The Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development on the performance of the Department of Social Development for the 2011/12 financial year, dated 23 October 2012

The Portfolio Committee on Social Development having assessed the performance of the Department of Social Development for 2011/12, 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 2011/12 annual report of the department and its entities. The Committee also used the following source documents for its analysis:

  • Report on the review of the 2011 State of the Nation Address;
  • Progress report on the department’s contribution towards achievement of the Millennium Development Goals;
  • The report of the Auditor General;
  • Estimates of National Expenditure 2011/12;
  • Report on the Budget Vote 2011/12 -2013/14, tabled 20 March 2011;
  • 4th Quarter Expenditure Report 2011/12 financial year, National Treasury;
  • Analysis of the expenditure patterns of, and performance-related information on national government departments: social cluster, prepared by the Research Unit of Parliament; and
  • Summary analysis of the Department of Social Development annual report for the year ended 31 March 2012, prepared by the Research Unit of Parliament.


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.


2. Department’s Strategic Priorities and Measurable Objectives


2.1 Strategic Plans of the Department


During the budget vote for 2011/12, the department presented its strategic priorities and measurable objectives. These were in line with the department’s contribution towards the realisation of some of the following 12 government outcomes:


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:


During 2011/12, the Department introduced a new programme structure with the following changes:


·         The mandate of the Administration programme was expanded to include providing support and advisory services to the social development sector as a whole, compared to its former focus only on the ministry and department.

·         Whereas the Comprehensive Social Security programme focused on both social protection policy and income support to socially vulnerable groups, in terms of the new structure income support will be the responsibility of the new Social Assistance programme. The Social Security Policy and Administration function will instead focus on matters related to social security policy and fair administration.

·         Instead of merely focusing on social welfare policy, the newly constituted Welfare Services Policy Development and International Support’s mandate has also been expanded to include support to implementing agencies.

·         Whereas the community development function used to be a main programme on its own, it has since been integrated into Social Policy and Integrated Service Delivery programme.


3.1          Programme 1: Administration


The aim of this programme is to provide leadership, management and support to the Department and the Social Development Sector.


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:  Social Assistance


The aim of programme 2 is to provide for the payment of social assistance grants to beneficiaries who qualify for social assistance in terms of the Social Security Act, 2004 (Act 13 of 2004). 


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 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period, under this programme, the department had set objectives and measures to increase social assistance. 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 moving towards aligning the income threshold of the old age grant to the tax payment threshold, through implementing an adjustment to the means test for the old age and disability grants in 2011/12.


3.3          Programme 3: Social Security Policy and Administration


The aim of this programme is to provide for social policy development and the fair administration of social assistance. 


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


Strengthen social security by:

  • Drafting a proposal on social assistance for refugees for Cabinet approval by June 2011;
  • Initiating public consultation on social security and retirement reforms by June 2011;
  • Supporting the interdepartmental task teams on social reform, with legislation covering retirement provisions and business cases for key institutions by March 2012.


Provide for the fair application of social assistance by improving the appeals administration and adjudication service by:

·         Adjudicating all new appeals within 90 days

·         Finalising backlog appeals by March 2012


3.4 Programme 4: Welfare Services Policy Development and         Implementation Support


The aim of this programme is to create an enabling environment for the delivery of equitable developmental welfare services through the formulation of policies, norms and standards and best practices and the provision of support to the implementation agencies.


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


Facilitate enhanced welfare service provision by:

  • Implementing the recruitment and retention strategy for social workers over the MTEF period;
  • Developing and implementing norms and standards and improving business processes for social welfare services by March 2014;
  • Increase the number of social workers in the sector by providing full scholarships for 5 400 social work students in 2011;
  • Finalising policy on the registration, management and financing of developmental social welfare services by June 2011;
  • Developing and facilitating the implementation of a costing model for the delivery of social welfare service by March 2012;
  • Developing a draft Social Service Professions Bill by March 2012.


Promote, develop and protect older people’s rights by:

·         Developing community based care services for older people by March 2012;

·         Implementing a capacity building programme on the protocol for the management of elder abuse by March 2012;

·         Facilitating the development of provincial older people’s forums and capacity building on the Older Persons’ Charter by March 2012.


Protect and promote the rights of people with disabilities by:

·         Developing and implementing training and capacity building programmes on disability mainstreaming by March 2013. To improve understanding of the mainstreaming concept.

·         Aligning social service 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 services for people with disabilities by March 2012.

·         Developing psycho-social programmes to enhance the wellbeing and self-esteem of youth with disabilities by March 2012.


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;

·        Implementing the strategy to expand national adoption services by the end of March 2013;

·        Improving the child protection system through implementing the national surveillance study on  child abuse and neglect (phase 2) by the end of March 2013

·        Improving alternative care to children through implementing protocols and guidelines on foster care in all provinces by the end of March 2013;

·        Implementing phase 1 of the transformation strategy on child and youth care centres by March 2012;

·        Expand access to early childhood development and partial care services for children in the 0-4 age cohort by March 2012;

·        Monitoring the policy framework and guidelines for statutory services for child headed households and children living on the streets, to ensure implementation by the end of March 2013.


Support and strengthen families and communities by:

·         Redrafting the White Paper for Services to Families by March 2012, following the consultations.

·         Developing programmes and services by March 2013 to preserve and strengthen families.

Reduce social crime by:

·         Building capacity through training 500 probation practitioners on social crime prevention strategies and the Child Justice Act (2008) by March 2012;

·         Institutionalising the diversion accreditation system by March 2012

·         Developing a training programme on human trafficking and an accreditation system and mechanisms for human trafficking programmes and non-governmental organisations by March 2012;

·         Implementing a database and electronic referral system by March 2012.


Reduce substance abuse and related criminal acts by:

·         Finalising the regulations on substance abuse by March 2012;

·         Rolling out a national anti-drugs and substance abuse campaign in all provinces by December 2012;

·         Developing treatment programmes and a treatment model for substance abuse by March 2012.


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

·         Strengthening the capacity of youth non-profit organisations to facilitate effective youth development programmes over the MTEF period;

·         Facilitating the implementation of the norms and standards for the Masupa-Tsela Youth Pioneer programme by March 2012.




Contribute to reducing the incidence of HIV and AIDS and minimising its burden and psycho-social impact by:

·         Developing a strategy for community capacity enhancement by March 2012, to facilitate social behaviour change;

·         Conducting community conversations to build HIV and AIDS competent communities in 3 districts each in 7 provinces by March 2012;

·         Facilitating and monitoring the implementation of a national coordinated response for orphans and other children made vulnerable by HIV and AIDS by March 2012;

·         Incorporating 30 per cent of municipalities’s orphaned and vulnerable children interventions into their integrated development plans by March 2012;

·         Facilitating a functional home community based care monitoring and evaluation system in 50 districts by March 2012;

·         Facilitating the training of 100 home community based care organisations, 5 000 community caregivers and 500 supervisors by March 2012.


3.5          Programme 5: Social Policy and Integrated Service Delivery


The purpose of this programme is to support community development and promote evidence-based policy-making in the Department and the Social Development Sector.


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


Strengthen social policy research and facilitate policy development by:

·         Managing and coordinating commissioned research in the department on an ongoing basis to ensure the quality, value and relevance of the research


Enhance the livelihoods of poor households and communities by:

·         Finalising the national community development policy framework by March 2013;

·         Finalising a departmental strategic framework for community development by March 2012;

·         Facilitating the adoption and inclusion of the registered national community development qualification in the qualification mix of institutions of higher learning by March 2014;

·         Developing an advocacy and mobilisation strategy for community participation and ownership of development processes, and facilitating the strategy’s implementation by March 2013;

·         Developing capacity building programmes for community development practitioners and community based organisations, and implementing them by March 2012;

·         Profiling poor communities and households and coordinating their referral for appropriate interventions by March 2012.


Improve efficiency in registering non-profit organisations by:

·         Registering all new applicants within 2 months

·         Handling all organisations’ appeals within 3 months of their lodging an appeal.


Promote the implementation of South Africa’s population policy by:

·         Organising 20 training sessions (500 participants) on key population concerns per year

·         Finalising 4 research reports on key population concerns per year.


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


This programme spent 99.74 per cent of its budget of R244.600 million in the 2011/12 financial year which is 3.3 per cent less than the total allocation after 12 months.

4.1.1          Human Capital Management


The department’s vacancy rate was reduced from 8 per cent to 5, 2 per cent. A total of 95 appointments were made, while 53 officials left the Department.


The department spent almost R4 million on training of 429 staff members, which amounted to more than 1 per cent of the personnel budget required by the Skills Development Act.


Ninety (90) staff was trained on cultural reform to improve front office services in a pilot undertaken in three provinces. Twenty of the worst offices were targeted and selected from provinces of the Eastern Cape, Free State and Limpopo, for the project.  SASSA’s CEO (Ms Virginia Petersen) and the NDA’s CEO (Ms Vuyelwa Nhlapo) and Board were appointed by the Minister during the period under review.


4.1.2          International Relations


The department continued to play an active role in advancing and promoting the social development agenda internationally. It signed bilateral agreements with Zimbabwe and was in a process to sign another agreement with Tanzania.  By the time of reporting this agreement had not been signed due to some internal processes. 


4.1.3          Stakeholder Management


A strategic framework for engaging stakeholders was drafted and approved by the Department’s Management Committee.  The department entered into partnership with Food Bank South Africa to roll out a national Food for All Campaign, designed to respond to cases of food insecurity and malnutrition.


Challenges in Programme 1:


The department reported the following challenges faced by the above-mentioned programme:


·         In some instances, the department had to defer the implementation of some of its targets in light of new urgent priorities, these include for example:

o        Diverting of funds from hosting the donor conference to fund                Food For All campaigns, ECD conference, as well as                 establishing a Social Workers Veterans Forum.

o        The Minister recommended that the amendments to the SASSA Bill be deferred to the 2012/13 financial year for further consultations with stakeholders.


4.2        Programme 2:  Social Assistance


Social assistant accounts for the largest portion (93 per cent) of the department’s budget.  The main focus is on providing income support to the elderly, the disabled and to caregivers of children. 


This programme spent 98.84 per cent of its budget of R97.103 billion in the 2011/12 financial year. There was an under-expenditure of R1 130 billion mainly due to lower than expected beneficiary uptake rates.


4.2.1          Social Assistance


Social assistant remains the single largest contributor to poverty alleviation in South Africa.  There has been a sustained increase in the number of beneficiaries of the social assistant programme.  This trend continued in the year under review, with beneficiaries increasing by 5, 5 per cent to more than 15 595 705.  A total of 2 750 857 were recipients of Old Age Grant. The target for this programme, of providing 2 720 359 older persons with grants by the end of the financial year, was achieved, as 2 750 857 older persons received grants by the end of March 2012.


A total of 10 927 731 beneficiaries received the Child Support Grant in 2011/12.  In 2010/11 there were 10.5 million beneficiaries of the Child Support Grant.  This means there was increase of 555 781, largely due to the age limit being extended to age 18. The number of CSG beneficiaries in the 15 to 18 age cohort increased by 420 457.


A total of 1 249 beneficiaries made use of alternative identity documents to apply for and access social grants, as permitted by Regulation 11(1) of the Social Assistance Act (Act No. 13 of 2004).


4.3      Programme 3: Social Security Policy and Administration


The aim of this programme is to provide social security policy development and the fair administration of social assistance.  The department has spent 99.86% of its allocated budget of 6 237 049 million.


The reason for the under-expenditure is mainly due to delays in the finalisation of planned projects under Social Security Development and the Appeals Tribunal Units.


4.3.1          Social Security Policy Development


The department completed the Consolidated Government Paper (CGP) on Social Security and Retirement Reform. The CGP proposes a mandatory pension system, a National Social Security Fund, a Department of Social Security, the alignment of existing social insurance benefits, the consolidation of the public interface, the adjudication and inspection of the social security system, and the establishment of a Social Security Registry.


The CGP was approved by the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on Social Security, and was also presented to the Cabinet’s Social Protection and Community Development Cluster Committee.


The Social Insurance and Social Security Reform unit developed an organisational structure for the proposed Department of Social Security. Bilateral meetings were held with the Department of Labour, the Department of Public Service and Administration, the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) and the Compensation Fund. The department’s Management Committee approved the establishment of an internal task team to undertake ring-fencing and implement the plan. The terms of reference for operational and financial ring-fencing were developed.


4.3.2          Appeals adjudication


The Department’s Appeals Adjudication unit adjudicated 1 552 new appeals and 11 622 outstanding appeals. A few could not be finalised due to a lack of records. Others were duplications of appeals that had already been dealt with. A total of 3 940 letters were written to appellants asking them to provide more details or additional records pertaining to their appeals. These appeals will be considered when the necessary records are available. The unit established a call centre which enables appellants to check on progress made with their appeals. This enabled the Department to help realise the goal of promoting an effective, efficient and accessible social assistance service.


Regulations giving effect to Social Assistant Act, 2004 were published and implemented.





4.3.3          Inspectorate for Social Security


The Inspectorate for Social Security is being established in terms of Chapter 4 of the Social Assistance Act, 2004, as amended. As a key social security institution, its primary function will be to ensure that the integrity of the social assistance framework and systems is upheld. It will seek to achieve this by undertaking structured and systematic assessments of statutory compliance, investigating financial misconduct, and launching any other interventions required to combat leakage and fraud in the social assistance administration system.


In the year under review the establishment process was significantly delayed, largely due to limited funding of R4, 5 million. Following a successful proposal to the National Treasury, an additional sum of R30 million was committed to this strategic priority and funding is expected to escalate further during the remainder of the current MTEF period. These constraints notwithstanding, the establishment process progressed very well. The establishment framework was approved, and resources were committed to several research projects aimed at informing the Inspectorate Policy Proposal as well as a review of relevant provisions in current social security legislation, particularly Chapter 4 of the Social Assistance Act, 2004, and the South African Social Security Agency Act, 2004. Additional resources were allocated to gather the evidence and put all the necessary systems in place.



The establishment process has been structured into three distinct phases, each comprising a scheduled implementation plan that outlines specific outputs for each financial year. In the financial year under review, several research projects were conducted in order to shape and define the service delivery model of the new institution, its sphere of authority, its functions, and its governance framework. This phase will also include a dry run of pilot projects in selected regions and districts which administer social assistance. The current establishment phase is also expected to yield numerous short-term benefits, including the piloting of early detection mechanisms as well as reductions in post-benefit investigations, costly criminal prosecutions, and attempts to recover erroneous payments. An organisational structure for the inspectorate as well as the human resources model to support the establishment of the inspectorate was approved by the Minister.



The entire Inspectorate establishment process is due to be completed in the current MTEF period, with the Inspectorate starting to operate in 2015.




Some of the key reasons for non-achievement of targets which were beyond department’s control include the following: 

·         The department could only adjudicate 37% (instead of the planned 80%) within 90 days of receipt due to delays in receiving appropriate records from appellants and/or SASSA registry.

·         The department only adjudicated 11 622 appeals backlog of the planned 20 000 due to the fact that some of the records (8 120) were either incomplete, some were duplicates of appeals that had already been finalised or grant application files were missing.

·         The department formed a unit tasked by establishing an Inspectorate for Social Security. However, it was hampered by lack of human resources and the relatively late availability of funds.


4.4   Programme 4: Welfare Services Policy Development and  



Under this programme, the department spent 99.41% of its allocated budget of 451 752 million for the year under review.  The reason for under-expenditure was mainly related to approved transfer payments that were not transferred before the end of March 2012 for SANCA, Victim Empowerment organizations and National Association of Burial Societies of South Africa (NABSSA).


4.4.1 Service Standards and Service Provider Management Support


The department reported that 918 social work scholarships were awarded which represent 23.4%. The number of scholarships awarded depends on the number of applicants and the number of students accepted by relevant tertiary institutions.  A number of 932 Social Service Practitioners in eight provinces were capacitated on the social welfare services framework.  A draft plan for implementing the framework was developed.  Generic intervention processes were implemented in one province.


4.4.2          Service Provider Management Support


The department reported that an implementation plan for Policy on Financial Awards (PFA) was developed, presented to the Welfare Services Forum, Heads of Social Development Sector (HSDS) and MinMec was approved.  The PFA was discussed with line function directorates, and submitted to national consultations.  The policy and the approved implementation plan and the Non Profit Organisations (NPO) Financial Guidelines were discussed with provincial officials and representatives on NPOs in seven provinces. Inputs and comments were consolidated and the policy document was refined.


4.4.3          Older Persons


The department through the Directorate Care and Services to Older Persons is responsible for ensuring that older persons feel safe in their communities.  As part of its efforts to achieve this objective, it trained 210 social services professionals on the management of elder abuse prevention.  A total of 273 cases of elder abuse were reported and processed.  Elder awareness campaigns programmes were held in Western Cape, Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal.  A total of 412 residential facilities were provisionally registered in terms of norms and standards.


4.4.4          Substance abuse

The national anti-drugs campaign was rolled out in all nine provinces.  A model for the treatment of drug and substance abuse was developed and finalised.  It is aimed at standardising the treatment of drug abusers, and ensuring that services rendered are evidence-based and addresses people’s needs.


4.4.5          People with Disabilities

The department finalised the draft policy on social development services to persons with disabilities, aligned with the UN Convention on Disability.


4.4.6          Children

The number of children accessing Early Childhood Development (ECD) services and programmes increased by 26.5% (209 376), bringing to over 900 000 the total number of children benefitting from ECD.


The department is responsible of maintaining the Child Protection Register and it reported that a total of 2 344 cases reported by provinces were entered into Child Protection Register (CPR) Part A.  It was further reported that 11 191 employees were screened on Part B of the CPR and applicants were notified of the screening results. The department further developed guidelines for Prevention and Early Intervention.


With regard to adoption services the department achieved its target to increase the number of children accessing Adoption Services from 5% to 65% increase.  A total of 1 620 adoptions registered.  Of these, 1 426 were national adoptions and 194 were inter-country adoptions.


There is a total of 265 565 children accessing Drop-in Centres.  The number of children accessing Child and Youth Care Centre (CYCC) services increased by 7 272.


4.4.7          Social Crime Prevention and Victim Empowerment


A total of 815 practitioners and service providers were trained.  In preparation for quality assurance in the provinces, 44 provincial coordinators were trained to use a tool for quality assurance in respect of providers and programmes in all three categories.


The department conducted one national and nine provincial workshops for government officials and service providers on the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill.  A total of 220 service providers were trained on human trafficking.  The regulations on Human Trafficking Bill and forms were drafted.  These regulations will inform and guide the implementation of the Bill.  The policy guidelines for victim empowerment were developed.




4.4.8          Families


The Green Paper on Families which provides strategic guidance on the integrated provision of services to families was discussed with MINMEC and various clusters, and gazetted in October 2011 for public comment. Consultative workshops were held in nine provinces in February and March 2012.


An Integrated Parenting Framework and a manual on Mediation Services for Families were approved. A research on the effectiveness of services to families was conducted in the Eastern Cape, Western Cape, Northern Cape, North West and Mpumalanga, and a preliminary research report was completed.


4.4.9          Youth


A total of 1 325 youth participated in Masupa-Tsela Youth Pioneer Programme (MYPP) and were from Limpopo, Eastern Cape, Mpumalanga and North West.


The department conducted eight outreach programmes in six provinces.  Events included a Youth Seminar in the Free State and Northern Cape, a Youth Day Commemoration in Gauteng, International Youth Day commemoration in North West, a Youth Walk against Drug Abuse and Taking DSD to communities’ campaign in KwaZulu-Natal, Mpumalanga and Limpopo.  The department also reported that a total of 2 426 youth participated in the National Youth Service Programme to become Child and Youth Care Workers and Assistant Community Development Practitioners.


4.4.10      HIV and AIDS


The department’s specific outcome under this programme is to reduce the psychosocial impact of HIV and AIDS and other chronic illness on the South African population. During the year under review it reached a total of 475 456 vulnerable households and 2 106 576 youths through the implementation of HIV and Aids prevention programmes on social behaviour change.


Through the department’s psychosocial support services, a total of 631 612 Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) received psychosocial support service. 


The department exceeded its target to train 207 social service professionals on HIV and Aids counselling and 584 social service professionals were trained during this financial year.   A draft of the framework for HIV and AIDS social behaviour change including all targets groups was completed.










Lack of provincial capacity: The registration of partial care and ECD facilities could not be completed due to lack of capacity in provinces, delays in reporting especially in the HIV and AIDS areas.



·         In order to increase the coverage and quality of ECD services,             the department had to host the ECD conference, which led to shifting of funds from other critical priorities.

·         The budget for training of caregivers on HIV and AIDS counseling was redirected to train social service professionals due to high demand. As a result the department could only train 485 of the targeted 6 10.       


Interdepartmental collaboration:

·   The provision of psychosocial support for the School Health Programme could not be implemented since the project is primarily driven by the Department of Health.


4.5        Programme 5: Social Policy and Integrated Service Delivery


Under this programme, the department spent 99.02% of its allocated budget of R247 273 million.  The reason for the under-expenditure is mainly due to funded vacancies and related operational costs.


4.5.1 Social Policy Research and Development


In pursuit of the objective of deepening and institutionalising evidence-based policy-making in the department, the Social Development Sector and the country in general, the Social Policy Unit continued to work with directorates on reviewing existing policies and formulating new policies. It also generated concept papers and discussion documents for various directorates which sought to shift thinking in different areas of intervention, and base these on concrete evidence.


The department had trained 50 policy makers in Social Policy and Social Policy analysis.   A Research Coordination and Management Strategy was developed but it was not presented to the policy forum MANCO and Heads of Social Development (HSD).  The Green Paper on Families was completed and gazetted.


4.5.2 Special Projects and Innovation


The department continued to lead the Social Sector Expanded Public Works Programme. It facilitated the creation of 152 109 work opportunities (exceeding the annual target of 132 000).  Additional work opportunities were created through the implementation of the Social Sector Incentive Grant, which resulted in the sector exceeding its 2011/12 targets.


In collaboration with Soul City, the unit initiated preliminary research for the second Kwanda TV Talk Show series. Five Kwanda sites were visited, and filming started. Following the success of Kwanda 1, Kwanda 2 will be implemented at nine additional sites throughout the country.


The department also facilitated the provision of Social Relief of Distress to Military Veterans in collaboration with SASSA. NPO funding was utilised to start building the capacity of the South African National Military Veterans Association (SANMVA).


In collaboration with the Human Science Research Council (HSRC), and the Department of Military Veterans the department hosted four seminars forming part of the African Knowledge Producers Series entitled ‘Contributions, experiences and sacrifices: post-liberation knowledge production and nation building by military veterans’. This had a positive impact as it began to highlight the activities and achievements of people who played a key role in liberating the country.


4.5.3 Population Policy Promotion


A follow-up report on HIV and AIDS and other health concerns impacting on population issues entitled ‘Population Trends Analysis on HIV & AIDS and Health Issues with Demographic Implications was completed in March 2012.


A total of 32 training sessions on integrated HIV and Aids and TB Management were held and attended by 732 officials from nine provinces with emphasis on rural nodes.  The evaluation and review of the training course was completed.


Integrated learner workbooks and teacher guides were developed, edited and reviewed in consultation with the Department of Basic Education to ensure integration of themes on various population concerns including adolescent sexual and reproductive health.


The department’s target to conduct capacity building and training workshops to mainstreams population issues, including gender, into social sector development plans and social research.  It reported that technical support was provided on key issues to be considered when integrating gender into local IDPs. Six advocacy workshops were held and promotional and educational materials were exhibited. Workshop reports, evaluation forms and attendance registers were produced. A research dissemination and gender workshop for various stakeholders was held in Dundee in February 2012.


4.5.4 Registration and Monitoring of Non Profit Organisations (NPO)


The department set a target to capacitate 600 NPOs and 120 provincial officials on NPO Act and governance. A total of 32 capacity building workshops were held for 1 323 NPOs. It capacitated 144 provincial officials in the Free State and Eastern Cape.


A two day workshop was held with key the stakeholders from the NPO sector to review and discuss the Codes and practical guide on NPO governance.


Improved mechanisms for tracking the performance of staff and providing feedback allowed new applications to be processed more rapidly.  This resulted in 17 573 of 18 448 of new applications being processed within two months which reflect 95%.  The results exceeded the target of 80%.


A total of 45 540 notices were issued, amounting to 85% of all NPOs whose reports were due and this exceeded the target of increasing the number of notices by 10%.  Regarding the development and testing of online NPO registration, the programmers were appointed to develop the system.


4.5.5 Community Development


The department facilitated an outreach programme (Taking DSD to communities) and 18 communities were reached through this campaign.  Besides these outreach programmes, 2 520 communities and 224 145 households were profiled.  According to the National Integrated Social Information System (NISIS), this resulted in 596 316 clients being referred to different departments for appropriate interventions.


A strategy on Zero Hunger was developed.  The department food production and distribution programmes, including Soup Kitchens, Food Banks, Drop-in-Centres and food gardens, benefited 1 049 566 people, thus contributing significantly to reducing hunger and malnutrition.


4.5.6 Sustainable Livelihoods


The department through this unit developed guidelines for improving the capacity of Community Based Organisations (CBOs) to implement community development services and programmes. A total of 210 CBOs and 152 Community Development Practitioners (CDPs) were trained in terms of the guidelines, well exceeding the target of 60 CBOs.


The department reported that Community Mobilization Guidelines were developed and approved.




·       The department could not compile National Household Profile Report  due to provinces not being able to access the National Integrated Social Information System

·       Although the Community Development framework was approved by the Social Protection and Community Development Cluster, at the time of reporting it was still pending approval by MINMEC



5. Analysis of Section 32 Expenditure Reports


The department spent 98.9 per cent or R103.1 billion of its appropriated budget of R104.3 billion by the end of March 2012.  Minor under spending occurred in programmes 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Programme spending trends


Social Development Programmes

Voted Amount  2011/12

Total Expenditure as at 31 March 2012




 %                     Spending


      244 600

     243 976


Social Assistance

97 103 213

95 972 987


Social security Policy and Administration

  6 237 049

6 228 295


Welfare Service Policy Development and Implementation Support

    451 752

449 066


Social Policy and Integrated Service Delivery

    247 273

   244 858



104 283 887

103 139 182




Programme 1: Administration: This programme spent R243.9 million of the approved budget of R244.6 million, under spending slightly by R0.646 million (0.3%) after taking into account all the virements in the year under review. A total of R4.3 million was shifted to this programme mainly due to the upgrading of computer equipment and software for the bulk of the officials within the department as well as the upgrading of the conference and boardrooms within the HSRC building for the department.

Programme 2: Social Assistance has spent 98.8 per cent of their total budget. The under spending related to the lower than anticipated take-up of beneficiaries as well as beneficiaries that did not claim their payments for the 2011/12 financial year.

The total budget appropriated for the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) for the year under review was R 6.1 billion of which at the end of the fourth quarter the entire budget was transferred by the department. The Agency’s records reflected that it had spent R5.4 billion (87.4 per cent) against the budget, leaving a saving of about R775.3 million. Included in the total expenditure is the capital expenditure of R101.3 million. The under-expenditure was attributed to less than budgeted expenditure in respect of grant monies disbursed to beneficiaries which is the function contracted to cash payment contractors. Savings were also generated from compensation of employees as all posts were not filled.

Programme 3: Social Security Policy Administration:   (excluding the transfer to SASSA) this programme spent 90.5 per cent of its total budget of R91.7 million. The under spending related mainly to vacant posts that were not filled in time, invoices that were received late and delays in planned projects. It was also because the department appointed contract workers in place of permanent employees which yielded savings against compensation of employees.

Programme 4:  Welfare Services Policy Development and Implementation Support: spent 99.3 per cent of its available budget reflecting an under-spending of R3.2 million. This related mainly to the transfers to non-profit institutions not paid as a result of non-compliance. These funds have been requested as roll-over funds to the 2012/13 financial year.

Programme 5: Social Policy and Integrated Service Delivery:  under-spent by 1 per cent or by R2. 4 million mainly because of the delays in the finalization of projects before March 2012.

Economic Classification


By the end of March 2012, the department had under-spent on current payments because it appointed contract workers in place of permanent employees which yielded savings against compensation of employees. Also, not all posts could be filled.  It was also due to invoices from various service providers such as SITA for IT related costs, audit fees and lease payments that were received late.

The under-spending on transfer payment (excluding social assistance grants and transfers to SASSA) of approved budget for the fourth quarter of 2011/12 financial year was mainly due to transfers to NGO’s not taking place due to non compliance.

Payments for capital assets under-spent due to upgrading of computer equipment and software for the bulk of the officials within the department as well as the upgrading of the conference and boardrooms within the HSRC building for the department that did not take place in full.



After consideration of the expenditure levels by the department, the following shifting of funds between the main divisions of the Vote of the department and per Economic Classification were approved in respect of the 2011/12 financial year:

·         R4.3 million was shifted to programme 1 due to increased expenditure of capital assets related to the standardisation of computer equipment and the upgrading of the board rooms in the department.

·         R2.135 million was shifted to programme 4 to fund over-expenditure on operational costs related to the ECD Conference held in March 2012.

·         These were primarily funded from R7.5 million savings which were generated from Social Security Policy and Administration due to delays with planned projects (goods and services) and capital assets. 

·         In addition National Treasury approved a virement of R5 million from goods and services to the Food Bank in programme 5

·         A total of R3.2 million was vired from compensation of employees and a total of R7.2 million was vired from goods and services to increase transfers and subsidies by R6.1 million and payments for capital assets by R4.3 million.


6. Total Expenditure Trends of the 1st Quarter of 2012/13 Financial Year


·                     The department spent R27.9 billion or 24.9 per cent of the total available budget by the end of the first quarter. Planned expenditure by that point in the year was R34.4 billion– equivalent to 30.7 per cent of the total available budget. The department therefore showed a variance of R6.6 billion or 19 per cent. This was primarily due to an accounting technicality. R5.3 billion of the variance was in fact transferred in the first quarter to the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) but had not yet been technically classified as expenditure due to delays in process in the accounting department. Nonetheless, these funds left the department as planned.


The remaining variance was R 1.3 billion and this was due to lower than anticipated uptake of social grants. Further, under Welfare Services, low expenditure was mainly because the audit of ECD facilities had not commenced as it was planned to. There were also vacant posts within the department, persisting delays in invoices awaited from the department of Public Works for lease of the office accommodation as well as less travel and subsistence paid out.


Programme spending trends


·                     Programme 1: expenditure was R51 million, or 20 per cent of the available budget of R255.3 million. Planned expenditure was R65.5 million so the department was behind by R14.5 million. As mentioned above, this was primarily due to persisting delays in invoices awaited from the Department of Public Works for lease of the office accommodation and less travel by departmental officials. It also owed to the vacant posts within the department and these issues have persisted for 3 months so far.


·                     Programme 2: expenditure was R26 billion, or 24.8 per cent of the available budget of R104.9 billion. Planned expenditure was R32.5 billion so the department was documented as behind by R6.5 billion. Again, R5.3 billion of this reflected only an accounting technicality rather than a genuine problem in expenditure or financial planning. The remainder was primarily due to lower than anticipated uptake of social grants and the department was expecting to catch up on this expenditure during the financial year.


·                     Programme 3: expenditure was R1.57 billion, or 25 per cent of the available budget of R6.3 billion. Planned expenditure was R1.62 billion so the department was behind by R45.8 million or 2.8 per cent. The variance was mainly due to low spending on business and advisory services as well as vacant posts under this programme. However, the variance was significantly smaller and within acceptable norm by the first quarter.


·                     Programme 4: expenditure was R195.1 million, or 38 per cent of the available budget of R513.8 million. Planned expenditure was R224.4 million so the department was behind by R29.3 million. This was primarily because the planned audit of ECD facilities had not commenced. The department was busy with the appointment of service provider. Terms of Reference (TOR) had been approved and were going to be presented to the bid evaluating committee. The variance was also due to low spending in social crime issues such as the Integrated Justice System (IJS) stop centres and less travel by Welfare Services officials.


Programme 5: expenditure was R59.2 million or 23.6 per cent of the available budget of R251 million. Planned expenditure was R63.4 million so the department was behind by R4.2 million or 6.6 per cent. The variance was significantly smaller and within acceptable norm for the first quarter. 99


7. Consideration of Other Sources of Information


7.1 Report of the Auditor General of South Africa


Predetermined objectives


This financial year the department received an unqualified opinion for the first time in two years.  This was a result of the improvement in record management by SASSA. Matters of emphasis were around transfers and subsidies, flow of funds, predetermined objectives, non-compliance with laws and regulations, expenditure management and reported information not reliable and useful. Similarly, the National Development Agency (NDA) and SASSA also received unqualified audit opinions.



The department received an unqualified audit with findings on predetermined objectives (PDO) and compliance. Out of a total of 217 predetermined 99 were not achieved during the year under review. This represented 46% of planned activities not achieved.  This was mainly due to the fact that indicators and targets were not suitably developed during the strategic planning process;


There were material adjustments under Programme 4.  This was due to the fact that sufficient validated information especially from the provinces was not available at the time of auditing of the report. 




Supply Chain Management


With regard to compliance with laws and regulations, the AG found that procurement and contract management procedures were not adhered to. The AG could not obtain sufficient evidence to prove that awards were only made to suppliers who submitted a declaration of past supply chain practises such as fraud, abuse of supply chain management system.  The AG could not obtain sufficient evidence that contract and quotations were awarded only to bidders who submitted a declaration, whether they were employed by the State or connected to any person employed by the state.


Irregular expenditure


Auditor General further found that there was an increased irregular expenditure in all the institutions – department, SASSA and the NDA. The department incurred irregular expenditure of R19. 8 million from R1. 3 million in 2011. SASSA incurred R10 million irregular expenditure from R1. 5 million and the NDA incurred R9. 4 million irregular expenditure from R2. 5 million in 2011.


Information Technology Controls


The AG found that the department’s continuity plan was not yet finally approved and the IT governance framework not yet approved, awaiting the Department of Public Service and Administration’s (DPSA) framework.

Effective and appropriate disciplinary steps were not taken against officials who made and/or permitted irregular expenditure and fruitless and wasteful expenditure, as required by section 38(1)(h)(iii) of the PFMA and Treasury Regulation 9.1.3; and

Social assistance grants were paid to beneficiaries that did not always comply with the requirements of the Social Assistance Act, 2004 (Act No.13 of 2004) and its most recent regulations.


Reasons for non-compliance to prescripts of the AGSA:

The AG found that non-compliance was due to the following reasons:

  • Lack of review and monitoring of compliance with applicable laws and regulations in terms of disclosure; lack of oversight responsibility regarding performance reporting and related internal controls; and lack of procedures in place to enable and support understanding and execution of internal control objectives, processes and responsibilities.
  • Regular, accurate and complete performance reports were not always prepared as well as internal control deficiencies were not identified and communicated in a timely manner to allow for corrective action to be taken.
  • Management had still not approved the IT governance and controls framework as they are awaiting DPSA guidance and lack of oversight responsibility regarding compliance with applicable laws and regulations and related internal controls.

AG’s Recommendations


·         Targets should be developed in order to adhere to the SMART criteria during the strategic planning process annually. The department must ensure compliance with the National Treasury Framework;

·         The department must ensure that outcomes of performance targets are reported based on actual performance that can be substantiated with supporting evidence;

·         Management should ensure that all internal control deficiencies are addressed;

·         Management should address all relevant IT risks and controls within the department;

·         Proper processes should be implemented to ensure that possible irregular expenditure is investigated in the year that it was identified;

·         Cases relating to prior years possible irregular expenditure should be finalised as a matter of urgency in order to ensure that effective and appropriate disciplinary steps are taken timeously against any official in the service of the department who contributed towards incurring irregular and fruitless and wasteful expenditure;

·         Management should ensure that all internal control deficiencies are addressed;

·         All staff that override or ignore an internal control (which is a non compliance) with approved policies and procedures should be investigated and disciplined. Staff must be held accountable for their actions; and

·         As a compensating control, management should implement a cyclical review of beneficiaries which not only include life certification and contact details update, but also means information update and collating of required information to ensure that files are updated to comply with the current regulations. In-depth reviews will resolve many legacy issues.


Technical Aspects of the Report


The department’s annual report is well structured and is 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 – before 30 September 2012.


8. Report on Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)


The Committee conducted oversight over the department’s progress and contribution towards the attainment of the MDG on 29 May 2012. The department reported on the progress it had made on the recommendations that were made by the Committee on its MDG report for 2011. The department reported as follows.


Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger


It contributes towards the attainment of Goal 1 through the Social Assistance programme, Community Development/Sustainable Livelihood programme and Social Policy and Integrated Service Delivery programme. The Social Assistance programme is the single most contributor to poverty reduction in the country. As a result, the proportion of the population living below the poverty line has declined. By March 2012, there had been over 15.5 million recipients of social assistance. In 1994 the number of recipients was 2.5 million. The Child Support Grant (CSG) accounted for over 10.9 million and Old Age Grant (OAG) for over 2.7 million. The programme accounts for 3.4% of the Gross Domestic Product.


The programme has had positive outcomes towards alleviation of poverty. A study commissioned by the department and SASSA suggests that the CSG has positive outcomes in reducing poverty, enhancing better academic performance and reducing risky behaviour among its recipients. Furthermore, through this programme, South Africa has effectively more than halved the population living below the poverty line of $1 a day from 11.3% in 2000 to 5% in 2006. The poverty gap ratio declined from 3.3 in 2000 to 1.1 in 2006 at the $1 per person per day.


The department established a working relationship with the Department of Health to improve food fortification. It also has collaboration with the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform and they are working with communities to support household and family production.  The department has food banks in Gauteng, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, and Durban hubs.  There are also satellites and NGOs that assist in food banks.


Through the Zero Hunger Programme (Food for all programme), the department will be able to meet the nutritional needs of people.  The Social Assistance Programme, Social Relief of Distress and food banks, all contribute towards providing food security to the needy. 


In relation to Social Relief of Distress, the Committee raised over a concern over the inconsistent implementation of this programme. During their constituency work, members had discovered that provinces in some instances deviate from the policy when it comes to implementation. It then recommended that implementation of services should be strengthened and more awareness campaigns should be conducted especially in rural communities.


Goal 2: Achieve universal primary education


The department contributes toward achievement of this Goal through the Welfare Services Policy Development and Implementation programme and the Social Assistance programme. The objective of the Welfare Services Policy Development and Implementation programme is to provide Early Childhood Development (ECD) services and provide income support to vulnerable groups.  In 2012, 114 705 (14% more) children gained access to ECD services, bringing to 904 129 the total number of children benefitting from ECD services. In addition, under the Social Relief of Distress, the department has a special dispensation permitting children from poor families to purchase school uniforms.


With regard to the Social Assistance programme, the General Household Survey released by Statistics South Africa, showed that children benefitting from the CSG are more likely to go to School. The percentage of low income households which receive any kind of grant and were sending their children to school increased from 73% in 2003 to 81% in 2007 and the school attendance ratio for individuals aged 5-19 is higher in households receiving grants than those who do not receive them.


Goal 3: Promote gender equality and empower women


With regard to achieving Goal 3, the department contributes through sub-programme: Strategy and Business, whose objective is to promote women empowerment and gender policy capacity building. This sub-programme has had the following achievements towards attainment of Goal 3:


  • Women as care givers make up to 98% of the recipients of the CSG;
  • Women constitute 63% of recipients of OAG and Disability Grants;
  • The proportion of females living below the food poverty line declined from 30.2% to 26.4% between 2000 and 2006 while that of males declined from 26% to 22%.


The department trained 87 women and men in gender and climate change. It also trained 25 female interns on gender sensitisation.


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


To achieve Goal 6, the department through the HIV and AIDS sub-programme, provided a number of services to more than 608 Orphans and Vulnerable children through Home Community Based Care (HCBC) organizations. The services included psychosocial support, provision of food parcels and meals, homework supervision and the provision of school uniforms. It provided psychosocial support to 462 545 vulnerable households. It also provided support to 66 021 adults and 25 829 children on Anti-Retrovirals. Psychosocial support was also provided to 581 919 Orphans and Vulnerable children.


Goal 8: Develop a global partners partnership for development


To achieve this Goal the department carried out the following activities:


  • In support of South Africa’s foreign policy goals, the Department plays an active role in promoting the country’s social development agenda internationally.


  • The Department is an active member of the African Union (AU), Southern African Development Community (SADC) and United Nations structures, which includes among others, the UN Commission on the Status of Women and the UN Commission on Narcotics


  • During the reporting period, the Department continued its participation in International Social Security Association (ISSA) activities including strengthening ISSA in Africa


  • The Department also participated in Millennium Development Goals review meetings hosted by the AU and the UN Economic Commission for Africa.


  • The Department participated in the UN Commission for Social Development and the UN Commission on Gender, Population Development, Crime Prevention and Substance Abuse.


  • The Department continued with its cooperation with the UN on child trafficking and bilateral support to South Sudan


  • The Department actively participated in the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the International Social Security Association (ISSA)


  • The Department facilitated technical exchanges with 17 countries including among others, Mauritius, Ghana, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Mexico, Brazil and the United States and Canada.


  • The Department hosted Partners in Population meeting in South Africa and served on its Budget Committee


  • All these initiatives provide a platform for sharing social development experiences and provide us with an opportunity to help create a better South Africa, a better Africa and a better world.


Budget allocation


In terms of the budget allocation, the Social Assistance and Welfare Service Policy Delivery Development and Implementation accounted for the highest budget allocation of R113 million and R6 million respectively.


With regard to budget allocation of programmes on Early Childhood Development and HIV and Aids, the department acknowledged that it was still lagging behind in addressing this area. It intended to universalise ECD sector and standardise subsidy rate per child to R15.  The department also reported that it has approached the National Treasury to increase budget allocation to cover for the universalisation of ECD services.




The department reported that it encountered the following challenges regarding implementation of programmes that contributes towards attainment of MDGs:


          It works with other institutions within and outside government in the execution of its mandate. Critical partners include among others the Departments of Basic Education, Labour, Justice, Health, Rural development and land Reform.

          The collaborative nature of some of the department’s work sometimes delays or threatens to derail the implementation of some of its initiatives.

          Examples of delays include among others the non implementation of provision of psychosocial support for the School Health Programme since the project is primarily driven by the Department of Health.


9. Committee’s Observations


9.1 Oversight visit


Oversight visits by the Committee to provincial social development departments provides the Committee with an opportunity to assess the department’s performance. From its oversight visit to the Eastern Cape Department of Social Development it found that the provincial department had implemented the key strategic national priorities, which are welfare services for children, women, people with disabilities and people affected and infected by HIV and AIDS and family preservation.


The oversight visits to the projects funded by the department showed that these projects have had positive impact in the lives of the people. Through the use of Home Community Based Care (HCBC) Workers the services of the department were able to reach the people in the most rural areas. Furthermore, the projects not only contributed to the well being of families, they contributed to the department’s response to the government’s goal of job creation, especially for youth and women. The Committee also found that the Isibindi Model implemented by the National Association of Child and Youth Care Workers (NACYCW) provided a good model for the implementation of child and youth care services.   


Despite the aforementioned achievements, the Committee found that there was still a lack of training of Home Community Based Care Workers with regard to psychosocial support, which is the requirement for the department to do. In addition, even though projects were assisted with funding, they did not have adequate and permanent office space and building structures. The Committee visited the Siyazama Family Preservation project in Elliotdale. Although the project was providing crucial psychosocial support to a range of social problems, it had no appropriate office or shelter. The Committee visit to Tapuze Home Community Base Care project revealed that the care givers did not receive any training. The project had no filing system and proper building.


Pertaining to service provided to the elderly people through old age homes, the Committee found from one old age home visited, Empilweni Old Age Home in Mthatha that conditions at the home were not conducive for the well being of the elderly people. In addition, the home had management and labour relations challenges that needed to be addressed. The provincial department indicated that a contingency plan to address such challenges was not included in the Service Level Agreement signed between the provincial department and the old age home.


9.2 Report by the Auditor-General


The Committee observed with concerns the sharp increase of irregular expenditure incurred by the department, SASSA and the NDA. It was also concerned over the fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred by the department, SASSA and the NDA. It emphasized that the department should follow the prescribed framework procedures.  It expressed serious concern that the CDA had yet again failed to table its 2011/12 annual report on time to Parliament. The 2010/11 annual report was also tabled very late, hence the Committee is yet to consider it. Because of lack clarity about the status of the CDA, the Committee noted that the audit done by the AG did not include audit findings of the CDA. The Committee further observed that 46% of planned activities by the departments were not achieved.


9.3 Committee findings


From the Committee meetings the Committee held with the department during the 2011/12 financial year, it made the following findings which the department needs to address:


  • There is still a shortage of places of safety and old age homes in the country. In the existing old age homes, there was non-compliance to the norms and standards regarding the living conditions and safety of older persons. To this effect, some old age homes caught fire as a result of non-compliance to these safety standards.


  • There is still a shortage of personnel (such as Social Workers, Child and Youth Care Workers, Probation Officers) to implement the Children’s Act.


  • There are still challenges over the implementation of Part B of the Children Protection Register. It noted that this was as a result of the confusion over the interpretation of the definition of an “unsuitable person” who has to be listed in the Register. There was also confusion on the reporting of the convictions either to be done according to the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related
    Matters) Amendment Act (No. 32, of 2007) or the Children’s Act (No 38 of 2005) by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and the South African Police Service. This has resulted in under reporting of cases to the Department of Social Development.


  • The delays in the finalisation and issuing of foster care court orders. These delays deprive children from receiving the Foster Care Grant they are eligible for.


  • Despite the increasing problem of substance abuse, there is still a serious shortage of rehabilitation centres in the country. Existing centres charge exorbitant treatment fees. In addition, because of the shortage, it has been difficult for users to access them as they need to travel long distances to places or provinces that have these centres. 


  • The anti-substance abuse campaigns have thus far lacked raising awareness on the dangers of drug trafficking (or drug mules), especially to young women, and the impact it has on families. The Committee noted with serious concern the lack of knowledge communities have about drug trafficking.


  • No comprehensive impact study has been conducted to assess the impact government interventions have had in combating substance abuse. The Committee acknowledges the explanation provided by the department that conducting such studies is very expensive and that thus far the department had focused on developing policy interventions, such as the Ke Moja programme.


  • Non-compliance of the Central Drug Authority to submit its annual report to Parliament on time (30 September). The Committee notes that this is being addressed by the department.


  • The implementation of the Victim Empowerment Programme (VEP) faces challenges of lack of places of safety for victims of domestic violence, especially women. As a result some women are forced to go back and live with perpetrators.


  • The irregular expenditure by the department and its entities increased sharply in the 2011/12 financial year compared to the previous year.


  • The culture of adoption is still very low, particularly among Black communities, despite the department’s efforts to educate people about it. The Committee notes that foster care is a deterrent as most people opt for it over adoption. The Committee notes that there was a decrease in the number of national adoptions.


In 2010/2011, there were 2 236 national registered adoptions compared to 1 426 in 2011/12. Similarly, in 2010/11 there were 200 registered inter-country adoptions compared to 194 in 2011/12. This is despite the department reporting that it achieved an increase of 65%, which is a percentage against the annual baseline target of 2 500. This does not mark an increase from the 2010/11 number of adoptions.


Equally, the Committee notes that there are challenges that have been encountered regarding the drafting of the Children’s Act with regard to social workers who are qualified to process inter-country adoptions. Currently, inter-country adoptions are either done by social workers from private organisations or by those employed by the department. This is worrying as it may create opportunities for human trafficking if not properly monitored.


The Committee further observed that in the first quarter of the 2012/13 financial year the department under spent in all programmes and by doing so it did not meet its target expenditure and performance targets.


10. Recommendations


Having made the above-mentioned observations, the Committee recommends the following:


  • The Minister of Social Development should address challenges that have been encountered in the implementation of certain sections of the Children’s Act. Particularly, she should make sure the issue around the qualification of social workers who process inter-country adoptions are resolved. Proper monitoring and co-ordination should be done between the department and the private organisations to ensure that inter-country adoption processes between the department and private organisations are done symmetrically.


  • The Minister together with the Ministers of Police and Justice and Constitutional Development should urgently clear the confusion around the interpretation, implementation and reporting on Part B of the CPR. The ministers should ensure that convictions are reported to the Department of Social Development as soon as they occur.


In addition, the confusion around the reporting by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development of convictions that should either be reported according to the department’s Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related
Matters) Amendment Act (No. 32, of 2007) or  according to the Children’s Act (No 38 of 2005) of the Department of Social Development needs to be addressed. The Ministers of the two departments should ensure that systems to enhance reporting are developed and integrated.


  • The Ministers of Social Development and Justice and Constitutional Development should urgently address the hurdles that cause delays and high backlog in the processing and finalisation of foster care court orders.


  • The Minister should intensify educational campaigns to de-stigmatise adoption, especially among Black communities. Equally, she should explore ways of incentivizing people to adopt so as to eliminate Foster Care Grant being a deterrent to adoption.


  • The Minister of Social Development should forge a working relationship with the Minister of Human Settlement to explore ways to resolve the challenge of the lack of housing for places of safety.


  • The fight against substance abuse should be intensified. The Minister should fast track the implementation of the Prevention of and Treatment for Substance Abuse Act as soon as the Regulations have been promulgated. Expansion of rehabilitation centres should be prioritised in all provinces. Fees for treatment programmes should be made affordable as much as possible.


The Minister should ensure that awareness campaigns against substance abuse include public awareness on the dangers of drug trafficking and different ways in which victims are lured into being drug mules. The campaign should also educate the public about the impact drug trafficking has on families.


·         The Minister should ensure that stringent controls and systems are developed to prevent any possibilities of the department incurring irregular expenditure.  This means the Minister should ensure that the management has effective systems to monitor expenditure on a regular basis. Similarly, the department should try harder to meet its quarterly expenditure targets by making sure that accountability technicalities are not reasons for under spending. Also, it should ensure that it meets its performance targets as planned for, for each quarter.


11. Conclusion



The Department of Social Development made a good attempt to meet its targets for the 2011/12 financial year and received an unqualified audit opinion from the AG. However, matters of emphasis and recommendations made by the AG need to be urgently implemented and progress reported to the Committee.  Nevertheless, the Committee acknowledges some of the corrective measures that the department reported to the Committee that it had already initiated, such as developing a checklist to verify information provided by bidders and service providers. It is therefore the interest of the Committee to be provided with the report back on the implementation of all the recommendations made by the AG.


Report to be considered.