Media statement by Minister in The Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Collins Chabane on the release of the Mid-Term Review
1 Jun 2012
Ladies and gentlemen of the media.
Today I am pleased to officially release the Mid-Term Review Report which provides progress we have made as government against our commitments.
November 2011 marked the mid-point of the 2009-2014 electoral term, and as has become customary in government, as the Department for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, we have carried out a Mid-Term Review. The Review focuses on government’s progress against the delivery agreements for the twelve outcomes. The outcomes are focused on national priorities such as education, health, crime and corruption, jobs and rural development.
The Department for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation has been monitoring progress on the implementation of the delivery agreements for the outcomes and reporting quarterly to Cabinet and the President.
We have committed ourselves to improve the quality of basic education, to this end we have increased the number of children benefiting from Early Childhood Development. Enrolment in Grade R doubled between 2003 and 2011. Workbooks to assist with the learning programme for both educators and learners have been developed and distributed. The overall pass rate for Grade 12 has increased in 2011, however with fewer learners passing at bachelor’s level and passing maths. The Department of Education is implementing measures to address teacher quality.
Progress has been made with regard to allowing poor learners to attend school and 70% of learners are now in no fee schools. This is a critical step towards achieving the goal of free education for our nation as envisaged in the Freedom Charter. We have also witnessed many unemployed learners and workers entering learnerships. 11 300 artisan learners entered training in 2011, exceeding the target of 10 000 for 2011. We are on track to produce the target numbers of new teachers, honours, masters and doctoral graduates by 2014, but we need more ambitious targets for producing new teachers.
We have made good progress towards ensuring a long and healthy life for our people. In the area of combating HIV and AIDS including Tuberculosis, we have witnessed a stabilisation of the number of people living with HIV in the country. We have also seen a reduction in mother to child transmission from 8% in 2008 to 3.5% in 2011, protecting more than 30 000 babies per annum from infection.
By 2011, 19.9 million people had undergone voluntary testing for HIV. The number of people receiving treatment increased from 1.1 million in 2009 to 1.7 million in 2011. The cost of anti-retrovirals has been halved making it possible for government to treat more people within the same resources. We have also witnessed an increase in people who tested for Tuberculosis to eight million with the cure rate reaching the 70% mark in 2010. In improving maternal and child health, we have reached 70% immunisation coverage for diarrhoea and pneumonia.
In the area of improving the health system effectiveness, substantial steps have been taken towards establishment of the National Health Insurance System. A Green Paper has been produced and released publicly for input. The Department of Health has conducted an audit of service quality in over 75% of health facilities and improvement plans are now being developed. The department has also developed a human resource strategy which links intake of health professionals to projected demand. An audit of all 122 nursing colleges is underway with 45 of the target 105 already refurbished.
In the fight against crime, we committed to ensure that our people are safe and feel safe in South Africa and to reduce the overall levels of serious crime, in particular contact and trio crimes (assault, murder and rape). In this regard, we saw an overall decrease in serious crime from approximately 3 800 to approximately 3 600 per 100, 000 of the population between 2010 and 2011.
This includes a decrease in murder, attempted murder, car-jacking’s and house robberies. However, we saw a marginal increase in business robberies. We have also witnessed an improvement in perceptions of the management of crime among citizens. The detection rates for contact and trio crimes have increased, with case backlogs decreasing.
In combating corruption, between 2009 and 2011, over 1 500 people working in the criminal justice system were investigated, 192 officials were criminally charged, 86 were convicted and a further 296 officials were departmentally charged. Looking more broadly than the criminal justice system, 56 suspects with illegally obtained assets of more than R5 million have been investigated, 26 of whom have appeared in court. Assets worth R580 million of 19 individuals have been restrained. We have also witnessed 255 other corruption related convictions between April 2011 and December 2011. The President has signed 23 Presidential Proclamations since 2009 for the Special Investigation Unit to investigate corruption cases.
Turning to our priority of creating jobs, although we have not created sufficient jobs to meet the demand, we have made significant advances in the coordination of growth strategies, the New Growth Path and stakeholder agreements. We have made progress with labour absorbing industrial development strategies in manufacturing, mineral products, procurement reform and the Jobs Fund.
We have also made progress with improving competitiveness and reducing costs in minerals beneficiation, auto motives and clothing. Green growth is occurring through solar water heating and commitments to developing renewable energy.
Communication costs are declining and there has been strong action by competition authorities to reduce excessive prices in food production, fertilisers and construction. A business case has been prepared to expand the Community Work Programme to cover up to a million people per annum.
In the area of economic infrastructure implementation, progress has been recorded in the creation of an Independent System Operator (ISMO), to allow participation by Independent Power Producers (IPPs). In creating capacity to generate electricity, the construction of the Medupi and Kusile power stations are generally on track. However, more attention needs to be paid to increasing demand-side energy savings and to improving the maintenance of municipal electricity distribution infrastructure.
In the logistics areas of road, rail and ports, there has been progress in a number of areas. For example, the construction of additional container terminal capacity in the Durban, Cape Town and Nqura ports are nearly complete. There have been improvements in productivity at the ports, and this will continue to be an area of focus for the remainder of the term.
With regard to water infrastructure, progress has been made with regard to Water Augmentation Schemes and the rehabilitation of nine out of 25 dams has been completed. Progress has also been made to address water licence backlogs. Securing adequate funding for water infrastructure through an appropriate pricing strategy will be a focus for the remainder of the term. We have also seen a drop of 70%in whole sale broadband prices since 2009. The local loop unbundling with different service providers on the same telephone lines will start in November 2012. We have now reached 60% Digital Television broadcasting coverage.
The creation of the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission will provide additional impetus to the economic infrastructure development programme during the second half of the term.
In Rural Development, service delivery models for remote rural areas have been developed with the provision of solar power and mobile clinics. The Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP) has reached 80 wards across the country. In the Land Acquisition and Redistribution Programme over 820 000 hectares were distributed to over 20 000 beneficiaries between 2009 and 2011.
In overall 6.8 million hectares have been transferred to black people since 1994 through the Land Acquisition and Redistribution Programme and the Land Restitution Programme. Over 700 claims were settled between 2009 and 2011 through the Restitution Programme, and the Recapitalisation Programme is benefiting 595 farms.
During the remainder of the term, the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform will develop a policy on rural development and evaluate the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme pilot with the aim of strengthening it. We also need to tackle high food prices and speed up land restitution and land transfer. In an effort to create jobs we must focus on agro-processing, mineral beneficiation, tourism, local purchasing and environmental services in rural areas.
In Human Settlements, between 2009 and September 2011 we delivered 83 000 serviced sites across the country. Over 15 400 units for rental purposes have been built and a pipeline of additional rental housing projects is in place. Eight municipalities have been accredited to deliver housing and are waiting provincial gazetting and a further 16 have been assessed for compliance.
We are also making progress in the transfer of well located state land for integrated housing delivery. 1 329 hectares of land owned by State Owned Enterprises is in the process of being transferred to the Housing Development Agency and 1 066 hectares have been transferred to municipalities. In order to address the affordable housing market, 100 000 loans were granted between 2009 and September 2011 through Housing Development Finance Institutions.
The Department of Human Settlements is providing support to provinces and municipalities to map, categorise and implement informal settlement upgrading plans in 45 priority municipalities. It is also focusing on rationalising the Housing Development Finance Institutions and increasing their support to provinces to develop mixed income and mixed use projects. A further area of focus in the future will be monitoring of the contribution of private banks to the affordable housing market.
At local government level, we have noted the recent service delivery protests among communities which require us to redouble our efforts to meet their basic needs. We have recorded significant progress in the delivery of basic services. Overall access to clean water has reached over 94% of households which is an indication that we will meet our target of 100% by 2014. However the rate of delivery of water infrastructure is slowing, due to lack of bulk infrastructure and engineering expertise for maintenance and operation. Addressing this issue will be an area of focus for the remainder of the term.
The level of access to refuse removal services rose to 72% by the 2010/11 financial year and we are on track to meet the target of 64% by 2014. Access to sanitation has increased from 77% to 82% of households in 2011, but we are not on track to meet the target of 100% by 2014. Similarly, access to electricity improved to 84% in 2011, but we are not on track to meet the target of 82% by 2014. Accelerating access to sanitation and electricity services will therefore be a key priority area for the remainder of the term.
The delivery of all our targets and priorities depends on an efficient and effective public service which is responsive to people’s needs. In this regard, we have noted significant improvements in waiting and turnaround times recorded at the Department of Home Affairs and the South African Social Security Agency. The South African Police Service has also improved its reaction times for serious crimes. The challenge for the remainder of the term is to replicate these kinds of improvements on a wider scale across the public service and local government.
A number of initiatives have been put in place to address management weaknesses in government. Some of these have started to yield positive results, but much work remains to be done to meet the goal of an efficient and effective public service. The government has generally done well in terms of filling vacant funded posts - on average less than 3% of funded posts are vacant, but at the same time there are shortages of professional and technical skills in the public service. The time taken to fill vacant posts has improved from nine months to six months with the target being 4 months.
We have made great progress in a number of areas but much work still needs to be done. We know that it will take time and perseverance to achieve the culture change that we are looking for. It will not happen overnight. South Africa is not unique in this regard – many countries are grappling with the same challenge of transforming their administrations so that they are both capable and developmental, and we are engaging in discussions with other countries to share experiences.
It was to be expected that that there would be variation in the quality of the first set of delivery agreements which were produced. We are currently working with the outcome coordinating departments to revise and improve the delivery agreements, also drawing on the results of our monitoring of their implementation over the past year.
In conclusion, as a result of the delivery agreement planning and monitoring processes, we have been able to produce a Mid-Term Review which is more data-rich and evidence-based, more focused on the key priorities, and which provides a more coherent picture of the logic of government’s programmes than previous Mid-Term Reviews. We hope that South Africans find the Review to be a useful source of information.
Spokesperson for the Ministry for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in The Presidency
Cell: 082 847 9799
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Issued by: The Presidency
1 Jun 2012
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