Chairperson, Chairpersons of the Portfolio Committees on Public Service and Administration and on Finance, Deputy Minister Manamela, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, it is both a privilege and an honour for me to present to this august House the Budget Votes of the newly proclaimed Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, as well as Statistics SA.
The two Budget Votes are a story of the National Development Plan, NDP, and its implementation through the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, supported by a raft of national statistics.
The NDP, and Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation as well as statistics will result in an improvement in the capacity of the state to deliver better results faster in order to claim victory over the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.
In order to achieve faster and better results, President Jacob Zuma reminded us at the July 2013 Cabinet lekgotla of a 1977 message written by our former President Nelson Mandela to Adelaide Tambo, and I quote:
Significant progress is always possible if we ourselves try to plan every detail ... and allow the intervention of fate only on our own terms.
Preparing a master plan and applying it are two different things.
At the national conference of the ruling party held in Mangaung in December 2012, the ANC embraced the centrality of the National Development Plan: Vision for 2030 as a platform of action for all South Africans from which to address the persistence of the legacy of apartheid colonialism.
To echo the words of our President during his state of the nation address, I quote:
We have put in place a programme of action based on the ANC Manifesto and the National Development Plan ... The National Development Plan outlines the future we want, a society free of poverty, inequality and unemployment.
Hon members, subsequent to the national elections, the President announced the appointment of the Cabinet as well as some reconfiguration and reorganisation of departments. These changes include the merging of the National Planning Commission Secretariat with the former of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation as well as Administration to form a brand new Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.
A process facilitated by the Department of Public Service and Administration is currently under way to give administrative effect to that change. We are hoping that this process will be completed by the end of October, and we hope that after the October adjustment estimates everything will be transferred to this Vote.
The aim of this reorganisation is to give effect to the commitment in the election manifesto of the ANC to institutionalise long-term planning within the state. The intention is to put in place the necessary capacity both to plan on an ongoing basis and to ensure that these plans are being implemented.
The National Planning Commission, NPC, has made an enormous contribution to our country through overseeing the development of the NDP. In 2009 we introduced long-term planning as an important element of our national planning system when we established the NPC.
In 2012 the commission handed the NDP to the President and subsequently Cabinet adopted it, as did the structures of the ruling party. It has been embraced by the majority of our people across sectors and party lines. It is this plan to 2030 that provides hope and a prospect for a better future for all South Africans. Some of the commissioners are present here today and I would like to express our gratitude to them on behalf of the country and the previous Minister, Trevor Manuel. [Applause.]
The most important priority for the department in the next five years will be co-ordinating and monitoring the implementation of this plan. The key instrument that we will use to implement the NDP is the 2014 to 2019 Medium- Term Strategic Framework, MTSF. It identifies the important actions that are required to implement the aspects of the NDP for which government is responsible for the next five years.
The Medium-Term Strategic Framework builds on our experience and what we learned between 2009 and 2014 with the delivery agreements for the 12 outcomes. Similar to the delivery agreements, the MTSF clearly identifies roles and responsibilities for implementing the key actions and contains measurable indicators with targets and timeframes to enable systematic and evidence-based monitoring of the implementation of the National Development Plan. The number of outcomes has been increased to 14.
This MTSF reflects the commitment made in the governing party's election manifesto, including the emphasis on radical economic transformation during the second phase of our democratic transition. The MTSF also emphasises improving service delivery and the performance of the Public Service and improving the efficiency as well as the effectiveness of local government.
In order to address some of the problems with implementation that we have experienced in the past, the MTSF differs from those of previous administrations in a number of ways: Firstly, for the first time the MTSF serves as a five-year building block towards the achievement of the vision of our country's long-term plan.
Secondly, it is much more detailed than previous MTSFs and incorporates the outcomes-based planning methodology developed during the previous administration.
Thirdly, measures have been put in place to ensure that the five-year strategic plans and annual plans of all national and provincial departments are aligned to the MTSF, and therefore to the NDP. The Treasury Regulations have been amended so that all departments submit their draft plans to this department in order to enable performance, monitoring and evaluation to review whether the plans incorporate all the targets of the MTSF before plans are submitted to Parliament.
Parliament has a critical oversight role to play to ensure that departments' plans are aligned to the MTSF and to the NDP. I would like to take this opportunity to commit our department to collaborating with Parliament and all the parliamentary committees by sharing our planning, monitoring and evaluation information with the aim of supporting Parliament to carry out its oversight function.
Once the MTSF has been approved by Cabinet, the President will enter into performance agreements with all the Ministers, based on the roles and responsibilities and targets of the Medium-Term Strategic Framework. Ministers will also ensure that the relevant actions and targets are reflected in the performance agreements that they will sign with their directors-general and senior officials.
The President will also appoint co-ordinating Ministers for each of the 14 outcomes. They will be required to co-ordinate the implementation of the MTSF outcomes and present an evidence-based implementation report to Cabinet at least three times a year.
The injunction of our icon, Madiba, that preparing a master plan and applying it are two different things rings loud and clear, and in that regard all of these measures that I have described are aimed at ensuring that the aspects of the NDP for which the government is responsible are, indeed, systematically implemented.
I would like to emphasise this point for the benefit of those who doubt our commitment and capacity to implement the NDP and for those who have raised questions as to how we are going to ensure that the NDP is implemented.
I would like to use this opportunity to challenge leaders in other sectors of our society similarly to move with speed to implement the parts of the plan for which they are responsible. There are a number of initiatives between government and other sectors of society that are already under way which are inspired by the NDP. I would like to mention a few to highlight our strength in working together.
The first one is the National Education Collaboration Trust, NECT. The NDP proposes a national initiative involving different stakeholders to improve learning outcomes in schools, starting with the worst-performing schools. In response to this call, the Minister of Basic Education has already convened different stakeholders from government, the private sector, unions and civil society to establish a National Education Collaboration Trust, NECT, intended to drive the education improvement agenda as set out in our plan. [Applause.]
The second initiative is the Mpumalanga Land Reform Project, MLRP. The aim of the MLRP is to develop an accelerated redistribution model for land reform based on Chapter 6 of the National Development Plan. A technical committee to configure the land-financing model has been established and has begun the designing of the implementation guidelines.
The third one is the Harambee project adopted by Business Leadership SA. There have been numerous engagements with the private sector to discuss how they can contribute to the implementation of our plan. In this regard, Business Leadership SA has decided to adopt a project called Harambee as one of its contributions to the NDP. The unique feature of this initiative is that it targets young people who have no links to the labour market and with no one in the family in employment.
The fourth initiative comprises the strategies to overcome poverty and inequality.
The academic community is also playing a critical role in the implementation of the NDP. In 2012 the University of Cape Town, UCT, convened a conference to explore different strategies to overcome poverty and inequality. And within government, the commission and its secretariat has supported a number of policy and planning processes. These processes include the soon-to-be-completed integrated urban development framework, which will help us respond more effectively to challenges of urbanisation and ensure that our cities and urban spaces provide opportunities for early- childhood development, for example. [Applause.]
South Africans at all levels are as excited as we are about this NDP and have displayed an eagerness to contribute to making it work. We want to reiterate the message that the NDP is a plan for the whole country, not only government. During this current financial year, the National Planning Commission will continue with these various initiatives to further the implementation of the NDP.
The evaluations of government programmes that have been initiated by the department over the past few years have indicated that many programmes are not achieving as much as they were intended to achieve, partly due to weak programme planning and a need for substantial redesign. To address this, the department is developing guidelines to assist government departments to develop improved programme plans. The department is also providing support to national and provincial departments to produce better and higher quality strategies and annual performance plans and reports on the plans.
I also want to highlight a programme that was launched by the President on Saturday in Durban, namely the Big Fast Results initiative that we now call Operation Phakisa, to ensure that we unleash the economic potential of oceans' economy to drive its contribution from R54 billion to the GDP to about R177 billion by 2020.
If we are to improve government performance, we have to reflect on whether our programmes are achieving what they are intended to achieve; whether we are doing the right things; whether we are being effective, efficient and providing value for money; and how we can do things differently.
Departments are encouraged and supported to also carry out evaluations of their programmes on their own. We are working with the offices of the premiers in the provinces to support them to put in place provincial evaluation plans.
To date, 38 evaluations in the rolling National Evaluation Plan, Nep, are now completed, under way or starting. We have completed 11 evaluations, of which one has been presented to Parliament already. We are aiming for the results of a further 10 evaluations to be presented to the relevant parliamentary committees during this current financial year.
The NDP notes that weaknesses in how government institutions function constrain the state's capacity and ability to pursue its developmental objectives. Research done by the department indicates that one of the areas in which skills are generally lacking is in monitoring and evaluation, and we are addressing that effectively.
The department is also involved in a number of monitoring initiatives across the three spheres of government, including monitoring of the experience of our citizens when obtaining services from government and monitoring the quality of management practices. My Deputy, hon Manamela, will describe in more detail these initiatives in his speech in the House this afternoon.
During the state of the nation address, the President announced that government will implement the undertaking to build houses and other services to revitalise mining towns, as part of the October 2012 agreement between business, government and labour. We are on track in ensuring that this Interministerial Committee does exactly that.
With regard to administration, in the 2012-13 financial year the department obtained a clean audit opinion. The audits for the 2013-14 financial year are under way and we are very positive that the results will be the same. [Applause.]
The budget allocated to the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation for this financial year is R208,2 million - administration, R63,8 million; outcomes monitoring and evaluation, R78,2 million; institutional performance monitoring and evaluation, R66,2 million; and the budget for the NPC, R113,4 million.
In regard to Statistics SA, let me start by indicating that statistics, in general, and official statistics, in particular, are about people, places and possibilities. Statistics benefit society because they enable us to predict the future based on the data that we gather.
Being able to predict the future helps us to be more efficient and effective in actions we take and in the decisions we make. Statistics SA informs us about where and how South Africans live, work and play.
The role of evidence in decision-making as a society becomes more complex and increasingly important. In addition, the more difficult questions that get asked require a raft of continuous evidence. These include questions such as: Do we know and understand the quality of health services and the difficulties that confront our people when they go to public health facilities? Do we know and understand what is happening in our schools, not only the suburban schools? Do we know what the conditions are in our township and informal settlement schools? These are the questions that need to be answered by information derived from accurate and reliable statistical data.
The integrity of any national statistics agency is therefore very important in that those in the production of statistics cannot dabble in the policy terrain to make methods and numbers succumb to any pressure. Instead, those in the practice of official statistics should maintain their independence in providing data that support or challenge policy options.
The environment within which official statistics plays its role in the national policy discourse needs to be strengthened. In this regard, the Statistician-General and the Statistics Council have decided to convene a meeting next week with me in order to ensure that we deal with key national and international players to discuss developments with regard to statistical practices and legislation.
With regard to our strategic future intent, in pursuit of the overall goal of government of providing a better life for all through alleviating poverty and reducing inequality, Statistics SA has worked tirelessly to provide statistical information to support the development of the National Development Plan. The statistics produced by Statistics SA will now play a key role in the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the NDP.
Looking forward to strengthening the state's capacity to deliver, our government needs a system of evidence that is transparent, accountable, results-based and transformational.
Regarding key priorities for the financial year 2014-15, we will be focusing on the key strategic priorities such as expanding the statistical information base. Statistics SA has stabilised the statistical production base as evident through the suite of economic, social and population statistics.
The organisation, believe it or not, produces more than 171 statistical releases and reports on various aspects of the economy and society every 12 months. [Applause.] In 2014 this organisation sustained this raft of statistical products, whilst exploring new and innovative methods and systems to expand the information base as well as implementing international statistical standards and frameworks.
In regard to the leading and co-ordination of statistical production, in response to the high demand for statistical production at national, subnational, sectoral and international levels, the Statistics Act mandates Statistics SA to co-ordinate statistical production across organs of the state. In 2014 Statistics SA will be focusing on creating an enabling regulatory environment for the production of statistics by organs of state. This is an enormous task to be achieved and the implementation will be guided by the policy framework on statistical production systems in South Africa.
Increasing public confidence and trust of users, following census 2011, we now have a complete list of dwellings in South Africa and this frame will be continuously updated. To remain relevant, the strategic intent is to roll out a collaborative mapping approach through co-operation with municipalities.
Furthermore, continued efforts to improve the business frame are based on collaboration with Sars and the CPIC. An important future outcome is the certification of statistics produced by other organs of state such as crime statistics, which should be transferred to Statistics SA.
As far as investing in learning and growth of skills, resources and infrastructure is concerned, a key strategic enabler for a sound statistical production system is statistical competence and capability. Statistics SA will continue to invest in learning and the growth of statistical skills and our programme now forms part of the recruitment drive to build a statistics system and a statistically literate society that enables our citizens to do things better. Statistics SA, jointly with the University of KwaZulu-Natal, is conducting a pilot project in the legacy schools programme, Maths4Stats, and to promote statistical literacy at schools by training teachers in statistics modules.
At the tertiary level, Statistics SA created a Centre for Regional and Urban Innovation and Statistical Exploration at the University of Stellenbosch and provides a Masters programme that covers statistics and geography. Statistics SA has also secured the necessary support and resources for a new home as its head office, which we will be launching in August this year.
With regard to promoting international collaboration and participation, Statistics SA is currently playing a leading role in international statistical development for a better Africa and the world. It chairs the Africa Symposium on Statistical Development, ASSD, and it also participates in the UN-led 2010 Round of Population and Housing Censuses, RPHC. Plans are afoot to participate in the 2020 RPHC, which will start in 2015.
The budget allocated to Statistics SA for the 2014-15 financial year is R2,24 billion and is divided up as follows: administration, R934,7 million, including the building of the new headquarters; economic statistics, R210,5 million; population and social statistics, R117,9 million; methodology, standards and research, R65,5 million; statistical support and informatics, R245,1 million; statistical collection and outreach, R524,5 million; and survey operations, R144,3 million.
In conclusion, we accept the injunction by our former President and icon Mandela, and I quote:
Significant progress is always possible if we ourselves try to plan every detail ... and allow the intervention of fate only on our own terms.
Preparing a master plan and applying it are two different things.
We consequently chose evidence-based decision-making and this consists of a national development plan, a national statistics system and a framework for monitoring and evaluation. Through this effort, together as a nation at work, we can do more to move South Africa forward faster and achieve a better life for all.
Our people have the right to expect quality services from their government and to hold leaders to account for their actions. We are of the view that if all of us - Parliament, government, and civil society - work together in unison, we will be on course to create the future that we need and that our people deserve as envisioned in the National Development Plan.
Finally, let me thank the President; the Deputy President, who is the Chair of the National Planning Commission, NPC; my Deputy, Buti Manamela; the chairs of portfolio committees; the chairs of the statistical council; commissioners of the NPC; the director-general and all officials who are responsible for making our government look good; and last but not least, my family who are here, including my wife and the extended family. Thank you very much. [Applause.]