Modern, Growing, Successful Province

Department of Social Development Budget Speech 2012

22 May 2012

The torch of freedom is burning bright amongst the people of the Northern Cape. We must be the first to pay tribute to the People’s Movement, the ANC, for its perseverance and pursuit of 100 years of relentless and consistent people’ struggle.
We are saying so because just over the past five years, the statements by the ANC’s National Executive Committee on the unresolved challenge of poverty has been consistent, courageous and highly self- critical.

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Honourable Speaker,

Allow me to quote its consistent pronouncements over the last five years:- On its 95thAnniversary, the ANC declared 2007, "The Year To Intensify The Struggle Against Poverty As We Advance In Unity Towards 2012 - Phambili" ; On its 96th Anniversary, the ANC declared in 2008 that “Our most effective weapon in the campaign against poverty is the creation of decent work”; On its 97thAnniversary, the ANC declared in 2009 that “Many households and communities remain trapped in poverty. Unemployment remains stubbornly high”;On its 98thAnniversary, the ANC declared in 2010 that “The most pressing challenges we face are that of unemployment, poverty and inequality. To address these challenges and underdevelopment, we must simultaneously accelerate economic growth and transform the quality of that growth”;On its 99th Anniversary, the ANC declared in 2011 that “We still have unacceptably high levels of poverty and inequality. We have a crisis of high unemployment in our country. It is only by enabling our people to free themselves from poverty, by providing decent and sustainable jobs and opportunities to become entrepreneurs that we will really bring about a better life for all”. And On its coming of age during its Centenary Anniversary, the ANC declared in 2012 that “We must therefore continue to work tirelessly and with ever-greater urgency to ensure that we meet and exceed the Millennium Development Goals of halving poverty and unemployment by 2015.”

Honourable Speaker,

Does this not adequately demonstrate the unfailing nature of the ANC’s love for its people?

Honourable Speaker,

The democratic government’s very first policy programme, the Reconstruction and Development Programme, highlighted and I quote “Poverty is the single greatest burden of South Africa's people. Attacking poverty and deprivation is therefore the first priority of the democratic government.”

Honourable Speaker,

I thus humbly wish to submit to this house that the African National Congress has since that Monday in 1912 lived up to the aspirations of the African people to become and remain the vanguard of our people, led and built by stalwart and astute leaders into a formidable beacon of hope and indeed in the words of the Chief Albert Luthuli became a “premier political organization”.

Chief Albert Luthuli, was the first Nobel Peace Prize laureate in the country and on the African continent, a visionary whose leadership and legacy as the eighth President-general of the ANC the Northern Cape is honoured to celebrate later this year as part of the celebration of this momentous milestone of our glorious movement.

And today as we reflect on a very important portfolio of government business and service delivery, social development, allow me to dedicate this Budget Vote to the life and sacrifices of this great leader and gallant fighter of our liberation.

We celebrate Chief Luthuli for his fearlessness in leading what is known as the decade of defiance marked by militant yet peaceful mass struggles such as the Defiance Campaign, the Stay-at-Home strikes, the bus boycott, the mass campaign against passes for Women, the struggle against Bantu Education, the Workers’ struggle for a pound-a-day minimum wage and etcetera.

We admire Chief Luthuli for his bold outspokenness against the injustices of the time, in particular against what he termed “restrictive government policies and a go-slow by the Apartheid State in promoting and aiding the development of Blacks and specifically Africans.

Honourable Speaker,

Allow me therefore, in similar boldness of conscience, to gauge our policies and vigour to advance the development of our people as I dwell on Budget Vote 11 as policy statement on social development for the year ahead in the Northern Cape.

Honourable Speaker,

The struggle for this social transformation continues in 2012 with President Jacob Zuma at the helm of the ANC that by the way is and shall continue to be the “premier political organization” of Chief Albert Luthuli and his peers. The ANC that continues to lead the National Democratic Revolution in 2012 in pursuit of the 5 key priorities as per its 2009 Elections Manifesto.

And as we enter the second half of the 5-year electoral cycle we as government have to reflect on our performance in relation to those priorities.

Unlike the restrictive policies of the past, this government strives to put in place progressive policies that facilitate progress and social transformation for the sustainable development and growth of the economy.

Honourable Speaker,

Key amongst these is the National Development Plan of Government which was launched last year by the Planning Commission in the Presidency to articulate the long term vision and roadmap for government. Also known as Vision 2030 the NDP highlights the three key challenges, commonly referred to as the triple challenge namely poverty, inequality and unemployment that are at the core of our social transformation and development agenda.

The NDP envisions a state where, by 2030

Firstly, there should be no one living in poverty, meaning no household living below R418 a month per person in 2009 rands.
Secondly the level of inequality as measured by the Gini co-efficient should have fallen to 0.6
Thirdly the unemployment rate should have fallen to 6% in 2030 (14% by 2020)

Honourable Speaker,

I will therefore turn towards the plans of the Department within the aforementioned context and framework.

Honourable Speaker,

On Policy Priority One: Protecting the Poor

We cannot over-emphasise the fact, that despite our best efforts poverty remains the single biggest challenge that we should be addressing and do so with speed.

The work of the Department will continue to unfold under the broad banner of the War on Poverty and Inequality as envisioned by the National Development Plan and in pursuit of “a Poverty Free South Africa”. The focus will be in the 63 War on Poverty wards of which 21 are situated in Frances Baard, 11 in John Taole Gaetsewe, 9 in Siyanda, 4 in Namakwa and 18 in Pixley ka Seme district.

Honourable Speaker,

The Balelapa Household Profiling Project has been undertaken, been measured and pass the test of it having been a People-Centred project. Two hundred and twenty one thousand four hundred and forty two (221 442) households have been profiled in the province.Capturing of household profiles on the National Integrated Social Information System (NISIS) commenced in April 2012 and the training of designated departmental and municipal War on Poverty Focal Persons on the system will commence shortly. The NISIS will put us in a position to access and update service delivery in terms of referrals and measure and monitor progress and impact of all interventions based on the referrals.

By the end of social development month in October 2012,the department would have completed 5 District Balelapa Analysis Reports and 1 Provincial Report based on the household profiles to be used for planning and decision-making regarding critical interventions, service delivery and poverty reduction targets across departments and municipalities in the Northern Cape.

This will entail working together with districts in targeting the 6,83% of households living in chronic, abject poverty within the Northern Cape Province. Concerted efforts will go into addressing issues of no-income households, access to services, the empowerment of change agents and to over time gradually alleviate the breadth, depth, duration and ultimately the vicious cycle of poverty in these targeted households.

We can also confirm that the national sphere of Government has applauded the Northern Cape for being the first and only province to undertake and conclude the profiling of its households and as such the trendsetter in public service innovation.

Honourable Speaker,

On Social Security

Although social security is targeted at the elderly, children and the disabled, grants play an important role in overall poverty reduction within communities.

Just over 426 000 grants will be paid out by government through SASSA in the Northern Cape with a monetary value of just under R3 billion over the financial year. Of these grants close to 73 000 are old age grants, 51 000 disability grants, 20 000 foster care and a whopping 277 000 child support grants.The combined effect of all grants is that it reduced the percentage of Northern Cape children living in poverty from 40.8% to 31.4%, and percentage of the province’s elderly from 56,3% to 17.6%.

Honourable Speaker,

It therefore gives me great pleasure to remind this honourable house and our Northern Cape citizens about the increases in social grants as announced by the Honourable Minister of Finance on National Budget Day. With effect from last month, that is April 2012:

The monthly state old age pension and the disability and care dependency grants increased by R60 a month to R1 200, or R1 220 for pensioners over theage of 75,
Foster care grants increased by R30 to R770,
The child support grant increased to R280

In the same vein allow me to remind our social grant beneficiaries about the re-registration of social grant beneficiaries that is currently underway to be concluded on 31 May 2012. The main objective of this re-registration process is to verify the identification of grant beneficiaries in an effort to eliminate fraud and corruption in the system. All grant beneficiaries will be issued with a new SASSA Smart Card between June and December 2012. The benefit of the biometric system to beneficiaries is that they will be able to draw or receive their grants anywhere in the country as opposed to only their local pay points as is the case currently.

Honourable Speaker,

On Food for all

No person deserves to go hungry due to the lack of food. The results of three national surveys in terms of the proportion of people who were free from, at risk of and experiencing food insecurity indicates that between 1999 and 2008 the prevalence of food insecurity in the Northern Cape had decreased dramatically, from 63% to 14.2%.

Honourable Speaker,

The value of food production projects, soup kitchens, drop in centres, social grants, and school nutrition programmes etcetera should therefore never be under-estimated in the pursuit of food security amongst our citizens.

To date the Department of Social Development has established:

78 Soup Kitchens of which 53 are in the War on Poverty wards
32 Drop in Centres of which 12 are in the War on Poverty wards
25 Food Gardens of which 13 are in War on Poverty wards
7 crop Production Centre’s of which 5 are in War on Poverty wards
17 Socio-economic initiatives of which 11 are in War on Poverty wards; and
3 Social Cooperatives which are all located within War on Poverty wards

Our 2012/13 plans include the launching of the Strategy for the Elimination of Hunger and the Food for all Campaign in the Northern Cape under the theme: “Working together in ensuring food access and mitigating cases of malnutrition in South Africa.”An example of our efforts to galvanize stakeholders to respond is the Department’s efforts to establish the first Food bank in the province in partnership with Kumba Iron Ore and the Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development. To that end an Integrated Provincial Food Bank Development Plan was developed and presented to Kumba Iron Ore. We are hopeful that a positive announcement to that effect will be made before the end of this year.

As part of its Social Relief programme, the Department will be launching its Winter Relief Programme in Pixley Ka Seme on 31 May 2012. This programme’s main purpose is to provide ongoing material support to families and households in distress. An amount of R4,8 million is allocated to the programme.

Honourable Speaker,

On NPO Support and strengthening of Communities

Renewed efforts will go into integration and the building of developmental partnerships with key stakeholders such as the National Development Agency towards the strengthening of our soup kitchens and drop- in-centres to ultimately become sustainable community development centres during this financial year.

A further R 2, 032 is allocated for Non Profit Organisations (NPO’s) capacity building interventions as part of our plan to entrench good governance and to ensure the institutional sustainability of the 700 NPO’s to be funded by the Department during the 2012/13 financial year. To that end the Department has already engaged and entered into a memorandum of intent with MicroSoft South Africa towards making available Information Communication Technology and software to our NPO’s, to enable NPO’s to improve communication, marketing and compliance with the departmental requirements as it relates to reporting, monitoring and evaluation of services offered by these institutions.

Honourable Speaker,

Working with the Deputy Minister, I will lead the Department in the Taking the Department of Social Development (DSD) to Communities Campaign. The campaign was launched and unfolded last year in Cassel and Strydenburg, both War on Poverty Wards respectively in John Taolo Gaetsewe and Pixley Ka Seme districts. Based on Community Capacity Enhancement (CCE) processes conducted by the Department in conjunction with the national Department of Social Development in both communities, change agents have been identified, community economic analysis through community-based planning sessions have taken place and business plans for economic development initiatives have been developed. The Department is working with the National Development Agency, Department of Economic Development and Tourism, Sector Education and Training and other agencies and stakeholders to source seed funding for the identified initiatives.

Honourable Speaker,

The United Nations has declared 2012 as the International Year of Cooperatives to be observed under the theme ‘Cooperative enterprises help build a better world.’

Cooperatives are regarded and recognised as inherently people-centred organizations that contribute immensely to socio-economic development, in essence towards poverty reduction, employment creation and social integration. As part of the social investment element of our community development programme, the Department funds initiatives in the form of social cooperatives that generate income for groups in communities to strengthen household income and empower communities.

R960 000 was committed to the social cooperative programme with 3 social cooperatives each receiving R320 000. All these social cooperatives are situated in War on Poverty areas and more specifically in the towns of Kamieskroon, Douglas and Mier, directly benefitting 21 people of which 14 from the youth sector.

The Kamieskroon Clothing and Textile Cooperative have been supported to take up opportunities presented through the Maloof Money Cup and the objective is to strengthen this initiative and put the project in a better position to become sustainable. The Douglas Cooperative will focus on construction and maintenance and will work closely with the Siyancuma Municipality to take up opportunities as a service provider. The Mier Cooperative will establish a warehouse to offset the high prices of goods and transport and will offer a broad range of groceries, hardware and products that will be available in bulk to the community.

Honourable Speaker,

The Department will also be embarking on a status and impact audit of the 17 existing socio-economic initiatives (Pixley ka Seme-6, Siyanda-2, Namaqua-2, Frances Baard-5 and John Taolo Gaetsewe-2) during the 2012/13 financial year.

An amount of R 1, 694 million has been set aside for the strengthening and support of our socio-economic and food production initiatives and projects.

Honourable Speaker,

On Policy Priority Two: Youth Development

As I now turn my focus to the youth, allow me to borrow words from OR Tambo and I quote: “The youth of country is the most precious possession, without them there can be no future”

Honourable Speaker,

We are mindful of the fact that the challenges faced by our young people are diverse and that one is only young for a certain period of time, therefore, their needs are urgent and time bound.

We are also mindful of the fact that there are many initiatives aimed at developing our young people, however, these initiatives are fragmented and therefore do not address the principles of the Youth Development Policy of 2009, in terms of programmes and services that are integrated and seek to address the holistic development of our young people.

Therefore the department of Social Development has identified the need to partner and work closely with the Northern Cape Youth Development Agency towards the establishment and coordination of a Provincial Inter-sectoral Youth Forum. All Departments and State Owned Enterprises and Agencies with a footprint in the province will be expected to participate in the Forum, thus ensuring joint planning and execution of youth development services and programmes and a more focused integrated approach towards addressing youth development challenges.

Honourable Speaker,

The National Youth Policy 2009–2014 maintains that the youth-headed households are often forced to take on responsibility for themselves and their siblings as a result of the death or absence of their parents and that they are therefore more vulnerable to abuse, exploitation and dropping out of school.

In the Northern Cape in 2010, 5.8% of households were headed by youth aged between 15-24 years whereas 19.2% of youth aged between 25 and 34 years headed households.

Honourable Speaker,

That means that 25% of all households in the Northern Cape are headed by young people. Furthermore, approximately 60.2% of Northern Cape youth aged 15-24 years live in low-income households compared to 48.0% of youth in the older age group. There can be no doubt that these young people need the urgent and integrated collective attention and support of government if we are serious about fighting inter-generational poverty and inequality.

Since poverty is most often associated with the lack of employment, which provides income through wage labour, training, development and empowerment of young people is a critical pillar of the War on Poverty Programme in the province. This is so because young people are usually the actual or potential change agents in their families.

In this regard the Balelapa Household Profiling Project of the Department was deliberately used as a vehicle to empower and provide skills to 387 unemployed young people through NQF 4 and 5 learnerships in partnership with the various SETAs.

Honourable Speaker,

Currently 126 young people from across the province are enrolled in the scholarship programme for social workers. We have also employed 11 of the students who have successfully completed their studies in the department as Social Auxiliary Workers pending their registration as social workers.

The Department of Labour will use the Change Agent Database for preliminary screening of young people for existing and future opportunities, such as the Cuban medicine scholarship and for the TELKOM Aviation Learnership. The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform will similarly use the Change Agent database for preliminary screening of potential candidates from the rural nodes for 500 opportunities in the National Rural Youth Service Corps (NARYSEC) programme.

Honourable Speaker,

On the National Youth Service (NYS)

Since the previous financial year, the department has started shifting its focus in terms of the National Youth Service Programme from the Volunteer programme NYS Category 3 to NYS Category 1, training and experiential learning.

As such, the department enlisted fifteen (15) young people from the Francis Baard and Pixley ka Seme districts in a six (6) months training course, namely: Facilitation of Introduction to Information Technology, in partnership with the Northern Cape Urban Further Education and Training College. These fifteen young people will complete their qualification in October 2012. The investment in the development of this 15 young people amounted to R 800 000.

Honourable Speaker,

A further R1 million has been allocated this year to enlist yet another thirty (30) young people from Siyanda and John Taolo Gaetsewe districts in accredited skills education and training programmes aimed at providing them with portable skills aligned to identified needs articulated in the Provincial Growth and Development Strategy and the Provincial Human Resources Development Strategy.

The Department’s further plans for 2012/13 include the following youth development initiatives:

R 780 269, 00 has been set aside for the training of 250 young people to obtain their learner’s and driver’s licenses to enhance their employability.
295 young entrepreneurs will be linked to economic opportunities through the department’s supply chain management processes and private sector engagement.
R1,5 million is allocated for employment of 87 young people in the Expanded Public Works Programme as part of the Balelapa Household Profiling Project for capturing, verification and quality assurance phase.

Also, during this financial year, the department will for the first time strengthen all (25) Youth Service Centres to the tune of R 1, 414 million to improve access to youth empowerment and development services and programmes especially in the areas of life skills training and personal development in relation to HIV & AIDS, substance abuse and crime prevention which are common areas of vulnerability amongst our youth.

The department will further pursue partnerships with SEDA and KHULA to enable these institutions to offer their services and programmes at our Youth Service Centres, therefore making these centres one-stop shops for developmental youth services and programmes.

Again the main focus this year is to put in place monitoring and evaluation systems at all our Youth Service Centres. The objective is to be able to track young people coming through the Youth Service Centres to in turn monitor and evaluate the impact of these centres on our youngsters and whether they are indeed facilitating and enhancing sustainable youth development at community level.

Honourable Speaker,

The last research report into the Status of the Northern Cape Youth was in 2001; this is more than 10 years back. To allow government and its social partners to have a more detailed and definitive information on our youth, the Department will commission a comprehensive report on the Status of the Northern Cape Youth 2001 to 2011- a Ten Year Overview, and will launch such report on 1 June 2013. Our total youth allocation is thus almost R9 million.

Honourable Speaker,

On Policy Priority Four: Building cohesive, caring and sustainable communities

On The Expanded Public Works Programme

The EPWP remains one of government’s key intervention programmes aimed at providing poverty and income relief through temporary work for the unemployed to enhance their livelihoods.

We are currently in the third (3) year of the EPWP Phase 2. For the 2012/13 financial year the department experienced a massive cut of 73% in the EPWP incentive grant allocation, from R5,6 million in 2011/2012 to R1, 5 million for the 2012/2013 financial year. This resulted in a reduction of our grant based EPWP employment from 358 in 2011/12 to only 87 in 2012/13.

Nevertheless, the Department will continue to fund from its own equitable share allocation, 1 860 jobs in the fields of Home & Community Based Care, Early Childhood Development, Isolabantwana, Older persons service centres, and etcetera.

Honourable Speaker,

On Early Childhood Development

In November last year during my International Children’s Day debate themed “The child is not dead” aptly taken from Ingrid Jonker’s Afrikaans poem “Die Kind” I mentioned that poverty reduction starts with children. Therefore, helping children reach their full potential is also investing in the very progress of humanity. I also reiterated the well known fact that interventions made in the first crucial years make the biggest difference in a child’s physical, intellectual and emotional welfare.

The NDP envisions high-quality early childhood education, with access rates exceeding 90 percent by 2030. Early Childhood development for the pre-Grade R phase therefore remains one of the core interventions by the Department in developing and upgrading capabilities to enable sustainable and inclusive development and to beat inter-generational poverty.

I want to reiterate my statement last year that according to the Human Development Report 2010, DSD, a young Northern Cape child has a 43.6% chance of receiving ECD stimulation, which is the third highest possibility in the country.In this regard, allow me to extend our profound appreciation and applaud the NGO sector that is currently providing most of the ECD services in SA and here in the Northern Cape in terms of early childhood care and education services.In the Northern Cape 497 private and public community-based ECD centres are registered with the Department and render services to 24 059 children in the 0-5 cohort.

I have the pleasure to announce that from the first of July 2012, the R12 subsidy per child will be increased to R15 per enrolled child per day for those registered and eligible community based ECD centres with approved business plans and funded by the department as at 30 June 2012.

Strengthening of ECD services will receive a further boost with the training of 100 ECD practitioners on an 18 month NQF 4 qualification.To date the Department funded the training of 174 ECD practitioners on NQF level 4 of which 151 of those are currently employed at registered community ECD centres.

Honourable Speaker,

We are pleased to announce that for the 2011/12 financial year the JTG Development Trust has funded 5 ECD’s to the tune of R9.6 million (R1.92 million each) and 5 HCBC’s to the tune of R6.9 million (R1.38 million each). It is also worth noting that the JTG Developmental Trust has committed to fund 20 ECDs and 10 HCBCs over the next 3 year period.

Working together with the Department of Education, the Department also prioritizes the development of a Provincial Integrated Early Childhood Development (ECD) Strategy during this financial year. This strategy will guide the massive expansion of ECD in the province over the MTEF and beyond.

Honourable Speaker,

On Integrated developmental social welfare services

I will now turn my attention to integrated developmental social welfare services, all primarily targeting the poor and the vulnerable in line with the poverty definition as stated earlier.

These include psychosocial support services to children, families, older persons, people with disabilities, abused women etcetera which constitute the core business of the department provided by 163 generic social workers and 44 social workers from the non-governmental sector throughout the province.From this it should be clear that we are far from reaching the ratio of 1:3000, that is, one social worker for three-thousand of the population in the province. However, we are making good progress as we currently have 126 young social work students enrolled at Universities with a cohort of 63 in their 4th and final year that we will have to place in departments and NGO’s in the province when they complete their studies at the end of the academic year. We also engaged our retired social workers and are pleased to announce that we have managed to establish the Provincial Veteran Social Worker Forum on the 4th of May. These veterans will be valuable in assisting the Department and NGO’s with mentoring of the newly qualified social workers in order ensure quality service delivery.

Honourable Speaker,

On Child care, protection and empowerment

Psychosocial support services are augmented by a number of community-based awareness campaigns, programmes and interventions that unfold in the province in partnership with sector departments, municipalities, private institutions and NGO’s.

Proactive child care and protection programmes continue to be high on the agenda of the Department. This Month is traditionally observed as Child Protection Month with the last week of May being reserved as Child Protection Week in order to raise awareness, as well as to mobilize all sectors and communities towards the perspective of holistic development and the care and protection of children.

Honourable Speaker,

We can announce today that the Northern Cape Province has been identified and nominated by the national Department of Social Development (DSD) to host the annual launch of Child Protection Week 2012 on 27 May 2012 to be graced by our Honourable President. Government believes that protecting children and creating a safe and secure environment for them is everybody’s responsibility, hence the theme for this year’s campaign, that is, “Working Together to Protect Children.”

I need to emphasize that the Department’s child protection programmes extend beyond child protection month and week. Our foot soldiers, the Isolabantwana Volunteers continue to be the backbone of our community based protection force and everyday heroes. Allow me therefore to salute the over 400 Volunteers from 41 Isolabantwana sites across the province for the community based child care and protection services which they are rendering in support of our social workers.

Our proactive interventions also include the development of the Curriculum on Child Protection Training and Risk Assessment Tools for social work professionals in partnership with national DSD and the launch of the Keimoes Safe House in the Siyanda during this 2012/13 financial year. This year will also see the Department embarking on the process of registration of Shelters and Children’s Homes in the province as Child and Youth Care Centres as stipulated in the Children’s Act.

Our efforts will be incomplete if they do not address and create a safety net to arguably the most vulnerable amongst our children, namely the orphaned and vulnerable children heading households. For 2012/13 the department plans to reach 155 Child-headed households and 18 496 vulnerable children & orphans through its services.

We continue to fund 10 Isibindi sites across the province, the highest number of government funded sites in the country to provide direct care to children in their homes and communities with high prevalence rates. The eleventh Isibindi site will be rolled out in Kuruman, Gamaduba Village during this financial year.

Honourable Speaker,

On Care and Services to Older Persons, families and persons with disabilities

Many of our people continue to feel trapped in spirals of disadvantage caused by family circumstances, setbacks or crises in their lives, low expectations, poverty, neglect, abuse, discrimination amongst others.

On Older persons

The Northern Cape Province has been identified to pilot the Intergenerational Programme as one of the flagship programmes of the Department, alongside the Golden Games Project aimed at facilitating social inclusion of older persons. The Intergenerational Project recognises the knowledge, experience and skills of our older persons and seeks to promote and create a platform for social interaction between older persons and younger generations for caring, sharing, belonging and learning. The Intergenerational Programme will be launched in Calvinia later this year.

The Department will also continue to fund 25 homes for the aged, 57 Older Persons Service Centres and one NPO (Age in Action) to render services to Older persons and our veterans. We can just mention here today that the Department donated vehicles to 2 of our service centres, namely Lena Mouers and Morningside in Siyanda.

The allocation for the Programme: Care and services to Older persons amounts to R16, 3 million increasing to R18 million over the MTEF.We have ring-fenced half a million rand for the well- being of Veterans of the Liberation Struggle.

Honourable Speaker,

On Family preservation

The Department in conjunction with FAMSA as its key partner will therefore continue to render programmes and services to promote and preserve functional families and to prevent vulnerability in families.

As announced by the Minister of Social Development during her Budget Vote Speech, Cabinet has approved the Department’s Green Paper on Families. The Green Paper was launched by the Minister on 15 May at the International Day of Families. Therefore, the Department will be leading the public engagement process on the Green Paper in all districts in the Northern Cape. The main aim of the Green Paper is to promote family life, strengthen families, mainstream family issues into government-wide, policy-making initiatives in order to foster overall family well-being.

Honourable Speaker,

On Services to Persons with Disabilities

The Department will be intensifying its efforts and programmes and services that facilitate and promote the well-being and the socio economic empowerment of persons with disabilities. We target to reach over 6000 persons with disabilities services, support, care and programmes to enhance social inclusion through 3 residential facilities, 6 protective workshops and community based programmes and activities.

Honourable Speaker,

On HIV and Aids

Having mentioned the HIV & AIDS scourge that continues to be a key priority area for our collective integrated response, the Department in conjunction with its partners in the NGO sector continue to prioritize home and community based care within all communities, in every town, settlement and village. We will therefore continue to focus on the accreditation and support of over 1 000 care givers and supervisors providing HCBC services and to ensure that the 53 NPO’s rendering these HCBC services are trained, supported and comply with norms and standards. I am pleased to announce that the Department has supported 3 of those NPO’s with vehicles in the last financial year, namely Bergsig in Namakwa, Noord Kaap VIGS Forum in Siyanda and Drydo in John Taolo Gaetsewe.

Honourable Speaker,

An amount of R27,8 million is budgeted for the Departmental HIV & AIDS programme for the 2012/13 financial year increasing to R30,6 million over the MTEF.

Honourable Speaker,

On Crime Prevention and Support

The Department’s plans for 2012/13 include the development and implementation of Social Crime Prevention Programmes as well as the provision of probation services targeting children, youth and adult offenders and victims in the criminal justice system.

The Department will expedite the registration of state owned Child and Youth Care Centres in the Province in line with the Children’s Act, which will enable the department to utilize some of these facilities for sentenced youth.

Honourable Speaker,

We can announce that Executive Council approved the Northern Cape Integrated Substance Abuse Prevention Strategy in November 2011 and mandated all relevant departments and agencies to commit to its implementation as an inter-sectoral and multi-pronged intervention towards addressing the abuse of alcohol and illicit drugs in the Northern Cape.

The Strategy will be launched on the 26th June 2012 (Freedom Charter Day) as part of our Youth month celebrations to coincide with the observance of the UN International Day against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking. The “KeMoja I’m fine without drugs” project will be implemented in 132 high schools in the province in conjunction with the Department of Education.

We can also confirm that the Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Prevention Project in partnership with FARR as mentioned in my Budget Vote Speech last year is gaining momentum. For the past 3 years the main focus has been to assist the pregnant women in the De Aar to have healthy, substance abuse free pregnancies so as to ensure that they give birth to healthier and FAS-free babies. The final research findings of this intervention indicate that there has been a 30% decrease in the FASD rate in De Aar.

Having also established the FAS prevalence rate in Upington, we can announce that the Department has indeed contracted FARR to establish the prevalence rates for Galeshewe and Roodepan. Work has already commenced in that regard.

Further good news on this groundbreaking project is that Kumba; Iron Ore has also announced their commitment to support this project in the province. The Department is following up on that commitment so as to guide the work of FARR in the province, in particular the rollout of Phase 2 projects in Upington to be followed in Kimberley, once Phase 1 has been completed.

This is a very critical intervention in our strategy to prevent substance abuse and to afford every single child the right to be born sober. FAS is the only disability that is 100% preventable through the responsible behaviour of mothers to abstain from alcohol during pregnancy since there are no safe alcohol limits established during pregnancy.

While our focus is on pro-active preventative interventions, the department is actual aware of its responsibility towards those people who are already caught in the vicious cycle of substance abuse. The Department therefore continues to prioritise rehabilitation, treatment and care programmes and interventions. The Department will shortly be advertising the tender to secure and fund 15 beds at a private treatment facility in the Province.

Honourable Speaker,

On Policy Priority Three: Crime prevention

Victim Empowerment

Sexual crimes and abuse perpetrated against our children remains a priority concern that deserves priority attention not only of government, but also other sectors of society. Women and children are always at their most vulnerable, disempowered and violated after having fallen prey to a contact crime or abuse, particularly if such crime is sexual in nature. The Department therefore plays an important role in the post traumatic interventions and psycho social support services aimed at lessening the long-term impact of crime by tending to the needs of victims.

We will therefore intensify our efforts to provide and or facilitate access to suitable, supportive services for victims of abuse and violence, because of their particular vulnerability and specialised needs, especially those services rendered through the 4 Victim Empowerment Centres and Court Support Programme funded by the Department.

To this end the Department will be rolling out the Court Support Programme to Namakwa during this financial year as the last outstanding district for this service to cover the whole province. The Department will also host a Provincial Summit on Victim Empowerment as a precursor to the National Victim Empowerment Summit to be held early next year to devise an Integrated Victim Empowerment Strategy.

The Victim Empowerment Programme is funded to the tune of R6,9 million for the 2012/13 financial year increasing to R8, 7 million over the MTEF.

Honourable Speaker,

On Children in conflict with the law

The Department will intensify its efforts to effectively implement the Child Justice Act by rendering services that will assist, support and empower children in conflict with the law as well as their families to prevent re-offending.

As mentioned by our Honourable acting Premier in the State of the Province Address earlier this year in this House, the department together with other stakeholders, is working towards the establishment of a One-Stop Child Justice Centre (OSCJC) in the province in a bid to strengthen services to children in conflict with the law.

Honourable Speaker,

Our total allocation is as follows, Social Welfare Services R339,125m; Research and Development R79,285m; and Administration R107,486m. Our core programmes continue to demonstrate a budget increase, while for the 3rd consecutive budget year, Administration’s allocation is consistently showing a significant reduction.

Honourable Speaker, My gratitude goes out to those Officials of a Special Type, who makes hard work a fashionable feature in our every-day service delivery agenda; To the People’s Movement for having subjected me to an on-going cadre development process; and last, but not least, to our Premier Hazel Jenkins, for her resolute commitment to the War on Poverty and her acute, personal determination to realize a full recovery.

Honourable Speaker,

Let us conclude with a poem by Nomzamo Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, former ANC Women’s League President and ANC National Executive Committee member, on the life and times of Chief Albert Luthuli:

He hoisted us all upon his shoulders

And stood up for us.

Whether reviled by the enemy or revered,

He stood up for us,

Whether persecuted or praised,

He stood up for us,

Whether criticised or acclaimed,

Chief Luthuli gave up his chieftaincy

And stood up for us

Honourable Speaker,

We will continue to advance, under the mantle of the African National Congress, the War on Poverty, so that our people may one day be saying “And they stood up for us “.

Thank You.

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