Date.: 24 Oct 2012

Mr A J Williams (ANC) to ask the Minister for the Public Service and Administration:

  1. (a) What progress has been made with regard to the (i) publication of standards for waiting times at (aa) pension payout points, (bb) hospital queues and (cc) vehicle licensing centres and (ii) turnaround strategy for the processing of driving licence applications and (b) what measures are in place to deal with the anticipated response of the public to the level of service standards;
  2. what progress has been made in developing an impact assessment of the service delivery improvement plans (SDIPs) of government departments;
  3. whether this strategy has had an impact on the basics of the broader response plan to the service delivery challenges our people are faced with daily; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?


  1. During 2011-2012, an interdepartmental task team was established and the departments determined the baselines for waiting and turn-around time as follows:

    ServiceWaiting timeTurnaround time
    Social DevelopmentSocial Pension payouts1 hour calculated from the time a pay point opens at 08:0030 seconds/ less than a minute to pay a beneficiary as it is done electronically
    HealthHospital queues1-3 hours1-3 hours for outpatients depending on the ailment and procedures
    TransportFirst time drivers licence applications20 minutes- 2 hours6 weeks to 3 months

    These baselines will be further developed based on the current business process mapping exercises underway in departments, as well as the recommendations from the Geographic Access Study as to the location of additional service delivery points based on citizen segmentation demographics based on need. Turnaround time strategies will be implemented after the business process mapping exercises are concluded and needs to be incorporated into the service delivery improvement programmes of departments. DPSA is providing assistance to departments with the development of credible service delivery improvement programmes.

    DPSA has developed a guideline on queue management with definitions on waiting time, queuing time and turnaround times which was submitted to departments for further refinement and consultation purposes. It provides assistance to departments with the implementation of queue management measures where the need exists for the nature of frontline services.

    Good practice with the implementation of an electronic queue management system by SARS was showcased to national and provincial departments at a consultative workshop held by DPSA on 17 April 2012. This was followed up by a visit to the Department of Home Affairs Regional Office in Soweto to further establish lessons learnt with the implementation of electronic queue management systems. A case study will be written up on this for purposes of replicating and sharing of workable models and solutions.

    Specific departmental initiatives to address waiting times include the following:


    The Department of Health is comprehensively addressing this area focusing on the patients, the procedures and the systems that will support the management of queues at hospitals. It has developed and published core standards for health establishments in South Africa. These core standards includes indicators focussing on reducing delays in care, and specifically focuses on managing waiting times in busy areas to improve patient satisfaction and care (standard 1.5, indicator 1.5.1). In terms of this focus area:

    • waiting times will be monitored in the pharmacy, accident and emergency and outpatient areas against established benchmarks.
    • Procedures will be followed to ensure that queues are kept as short as possible
    • Patients are informed of where to wait and are given an indication of how long they are likely to wait
    • An efficient filing system is in place


    In terms of the renewal of drivers licences and the renewal of car licences, the participation of the Gauteng Department of Transport at the Maponya Thusong Centre in Soweto, where a electronic queue management system was installed, provides up to date information on waiting times for these services and monthly statistical reports are provided that can be used as a bench mark at other service points.

    • The average waiting time for renewal of drivers and car licences during September 2012 was 13 minutes,
    • The average transaction time (turn- around time) 5 minutes.

    Social Development

    Currently the waiting time for a beneficiary at a pay point before receiving payment is between 20 minutes and 1 hour. According to the Norms & Standards the turnaround time must not be longer than 1-2 hours.

    SASSA as the agency responsible for the payments are looking at the establishment of partnerships for the electronic payment of benefits to eligible beneficiaries.

  2. The DPSA has held a series of SDIP workshops during 2011/12 financial year with a view to improve on the compliance and quality of SDIPs to be submitted by departments for the cycle 2012/15. Thus far; the overall submission of the SDIPS for cycle 2012/15 as at October 2012; is 54% on compliance.

    The total submission breakdown is as follows:

    1. National Departments: 20.45%;
    2. Provincial Departments: 68.1%

    The DPSA is providing further support (to improve on the 54%) with the development of SDIPs to both national and provincial departments that are still having challenges to submit in compliance with the current cycle starting from 1st April 2012 - 31st March 2015.

    As part of the improvement mechanism to ensure better quality and the desired impact on the SDIP; a dedicated checklist is utilised to assist the departments in developing, implementing and monitoring their improvement plans whilst providing ongoing assessment; feedback and support. The checklist assists the departments with clear steps that need to be taken towards quality and Specific Measurable Achievable Realistic Time-bound (SMART) SDIPs with well-articulated Services and identified service delivery challenges (problem statements) to be addressed to ensure continuous service delivery improvement.

    Furthermore; a support plan has been developed to support the national and provincial departments by providing direction about the expected timeframes in relation to submissions; monitoring and reporting on annual implementation reports against the submitted SDIPs; the 1st of which is due by 31st March 2013. The plan to conduct an impact assessment of SDIPs will take place from 1st April 2013 after departments have done the 2012/2013 implementation of the current SDIPs.

  3. The plan to conduct an impact assessment of SDIPs will take place from 1st April 2013 after departments have done the 2012/2013 implementation of the current SDIPs. Annual implementation progress reports will be submitted to the DPSA to facilitate the impact assessment of the current cycle after year 3.

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