Address by the Minister for Performance Monitoring, Evaluation and Administration, Mr Collins Chabane, on the Budget Vote for The Presidency
12 May 2010
His Excellency President Jacob Zuma
His Excellency Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe
Ministers and deputy ministers
Ladies and gentlemen
It gives me a great pleasure to address you on the occasion of tabling yet again another budget of The Presidency and that of the Department for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in The Presidency.
Honourable members will notice that we refer to ourselves as a department rather than a ministry as we have done previously. We have since proclaimed the ministry into a department. The department does not yet have a vote and is currently operating under the vote of The Presidency but we intend to address this in the budget adjustments process in October this year.
In June last year, we committed ourselves to a number of milestones that formed the basis for our budget. We said: "It is important to highlight that the birth of this ministry was a deliberate response to the needs and aspirations of millions of South Africans who through their ballots, gave us an opportunity to govern the country".
Since the last time we appeared before this house, we have been hard at work setting up and developing the monitoring and evaluation system for the executive and the public service. Allow me to give you feedback on the commitments we have made:
We have developed a position paper titled "Improving Government Performance: Our Approach" and presented to this house in September last year. We also undertook to develop 20 to 30 politically determined outcome indicators based on the five priorities of government by October 2009. These priorities are, to remind ourselves, rural development, basic education, health, safety and job creation. We have also placed additional emphasis on human settlements and local government.
In the course of developing the outcomes we decided to reduce the number to twelve for better strategic focus. These outcomes were developed and negotiated with the relevant departments for discussion by the Cabinet Lekgotla held in February this year.
As honourable members might be aware, President Jacob Zuma announced on 30 April 2010 that he has signed performance agreements with ministers. The primary purpose of the performance agreements is to serve as a management tool and not as a punitive mechanism. The agreements enable the president to provide us with an indication of the key issues that he would want us to focus on and his expectations of our performance in this regard.
The performance agreements commit us to work together with all spheres of government, to better achieve the outcomes. In doing all this work, we moved with the required speed and caution to make sure that we deliver effectively and efficiently on our mandate. There are no benchmarks or reference we could use but we are pleased with what we have managed to achieve within such a short space of time.
I wish to say to all South Africans, that we are mindful of the enormous responsibility which has been placed on us as a department and the public expectations we have to meet. We are committed and determined to meet your expectations to the best of our ability. The changes we are bringing will change how government works and give effect to our new way of doing things. It is an intense process, which will in the long term help us build and deliver a better life for all our people.
Honourable members, while we have performed reasonably well in rolling out government programmes and initiatives since 1994, we acknowledge that the state has not performed as optimally as we desired. The service delivery protests we have witnessed in some parts of the country are an indication that a lot of work still needs to be done.
The Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Department in The Presidency has been established to improve government performance and monitor and evaluate the progress we are making. The department is also meant to identify problem areas in the system and assist to unlock them to speed up delivery.
We are also tasked with refocusing the work of government and ensuring that the limited resources we have are better used in priority areas to realise maximum value for investments made. The identified outcomes were developed to increase the strategic focus of government and enable us to focus our attention on critical issues that require improvement. This does not mean that other activities of government are not important or will be neglected.
For each of these outcomes, we have worked with the relevant departments to identify the outputs required to achieve the outcome and to set targets for measurable indicators. These outputs and targets have also been included in the performance agreements between the president and the ministers.
Together with their provincial and local government counterparts, departments are now engaged in the process of developing detailed Delivery Agreements for each outcome.
The delivery agreements will refine the outputs and targets and include action plans with clear roles and responsibilities of all the stakeholders for the outcomes to be achieved. We have produced and distributed guidelines to drive the development of the agreements.
The development of the delivery agreements is being coordinated by existing government structures such as the Cabinet committees, ministers meetings with provincial MECs and the clusters. Where the delivery agreements involve more than one sphere of government, they will have the status of inter-governmental implementation protocols in terms of the Inter-governmental Relations Framework Act.
The president will also request premiers to enter into inter-governmental protocols with him which will focus on outcome areas that have major inter-governmental implications, for example health, basic education, local government and human settlements. These protocols will also provide a useful basis for the work of the President's Coordinating Council (PCC) with premiers.
We have set the target for the delivery agreements to be ready for presentation to the July Cabinet Lekgotla. Once the delivery agreements have been finalised, the coordinating structures of government will then focus on a monitoring and evaluating progress against the outcomes, outputs and targets. The structures will further facilitate the ironing out of bottlenecks and integration of the activities of all affected stakeholders.
We will play a supporting role in all the coordinating structures. This is to ensure that the agenda remains focused on the delivery agreement and facilitates integration and links across the outcomes and with monitoring and evaluation. This work will be done by the team of outcome specialists which my department is in the process of recruiting.
The monitoring of the delivery agreements will be on two levels:
* Firstly, broad overarching indicators will be tracked for example: life expectancy, maternal mortality, poverty levels, literacy rates, crime levels, etc.
* Secondly, we will monitor the contributory activities and the targets that we need to achieve.
Reports will be provided to the Cabinet committees every two months. In addition, administrative and expenditure information will be corroborated by information from various surveys, specialised studies and independent sources as far as possible. We look forward to a fruitful collaboration with civil society and academia in this regard. As a department, we will also conduct our own monitoring and evaluation.
Subsequent to Cabinet discussion, the Programme of Action will be updated and made public. The main purpose of these reports will be to provide Cabinet with an indication of the degree to which the outcomes are being achieved, based on objective analysis of evidence.
When monitoring and evaluation indicates that activities and outputs are not resulting in the desired outcomes as intended, this should result in adjustments to the activities and outputs. The results of our monitoring and evaluation work will therefore also be used to provide a feedback loop to annual reviews of the delivery agreements.
Lastly, government will also institutionalise formal evaluation processes. These are the longer term and in-depth studies that probe deeper into policy and delivery successes and failures. It is envisaged that this work will be done in conjunction with National Treasury and sector departments. My office will be releasing a policy guideline in this regard shortly.
Honourable members, in June this year my department will publish a new Programme of Action based on the outputs and targets for the twelve outcomes. This version will be improved as more detailed Delivery Agreements are finalised.
Following the approval of the position paper, development of the outcomes and signing of performance agreements, we are now in the process of recruitment. We have since appointed the Director-General, Dr Sean Phillips, who is present in the chamber today, to oversee the establishment of the department.
As you are aware, the president established the Presidential Hotline last year to make government and The Presidency more accessible to the public and to help deal with service delivery blockages. The hotline has experienced a high volume of calls from citizens who are determined to communicate with government. Many issues have been resolved but not with the speed we desire.
The president has decided to place the hotline under my office as a performance monitoring and evaluation tool to assess the performance of government against the citizen's needs. We are in the process of evaluating its performance and introducing interventions to make it more efficient and respond to the public needs effectively.
The information collected by the hotline gives us an indication of whether services are reaching our people and how efficient we are as government. I also wish to assure all those who have contacted the hotline that their concerns are taken seriously and in some areas issues raised are being incorporated into government's plans.
The service delivery protests also highlight our inability to effectively communicate with our people. The president has led from the front and visited a number of communities as he has said earlier. Government is embarking on a public participation campaign, coordinated by the Government Communication and Information Systems (GCIS), to report to citizens on what plans they have for development in their respective areas.
To ensure that The Presidency is effective and efficient in its work, we have restructured The Presidency to respond to the current challenges we face. With the establishment of the national planning and the performance monitoring and evaluation functions, the Policy Coordination and Advisory Service (PCAS) was disestablished. However all PCAS functions were retained in The Presidency.
The planning function is now under the National Planning Commission and monitoring and evaluation under the Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Department. The policy support, analysis and advice capacity have been moved to strengthen the Cabinet office.
Honourable members, another critical component of our work is youth development through the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA). The NYDA has in its strategy adopted key performance areas (KPAs) among others: economic participation, education and skills development, information services and communications and National Youth Service.
The KPAs now serve as a guideline as the NYDA tackles young people's challenges particularly of those based in the rural areas and those with disabilities. This will be achieved through supporting self employment initiatives, linking young people to job opportunities, referring them to the relevant organisations and offering free career guidance at its youth centres.
In his State of the Nation Address, President Zuma called on the NYDA to establish its structures throughout the country. The NYDA seeks to have structures in provinces and in all the 283 municipalities in the next three years so that its accessibility, especially in the most rural communities, can be improved. In the next three months offices in Welkom, Tzaneen and Richards Bay will be established.
In its strategy for economic participation of young people, the NYDA has since its establishment disbursed over 7 500 microfinance loans to the value of R23 million and R3 million to small, medium amd micro-enterprise loans. A total of 4 224 business consultancy services vouchers were issued to the value of over R33 million. Over 16 000 young people were also engaged under the National Youth Service programme.
In view of the funding challenges for 2010/11, the NYDA had to revise its targets. For 2010/11 medium term expenditure framework (MTEF) submission the NYDA was allocated R369,973 million. Youth unemployment is very high; we need a coordinated effort by all stakeholders to deal with this matter.
The budget allocated to the NYDA is inadequate. If this institution has to fulfil its mandate, more resources need to be allocated to it. However, the NYDA recognises that not all its funding should come from the government. As such, the organisation has made strides by entering into partnerships with some of the country's smallest and biggest organisations, both public and private for youth development purposes.
Turning to the budget, The Presidency received an amount of R727,163 million for the 2010/11 financial year. For the administration of The Presidency an amount of R327,160 million has been allocated. The Performance Monitoring and Evaluation is allocated R30 million while the National Planning Commission is allocated R20 million for the 2010/11 financial year. An amount of R369,973 million is allocated to the National Youth Development Agency.
The allocation for The Presidency grows by 121 percent compared to the estimates of national expenditure for 2009/10, and by 46 percent compared with the adjustments estimates for 2009/10. The increase is mostly due to the establishment of the National Youth Development Agency. During the 2009/10 financial year, The Presidency spent 96,7 percent of its budget.
In conclusion, The Presidency is ready to respond to the challenges we face and is well structured to deliver on its mandate. We invite the public to monitor and evaluate our work when we publish the government Programme of Action. We are committed to improve government delivery and build a performance orientated state.
Finally, I would like to thank the director-generals and ministry advisors who worked tirelessly to put the first bricks on this new development and all staff members for their commitment and dedication to their work.
Honourable members, it is my pleasure to commend The Presidency budget vote to the house.
I thank you.
Issued by: The Presidency
12 May 2010
Source: The Presidency (http://www.thepresidency.gov.za/)
Issued by: The Presidency
12 May 2010
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