The Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform today heard the Department of Rural Department and Land Reform’s presentation on its 2017/2018 Annual Performance Plan.
The Committee appreciated the Department’s compliance with the prescripts of the Public Finance Management Act.
The Department conducted 283 investigations into fraud and corruption over the past five years and the Committee welcomed these initiatives. “The Committee understands that there are systemic weaknesses and policy issues, and that disciplinary action is taking place. However, the Committee urges the Department to do more so that poor people are not left to suffer. We do not want investigations to take longer than required and finalisations of cases must happen sooner,” said the Chairperson of the Committee, Ms Phumuzile Ngwenya-Mabila.
The Department has made an allocation for skills development for young people in order to deal with the challenge of skills shortage and the high rate of unemployment, particularly among the youth in rural areas. The Department was urged to further engage the Department of Higher Education and the relevant Sector Education Training Authorities to fast-track the timely issuing of certification. The lack of certification impedes the young from gaining employment and unnecessary delays must be resolved.
The Committee noted with concern the high number of resignations in the Department and urged it to conduct exit interviews to determine the reasons why 148 staff members have left the department and to also conduct a review of its retention strategy.
Issued by Parliamentary Communication Services on behalf of the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Rural Development and Land Reform, Ms Phumzile Ngwenya-Mabila