Thank you, hon Deputy Speaker. The Portfolio Committee on Social Development, having considered and deliberated on the 2010-11 annual report of the National Development Agency, NDA, looked at the report very critically. As we know, the committee, as part of exercising its oversight function, received a briefing from the NDA on its performance.
The NDA is a Schedule 3 Public Entity, established in terms of section 2 of the National Development Agency Act, Act 108 of 1998. Its primary mandate is to contribute to the eradication of poverty and its causes, by granting funds to civil society organisations for the purpose of carrying out projects or programmes aimed at meeting the development of poor communities, and strengthening the institutional capacity of other civil society organisations involved in direct service provision to poor communities.
In regard to the committee's observations, we have noted that there is a need for the NDA to refocus its strategic objectives and align them with the mandate of the Department of Social Development and government priorities. This would change the perception of the NDA as being solely a poverty alleviation entity. The mandate of the NDA should be expanded to include early childhood development programmes, as it had already focused on that in the previous financial year.
It further noted that the budget of the NDA has been reduced to R33 million. It thus advised that the agency should have revised its strategic plan to reflect the changes in the budget, and set new targets to avoid discrepancies in reporting on the initial strategic plan and the achievements.
It also noted that the NDA took a decision to ring-fence the funding for capacity-building of projects, as capacity-building is important to ensure that projects are sustainable and also able to source funding.
The committee made the following recommendation: that the NDA should consider awarding funding to projects based on poverty levels, instead of population size, as it had been doing. This would enable projects in provinces where there are high poverty levels to receive funding. Thank you, Deputy Speaker.
There was no debate.