KWAZULU-NATAL: DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL WELFARE, POPULATION & DEVELOPMENT
BUDGET SPEECH 2001/2002
The Department of Social Welfare, Population and Development is committed to poverty eradication and fostering sustainable development. Our services are based on the recognition of realities posed by historical and structural issues that often militate against some people’s potential for meeting their own basic needs. Recipients of welfare services fall under the category of the vulnerable, namely, rural residents, African women, youth, children, the elderly and people with disabilities.
Services provided by the Department can be classified under two categories: those that are aimed at providing a safety net to the indigent; that is social security and those that are aimed at fostering people’s capacity for self reliance. Social security is one of the government’s mechanisms for fostering redistributive justice. The Department is obliged to make social security accessible to all those citizens who qualify in terms of the Social Assistance Act (Act No. 59 of 1992 as amended).
According to the Constitution of this country, everyone has the right to access social security if they are unable to support themselves. The Social Assistance Act entitles citizens who pass a specified means test to apply for and be given social security benefits. The purpose of social security benefits is to provide people with the basic means for survival.
We are consciously fostering self-reliance among our target communities through our poverty eradication activities. We acknowledge people’s potential for playing a meaningful and productive role in the country’s economy. As I have mentioned several times we are committed to the developmental social welfare model which requires that we:
May I note though, Chairperson, that the high levels of poverty in the country necessitate that we spend a bigger chunk of our budget to social security benefits. Unfortunately, with the increase in the levels of poverty in the province and the country at large, the number of the indigent who qualify for social security will also continue to increase.
The Department of Social Welfare, Population and Development is in no position to reduce the budget allocated for social security as long as the demand from eligible recipients continues to increase. However, our modest allocations for the social development program are supplemented by conditional grants which are not reflected in this budget. Above all, we have increased our allocation for social development for the year 2000/1 by 83.6 percent.
We have been making a conscious effort of controlling the situation through integrating social security with developmental social welfare. For example, we are trying to keep track of the areas with the large numbers of recipients of social security so that we can target them through our poverty eradication initiatives. Such an approach would enable able-bodied poor recipients to escape the poverty trap. While this sounds like a reasonable approach, we are still conscious of the fact that we are operating from a very limited resource base. We are faced with the challenge of redistributing a very small pie among the vast victims of poverty.
Resource constraints make it impossible for us to reach our target beneficiaries through both social security and poverty eradication programs. It is in this context that programs such as the Flagship were conceptualised. The Flagship program targets single women with young dependent children but who are not recipients of social security benefits. May I also note, Chairperson, that developmental social welfare activities are captured through all the seven programs of the Department.
We are continuing to implement activities aimed at improving the effectiveness of our programs. We are reforming the social security delivery system through improving the payment system, improving pay points, providing sufficient information to raise awareness to the public and eliminating fraud and corruption. Our success in fighting against the problem of fraud and corruption depends, to a large extent, on the co-operation of a number of other Departments.
This year, we are focusing on reviving family values. The approach derives from the fact that most of the problems we are dealing with are a consequence of the deterioration of family values that keep together the moral fabric of our society. We acknowledge the fact that the family is a primary agent of socialisation. We plan to focus on the family through all our seven programs.
Our priorities for 2001/2002 can be summarised as:
I now move that the amount of four billion, five hundred and eighty-three million, five hundred and fourteen thousand rand (R4 583 514 000) be approved for the Department of Social Welfare, Population and Development (A statutory amount of four hundred and eighty seven thousand rand [R487 000] excluded).
The Chair, Mr Speaker Sir, the Honourable Premier, I am pleased to present to you the budget speech for the period 2001 to 2002 for the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Social Welfare, Population and Development. May I reiterate my Department’s commitment to fostering sustainable development and beating poverty. As can be derived from the name, our Department is a manifestation of the nation’s commitment to the welfare of all citizens.
Under normal circumstances most people have a potential for meeting their basic needs. Unfortunately, due to some conditions in society, some people’s potential to sustain themselves is thoroughly thwarted. In the Department of Social Welfare, Population and Development, our services are essentially based on the recognition of the realities posed by historical and structural issues that often militate against some people’s potential for meeting their own basic needs.
Through the Department of Social Welfare, Population and Development, the country consciously invests its resources among the vulnerable and the destitute. A safety net is provided for the indigent and the able-bodied are enabled to contribute to the growth of the economy.
In this vain, welfare therefore targets groups which are susceptible to deprivation and inadequacy such as women, the elderly, the disabled, youth and families. While we are committed to realising the welfare-related objectives of the constitution of South Africa, we also facilitate the provision of appropriate developmental social welfare services to the vulnerable groups. This we do through partnerships with other service providers, promoting intersectoral collaboration and also striving to realise those international conventions of the United Nations ratified by the government.
2. THE CHALLENGE OF POVERTY
The major challenge faced by the Department of Social Welfare, Population and Development is meeting people’s basic needs in the face of globalisation and the widening gap between the rich and the poor. Statistical evidence suggests that 27 percent of rural people in South Africa are unemployed as opposed to 21.5 percent in the urban areas. It is estimated that 26 percent of the poor households depend on state transfers while 20 percent depend on remittances from migrant workers.
According to the "State of South Africa’s Population Report on Population, Poverty and Vulnerability" food shortage forms part of daily crises among the poor in South Africa. Categories of people mostly marginalised by poverty include rural residents, African women, the youth and children.
The above mentioned problems highlight the need for all government departments to constantly review their policies and strategies to ensure that they are in line with the existing challenges. These problems also confirm the need for partnerships and intersectoral collaboration in problem solving. Without partnerships and collaboration we will continue to rely on fire fighting.
Chairperson, I am highlighting these problems in order to show everybody the magnitude of the challenges we are faced with. It is time that the National government and all other departments stop paying lip service to the public but adopt strategies that will directly provide solutions to people’s problems. It is time that we do away with techniques that only serve to control and destabilise our already embattled citizens but prioritise our strategies accordingly.
The challenge of fraud that interferes with our social security programmes is far beyond the control of any individual government Department. It necessitates strategic collaboration between a number of Departments in order to ensure that there are no cracks in the system that will be exploited by fraudsters. I will give you some examples to illustrate my point.
A number of illegal recipients of social security present fraudulent identity documents and fraudulent medical certificates when lodging their applications. Our staff would find it very difficult to detect that as they are utilising a standard criteria for determining eligibility .
In the above illustration, it is clear that it is within the realm of the Department of Home Affairs to devise measures that will prevent the issue of identity documents to those who do not qualify. Likewise, the Department of Health can assist us in the prevention of fraud by preventing the issue of fraudulent medical certificates.
Having highlighted the issue of immigration, it is clear, Chairperson, that the budget allocated for the social security programme is shared with the neighbouring states. A number of immigrants from the neighbouring states cross the borders on monthly basis in order to collect social security benefits. Our Department cannot, on its own, resolve such challenges; they require regional solutions.
In the face of the existing high levels of poverty, it is important for every Department and other service providers to develop strategies that will guide their interventions. More focus should be on prevention rather than dressing the wounds.
For example rural people are concerned about the government’s obsession with issues such as the demarcation of new boundaries and whether or not they should be subjected to traditional leadership. They find it ironical that while they are striving to get employment and have bread and butter on their tables, the government’s focus is on how best they should be destabilised.
Likewise, our staff is continually faced with the challenge of readjusting their strategic plans in line with the newly imposed boundaries. I consider these boundaries as imposed since there is no effort to consult with the service providers for purposes of assessing the implications on service delivery. To illustrate my point , areas such as Gingindlovu have in the past been serviced from a welfare office located at Mtunzini.
The new district system requires that the residents of Gingindlovu be serviced from the Durban region which is quite a distance from the area. There are many similar instances that are challenging our Department’s efforts towards efficient service delivery.
3. SOCIAL SECURITY & DEVELOPMENTAL SOCIAL WELFARE
I just want to put the issue of developmental social welfare in its proper perspective. The White Paper on Social Welfare advocates for a shift from traditional approaches to developmental social welfare. Our Department has noted that a lot of confusion now surrounds this paradigm shift.
Traditional approaches, it was argued did not promote sustainable development at an individual, group, community or social level. For example, counselling services rendered to an individual presenting a problem would only respond to a problem presented at that time rather than providing an individual with a new broad insight into his/her general circumstances.
The same would apply to social security benefits. Social security is now to be rendered to recipients not simply as a handout, but in a manner that would eventually foster sustainable development. For example, those recipients of social security who have a potential for self reliance should be assisted until they are able to stand on their own. It is within this context that we are targeting women whose children are receiving a Child Support Grant through our social development programme. We are also planning to carry our banner of reviving family values throughout our contact with the applicants and recipients of social security. In this way we can integrate social development into our social security programme.
I would like to further highlight the fact that we are indeed operating within the National Developmental Social Welfare Strategy as outlined in the White Paper. According to the White Paper, welfare refers to "…an integrated and comprehensive system of social services, facilities, programmes and social security to promote social development, social justice and the social functioning of people".
The same document emphasises the need for economic development to be accompanied by equitable allocation and distribution of resources if it is to support development. In the document social security and social relief are among appropriate developmental social welfare services that are to be rendered to all South Africans who qualify to receive them.
The then Minister for Social Welfare, Population and Development, Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi announced a paradigm shift to a developmental social welfare model as involving among other things, the following:
This means that the rendering of social security benefits is an integral part of the developmental welfare model. It is a government’s mechanism for fostering redistributive justice.
There seems to be some concerns among some critics who argue that we have failed to foster social development in this province. They base their criticism on the percentage of the budget allocated for social security versus the percentage allocated for social development. I would like to briefly shed some light on the dynamics underlying the allocation of the Welfare budget.
The existing statutory provision guide the allocation of our budget. We still have to meet our obligations of making social security accessible to all those citizens who qualify in terms of the Social Assistance Act (Act No. 59 of 1992 as amended).
The Social Assistance Act entitles citizens who pass a specified means test to apply for and be given social security benefits. The whole purpose of social security benefits is to provide people with the basic means for survival. According to the Constitution of this country everyone has the right to access social security if they are unable to support themselves. It is the function of our Department to ensure that this is realised in the Province of KwaZulu-Natal.
Also, we are happy to report that we managed, within our budgetary constraints to stimulate social development in this province. Despite the challenges we are faced with, we have managed to reach out to those communities that have been marginalised over the years. In addition, to the budgetary allocations presented to parliament, we utilise conditional grants to support social development initiatives.
Conditional grants have since 1997 been given by the National Department to provincial Welfare Departments for implementing social development programmes. This is in recognition of the fact that the largest percentage of the Welfare budget goes into social security. These grants are not reflected in the annual budgets that are presented to parliament. This means that in reality, the percentage available for social development programmes is higher than the one reflected in the annual budget statements.
Evaluation reports indicated that we are indeed making a difference in poverty-stricken communities. It is outside the mandate of this Department to disentitle qualifying citizens from receiving their social security benefits with a view to supporting any other programme. Unfortunately, with the increase in the levels of poverty in this Province and the country at large, the number of the indigent who qualify for social security will also continue to increase. My Department is in no position to refuse them what is rightfully theirs.
We wish we had sufficient budget to meet both our statutory responsibilities and our responsibility for fostering self-reliance among our beloved poverty-stricken communities. Unfortunately, people, though poor, cannot engage in social development activities with empty stomachs. They need the basics such as food in order to survive and engage in developmental activities.
4. FOSTERING SELF RELIANCE
Chairperson, may I emphasise again, my Department’s determination to foster self reliance among the recipients of social welfare services. While we are providing for those living below the breadline, we also strive towards releasing the potential for self help among the able-bodied.
It is important that our society understands that we are not simply about the handouts. While we distribute resources such as social security to those who are forced by circumstances to depend on them, we also seek to enable people to contribute fully to the economic growth of this province and the country at large.
A classic example of the developmental aspect of our approaches is the social development programme. It is through our developmental programmes that we seek to reduce the incidence of dependency on social security. We hope that in future, the Population Unit will help us to track down the movement of our clients from social security to self reliance. For it is the vision of our Department to "…foster sustainable development and beat poverty".
Our response to the challenge of poverty entails:
5. REPAIRING THE FAMILY FABRIC
Chairperson as you know, my Department is constantly challenged by the grinding poverty that interferes with the well-being of our beloved citizens. In our struggle against poverty, this year we have chosen to carry "reviving family values" as our banner.
This approach derives from the fact that most of the problems we are dealing with are a consequence of the deterioration of family values which keep together the moral fabric of our society. The family ensures the inculcation of discipline, respect for adults, peers and the young, respect for property, preparedness to help, share, empathise and be good neighbours and citizens. In short, we acknowledge the fact that the family is a primary agent for socialisation. Consequently, children and people in general, are best cared for within the family.
I am concerned Chairperson about the increasing number of institutions who care for the elderly. This is a real challenge to the African family which is known for its record in caring for its elderly. What has happened to our values of Ubuntu? Another challenge we are faced with is the emergence of crèches that provide overnight care for children. To me, Chairperson, this is a threat to the survival of the family as a primary institution in the nurturing of children. There are certain duties that just cannot be removed from the family.
Problems such as drug and alcohol abuse; crimes such as theft, fraud, robbery, murder, child abuse, spouse abuse, abuse of the elderly, laziness and apathy can still be tackled through adopting family-centred approaches. In an African society such an approach would emphasise the role of the family in entrenching the values of Ubuntu among its members.
Such values include self-control (preventing drug & alcohol abuse); respect for self and others; nurturing of children; respect for elderly as they are regarded as important sources of wisdom; the importance of hard work; reciprocity and mutual assistance. A government employee who has internalised the values of Ubuntu would not embezzle public funds allocated for promoting the welfare of the disadvantaged. The predominance of social ills such as fraud and theft is a manifestation of the malfunctioning of the family as a social institution.
The effectiveness of a family-centred strategy has been tested through our renowned Family Preservation Programme which was piloted at Inanda by the Interministerial Committee on Youth at Risk. The programme was evaluated and found to be very effective in reducing the number of youngsters who end up in institutional care. I will give more details about the programme later on.
The point I wish to emphasise here, Chairperson, is that, we are going to focus on strengthening families so that they can effectively play their roles in preventing the recurrence of social ills.
It is time for our society to understand that all other institutions such as schools, churches and other private & public organisations play secondary roles in safeguarding the welfare of citizens. It is the family that should play a primary role in the socialisation, nurturing and providing the basic foundation for its members.
We plan to repair the family fabric through:
Ubuntu in their communities
6. ADOPTING INDIGENOUS APPROACHES TO SERVICE DELIVERY
Alon Loy McGinnis once said "…There is no more noble occupation in the world than to assist another human being to help someone succeed". While social welfare is one of such noble occupations we now understand that our glory does not come from dictating to people how they should run their lives in order to escape poverty. Instead, we believe that people have their own ways of doing things.
It is in this context that we are not necessarily introducing or dictating new familial values, but we are prompting families to readopt their value systems which have always been key to their survival and prosperity. Our efforts towards service delivery will be aimed at reviving what people have. In our day-to-day encounters with our clients we seek to bring out the best out of them. At the core of our interventions is the belief that humans have a potential for positive growth given positive influence.
For example, a family that emphasises respect and hard work would strive against producing people who would abuse and deprive others of what is rightfully theirs. A family that fosters values of sharing is less likely to produce individualistic and self-centred people whose success derives from exploiting others. Instead, it is likely to produce individuals who constantly seek communal solutions to problems; individuals who will not relax with the knowledge that their neighbours have no bread on their table and that a number of homeless children are roaming the streets without anyone to run to.
We believe that the increasing number of street children is a symptom of family breakdown. We would like to go beyond the symptoms and address the core issues beneath the problems.
It is in this context that we are promoting the adoption of a family preservation approach to social welfare. Through this approach, we discourage the removal of children from their families to institutions, we enhance people’s skills for parenting, and we encourage community involvement and responsibility for preserving the families. It will revive the indigenous ways of enforcing discipline among the youth.
Our focus this year is on strengthening families so that they can carry out their functions adequately. We acknowledge the fact that the family’s capacity is restrained by a host of factors such as lack of resources, and inability to adapt to abrupt societal changes. Therefore, we will continue to seek best practice approaches that will enable families to play a positive role in preventing the recurrence of social pathologies and fostering the development of maximum potential among their offspring. We will be holding planning sessions where we will be identifying specific activities to be undertaken for purposes of reviving indigenous family values. We consider it as crucial for our staff to understand that indigenous solutions to existing problems may be the best choice we have.
7. INSTITUTIONAL DESIGN
Chairperson, I have already outlined what we seek to accomplish as a Department. In order to achieve our goals, we realise that as a Department we need to position ourselves in a particular manner.
We are consciously encouraging our staff to be customer-oriented in service delivery. This is in line with the Batho Pele (People First) Principles and it is directly related to issues of motivation and attitudinal change. Social welfare practice, by its nature, is about serving others. Along with customer service is the notion of an outcomes-based approach where we emphasise the need to produce desired results. This is in line with the concept of productivity where each staff member is encouraged to develop his/her own activity plan along with performance indicators.
At the beginning of this year we conducted four motivational workshops in all the regions. Reverend Cannon Mbatha, Mr Arno Hibbers and Ms. Pranita Rampersad assisted us during our workshops. The purpose of the workshops was to reinforce the notion of service delivery among the staff.
We will continue to enable our staff to understand that they have been hired in order to render services to customers who deserve to be respected; and whose intrinsic value is not determined by their social and economic statuses. The staff have to convey messages of hope and empowerment to those whose feelings of self worth have been ravaged by the grinding poverty. Development can only take place where these individuals are enabled to regain their dignity and strive towards making a better life for themselves and the future generations.
It is along the same lines that we will continue to re-engineer our internal work procedures in order to increase our effectiveness. This we do through strategic management and adopting effective change management techniques. We evaluate our strategies periodically in order to make adjustments where necessary. We also adopt a flexible approach by, for example, giving attention to special developmental initiatives that are demanded by the unforeseen circumstances. For example, we are constantly adapting our plans in response to the challenge posed by the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
It is true, Chairperson, that the challenging high levels of poverty as evident in the demand for our services can have an adverse effect of overshadowing our accomplishments. However, we are proud to report that we are indeed making a difference through our innovative programmes. Our evaluation reports indicate that despite the challenges facing us, we are on the right track.
8. TARGETING THE VULNERABLE
Last year Chairperson, I emphasised our commitment to targeting the poorest sector of our communities. The Population Unit has been very helpful in identifying such areas (the pockets of poverty). I am proud to report that we have made history in reaching out to those communities who have been marginalised over the years.
We have extended our services to remote rural areas such as the Banakile community in the Vryheid district, where there were no services rendered by government Departments. Areas such as Bhambanana (Ngwavuma) and Cabazini (KwaNgwanase) have benefited from our programmes. We have responded to communities such as Fuduka and conveyed our message of hope and self reliance. We recently allocated an amount of one million rand to the Dlebe community where the outbreak of cholera had claimed many lives. The allocation will be utilised for implementing farming related activities.
As stated earlier on, our programmes target families and more particularly women, children, youth, the elderly and the disabled. We have targeted children through our Child Support Grant, programmes for Street Children, and programmes for AIDS orphans and children living with AIDS. This year we will focus on the impact of HIV/AIDS on families.
We have completed a strategic document on HIV/AIDS and we have an Integrated Programme for the Infected and Affected Children. This is an initiative undertaken by the three Departments; namely: Welfare, Health and Education.
A detailed plan for implementing the programme has already been made. The plan has the following six components:
We continue to service people with disabilities through social security and other developmental programmes. With regard to women, we continue to acknowledge their important roles especially in low-income families. The high rate of unemployment often implies that women will take over responsibilities for providing the basic needs of the family. The majority of our programmes have as their goal the economic empowerment of participating women.
Women have been empowered through programmes such as poverty eradication, flagship and micro-save. An audit conducted in April last year (2000) highlighted that the levels of poverty had decreased on a marginal basis with the majority of projects advancing towards sustainability.
A large number of women were participating in those projects. The majority of more than 8000 jobs created are occupied by women. There is also a notable increase in the participation of youth and persons with disabilities in our poverty eradication programmes.
With regard to poverty eradication, the Department was allocated a conditional grant of R19 588 600 which is being utilised for:
The Flagship programme has also made a difference through targeting women with young children who are not recipients of social security. Also, the micro save programme has women as majority participants and is succeeding in fostering a culture of savings.
May I note, Chairperson, that the impact made by these programmes is remarkable, given the short time frames and the teething problems experienced. Poverty eradication is not necessarily accomplished through simply allocating financial resources to those who need them. We have seen many situations where good intentions in the form of large financial investments have failed to produce desired results.
The positive results we are beginning to see are a consequence of commitment by some of our staff to service delivery; willingness of the participants to take action towards improving their life qualities. When we see positive results, we know that there are some people somewhere who must have gone beyond their own personal interests for the sake of empowering others. That is what the notion of Batho Pele is all about. May I take this opportunity, Chairperson, to commend members of our staff who have committed themselves to effective and efficient service delivery.
Our women have also benefited from social security programmes especially the Child Support Grant and the Old Age Pension. Statistics indicate that of the 88.1 percent of the poverty eradication budget received by disadvantaged and indigent persons, women receive 80 percent.
I will not have completed my task, Chairperson, if I omit to mention the Victim Empowerment Programme which seeks to empower women who are victims of violence and abuse. The programme co-ordinates the activities of the Department related to the control and prevention of crime against women.
9. SOCIAL WELFARE PROGRAMMES
As you know, Chairperson, my Department renders services categorised under seven programmes: viz.:
I will briefly present to you our plans for this year under each of the said programmes.
Programme 1 Administration
The programme mainly provides auxiliary support to line functions. Provision is made under this programme for the Ministry and Management which includes expenditure on financial, provisioning and personnel management as well as the provision of other support functions relating to labour relations, management advisory services, communication, language and legal services.
Amongst our accomplishments last year is the provisioning of infrastructure for the district offices.
We are however faced with the challenges of providing our Regional Tender Committees with training, thereby enabling them to implement their tasks. We also plan to complete the process of appointing stores officers for all our districts.
My speech would, of course be incomplete if I did not touch upon the human resources component, which is vital to the success of all our programmes. We have already allocated bursaries to our staff. We will continue to empower our staff with skills, knowledge and attitudes for efficient service delivery as we have done in the past. Last year we prepared an Employment Equity Plan, and the Draft Work Skills Plan for the Department. We have appointed the head of the Human Resource Development Division.
We are planning to formulate a new policy framework on Human Resources Management for the Department; and to also appoint :
The overall structure for the Human Resource Development Division will be finalised this year and key positions will be filled as approved. Systems for job evaluation will also be updated. Funds have been set aside for this.
Programme 2 Social Security
This programme provides for the payment of grants to various categories of beneficiaries including parents, children, the aged and disabled persons as well as the provision for social relief and funds for the administration costs of the social security programme.
I need not mention again, that this programme absorbs the largest percentage of our budget as it is one of our priorities along with social development. This programme has played a significant role in providing social relief to the needy sectors of our community. I am happy, Chairperson to report that during the past financial year, we had a phenomenal increase in the number of recipients of the Child Support Grant.
We have been noting an increase of approximately 20 000 recipients per month. This is a significant accomplishment especially when considering the fact that most people from poverty stricken communities were not aware of the existence of such a programme. We have made a conscientious effort of reaching out and launching the programme in remote areas.
We are continuing to make efforts to effect improvements in the efficient delivery of social security services especially in the face of the challenges posed by fraud and corruption. Oftentimes, we note with disappointment those interest groups who seek to exploit the situation for their own selfish interests. However, I want to reiterate our commitment to working together with all those service providers who have the interest of our beneficiaries at heart.
Thus far, KwaZulu-Natal is the only province which has introduced a smart card system, which is a new payment method designed to prevent the long waiting periods. The smart card reduces the waiting period from three hours to half an hour.
There is also a need for improving the quality of services that we render to our customers. We have established a Social Security Call Centre in each of the regions and a Customer Care Service Centre in Durban. We are planning to improve the Customer Care Service Centre so that it can adequately respond to all enquiries through providing phone in, walk in and mail services similar to what I saw in the United Kingdom.
We are still faced with the challenges of developing and improving conditions at the pay points so that people can have shelter, sitting, water and toilet facilities. We will be working together with the Department of Health in ensuring that First Aid is available at the pay points. We also plan to provide efficient and user friendly mobile help desks for attending to the queries that often arise at the pay points.
The contractor whose duty is to simply distribute payments to beneficiaries cannot deal with the queries that often come up. Instead the presence of the Departmental staff who can provide relevant advice is required. Help desks are already operating in some districts in the Durban and Pietermaritzburg regions where there were some staff and vehicles available.
In order to improve service delivery we also plan to ensure that our staff is provided with adequate training on data capturing techniques. We will ensure that every district keeps records of mothers in receipt of the child support grant so that we can target them through our social development activities. We would like to try, as much as possible, to get the able-bodied recipients of social security to eventually graduate from social security and become self-reliant.
Some of the services to be provided this year include:
Programme 3 Social Assistance
This programme focuses mainly on providing subsidies to private welfare organisations. I am happy Chairperson, to briefly highlight some achievements which we have made in this regard:
Working along with private welfare organisations, we have formed a Transformation Management Team which ensures that previously disadvantaged areas are being taken into consideration. This is in line with the new Financing Policy which dictates that our allocations should address the existing inequalities.
May I report that at a national level the implementation of the New Financing Policy is being suspended in order to review some of its aspects and to try and address concerns raised by the National Portfolio Committee on Social Development. However, this does not mean that we are stopping the important transformation exercise we have started. We still need to review the impact of the Transformation Management Team in order to ensure that it is operating effectively.
We have succeeded in getting non-governmental organisations to collaborate mutually with our Department. We have developed business plans based on a mapping exercise which enabled us to identify areas where services are concentrated in areas in dire need for services.
Unfortunately, we continue to be faced with the challenge of limited financial resources which prevents us from providing adequate support to welfare organisations. While we would have loved to provide adequate financial support to welfare organisations, it is a fact that we are operating from a very limited resource base. We are faced with a dilemma of extending our services to the marginalised areas without significant increase in our resources. In other words, we have to devise new ways of redistributing the same size of a pie to an increased number of recipients.
We still need to deal with the challenges of getting our partners to change their mindset. Old institutions tend to focus on urban areas and neglect rural areas. For example, Child Welfare organisations are concentrated in urban areas. There is also a need to revisit the whole question of gaps and duplications in service delivery so as to promote efficient utilisation of existing resources.
We also inherited some provincial programmes that are still funded regionally. We would like to examine their functions in order to ensure that they are working within the new framework.
The following are some of the activities that we plan to implement in line with our family-centred approach to service delivery:
Programme 4 Social Welfare Services
The Management and Maintenance of 14 state institutions providing services to families, children, the aged, the disabled, drug and alcohol dependants and offenders still falls under the Department of Social Welfare, Population and Development. Our staff have to oversee that these institutions are well provided for and that they are functioning within the statutory provisions. The administration costs of social work services also fall within this programme.
In other words, services offered under this category cut across all programmes. Services offered under this programme include: foster care, adoption, addressing problems such as child abuse, substance abuse and family violence. In line with our focus on the family, we are busy looking into the establishment of a secure care centre for children awaiting trial. We have identified Newcastle for that purpose.
Another major initiative I would like to briefly touch upon is our Reception, Arrest and Referral Centre which was piloted at KwaMashu in the Durban Region. The project forms part of activities aimed at rebuilding the family, community and social relations. It targets the youth in conflict with the law; and seeks to divert them from getting deeper into the justice system. Some of the services provided include:
Another important component of this programme is services rendered to people with disabilities. The Department participates in an Interdepartmental Forum which oversees the implementation of an Integrated Disability Strategy. Amongst our highlights in this area are the two centres for the disabled, namely Enduduzweni Centre for the Blind and Osizweni Handicraft Centre. Both centres provide skills training to people with disabilities. We foresee a situation where those trainees admitted into our centres would eventually graduate and leave the institution. Such a system will increase the impact of these centres as they can service a large number of people with disabilities who will come in and leave the institution after acquiring the necessary skills.
We also plan to focus on providing staff from private organisations and from our Department with training on areas such as quality assurance, and developmental assessment of children. We have already begun with these processes.
We are facilitating the migration of services to remote rural areas, as mentioned earlier on. For example, we are going to utilise a conditional grant to reach out to areas that are not serviced by the National Institute for Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation of Offenders (NICRO). We plan to work together with local communities, teaching them to reach out and to be of assistance to their neighbourhoods.
Programme 5 Social Development
This is one of our two priority programmes. We will soon finalise the proposed staff establishment. Our budget has been increased in order to strengthen the impact of this programme. We will also continue to utilise conditional grants in order to supplement the modest budget available for this programme. This programme mainly deals with the eradication of poverty through facilitation of the development process. Through this programme, my Department hopes to enable the able-bodied individuals to graduate from social security and attain self-reliance. On the whole, this programme seeks to promote social development through:
I am happy to report that the midterm assessment highlighted that more than 60% of our poverty alleviation projects are beginning to be sustainable. We are going to continue to work on those that are not doing well. Some of our planned strategies for addressing this challenge include embarking on human resources programmes on social development for our staff. We have converted vacant social workers’ posts into development workers’ posts in order to strengthen this programme.
We are also faced with a host of challenges including the lack of collaboration with other service providers and the low levels of literacy among the target beneficiaries of our programmes. We are planning to address these challenges through developing our strategic plan for social development in the Province. Our strategic plan will address issues such as :
We are going to continue to revise our strategies for monitoring the usage of development funds. We plan to assist recipients to understand and follow proper procedures for usage of funds to develop realistic plans such as business plans and obtaining quotations as required.
Last year, Chairperson I laid out our plans pertaining to the Illovo Development Centre. It is my pleasure to report that Illovo Development Centre is now functioning smoothly. The Centre is getting lots of support from the private sector where organisations such as Eskom, South African Breweries, Toyota and Transnet have extended their social responsibility programmes.
There is close liaison with other role players such as the Departments of Labour, Department of Agriculture, Department of Works, Department of Health, Regional Councils and Traditional Leaders which are providing training for participants.
We are planning to establish other development centres at Vuma, Louwsburg and Ndumo. As outlined in our annual report, we have successfully launched village banks at Ngwavuma, Nkandla, Nquthu and Hlabisa. We are planning to launch another one at Ubombo and Msinga.
Last year, we opened our Flagship programme at Bhambanana in Ngwavuma. We are planning to replicate these programmes at Mashunka (Msinga), Bergville, Mpendle, Kranskop, Qhudeni (Nkandla) and two in Ndwedwe district. We realise that simply developing these Flagship programmes is not enough. There is also a daunting challenge of enabling participants to acquire marketing skills. We plan to solicit assistance from partners from the private sector in supporting our Flagship programmes. Last year Transnet donated containers worth R500 000. Negotiations are underway with Engen who has promised to provide the Department with training support.
We would also like to convey our appreciation of the visits made by members of the Portfolio Committee to our Flagship programmes. Such visits have been a source of inspiration to our staff.
Programme 6 Population Unit
This programme plays a vital role in linking all population-related issues which are pertinent to the functioning of all departments.
The Unit has facilitated the formation of the Research Intersectoral Forum which is an entity for discussing research and also keeping track of new research initiatives to prevent duplications.
This year the Unit plans to conduct research in order to establish the completeness of the current system of registration of births and deaths of children. The project will address factors (variables) such as migration of children orphans and the AIDS orphans. Findings from the study will be utilised especially in measuring the extent to which the Child Support Grant is succeeding in reaching its target beneficiaries. We also plan to develop tools for monitoring and evaluating programmes. This is critical for effective programme management.
Another planned major initiative by the Unit is the development of a plan for migrating services to the under serviced areas. Such a plan will be based on research findings. For example, we need to know where services provided by organisations such as SANCA, NICRO and National Council for Social Welfare are needed most. The Transformation Management Team is responsible for the migration of services.
The Unit recently launched "..The State of South Africa’s Population Report". The report highlights the relationship between population trends and the macro-economic, social and health challenges facing our country. It represents a significant departure from apartheid population strategies which were tools of oppression, exploitation and segregation. The relationship between population trends and development is clearly spelt out in the report and it is based on the assumption that a better understanding of population trends will enhance sustainable development. The report t is thus very useful to all public and private service providers.
Programme 7 Auxiliary Associated Services
This programme deals with the overall provision of transport services to the Department. Most of the services rendered by the Department rely on the availability of suitable vehicles. Last year R1 million was earmarked for a pool of vehicles. The allocation was utilised for purchasing 15 vehicles for the various regions. The Department was able to support the workforce, even those living in rural areas, with subsidised vehicles.
Recently, it has been brought to my attention that a number of vehicles have been boarded off. This affects service delivery. Due to insufficient funds, it has neither been possible to acquire all necessary vehicles nor to replace those, which are no longer of good service. Also, the process of purchasing vehicles is very slow. In some cases the vehicles available are not suitable for the poor rural road infrastructure. The problem is exacerbated by abuse and theft. We believe that subsidisation of vehicles will probably help.
We are also planning to hold a meeting where we will explore various options for solving our transportation problems. We realise that close collaboration with the Department of Transport is amongst possible solutions for addressing the challenge of the poor road infrastructure.
10. PRIORITIES FOR 2001/2
The following, Chairperson, are the priorities of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Social Welfare, Population and Development:
10.1 Adopting a family-centred approach to service-delivery through reviving
family values that promote stability and resuscitate the moral fabric;
10.2 Making social security more accessible to target beneficiaries through
awareness campaigns, combating fraud, developing infrastructure at
the pay points, developing adequate and efficient systems for
responding to queries;
10.3 Making a difference through Poverty Eradication projects by ensuring
that the money spent culminate in sustainable initiatives that change
people’s lives for the better;
10.4 Promoting linkages between social security and poverty eradication
programmes through ensuring that able-bodied recipients of social
pensions eventually escape the poverty trap;
10.5 Collaborating with other service providers in responding to the
challenges posed by HIV/AIDS epidemic, crime, abuse of children and
10.6 Reaching out to the pockets of poverty that have previously been
overlooked e.g. rural areas and informal settlements through promoting
access to social welfare services;
10.7 Developing appropriate systems for monitoring and evaluating
programmes undertaken by the Department;
10.8 Providing appropriate training to the staff especially in areas that are
crucial for enhancing their capacity for service delivery; for example,
social security, social development, attitudinal change and work ethic;
10.9 Empowering disabled citizens by taking them into institutions where
they can learn skills and thereafter return to their communities and become self reliant.
Chairperson, our priorities are still based on our mission statement which reads:
"The Department of Social Welfare, Population and Development is committed, through an empowered staff, to the provision, promotion and development of comprehensive, people-centred social welfare services to the community, in order to maximise the inherent potential of every individual in KwaZulu-Natal".
11. PRESENTATION OF BUDGET
Mr Speaker Sir, I now proceed to briefly discuss my Department’s budget.
11.1 Budget 2001/2002: Overview
An amount of four billion five hundred and eighty-three million, five hundred and fourteen thousand rand (R4 583 514 000) has been allocated to Vote 13 to cover the running expenditure, including a statutory amount of four hundred and eighty seven thousand rand (R487 000). The Estimates are presented according to the seven (7) main programmes as follows:
56 349 000
4 248 096 000
133 187 000
Social Welfare Services
122 342 000
20 365 000
1 175 000
Auxiliary and Associated Services
2 000 000
4 583 514 000
In comparison with the revised amount voted for the 2000/2001 Financial Year, this represents an increase of one hundred and seventy four million, six hundred and nine thousand rand (R174 609 000) or four percent (4%). Further details of the Budget in terms of various Programmes and Items of Expenditure, are as follows:
Programme 1: Administration
(Fifty six million, three hundred and forty-nine thousand rand [R56 349 000]-an increase of fourteen million, three hundred and seventy-two rand [R14 372 000] on the revised allocation for 2000/2001 financial year).
This increase is due to the carry through costs of salary improvements in respect of personnel expenditure that came into effect on the 1st of July 2000. Furthermore, the increase caters for the setting up of the fourth welfare region with a view to bringing services closer to the people in terms of the Batho Pele principles.
Programme 2: Social Security
(Four billion, two hundred and forty eight million and ninety-six thousand rand [R4 248 096 000]. This programme shows an increase of one hundred and five million, eight hundred and fifty-three thousand rand [R105 853 000] on the revised allocation for 2000/2001 financial year).
This allocation is broken down as follows:
Personnel expenditure (An increase of four million three hundred and twenty thousand rand-R4 320 000)
The increase is due to the carry through costs of the salary improvements which came into effect on the 1st of July 2000.
Transfer Payments (An increase of one hundred and fifty-three million, two hundred and forty-six thousand rand-R153 246 000)
Social Security has been allocated with an amount of three billion, nine hundred and eighty-nine million, five hundred and fifteen thousand rand (R3 989 515 000), which is based on the current statistics. This allocation includes the provision for a R30 monthly increase (5.5%) in the monetary value of old age and disability grants as well as a R10 monthly increase (10%) in the value of the Child Support Grant (CSG).
May I mention that the phenomenal rise in the CSG take up rate continues to cause a serious threat to the limited available budget. As on the 6th of February 2001, a total of 162 241 Child Support Grants were in payment for a total of 226 668 children. This number is by far the highest in the country, with the nearest Province reaching only 163 879 children-that is Northern Province.
The original target for the Child Support Grant for this Province was 345 000 by the end of March 2001. Although this target has not yet been reached, the increase in the uptake over the past year has been nothing short of astonishing. In April 2000, only approximately 52 000 children were benefiting from this grant, while this number now stands at 226 668-an increase of nearly 175 000 children over 11 months.
This increase is expected to continue in the year under review as more and more people become aware of this grant.
Administrative Expenditure (Increase of four million, four hundred and seventy-two thousand rand-R4 472 000)
This item has been allocated with an amount of fifteen million, seven hundred and twenty seven thousand rand (R15 727 000). This allocation shows an increase of thirty nine point seven percent (39.7%) if compared to the previous year’s revised allocation. This increase will cater for the administrative costs of the Social Security component of the newly created Midlands Region as well as the increased administrative costs of social security in general.
Equipment (A decrease of three hundred and sixty-three thousand rand-R363 000)
Equipment has been allocated with an amount of two million and sixty two thousand rand (R2 062 000). This allocation has been decreased by fifteen percent (15%). The decrease is due to the fact that most of the equipment purchased during the 1999/2000 financial year for the re-registration project has been re-deployed to the district and regional offices.
Professional and Special Services (Decrease of fifty four million, nine hundred and seventy-three thousand rand-R54 973 000)
This standard item has been allocated an amount of one hundred and eighty one million, three hundred and sixty nine thousand rand (R181 369 000) as compared to two hundred and thirty-six million, three hundred and forty-two thousand rand (R236 342 000) during the previous financial year.
The decrease is due to the "once off" payments made during the year 2000/2001.
Programme 3: Social Assistance
(An increase of fifteen million, five hundred and seventy-four thousand rand-R15 574 000)
An amount of one hundred and thirty-three million, one hundred and eighty seven thousand rand (R133 187 000) has been allocated to this programme.
Provision is also made for the administration costs of the programme. The increase of 13% will cater for the subsidisation of new private welfare organisations as well as the subsidy increase in respect of the existing organisations.
Programme 4: Social Welfare Services
(An increase of twenty-one million, two hundred and nine thousand rand- R21 209 000)
An amount of one hundred and twenty-two million, three hundred and forty two thousand rand (R122 342 000) has been budgeted for this service. This amount represents an increase of twenty one percent (21%) on the current year’s revised budget mainly to cater for the carry through costs of improvements of the conditions of employment as well as the increased costs of running our district and regional offices.
Programme 5: Social Development
(An increase of seventeen million and twenty-four thousand rand-R17 024 000 on the revised budget for the year 2000/2001)
The amount allocated is twenty million, three hundred and sixty-five thousand rand (R20 365 000). This allocation will be utilised to promote social development to the previously disadvantaged communities to make them self reliant, which will minimise their dependency on social grants. The increase will be seeking to strengthen the programme.
When looking at the budgetary allocations it appears as though the social development programme has been allocated only R20 365 000 which is a small percentage (0.44%) of the total Departmental budget. This allocation will be supplemented by conditional grants which are not reflected in this budget. Also, a number of social development activities are undertaken under almost all the other programme categories. They are not simply limited to Programme 5.
For example, activities undertaken by welfare organisations (Programme 3) include social development; a lot of social development-related research activities will be undertaken under Programme 6; and expenditures on transport (to be incurred under Auxiliary and Associated Services) will go towards strengthening the activities of the Social Development Programme.
In reality, there are social development-related expenditures under all the seven programmes. For example, the salaries of the social development staff are captured under Programme 1 on Administration, while Programme 2 on Social Security also incorporates a lot of social development-related activities.
Programme 6: Population and Development
(An increase of one hundred and ninety eight thousand-R198 000)
An amount of one million, one hundred and seventy five thousand rand (R1 175 000) has been budgeted for this service. This amount represents an increase of one hundred and ninety eight thousand rand (R198 000) from the previous year’s revised budget.
The increase in the budget is supposed to cater for the additional functions to be performed by the Unit. The number of staff members has also increased (to 6 persons) and they are being provided with training for reorientation in order to implement the new approaches to population issues. The Unit is supposed to carry out transversal functions.
Programme 7: Auxiliary and Associated Services
(An increase of one million rand-R1 000 000)
A total of two million rands (R2 000 000) has been budgeted for the purchase of vehicles. It is hoped that the new motor vehicle subsidy scheme will result in savings through reducing loss of vehicles.
Chairperson, Premier and Members of this Honourable House,
I now move that the amount of four billion, five hundred and eighty-three million, five hundred and fourteen thousand rand (R4 583 514 000) be approved for the Department of Social Welfare, Population and Development. (A statutory amount of four hundred and eighty seven thousand rand [R487 000] excluded).