Minister Lindiwe Zulu: Social Development Dept Budget Vote 2021/22

Budget Vote 19 Speech by the Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, MP to the National Assembly

Honourable Chairperson of the National Assembly;

Chairperson and Members of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development;

Deputy Minister of Social Development, Ms Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu;

MECs for Social Development joining us on social media platforms;

Distinguished Guests;

Fellow South Africans;

Members of the Media; and

Ladies and Gentlemen.

As we come back to Parliament to present the 2021/22 Budget Vote 19 of the Department of Social Development we note that today marks 1 year, 2 months and 20 days since South Africa’s first positive case of the coronavirus disease of 2020 (CoVID-19) was confirmed. Every moment since then has been the unfolding of unprecedented and seismic financial and social impacts. This period presented us with opportunities: to learn from each other; establish best practices; and improve our institutional capabilities and systems.

Faced with the unprecedented impact of CoVID-19, and as part of government-wide reprioritisation, the Department has had to amend the priorities that we presented to this House in 2020. This was done in order to refocus our programmatic support to the government-led response and fight against CoVID-19 and its socio-economic impacts.

Accompanying this was the announcement of government’s five responsive priorities by President Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa during the State of the Nation Address (SoNA) as, we must: defeat the coronavirus pandemic; accelerate our economic recovery; implement economic reforms to create sustainable jobs and drive inclusive growth; and fight corruption and strengthen the capacity of the State. Accordingly, and with the heightened appreciation that the delivery of this Budget Vote constitutes a contract between government and the public, the Department’s 2021/22 Budget Vote is framed within the priorities that the President directed us towards.

In the same light, we expect that citizens also take responsibility by becoming resilient to enable themselves to acquire the necessary skills which would enable them to contribute towards economic development. The balanced rights-responsibilities approach is indispensable to building a productive, caring and sustainable society.

2021/22 Budget

House Chair, it is my pleasure to table Budget Vote 19 of the Department of Social Development for the 2021/22 financial year to this House.

The Department’s overall allocated budget amounts to just over Two hundred and five billion Rand (R205bn) for the 2021/22 financial year. This is a reduction of R6.5 billion from the initial allocation of the 2020/21 MTSF which will culminate into cumulative reduction of R38.5 billion Rand over the next three (3) years.

From this annual allocation, the Department has allocated R195,516 billion towards the monthly payment of 18 million social grants to beneficiaries. This constitutes ninety-five percent (95%) of the annual budget for the 2021/22 financial year. The remaining five percent (5%) goes towards the implementation of all the Department’s programmes, including the allocations towards the administration of the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and the programmes of the National Development Agency (NDA).

The social assistance programme continues to be South Africa’s largest anti-poverty programme: paying more than 18 million grants every month. For its administration, SASSA will receive a total of seven billion, four hundred and sixty six million, nine hundred and one Rand, (R7,4 bn) to efficiently and effectively manage, administer and pay social assistance in line with the South African Social Security Agency Act 9 of 2004. To this end, during the current financial year, SASSA has committed its allocation towards four areas, namely:

1. reducing levels of poverty among South Africans;

2. contributing to economic transformation through the empowerment of individuals and contributing towards the creation of conditions wherein communities can be sustainable;

3. improving beneficiaries’ experiences with SASSA; and

4. enhancing SASSA’s efficiencies.

Key to SASSA’s programmes will be its investment towards improving its grant application and payments system. Some of SASSA’s key interventions include: implementing a digital transformation programme; business process reengineering; implementing anti-fraud strategies, and strengthening SASSA’s capacity to deliver its mandate.

Included in the Department’s allocation is a provision for the Early Childhood Development (ECD) programme. In order to increase the accessibility of ECD services in all communities, the Department will continue to subsidize children from poor households. To this end, an amount of R1,056 billion has been allocated as part of the ECD conditional grant for the 2021/22 financial year.

The Department remains committed to funding non-profit organisations (NPOs) in their role as an extension of delivery arm of our social development services.

Whereas R33 million has been allocated to support NPOs at our level, the lion’s share of funding for the NPO sector — more than R7 billion — resides with provinces.

These organisations provide, among others: services for the prevention, care and support of victims of gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF); social crime prevention services; the eradication of substance abuse; care and support to older persons; and the protection of children and building cohesive resilience families within communities. The Department has improved its funding model to these NPOs by implementing a three-year contract cycle that has improved efficiencies and created stability in the sector. The new funding cycle started 01 April 2021 and will end on 31 March 2024.

The Department and provinces rely on the coalface role and presence of social service professionals in our communities for the implementation of our integrated responses to the wicked problems we are faced with.

On the backdrop of the demanding scope and roles that social service professionals are performing, the Department should, as provided in the Social Service Professions Act 110 of 1978, work towards institutionalising the funding of the SACSSP within the budget appropriations framework.

Two-hundred and fifteen million Rand (R215,970 million) will be transferred to the National Development Agency in the 2021/22 financial year to advance their civil society organisation (CSO) development agenda. In terms of the National Development Agency Act 108 of 1988 the primary objective of the NDA is to contribute towards the eradication of poverty and its causes by granting funds to CSOs.

The areas I have just elaborated constitute ninety-nine percent (99%) of the Department’s major cost drivers through transfer payments.

During this financial year, the Department will focus on the amendments that are necessary on the following pieces of legislation:

1. the Children’s Amendment Bill — which is currently at public consultation stage and seeks to strengthen child protection services;

2. the Older Persons Bill — which aims to strengthen the coordination and monitoring mechanisms of the services that are rendered to Older Persons; and

3. the Fundraising Amendment Bill — through which we seek to consolidate the various relief funds into one national social development and relief fund.

Focus areas for 2021/22:

• With the objective of improving the linkages between ECD outcomes with the universe of our educational and human development outcomes, we will be finalising the migration of the ECD function from the Department of Social Development to the Department of Basic Education.

• With the intention to contribute towards the development of resilient families and communities, we will be implementing social behaviour change programmes, especially on HIV/AIDS

• We will be taking the Green Paper on Comprehensive Social Security Reforms, the White Paper of Families as well as the White the Paper on Social Development through public consultation processes.

• In our continued efforts for social work graduates to be absorbed into the economy, the Department will canvass other government departments and the private sector for them to engage their services towards addressing social ills within our communities.

• Strengthen the reach of our substance and alcohol abuse prevention programmes through conducting public awareness campaigns and outreach partnerships with educational institutions, in partnership with the Central Drug Authority Board.

• Within the context of the National Strategic Plan on Gender Based Violence and Femicide, we will strengthen our prevention and response mechanisms to reduce the spread of GBVF.

• Through promoting and fostering coordination among key stakeholders, we will be jointly implementing an integrated social crime prevention strategy.

• We will be strengthening our child protection services, including areas such as adoption, care and protection, foster care, and the protection of the rights of children.

• We will continue to improve access to NPO registration services through the online registration system which is being enhanced to interface with various systems across the State.

• We will improve access to food and nutrition through the implementation of the National Household Food and Nutrition Plan.

• Towards ensuring inclusive economic participation, we are going to advance our plans to empower cooperatives and social enterprises that are owned by black women, people with disabilities and youth.

• Improve social development services towards the protection and promotion of the rights of persons with persons with disabilities.

• We will be finalising the Policy on the Basic Income Grant for tabling to Cabinet.

• We will usher in the Inspectorate in line with the Social Assistance Act,

• We will also strengthen our role in leading international organisations such as the Partners in Population which is aligned to our South-South Cooperation – on that note the Department will host a National Conference on Migration and Urbanization to share information and knowledge of Migration and Urbanisation in South Africa as it relates to Social Development.

Efficiencies and innovations as responses to budget cuts

This budget took cue from the Honourable Minister of Finance, Honourable Tito Mboweni when he said we are [I quote] getting our fiscal house in order…. Continuing on the path of fiscal consolidation… [and implementing] fiscal prudence [measures] [Unquote].

The reality of budget cuts and government-wide reprioritisation across the MTEF demands that the Department, its entities, provincial departments and the social sector as a whole should establish new efficiencies with which our social services can be improved and made accessible.

Among these, we should explore resource-sharing frameworks and inculcate the culture of innovation throughout the sector. This will assist to supplement the capacity of the Department during these times of resource constraints.

In doing all the above, we will ensure that we put in place strong control measures to avoid irregular, fruitless and wasteful and eliminate any form of corruption.

Servicing more than 30 million South Africans in the first year of CoVID-19

During the 2020/21 financial year, the Department and its entities — SASSA, NDA and the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP) carried out the implementation of government’s socially-responsive interventions that entail: the provision of food and nutrition for the hungry and needy; the novel implementation of the CoVID-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant for the unemployed; increasing all existing grants by R250 per month (except for the grant-in-aid); increasing the child support grant (CSG) by R300 per child; introducing the R500 caregiver grant; and rendering a bouquet of welfare services ranging from psychosocial support to social behaviour change programmes.

Through these interventions, in the past year, we reached more than thirty-one (31) million South Africans. Than only representing more than half of South Africa’s population, this figure verifiably represents how the Department has attended to the basic necessities of the most vulnerable among us. Eighty-eight percent (88%) of the respondents to the Department’s study on the implementation and impact of the CoVID-19 SRD grant indicated that they pooled their SRD grants together with the rest of their households’ incomes to take care of the needs of everyone in the households.

This analysis has supported by the findings of the National Income Dynamics Surveys (NIDS-CRAM) which estimates that 36 million people benefitted from the CSG caregivers grant and the CoVID-19 SRD R350 grant alone. The NIDS-CRAM also found that the CSG caregivers grant and the CoVID-19 SRD grant were amongst the largest poverty reduction measures that government implemented during this period.

To support these findings, in March 2020, the South Africa-Towards Inclusive Economic Development (SA-TIED) established that the number of households that lived below the food poverty line of R561 was twenty-point six percent (20.6%). As a result of the CoVID-19 relief measures that the Department implemented this figure came down to eighteen-point eight percent (18.8%).

Otherwise, in the absence of these interventions, it would have grown to thirty-two point one percent (32.1%).

Over the same period, inequalities were reduced from 0.64 to 0.61. Where South Africa could not register these achievements in more than twenty-five (25) years, our CoVID-19 interventions shifted us into unprecedented grounds and greater future possibilities.

Our contributions to the Inter-Ministerial Committee on the CoVID-19 Vaccination Rollout programme will ensure that we help identify qualifying vaccination candidates from our databases; and render the relevant psychosocial support services. We are pleased with the roll of Phase 2 of the Mass Vaccination Programme that is currently underway and the positive uptake of the vaccines, especially by our older persons.

Modulasetulo le maloko ao a hlomphegago, ke rata go tšea sebaka se, go dira boipiletšo go ma-Afrika Borwa ka bophara, gore ba re thuše go ngwadiša bagolo ba rena ba ba lego ka magaeng, ba mengwaga ye masometshela go ya godimo, gore ba tle ba kgone go humana mo-ento kgahlanong le leuba la COVID-19.

Africa Day

Exactly 58 years ago today in 1963, 32 eminent leaders of our continent gathered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to chart a new course for Africa and her people.

We as Social development believe that our work is about the wellbeing of all citizens and the same should be true for citizens of the continent.

It is with shock that we learnt of the humanitarian disaster that has befallen the communities who live near the town of Goma — in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa) — where Mount Nyiragongo erupted on Saturday evening.

We trust that the humanitarian response and systems across the continent will be afforded to the affected people of Goma.

Charlotte Maxeke

Allow me to pay homage to the 150 years of the courageous life and pioneering spirit of uMama uCharlotte Maxeke: an intellectual; a qualified social worker; a diplomat; and a freedom fighter. It is her who invited us to implement socially-beneficial social development programmes when she said [I quote] This work is not for yourselves. Kill that spirit of “self” and do not live above your people but live with them, and if you can rise, bring someone with you. [Unquote]. In acknowledging her epic role, I am equally paying tribute to past, present and future generations of South Africa’s women ngoba intandane enhle ngumakhothwa ngunina.

Child Protection Week

From Sunday, 30 May to 6 June 2021, the Department will be leading the commemorations of the National Child Protection Week. In so doing, we will be raising awareness of the rights of children as articulated in the Constitution.

As we lead this commemorative campaign we do so in collaboration with key government departments and in partnership civil society organisations in the area of child protection. We call upon all South Africans to stop the cycle of neglect, abuse, violence and exploitation that children suffer. Mmoho, ha re sireletseng bana ba rona.

District-centred Development Model

In view of the growing CoVID-19-induced plight among fellow South Africans, the counsel of the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres that [and I quote] it’s clear that some are in superyachts while others are clinging to the floating debris [Unquote] remains relevant because of the soaring levels of hunger, inequalities poverty, and unemployment in our communities.

These perennial challenges are demand that we ought to target and deliver our social development programmes through strengthening intergovernmental relations (IGR) mechanisms. While we continuously improve our programme monitoring and evaluation (M&E), we have regularised our programme planning and reporting together with provinces. Consequently, we are very hopeful that the District-centred Development Model approach to service delivery will particularly strengthen the work that we carry out together with provinces in different communities.

In practicalising the District-centred Development Model alongside the people-public-private-civic-academic-multilateral partnerships we are assured that the social development sector will strengthen the capacity of the State and leave no one behind in our communities as we implement our CoVID-19 fighting programmes.

COVID-19 SRD grant

iR350 ixosha ikati eziko

The CoVID-19 SRD grant has benefitted 6.5 million unemployed and incomeless individuals. One of the beneficiaries of this grant is Sonto Sithole of Dawn Park in Gauteng. With her monthly R350 grant she started a baking business in her community. When asked what her intentions were in receiving the CoVID-19 SRD grant, she responded by saying [I quote] I wanted to create longevity with this grant, and I am glad I started [Unquote]. There are several similar reports in different communities throughout the country, and their instinctive attitude towards self-sustainability should be promoted. The rapid assessment study that we initiated on the implementation and utilisation of the CoVID-19 SRD grant monies is nearing completion, and its findings and recommendations will be shared with the Honorable Members.

Preliminarily, we expect that these will be relevant for the discussions that we are having on the basic income grant (BIG) in that the study established that the implementation of the CoVID-19 SRD grant did play a major role in the reduction of hunger, poverty and inequalities across our country.

Basic Income Grant

The need to introduce the basic income grant has become an urgent consideration for the African National Congress-led government. To this end, the Department has developed a Basic Income Grant (BIG) discussion document that we have started to consultations on. These consultations are targeted at developing the BIG financing mechanism for the unemployed population group that is aged 19 — 59 years.

Meanwhile, the Department continues to contributing to a supplementary BIG process by NEDLAC. We thanks the various political parties and different formations that have come forth in supporting the reopening of the BIG initiative.

GBVF

The Department continues to play a central role towards the eradication of South Africa’s legacy pandemic: gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF). In order to accelerate the work that we are doing in this area, we believe that all individuals house by house, street by street, from community by community and society at large should play their part., during this financial year we will be asking Cabinet to approve the gazetting of the Victim Support Service Bill.

This Bill specifically addresses the lack of legislation that regulates the victim empowerment services that shelters that accommodate abused women and children are rendering. Once all public comments have been incorporated into the Bill, it will duly be presented to Cabinet.

Through the NDA, the Department is strengthening its GBVF-focused partnerships with civil society organisations (CSOs) that render services to victims of gender-based violence. To date, eighty-five point seven million Rands (R85.7 million) worth of funding has been approved for the qualifying three hundred and twelve (312) civil society organisations across all provinces. This work is possible owing to the Criminal Assets Recovery Account (CARA) funds.

Nutrition and Food Provision

Eight point four million (8.4 million) people benefited from the distribution of our nutrition and food parcels during the 2020/21 financial year. Within the current financial year the Department will, through strengthened provincial and district/metropolitan municipality collaborations and the diversity of our social partners, be coordinating the implementation of the National Household Food and Nutrition Plan.

The nutrition and food distribution value chain also serves as the clearest example of how, during this financial year, the Department is going to be empowering Black-, woman-, disabled-, and youth-owned as well as rural- and township-operating enterprises and cooperatives through procurement.

For instance, women-owned enterprises and cooperatives will benefit from fifty percent (50%) of the Department’s procurement spend during this period. This translates into women benefitting up to R406 million from the Department’s procurement during the current financial year.

Non-profit Organisations

The need for dynamic society-wide partnerships is evident in the fact that during the past financial year the Department received a significantly high number of applications — namely, 22 685 — in which the registration of non-profit organisations (NPOs) was sought. Owing to the CoVID-19 transmission prevention measures that we are enforcing, than receiving NPO registration applications in person, we directed the public to our online NPO registration system. Beginning this year, the Department will effect multiple enhancements to our NPO registration system.

These will encourage strong data interfaces between various systems across the State. Likewise, during the current financial year we are going to take the NPO Bill through consultative processes that are going to ready it for Parliament’s legislative passage.

Youth

During the current financial year, the Department will be finalising and costing its youth development policy. This will duly be integrated into the National Youth Development Policy.

Among others, the Department’s youth development policy will respond to the socio-economic challenges that are peculiar to our country’s youth. Once finalised, the policy will be socialised with the provinces for implementation through the district-centred Development Model. To this end, inbuilt into the Department’s youth development policy is the role of Community Development Practitioners (CDPs) who, at the coalface level, implement our youth quality of life-improving programmes.

Partnerships

Precisely because our economic recovery is lagging behind those of other comparable countries, we are advised that our economy is unlikely to attain the 2019 output levels before 2023. For this reason we reiterate our call for the mobilisation of dynamic people-public-private-civic-academic-multilateral partnerships that will direct our resources and capabilities towards building sustainable livelihoods within a caring society. NPOs such as Kasi Angels, Hope Worldwide South Africa, Limpopo Faith based Network, Albany South Africa to mention but a few have ignited the possibilities of cross-society partnerships.

COVID-19 threw the global community into an environment of unprecedented and compounded socio-economic insecurities that demand all of society, led by government, to reconfigure and realign society-wide relationships along our preeminent priorities. In line with this, during the 2021/22 financial year the Department will continue to enter into and strengthen beneficial partnerships.

Therefore, the need to strengthen families is central to our efforts to develop strong communities and a resilient society.

For instance, during the current financial year we will — beyond the twenty-one (21) district and metropolitan municipalities that we are currently partnering with — conduct Men’s Parliaments in more district municipalities. This will increasingly create spaces wherein men and boys co-create beneficial solutions that are targeted at undoing the social ills that our families and households are experiencing.

Conclusion

As I conclude please allow me to thank Deputy Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu for the positive working relationship with which we continue to strengthen the delivery of the Social Development mandate.

I also thank the Acting Director-General, Linton Mchunu and his Management team; the Chief Executive Officers of SASSA and the NDA, Totsie Memela-Khambula and Thamo Mzobe, respectively, and their Management teams; the Registrar of the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP), Langi Malamba; the Ministry team; our social partners; and, importantly, all the social service professionals throughout the country.

A special thank you to the African National Congress (ANC) and my family with whose blessings I continue to serve South Africans.

I thank you.

Source: Government of South Africa