I rise to motivate Budget Vote 19 of the Department of Social Development.
Honourable Chairperson, in my speech last year I made a commitment on behalf of the ministry that the department would be taken to communities. In the spirit of that commitment I dedicate this speech to every child, every young person, every woman and every man from the village of Ga-Ramaswikana in Limpopo to peri-urban Devon in Gauteng. Yes, many more communities remain on our to do list but a start has been made.
Honourable members, Pixley ka Isaka Seme the fifth President of the ANC, and the focus of the ruling party’s May month centenary celebrations, wrote in 1911, ”Cooperation is the key and the watchword which opens the door, the everlasting door which leads to progress and all national success. The greatest success shall come when man shall have learned to cooperate, not only with his own kith and kin but all peoples and with all life”.
Cooperation is a crucial factor for the success of any community development programme or initiative.
cooperation between ourselves as various units of the department
cooperation between us and the other sister departments as well as other levels of government
cooperation between us as government and civil society.
Could this be what was envisaged by Pixley (ka Isaka) Seme and the founders of the ANC?
Honourable members, I have seen how this cooperation can be possible and how it can work. Having had extensive discussions with my Brazilian counterpart, Deputy Minister Paes, on the challenges in combating the vicious cycle of social exclusion, it was evident that, not only was a multi-disciplinary approach absolutely necessary but it had to be anchored by a strong political will.
Chairperson, the political will is there and it is there in abundance. Under the able stewardship of Minister Bathabile Dlamini this department is committed to the developmental agenda adopted at successive conferences of the ruling party in it’s hundred years of existence. As the ruling party we are determined that "the decision where money is allocated is not a structural choice but represents and reflects a political choice". We are determined that this must apply to all provinces.
Community development work takes patience, it takes diligence and it asks of us to be fully committed to a process. It therefore requires a civil servant of a special type. Due to the areas that are targeted we often do not consider the sacrifices made and difficulties faced by officials who conduct the community analysis, the mobilisation for dialogues and the preparation for these visits.
Chairperson, I therefore wish to honour Busisiwe Milanzi, a young woman who served as my PA until the 3rd August last year. Dedicated to making a difference she died at the age of 34 years when her vehicle rolled on a gravel road close the community of Ga-Ramaswikana in Limpopo.
This was the first community targeted in our programme of taking Department of Social Development (DSD) to communities. We therefore dedicate this programme called, Taking DSD to Communities, to her memory.
Ga-Ramaswikana like Cassel in the Northern Cape and other areas could only be reached by travelling on untarred roads for long distances. These are the roads that many say make communities in rural areas inaccessible for delivery of basic foodstuffs. It is ironic that beer, other alcohol and cigarettes can be delivered using these same roads.
Chairperson, our experience over the past few months indicate that we now have to accelerate our collective efforts in reaching our target of one hundred communities in the one hundred poorest wards in our country. We have to travel the gravel roads and prove that communities are accessible.
Chairperson, taking Social Development to communities is by and large about social mobilisation. It is precisely for this reason that we have partnered with Soul City, Seriti Institute and the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) to launch Kwanda talk in June this year.
Kwanda talk is a follow up programme that inspires individuals, institutions and communities to debate development issues and mobilise for an active citizenry, This will be 10 episodes of fifty minutes each.
Of the communities visited in the eight provinces, most have had follow up visits. In many, action plans have been collectively developed and we are in discussions with sister departments, government agencies like the National Development Agency (NDA), municipalities and provincial counterparts on joint programmes together with communities. I must acknowledge and thank the MECs for their unwavering support so far.
Chairperson, in order to do this work we have to have trained and capable people who can assist communities. The has partnered with community based organisations to deliver community development services in a manner that enhances the livelihoods of poor and vulnerable communities.
Some of the support to Community Based Organisations (CBO) have been:
the development of guidelines for CBOs
two hundred and twenty (CBOs) and 152 Community Development Practitioners have been trained on these guidelines.
hosting the Inaugural Summit for the Professionalisation of Community Development in October 2011.
Chairperson, recognising that community based organisations and NPOs are integral to the success of community development, I can therefore report that:
During 2011/12 financial year the department received 18 488 new applications for registration from community based organizations for NPO registration status. 94% were processed within two months and 68% of all received applications were compliant at the first attempt.
The Register of Non-profit organisations (NPO Database) has increased from 44 222 in 31 March 2007, to a total of 84 996 nonprofit organisations at the end of March 2012.
One of the functions of the department is to monitor all registered NPOs in terms of their compliance to the NPO Act. The compliance rate has improved by 26%, we are committed to further improve on this figure. Training was provided to one thousand two hundred NPOs and Community Based Organisations. Further plans to strengthen the sector include:
Increasing the number of staff in the department who deal with registrations
Roadshows in order to provide information and listen to challenges faced by the sector
Chairperson, our main ally will be our developmental arm, as I like to call it, the National Development Agency under the leadership of the CEO, Dr Nhlapho and the Board led by Mr Malose Kekana. The National Development Agency (NDA) has in the previous year disbursed R83 million to projects and approved 53 projects to the value of R78 million.
Furthermore the NDA invested R10.2 million on building capacity of civil society organisations working in the sector of the Early Childhood Development (ECD), vulnerable groups and rural development. These capacity building interventions are geared towards ensuring that recipients of grant funding are not only given money to start and run their projects, but that they are empowered with the necessary skills to ensure sustainability beyond NDA funding.
Chairperson and Honourable Members, HIV and AIDS is no longer, "the elephant in the room", a challenge so overwhelming but yet ignored. No, we are facing this mammoth challenge with an integrated and sound strategy. The Department of Social Development is an active member of the South African National AIDS Council.
The department will during this financial year strive to reduce new HIV and AIDS infections through social and behavioural change programmes such as community capacity enhancement that is intended to build HIV and AIDS competent communities.
In our programme of Taking DSD to communities one of the dialogues conducted is the issue of behavioural change as it relates to HIV and AIDS, this dialogue targets mainly the youth in the communities visited.
Honourable members all the plans are listed in the documents tabled before this august house. Time does not permit me to go into all the details but rest assured that all efforts are being mobilised to decisively deal with the challenges faced by affected and infected communities.
The Population and Development Unit continues to make a major contribution to important national, continental and international debates on a range of issues across the human spectrum of development. Foremost is the so-called, "youth bulge" in South Africa. This has nothing to do with overweight youth but everything to do with the fact that the vast majority of the South African population are young people, many of them, unemployed.
I am pleased to report that on World Population Day last year the youth were the primary participants in a two day workshop that aimed to find solutions to many of the challenges they encountered.
In addition the Masupa-Tsela Programme targeting young people have been accredited at NQF level 5. The challenge is to ensure that all pioneers are assisted to not only obtain a qualification but get further assistance in order to become productive citizens.
Honourable Members, I wish to thank Minister Dlamini for providing the type of support, leadership and comradeship, that is without equal. Thank you to Honourable Members from all political parties who somehow managed to balance criticism with constructive advice.
Chairperson the whole is only as good as it’s parts and I must sincerely thank each and every staff member led by the Director-General, Advocate Vusi Madonsela for their willingness to be, "a public servant of a special type".
Honourable members I humbly ask that you support Budget Vote 19.
I thank you.