Modern, Growing, Successful Province

DSD Budget Speech by MEC Sokatsha


Budget Speech of the Department of Social Development as presented by MEC Mxolisi Sokatsha
10 July 2014

Honourable Speaker and Deputy Speaker
Honourable Premier, Mrs. Sylvia Lucas
Colleagues in the Executive Council
The Chief Whip and Leaders of various Political Parties
Honourable Members of the Provincial Legislature
Members of Parliament present here today
Mayors, Speakers and Councilors from various municipalities
Heads of Departments and other Government Officials
Representatives of Civil Society
Leaders of the business community and community organisations
Representatives of our Key Stakeholders and Partners – The NDA & SASSA
Community Based Organisations and Non Profit Organisations
Special Guests and Members of the Media
Distinguished Guests
Family members, Comrades and Friends
The People of  the Northern Cape

Dumelang, Molweni, Goeie Middag, Good Afternoon

Honourable Speaker,

Perhaps it is only proper that I must thank you for this opportunity, to table the 2014-2015 Budget Vote of the Department of Social Development, whose mandate is to build a caring society together with our people.

I am particularly ecstatic, because this happens on the birthday of Kalushi Solomon Mahlangu, a heroic son of our people and dedicated member of the African National Congress who was executed by the white minority racist regime.

This young hero of the South African revolutionary struggle, was a dedicated opponent of racism, Apartheid and colonial domination.  His only crime was his deep love for his people, his commitment and dedication to the noble ideal of freedom, human dignity and happiness of the people.

By making the supreme sacrifice Solomon Mahlangu, demonstrated the most noble qualities of a true patriot, thus reflecting the fighting spirit of our people.

Honourable Speaker,   23 year old Solomon Mahlangu faced the gallows, raised his hand in the ANC salute, and met his death at the hands of a racist regime.  And these are his final words: "My blood will nourish the tree that will bear the fruits of freedom. Tell my people that I love them. They must continue the fight."

Compatriots and friends, it is these words of a true hero of our struggle, that inspire our work. It is because of him and the many others who paid the ultimate price that we celebrate 20 years of Freedom today.

The National Development Plan 2030, our blueprint for the elimination of poverty and reduction of inequality, requires of us to work with increased vigour and accelerated speed to eliminate all the obstacles that stand in the way of our desired dream of a better life for all. This plan, has charged  the Department of Social Development with the responsibility to Build an inclusive and responsive social protection system.

In responding to this strategic objective of addressing chronic poverty by 2030, the Department through the Balelapa Household Survey, has identified 48,000 no income households with the aim of delivering a range of social protection services identified in these households by 2030.

For this financial year, 2,000 no income households will be targeted in order to ensure that these households are graduated to attain at least the minimum living standard. This is over and above the 1250 that were targeted in the last financial year.

Today, we are outlining the Department’s plans aimed at increasing the accessibility of a range of social protection services that would:

  • Care for and protect the rights of vulnerable groups
  • Build family life, and
  • Strengthen partnerships with non-profit organizations (NPO’s)

We remain mindful that we cannot achieve an inclusive and responsive social protection system all by ourselves.

We need Government Departments, Municipalities, Business ,the NGO sector and communities to complement what we are doing so that together we can provide an integrated basket of  services  to no income families, to children living  on the street, to the homeless, victims  of crime and violence, to people with disabilities, with the aim  of ensuring that  no-one slips  below the minimum standard  of living.

Honourable Speaker,

My predecessor Honourable MEC Tiny Chotelo started our journey to respond to the service needs of the vulnerable in May when she launched the annual winter relief programme which is rolled out in all 5 districts.

In the middle of June I personally led the department in serving soup to a 100 children and youth living on the streets of Kimberley. They each received a warm blanket, a Beanie, a pair of tekkies and a jacket to fight off this winter cold.

In addition our winter relief food security programme is also extended to the men on the side of the road and people making a living on the dumps.

In partnership with Gift of the Givers, we are providing close to 14 000 meals in Frances Baard alone for the duration of the winter relief programme. 

We wish to acknowledge and thank the Gift of the Givers for coming on board and their generous support.

We urge other stakeholders to come on board, for we believe it is only through working together that we can move South Africa forward.

War on Poverty

Honourable Speaker, let me remind this house about the words of our revered statesman and international icon, the late former President Nelson Mandela, during his address at the “Make Poverty History Campaign” at London’s Trafalgar Square in 2005, when he said: “Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings.”

It is against this background, that the budget we table this afternoon, gives effect to the department’s contribution towards tackling the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.

The scourge of poverty and underdevelopment continues to define the lives of many in our communities.  The safety nets that we put in place in support of vulnerable families are anchored in our sustainable livelihoods programmes. Not only do we seek to address the problems of food and income security, but we also focus on empowering, mobilising and developing the poor and the marginalised.

Key to eliminating poverty and reducing inequality is the investment in human development and especially in young people. In breaking the intergenerational cycle of poverty, for this financial year, 2000 change agents from the 2000 no income families will be linked to developmental and employment opportunities.

The most effective poverty alleviation programme has been government’s social security programme.  SASSA the agency of the department responsible for grant administration, will be paying out a monetary value of just under R 3 billion over the financial year to 423 150 beneficiaries in the Northern Cape.

Of these grants close to 77 356 are old age grants, 48 036 disability grants, 13 685 foster care, 279 399 child support grants and 4 674 care dependency grants.

Food for All

Honourable Speaker

Although, food insecurity continues to represent one of the greatest stumbling blocks to social, emotional and economic development in South Africa, we are inspired by the findings of the study led by the National Planning Commission, which revealed that poverty levels in our country and indeed our province is on the decrease. This is also supported by the Poverty Trends report of Statistics South Africa.

As in most countries worldwide, food insecurity in South Africa is indisputably a consequence of poverty, and poverty is directly linked to income inequality.

Whilst we acknowledge this challenge we also need to state that the Department has intervened and put in place various measures to address hunger and food insecurity.

In line with the National Development Plan, the Department of Social Development gives effect to the Fetsa Tlala Programme through the social protection element of our work, which makes funding available to Community Nutrition Centres ( commonly known as Soup Kitchens) and Community Development Centres (Drop In Centres) to run food provision points across the province.

This financial year we will strengthen and reinforce our 110 Community Nutrition Centres and 29 Community Development Centres. These Centres serve the needs of the poor, vulnerable and destitute who find it difficult to respond to the shocks and stresses that threaten their livelihoods. 

To further strengthen our food security Programme, we are pleased to announce that we will establish a Provincial Food Distribution Centre in partnership with the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development, the National Department of Social Development and the National Development Agency. In addition to this we will establish regional Community Food Depots and Community Nutrition Centres to enhance food distribution to the poor and vulnerable.

To this end, we have put aside R11 million for food security this financial year.


Honourable Speaker

As the Department of Social Development we are embarking on a new approach to community development whereby we focus on building the capabilities of individuals and communities to drive their own development.

Central to the Community Capacity Enhancement methodology, are community dialogues that seek to create a platform for community members to come together to reflect on their situation, focusing on both their strengths and challenges.

The community dialogues will culminate into community-based plans to guide all stakeholders with the implementation of key community development interventions that will lead to more sustained developmental outcomes.

Honourable Speaker,

We have piloted the Community Capacity Enhancement processes in Cassel in John Taolo Gaetsewe and Strydenburg in Pixley Ka Seme districts. In the Strydenburg community we facilitated the establishment of a vibrant NPO, the Strydenburg Future Leaders Organisation, driven by young people who are leading social change in the community. In Cassel Village, we facilitated the training of 15 Co-op members, comprising mainly women, in sewing skills. This will allow them to participate in the DSD/SASSA/NDA school uniform project.

For this financial year we will roll out the Community Capacity Enhancement programme to Topline in ZF Mgcawu district, Majeng in Frances Baard, Williston and Fraserburg in Namakwa as well as Seoding and Camden in John Taolo Gaetsewe.

Youth Development

Honourable Speaker

The greatest asset of this country is not its mineral resources, but its young people.  It is because of the youth that we are able to enjoy the fruits of the tree that was nourished by the blood of Hector Peterson, Solomon Mahlangu and many more.  Their selfless sacrifice and dedication to the liberation of the poor will forever be etched in our collective memory.

We are obliged to optimally utilize our most precious resource by enabling them to develop and actively contribute to the society that our founding father Utata’ Mandela and many other liberation struggle heroes fought for.

It is because of this consciousness that as a Department we continue to be at the forefront of championing youth development with our social partners and other stakeholders.

To that end the Executive Council passed a resolution to establish a provincial Inter-Departmental Youth Development Forum which will shortly be launched under the joint leadership of the Department of Social Development and the National Youth Development Agency.

Through the department’s skills development programmes such as our learner and driver’s license project, we will be providing 75 Change Agents with learner and driver’s licenses, thus improving their employability.  An additional 225 young people, many of whom will be change agents will be trained in technical skills and other accredited training to enable them to take up available opportunities. In doing so, they too can contribute to their own development and become model citizens, mindful of their role in the creation of a caring society. 

We have therefore set aside R 2.4 million for these training initiatives, and we are hoping that through partnerships with private sector and SETAs, we can leverage more funding.

In addition we have set aside an amount of R 2, 3 million to strengthen  the 25 funded Youth Service Centres across the Province in an attempt to ensure that young people are able to fully participate in all spheres of life.

Expanded Public Works Programme

Honourable Speaker,

In terms of our Expanded Public Works Programme which remains one of government’s programmes aimed at providing poverty and income relief through temporary work and skills programmes for the unemployed to carry out socially useful activities.

For the 2014/ 15 we have qualified for an allocation of R 6,1 million for the EPWP Social Sector Incentive Grant.

This will enable us to create 320 work opportunities for poor needy people focussing on change agents, who otherwise would have been condemned to a life of poverty without any income.

Through our partnership with the Department of Roads and Public Works, we have been able to create an additional 266 work opportunities for cooks at our Community Nutrition Centres.

Capacity Building and Support to NPO’s

Honourable Speaker

The Department takes cognisance of the progressive contribution made by the 822 funded Non-Profit Organizations in strengthening the much needed service delivery to the poor and vulnerable.

Together with the National Department, we have embarked upon a campaign to register and re-register NPO’s on the system to ensure they continue to operate and function in our communities.

I must be upfront and say that although we value the partnership with the NPO sector, we will not be able to advance this partnership with NPO’s that do not want to comply with the requirements of the Department and the NPO Act. It is this non-compliance, that compromises our endeavours of good governance.

Therefore, in our efforts to strengthen funded NPO’s and enhance compliance, we have in partnership with the NDA spent R 2, 6 million to capacitate the NPO’s in the John Taolo Gaetsewe and Pixley Ka Seme Districts in the last financial year.

For this financial year we are making available R5, 8 million in order to provide capacity building support to NPO’s in the province.

We have increased our support to this sector by making available a transfer budget of R 190 million for this financial year, which marks a 4% increase over the last financial year’s allocation. Given the significance of the investment, we are intensifying our monitoring and vigilance of funded NPO’s to ensure increased accountability, value for money, and that communities and beneficiaries receive quality services.

Honourable Speaker,

In line with the vision of the department of “A caring and Self-Reliant Society” our social welfare services are aimed at improving the quality of life of individuals, groups, communities with a view towards promoting social integration.  It is also important to note that the department has adopted the life cycle (from the cradle to the grave) approach in providing services. 

Early Childhood Development

The National Development Plan states that the single most important investment any country can make is in its children. Therefore, stimulation, protection and development of children have intrinsic and instrumental value in creating societies that are better equipped to respond to the challenges of the 21st Century and beyond.

Honourable Speaker,

We will therefore ensure that the goals outlined in the NDP relating to Early Childhood Development is not a pipe dream. To that end we have developed and rolled out an Early Childhood Development Programme to ensure that children receive appropriate emotional , cognitive and physical development stimulation.

To ensure that children are cared for in an environment that is conducive to development, the NDA has constructed 3 ECD’s Centres in the Joe Morolong Municipality to the amount of R 1.9million and also upgraded the Steinkopf ECD Centre.

Furthermore the NDA, has launched its Adopt An ECD Campaign to mobilise business towards investing in Early Childhood Development in the Province through their Corporate Social Investment Programmes.

Honourable Speaker,

Sad as this may sound, there are certain rural communities that do not have ECD Centres in this province. Because we are caring government and we are interested in the development of children in our rural communities, the department in partnership with the NDA has invested in two fully equipped mobile ECD centres that will take stimulation programmes to communities in John Taolo Gaetsewe and Pixley Ka Seme districts.

We are currently funding 18 422 children in 391 ECD facilities at R15 per day per child also benefitting 1749 ECD Practitioners. We have also funded the training of two hundred and twenty six (226) practitioners successfully attain the NQF Level 4 ECD qualification.

Honourable Speaker

Please join me as I congratulate Ms. Rachel Selebogo, one of our practitioners from Warrenton, who came second in the category best practitioner at the National South African Early Childhood Development Awards last year. 

The budget allocation of R 76 million which is 40 % of the total transfer budget to NPO’s will be utilised to strengthen and expand services to early childhood development during the 2014 / 2015 financial year.

Child Protection

Our children are our future. If we are to protect that future we have to nurture and invest in our children today. Yet some of our children grow up in an environment which is not conducive to their future development. They face many challenges, ranging from the need for education to issues of abuse.

We must protect our children wherever they are, whether they are living with their families or are orphaned and need to be placed in protective environments.

Honourable Speaker

In a bid to raise awareness on this important responsibility on the 01th of June 2014, I launched the National Child Protection week at Lerato Place of Safety to sensitize communities about the importance of care and protection of our children.

The Child Protection Week aims to complement Isolabantwana and Neighbour Helping Neighbour Child Protection Programmes implemented within our communities by 397 volunteers across the province. 

It is also important to note that this year the department embarked on a project to intensify services to children living on the street as mentioned earlier. Social workers are engaging with these children with a view towards reuniting them with their families or to place them in alternative care.

The safety of our children comes under continuous threat, despite efforts to create safe environments for the most vulnerable.  Therefore, we will continue to fund the 7 Children’s Homes which provide shelter to the needy and a home away from home. 

The demand to be accommodated at these alternate care options are high and will therefore be expanded at a cost of R 2605.00 per child per month in need of care and protection. For this financial year, a budget of R12 million has been made available for this programme.

Honourable Speaker,

It is our collective responsibility to choose the path of renewal and ensure a more hopeful and brighter future for all children in foster care.

During Child Protection Week, the Department embarked on a  Foster Care Letsema, to ensure a safety net for our children in need.

The Department will therefore continue to strengthen services to approximately 14 000 children who are in foster care. 

The budget for services to children in the 2014 / 2015 financial year is R 56.5million.

Services to Families

Honourable Speaker

The family is the basic and natural unit of society, which plays a critical role of nurturing and caring for individual family members, from children, to youth, men, women, people living with disabilities and the older generation.

The family is an invisible umbilical cord, therefore as part of the Department’s endeavours to keep that cord together we will continue to strengthen family preservation services with our NGO partners.

The focus this year will be to strengthen the functioning of the family through the implementation of the following programmes:

  • Marriage enrichment and marriage preparatory programmes
  • Parenting skills to promote effective parenting
  • Family mediation services to address family disputes
  • Promote family reunification services to ensure family preservation.
  • Empowerment of fathers to enable them to play a more significant role in the care, protection and development of their families

We will therefore be spending an amount of R 3 million during this financial year to ensure that we reassert our families as the basic unit of our society.

Persons with Disabilities and Older Persons

Honourable Speaker

As a caring government, people with disabilities, the frail and  older persons should be prioritised for services and protection.

We will continue to expand our service centres for persons with disabilities, especially focussing on rural areas.  The Department has set aside R 5 million for services to people with disabilities, and this funding will be primarily used for the 3 Residential Care Facilities, Protective Workshops and Community Based Care and Support Services.

In addition to the services provided by the department, 48086   people with disabilities are receiving social grants from SASSA at a Rand Value of R67,7 million.

Furthermore 4 674 primary care givers receive a care dependency grant to the total rand value of R 6,3 million to look after and care for people with multiple disabilities.

Honourable Speaker,

We have set aside R 12. 7 million for care and services to older persons in order for them to enjoy their rights as stipulated in the Older Persons Act and in the Constitution of the Republic.

I was therefore honoured to have hosted Older Persons on the 20th of June 2014, as we celebrated the “World Elder Abuse Awareness Day” in Richmond. The main aim was to sensitize communities about the plight of older persons.  

We remain committed to continue funding the 23 residential facilities, commonly known as old age homes as well as the 66 Community Based Service Centres for Older Persons.

These centres are becoming very popular amongst our senior citizens since it is a move away from residential care to community based care that promotes active ageing within a community setting. 

Our older persons will again this year participate in the District Golden Games in preparation for the National Golden Games, which will be held in Mpumalanga.  This is the Department’s flagship programme for promoting active ageing.

As we celebrate 20 years of Democracy, the Department will continue to fund and provide support to the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle for the meaningful role they played in bringing about democracy in this country.

It is an open secret that the provision of social services to communities cannot be the responsibility of government alone. It is for this reason that I wish to thank the Maphalane Disabled Children’s Trust for contributing towards the renovation of the Old Age Home in Batlharos, and for the 200 tailor made wheelchairs which were handed over in April this year. To Maphalalane I wish to say, kgetsi ya tsie e kgonwa ka go tshwaraganelwa!

Substance Abuse

Honourable Speaker

It is a reality that Alcohol and Drug Abuse is a menace to our society and an obstacle to us achieving our goal of eliminating poverty and inequality.

While the Department remains the custodian for the implementation of the Provincial Integrated Substance Abuse Prevention Strategy 2012 – 2017, the fight against this scourge must be waged in collaboration with our communities and all stakeholders. We will therefore be formalising the Provincial Substance Abuse Forum to play a critical role in coordinating the collective effort in dealing with the substance abuse problem in the province. 

As you may be aware, our Province is one of the few without its own Public In-Patient Treatment Centre for substance abuse.

It with pride and joy, that I announce this afternoon that Government has listened to the outcry of our communities and we will establish the first ever Government Funded In-Patient Treatment Facility in our province.

The Department has received an amount of R42 million over the Medium Term Expenditure Framework, to establish this Facility. This is a tremendous milestone for the people of the Northern Cape, as this centre will provide voluntary and involuntary services for adults and children.

Honourable Speaker

While the In-Patient Treatment facility is still under construction, the Department will continue to fund 15 beds at the Resilia Clinic in Upington for the referral of substance and alcohol users. To this end, an amount of R3 .3 million has been allocated to fund the voluntary services.

The Ke Moja “I am fine without drugs” Substance Abuse School Based Awareness Programme will continue to be implemented in all schools to Grade 8 learners. In instances where all Grade 8 learners have been covered, Grade 9 learners will be targeted.

Last year we announced the research commissioned in Pescodia and Galeshewe to determine the prevalence of Foetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS).  The research has been completed and the results will be made public before the end of this financial year.

The Department has set aside a total budget of R 10.4 million for the Fight against Substance Abuse.

Victim Empowerment

Honourable Speaker

Our inspirational icon Nelson Mandela once said: “Freedom cannot be achieved unless women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression”. In responding to the clarion call by uTata, it therefore becomes important that we create an environment for women and children to feel safe and protected by both government and society at large.

In the past financial year the Department funded 3 Victim Empowerment Centres and the Court Support Programmes in the Province. 

For this financial year we are expanding services to John Taolo Gaetsewe, where we will be establishing a new Victim Empowerment Centre. We shall also facilitate the establishment of a Provincial Command Centre for Victims of Gender Based Violence to ensure rapid response to cases.  

We will also focus on vigorous marketing of the Victim Empowerment Services and raise awareness through the continuous implementation of the 365 Days Awareness Campaign on No Violence Against Women and Children.

The Victim Empowerment Programme is funded to the tune of R 6.8 million for the 2014 / 2015 financial year.

Social Crime Prevention

Honourable Speaker

As a department we are concerned about the number of our children being arrested on a daily basis and therefore, remain committed to provide responsive services to children in conflict with the law and their families. 

To this end, the Department will continue to fund and manage the four Child and Youth Care Centres to provide comprehensive services to children and youth in conflict with the law. Furthermore, the Child and Youth Care Centre in De Aar will be upgraded to provide suitable accommodation for sentenced youth.

The Department will also be rolling out five accredited Diversion Programmes to children in conflict with the law to divert them from the formal criminal justice system.

Together with stakeholders such as SAPS, CPF’s and Municipalities, we will continue to intensify social crime prevention programmes in the high crime weighted areas.

Let us join hands in helping our children make the right choices and the right decisions so that they become better, future citizens of our Country.

For this financial year, Social Crime Prevention programme gets a budget of R 57 million.

Services to People infected and affected by HIV / AIDS

Honourable Speaker

The department primarily renders psychosocial support services to people who are affected and infected by HIV/AIDS through the Home and Community Based Care Program. Therefore to ensure that this service is made available the Department of Social Development continues to fund and support organizations that offer a range of services to individuals and families infected and affected by HIV and AIDS.

Through partnership with National Association of Child and Youth Care Workers (NACCW) the department is implementing a best practice model in supporting orphans and vulnerable children, called the Isibindi Programme which has been cited as a best practice model.

Honourable Speaker,

The Isibindi Programme will be expanded to the Kamiesberg / Garies area whereby 42 community members will be trained in Child and Youth Care.

For 2014 / 2015 we will therefore be funding 13 Isibindi Sites at a cost of R 8.4 million. This will then create job opportunities for 228 young people benefitting 15 552 children and youth.

Honourable Speaker

We will also intensify the implementation of the HIV Prevention Strategy in the Province by conducting prevention and awareness programmes in all 5 districts with the assistance of the Home Based Care Givers Organisations.

The budget for the HIV and AIDS programme this financial year is R 19 million.

Administration and Governance

Honourable Speaker

The enhancement of our service delivery capacity is at the heart of our efforts to improve quality of and access to our services by our communities.   It is therefore important to note that we have appointed 26 new social workers, all graduates from the social work scholarship programme funded by the Department. Also, we were able to increase our fleet with 41 brand new vehicles which we will be handing over to Districts today. 

A system of good governance and an effective control environment is determined by the Department’s ethical values, competence of personnel, management’s operating style and techniques used to assign authority and responsibility.

It is a matter of proud record, that although the target is 30 days, almost all our service providers are paid with 10 days upon submission of invoices. This is evident in the department having been cited by the Presidency as a national best practice for paying our suppliers within 30 days upon submission of invoices. 

All of these activities I have mentioned are indeed the fruits of freedom as nourished by the blood of Mahlangu and many others such as Hector Peterson.

It is our firm belief that the R651 million budget we are tabling in this  house today, will go a long way towards tackling the vast challenges facing the poorest of the poor and the marginalised in our province.

Of this budget, 16% (R 106 million) is allocated to Administration, 14% (R 93 million) is allocated to Social Welfare Services.

34 % (R 219 million) goes to Children and Families, 19% (R 120 million) is for Restorative Services and 17% (R 111 million) will be used for Development & Research.

Looking into the budget in comparison to the 2013 / 14 financial year we observe a growth rate of 7% in 2014 / 15 and a total average annual nominal growth of 5% for the coming MTEF.

In conclusion Honourable Speaker, allow me to express my profound appreciation for the support received from:

The Premier and my colleagues in the Executive Council,
The Speaker and Members of the Provincial Legislature , in particular the Portfolio Committee on Health and Social Development,
The NGO’s and key stakeholders, SASSA and the NDA and finally the Head of Department and the entire Team DSD for ensuring that the departmental plans are implemented in an effective, efficient and economical manner.

My thanks also go to the ministerial team, headed by Reverend Given Pieterse, for rendering political support. I also wish to thank our families, friends and partners who sacrifice so much for us to be able to help Build A caring Society. Together.

I thank you! Enkosi! Ke a leboga! Baie Dankie!

God bless you All!

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