These are critical questions, which we believe must have profound budgetary and other implications for the Minister and the work of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. They need to be answered urgently.
Furthermore, as chair of the Inter-Ministerial Committee, Minister Radebe will lead a committee comprised of the Ministers of Mineral Resources, of Water and Sanitation, of Trade and Industry, of Social Development, of Labour, of Human Settlements, of Health, of Economic Development and of Finance.
However, as head of his Ministry, he has prioritised the review and revision of performance and delivery agreements that the President has to sign with these Ministers and the others in the Cabinet. His department then has to ensure that the terms of these agreements are met by the Ministers.
Who wrote your speech? [Laughter.] [Interjections.]
How viable is this situation for the Minister of the department? [Interjections.][Laughter.]
He went to school!
Performance agreements signed by Ministers with the President cannot just be for show as a public relation exercise. They must be honoured and be seen to be honoured. They need to be monitored and evaluated to improve performance and service delivery.
Even more important, there should be serious consequences for poor performance. We all know that where there are no consequences for poor work or nonperformance, mediocrity and failure become the norm. [Interjections.]
In this regard, Parliament and the nation keenly await the outcomes of the earlier performance agreements signed by the Ministers with the President. The Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation has to ensure that these reasonable expectations of the nation are met, otherwise expectations of improved performance and enhanced service delivery will remain just that - unfulfilled expectations.
The National Planning Commission has identified five focus areas for this financial year. One of these is to mobilise support for the implementation of the National Development Plan. We believe this is a very important focus area and the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation should ensure that the appropriate budget is employed effectively in this respect.
In regard to the successful implementation of the National Development Plan, the people's plan, as so aptly put by Minister Radebe, should enjoy priority status in the work of the Ministry of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation if South Africa is to achieve the envisaged economic growth, employment, reduction of poverty and a thriving open opportunity society for all our people. Thank you. [Applause.]
Hon members, the Rules of this extended public debate should be observed, and one of those is Rule 46, which says you can converse, but not loudly. The second one is about the interruptions. My chair is strategically situated and I can see everybody. If you want to say something, just rise, stand, and I will recognise you. Thank you.
Sihlalo, ndiyabulisa eNdlwini. [Hon Chairperson, I greet you all in the House.]
The EFF rejects this budget proposal based on the following observations. From the beginning of this Parliament, both the hon Minister in the Presidency ... [Interjections.]
Hon Breytenbach, please don't do that again. Continue, hon member.
... hon Jeff Radebe and the hon Deputy Minister Buti Manamela have not come to address the portfolio committee on their plans. Instead, they sent officials who could not answer some of the questions we wanted answered at the portfolio committee level.
The monitoring and performance of both the Minister and Deputy Minister in this department requires to be looked at because it is not satisfactory. The executive should at all times be available for parliamentary oversight, even when they currently hold the parliamentary majority.
The core function of this department is to monitor the performance of individuals and the national, provincial and municipal government. However, the output is not satisfactory. Provincial and municipal governments are not carrying out their duties. Procurement processes in these two spheres are either outrageous or just a method of securing tenders for certain individuals whose output is not inspected. Roads are left unfinished, subjecting the lives of our poor people to more difficulties.
Umzekelo wale nto ndiyithethayo ziindlela zelali zakuCofimvaba apho abantu basathwalwa ngeeleli ukusiwa ezibhedlele nasemangcwabeni. [An example of what I'm talking about is the roads of the villages in Cofimvaba where patients and corpses are carried on ladders to hospitals and graveyards.]
Make no mistake, all these roads were at some point ... [Interjections.] ... under construction, but nobody cares about what the money was used for. [Interjections.]
The taps have dried up and there is not a drop of water, because the companies that manufactured the pipes did a careless job which could not last even for six months. Hospitals have no adequate tools or resources. Schools have no electricity, no water, no furniture, no textbooks; yet, the implementation of corrective measures does not happen. [Interjections.]
Hon members, order! Allow her to speak. Hon member, continue.
Centralising procurement is not a solution, because it will just increase the red tape and centralise corruption. The Presidential Hotline management is in such a poor state that no area can vouch for the assistance granted to it due to this hotline.
Turnaround times have to be as quick as possible in response to the outcry of our people that we need to serve everyday. This can only be realised when the budget allocated is used exactly for the intended purpose and to improve the system.
We are, however, not shocked, because the only thing this government is excellent at is shifting goal posts and always postponing meetings and their own set targets to distant dates, just as they are saying now that our problems will be solved by 2030. [Interjections.]
The most important thing which this government should prioritise is industrial policy, because it is only the development of the productive forces that will decisively deal with the crisis of unemployment and poverty.
As things stand, there are many economic policies and industrial policy departments and instruments which are not centrally co-ordinated. They all exist in silos when there is a National Planning Commission, NPC, which is supposed to co-ordinate all the work done by the various departments.
The National Youth Development Agency, NYDA is a project gone wrong. It has failed the young people of South Africa, especially the core of their constituency. [Interjections.] Even in the current allocation from the NYDA, rural youth receive less than a R250 000 allocation in the proposed budget, but individuals are allocated R10 million; the reason for such a share of the allocation is not stipulated.
As has happened before, the NYDA will be praised by the Deputy Minister, because it is now led by the Young Communist League, YCL, and its employees have relations. [Interjections.] This department should make sure that the budget funds are allocated to actual youth development programmes, especially for the development of rural and township youth, instead of for individual beneficiaries and salaries.
This department should strengthen the youth and carry out autonomous monitoring and evaluation of government programmes and activities which will publicly announce in six-monthly intervals whether the government has reached its set objectives.
The department should put in place a mechanism which will punish those who do not perform when it comes to their work, because currently most people who fail in their duties are simply rewarded with senior responsibilities. Until these objectives are achieved, the EFF will reject the budget. [Interjections.]
Going forward, the EFF believes that this department should co-ordinate all efforts that seek to realise the development of the productive forces in South Africa. The planning commission should have the capacity to monitor progress in terms of industrial policy and mainstream youth development in all sectors of government. All government departments and all public institutions should employ a minimum of 40% of their workforce from people between the ages of 18 and 35 years. These departments should make sure that the budgeted funds are allocated accordingly. Thank you.
Hon Chair, Bhungane and your team, hon members, it is often said that failing to plan is planning to fail, and since 1994 we have walked a long road of plans. Some of these plans are gathering dust in the archives of government. Hon Minister, it is high time we put the plans into action. The National Development Plan, NDP, has been conspicuous in its absence in the utterances of your colleagues in Cabinet during the past few weeks of the presentation of the Budget Votes. We have heard absolutely nothing about it. [Interjections.]
Hon Chair, whilst I'm on the floor let me say that when we are talking about the National Youth Development Agency, NYDA, I would hope that the adults in this House whose children's lives are better off will take the time to listen to what we are saying, because there are millions of young people out there who are struggling every day to improve their lives.
This continuous heckling borders on reckless dereliction of duty when it comes to actually looking at the issues which are key and central to the suffering of young people. So could they please behave and conduct themselves like adults for the sake of young people out there who are struggling every single day. [Applause.]
Hon Minister, we want to say to you that, as the IFP, we will continue to support the NDP because it exists as our only salvation now in respect of where this country is going. We can interrogate it at a later stage - whether you are doing what is there or not - but I think the time has come for the NDP to be brought to life in real and practical terms as opposed to this continual bypassing that is taking place. Others are going on about the national democratic revolution, NDR, and more emphasis is being put on the Freedom Charter, and this and that, but the NDP must take a centre stage. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
In 2010 NYDA spent R106 million on what is now known as the "kissing festival". We have taken it to the Public Protector, because we need to investigate the reckless and irregular expenditure which took place then. What is disturbing is that the Public Protector says that she is unable to conclude her report because the NYDA is resisting giving her ... [Interjections.] ... the necessary information she needs to conclude her investigation.
We need to know what happened to the R106 million, because if we do not, we will continue a cycle wherein money is being used recklessly and irresponsibly. Hon Deputy Minister, not to pre-empt the meeting that we will have on Saturday, I want to emphasise that we must take a serious look as to whether the NYDA is functioning properly or not. If it is not, radical steps must be taken to either fully capacitate it as it needs to be capacitated or it should be overhauled and replaced by a fully fledged department of youth affairs and a youth Ministry. [Interjections.] One hears the hon members whose children are better off, because they do not care about the others who are suffering. [Interjections.]
Order, hon members! Just hold on, hon member. Hon members, I have seen fingers. Behave yourselves, you know the Rules. You can't do that. Refrain from doing that! Hon member, please continue.
In conclusion, I want to say that the NYDA continues to fail young people. It is not only we who are saying this, but the perception out there - and perceptions count - is that young people are not feeling the NYDA. It is not in the rural areas, it is not where it needs to be. [Interjections.]
On a point of order, Chair: The debate is not on the NYDA today. I think it is coming up on Thursday. [Interjections.]
Let me assist the Whip. The money for the NYDA comes from Budget Vote No 1 and is then taken by Budget Vote No 6, and that is why we are here. She says she's the Whip, but that tells you the serious problem we have in terms of accountability in this House ... [Interjections.][Applause.] ... when the Whip of the committee does not even know what we are talking about.
In all of this, it is young people who continue to be troubled, because their lawmakers are just as confused. I think we must take radical steps, radical in the true sense of the word, and overhaul the NYDA so that at the end of the day young people are better off today than they were yesterday. Thank you very much, Chairperson. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
The DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY - PERFORMANCE MONITORING AND EVALUATION, AS WELL AS ADMINISTRATION IN THE PRESIDENCY: Hon House Chairperson; Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration as well as Performance Monitoring and Evaluation; hon members; Minister in The Presidency, hon Jeff Radebe; distinguished guests; members of the department's management and staff present; members of the media; comrades and friends; ladies and gentlemen, I must first start by indicating that we, both I and the Minister, take the work that the portfolio committee does very seriously. [Applause.]
It was quite unfortunate that on the day when the department was to present the report - the plan and everything else to the portfolio committee - the Minister's and the DG's presence were requested by the President, and I was in school. Now my mother always punished me if I missed school, so unfortunately I couldn't attend the meeting of the portfolio committee.
However, it does not mean that we do not take your work seriously. Also, it is quite surprising that the members of the portfolio committee who were present accepted our apologies in the portfolio committee meeting, but then come here to grandstand, because there are TVs, screens and all of that. We are so disappointed that in the prepared speeches it was pre-empted that the National Youth Development Agency, NYDA, budget would be mentioned in the Minister's speech, even if the Minister did not mention the fact that the NYDA's budget had already been transferred from Budget Vote No 1 to Budget Vote No 6. So, because you have prepared speeches to object to the Budget Vote, you continued to read that part of the speech without aligning it to developments which have been made. I think that it says more about who is confused, hon member of the IFP, and unfortunately in this regard, you are the one who is confused.
We have now entered the second phase of our democratic transition. This phase will be characterised by robust implementation of government policies and programmes geared towards the achievement of our long-term goal of the National Development Plan: Vision for 2030.
Government has purposefully declared its intention to mobilise society in radically transforming the economy to serve the needs, interests and aspirations of our people. This means that the political power and authority that was given to the ANC by the people in the last elections will be used to radically transform our society and alter the ownership and control of the economy.
Our Twenty Year Review comprehensively identified the substantial progress that has been made since 1994 as well as the challenges that confront us. Numbers confirm that most of our people have access to houses, electricity, water and sanitation and social assistance programmes. [Applause.]
This reaffirms government's insistence that the quality of life of our people - since the ANC under Nelson Mandela took over - has radically changed for the better, but more still needs to be done to reverse the damage done over three centuries of colonialism and apartheid.
Every year since 1994, our people continue to enjoy a better life for all. We will build on that course to move the country forward.
Hon members, one of the key goals of the NDP is to build a capable developmental state and to forge a disciplined, people-centred and professional Public Service.
Our role as a department is to monitor and evaluate whether our schools have learners who learn and teachers who teach; whether hospitals tend to patients through the capable hands of qualified and committed nurses and doctors; whether municipalities deliver water, electricity and sanitation; whether our people are humanely settled with adequate basic services and recreational facilities for the youth; whether the programme for land restitution and redistribution is adequately implemented in an accelerated fashion; whether women and children feel safe and secure from all sorts of abuse by an adequate policing service and system; whether graduates are of the highest quality to serve our country for the better; and whether all economic functions and systems of the state are capable of yielding more jobs and ensuring the collective prosperity of our nation.
This is by no means a small task. Minister Radebe has been asked to ensure that government works, and works for the people of our country.
We have to continue with the construction of a capable and professional Public Service characterised by high-quality management and practices free of corruption and dedicated to ensure a better livelihood for all our people.
Since 2011, in partnership with the Offices of Premiers and transversal policy departments, such as National Treasury and the Department of Public Service and Administration, DPSA, our department has been monitoring the quality of management practices in national and provincial governments.
This is done by carrying out annual assessments of the state of management practices in departments against a set of 30 management standards, covering human resource development, financial management and supply chain management, internal governance of the departments, planning, monitoring and evaluation and the management of information.
The process involves self-assessment by the senior management of the department in order for the managers to reflect on their management practices and identify areas where their department is doing well and areas where it needs to improve. This is followed by internal audit validation and external peer moderation by policy experts drawn internally from government.
The assessment results are presented to Cabinet and also to the President's Co-ordinating Council with the provinces. Our department has also been presenting the results to the portfolio committee and to Parliament, when invited to do so.
For the last two financial years, all national and provincial departments have participated in the assessments. There were some improvements in the results over the past two years, and we look forward to further improvements in this year's assessment.
The aim of this monitoring initiative is to drive a process of continuous improvement in the quality of management practices in the departments. Accounting officers are guided through improvement plans to address management weaknesses identified in the assessment.
We have found that for each of the 30 management standards, there are at least some departments that are performing well. The department has, in collaboration with Wits University School of Governance, documented case studies for selected standards where departments have performed very well. To date, we have developed 35 case studies and we hope that our departments will be sharing these cases of good practice amongst one another.
Our department will also continue to monitor a range of indicators of management performance on behalf of the Forum of South African Directors- General. These relate to management areas over which the directors-general have control and which are of concern to citizens, labour, business and Parliament.
They include reducing waiting times and turnaround times for a range of services; reducing the time taken to finalise disciplinary cases in the Public Service; the filling of funded vacancies; and the payment of suppliers within 30 days of submission of a valid invoice, a commitment that the President has made.
Through this, we believe that we are on course to make government work for its people.
As with the assessment of the management practices of national and provincial departments, we have developed a similar model for application in municipalities. The model is called the Local Government Management Improvement Model, LGMIM, which was developed in collaboration with the Department of Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Cogta; National Treasury; the SA Local Government Association, Salga; the Attorney General's Office; provincial departments responsible for local government; and key sector departments such as the Department of Water and Sanitation and the Department of Energy.
The aim of our municipal assessments is to measure, monitor and support improvement management practices in municipalities for quality service delivery. We are assessing municipalities against six standards that include integrated development and planning, human resource management, financial management, community relations, governance, and the capacity of local government to deliver on water, sanitation, electricity, and refuse removal.
During the past financial year, the model was piloted and tested in 12 municipalities and we are happy with the results. We will be expanding this system to 20 more municipalities and we will be building capacity for provincial governments to expand this model to all the municipalities in the country.
Hon members, one of the aspects of government performance which needs to improve is the quality of service delivery experienced by citizens. In this regard, in 2011 our department started a programme with the Offices of the Premiers to carry out unannounced monitoring visits to frontline service delivery facilities such as social grant distribution sites, schools, clinics, police stations, courts, drivers' licence centres, municipal customer care centres and Home Affairs offices. And some of the things that we found out have resulted in the improvement in the quality of the delivery of services.
The focus is on assessing aspects of service delivery such as queue management, waiting times, dignified treatment, cleanliness and comfort by using structured monitoring tools implemented by trained monitors from our department and the Offices of the Premiers.
The results of the monitoring visits are reported to the management of the responsible department as well as to the Cabinet and the President's Co- ordinating Council with the provinces. The responsible departments are requested to put in place improvement plans to address problems identified during these visits.
The aim of this initiative is to show service delivery departments the potential benefits of monitoring the quality of frontline service delivery and to encourage and support departments to start monitoring the quality of their service delivery themselves.
To date, we have visited and monitored 550 facilities. This initiative has given us valuable insight into the quality of services that our citizens are experiencing. We also go back to some of the facilities that were found to be performing poorly and 79% of those facilities which were revisited in the past financial year showed greater improvements.
I would like to thank the provincial premiers, the Offices of the Premiers, and the relevant Ministers for the support that they have given to our department in this regard.
This financial year we plan to visit 90 new facilities, and we will also revisit 120 more facilities to check if the agreed-upon improvements have been implemented.
We encourage our people to let us know which facilities they wish us to prioritise for surprise visits through the Ministry or the Presidential Hotline.
Hon members, our people have a key role to play in assisting government to improve its performance and the quality of service delivery. The National Development Plan, NDP, calls on our people to be active participants in building a better society.
It states that all spheres of government -
... can enhance citizens' participation through a variety of two-way information gathering and sharing forums and platforms between citizens and government. Last August Cabinet demonstrated its commitment to strengthening the voice of our people in the monitoring of service delivery with the approval of the Framework for Strengthening Citizen-Government Partnerships for Monitoring Frontline Service Delivery.
Since then, the department has been hard at work supporting the institutionalisation of people-based monitoring in government. With the commitment of the senior leadership of the SA Police Service, SAPS, the SA Social Security Agency, Sassa, and the Departments of Health and of Social Development over the past year, we have been piloting an approach to people- based monitoring of police stations, clinics, Sassa and the Department of Social Development.
The piloting focused on Tugela Ferry in the Msinga Local Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal and also in Phuthaditjhaba in Maluti, a Phofung Local Municipality in the Free State.
With the support of 80 Community Work Programme staff, more than 5 000 people were interviewed on the performance of Tugela Ferry Police Station, the Church of Scotland Hospital in Msinga, the Phuthaditjhaba Clinic and Police Station as well as the two Sassa service centres and pay points in these areas.
We are now working with the departments and community stakeholders to ensure that the information collected from citizens leads to improvement in the quality of services provided. Before the end of this financial year, we will roll out this initiative in all the provinces in our country.
Another way in which our government is involving our people in the monitoring of service delivery is through the Presidential Hotline, which is managed by our department. The intention of the hotline, as the hon chair of the portfolio committee indicated, is to contribute to a more accessible and responsive government.
We are as excited as the chair of the committee that more than 190 000 complaints and queries have been logged and that 95% of those complaints have been resolved.
The President has actively participated in the hotline and, on behalf of the President and Minister Radebe, I want to take this opportunity to thank all the departments which have played a role in this regard. We also want to encourage our people to view the report which we have put together on the experiences that people had with this particular hotline.
In the current financial year, the department will also continue to provide the President with support for his Siyahlola Monitoring Programme, which involves visits to communities with teams of Ministers in order to assess service delivery challenges and engage with the people, as well as to monitor the progress made with addressing these challenges after the visits. Through these visits, those who are elected or appointed to serve our people should know that the President and government in its entirety will be on the go, keeping them awake and ensuring that we all justify our daily wage by truly working for our people.
In conclusion, hon members, to improve performance and inculcate a culture of excellence in the Public Service, we are looking forward to working with Parliament, and to moving our country forward. Thank you. [Applause.]
Order! The next speaker is hon M J Cardo and it's his maiden speech.
Hon Chairperson, the National Development Plan, NDP, is our roadmap to the future of a society with more jobs and less poverty. And yet, two years after Parliament, Cabinet and broad sections of civil society endorsed the plan, we seem to be stuck on the side of the road.
We hear about the implementation of the NDP, but we do not see it. Why? The roadmap is not the problem, the problem is that we have no-one behind the steering wheel. Instead, we have backseat drivers in the form of Cosatu and the SACP. They want to steer us on another course - the course of the national democratic revolution, NDR.
The NDR is the path of more state intervention, economic decay and unemployment.
The NDP is the path of greater freedom, growth and jobs. Last month, in the debate on the state of the nation address, hon Minister Radebe said, and I quote:
Capacity is being created in the Presidency to carry out thorough socioeconomic impact assessments of both new and existing legislation and regulations, in order to ensure alignment with the NDP and reduce the risk of unintended consequences.
Two weeks later, the President signed into law the Property Valuation Bill and the Restitution of Land Rights Amendment Bill. Both these laws contradict the NDP. They disregard the roadmap and take us down a dead end.
We know exactly what the consequences of these laws will be. Like the new immigration regulations, they will reduce economic growth, increase unemployment, scare off foreign investment and create policy uncertainty.
The Presidency sits at the apex of government. It is responsible for policy coherence. So the hon Minister and Deputy Minister have a very important role to play. They must assert the NDP's supremacy as an overriding policy blueprint. They must stare down opposition to the plan from the ruling party's alliance partners or the NDP will fail, and this budget will go to waste.
Because Budget Vote No 6 is so crucial to the realisation of the National Development Plan, we must prioritise its allocations accordingly.
For 2014-15, the National Youth Development Agency, NYDA, has been allocated R408 million. This is three-and-a-half times more than the allocation to the National Planning Commission Secretariat of R113 million, and is nearly double the allocation of R208 million to the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. This makes no sense whatsoever.
The NYDA has a history of fraud, corruption and irregular and wasteful expenditure. It is pathologically profligate and yet every year we entrust it with more public funds.
The chairperson of the NYDA claims to have embarked on a turnaround strategy. He says the agency's vision is to deliver "as many opportunities as is possible with our available resources to the youth of South Africa".
Yet the NYDA spends R189 million of its R408 million grant on salaries alone. That is almost 50% of its "available resources" spent on feeding a bloated bureaucracy - not on providing opportunities for the youth.
The wage bill at the NYDA is almost as much as the entire allocation for the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. It outstrips the National Planning Commission Secretariat's whole budget by some margin. Time and again, though, the NYDA has shown that it cannot be trusted with public money.
In 2013 the Auditor-General found that the agency's irregular expenditure amounted to R195 million over two years and that it was unlikely to recover R212 million in loans.
In 2010 the NYDA wasted over R100 million on a kissing competition dressed up as the World Festival of Youth. The NYDA pays lip service to youth development. We should kiss it goodbye! [Laughter.] [Applause.]
But the hon Deputy Minister wants to amend the National Youth Development Agency Act. He wants to give the agency greater powers to co-ordinate and implement youth development at a provincial level.
Hon Manamela should take a leaf out of the DA-run Western Cape government's Youth Development Strategy instead. [Interjections.] This strategy is based on the NDP. It prioritises education and training, with an innovative after- school programme and a youth service programme. It promotes economic participation, with a range of employment and internship opportunities for first-time job-seeking youth. These include the Premier's Advancement of Youth, PAY, Project and the Work and Skills Programme, a variant of the youth wage subsidy. Seventy per cent of participants have been kept on as permanent employees after completing the programme. [Interjections.]
According to the World Economic Forum Global Risks 2014 report, South Africa has the third-highest unemployment rate in the world, behind Greece and Spain, for youth between the ages of 15 and 24 years, at 50%.
You see, kissing doesn't help ...
Yet, in the 2014-15 financial year the NYDA will spend roughly only 10% of its grant on its economic participation programme and roughly only 10% of its grant on its Education and Skills Development programme. Meanwhile, hon Manamela is - to quote him on the Employment Tax Incentive Act - "firmly opposed to the youth wage subsidy".
If we are to use the NDP as our roadmap, we should channel the NYDA's budget into the youth wage subsidy, structured youth development programmes and bursaries for educational opportunities. This would be a much better use of resources.
We should pass laws that promote opportunities, growth and jobs. If we don't - if we choose the national democratic revolution - we will be destined for more policy incoherence, more poverty and more unemployment. I thank you. [Applause.]
Hon Chairperson; hon Minister Radebe; hon Deputy Minister Manamela; all members of the executive present here; chairperson of the portfolio committee; the Statistician-General, Mr Pali Lehohla; hon members and comrades, good afternoon.
It is an honour for me to deliver my maiden input to this august House, but more importantly, we are debating the Budget Vote of one of the important institutions of our democratic state also in the month in which we celebrate the life of our own global icon, Tata Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela. [Interjections.]
Let me take this opportunity to wish all Cancerians a happy birth month - that includes me. [Applause.] I am mandated by the ANC to focus on Budget Vote No 13, Statistics SA. This year, on 27 April, we marked the end of the beginning and the end of 20 years of freedom.
This year our democratic government laid a firm foundation for the socioeconomic and political transformation of our country. In the main, our democratic government transformed all state institutions and agencies to be in line with the ethos of our progressive Constitution.
The mandate that Statistics SA carries is to advance the production, dissemination, use and co-ordination of official and other statistics to assist organs of state, businesses, other organisations and the public in planning, monitoring, and decision-making.
The Act also requires that Statistics SA co-ordinates statistical production among organs of state in line with the purpose of official statistics and statistical principles.
We have since characterised the beginning period as a radical second phase of the transition. To effect this transition, the Presidency has developed an overarching National Development Plan, NDP, which government and the ANC has adopted. The plan takes a broader view and makes a thorough diagnosis of our challenges and sets in place programmes to mitigate our challenges, thereby gearing our country into a better future, where a better life for all shall indeed be a reality. [Interjections.]
The National Development Plan aims to contribute to the developmental and transformational processes to overcome social and economic challenges such as inequality, poverty and unemployment.
Statistics SA works with all relevant stakeholders, provides accurate and quality statistical information on economic, demographic, social and environmental factors, which direct and assist the facilitation and implementation of the NDP.
The National Development Plan: Vision for 2030 findings on growth, incomes, levels of competition for goods and services, the number of work seekers and savings and skills profiles have all been available as a direct result of information supplied by Statistics SA.
This analysis provided by Statistics SA in the crafting of the National Development Plan informs sectors in the economy on how to create a deeper understanding not only of their own sector, but also of the broader economy, its structure and composition in order to bring about economic development and transformation of the economy.
Any development plan, and in particular, a long-term development plan, must be based on the balance of evidence that guides analysis, generates knowledge, facilitates understanding and supports business and political decisions that have to be taken. [Interjections.]
The then Minister Manuel, who headed the National Planning Commission, NPC, had this to say about the relationship between Statistics SA and the NDP, and I quote:
I can confirm with confidence that Stats SA has graduated into the fact finder of the nation as prescribed in the Statistics Act (Act No 6 of 1999). Over the last five years especially, the organisation has built intellectual leadership that holds its own in the country and globally, and should, going forward, be in a position to implement the Statistics Act fully ... The organisation not only holds its own, but has become a hub of competence from which other agencies draw important lessons ... In the next five years, Stats SA will become more central to evidence- based policy-making by elevating its statistics and products to the threshold of policy-making, monitoring and evaluation, as prescribed in the Statistics Act.
Statistics SA is one institution that lies at the heart of the success of our new trajectory. We are proud that this important institution has grown in leaps and bounds over the past 20 years and is today one of the revered entities, continuously providing reliable data, which is essential for our micro and macro planning across all spheres of society. [Applause.]
We are pleased that the organisation itself has not rested on its laurels, but continually seeks new and better ways to enhance efficiency and responds accurately to the new demands of society, government and the broader state. [Interjections.]
Hoor, hoor! [Hear, hear!]
We are pleased that Statistics SA has begun the building frame that informs the cornerstone of the statistics system. We are further pleased that Statistics SA has established a geographical spatial information frame which gives account of all dwellings in our country. Through the integrated fieldwork strategy, Statistics SA has expanded its fieldwork force, thus ensuring a more extensive data collection footprint in provinces and districts.
Of paramount importance is the commitment by Statistics SA to improve its governance frameworks and financial management processes. This institution has, in this regard, also demonstrated exemplary leadership by heeding the call by Treasury to cut down on nonessential items, thus realising internal savings of R35 million, an amount which has since been reprioritised. [Interjections.]
We have noted that Statistics SA has introduced a talent management programme in order to align the disparate capacity-building initiatives.
An important aspect of this initiative is the establishment of the Maths4stats programme that seeks to promote statistical literacy at school level by training educators in related modules. This initiative is very important and I thought members would respond accordingly. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
Hoor, hoor! Hoor, hoor! Hoor, hoor! [Hear, hear! Hear, hear! Hear, hear!]
Ba bot?e! Ba bot?e! [Tell them! Tell them!]
This initiative is very important, especially as the National Development Plan enjoins us to ensure that skilled, technical, professional and managerial posts better reflect the country's racial, gender and disability make-up.
Hon Chair and hon members, we urge all government institutions and agencies to use statistics to improve service delivery.It should inform policy- making. [Applause.] Failure to use this evidential knowledge results in a situation such as the one in Gauteng where findings reveal that transport infrastructure is not aligned to the spatial distribution of the population, a situation that we have noted with grave concern. [Interjections.]
We have noted the importance of Programme 5: Statistical Support and Informatics, which enables service delivery programmes through the use of technology in the production or the use of official statistics. We commend the steps that Statistics SA is taking to ensure an uninterrupted network availability for users at all times and a commitment to maintain 500 000 dwelling points across 45 municipalities. [Interjections.]
Ke nnete, ngwana! [That is true, baby!]
Our country has a vision. We have set ourselves high goals because we believe in the resilience of our people who, even in the most difficult and testing period in our life as a nation, never chose failure as an option. The determination that resulted in our freedom and democracy that we all enjoy today is the same determination required to move our country forward.
As the ANC, in honour of our Seaparankwe-Isithwalandwe, we call all and sundry in this House, including the hon members of the EFF, to support Budget Vote No 13, because we firmly believe that Statistics SA can indeed contribute to the building of a capable and developmental state ... [Interjections.]
... and actually lies at the centre of many efforts being made to reverse the triple challenges of our time, that is, unemployment, inequality and poverty.
UZimu anitjhudubaze. Ngiyathokoza. [God Bless you. Thank you.] [Applause.]
Hon Chairperson, the aim of improving government service delivery through performance monitoring and evaluation is in principle a good idea. The problem, though, is the secrecy that accompanies the monitoring. In terms of the Constitution, the National Assembly must hold the executive accountable. Both parties must show commitment to improving government service delivery.
Chair, if the Minister agrees to report at regular intervals to this House, he will have doubled his advantages for enhancing delivery. Firstly, the Minister can report to the President, as he has done for the last five years, and thereafter meet with the Minister who is being monitored to determine what action is needed - if action is needed. Finally, the Minister can make available to the House the report on the weaknesses for which remedy is required from the department concerned.
If a department has done well, a favourable report to the House will also improve motivation. Acknowledgment will spur on performance. By shielding a Minister who is not performing well we will only retard delivery, and that is a loss to the nation.
Over the past five years, Ministers have been reshuffled or fired, but it would have been much better if we had been proactive. There can be no compromise when it comes to service delivery, no matter what the members on that side of the House think. We need a buy-in in the National Development Plan, NDP.
Hon Minister, we have a situation where, especially on that side of the House, they are denying that there is a National Development Plan. We need a buy-in from all the Ministers and the hon members on that side of the House to start working according to the NDP and not just introduce legislation like Minister Nkwinti and Minister Gigaba have done recently. Moreover, we heard that there is a need for a workshop on the Constitution because, especially from that side of the House, it seems as if they do not know the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.
The departments like to operate in silos or to defend their turf. Where there are cross-cutting priorities, the department has a role to play in getting full co-operation. The performance of government in all its three spheres is crucial. We have had too many deficits and this can no longer go on.
The government's debt is piling up and the debt service cost is the heftiest item on the budget. Consequently, fiscal space continues to narrow and this makes it imperative for government to become cost efficient and effective.
The department should not only rely on its own monitoring or on the Presidential Hotline. It should also monitor the answering of written questions by Ministers. Sometimes Ministers who are serial offenders take too long to reply, others do not reply at all or others try not to reply. Then there are the Ministers who skirt the issues and avoid accountability. Please, start monitoring that process, too. The replies by Ministers need thorough scrutiny.
I wish to address the question of blockages in delivery. Blockages sometimes result, as we have seen in the past, in violent protests. Here too, the Minister, after detecting blockages, should request the Speaker to draw the attention of the relevant portfolio committee to the problem so that the relevant department can be subjected to oversight.
When media attention arises from government action, it is much less damaging. [Interjections.]
I think that the hon members on that side are sleeping. They are sleeping through it because it is not the same speech. I thank you. [Time expired.]
Hon Chairperson; Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, hon Jeff Radebe; Deputy Minister of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, hon Manamela; Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration as well as Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Ms Mabe; hon members; and ladies and gentlemen, I am tempted to respond to two things before I start with my speech.
The hon Cardo is a product of a much-discredited system of government which produced the DA. No wonder he is pathological in his attack on government! Little does he realise that he has said a lot in his ill-informed attack which meant absolutely nothing.
Chair, just on a point of clarity ...
Is it a point of order?
Is it Carter or "Cardo"? We need to know?
Take your seat, hon member. Continue, hon member.
The choice is yours, ma'am. [Laughter.]
Chairperson, I think hon Motau suffers from selective amnesia, because he can recall that the Deputy Minister and the Minister were not in the meeting, but he decides to forget that there was an official apology, which was unanimously accepted. The meeting was never under any threat.
What he is saying is nothing but wishful thinking, but I forgive him because it is Monday today. [Laughter.]
Hon Chair, allow me to contribute to the debate on Budget Vote No 6 of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. The journey of the department continues with moving South Africa forward in ensuring accountable and transparent government regarding the performance of the state. The committee has engaged with strategic and annual performance plans as part of opening ongoing discussions of continuous improvement in the Public Service.
South Africa is a developing state. We are all finding ourselves placing a greater emphasis on results by looking back through monitoring, evaluation and evidence of impact on justifying our effectiveness and responding to a growing demand for accountability. The establishment of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation is an integral part of the developmental state in ensuring that there is feedback within the government policy cycle.
Chairperson, the existence of the department assists government in outlining measures to improve the performances of government.
Many departments have acknowledged the new approach of focusing on measurable results and impacts, and the entire government is achieving a number of targets which it has set. South Africans are looking forward to the services of the department to ensure effective monitoring and evaluation of government departments.
The President cited a number of directives, and it is true that in his state of the nation debate he said, and I quote:
An Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Revitalisation of Distressed Mining Communities has been established.
The Department ... will continue to conduct unannounced visits to service delivery sites ...
He also referred to the monitoring of government performance against five key priorities of education, health, reducing crime, job creation, and the development of rural communities.
This has already been alluded to by formers speakers.
The ANC manifesto states that the party will establish institutional mechanisms and build up capacity in the state to undertake long-term planning. It will draw, where necessary, on the expertise that exists in the wider society. The National Development Plan, NDP, which is a culmination of the vision of the Freedom Charter, provides a common, national vision for development. This long-term planning for the country cuts across all sectors of society and it identifies the critical trade- offs and challenges to be addressed by our country over the next 20 years and beyond.
Chairperson, as has happened in the fourth administration, the vision culminated in the development of the delivery agreements. Regular monitoring of the delivery agreements will enhance the performance of the government. The reviewing and refining of the delivery agreements is one of the functions of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.
This empowers the department to be in position to monitor and evaluate government outcomes. The ANC manifesto states that the national and provincial government will oversee the performance of municipalities and ensure that communities are empowered to hold public representatives and public servants accountable. The Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation's programmes are intended to address the need to hold public representatives accountable.
Chairperson, the President highlighted important issues that the fifth administration will embark upon to carry out a critical role in fast- tracking delivery on the priorities included in the National Development Plan. Government is embarking on the new approach, called Operation Phakisa, as mentioned during the state of the nation address.
The department's role is critical in monitoring the provision of quality services in all aspects of the projects implemented under this operation. The committee welcomes the desire of the department to work with the Department of Environmental Affairs in unlocking the economic potential of South Africa's ocean resources as the first project implemented under Operation Phakisa.
The President reiterated the significance and impact that Operation Phakisa will have on the economy of the country. This also has been alluded to by former speakers. Programmes under the department are magnificent in measuring accurate results of government performance. However, the department should build more capacity at the provincial and local government levels.
The Offices of the Premiers should follow the model of the department in overseeing provincial government departments by conducting onsite monitoring and ensuring regular reporting through publishing results of their provinces and municipalities.
The department should strengthen its human and financial resources capacity on the Frontline Service Delivery Monitoring programme. These efforts will enable the department to spread its services to all corners of South Africa to unblock the bottlenecks of service delivery, particularly at the local government level.
Hon Chair, the President further mentioned that to improve performance and inculcate a culture of excellence, the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation will continue to conduct unannounced visits to service delivery sites in order to monitor service delivery results.
The initiative is welcomed as it makes all the government officials perform their work diligently and serve customers according to the Batho Pele principles. To this end, a number of success stories have been witnessed and will continue to be witnessed by communities.
Chairperson, let me urge the committee also to adopt this approach and support the department by conducting unannounced and announced visits to service delivery centres such as clinics, police stations and so forth.
The engagements with communities through citizen-based monitoring, which focuses on soliciting their knowledge and their perception by interacting with citizens who receive services, is crucial and demonstrates how committed government is. This initiative should indeed be applauded.
Experience during the elections and before should have taught us that the performance of government is judged by what happens at local government level. Ordinary citizens are concerned about what happens with regard to their daily lives and this happens only at grass roots. Hence it is important for local government to be brought on board in all planning processes.
This approach is in line with the strategy that has always been applied consistently by the ANC, the imbizo campaigns where communities are invited to engage politicians and officials on issues relating to them and, through the same approach, of giving feedback to communities on issues of service delivery.
The department produced a number of reports in the fourth administration and should intensify efforts to conduct monitoring and evaluation activities and go back to the drawing board to inform and improve on the planning cycle. The committee will assist the department by ensuring that government departments actively pursue and forge forward with the service delivery programmes.
The Presidential Hotline keeps on adding value to the lives of many South Africans who feel neglected by some strategic and operational officials of government at times. There are success stories and challenges encountered here; the committee will persuade the department to attend to and resolve most of the complaints lodged.
The overwhelming response to the hotline is certainly positive. The monitoring of the Presidential Hotline is critical. I come from a municipality where the hotline is used effectively and I have seen how enthusiastic our people are in taking advantage of such a service.
Chairperson, it is essential that government changes its culture of ensuring that it constantly collects evidence of whether or not its policies and programmes are working and use this evidence to inform interventions through proper planning. The National Planning Commission, NPC, should therefore be informed by evidence generated as part of reviewing planning tools of government towards contributing to objectives of the National Development Plan: Vision for 2030.
The establishment of the Secretariat in the National Planning Commission will ensure alignment of National Development Plan objectives. Monitoring and evaluation is emerging as a central tool for government and the positive contribution that it makes is very good for government. The ANC's manifesto is explicit about that, and it is seen in the unwavering commitment by the ANC-led government to clean and good government. We support the Budget Votes of the department. Together, we move South Africa forward. Thank you. [Applause.]
I am in Parliament! [Laughter.]
Hon Chair, hon members and members of the public, I have a briefing here, so you must listen carefully. It has been said that a wise man is not wise every minute, and a foolish man is not foolish every minute. So you need to listen or else you will miss a very important point.
Some of us are new in this Parliament, not in court, and we want to learn good things from the ruling party, not howling and insulting.
I have only two things to say because I have three minutes and the other one will be given for you to put questions and it will be at a quarter to. Mr Minister, there is one request from Agang SA: Corruption and tendering need to be monitored, and we must start from the top down. If the story of a fish is anything to go by, I think we must take note of that. You will finish. The fish starts something at the top. Thank you.
Madam Chair, may I start by congratulating the Statistician- General, SG, on his very good performance and presentation to the Standing Committee on Finance. It was indeed a very credible presentation. Thank you for alluding to the importance of statistical information, especially with regard to planning, monitoring and evaluation and policy development. I hope my colleagues agree with me that it was an excellent presentation.
AN HON MEMBER: Join the ANC!
There are still many problems in the ANC, so I cannot join you, unfortunately. [Laughter.]
The principles that we need to adhere to in respect of this statistical information are quite clear. It needs transparency, accountability and it needs to have independence when it comes to statistical information.
This is also a prerequisite to policy development and decision-making in government. With regard to these principles, they need always to be independent, and this needs to be upheld by Statistics SA. It can really work in the case of valuable information, as you presented.
Thank you also for your commitment to the National Development Plan, NDP. As my colleague hon Michael Cardo so eloquently alluded to here today, there should be no debate regarding the value of the NDP and the immediate implementation of it.
It is unfortunate that in the Standing Committee on Finance we are facing grave problems. With regard to the economic reality in South Africa, it is quite clear that our growth and our progress - and this is the truth - have stalled and that our economy is not moving fast enough to create the necessary jobs that we need to create for the people of South Africa.
Currently, South Africa faces weak economic growth with the economy contracting in the first quarter, and economic growth this year likely to come in at well below 2%. We do not have a figure from the Minister of Finance, as I alluded to this morning.
This figure will only be provided in the Medium-Term Budget Policy Statement, MTBPS. That figure will be very important as we expect it to be even lower than 2%. This is much, much lower than in the rest of Africa where we saw economies blooming and, to a certain extent, on average reaching 5,5%. Those are the issues that we need to address and address them in the way that the DA will suggest. We will offer some proposals in respect of a structural reform.
South Africa faces deficits on the current account and we also face deficits on the budget account - 4,2% I believe. The twin deficits have parachuted South Africa into a very fragile corner. In this downturn of economic growth, this is what triggers demand for quality statistical information to guide us in meeting the objectives of the NDP. I hope that my colleagues take note of this, because this is what we need to do - to address the structural reforms.
The results of Statistics SA in regard to a sluggish recovery in our economy, with reference specifically to the mining and manufacturing sectors, should allow parties to read from the same fact sheet. We have the same facts, but we should just agree on when we start implementing the NDP.
In a recent document by the SG, it was revealed that the first quarter of 2014 saw the mining sector shrink to 24,7% as a result of the strike on the platinum belt and the manufacturing sector by 4,4% in the first quarter. This is worrying, because as we speak, we are currently into the third week of a strike in the manufacturing sector - and I hope that the hon Ollis will agree with me that the strike began in the sector when they were already in negative growth.
If this metal workers' strike continues and spreads to other sectors, as the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa, Numsa, has indicated is its intention, the possibility of even slower growth mounts. That could be very serious for our country. This, together with increasing inflationary pressure, may well drive our economy into stagflation.
The Governor of the SA Reserve Bank is also concerned about the position. On Friday, when she announced the 25 basis points with regard to the repo rate, right now at 5,75%, she also cited labour disruptions and weakness in the mining and manufacturing sectors, among other conditions, which are of significant concern. This also speaks to your concern.
The Governor also said that we would not experience a second quarter of negative growth if the current strike in the manufacturing sector is resolved swiftly. I think that is where the focus should be.
The DA, of course, has a profound offer to make. Make sure that the labour laws support job creation by achieving a balance between the protection of workers' rights and the need for labour market flexibility.
Hon member, you have one minute left.
I will cut my speech short, madam.
In conclusion, I would like to say that we are also enlightened by the commentators that suggest that South Africa is heading towards a recession. On 26 August 2014 the statistics confirmed this. Statistics SA will inform South Africa with regard to the gross domestic product, GDP, results.
We hope that we are going to achieve better growth results. This will answer the question of whether we are heading towards a recession or not. The answer holds serious implications for our country and it is clear that South Africa cannot afford any disconnection between policy and action. With regard to policy direction, it is very clear. The NDP should be implemented. Thank you, Madam Chair. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Hon Chair, let me thank Parliament for the opportunity it has given the hon Minister and the Deputy Minister. As the ANC we support this debate, we do not support it just because we have any other hiccups.
Clearly, even if you call it the democratic revolution or you don't call it the revolution, we have a responsibility. We also have the responsibility of helping you to understand why we say the National Development Plan, NDP, is the centre of our policy.
Without being opportunistic and without being negative, the opposition should agree that it is we who have evolved this particular policy - nobody else. It is we who have put in the resources of the government. And after we have made a thorough analysis of the progress that we have made after 20 years, we have been able to bring the NDP to this government under the administration of President Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma.
So there is progress and there is no way you can doubt that the ANC knows what it is doing. It has made an assessment. As others are struggling to tell us, as Members of Parliament, that they don't understand the relationship between the executive and Parliament, it should be embarrassing. Members of the opposition should be feeling that they don't understand how to take responsibility because Parliament is here.
What the chairperson of our committee did ... [Interjections.] I don't talk about people who do not participate in the committee.
The chairperson of our committee continued to enquire and made sure that the executive come to the portfolio committee. After she had, through the processes that are quite normal in any process, made sure that there's an understanding that the executive could not make it on that particular day, she presented that information to the portfolio committee and the committee accepted it.
Now, what is disingenuous is when you come to Parliament and abuse that honesty and the process which has been followed by this institution to make sure that the executive's absence has been acknowledged. There is no way that the executive has not been able to articulate through the chairperson, because not everybody is chairing. There is only one chairperson here and she is the one who has taken cognisance of the fact that it is her responsibility to make sure that she understands what is going on.
The responsibility also lies with Members of Parliament. It is pathetic for Members of Parliament in this institution, new or not new, to show such a lack of understanding of how the processes of Parliament work. We will definitely be able to give you a lecture on that, because that is what is important since you do not understand what you are doing. That is what is embarrassing the institution.
If you listen to Agang SA, the EFF and the DA, there is no understanding of how the institution works. Our membership has been able to present itself quite firmly on the Budget Vote itself. Where is our focus? We have been saying that the Budget Vote that deals with the National Youth Development Agency, NYDA, has been shifted away and we do know, as a matter of fact, that it belongs to the Presidency. Any other development is supposed to be gazetted, but it is typical that you do not understand what is going on within the institution.
We should be embarrassed that we went with you to the elections. We campaigned and continued talking to the public, but when you come inside the institution you cannot understand how the system works. You sit here in this particular forum and continue misleading the public on how the institution is working.
That should be embarrassing to our own people. That should be embarrassing to the voters. The manner in which you are conducting yourself should be embarrassing the voters and they must wonder why they voted you in. It is embarrassing. [Interjections.]
You keep on shouting, but you have been saying the ANC is shouting. You have been saying the ANC does not understand how Parliament operates. You have been saying the ANC does not understand the Constitution. We definitely understand what the role of the executive is. We definitely understand what Parliament's role is and we have definitely articulated our policies that we have put in front of you.
You don't understand, because you keep on complaining about the executive. However, you are being given an opportunity, an opportunity during the Budget Vote for you to listen to the executive during these Budget Votes. It is not to sit, or run and come here to complain. We have been trying to ask you to put your policies in front of us so that you won't complain to us.
Seemingly the only thing you have done is to keep on complaining about the executive. Correctly so, because you think that an African cannot articulate without having written speeches. [Interjections.] I can articulate, because I understand how the system operates.
What I am saying is that the manner in which the opposition is conducting itself is bad. It is bad in that the opposition is not able to use the Budget Vote in a manner that could be aimed ... [Interjections.] You see, one of the things we should continuously do in the Rules Committee is to tell you that you, as Members of Parliament, should not come here, running around repeating your speeches everywhere you go, given the fact that you have not even been able to win the votes out there. [Interjections.] You are unable to tell us what is wrong with our policies, even though we have been waiting for you to tell us. Nothing is forthcoming; they are pleading with us that we must implement the NDP. That is definitely what we are going to do and that is what monitoring and evaluation is about. The department is about making sure that we implement the NDP, because this is what is in our manifesto. This is what we have gone out and called upon the voters to talk to us about.
Now we are ready. When the Minister said that this is how the reconfiguration has been done, you don't understand what reconfiguration has been done. You keep on talking about the NYDA, which is not even the responsibility of this particular Ministry, and you keep on creating confusion about how the institution is operating. This is embarrassing. You continue saying to us ... [Interjections.]
The member of Cope goes about showing literally that she does not even understand in which term of Parliament we are. We are in the first term of the Fifth Parliament, ma'am. [Laughter.] You should not be referring back to the Fourth Parliament, because that shows a lack understanding of how processes work in Parliament. You keep on saying that there is secrecy. There is no secrecy in these processes. You do not know what is going on because you are not part of this Budget Vote. You do not even know what is going on in monitoring and evaluation. You are spending your time running around talking about yourself. We don't talk about ourselves; we talk about the NDP. The reason why you are criticising the NDP is because you don't understand it. You should be an embarrassment to your own voters that they have been voting for you. [Interjections.]
We are sitting here as a majority and, as the ANC, are prepared to work with every party. That is why we are all making sure that you participate and become active, and how we make sure that the NDP is being implemented.
When hon Cardo goes about talking about the national democratic revolution, NDR, he thinks that we are shy. We are not shy, but hon Cardo does not understand the fact that you cannot overrule what the party has decided regarding the NDR, and the relationship between the state and the party.
Hon Cardo does not understand that the ANC talks about the NDR. We have been able to bring in front of you the NDP and this is what we are saying, that the NDP will be implemented through what the Ministry is putting in front of you. This is not a process of policies that are being generated outside the premises of Parliament. We have done it successfully, and under the hon Minister Jeff Radebe we will able to implement it. The assessment has been given by the hon Deputy Minister and he has outlined the direction, the areas of focus, where we will go under the leadership of the chairperson of our portfolio committee. We will go to different places where we will listen and make sure that we see where the weaknesses in the system are. This is what we will be doing, which is partly reconfiguration of this particular division.
We understand our responsibilities and we have been able to talk to those responsibilities. We understand that the Public Service needs a lot of attention; we know the weaknesses of the Department of Public Service and Administration. We will tell you that not every manager has been able to declare whatever is in their interest.
We know our responsibility because this chairperson's responsibility has been to make sure that we do know what the department has reported to us and what has been happening within the department. This is what has been done and we know that different managers don't declare. We will make follow- ups of our own on that.
We can tell the EFF that when they talk about productive forces, they don't understand what they are talking about. They are talking about departments running in silos. They don't understand; they are abusing English. But the reality is that what we are going to ... [Interjections.]
Chair, will the hon Booi take a question about the NDP?
Hon Chairperson, I am asking whether the hon Booi will take a question about the NDP.
Okay, all right. [Interjections.] No, don't continue.
No, Chairperson, the hon member can have a discussion with me outside. I have enough time to engage with you outside. You know where we meet. I am just saying that these are our policies and there is no way, Cardo, you could say to us ... [Interjections.] Of course, hon Cardo. Thank you very much, you are doing a very good job.
Hon member, please do not switch on that microphone without my permission.
There is no way, hon Cardo, that you could say to us that we are being influenced by the alliance. We are part of the alliance in this country, part of Cosatu and the SACP. We are all working together as a collective. We have been able to make sure that this NDP that they are talking about has been a policy that we have been able to derive and work together on.
There is no way that we are going to shy away from the NDP and there is no way that they could say to this government that they have never been in government or that this alliance is SACP or Cosatu. We have found that the collective of the ANC is able to say that this NDP is part of us.
This is what the hon Minister has been able to do. This is what the hon Minister has been able to say to you, even today, that this is central to our own policies and the work that we are going to be doing together as a collective.
No matter what he is saying about the economic strength, we as the ANC are saying that, as South Africans, we should take the responsibility together. Let us make sure that all of us are working together as a collective. Let us we make sure that the NDP is being implemented as a collective. Nowhere does the ANC shy away from it.
On a point of order, Madam Chair: Is it parliamentary for a member to talk about a political party that does not exist in this House, namely the SACP? [Laughter.]
Hon member, would you please sit down.
What the ANC said, what it says in its manifesto, and what it will continue to say to South Africans is that we do feel the responsibility and that governance is not just about only one party. It is about all of us taking full responsibility and making sure that we deliver. That is the responsibility that the ANC has and it is the only thing that we keep on saying to Members of Parliament. We caution them that they must not build on fallacy. Let us build with honesty. Let us be able to say, as South Africans, just look at each other. I mean, we do listen to hon Motau? He is part of our committee, and with hon McGlu we are exchanging views ...
Sorry - McGluwa. [Laughter.] They are all part of that team. They are all part of that team that will make sure that we deliver in South Africa. We are not going to shy away. That is why the hon Minister is calling upon us here to say that, under his leadership, as a collective and as South Africans, we should take responsibility so that the concerns you are expressing about the economy and the responsibility, hon member, are our responsibility.
As members of Parliament we feel it that it is our responsibility. That is why I am concerned about the way we are handling this institution and conducting ourselves. It is in our interest and in the interests of all South Africans that we should be able to show that particular concern, that we would like to have a turnaround in the economy.
We would always want to make sure that nobody is critical of the labour relations or the labour laws that have been implemented within South Africa. But there is a responsibility on the part of all South Africans to ensure that we do engage different partners around the areas of striking and make sure that they come to the party. Also, bosses who are supposed to pay these particular workers must also take full responsibility for how they conduct labour relations. That is part of what the NDP is able to put in front of South Africans.
That responsibility is not something that you shy away from. It is not a responsibility that we feel hon Minister Jeff Radebe would shy away from. Let's join hands and work together as South Africans to make sure that the NDP is being implemented. We will never shy away from that responsibility.
We are saying let's use the Constitution and all arms of governance effectively. Let even Parliament itself become a responsible institution that is able to deal with the issues that confront South Africa rather than to sit here and start lying to one another. That is not going to be the best way of dealing with our South African challenges. Thank you, hon Chairperson. [Applause.]
Chairperson, as my time is limited, I am going to make five short points.
I firstly want to thank all the members of the committee for participating in this robust debate this afternoon. I also wish to thank those who supported these Budget Votes. I am looking forward to working with the committee to further the objectives of the National Development Plan, NDP.
Secondly, a lot has been said about our nonattendance on 2 July 2014. I did write a letter of apology to the committee, which was accepted. I hereby again apologise for not attending. We could not attend because we had to attend a meeting in Pretoria. It was not our intention to snub Parliament. That has never been our philosophy as a department. It is not mine or that of the Deputy Minister either. I thought I should apologise once more so that you hear it from me. We are not going astray; we had to attend Cabinet meetings in Pretoria. In any event, the chairperson accepted our apology.
Thirdly, the hon Motau talks about the hybrid portfolio committee that deals with performance monitoring and planning. He seems to suggest that this is the responsibility of government. If I had more time, I would have spoken to him about the doctrine of the separation of powers.
This doctrine originated in France - in the work of the philosopher Montesquieu. He wrote Trias politica, a work that promoted this issue, namely the separation of powers between the executive, the legislature and the judiciary. This principle has been accepted in our Constitution and the law.
Therefore, how the portfolio committee has become a hybrid one has nothing to do with government, it is you yourselves and the Presiding Officers in their wisdom who decided to do so. So please, check with your colleagues in Parliament. I'm sure they will explain why they came to that conclusion.
Fourthly, I have noticed some scepticism about our commitment, as government and the ruling party, to the NDP. I just want to reiterate once again that the NDP, this plan of development, was initiated by our President in 2009.
He appointed the National Planning Commission as an independent institution, not to provide a plan for government, but to provide a plan for the people of South Africa. I have met the National Planning Commission, NPC, and it consists of high-calibre South Africans who have given us the most dynamic plan in the history of South Africa, namely our vision for 2030. [Applause.]
In 2012 the National Planning Commission presented the NDP to the President, who accepted it. Cabinet also adopted it as its plan. Parliament did the same thing. In December 2012 the ruling party, the ANC, unanimously and wholeheartedly adopted the NDP as the plan it supports.
In May of this year, 2014, the ruling party had its Cabinet lekgotla. Even before that, the election manifesto of the ruling party and its overarching vision was the NDP. It is part of our commitment to the electorate of South Africa. We are committed to implementing this plan. The ruling party, once again in May, reiterated its commitment to the NDP, while Cabinet's lekgotla has, in principle, adopted the Medium-Term Strategic Framework, MTSF, which is based on this NDP.
When the President appointed me, he gave me strict instructions that I am the executive authority to implement this plan. So there are no backseat drivers for this plan; the driver is the President. The driver is also the Deputy President, who is the chairperson of the National Planning Commission. The Minister in the Presidency responsible for planning is me.
We are driving this programme, so I do not understand where this confusion comes from - as if there are other plans. There are no other plans. There is one plan, the NDP, and we want to implement it. [Interjections.]
Lastly, Chair and hon members, you are cordially invited to the Townhouse Hotel for refreshments after this robust debate. Thank you. [Laughter.]