16 February 2016
Minister Bathabile Dlamini: Post SoNA briefing interview [Video]
Social Protection, Community and Human Development Cluster media briefing Minister Bathabile Dlamini
Members of the Media;
Ladies and Gentlemen;
Thank you for joining us today as we outline the programme of action relating to the work of the 5th Administration on the Social Protection, Community and Human Development Cluster. In this second phase of our transition, government continues to ensure the implementation of radical socio-economic transformation policies and programmes.
The year 2016 marks the 60th anniversary of the watershed moment in the history of our country, when 20 000 women from all walks of life assembled on the lawns of the Union Buildings in Pretoria, united in protest. The women – Black, White, Indian and Coloured – stood together to protest against the extension of the pass laws to include African women. This protest demonstrated to the apartheid government, as well as to agents of patriarchy that women, too, had the ability to become a formidable force in the struggle for the liberation of the oppressed in South Africa.
The struggle for justice still continues today as we fight the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
This struggle is even greater for African women who continue to suffer a double injustice. Traditionally, women and girls continue to be discriminated against on the basis of their gender, whilst African women also endure discrimination because of their race. As a result, the African woman is the face of poverty, not just in our country, but in the rest of the African continent.
This is why our government has put in place policies and programmes that are meant to improve the lives of women.
During March 2016, our country will present its 5th Periodic Report on the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) to the UN CEDAW Committee. The report focuses on the progress made in advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment as well as challenges that still remain despite our non-sexist and anti-discriminatory legislative and regulatory framework.
We call on all stakeholders to use the Status of Women in the South African Economy Report – launched by President Zuma in August last year – to close identified gaps for the socio-economic empowerment of women.
We remind women and other vulnerable groups to make use of Government’s 24-hour call centre dedicated to providing support and counselling to victims of gender based violence. The toll free number to call is 0800 428 428 (0800 GBV GBV) to speak to a social worker for assistance and counselling. You can also request a social worker from the Command Centre to contact you by dialling *120*7867# (free) from any cell phone.
Ladies and gentlemen, Social Grants remain Government’s biggest intervention in the fight against poverty, especially in female- and child-headed households.
Noting the successful extension of social grants to over 16 million citizens, the government is in the process of finalising proposals for the creation of a comprehensive social security system that combines contributory and non-contributory elements to eradicate poverty and provide income protection for everyone living in South Africa. This Social Security Reform includes proposals to ensure that people are better provided for in old age, are better protected during their working life and that benefits between various transfer systems such as grants and tax rebates, are better aligned.
A number of research projects have been undertaken and discussion documents on various social security reform proposals have been released. A comprehensive paper however will be released soon. These will form the basis of our engagement with our Social Partners and other stakeholders in finalising the comprehensive social security policy, as announced by the President in the State of the Nation Address last week.
Another important element of our social security programme is access to food for all. This is more important at this time because of the current drought. In this regard government will intensify its Food For All Programme, working with farmers and other stakeholders, to ensure that we cushion the poor from the effects of the drought.
Government is improving access to land for production of food crops to alleviate poverty in rural areas. We are aware that there is arable agricultural land that is lying fallow. Realising the impact and extent of hunger, unemployment and poverty in rural areas, the One Hectare One Household programme has been developed and is being implemented across the country. It seeks to respond to the challenges of lack of access to land and poverty.
The initiative is targeting particularly state-owned land and traditional communal land. In terms of this programme, households in rural areas are each allocated a hectare of land for crop production for both subsistence and for the market. The Department of Rural Development and Land Reform is implementing a number of projects to uplift rural communities in South Africa; these include River Valley Catalytic Programme and Animal Veld Management Programme. These are key projects to ensure food security and rural sustainable livelihoods.
The Department of Water and Sanitation has invested more than R450 million to intensify drought relief efforts. The resources allocated have been utilized for motorised water tankers, borehole drilling and rehabilitation as well as the improvement of dysfunctional infrastructure.
Additional water transfers from uThukela River to the Goedetrouw Dam; and from the Uthongathi River transferred to the Hazelmere Dam; are taking place continuously. Water is also still being released from the Lesotho Highlands Water Scheme into the Caledon River to supplement the water supply to Mangaung. Government, working in partnership with civil society, will ensure that all communities have access to water.
Ladies and gentlemen, the fight against substance abuse remains one of the priorities of government. In order to ensure that communities have access to quality treatment services, we have initiated a national audit of in- and out-patient substance dependency treatment centres. The audit aims to assess and monitor compliance with any prescribed requirements and applicable minimum norms and standards for treatment centres and halfway houses. The audit also aims to ascertain the accessibility of treatment centres in order to guide planning for the establishment of centres around the country.
The provision of quality education is another priority of government.
If our country is going to achieve its long term development goals as outlined in the National Development Plan, we must make a heavy investment in our children. Cabinet recently approved the ECD Policy which recognises ECD as a public good. To date, government spends over 1.8 Billion Rand on ECD, benefiting seven hundred and forty eight thousand seven hundred and sixty eight (748,768) children throughout the country. Over 1.5 million children access ECD from twenty six thousand (26 000) registered ECD programmes. The government pays a subsidy of R15 per child per day for 264 days a year.
Government, through the National Development Agency, has entered into a partnership agreement with the recently established University of Fort Hare’s ECD Centre of Excellence in the areas of Research and Development in the field of Early Childhood Development. The ECD Centre of Excellence has been set up to be an academic centre of both context-specific curriculum development and research in the area of ECD, and the university is working towards providing relevant short learning courses, a Diploma in ECD, as well as a Bachelor of Education. As Fort Hare celebrates its 100 years of existence, we have identified this project as one of the University's legacy project. As the social cluster we want to commit to celebrating with the rest of government on May 20 with this historical University that has produced great leaders of the movement.
With regards to Basic Education, the Curriculum and Assessment Policy Statement (CAPS) for all technology subjects including Technical Mathematics and Technical Sciences, which was promulgated through a Government Gazette in July 2014, will be incrementally implemented starting this year from Grade 10, with Grade 11 and 12 implemented in 2017 and 2018, respectively. This revised curriculum presents multiple developmental opportunities for the technical education sector.
The Department of Basic Education continues to intensify the support for Technical Schools through the Mathematics, Science and Technology (MST) Conditional Grant during the 2016 MTEF period. An allocation of R1.1 billion has been made available for all provinces through the grant for the MTEF period.
We are also working to ensure the safety of children when travelling to and from school. The National Learner Transport Policy (NLTP) was approved by Cabinet and an implementation plan for the Policy is in place. The Department of Transport, working closely with the Department of Basic Education, will undertake awareness programmes with stakeholders regarding the policy and a national workshop with provinces is also scheduled to take place in March 2016.
A costing and funding framework will also be developed as part of the implementation plan for learner transport in the 2016/17 financial year. Provinces are providing learner transport services to deserving learners in terms of the National Learner Transport Policy. Nationally, there are approximately five hundred and seventeen thousand (517 000) learners who require learner transport services. Currently, through provincial schemes, government provides transport for over three hundred and seventy thousand (370 000) or 71.85 % of learners, with the current budget being R2.3 billion.
In line with the Library Policy, the Department of Arts and Culture will allocate R4 billion over the coming MTEF period to build more libraries in close proximity to schools or within school premises and procure materials that support teaching and learning.
On issues of higher education, the alignment of technical-vocational programmes and technical-occupational programmes offered at Technical and Vocation Education and Training (TVET) Colleges can be achieved after the alignment of curriculum with schools offering technical subjects and TVET Colleges.
A Task Team between DBE and DHET has been set up to develop a concept document on the alignment of TVET programmes and basic education qualifications. The draft concept document has been finalized.
With regards to the verification of qualifications, amendments to the National Qualifications Framework will be made to allow for the establishment of a register of persons who misrepresent their qualifications and institutions that issue unregistered qualifications. There will be consequences for persons and institutions found guilty of fraud. All private organizations are encouraged to ensure that together we root out the phenomenon of misrepresented and fraudulent qualifications.
South Africa's ninth medical school opened its doors for the first intake of 60 new students at the University of Limpopo during January 2016. This is the second historically disadvantaged university to be involved in the training of our medical doctors and is linked, over the longer term, to the Presidential Project of building an academic hospital in Limpopo. In addition, intake at the Sol Plaatje University and the University of Mpumalanga have increased to seven hundred and ninety seven (797) and nine hundred and forty (940) respectively.
With respect to student funding, Government has made available R2.3 billion towards covering the 2016 no-fee increase shortfall. An additional amount of R4.5 billion has been made available for student’s historic debt benefitting over seventy one thousand (71 000) students under the National Student Financial Scheme (NSFAS) from 2013-15 who were owing institutions.
With regards to health – the White paper on the National Health Insurance (NHI) is released for public comment and we call upon all South Africans to participate by submitting their inputs.
The fight against Tuberculosis (TB) is serious and we would like to urge all South Africans to continue to screen for TB and all our facilities are providing this service for free.
The wellbeing of people with disabilities will also take priority. Cabinet has approve the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The White Paper is intended to uphold the dignity and rights as well as services for persons with disabilities in South Africa.
Ladies and gentlemen, Government has noted with concern that 2016 commenced with an upsurge in racist incidents that manifested themselves especially on social media. Even though South Africans are generally not racist – there are some amongst us who are still racist. This calls for national dialogues and community conversations to discuss as South Africans the importance of building a united nation, social cohesion and the eradication of racism.
The Cluster echoes what the President said during the SoNA and urges all South Africans to confront the demon of racism and devote our time to an anti-racism campaign in which organisations and our people across the board join in a coordinated national effort and pledge to fight racism at all levels. This will then culminate on Human Rights Day, 21 March 2016, which will be commemorated as the “national day against racism” and laying the foundation for a long-term programme of building a non-racial society.
As our nation grows it is important that all South
Africans are familiar with the symbols that unite us a country. To this end, the National Identity Campaign was launched on 6 February at Mochochonono Primary School in Moletsane, Soweto under the theme - Afurika Tshipembe Lashu.
While this runs until the end of March, we encourage all South Africans to pass on the message and to learn to sing and observe the national anthem with respect, fly the national flag with pride and work towards a society free from social, economic, class barriers and racism.
In telling the South African story, it is important to note the following legacy projects:
- The 19th October 2016 will mark the 30th anniversary of the death of Mozambique’s first post-independence president, Samora Machel, in an Aeroplane accident in Mbuzini (South Africa).
- March 2016 will see the premier of the film “Mandela’s Gun”, a production partnership between South Africa and Algeria, funded by the Departments of Arts and Culture and Trade and Industry as well as the National Film and Video Foundation. The film looks at the life of Madiba outside the country when the underground movement embarked on an armed struggle.
- The year 2016 will mark a centenary of the battle of Deville Woods in France, during the First World War, in which all South Africans contributed. The apartheid government had ensured that Black South Africans who died in that battle were not honoured. With the mandate of rewriting our history and acknowledging the truths of the past, we have corrected this last year.
- Following the successful inaugural Africa Month celebrations in May 2015 under theme “We are Africa” 2016 will mark the 10th Anniversary of the African World Heritage Fund.
Ladies and gentlemen, Sport and Recreation South Africa continues to contribute to healthy lifestyles through the establishment of sport facilities. These facilities include community outdoor gyms that are very successful in getting people active within communities. Ten outdoor gyms and 1 children’s play park will be handed over before end of April 2016. Another 10 outdoor gyms will be completed and handed over by 31 March 2017.
Our support towards the development of Basketball and Netball in South Africa is yielding good results. The Netball League and the National Basketball League are growing in stature with our objective being to see these leagues attracting more support so that in the long run, athletes participating in them, can be fulltime professionals with the ultimate being to represent the country at national level. In this financial year, we shall step up our preparatory processes to introduce two more Premier leagues of Hockey and Volleyball. Announcements to this effect will be made in due course.
The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) continues to make steady progress in the creation of work opportunities and is on course to meet its 5-year target. Since the inception of the EPWP Phase 3 in April 2014, about 1,5 million work opportunities have been created against a set target of 6 million work opportunities by 2019.
Amongst its major contribution towards the provision of services and assets, the EPWP has maintained over 40 000 km of provincial access roads and serviced 595 schools through food production gardeners operating within the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP).
In order to assist with the rollout of the various EPWP training programmes, the EPWP has partnered with the Agricultural Sector Education and Training Authority; the Culture, Arts, Tourism, Hospitality and Sport Sector Education and Training Authority; as well as the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education and Training Authority to train three thousand nine hundred and twenty two (3 922) EPWP participants by 31 March 2016.
Through the Non-Profit Organisations (NPOs) programme of the EPWP Non-State Sector (NSS), the Department of Public Works has continued to work with civil society organizations that create work opportunities for the poor and unemployed. NDPW will contract 300 Non-Profit Organizations (NPOs) to implement the NSS programme on behalf of government across all provinces in 2016/2017.
We hope that we can continue working together on the critical issues of social protection, community and human development. We must work together to encourage creative methods to meet the needs of citizens that have made our country a great place to live.
Chief Director: Human Development; Social Protection and Community Development; Governance and Administration Clusters
Cell: 083 378 9495
Issued by Government Communication and Information System