Modern, Growing, Successful Province

Budget Speech of the Department of Social Development as presented by Ms. Martha Bartlett on the occasion of the Budget Speech on Tuesday September 10, 2019

Honourable Speaker and Deputy Speaker of the Legislature
Honourable Premier, Dr. Zamani Saul
Members of the Executive Council and Members of the Provincial Legislature
Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Health and Social Development, Ms. Sanna Tities
Executive Mayors, Mayors, Speakers and Councillors
Head of Department of Social Development, Ms. Hendrina Samson
Acting Regional Executive Manager of the South African Social Security Agency, Ms. Tsebeletso Makheta
Provincial Manager of the National Development Agency, Mr. Lesedi Piki
Community Based Organisations and Non Profit Organisations
Distinguished Guests
Ladies and Gentleman    

Socrates noted, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” Honourable Speaker, in building the new, the Premier have directed all of us to focus all our energy to build a Modern, Growing and Successful Province.

A province impatient with the high levels of poverty and unemployment which so many of people of our province find themselves trapped in.  

We can therefore no longer be at ease having the third highest expanded unemployment rate in the country according to Stats South Africa. We can no longer be at ease for as long as 44.8 percent of our population waking up to a yawning void of emptiness, with little opportunity for skills training or jobs. They look around them and all they see is poverty, not only economic poverty, but poverty of dignity passed on from the generation before them. They protest silently, screaming in frustration, KWANELE!  

Hierdie mense vind egter vertroosting in die Millennium-verklaring wat beweer: 'Vir die meerderheid van ons mense is elke dag wat aanbreek 'n dag van hoop; hoop dat ons land mettertyd die swaar las van armoede die hoof sal bied.

Agbare Speaker, die visie van 'n moderne, groeiende en suksesvolle provinsie vereis dat ons ons vrees oorkom en die krag van transformasie omhels. Dat ons die ingewikkeldheid van mekaar en die wêreld waarin ons leef, begryp. Dat ons verby die illusies en die waarhede sien wat ons vir onsself skep en saamwerk as regering, privaatsektor, burgerlike samelewing en godsdienstige leiers om ons gemeenskaplike uitdagings aan te spreek, want slegs deur eenheid in aksie en strategiese vennootskappe kan ons ons mense uit die kloue van armoede uitlug en ons Provinsie as 'n welvarende moderne, groeiende en suksesvolle provinsie vorentoe te laat beweeg.

Honourable Speaker, the 6th Administration have adopted seven priorites to guide and streamline government interventions and to ensure that we improve the coordination and integration of intervention across the spheres of government and private sector. This will ensure that we give meaningful impetus to our Policy Priority, namely: Consolidating the social wage through reliable and quality basic services.  Realising this priority depend on collective action across all spheres of government, especially provincial and local government and on strategic partnerships with private sector, civil society and community based organisations.

Honourable Speaker, in consolidating our social wage through realiable and quality services and in building a Modern, Growing and Successful Province, together with the Minister of Social Development, Ms. Lindiwe Zulu we have identified certain priority areas over MTEF period.

These include, but not limited to:

  • fighting the scourge of alcohol and substance abuse that causes immeasurable damage to our country especially the youth;
  • child abuse, neglect and exploitation, which rob our children of the joys of childhood;
  • gender based violence which is an affront to the ideals of the Freedom Charter of building an equal and non-sexists society;
  • improving the provision of developmental welfare and community development services to deliver better results for the most vulnerable;
  • deepening comprehensive social assistance by extending the scope of social security provisions:
  • enhance our coordination mechanisms, integration, planning, monitoring and evaluation to measure the impact of our interventions

Honourable Speaker, in line with these priorities and the Premier’s vision of a Modern, Growing and Successful Province, the Departemnt of Social Development will strengthen its service delivery programme on three-fronts, namely:

  1. community profiling to ensure evidence-based interventions,
  2. integrated awareness, prevention and statutory interventions in terms of social protection; and
  3. integrated development and empowerment interventions

Therefore, key to the realisation of a Modern, Growing and Successful Northern Cape is the enhancement of our coordination mechanisms and the need to strengthen our integrated planning, monitoring and evaluation capacity to measure the impact of our interventions.

Honourable Speaker, in terms of community profiling to ensure evidence-based interventions we have identified, the absence of real-time data to inform our planning and service delivery programme as a key constrain, this is further worsened by the silo approach to planning and implementation in terms of transversal and concurrent mandates.  Therefore in keeping with government’s new District Coordination Model appropriately named KHAWULEZA, which seeks to radically improve the coherence and impact of government service delivery and development, the Department, working with Statistics South Africa, Office of the Premier and Municipalities will embark on a programme to profile the Northern Cape communities, especially all poverty pockets to ensure the delivery of an integrated basket of services across the spheres of government.

Furthermore, at a policy level, working with Office of the Premier, the Department is in a process to develop an Anti-Poverty Strategy which will among other ensure we;

  • Define a provincial poverty line / measure to be used in terms of identifying who is poor, and where they are?
  • Identify the poor(est) communities in the Northern Cape based on a mutually agreed upon criteria
  • Consolidate all government interventions in terms of social protection
  • Develop a consolidated indigent household database across provincial and local government
  • Develop the range of interventions such households would qualify for and the departments and agencies responsible for such interventions
  • Strengthen referral mechanisms and reporting of such households in line with the targets as per the Anti-Poverty Strategy
  • Introduce a monitoring and evaluation framework to assess social protection interventions
  • Strengthen public-private-partnership in terms of government’s anti-poverty strategy

Honourable Speaker, our fiscal position as a Province dictates now more than ever, that we do things differently and that we strengthen our partnership with both private sector and local government to ensure we realise the vision of a Modern, Growing and Successful Province.  

Honourable Speaker, during the Budget Speech of the Minister of Social Development she committed the Department to the acceleration of the transformation of welfare services and the sector as a whole. To this end, she noted the provision of developmental welfare services to the most vulnerable is an integral part of our social protection agenda in the NDP.

Accordingly, she identified a number of initiatives that she will table to Cabinet in this financial year, key amongst these were; The White Paper for Social Development, the Social Services Practitioners Bill and the National Drug Master Plan.

The finalisation of these interventions will enable us to begin to implement the key recommendations of the Ministerial Committee on the Review of the 1997 White Paper for Social Welfare and ensure the migration from social welfare service to social developmental services. Once completed, the White Paper for Developmental Social Welfare will culminate into the Social Development Act.

Honourable Speaker, in terms of our integrated awareness, prevention and statutory intervention programme as it relates to social protection,

President Cyril Ramaphosa recently noted, "violence against women has become more than a national crisis and committed to the reviewal of laws on domestic violence and sexual offences to prioritise the needs and interests of survivors."  What have become of our men? Why are we killing those whom we ought to protect and care for? what have we done as women to face such brutality, SENZENINA?  Honourable Speaker, Allow me to borrow the words of an American poet, Wystan Auden,

Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone,
Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone,
Silence the pianos and with muffled drum
Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.
Let aeroplanes circle moaning overhead
Scribbling on the sky the message She Is Dead,

Honourable Speaker, we are in mourning because of the continuous sensele ss abuse and killings of women and children which tear at the very fabric of our society and poses a grave threat to our hard earned democracy.  This abuse serve as an impediment to the attainment of a better life for all, especially our women, children and persons with disability. The brutality women the passionate plea of women, asking SENZENINA?  

Honourable Speaker, with regard to the provision of services to victims and survivors of gender based violence, we note and welcome the recent report by the Commission on Gender Equality (CGE). The report, titled “State of Shelters in South Africa”, highlights inadequate funding, poor infrastructure and support, amongst its findings.  

We are therefore determined to implement, the recommendations of the CGE report and the Presidential Summit on Gender Based Violence and Femicide. In fact, work is already underway in this regard.

The Minister of Social Development, Ms. Lindiwe Zulu have undertaken to secure funding from the Criminal Assets Recovery Account to support shelters for victims of gender-based violence.

Agbare Speaker, ons Grondwet maak voorsiening vir die beskerming en versorging van die mees kwesbare in terme van mishandeling, verwaarlosing en uitbuiting. However this constitutional provision on its own does not guarantee the promotion and protection of the rights of women and children. The finalisation of the Victim Support Services Bill is therefore a key policy response to some of the identified challenges facing victims of gender-based violence.  

We have therefore set aside R 116 million to strenghten our interventions aimed at social crime prevention and victim empowerment. We will also be engaging our criminal justice system in an effort to ensure closer collaboration especially between the Department and the Police regarding the provision of social workers at police stations and the referral of victims to any of our 6 shelters for abused women and children for psychosocial support services. The creation of a safe society intolerant of all forms of violence against women and children requires a coordinated and integrated response, we will therefore be engaging both private sector and religious leaders to address the plight of women in this regard.  

Honourable Speaker, we are capable of far greater virtue than we think. To restore the human spirit in our society, to open the doors to the possibility of transformation, we must be led by compassion that unites us as human beings. That road to regaining our humanity, the true freedom from the bondage of fear that Allan Paton spoke about in his book Cry My Beloved Country.

The link between substance abuse and our social ills such as crime, poverty, dysfunctional family life, reduced productivity, unemployment and the burden of diseases such as HIV and AIDS, as well as injuries and premature deaths is undeniable. We have therefore set aside an allocation of R 44 million during this financial year for programmes and services aimed at the prevention of and treatment for substance abuse.  Our Treatment Centre is operational and is about to have its third intake, however, there is a need for us to address the root causes of substance abuse, if we are to succeed in addressing substance abuse.   

Agbare Speaker, MIV en vigs is steeds 'n dodelike siekte wat 'n kollektiewe reaksie vereis ten opsigte van voorkomingsdienste, psigososiale dienste en behandelingsdienste. Daarom sal ons voortgaan om tuisgemeenskapsgebaseerde versorgingsdienste te finansier, veral vir weeskinders en kwesbare kinders wat sulke dienste benodig, om 'n mate van normaliteit in hul lewens te verseker.

Die departement het R 27 million opsygesit vir die verskaffing van tuis- en psigososiale ondersteuningsdienste aan weeskinders en kwesbare kinders en huishoudings.  Die Department sal ook voortgaan om programe te implementeer wat daarop gemik is om gedragsverandering te bewerkstelig.

Therefore, in terms of Child Care and Protection, we have allocated R 60,8 million to address the needs of orphans and vulnerable children. Honourable Speaker, the Department committed to improve the quality of alternative care for children in residential facilities and has therefore started with much needed renovations at Lerato Place of Safety here in Kimberley.  The renovations will take  18 month to complete, however, the children have been moved to alternative facilities for the duration of the renovations. This will ensure that children's basic needs are met, their rights are protected. The care and protection of our children remains our collective responsibility, which calls for collective action from all sectors of society.

Honourable Speaker, we must continue to strengthen and intensify our early intervention and prevention services in order to ensure the provision of integrated and developmental programmes and services to promote the well being and protection of women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons for the restoration of families as the basic unit of our society.  

In terms of services to persons with disabilities, we have allocated R 9,7 million to fund 3 Residential Care Facilities for persons with disabilities for a 24 hour service. Further to this, we have allocated R 2,2 million for 7 Protective Workshops for persons with disabilities.
   
In terms of Older Persons, the Department will continue to fund the 55 Service Centres to provide community-based services to older persons, thereby ensuring we promote active ageing of our older persons.  However, we will also be strengthening our services in terms of residential care for both older persons and persons with disabilities.  The Department will therefore continue to fund 24 residential facilities which provides a 24 hour service for our frail older persons in the province.  We have allocated R 8,8 million to ensure we respond to the needs and challenges of our older persons in a comprehensive manner because we ought to ensure that our older persons are treated with care and dignity because they have dedicated their lives in service of others.

Honourable Speaker, during the 2019/20 financial year the South African Social Security Agency will pay just over 490 000 social grants, for this purpose, an amount of R 4 billion has been set aside, of which R 1,5 billion is for old age grants followed by R 1,3 billion for child support grants.  These grants remains an important instrument in the fight against poverty and deprivation.  

The high levels of unemployment has resulted in many people in our province experiencing food insecurity. Therefore in response to this challenge, the Department will continue to render food provision in the Province through the provision of nutritious meals to food insecure households and individuals through the funding and support to 143 Nutrition Centres across the Province. The Department has allocated an amount of R 26,6 million for the 19/20 financial year to render food provision services and ensure access to food for the poor and vulnerable in the Province.

Honourable Speaker, food security is a transversal mandate, we are therefore working Office of the Premier and the different Departments to ensure that we finalise the Integrated Food Security Strategy for the Province which will ensure greater integration and coordination of all food security interventions in the Province as part of Provincial Administration’s broader Anti-Poverty Strategy.  

Futhermore, SASSA has set aside R 12 million to supplement the R 7,8 million of the Department of Social Development’s allocation for Social Relief of Distress (SRD) in the form of food parcels, vouchers for school uniform and blankets to ensure immediate relief for families and people in distress, bringing the total budget of SRD to R 17,8 million. We are mindful that this is not sufficient to address the challenge, we will therefore be engaging Local Government to partner with us on social relief of distress amongst other issues of mutual interest and benefit.

Honourable Speaker, in terms of our integrated development and empowerment interventions, we are mindful of the temporary nature of our social investment interventions and their interdependencies.  We have therefore identified the need to focus on more developmental interventions to ensure a more developmental approach, because we are cognisant of the fact that some social ills are spurred on by economic challenges.

For this financial year we will therefore focus on the progressive and incremental incorporation of developmental aspects into our social protection interventions. To this end, we envision to pilot a developmental food security model at 1 Nutrition Centre in each of the 5 Districts. This model will focus on key programmatic focus areas, that will include among other; food security, household interventions, women development and community mobilisation and empowerment.

Key to achieving this will be the profiling of beneficiaries, referral of beneficiaries and linking of beneficiaries to employment opportunities based on their existing skills and experience. We will also do an assessment of the growth opportunities in the Nutrition Centre localities and work with the public and private sector entities to see how we skill these beneficiaries to create exit opportunities that will make them self-reliant and less dependent on government.

This model will then be incrementally replicated to other Nutrition Centres to entrench a more developmental approach when it comes to food security services.

Through our Community Mobilisation and Empowerment Programme, we successfully engaged Acwa Power for the development of social infrastructure in Topline and Wegdraai to the value of R 1,2 million. Honourable Speaker, we will continue to such partnerships in terms of resource mobilization, enterprise development and partnership development to make sure we derive more sustained outcomes in the 13 Community Mobilisation and Empowerment sites.

We have also successfully partnered with RV Resources in the Namakwa District and will therefore be training 240 young people in ICT and Project Management cources.  Furthermore, we have set aside R 2 million for the training of 100 young people in technical skills.  The Department is  currently funding 61 students to the value of R 4,8 million through the National Social Work Scholarship Programme.  50 of these students are exptected to complete their studies at the end of 2019 and 11 students should complete during the 2020 Academic year.  Of the current graduates, we have managed to appoint 9 Graduates in a permanent capacity and 35 on Contract during the 2018/19 Financial year.

However, the absorption of Social Work Scholars remains a challenge because there are currently 10 unemployed Social Work graduates.  Honourable Speaker, the National Department of Social Development have taken a decision to disolve the National Social Work Scholarship Programme against the backdrop of the fully subsidised (free) higher education and training for the less fortunate through NSFAS; and to redirect such funding towards the employment of unemployed Social Work Graduates and other Social Services Professions.

The Department also accorded 39 unemployed young people opportunities in the form of Learnerships, Internships and TVET Work Experience Programmes.  Of the 39 Interns, 18 were placed as Social Workers, 8 in Community Development, 7 in Communications and 6 as Principal Network Controllers. Honourable Speaker, we are in the process of appointing 40 young people through our Learnerships programme to ensure that these young people gain experience to enhance their employability.  

Honourable Speaker, I therefore want to take this opportunity to call on the private sector to constructively partner with us on creating skills development, enterprise development and employment opportunities for the poor and vulnerable people of our Province. It is my firm believe that only through strategic partnerships can we address the stubborn challenges of unemployment and poverty and enhance service delivery in the creation of a better life for all.

Honourable Speaker, early childhood development remains a catalytic intervention of government to ensure that our children are exposed to cognitive development that will enhance their productive ability later in life. The Department will intensify monitoring and compliance of ECDs to ensure compliance with the Children’s Act and the NPO Act.  We call upon parents to ensure that they verify the registration status of ECDs before enrolling their children in ECD centres. We further appeal to the community to work with the Department to ensure the reporting of non-registered NPOs. The Department will be launching a “know your NPO status” campaign in the coming weeks to ensure that no unregistered NPO, especially ECD centres operates in the Province.

Honourable Speaker, we have set aside R 91,7 million to provide access 20 514 children in terms of early childhood development services. Inclusive in the allocation of R 91,7 million is an amount of R 14,1 million which is a Conditional Grant to increase access to ECD Services and to address infrastructure challenges in terms of upgrades and maintenance at the 6 ECD Centres in Namakwa District.  Honourable Speaker, the Northern Cape has a population of 124 890 children aged 0 – 4 years, the 20 514 constitute a mere 16.4%, we will therefore be working with different stakeholders, including parents to strengthen our non-centre-based stimulation programmes, to ensure greater access to early childhood development services.

Honorable Speaker, the creation of work opportunities for the unemployed remains our collective responsibility. Therefore, the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) remains one of government's catalyst initiatives aimed at involving unemployed South Africans in productive work. Therefore, the Department received an allocation of R 10,7 million from the Social Sector EPWP Incentive Grant. This allocation will enable the Department to create 400 work opportunities for our poor and vulnerable people.  In addition, we have set aside an additional R 31 million from our Equitable Share allocation to create additional 1 200 work opportunities to ensure we strengthen the provision of our service.  Honourable Speaker, although the EPWP stipend is marginal, it goes a long way in contributing positively to restore the dignity and self-esteem of our poor and vulnerable people because it provides them with opportunities to work and earn their living.

Honourable Speaker, we are in the process to insource our De Aar and Namakwa Child and Youth Care Centres which is currently managed by Bosasa.  We have given Bosasa notice of termination and will therefore be insourcing these two facilities with effect 1 November 2019.  The insourcing of Bosasa will result in the insourcing of 143 jobs in line with the Premier’s call for the insourcing of outsourced services to ensure decent employment.

Honourable Speaker, the budget allocation for the Department for the 2019/20 financial year is R 920 million, inclusive in this allocation is a R 24,9 million conditional grant allocation.

The allocation is as follows, Social Welfare Services R 133 million; Children and families R 299 million; Restorative Services R 180 million; Research and Development R 152 million; and Administration R 153 million.

Our budget clearly demonstrates our commitment to service with over R 767 million going to service delivery line function programmes and only R 153 million going towards Administration.

Honourable Speaker, allow me to express my most sincere appreciation and gratitude to the officials of the Department of Social Development under the capable leadership of the Head of Department, Ms. Hendrina Samson. I also wish to express my gratitude to the Regional Executive Manager of SASSA, Ms. Tsebeletso Makheta and the Provincial Manager of NDA, Mr. Lesedi Piki and their entire staff because it is through their selfless acts and commitment that I can boldly state that we are a Department hard at work to address the plight of our people.  

I also wish to express my gratitude to the officials in my office, under the leadership of Ms. Lorato Moleleki, because it is through their commitment that I am propelled forward. To my family, I am forever grateful for your love, support and understanding.  It is because of your love and selflessness that I am able to dedicate my time and energies to the people of this beautiful Province of ours. 

To the Premier of the Northern Cape, Dr. Zamani Saul and my colleagues in the Executive Council and the Legislature, thank you for your guidance and continued support in our collective aspiration as we strive to create a better life for all.

Lastly, to the movement of the people, the African national Congress, I am forever grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of the Northern Cape.

Because like Elias Inbram, I too believe “when your heart beats for the people - when your eyes see their suffering and your vision sees their relief - and a united world – where goodness is the status quo - Then you have responsibility to take every action to make not only change happen, but to improve the lives of all whom you can touch”.

I thank you

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