting Speaker, we resolved at our Polokwane Conference in 2007 that social grants provided by our national government make a difference in the lives of the recipients, but that "grants must not create dependency and thus must be linked to economic activity."

The department has, as we speak, forged a relationship with SASSA to find a common ground in linking child support grant recipients to economic empowerment opportunities.

Today, we table this budget of R2.5 billion against the backdrop of a growing need and demand for services, and to balance unlimited needs with limited resources. The department will design innovative financial solutions or funding models in order to restore financial viability in the NPO sector and for the entire social service sector to survive.

The current service delivery practice in Social Development needs to be more responsive to the changed landscape of the targeted groups and communities served by the department in support of the developmental state agenda. This approach is in line with one of our priorities that put an emphasis on the provision of developmental services without neglecting the core business of the department, which are statutory services.

In her Budget Vote speech, the Minister of Social Development reiterated that "social development is the heartbeat of government."

The department has developed a turnaround strategy to bring a new paradigm shift in the manner in which it is providing services to the poor, including the gender, youth and disability sector as well as older persons in terms of speed, access, transformation and from a professional perspective. Allow us therefore, Honourable Acting Speaker, to share with this House the departmental plans and priorities for this financial year.

CHILD CARE AND PROTECTION

Early Childhood Development Services

This programme is a major intervention implemented to foster the early development of a child and it serves as an intervention in promoting access to quality basic education. The programme is meant to influence children`s latest school success, social and emotional competence; verbal, intellectual and physical development during early childhood. This programme also serves as a poverty and safety measure in respect of children.

Through this programme, the department is gradually making strides towards the principle of universal access to early childhood development, and contributing significantly to the millennium development goals. In this regard, the department will continue to champion the provision of ECD programmes in its partial care sites whilst prioritising children from previously disadvantaged communities.

In line with the Minister`s announcement on the equalisation of subsidy to R15 per child per day in this financial year- in this financial year, the department has increased the subsidy to R13 per child per day with a view of achieving the subsidisation of R15 per child per day in the 2013/2014 financial year. So we will comply, Honourable Acting Speaker.

Our commitment to increasing access to partial care ECD Services is affirmed by the construction of five partial care facilities, that is the ECD centres, as part of the initial 20 PTP Programme which includes areas of Munsieville, Kagiso, Duduza, Katlehong and Mamelodi, which have been completed. Furthermore- further construction is underway to finalise two more centres or facilities in Sharpeville and Protea Glen as part of the department`s 20 PTP Townships Infrastructure Development Programme.

The strengthening of the Intergovernmental Relations Programme through the MEC and MMC forum will serve as an appropriate institutional mechanism that will effectively deal with all matters relating to bylaws as well as norms and minimum standards. ECD matters will be high on the agenda of this forum to ensure that these centres are complying with these health standards and norms.

Through the ECD Massification Strategy, the department will enhance access to early childhood development services. We will increase the number of funded partial care sites to a total 1 139 throughout the province, which will benefit 74 044 children between the ages of 0-5 years. These will be distributed as follows:

274 in Johannesburg, benefitting almost 29 000 children;

210 in Ekurhuleni region, benefitting about 15 000 children;

210 in Sedibeng region, benefitting about 14 000 children;

197 in the West Rand region, benefitting about 11 000 children, and

248 in the Tshwane region, benefitting 16 000 children during the 2012/2013 financial year. This is reflected in our APP.

Honourable members, in order to achieve all this, we have allocated R266 million towards early childhood development programmes.

The transfer and transformation of the Schools of Industry from the Department of Education to the Department of Social Development is informed by the Children`s Act of 2005, Section 196 (3). The two Schools of Industries to be transferred are Emmasdal and JW Luckhoff in Heidelberg. These Acts- Children`s Act provided for the transformations to be effected within two years from the promulgation of the Act on 1 April 2010. Gauteng Province started the transfer and transformation process in February 2012.

Good progress has been made and an agency agreement was entered into between the two departments, which will culminate with the transfer of public servants and budgets by the end of June 2012.

The transfer and transformation of the two schools to child and youth care centres is however currently an unfunded mandate. The buildings and infrastructure of these two schools are old and in a state of dilapidation and disrepair. The transformation will therefore be effected gradually as resources are made available.

SCHOOL UNIFORM AND DIGNITY PACKS

Acting Speaker, the plight of our girl children in schools who cannot afford to buy sanitary towels has been recognised and the department has since intervened in distributing dignity packs containing Vaseline, body lotion, toothpaste, Roll-on and a pack of sanitary towels, especially for girls. Training has also been offered on how to dispose the sanitary pads in an effort to maintain health standards and contribute to effective drainage management systems.

This project helped to keep many girls in school and to provide an income for one of the cooperatives producing them. Some of the benefits for provision of dignity packs are that:

The dignity and the rights of the girl child to school is restored

The rate of school attendance is improved

The health and reproductive rights of the girl child are upheld

Since the launch of the programme in 2011, 70 000 girl children have benefitted from the programme and in the 2012/2013 financial year, the department intends increasing the beneficiation to 150 000 children. In addition, a balance was maintained from a gender perspective for both the girl and the boy child as dignity packs were distributed to both and of course, with the boy child, we exclude the sanitary towels.

The department considered expanding these services to boy children as well. The service will be expanded to children with albinism during the year, 2012/2013. Their package will comprise a sunscreen and a hat in addition to the usual dignity pack. This was requested by an NGO which attended our stakeholder engagement and we are now aware and we will respond accordingly.

To strengthen support to child-headed households and other vulnerable children, the province will witness a Social Development-led Child and Youth Care Work Programme named ISIBINDI over the next three years. During its phase, the programme will realise the training and deployment of over 200 child and youth care workers to provide psychosocial support to child-headed households and other vulnerable children, including the establishment of safe parks in prioritised areas. This initiative will see the recruitment, training and employment of young people in society, contributing immensely to the job creation drive by government.

I would like to extend an invitation to the House and Gauteng citizens to join us as we commemorate the Child Protection Week from 1 to 9 June 2012.

CRIME PREVENTION AND SUPPORT

Social Crime

The department`s response to promoting the safety of South Africans is that of a comprehensive approach that recognises social crime as a broader social challenge. As a result, its interventions entail a developmental approach to social crime prevention targeted at both the perpetrators and supporting victims of crime to become survivors.

The focus of the activities employed by the department and its partners seek to reduce, to deter, and to prevent the occurrence of specific crimes by altering the environment in which they occur, changing the conditions that cause them and providing support in the implementation of the Gauteng Provincial Government`s social crime prevention strategy. Over the period under review, awareness sessions intended to deter people from engaging in social crime activities reached to 39 768 beneficiaries.

In an effort to implement the provisions of the Child`s Justice Act as promulgated in 2012, the department will focus on intersectoral collaboration regarding the fight against social crime in the province. In the effort to intensify its interventions, the department will implement social crime prevention and awareness programmes in line with our core business. This will be done in partnership with the Department of Criminal Justice System, relevant NPOs and working closely with men and women in the arts and creative industry as ambassadors for anti-substance abuse and teenage pregnancy. In this financial year, the department intends to reach a greater number of beneficiaries throughout the province, through various social networks.

A plan for expansion of diversion programmes in an effort to ease the provision of assessment, referral and diversion services for children in conflict with the law has been concluded. The programme will continue to emphasise a restorative approach.

VICTIM (TO SURVIVOR) EMPOWERMENT

To ensure that our victims become survivors, the plight of women and children affected by domestic violence, continue to be a serious threat to the moral fibre of our society. The recent hardest hit target group is children and young people with disabilities. It remains the role of the department to provide programmes and interventions such as shelters for abused women and their children and facilitate victim empowerment support services.

There are currently six forensic social workers employed by SAPS and the department is committed to support and work closely with the Department of Community safety in facilitating the provision of forensic social work services. This would result in the speedy resolution of sexual violence and other abuse cases as espoused by the strategy on the prevention of violence against women and children.

Victim empowerment services rendered through funded NPO reached about 24 000 beneficiaries. The department also provide funding to 20 shelters for abused women, which rendered services to 2 213 women in the previous financial year.

We funded one shelter for abused adult males in the West Rand. In partnership with the Local Government and Housing Department, the municipality in the Westonaria, the private sector and civil society, we launched a new shelter, Nthabeleng Safe Haven, for 20 abused women and their children in Simunye.

We also brokered a partnership with Sonke Gender Justice Men`s Network to support and strengthen its efforts. This culminated in the intensification of the men`s dialogues aimed at creating awareness on issues related to gender-based violence.

I will skip some of the paragraphs in the interest of time.

In partnership with the National Department of Social Development, the department will pursue the following activities:

Embark on a campaign that seeks to take Social Development services to the people and hold dialogues with community members in determining how they too can serve as change agents and catalysts in addressing social ills that plague our society.

There will be efforts to work with Sonke Gender Justice Men`s Network and other men`s organisations, which will be doubled as it is our view that transformation of gender relations cannot be dealt with in isolation of men and boy children.

We will partner with the National Department of Social Development, NPOs in the sector and engage in strategic discussions with international funders on how to fund strategically and expand prevention programmes.

Also as advised by the portfolio committee, we will this year have a summit with the private sector companies to work with us.

We will continue with the implementation of the Girl Child Programme, social skills programmes for the perpetrators and further intensify funding more of the men and boys programmes. We will also continue to provide support to women with regard to starting small businesses and training for entrepreneurial activities, in that way economically empowering them.

We will lead the establishment of Rapid Response Team with all affected departments and NGOs and ensure that they are properly resourced for this kind of work.

I wish to inform the House that the partnership between the department and UNODC has now come to an end, but commit that we will continue with the services that they we providing.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE, PREVENTION AND REHABILITATION

Our efforts to build environments that nurture and facilitate better social cohesion and development are significantly hampered by the scale of alcohol and substance abuse in the province.

Substance abuse is recognised as one of the greatest health and social problems in South Africa, with wide ranging consequences that include physical debilitation, chronic impairment, injuries, marital and family problems, child abuse, violence in families and communities, trauma, depression, crime, traffic accidents, work stress and economic costs.

The consumption of the dangerous concoction of "Nyaope" especially in the greater Tshwane area continues to be a problem to all institutions of government and communities alike. We sadly learn everyday of break-ins and robberies by culprits who want to service their addiction to this substance. We will therefore continue to urge members of the community to work with law enforcement agencies to expose the drug dealers and runners.

The department has established eight new Local Drug Action Committees which coordinate the implementation of the National Drug Master Plan at local level. These interventions are not only aimed at changing people`s behaviour, but could also lead to safer communities, healthier and more productive citizens. In taking Social Development services to communities, we will work with the MMCs and local leadership in an effort to localise the Local Drug Action Committees at ward level. The project would start with the 50 priority wards in the province.

The approval of the Integrated Anti-Substance Abuse Strategy by the Provincial Executive Council demonstrates our commitment to lead a coordinated effort in confronting and tackling substance abuse in our communities.

Education, awareness and prevention programmes targeting youth in and out of school considered to be at high risk were implemented. In the new financial year, there are plans to reach in excess of 90 000 beneficiaries through these programmes, including Ke Moja Campaign and other programmes to reach out to 24 000 beneficiaries this year.

In order to improve accessibility and availability of this service, the department will continue to strengthen after-care programmes in collaboration with the Local Drug Action Committees to ensure that those who have completed their treatment programmes do not relapse and maintain their sobriety. A further 5 305 clients benefited from the aftercare services that were provided by the department.

This substance abuse, prevention and rehabilitation programme has therefore been allocated R91.3 million to address these priorities. A great deal of focus in the Anti-Substance Abuse Strategy is on awareness programmes, and funding will be allocated sufficiently to that area of work.

CARE AND SUPPORT SERVICES TO OLDER PERSONS

We recognise the plight of older persons in our communities and therefore in the 2012/2013 financial year, an additional three community home-based care facilities, including day care facilities for older person are currently under construction. The targeted areas include Sharpeville, Munsieville and Protea which will be completed in this financial year. Furthermore, the completion of the construction of old age homes at Mohlakeng and Tembisa was delayed due to mainly remedial measures for underground water, quality controls, municipal approval processes and inclement weather conditions, but these will be completed in this financial year.

HIV AND AIDS

The department is addressing this through programmes and strategies that build and strengthen governmental family and community capacities to enhance social protection. Our interventions mainly through the Home Community-Based Care Programme involve the provision of social- psychosocial support services including counselling, material and nutritional support and specialised services such as memory work facilitation and succession planning, all targeting individuals, children, families and communities affected by the scourge of HIV/AIDS.

In the 2012/2013 financial year, we will increase funding to 257 HCBC centres to expand their reach in excess of 125 000 OVCs. Services will also include the provision of food parcels to about 42 500 beneficiaries and daily meals to about 118 beneficiaries. The food parcels have been issued during December holidays last year and children continued to be provided with meals even if they were on school holidays.

The impact of the services rendered will result in increasing well-being and quality of life for vulnerable children as well as improved access to a comprehensive package of essential services at local level including the family. These include health, nutrition, and social protection.

SERVICES TO PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

Acting Chair, we also remain committed to continue providing support and funding to the NPOs including 63 protective workshops meant to provide sheltered employment to a total 15 000 people with disabilities over the review period.

In an effort to provide care and support to people with disabilities, the 40 NPOs funded residential facilities provided residential services to almost 2 000 people with disabilities. In this year, we will fund 65 protective workshops and 40 residential facilities managed by NPOs. We will review the unit cost in terms of funding for people with disabilities to inform funding in the next financial years and we will also assess funding of caregivers in residential facilities and private homes in respect of people with disabilities.

On youth development, we have defined the role of youth development in line with government strategic priorities to focus our effort on facilitation of social change programmes as part of youth development; enhancement of youth employability and linking young people to economic opportunities; facilitation of skills development for youth through NPOs and capacitating NPOs to better deliver youth development.

These skills development programmes include life skills, technical skills and business skills. In the 2012/2013 financial year, our plans aim to reach about 7 500 youth through these programmes, including the MaSupatsela Youth Pioneer Programme and this programme is being further reconfigured in its current form to become a SADC Youth Exchange Programme among young people in the SADC region.

We will be employment Assistant Community Development Practitioners in this year who will be replacing the MaSupatsela Youth Pioneer Programme. These young people were trained through the MaSupatsela Programme. This year, 195 youth will participate in the Internship Programme and 150 youth will be placed in the Learnership Programme.

Chair, we are also engaged in Sustainable Livelihood Programme and I think members will read for themselves but amongst those programmes we have cooperatives and the department aims to facilitate procurement of goods and services from cooperatives in line with its core business and will ensure that these cooperatives are paid on time.

Social cooperatives will continue to be utilised and appointed to manufacture the school uniforms and supply shoes. A total of R60 million is set aside for these cooperatives. As we speak, on the ground floor, some of these cooperatives are there and we must support them.

On war and poverty, Chair, as well as zero hunger, our aim really is to reduce hunger amongst the poorest of the poor. In 2012/2013 a total of 8 000 household will be profiled for these services and our important milestone in this regard will always be the linkage of women on Child Support Grants to a range of services.

On partnership with the NPOs, Chair, I would try and summarise. We acknowledge the responsibility towards NPOs and those they serve. In terms of Chapter 2 of the NPO Act which states that:

"Within the limits of prescribed law, every organ of state must determine and coordinate the implementation of its policies and measures in a manner designed to promote, support and enhance the capacity of non-profit organisations to perform their functions."

There is a wide recognition that NPOs have a significant role to play in the provision of preventative, rehabilitative, early intervention and developmental programmes. In the past financial year, we entered into an agreement and funded in excess of 2 200 NPOs and we will increase our work, working with partnerships such IDT, NDA and other institutions. We have a budget of R1.3 billion, which is benefiting almost 2 800 NPOs.

On awareness and advocacy, Chair, basically there, we are taking social development to communities; we will upscale our campaigns to create a new culture of community activism; advocate for eradication of violence against women and based on the `Ubuntu` concept, take hands with all stakeholders, relevant government departments to empower and educate communities with the focus on prevention. We will take the campaign to our community structures.

On job creation, Honourable Acting Speaker, the Expanded Public Works Programme provides an important contribution towards the Millennium Development Goal of halving unemployment by 2014. The department plans to invest more in this programme and grow the figure of 3 635 to 6 190 in the coming financial year.

We will, in the near future, expand the participation of other programmes into EPWP including ECD and older persons to massify the effort for the creation of jobs in the projects implemented by these programmes.

In this financial year, 6 000 work opportunities will be created though EPWP and 7 470 youth will participate in skills development programmes via the NPOs that we are funding. We have made a provision of R5.4 million for 500 work opportunities in the ECD Sector.

In line with the President`s State of the Nation Address and the Premier`s State of the Province Address, the department will ensure the creation of jobs through its social infrastructure development. A further 195 youth will be completing their internships and 150 youth will be completing their learnerships.

Acting Speaker, we also have programmes on gender, youth and people with disabilities to ensure that all the work that we do equitably benefit the young people in our society, the women and the people with disabilities. We will develop a Disability Action Plan to address the needs of our people with disabilities improving access and provision of services.

A summit with the disability sector is planned to source their views on how we can improve in terms of employing people with disabilities in the work place. We are currently mainstreaming the inclusion of war veterans in the department`s programmes. In line with the database of war veterans, a special process of household profiling will be conducted to assess the required needs in respect of social development services.

The mainstream approach will include: psychosocial support services; involvement in cooperatives; providing access to bursaries, internships and learnerships for their children; referral to food banks when necessary and Bana Pele assessment and referral.

Lastly, on institutional capacity to deliver, social work and related professions are meant to be caring professions. However, we are receiving concerns about the conduct of some officials in that not all our professionals display an element of care, of empathy, of speedy, professional and service-friendly interventions.

To mitigate this challenge, we will partner with the Council of Social Services on a programme that seeks to restore the dignity and respect of social workers and allied professionals.

Financial management systems have been put in place within the department to ensure that service provider invoices are paid within 30 days from date of receipt thereof and we have put systems in place to address this situation.

The filling of vacancies will be prioritised by the department with greater emphasis on social work services, strengthening of governance of NPOs and expansion of the sustainable livelihood services.

In conclusion, Honourable Acting Speaker, we have aligned our programmes to our eight provincial government outcomes and priorities. We will continue to play a critical role in terms of providing strategic direction and leadership on policy development including setting minimum service delivery norms and standards, programme design, oversee the implementation of social welfare legislation and provision of developmental and statutory services, monitoring and evaluation of services. This is above the funding responsibility the department has to the NPO Sector.

Just to add, we also believe that when we do this work effectively and efficiently, we would have contributed to building a caring society with reduced poverty, reduced vulnerability, reduced inequality and reduced unemployment.

I wish to thank the Honourable Premier and her office for ongoing strategic guidance and support; members of the Executive Council for their guidance and support; the collective leadership of the House for their scrutiny and support.

I also wish to thank the Social Development Portfolio Committee under the leadership of the Chairperson of the Committee on Health and Social Development, Honourable Bopape; members of the Mayoral Committee responsible for social development for their contribution; the Social Development Department led by the new HoD, Ms S Tshabalala, for warmly welcoming me in this department and their commitment to serve our people and our children in particular including a dedicated team of officials for producing this budget speech and all other key stakeholders for their commitment to improving the quality of life of the poorest of the poor, thank you, Chair.