Governance and Administration Cluster media briefing by Minister Malusi Gigaba

28 September 2014 

Ministers
Deputy Ministers
Directors-General
Members of the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen

Thank you for joining us at this morning’s Governance and Administration Cluster media briefing. Today we are outlining progress relating to the implementation of government’ Programme of Action as announced by President Jacob Zuma during his State of the Nation Address in June this year.

The progress noted in these briefing shows our resolve as a country to deliver on our future plans in order to achieve South Africa’s Vision for 2030, as embodied in the National Development Plan (NDP). The work of government as part of this cluster strives to improve the quality of life of people by improving the capacity and organisation of the State and its underlying systems to eradicate the challenges of poverty and inequality; and enhance better and improved delivery of services effectively and efficiently.

In noting the progress we have made in the last 20 years in delivering on our vision, it is therefore important to note that as government we understand where we are and what needs to be done to enhance our performance and to improve efficiency across all the three spheres to better serve our people.

The Cluster has achieved the following over the first quarter of the fifth democratic government:

Sustainable and reliable access to basic services

In his State of the Nation Address, on 17 June 2014, the President called upon key stakeholders in local government to work together to improve the daily experience and overall quality of life and of the people.  The President established an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on service delivery consisting Ministers of Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs, The Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation, Home Affairs, Energy, Transport, Basic Education, Health, Public Enterprise, Rural Development and Land Reforms, etc.  The IMC bears the collective responsibility to, among others things, ensure backlog reduction and accelerate infrastructure delivery (water, sanitation, energy, roads and housing).

Further to his call to local government in his State of the Nation Address, the President, with the support of the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, convened the Presidential Local Government Summit, held on 18 September 2014, in Gallagher Estates, Johannesburg.  The Summit, convened under the theme: Back to Basics: Serving Our Communities Better!, was attended by 1650 delegates, inclusive of but not limited to Ministers, Premiers, Members of the Executive Council responsible for local government, Mayors, Speakers, Chief Whips, Traditional Leaders, Directors General, Provincial Heads of Department responsible for local government, Municipal Managers, Chief Finance Officers, Technical Managers, Organised Labour, Business, Civil Society, Academic and Research Institutions.

In his keynote address to the Presidential Local Government Summit (PLGS), on 18 September 2014, under theme: “Back to Basics: Serving our communities better!” the President called upon local government and all stakeholders to “get the basics right” in order to create conditions for decent living and happiness for all and in particular for children, youth and the elderly by providing quality service and amenities. Going back to basics could be achieved by local government focussing on its key constitutional and legislative mandates through:

1.    Putting people first (Batho Pele);
2.    Delivering sustainable services to the people;
3.    Ensuring good governance;
4.    Ensuring sound financial management; and
5.    Developing and maintaining institutional capacity

The Summit adopted a Statement Of Intent that committed local government, key stakeholders and partners such as national and provincial governments, the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), business, labour, civil society to strengthen municipalities and ensure radical improvements in service delivery at local government level.  The outcomes of the Summit instilled a sense of urgency towards improving the lives of citizens and confirmed that “Back to Basics” is about setting clear benchmarks of performance in efforts to ensure that all municipalities perform their basic responsibilities, every day, without fail.

Service Delivery

In this quarter, we have made some achievements and recorded good progress in the provision of basic services. The number of households that were connected to the grid amounted to 48 751 and 3 786 using non-grid technologies. In an effort to strengthen and support the planning and delivery of services by municipalities, the Service Delivery Budget Implementation Plans (SDBIP) for metros were submitted in line with the prescribed framework and were published with S71 Q4 on 29 August 2014.

National Disaster Management

The Limpopo and Mpumalanga Provinces experienced heavy rains and flooding in March 2014. This resulted in significant damages to private and public infrastructure such as road and bridges, the environment, municipal infrastructure, agricultural infrastructure as well as houses. After physical verification, the National Disaster Management Centre (NDMC) allocated R9 802 410 to Limpopo province and R61 025 000 to Mpumalanga for emergency relief.

Sound financial and administrative management

We committed to partner with the City of Johannesburg (CoJ) towards resolving matters relating to their billing system. The following have been achieved: Bill accuracy due to an increase in usage of actual meter readings instead of estimates; Revenue Collection due to system and process enhancements; improvement in Customer Service due to the regionalization of the business model and improved turn-around times in resolution of billing queries.

There are still challenges that remain to be addressed. These include data cleansing, poor quality in capturing new customers for services, which result in delays in the change of ownership and inaccuracies in property categories. The cleansing of data is currently being undertaken, region by region.  To date, two regions have been completed.

Strengthening Intergovernmental Relations (IGR) system

We have completed the review of the District system of local government, including the functionality of District IGR structures. CoGTA is continuing with assessment of National and Provincial IGR structures like the Presidential Coordinating Council (PCC), MinMecs and others. The purpose of these reviews is to draw lessons from practice and identify weaknesses and gaps that impact on effective inter-sphere collaboration and integration of plans.  In this regard, arising from the completed reports and lessons learned, CoGTA will develop proposals for the amendment of the IGR Framework Act and make firm recommendations for strengthening our Intergovernmental Relations Systems.

Strengthening democratic governance arrangements

Efforts to strengthen and broaden public participation in local service delivery through ward committees are in progress. Since May 2014, a total of 450 Ward Level Service Improvement Plans have been developed focusing on, amongst others, the filling of potholes, repairing non-functioning traffic lights, preventing service interruptions, attending to billing queries and cleaning of open spaces. A total cumulative of 3 294 ward service improvement plans have been developed to date.

Integrated Urban Development Framework

The President announced finalization of a policy framework on how the urban system in South Africa can be reorganised so that cities and towns can become inclusive, resource efficient and good places to live in over the next 20 to 30 years, and further address challenges of rapid urbanization and spatial integration. In this regard, he committed to finalising the Draft Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) by end of July 2014. The policy has been finalised as per the commitment in the SONA and is being consulted with various stakeholders. 

Preparations for 2016 Local Government Elections

The formula for determination of number of councillors has been gazetted by the Minister as per the Local Government: Municipal Structures Act. This is a significant step towards paving the way for Municipal Demarcation Board and the Independent Electoral Commission to prepare for the upcoming Local Government Elections in 2016. A submission has also been prepared for the Budget Forum regarding funding to support amalgamated municipalities after Local Government Elections.

The review of local anti-corruption strategy as per the MTSF is underway. A gap analysis on the current anti-corruption strategy has been completed and the review is in progress. Consultation with key stakeholders for comments and inputs is also in progress. It is anticipated that the final draft of the local government anti-corruption strategy and the implementation plan will be in place by November 2014.

Community Work Programme

The total number of work opportunities created for July 2014 was 178 788.  The number of youth benefited was 77 167 (43%) and women were 134 815 (75%).  Municipalities with CWP sites were 155 in total.  Currently, there is implementation of about 22 new sites in progress for the 2014/15 financial year.

A total of 488 disadvantaged participants have been trained on Early Childhood Development, Public Awareness for Dread Diseases and Drug abuse, plant production, environmental practise, community house building, construction and community development training in Gauteng, North West, Mpumalanga and KwaZulu-Natal Provinces.

As part of the Clean Cities, Towns and Villages Programme under CWP, CoGTA facilitated a partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the North West Provincial Department of Local Government and Human Settlements (DLGHS) to support the Mahikeng Local Municipality to improve their waste management services.

Municipal Technical Support Programme

CoGTA, thorough its government component,  MISA, is providing technical support to 27 priority District municipalities with a particular focus on enabling them to address their backlogs in relation to access to water and sanitation services. Over the 100 days period, practical training was offered to 17 waste water process controllers and 22 artisans in Vhembe District Municipality.

These apprentices will be absorbed as permanent municipal officials upon completion of the training. A similar programme for 127 identified apprentices is being extended to Ugu, uThungulu and Harry Gwala District Municipalities. Through the MISA Bucket Eradication Programme, 513 households had their bucket toilet systems replaced with the ablution facilities in Northern Cape. 

CoGTA, through MISA, provided technical support to municipalities in the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga has resulted in the affected municipalities obtaining 13 and two (2) landfills licences respectively. 3km gravel road has been constructed and completed in Mpame Village, Mbashe Local municipality, which connects the villagers to government services including schools and clinics. A pedestrian crossing which will give community access to the other side of the river is in progress in order to enhance connectivity within the Village.

Municipal Capacity Development Programme

As part of its programme aimed at building technical capacity for infrastructure and service provision, CoGTA, through MISA, has successfully trade tested 82 Artisans from the group that has been undergoing practical training in municipalities. The artisan development programme is currently supporting 50 unemployed graduates and 27 municipal officials. A total of 300 additional apprentices will be enrolled into the programme during the course of 2014/15 financial year.

A total number of 55 students who benefited from MISA’s bursary programme for technical students have recently graduated through the programme and are currently undergoing Experiential Learning in municipalities. A total of 103 Experiential Learners and 50 Water/Wastewater Process Controllers have been deployed in municipalities to date.

Integrated Urban Development Framework

The President announced finalization of a policy framework on how the urban system in South Africa can be reorganised so that cities and towns can become inclusive, resource efficient and good places to live in over the next 20 to 30 years, and further address challenges of rapid urbanization and spatial integration. In this regard, he committed to finalising the Draft Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) by end of July 2014. The policy has been finalised as per the commitment in the SoNA and is being consulted with various stakeholders.  

Government implemented the imbizo focus week (14 to 19 July 2014). The focus week provided Political Principals an opportunity to assess first hand, progress on the implementation of government’s priority programmes. During the focus week, a total of Forty-eight (48) activities were undertaken by The Presidency, Cabinet Ministers as well as Premiers.  

Public Service Month

As part of improving and providing efficient services to the people, government departments, led by the Ministry for the Public Service and Administration, have during the September Public Service Month embarked on a campaign where a number of consultative meetings within the Public Service, and with labour unions and communities took place to reinforce the message of delivering quality services to the people. Public Service Month is taking place under the theme: Reinventing the way Public Servants Work: Batho Pele “Putting People First”.

This period affords South Africans an opportunity to reflect on the Public Service and its ability to deliver quality services that meet the expectations of the public in line with government’s Batho Pele programme. It is a simple and transparent mechanism, which allows citizens to hold public servants accountable for the level of services they deliver. We have thus interacted with frontline public servants as well as members of the public to address some of these challenges.  

The focus for this year’s Public Service Month included the endorsement of the Urban Thusong Concept through the official launch of the Maponya Thusong Service Centre; a pledge to popularise and promote the 2013 Service Charter; and opportunities to broaden consultation on the concept of reinventing how public servants do their work. 

For the first time this year (2014) government has introduced the Thusong Centre Week aligned to the public service month under the theme “Reinventing the way Public Servants Work, Batho Pele”. The week’s activities concentrated on profiling and raising awareness of this centres

Roll-out of the Smart ID

Government, through the Department of Home Affairs, has launched the Maponya Mall Smart ID Card Dedicated Office to cater specifically for Smart ID card and passport applications, including collections of both products. So far, we have issued over 800 thousand Smart ID cards, of which 640 thousand were issued this financial year. The department has set out to increase its footprint throughout the country and has moved to offer specialised services at its offices. We are in contact with other provinces to roll-out these specialised offices in similar high-volume malls countrywide. Our plan, moving forward, is to segregate services to increase efficiency in the quest for improved service delivery.

To this end, we must make a call for new-born children to be registered at health facilities upon birth or within 30 days. This exercise will be contributing to efforts to clean up the country’s National Population Register and ensure that the only gateway into the register is through timely registration of birth. In this regard, we have announced that as of 31 December 2015 we will discontinue the practice of Late Registration of Birth as we continue to seek to restore the citizenship of our people. It is therefore critical that we appeal to South Africans to value their citizenship and protect their identity documents to keep our National Population Register dignified.

Thusong Service Centres

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the Maponya Thusong Service Centre on 31 August 2014.

The front office is central to enhancing the overall public’s experience and perception of government. Locating services closer to communities, Thusong Service Centres ensure that the efforts at improving the frontline for enhanced service delivery bear fruit. An Urban Thusong Service Centre provides integrated services to citizens under one roof, in an urban location that is convenient and accessible. Underpinned by an uncompromising focus on client service excellence, offering a professional, effective, efficient and client-centric service to its citizen customer base, these centres will provide services in a manner similar to a private sector company such as a modern, client-focused bank.

Thusong Service Centres provide convenience and ease of access to government services, providing a unified face of government across all spheres and eliminating work in silos. The centres also eliminate duplication of infrastructure by government departments and therefore save government money, whilst improving communication between government and the people.

Piloted in 2011, the Maponya Mall Thusong Service Centre seeks to bring convenience to the heart of Soweto, providing services from the Department of Home Affairs; Department of Labour; Gauteng Department of Transport; National Youth Development Agency; Gauteng Department of Finance; and Gauteng Enterprise Propeller.

Disciplinary cases in the Public Service

Government has established a central system to manage disciplinary cases in the Public Service in order to speed up resolution of these cases. To this effect, government is creating a centralised capacity to assist departments and provinces with capacity to deal with the backlog. Cabinet has approved the creation of a pool of labour relations specialists and a team of legal experts from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development to deal with all backlog cases on precautionary suspensions in the Public Service. 

The labour relations specialists and legal experts are state employees; therefore there will be no extra cost to the State in speedily resolving the outstanding cases. This intervention is necessitated by the fact that the policy framework of the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) seeks to ensure that discipline in the Public Service is managed effectively and efficiently by departments and provinces. To this end, the DPSA has found it necessary to assist departments and provinces with capacity to deal with the backlog hence the request to seek Cabinet’s intervention in this regard.

The pool will operate on the following basis without any negative impact to departments:

  •  The DPSA will immediately identify all departments that require urgent intervention
  •  Cases will be screened on a case-by-case basis
  •  Members of the pool will be allocated cases on a rotational basis so as to achieve an even spread of cases amongst panelists
  •  The pool will comprise expert investigators, prosecutors and presiding officers to ensure that the full value chain is expedited optimally.

The project will run for six months and reviewed thereafter. Directors-General (DGs) will be requested to release officials as and when they will be required to go and attend to these cases. To augment this, the DPSA has also developed sanctioning and precautionary suspension guidelines which are to go before Cabinet for consideration. This is to ensure that similar cases render similar outcomes. The precautionary suspension guide is intended to ensure that employees are only suspended in appropriate circumstances.

National Macro-Organisation of the State Project (NMOS)

The NMOS project is progressing very well. After the Presidential Pronouncement on 25 May 2014, substantial progress has been achieved for the NMOS 2014.  To manage the NMOS project, a National Steering Committee has been established and is chaired by the DG in The Presidency.  The steering committee consists of the DGs of centre of government departments and all affected departments.

The NMOS programme is scheduled for completion in October 2014.  Most of the abovementioned deliverables will run concurrently. The National Steering Committee with the collaboration of affected departments – National Treasury, Department of Public Works and the State Law Advisor – provides guidance and decisions on all relevant matters.

As part of the overall project management process, affected departments are required to establish Departmental Project Teams consisting of both the existing and affected departments and chaired by the DGs of those departments or delegated officials. Accordingly, a Departmental Project Team, supported by work-streams, has been established to give administrative effect to the President’s announcement:  The Centre of Government Departments is supporting affected departments.

The DPSA, with the assistance of the State Law Advisor, has prepared and submitted a Presidential Proclamation to amend Schedule 1 of the Public Service Act of 1994, as amended, so as to establish or rename affected departments. The President issued Proclamation 43 of 2014, published on 8 July 2014 in Government Gazette No 37817.

The DPSA, with the assistance of the State Law Advisor and legal services of affected departments, has also finalised a Presidential proclamation, in terms of section 97 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996, to transfer to a member of Cabinet the relevant administration of legislation entrusted to another member of Cabinet.  In instances where the National Executive must make further policy decisions on the transfer of functions in terms of the Constitution, more than one proclamation may follow so as not to delay the affected departments who are ready. In this regard, the President issued Proclamation 47 of 2014, published on 15 July 2014 in Government Gazette No 37839. At a meeting of the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) on 20 June 2013, the DPSA made a presentation to inform parties on the project, covering the approach, processes and principles in relation to the NMOS project. 

At the meeting the DPSA, on behalf of the employer and the trade union parties, agreed that employment security was a priority, and no employee shall be negatively affected as a result of the transfer and ring-fencing process. 

Subsequently, the State as employer and organised labour in the PSCBC entered into an agreement on the “Transfer and Placement of staff in the reconfiguration of Departments”. The agreement also provides the basis for affected departments to consult trade unions in the Departmental Bargaining Chambers and direct the contents of the Transfer Agreements that affected departments must consult with trade union parties.

Remunerative work outside the Public Service

A determination on performing other remunerative work outside the Public Service has been drafted and submitted for legal opinion. This Determination introduces a structured administrative process leading to a decision by the Executive Authority or his/her delegate. Further, the approval to perform other remunerative work is subject to the individual or entity not conducting business with the State and the approval is for a limited period of not longer than 12 months.

Regulatory amendments are being considered to strengthen Ethics and Integrity Management within the Public Service such as amendments to the Public Service Regulations (particularly Chapter 2) and the Public Administration Management Bill.

E-Disclosure system for senior managers in the Public Service

Regarding issues of ethics and integrity, from April 2014 we started the roll-out of the E-Disclosure system for senior managers in the Public Service. This is a web-based system that enables senior managers to declare their financial interests electronically. The system uses modern technology and intelligent financial systems to help prevent corruption and maladministration in the Public Service. For the 2013/14 disclosure period which ended in July 2014, 77% of senior managers in the public service utilised the E-Disclosure system. We expect the uptake of the E-Disclosure system to increase.

Productivity management

As part of the Sub-Outcome on: Efficient and effective management and operations systems; the DPSA has developed a Productivity Management and Measurement Framework (PMMF) for the Public Service through an extensive consultative process with national and provincial government departments in the health, basic education and human settlements sectors, including the Department of Home Affairs, Productivity SA, and the South African Social Security Agency.

The PMMF is underpinned by the notion that a productive Public Service is key to meeting the basic needs of citizens and in contributing towards the development of the South African economy as envisioned in the NDP. Additionally, Chapter 10 of the South African Constitution determines that Public Administration must adhere to the efficient, economic and effective use of resources [s195(1)(b)].  From this perspective, the PMMF aims to promote a more efficient, effective and development-orientated public service by providing departments with a toolkit to manage and measure their levels of productivity. The application of the framework should yield improvements in the quality and quantity of public services in line with the realistic expectations of citizens.   

This framework is currently being piloted in the North West Provincial Health and Limpopo Provincial Basic Education departments. The practice-based case studies emanating from these pilots will provide a basis for implementing the PMMF throughout the health and basic education sectors.

In May the President announced that the Department of Planning Monitoring and Evaluation would be created out of the former Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation and the National Planning Commission Secretariat. This amalgamation has now been completed and the new department is now focusing on continuing to strengthen the planning and performance monitoring and evaluation functions introduced in 2009.

A new planning branch been created in the department, incorporating the staff of the NPC Secretariat. This means that the planning function has now been institutionalised in government and DPME has now taken over responsibility for regulating and guiding the 5 year strategic planning and annual performance planning processes that are undertaken by national and provincial departments. The department will also be focusing on strengthening other aspects of planning across government, including spatial development planning, regional planning, sectoral planning, and the quality of planning of programmes.

A key milestone which was achieved in the first six months of this administration was the finalisation and public release of the Medium-term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2014 – 2019. The MTSF contains targets related to the 14 priority focus areas for government, and is the blueprint for how this administration will implement the National Development Plan over the next five years. The Treasury Regulations have been changed to require departments to submit their draft strategic and annual performance plans to DPME, so that they can be checked for alignment to the MTSF. On a quarterly basis Cabinet will receive progress reports on the implementation of the MTSF by the relevant outcome coordinating Ministers as well as by DPME. This progress will be made publicly available through the Programme of Action website managed by DPME.

Another important development over the last six months has been the launch of Operation Phakisa by the President. Operation Phakisa is managed by DPME and involves very detailed activity-level joint planning by all the stakeholders which need to work together address a particular issue, followed by intensive monitoring of implementation, coupled with high-level intervention to unblock blockages. The first of these planning sessions (knows as labs), focused on growing the oceans economy and creating jobs in that sector, was completed in August, and the detailed plans will be made public in October. The second Operation Phakisa lab, focusing on improving the quality of health services provided in clinics, will also start in October.

During September DPME presented the results of its third annual assessments of the quality of management practices in national and provincial departments to Parliament. The results show some improvements in some areas, and DPME is focusing on sharing case studies of departments which perform well in various areas of management with departments which perform less well.

DPME continues to carry out evaluations of a range of government programmes - currently 37 evaluations are underway, in addition to the two which have been publicly released. It also continues to carry out unannounced monitoring visits to service delivery sites and engaging with the management of the relevant departments regarding the required improvements. Over the past six months the department also started to pilot the implementation of a Cabinet-approved policy for citizen-based monitoring of the quality of service delivery in Msinga (KZN), Phuthaditjhaba (Free State), Temba (Gauteng) Jouberton (North West) and Burgersfort/Praktiseer (Limpopo), working together with the SAPS, SASSA and the Department of Health. The intention is to pilot this programme in the other four provinces in 2015 and start scaling up the programme by June 2015.

The Presidential Hotline continues to be operated by the Department. By March 2014, 190 000 complaints and queries had been logged and the resolution rate was 95%. This is an improvement year-on-year from a resolution rate of 64% (end Sept 2010), 78% (end Oct 2011) and 87% (end Oct 2012). DPME carries out telephonic citizen satisfaction surveys for the Presidential Hotline. By March 2014, 14 705 citizens had been surveyed, and 75% rated the service as fair to good.

The achievements we have recorded have been the result of various sectors and citizens working with government, playing their part for a better South Africa. We look forward to working with our social partners in the country and beyond to move South Africa forward.

We remain committed to deliver on our mandate with a clear Programme of Action and will continue to deal with all the challenges we face as a country.

Enquiries:
Legadima Leso
Cell: 083 378 9495

Issued by: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)

Year: 
2014
Media Statement date: 
Monday, September 29, 2014