MEDIA STATEMENTS

Governance and Administration Cluster, Sunday, 27 September 2015

Date: 27 Sep 2015

Deputy Minister

Directors-General

Members of the media

Ladies and gentlemen

Thank you for joining us this morning for the Governance and Administration post-State of the Nation Address Cluster Media Briefing, as we outline the progress made by government through this cluster and provide more detail on the achievement of our plans.

Today's media briefing takes place during September, which is recognised as Public Service Month. This month, which seeks to instil and rebuild good ethics, morale and pride in public servants, is celebrated under the theme "Moving South Africa Forward: Taking the public service to the people". PSM highlights government services; celebrating commitment, dedication and excellence of public servants who go the extra mile in the delivery of public services. It has also been filled with activities that include a public-service indaba, service-delivery exhibitions, the deployment of senior managers to Thusong Service Centres and unannounced outreach visits to service-delivery points.

As government, we are mindful that improving the performance of the State will enable us to achieve our key objectives we set ourselves. Key targets in this regard include continuing the efforts to eradicate corruption and inefficiency in the Public Service, and ensuring much tighter accountability coupled with firm consequences where there is a failure to deliver services to our people.

The past few months of the fifth administration have, through the level of service delivery, shown that this cluster is committed to building a caring, effective and responsive state that delivers as per the expectations of the people. This achievement has contributed to the unprecedented progress made in the last 21 years of freedom of accelerated service delivery.

DEPARTMENT OF HOME AFFAIRS

In July, the Department of Home Affairs launched a counter-corruption project known as Operation Bvisa Masina (meaning 'throw out the rot' in Tshivenda), which seeks to deal decisively with fraud and corruption, and those found guilty of such offences. We must reiterate that the twin evils of corruption and fraud will not be tolerated in government and we will do all in our power to ensure that those found to be engaged in these callous acts face the full might of the law.

Since the launch of Operation Bvisa Masina, 26 people have been arrested for fraud and corruption offences.

We have announced our intention to end the current Late Registration of Birth process. In this regard, we will soon announce new stringent measures for registering late births to enforce regulations and early registration within 30 days of birth. The Department of Home Affairs continues to undertake awareness programmes in communities around the country aimed at highlighting the importance of early birth registration.

Our mobile offices have been deployed in communities to aid the process of late registration of birth and ensure unregistered South Africans are included in the national population register (NPR) to ensure that the only entry to the NRP is through birth registration. Therefore, we call on undocumented citizens without Identity Documents or birth certificates to apply for these documents in the meantime.

DEPARTMENT OF COOPERATIVE GOVERNANCE AND TRADITIONAL AFFAIRS (COGTA)

CoGTA has developed 50 ward-level service improvement plans in Mbizana and Aganang local municipalities in the Eastern Cape and Limpopo respectively. This brings the cumulative number to 98% ward-level service improvement plans developed against a total of 4 277 wards across all local and metropolitan municipalities in the country. The department will continue to support the outstanding municipalities to develop and implement ward-level service improvement plans by March 2016.

We have also produced a national audit outcomes improvement plan focusing on all municipalities, including those that are categorised as 'dysfunctional' in terms of the B2B Programme. Work commenced to prepare for the 2014/15 annual financial statements (AFS) and audit files. A total of 167 municipalities have a plan of action to prepare and submit AFS and 158 municipalities have officials designated to manage the audit files.

Out of 198 senior managers appointed, 176 were compliant with the Municipal Systems Act, 2000 (Act 32 of 2000) and Regulations on Appointment and Conditions of Employment of Senior Managers. However, 22 senior managers were in contravention of the prescripts. Members of the Executive Councils in the affected provinces have taken corrective measures, for example, in the Eastern Cape 4 appointments were found non-compliant and therefore the MEC directed that the affected municipalities to re-advertise. In respect of the appointments of senior managers, 238 out of 278 (86%) municipal managers and 231 out of 278 (83%) chief financial officers' positions had been filled by June 2015.

With regards to the Local Government Management Improvement Model (LGMIM) moderation, the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) completed 30 municipal scorecards and conducted quality assurance on 30 municipal moderated scorecards from six participating provinces. The DPME has commenced with the review of the LGMIM implementation guide and standards for the 2015/16 cycle. In the current financial year, 36 municipalities enrolled for intake into the process.

COGTA has conducted consultations on the Draft Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) with stakeholders. As part of implementing the IUDF and the proposals identified in the Built Environment Performance Plans (BEPPs), metropolitan municipalities submitted their council-approved BEPPs to National Treasury. The plans identified priority integration zones, which will be the focus for pursuing intergovernmental alignment. CoGTA and National Treasury are engaging metros to discuss implementation plans and determine the support required for the integration zones.

The Community Work Programme (CWP) has been implemented in 175 municipalities with a total number of 194 CWP sites by the end of June 2015. As at June 2015, the total CWP participation rate was 182 945. The initiative to establish partnerships with public, private sector and civil organisations has been achieved. Local Reference Committees have developed, analysed and approved 187 training plans for CWP municipalities. Two additional CWP sites have been established at Ekurhuleni Metro and Mookgophong Local Municipality respectively.

The Municipal Infrastructure Support Agency (MISA) continued to provide technical support to municipalities between April 2015 and September 2015. It has approximately 50 engineers and town planners providing support to 120 municipalities. These personnel have been providing technical support to municipalities with infrastructure planning, implementation, operation and/or maintenance of municipal infrastructure. It also has about 600 young graduates, apprentices and experiential learners allocated to municipalities.

Regarding the withholding of the Equitable Share tranche for March 2015, National Treasury met with 38 of the 59 municipalities to date and 54 municipalities received their full tranche of the Equitable Share. Three municipalities received part of the Equitable Share tranche and two (Renosterberg and Ngwathe) did not receive any funds. Of the total R2.08 billion equitable share withheld, R2.02 billion has been released; 48 out of 51 municipalities have signed Eskom agreements, and 12 out of 14 municipalities have signed water board agreements. As per the President's Coordinating Council's resolutions, National Treasury issued letters to all national departments owing municipalities; while letters have been issued to provincial treasuries for provincial debt owed to municipalities.

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE AND ADMINISTRATION (DPSA)

The DPSA has continued to undertake work to speed up procedures for the finalisation of disciplinary cases within the prescribed period of 90 days. The established pool of labour relations specialists and legal experts have identified departments that require urgent intervention and are providing the necessary assistance to the South African Police Service (SAPS), and the departments of correctional services, health, basic education and home affairs. The size and scope of these departments dictate that they would have a number of disciplinary challenges associated with the nature of their work.

Accordingly, the reports provided by department for the fourth quarter of the financial year ended 31 March 2015, there were 1 239 cases in national departments, with 765 of these cases being finalised within 90 days, 64 of these were finalised outside of the 90 days, and 410 cases still pending.

On Open Government Partnership (OGP), Cabinet recently welcomed the announcement that South Africa will take over as Lead Chair of the OGP. The OGP is a multilateral initiative to secure concrete commitments from governments to promote transparency, empower citizens, fight corruption and harness new technologies to strengthen governance.

Since the launch, the government of South Africa has been an active member of the OGP Steering Committee and has played a key role in convening OGP-Africa regional events and discussion forums aimed at deepening good governance practices on the African continent. During its tenure as Lead Chair South Africa undertakes to raise the political profile of the OGP to ensure participation and accountability at the level of Heads of State. South Africa will also focus on mainstreaming the OGP in the international multilateral agenda at the United Nations General Assembly, the Group of 20 and other platforms.

The Centre for Public Service Innovation (CPSI) has partnered with various sectors - including health, safety and security and education - to deliver on Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) targets on the development of prototypes, innovative processes and models to address specified challenges as articulated in the National Development Plan (NDP).

On education, the CPSI has facilitated the replication in the Eastern Cape of a CPSI Award winning eLearning project and three schools have been converted into computer labs as part of phase one. When completed, under-resourced schools will be linked to a well-resourced school in order to share Mathematics and Science lessons in real time.

On health, the CPSI has facilitated the replication of the KwaZulu-Natal tele-radiology model in Gauteng, which entails sending radiology images electronically to specialists rather than sending the patient back and forth from one point to the next to collect X-rays. It saves printing and travel costs and time, and reduces risks associated with transporting critically injured patients. In order to assist health departments to save costs and improve energy efficiency, the CPSI has developed an Energy Efficiency Model for hospitals. A pilot project to test the model has been initiated at the Helen Joseph Hospital in Gauteng.

On crime, the CPSI - in partnership with SAPS and the Innovation Hub - is piloting a solution that reduces SAPS response time to incidents of crime by linking a low cost household alarm system directly to sector-policing vehicles and the community policing forum.

In support of efficient and effective management and operations systems, the CPSI has launched the 2015 Public Sector Innovation Awards Programme to unearth public sector innovations for recognition and replication whilst growing the repository for sharing of innovative practices.

The National School of Government (NSG) has reached advanced stages in the development of a Trainer Capacity Development Programme, leading towards the development of a trainer policy. Further to this, the NSG recruited 775 public servants from all provinces as facilitators for the Compulsory Induction Programme. This was planned in collaboration with the provincial academies to pilot the Lead Facilitation Development Programme with key provincial facilitators. All provincial facilitators have also obtained Public Service Sector Education and Training Authority accreditation as moderators and assessors. Regarding the targeted assessment mechanisms, the NSG developed a proposal for an assessment centre, to develop and implement a diagnostic tool to identify and support appointment, promotion and development requirements in the workplace.

Since the launch of the NSG in October 2013, the institution has been undertaking benchmark studies and reviewing the delivery model best suited to support the imperatives of the South African developmental state.

To this effect, the NSG will implement following pilot programmes:

  1. Compulsory Induction Programme for newly appointed senior managers at Director and Chief Director levels.
  2. Performance management and development system for the Public Service.
  3. Government leadership platform designed to be integrative and focuses on the key priorities of government (aligned to the 14 outcomes) and the leadership obligation of all managers in realising national developmental goals.
  4. International exchange programme with the Peoples' Republic of China, which involves education and learning at the China Academy of Governance. This follows Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa's official visit to the Peoples' Republic of China in July 2015, which also included a visit to the China Academy of Governance.

The pilot programmes are intended to test a different and integrated approach to delivery of high volume education and learning opportunities to public servants.

Government Employees Medical Scheme (GEMS) has achieved 65% of its strategic indicators at the time of this briefing and is expected to achieve its target of 90% of indicators completed by the end of the year.

At the end of August 2015, GEMS covered over 600 000 principal members and 1.7 million beneficiaries. The scheme's ageing clinical risk profile continued to increase with an average age of 30.04 in August 2014 increasing to 30.71 in August 2015, while the pensioner ratio worsened from 12.41% to 13.54% respectively. This worsening risk profile resulted in a chronic prevalence of 17.6% by end of July 2015.

The scheme's three-year strategy indicates that it is gaining traction and membership continues to grow with over 47 000 applications processed by end of August 2015. More than 54% of all GEMS members did not previously access the medical scheme subsidy provided by the employer and over 63.53% of eligible employees are enrolled. GEMS member reserves are at R2 billion in August 2015.

DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING, MONITORING AND EVALUATION (DPME)

The DPME released Development Indicators 2014 on 20 September 2015. The indicators are clustered according to 10 themes, namely economic growth and transformation; employment; poverty and inequality; household and community assets; health; education; social cohesion; safety and security, international relations and good governance. Industry experts on the various subjects covered in the report attended the launch of the report, which has been well received and commended for the credibility of data.

As you are all aware, Cabinet adopted the MTSF for 2014-2019, South Africa's first five- year building block towards the realisation of the 2030 Vision in the NDP. Since the adoption of the MTSF 2014-2019, four quarterly progress reports on the implementation of all the outcomes was produced, with the latest being reports for the first quarter of the 2015/16 financial year.

To assist with fast-tracking delivery on some of the priorities encompassed in the NDP 2030, some interventions were implemented. The current initiatives to stimulate growth include government's Infrastructure Build Programme, the War Room on electricity, Operation Phakisa on the Ocean Economy and in Mining, and the Nine-Point Plan to boost economic growth and create jobs.

In addition, other reports showing success linked to the implementation of the MTSF include:

  1. Education and skills development - tremendous progress made in the education sectors which continue to be a priority area of focus.
  2. Rural development and land reform - progress on land acquisition for smallholders has been slow, but government implementation programmes are being reviewed and strengthened to resolve some of these issues.
  3. Health - South Africa has received worldwide recognition for its HIV and AIDS programme, which has over three million people initiated on treatment, contributing to the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.
  4. Safety and security - good progress is being made regarding the reduction of overall levels of serious crime. The department is implementing Operation Fiela-Reclaim, to rid our country of illegal weapons, drug dens, prostitution rings and other illegal activities. This multidisciplinary interdepartmental operation is contributing to the safety and security of our communities.

In terms of the Presidential Hotline, progress has been made and there is an increase in the usage of the service. Many queries and complaints about the poor quality of service that people received from government have been addressed.

On youth development, youth unemployment remains a major challenge for our country as is the world over. In this regard, the DPME has partnered with other government departments and youth organisations, including the South African Youth Council, and business to ensure that steps are taken to ensure that youth development is at the centre of our country's development.

In this regard, President Jacob Zuma launched the Presidential Youth Working Group (PYWG) in June 2015, to promote youth participation in governance and policymaking and to mainstream youth development and empowerment in the work of government, to build a better life for young people.

In taking forward the work of the PYWG, the DPME established the following work streams: Economic Participation and Transformation Education; Skills and Second Chances; Health Care and Combating Substance Abuse; Nation-Building and Social Cohesion, and Effective and Responsive Youth Development Institutions. The plans of these work streams will form part of the Integrated Youth Development Strategy and progress will also be included in the MTSF for proper monitoring and evaluation. The process to amend the National Youth Development Agency Act, 2008 (Act 54 of 2008), is ongoing. A draft Bill is currently with the State Law Advisors.

In conclusion, government will continue to give effect to its constitutional mandate and provide services to South Africans while also contributing to an efficient, effective and development orientated public service and an empowered, fair and inclusive citizenship.

I thank you


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