Speech by Mr. Mandla Nkomfe, Gauteng MEC for finance, at the tabling of the 2012/2013 budget vote for the Gauteng Department of Finance, in the Gauteng Provincial Legislature on the 12 June 2012.
12 Jun 2012
Colleagues in the Executive Council;
Honourable Members of this House;
The HOD and Management of the Gauteng Department of Finance;
Comrades and Friends;
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I am honoured and privileged to present the 2012/13 Budget Vote of the Gauteng Department of Finance (GDF). This year’s Budget Vote is particularly important to us as it is presented two days before we host the inaugural Gauteng Information Communication and Technology (ICT) Summit - at the Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand.
The purpose of this gathering is to assemble international and domestic ICT experts, representatives from all government spheres and sector organisations to share successes and pitfalls in leveraging information technology, and thus enable public service delivery, reduce costs of doing business, and ultimately create job opportunities.
It is equally opportune that the province is integrating its information systems and automating service offerings. We are thus confident that resolutions taken at the Gauteng ICT Summit will go a long way in assisting the province to achieve its objectives of developing a Connected Government and universal access.
Review of the 2011/2012 financial year
Madam Speaker, in reviewing the previous financial year’s performance, let me briefly outline the milestones recorded on key projects and programmes that we implemented in line with our mandate.
On the occasion of presenting the Budget Vote to this Legislature last year, we reported that the Shared Services Review had recommended that the GDF be reconfigured into a strategic and highly focused department. We have since completed this exercise, and our core functions are now ICT, internal audit, forensic services, procurement and transversal human resources management.
In line with this process and relevant public service prescripts, we have migrated human resources and procurement functions to beneficiary departments. Furthermore, we have identified and accordingly notified employees who, in line with this restructuring process, will follow migrating functions.
Madam Speaker, while we understand that the reconfiguration process is urgent, our primary objective is that it must be handled with sensitivity, as it may inadvertently adversely impact the working conditions of certain employees. That is why we continuously and directly engage with organised labour and all affected employees as we continue to implement this task. We are equally committed to providing a world class customer-focused and consultative human resource service to the Provincial Government.
In a first for the public service, and in response to the high volumes of job applications that we receive monthly, we launched the Professional Job Centre at the Thusong Centre - which is located inside the Maponya Mall in Soweto. This facility brings government recruitment closer to where people are resident, and in a retail complex that is frequented by hundreds on a monthly basis.
We can safely report that five thousand, one hundred and seventy five (5,175) candidates have visited this Professional Job Centre in a period of twelve months. Although this figure is slightly lower than our target of 6, 000 candidates, the fact that it was achieved during the maiden year of the facility’s existence demonstrates it’s potential to exceed our 2012/13 target.
Most importantly, this facility will enable us to increase the pool of prospective employees from which to select the best potential with which to fill provincial vacancies. This will go a long way in assisting us to achieve our objective of developing a highly skilled and productive workforce.
Madam Speaker, amongst others, the GDF is responsible for the procurement and maintenance of all inter-departmental ICT infrastructures. This mandate includes all applications, networks, hardware, software and all other ICT related assets. Moreover, our Technology Support Services (TSS) division is responsible for the management of these systems and applications, and it ensures the availability of an adequately enabled working environment for all departments.
During the year under review, we reported numerous achievements in rolling out improved government processes through our Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) tool. These include the rollout of the Inventory Management solutions to the Department of Community Safety and the Department of Rural Development and Agriculture, the rollout of the Asset Management solutions to the Department of Community Safety and the Department of Rural Development and Agriculture, and the Government Car booking system within the Employee Self Services (ESS) application.
Furthermore, the Gauteng Security Operations Centre (G-SOC) was officially launched in April 2011 and produced excellent early warning results. This facility has significantly reduced the number of bad incidents experienced per user, and the patch level compliance has also improved to acceptable levels. Six (6) departments achieved greater than 80% compliance, with the GDF achieving 95% patch management compliance.
The 2012/2013 Budget Vote
Madam Speaker, the total allocated budget for the Gauteng Department of Finance in this financial year is one billion, three hundred and twenty two million, and seven hundred thousand rand (R1, 322,700). We intend to deploy these resources in the provision of strategic and operational support to provincial departments, and thus achieve inclusive economic growth.
We are acutely aware that this will be no easy task.However, I am confident that we have the necessary aptitude, knowledge and experience to execute our mandate with distinction. Our employees are committed to their work; and they are driven by the desire to facilitate service delivery.
During the 2012/13 financial year, the GDF will rollout Phase 2 of the e-Recruitment model, which includes electronic short-listing, SMS notifications, report generation, advertisement library, electronic and searchable database. Besides, we will extend the automated termination system to two more provincial departments as well. These interventions are initiated to reduce the carbon footprint, the amount of paper used, and to improve efficiency.
Madam Speaker, we are moving with the necessary speed to enhance contract management within the GPG. This entails efficient management and maintenance of an electronic database of GPG contracts. We have already completed all project initiating stages, and implementation will commence during the second quarter of this financial year.
The G-Link Broadband Programme is critical to delivering these e-services. It entails the establishment of a single technology platform for the provision of broadband networks in the province. In addition it will enhance the provincial economy, provide government services, and improve network access and connectivity.
In the interim, the GDF has intensified its strategic objective of implementing the Broadband Programme by appointing Deloitte Consulting to assist with the definition of broadband, implementation of the business case, and its roadmap. This process is almost complete, and we will soon be going to the market to seek implementation partners.
Similarly Madam Speaker, the GDF is aggressively pursuing the Gauteng Provincial Government’s objective of ensuring that every learner in every public school is computer literate and able to browse the Internet by the time they leave school. To this end, more than 708, 000 learners, and 38, 000 educators access and use the GautengOnline network daily. They have GautengOnline User IDs, Passwords and personalised e-Mail addresses.
We are confident that the number of schools, learners and educators with access to GautengOnline would have improved significantly by the end of this financial year. As announced by Premier Nomvula Mokonyane during the State of the Province Address, our focus is on building 637 computer laboratories during this year. This effort will increase the number of successfully installed laboratories to 2, 199.
At this stage, Madam Speaker, perhaps it is necessary for me to reiterate the message that we consistently communicate in relation to this project. In order to successfully complete such a complex and ambitious programme as the Gauteng Online, the cooperation of all legitimate stakeholders from government, educators, learners, and communities living within the vicinity of these schools is essential.
Madam Speaker, the Department has taken deliberate measures to strengthen internal controls to prevent fraud and corruption. In this regard, we have implemented strict cash-flow management procedures, and will avoid accruing expenses and financial over commitments. Finally, we arealso committed to pay all service providers within 30-days from the date of receiving their invoices, and thus achieve a clean audit by 2014.
Madam Speaker, the GDF’s objective is to achieve operational efficiencies, improve financial management, and ensure compliance with the applicable legislative framework.
At an operational level, a zero tolerance approach on corruption has been adopted, and all officials are encouraged to blow the whistle on perceived or suspected corrupt activities.
These and other achievements were made possible by the cooperation, dedication and passion of the highly skilled GDF team under the leadership of HOD Mr Stewart Lumka. I extend my heartfelt gratitude to you all. You are indeed our most important assets.
Issued by: Gauteng Finance
12 Jun 2012
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