Governance and Administration cluster post State of the Nation Address media briefing


Governance and Administration cluster post State of the Nation Address media briefing, Imbizo Media Centre, Cape Town

The Governance and Administration Cluster, like others, is seized with working towards achieving government’s electoral mandate in terms of the creation of decent work, provision of quality healthcare, provision of quality education, building safer communities and rural development and land reform.

In terms of the outcomes based approach, this cluster is aligned to outcomes 9 and 12 (a) and (b): A responsive, accountable, effective and efficient local government system; an efficient, effective and development oriented public service; and an empowered, fair and inclusive citizenship respectively.

One of the most significant activities with which the cluster will be seized in the following months is preparations for Local Government Elections which will be held before the end of May 2011. We therefore urge all South Africans who have not yet applied for their identity documents (IDs) to do so since these documents are critical to be able to cast your votes.

Government will work together with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to enable it to fulfill its constitutional mandate to hold free, fair and credible elections. We will also assist those in the rural communities who have been affected by recent floods and have lost their IDs to ensure they receive these enabling documents before the elections.

With a view to bringing services to the people, government has established Thusong Services Centres which promote citizen engagement and participation. These centres empower communities with information and knowledge on government’s plans and services. There are currently about 160 Centres across the county at which more than four million South Africans have accessed government services since April 2010.

The centres are complemented by mobile units of various departments and Community Development Workers (CDWs) which render services to the people. Communities no longer have to travel long distances to obtain identity documents, birth certificates, apply for pensions, UIF or foster care grants, as government is also ensuring that mobile units from these departments provide services in an integrated manner.

Government currently engages with communities, stakeholders, various sectors and focus groups through public participation activities to reach out to with a view to enhancing communication between government and its citizens.

Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA)

The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (CoGTA) adopted the Local Government Turnaround Strategy (LGTAS), following its approval by Cabinet in December 2009. The LGTAS seeks to achieve a Responsive, Accountable, Effective and Efficient Local Government System by 2014. To this end, progress is being made with the development of a segmentation model for municipalities. This is closely linked to the conceptualisation of a special purpose vehicle (SPV) to assist municipalities that have low levels of capacity with infrastructure development.

With regard to creating a single window of coordination, the following has been achieved:

As a first step towards a recruitment and retention strategy for specific occupations and professions in local government, a draft framework for job classification for local government has been developed.

A draft Green Paper on Cooperative Governance has been developed and presented to the FOSSAD Cluster on G&A following which a special workshop with national departments and provinces was convened. A Cabinet Memorandum is currently being finalised.

The Municipal Systems Act Amendment Bill was submitted and draft municipal Disciplinary Regulations and Procedures for S57 Employees developed. The Bill is currently in its final stages of processing following public hearings convened by Parliament.

Regulations on the Participation of Municipal Officials in elections were published for public comment and also submitted to Parliament prior to gazetting.

The implementation of LGTAS in North West province in particular, has yielded positive results in ensuring that governance issues are addressed in most Municipalities. For example, in Ngaka Modiri Molema District Municipality, investigations were conducted and lay criminal charges against Councillors and Officials; the matter is currently in Court; Investigations into all contracts and cases of fraud and corruption are being finalised by the Special Investigations Unit (SIU). Interventions in municipalities falling in this particular province are estimated to have yielded a saving of between R20-R80 million with some cases still being finalised.

In Mpumalanga province, a task team comprising of different national departments was initiated to work hand in hand with the province to address challenges facing Dipaliseng Municipality in Balfour. Today, we are proud to say that we managed to, amongst others, achieve the following:
– engagements with ratepayers association
– a balanced budget was approved and is the process of uploading into national treasury system
– MM and CFO suspended and disciplinary hearings held
– managers for Revenue and Expenditure are appointed

Operation Clean Audit

The department, in collaboration with the Office of the Auditor General, launched Operation Clean Audit to help municipalities achieve clean audits on their Annual Financial Statements, in addition to maintaining systems for sustaining quality financial statements and management information. This operation aims to assist all the municipalities and provincial departments achieve sustainable improvement in financial management and governance that will yield clean audit opinions by 2014.

The Auditor General has released Audit reports for two provinces which indicate great improvements in Municipal audit results for municipalities in KZN and Gauteng. In Kwa-Zulu-Natal, for instance, 11 Municipalities have improved their financial standing with eight moving from qualified reports in 2008/09 to unqualified reports in 2009/10 and three from Disclaimers to Qualified reports for financial 2008/09 to 2009/10 respectively.

These are Amajuba District Municipality and ten local municipalities, namely; Big Five; eMadlageni; Emnambithi/Ladysmith; Ingwe; Mfolozi; Mpofana; Nongoma; Nquthu; Okhahlamba and Ubuhlebezwe.

In Gauteng, three Municipalities have moved from qualified reports for financial year 2008/09 to unqualified reports in 2009/2010, these are Ekurhuleni Metro, Mogale City and Merafong Local Municipalities.

Disaster Management

The President in his State of the National Address allocated an amount of R800 million to areas affected by floods and other natural disasters in the country from December 2010 to date.

A total of 91 people have sadly lost their lives in various incidents of these disasters while 321 have been injured. Government conveys its deepest condolences to those who have lost loved ones.

The department’s National Disaster Management Centre has established a disaster relief fund, using the disaster account of the South African Red Cross towards which members of the public, private sector and other donors may contribute.

A number of private sector companies, non-governmental and community-based organisations have responded positively to government’s call to partner with government to alleviate the devastating effects of the floods on our communities. To this end, monetary contributions have been received from BHP Billiton SA (R18 million), Absa Bank (R1 million) and Vodacom (R500 000). Vodacom is also running a “SMS” campaign to raise additional funds towards disaster relief efforts. These contributions will ensure the R800 million announced by President Zuma during his State of the Nation Address to Parliament, goes further towards easing the suffering for those affected by the natural disasters.

While various Ministers have visited most of the flood-ravaged areas, teams from the National Joint Operations Centre (NatJOC), under the leadership of the National Disaster Management Centre, earlier this month visited all areas affected by the natural disasters in the country. These visits were intended to get a first-hand account of the damages caused by various incidents of natural disasters, assess the extent of the damage and will help government in prioritising assistance to affected communities.

From the NatJOC’s visit to the affected areas, which were also declared as disaster areas by the Minister for CoGTA a month ago, the following priority areas for repairs and reconstruction were identified:
2.Health related infrastructure (e.g. Hospitals and clinics)
3.Roads and bridges
5.Agricultural equipment and infrastructure such as flood diversion walls, pumps and other equipment.

The infrastructure identified contributes directly and indirectly to the economy of the affected areas and its repairs or reconstruction would benefit the communities and assist in the process of rebuilding their lives.

Job creation

The Community Work Programme has contributed to the development of public assets in poor communities, provides income security for participants as well as work experience while promoting social and economic inclusion.

This programme was transferred to the Department of Cooperative Governance from the Department of Public Works in 2009/10. Implementation began in 2010/11 with a target of 57 368 work opportunities. At the end of December 2010, 81 412 work opportunities had been created with 64% of men benefiting from employment opportunities through the MIG programme from July – September 2010.

Of these, 26,6% are youth and 0,2% persons with disability. Though fewer women (36%) were employed in the programme, it is notable that a higher percentage of female persons (11,5%) with disabilities benefited from the employment opportunities. A total of 2 354 811 person days of employment opportunities were reported through the implementation of MIG projects during the previous quarter.

The department is also working on an entirely new initiative to mobilise private sector leaders at local level into structures that interact with District Municipalities to identify and develop labour intensive business opportunities of scale at a local level. This will make a significant contribution to the implementation of New Growth Path.

South Africa can only attain the 6-8% gross domestic products (GDP) growth that it requires if we ensure the scalability of local initiatives which in the past has been of a rather small nature. This will be further underpinned by the mobilisation of emerging businesses, cooperatives and emerging farmers into structures to curtail the continuation of current ownership and income distribution patterns by taking an active interest in the development of business opportunities at a local level.

Department of Traditional Affairs

The department dealing with Traditional Affairs has been established and for the first time in the history of South Africa, the indigenous leaders have their own department and Executive Management and SMS positions have been filled.

The department is working on a range of policies, which include the following: Policy on Unity and Diversity; uKuthwala; uKungenwa; Initiation; Traditional Healing, Traditional Leaders Protocol; Family Trees; Involvement of the Khoisan people in the system of governance in South Africa; and Remuneration and benefits of Traditional Leaders based on uniform norms and standards. In addition, the Traditional Leaders and Governance Framework Act, National House of Traditional Leaders Act and Property Rates Act will be reviewed.

The department is also in the process of conducting nationwide assessment of the state of governance within the institution of Traditional Affairs. To date, assessments have been conducted in three provinces i.e. Northern Cape, Mpumalanga and the Free State. Workshops for other provinces will be finalised during March 2011. A comprehensive report of the outcomes of these workshops will be used as the basis to build this institution.

Department of Public Service and Administration

Capacitating the Public Service

A fully staffed and efficient public service is essential if government is to meet the needs of all South Africans and deliver on its electoral mandate. The department is also leading various initiatives aimed at simplifying recruitment process and position government as the employer of choice.

An analysis of job creation in the country has recently found that the public sector created the most jobs in 2010. To contribute to the creation of further employment in the country, departments will be supported to ensure all vacant, funded posts are filled within six months, as mandated by President Jacob Zuma and announced in his State of the Nation Address.

The department will also conclude work on the Macro-Organisation of the State including the establishment of norms and standards regarding organisational design matters, post provisioning and the grading of posts. New Public Service Regulations will be developed to direct the process and enable the prioritisation of the filling of core posts in the public service.

Draft Principles of Public Administration and Financial Delegations have been developed to overcome weakness in the public service related to the lack of proper financial and human resource management.

Fight against corruption

The Department, in the financial year 2010/11, launched the Special Anti-Corruption Unit whose mandate is to focus on the central management of high profile corruption and related disciplinary cases involving public servants. The work of this unit will contribute to the reduction of incidents of corruption in the public service, turnaround time in the finalisation of corruption related disciplinary cases, negative perceptions regarding corruption in government, financial losses and escalating service delivery costs due to corruption and increased frequency of reports involving corruption.

The Anti-Corruption Unit is established as a structure that will deal with cases that are not yet within the criminal justice system. It is designed to manage the process within the public service and make procedural decisions related thereto and within the current disciplinary process of government dealing with corruption related matters

The unit has already begun to yield results as announced by President Zuma and has recovered R44 million from corrupt public servants. The appropriate disciplinary action has also been instituted against such officials.

Public Service Cadre Development

With a view to developing highly trained, noble professional cadres able to meet the needs of the country’s citizenry, the Public Administration Leadership and Management Academy (Palama) will strengthen its institutional capability and orientation of its training and development curriculum to produce such cadres.

Palama has, up to December 2010 trained 671 participants on the Anti-corruption course. The Ethics Management course is currently being rolled out with particular focus on officials in municipalities. PALAMA is in the process of finalising the development of a new course: Anti-corruption for practitioners. Building on eLearning training delivery strategies, PALAMA has also established an anti-corruption Virtual Social Discussion Forum (VSDF).

Information and communication technology (ICT)

State Information Technology Agency (SITA) is the lead Government Agency to procure ICT goods and services using the economies of scale to reduce cost of ICT and enhance government productivity.

To address identified challenges a Turnaround Strategy has been successfully implemented. This includes the appointment of the Board, CEO and COO. Other executive management appointments are continuing.In addition, a price and cost recovery model has been developed.

At the turn of the financial year the department would have finalised the pricing model for ICT services procured from SITA, in addition to concluding service quality challenges through SLA’s as well as streamlining the procurement process to mitigate ICT related audit risks as reported by the Auditor General.

Government Access Programmes

Thusong Service Centres

Thusong Centres help bring government services closer to the people in a speedy and efficient manner. In this regard, they promote citizen engagement and participation. These centres empower communities with information and knowledge on government’s plans and services.

There are currently about 160 Thusong Service Centres across the county at which more than four million South Africans have accessed government services since April 2010. Communities no longer have to travel long distances to obtain identity documents, birth certificates, apply for pensions, UIF or foster care grants, as government is also ensuring that mobile units from these departments provide services in an integrated manner.

R5 million was received from National Treasury for branding and signage to ensure the visibility of signs to clients. To improve the human resource base for the Centres, more than 1 000 staff from departments and stakeholders who service the centres have been trained in Batho Pele customer care coordinated by Palama.

About 100 Centre managers have also been trained in an effort to strengthen their ability to ensure that all centres run programmes for communities with priority focus on the five key campaigns and specifically economic opportunities.

One of the highlights of this programme is the establishment of the first Centre in a shopping complex by the department, at the Maponya Shopping Mall in Soweto.This initiative provides citizens with the convenience to transact with government and while taking care of their household and personal needs.

We call on communities to partner with government to provide feedback to ensure that government can better responds to the needs of communities. We therefore urge communities to become active participants in improving the lives of all South Africans and building a nation to which we are truly proud of.

Public Participation Programme

Government will employ public participation methods to reach out to communities, stakeholders, various sectors and focus groups with a view to enhancing communication between government and its citizens.

This has been driven at highest level of government with both the President and Deputy President engaging communities and stakeholder groups in more than twenty events over the past year.

Each political principal will have at least 10 community events, including amongst others, repeat visits to monitor progress and the implementation of commitments given to communities.

Solid progress has been made in strengthening public participation programmes for regular interaction between elected public representatives and communities. To date almost 400 (of 630) events have been held since June 2010 by Ministers and Deputy Ministers. Reports indicate that these events have resulted in improvements in the lives of communities.

Department of Arts and Culture

Job creation

The New Growth Path unveiled in 2010 identifies the cultural and creative industries as critical towards contributing to job creation, particularly in the following sectors: film, crafts, music, design, performing arts, books and publishing as well as technical services. As part of government efforts to create 5 million new jobs, the department will therefore develop a comprehensive proposal to support employment growth in the cultural industries.

In contributing to the economy and skills development, the Department of Arts and Culture, through the 2010 FIFA World Cup Programme, created 1684 jobs within the arts and culture industry. Through one of our key programmes within the department, Investing in Culture, the department has in the past financial year created 290 jobs, mainly in disadvantaged communities to promote, amongst others, crafts, bead work, and pottery.

The department has also increased funding to the National Film & Video Foundation (NFVF) which will contribute substantially to job creation as set by the new growth path. The NFVF estimates 200 jobs are created for every film produced at the cost of R20 million. These jobs will become sustainable with the South African film industry produces 15-20 films per year.

Providing quality education

The department, through the Directorate Library Policy and Coordination, will develop a policy framework for the provision of libraries in South Africa. The primary goal of the library sector is the development of human capital, eradication of illiteracy, promotion of a culture of reading, while enabling social cohesion and nation building. Libraries allow people to go beyond themselves and the world they inhabit by accessing a world of information and other cultures.

With a view to promoting indigenous languages 142 bursaries were awarded during 2010/11 in the field of Languages at a post graduate level.In addition, the department has in partnership with the University of Western Cape, funded 11 undergraduate and two post graduate fellowships in the Humanities in the name of the Struggle Icon Dulcie September.

The department has also encouraged companies to take on interns after students come out of colleges.

Through the National Film and Video Foundation, 142 writers, script writers, commissioning editors and producers were trained in 2010.

Social cohesion

Government will, in the 2011/12 financial year, led by the department embark on a the Social Cohesion programme as part of the ongoing efforts towards building a South African nation that is non-racial, non-sexist, united, democratic and prosperous one.

In this regard, the Department of Arts and Culture, in partnership with the Department of Basic Education, will strengthen the programme of placing a South African flag in schools and all public institutions. The department will also ensure that the National Anthem of South Africa is sung in all schools throughout the country.

South Africans will also be encouraged to honour our national symbols, have copies of the constitution and continuously educate themselves about our heritage with a view to being proudly South African.

The department will also, in the year ahead, launch a programme of National Icons. This will be about individuals that have made an enormous contribution in the liberation of our country. Preservation of our history will go a long way in educating generations to come about our history, where we come and where we are going as a nation.

Some of the key highlights in the year ahead for the Department will be the commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of the Matola Raid on 14th February, the 35th Anniversary of the June 16 Soweto Uprising, a Cultural Diplomacy Conference, the National Summit on Social Cohesion, an Africa Writers Symposium to be held in March and the erection of the Samora Machel statue in Embuzini in Mpumalanga

Department of Performance Management and Evaluation

Through the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), performance agreements between the President and Ministers have been translated into detailed delivery agreements.

In order to develop efficient and effective management and operational practices in government, the department has developed modalities for assessing the quality of management and administrative practices and systems within departments. In this regard, preparations have been completed for the first round of progress reports on delivery agreements to be made public in March 2011.

In 2011 DPME will undertake performance assessments of individual government departments and municipalities. The department plans to accelerate the implementation of outcomes and strengthen institutional mechanisms to drive delivery in 2011. This will include the cooperation of the different departments in identifying service delivery bottlenecks and working together to find solutions.

DPME will also undertake quarterly updates in 2011 on the progress around the implementation of the outcomes, through the POA, the monitoring and evaluation of the outcomes and other aspects of service delivery. Besides the POA, the department aims to develop other systems to monitor what is happening on the ground and intends to include citizens in monitoring and evaluation processes.

Department of Home Affairs

National Population Registration Campaign

The department is seized with cleaning up the country’s National Population Register to ensure its credibility, integrity and security.We are, in essence, working towards a single entry point into the country’s population register.

An accurate and secure Population Register will be invaluable to government for planning purposes so that it can meet the needs of country’s citizenry in addition to ensuring the safety of South Africans since we will know who is in the country and why.

The National Population Registration (NPR) Campaign was therefore launched by President Zuma and Home Affairs Minister Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma in Libode, Eastern Cape in March 2010. The campaign aims to encourage parents to register their babies within 30 days of birth. If babies are registered promptly, within 30 days of birth, the Department will also be better enabled to issue IDs to those who turn 16 years old.

Since the launch of the NPR, we have seen improved statics in terms of the ID applications, registration of newborns and a welcome decrease in the number of IDs we are reissuing.

Through the assistance of Stakeholder Fora, established throughout the country, of a total of 899 618 births registered from April 2010 – January 2011, 793 567 were registered within a year, representing 88%. This exceeds the target of 70% we had set for new born children to be registered within one year of birth. The registration of births within 30 days stands at 52% (412 655) of 793 567 registered within a year.

The total number of Late Registration of Birth (LRB) applications processed for the period April 2010 – January 2011 amounts to 161 562 compared to 109 898 for 2009/10.This represents an increase of 47%.

The total number of first issue applications increased from 834 353 between April 2009 – January 2010 to 1 094 308 in 2010/11.The total number of re-issue applications received from April – January 2010/11 is 1 193 159 compared to the same period in 2009/10 of 1 520 176 which represents a decline of 22% in the number of applications received.

Job creation

In line with the New Growth Plan, the department will play a role in recruiting and facilitating the entry into South Africa of identified critical skills.
2010 FIFA World Cup

The Department of Home Affairs, through its Movement Control System (MCS) and Advanced Passenger Processing (APP) System, contributed significantly to South Africa’s hosting of a successful 2010 FIFA World Cup. The MSC recorded a total of 2,387,524 visitors to South Africa, of whom 828 841 came from Africa.

These systems are now utilised on a daily basis in the department’s operations to record accurate statistics of traveller movements through the country’s ports of entry.

Zimbabwe Documentation Project

The department has also, for the first time, attempted to quantify the number of undocumented Zimbabwean nationals living in South Africa through the Zimbabwe Documentation Project.

We are now in the process of adjudicating the 275 762 applications we received up to the end of December 2010. However, we are still awaiting passports from applicants who are awaiting them from the Zimbabwean government. We will be meeting with both the Zimbabwean Ministers of Home Affairs on Monday and Tuesday, 21 and 22 in Pretoria to discuss these issues and the way forward.

Legislative review

The department, with a view to ensuring quality service delivery to all within the country’s borders as well as to achieve its constitutional mandates, undertook a legislative review process in the 2010/11 financial year.

In this regard, amendments to the Citizenship as well as the Registration of Births and Deaths Acts has ascended into law following ratification by the President.Amendments to the Immigration and Refugee Acts are currently before Parliament.

Statistics South Africa (STATS SA)

Census 2011

Stats SA is currently preparing for the largest census ever conducted in South Africa, beginning on 9 and 10 October 2011. More than 120 000 enumerators from local communities will be deployed to reach every household in the country and Stats SA has already completed and unveiled the questionnaire for census 2011.

The results of the Census 2011 will be instrumental in guiding government in the allocation of resources and improve access to basic services. Stats SA continues to produce more than 250 statistical releases every year that cover a broad spectrum of information on society and economy.

Stats SA has refined the system and based on these streamlined procedures were able to increase the reliability and extend reporting on performance. A priority area has been the benchmarking and rebasing of GDP, which has been successfully concluded. The revamping of the producer price index will continue for the next two years.

The 57th Session of the International Statistics Institute was successfully hosted in Durban in August 2010. South Africa serves as secretariat to the African Symposia for Statistical Development and chaired the United Nations Statistics Commission and Paris 21, the Partnership in Statistics for Development in the 21st Century.

Issued by: Department of Home Affairs
18 Feb 2011