Chairperson, before I respond to the questions, allow me to highlight that I am aware that this is the first time that the President of the Republic has come to the NCOP to answer questions from members. [Applause.] I came because I believe that it is important that members of the NCOP have the opportunity to put questions to the President and for me to engage with them on responses regarding programmes of government. I thought I should briefly note this because I do believe in interaction generally. As you correctly said at the beginning, this is an important House of our Parliament.
In response to the question, the main purpose of the President's Co- ordinating Council, PCC, is to ensure the co-ordination and alignment of priorities, objectives and strategies across the three spheres of government and to promote the implementation thereof.
The PCC discusses various issues to harmonise action by the three spheres of government, including those mentioned by the hon member. The improvement of service delivery is a top priority. The fourth democratic administration has emphasised performance monitoring and evaluation and has introduced the outcomes-based approach to monitoring service delivery.
The PCC meeting of 31 March 2010 discussed at length the outcomes-based approach, including the notion of delivery and performance agreements by Ministers and departments.
On 23 April 2010 I met with the directors-general of national and provincial departments and gave clear direction on what we expect in regard to improving service delivery and citizen care.
At the PCC meeting held on 6 March 2012 we received a progress report from the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation as well as Administration in the Presidency, which indicated that the directors- general were working hard at improving frontline service delivery, performance management systems and the general implementation of programmes. The Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation as well as Administration in the Presidency will continue to monitor progress.
At the same PCC meeting we received a report from the Free State province, reflecting on municipalities which were not viable, and which have an impact on service delivery in general. The PCC resolved that the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the National Treasury should conduct a survey in all provinces of municipalities that are not viable and make recommendations.
The issue of clean audits and how these were obtained was discussed at length at that same meeting of the PCC in March. Various concerns were raised about audit practices, including consultation with regard to audit outcomes and implications, a proposal for a review of the Public Finance Management Act and the upgrading of financial systems to support the regulatory framework.
The PCC meetings of 29 November 2010 and 29 March 2011 discussed the issue of legislation impeding service delivery, following a concern raised by the Western Cape. Some of the sectors identified as needing attention were land use management and human settlements, and in particular there was the Prevention of Illegal Eviction from and Unlawful Occupation of Land Act, Act 19 of 1998. At the March 2011 PCC meeting, it was emphasised that all departments should study the legislation they administer to ensure that such legislation enhances rather than impedes service delivery. National departments were directed to develop internal capacity to review and amend legislation or to draft new legislation where required to do so.
To ensure follow-up by Parliament, the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation as well as Administration in the Presidency can be requested to provide further information on the aspects that the department monitors to improve service delivery.