Replies by President Jacob Zuma to questions asked in the National Assembly
8 Nov 2012
Question No. 1880
Mr LS Ngonyama (Congress of the People (COPE)) to ask the President of the Republic:
Whether he received a request from a certain person (name furnished) in April 2011 to investigate allegations of corruption against certain persons (names and details furnished); if not, what is the position in this regard; if so, what are the relevant details?
Yes. I had referred the matter to the relevant provincial education department to deal with the matter and report to the Presidency as soon as possible.
The Member of the Executive Council (MEC) for Education in Limpopo had appointed an independent audit firm, to probe the allegations made by the certain person referred in the question.
Ironically, the investigation found some wrong-doing on the part of the person who alleged corruption against certain persons in that department; and the person was accordingly discharged from his duties in the Limpopo Department of Education. I have been informed that the person in question is currently challenging his dismissal through the Labour Court.
One of the persons alleged to have been involved in corrupt practices in that department has since left the department, and the other is still in the employ of the department.
I am further informed that the Anti-Crime Task Team (ACTT), established by the National Treasury to investigate all sorts of alleged financial irregularities in Limpopo, is further investigating malpractices alleged by the certain person to me. Because of the presumption of innocence until proven guilty, the official must be equally protected under our democratic laws.
I have however, been equally informed by the ACTT that should any justification be found to place the official on leave to allow for a proper and uninhibited investigation to take place, that official will be placed on leave and be formally subjected to a disciplinary process as prescribed in the relevant laws of our democratic country.
Question No. 2466
The Leader of the Opposition (Democratic Alliance (DA)) to ask the President of the Republic:
Whether he will make public the full unexpurgated report published by the judicial enquiry on the Marikana tragedy; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details?
The President will on receipt of the final report of the Commission deal with the said report in a manner which acknowledges both the public interest, as well as the principles to which he is enjoined to constitutionally give effect to. The President will further be guided by the recommendations of the Commission. To do otherwise would unfairly prescribe to the Commission the manner in which its recommendations should be framed.
Question No. 2612
Mr MGP Lekota (Cope) to ask the President of the Republic:
Whether he has found that creating the Ministry of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation has resulted in quantifiable improvement in the performance outcomes of the Departments of (a) Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, (b) Public Works, (c) Basic Education, (d) Labour and (e) Police; if not, why not, in each case; if so, in each case, in what (i) manner and (ii) measure were the outcomes superior to the outcomes that were registered during the period 2004 to 2009?
The Ministry and Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) have been progressively introducing a range of performance monitoring and evaluation practices since the creation of the Ministry in 2009 and the Department in 2010.
One of the key roles that DPME has played is to facilitate the putting in place and monitoring of delivery agreements for the 12 priority outcomes. The delivery agreements were completed by November 2010, and since then Cabinet has been receiving quarterly progress reports from the coordinating Ministers for each of the outcomes.
The Ministries and Departments of Basic Education, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, and Police are responsible for three of the outcomes: "quality basic education”; "all people in South Africa are and feel safe” (related to reducing crime); and "a responsive, accountable, effective and efficient local government system”. For all of these outcomes, there has been progress and there are challenges still remaining. With regard to basic education for example, since 2009 there have been improvements in the matric pass rate and 90% of the target population is now in Grade R.
However, average literacy and numeracy levels as measured by the Annual National Assessments remain unacceptably low; there are still problems with timeous distribution of textbooks at provincial level; and there is still some under-expenditure of school infrastructure budgets. Similarly with regard to reducing crime, since 2009 there has been a steady decrease in overall serious crime, contact and trio crime, but despite this, the levels of serious crime are still too high.
There are remaining challenges in improving the detection of crime and ensuring higher rates of convictions, especially those of perpetrators of serious and violent crime. With regard to local government, since 2009 there have been improvements in access to water, sanitation and electricity infrastructure, but there are concerns regarding the operation and maintenance of this infrastructure in some municipalities and there has been insufficient progress in improving municipal audit outcomes.
Delivery agreements, or sectoral inter-departmental and intergovernmental result-based plans, were generally not in place during the 2004 to 2009 period. Notwithstanding the mixed results described above, there is evidence that the results-based or outcomes approach is starting to reap benefits in terms of improving cooperative governance, introducing more results-based planning and evidence-based monitoring and evaluation, and increasing the strategic focus of government.
Cooperation and collaboration between departments and spheres of government in relation to the achievement of the outcomes has generally improved. The emphasis on measuring and reporting on results is working as a catalyst for change, and some departments are embracing the approach and focusing more on actual results related to strategic targets and on improving their data systems so that the results can be measured accurately.
In addition to the delivery agreements for the outcomes, in the 2011/12 financial year DPME also introduced a process of assessing the quality of generic management practices in national and provincial departments. This involves annual moderated self-assessments, with the aim of developing a culture of continuous improvement in departments. During 2011/12, 65% of national and provincial departments were assessed, including the Departments of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Basic Education, Labour and Public Works. DPME is aiming for 100% assessment in 2012/13. The assessment results for national departments are on the DPME website.
The first assessments were only carried out in 2011/12, and quantifiable improvements will be available by February 2013 after moderation of the 2012/13 self-assessments has been completed. However, departments are required to put in place improvement plans and the aim is to measure improvements in the quality of management practices on an annual basis. The results of these assessments will also be linked to the performance assessment of individual Heads of Department from 2013/14 onwards. DPME is currently working with Departments of Cooperative Governance and National Treasury to pilot a similar assessment process at municipal level, with a view to starting annual assessments of municipalities in the 2013/14 financial year.
DPME is also managing various initiatives related to monitoring the experience of citizens when they receive services from government. By 31 August 2012, the Presidential Hotline had received 141 000 cases, of which 86% had been resolved. Relatively high proportions of these cases relate to the Department of Labour (5 810) and the South African Police Service (SAPS) (4389). The Department of Labour has an excellent responsiveness rate to its Hotline cases, with 99.5% of its cases being resolved by the end of August 2012. The SAPS has been steadily improving its case resolution rate, to 73% by the end of August 2012. A number of cases related to the national Department of Basic Education have also been logged (913), of which 82% had been resolved by the end of August 2012. The national Department of Public Works has had fewer cases (103), and has a 94% resolution rate. There have only been 57 cases related to the Departments of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (COGTA) at national level but these departments have not yet resolved any of their cases and DPME is engaging with them in this regard.
In addition, DPME is implementing a Frontline Service Delivery Monitoring Programme in conjunction with the Offices of the Premier. This programme involves carrying out unannounced visits to frontline service delivery sites, including schools, police stations, and municipal customer care centres. The objective is to catalyse service delivery improvements to aspects of service delivery quality such as accessibility, queue management and waiting times, dignified treatment, cleanliness and comfort, safety, and opening and closing times. The findings are shared with office supervisors and national and provincial management structures. Repeat visits to sites are indicating that this form of monitoring has had a positive impact at a number of service delivery sites. The results of this frontline service delivery monitoring are also available on the DPME website.
Evaluation is an important element of the work of DPME. In this regard, Cabinet approved a National Evaluation Policy Framework generated by the department in November 2011. It also approved the first annual National Evaluation Plan, and will shortly be considering the first three-year National Evaluation Plan.
These plans identify a range of strategic government programmes to be systematically evaluated, with the aim of identifying strengths and weaknesses and instituting improvements to the programmes. These evaluation policies and plans were not in place prior to 2009.
The first evaluation to be completed was an evaluation of the Early Childhood Development (ECD) Programme, which is critical for improving results in the basic education sector. The evaluation was carried out jointly by DPME and the Departments of Basic Education, Social Development and Health, which manage the programme. The evaluation report is publicly available on the DPME website, and it identifies a number of weaknesses with the current programme. As a result of the evaluation, the three departments have developed an improvement plan, which will be monitored by DPME.
Three other evaluations related to basic education are currently being commissioned, i.e. an impact evaluation of the School Nutrition Programme; an impact evaluation of Grade R and an implementation evaluation of the Integrated Nutrition Programme. The draft three-year National Evaluation Plan also includes evaluations of the Funza Lushaka Bursary Scheme and the quality of the National Senior Certificate in the basic education sector. An evaluation of the Community Works Programme under the Department of Cooperative Governance is also planned.
Question No. 2661
Mrs A T Lovemore (DA) to ask the President of the Republic:
(1) Whether he has received the final report of the task team announced and appointed by him on 4 July 2012 to investigate the delayed delivery of textbooks in Limpopo; if not, (a) why not and (b) when is it anticipated that the report will be supplied to him;
(2) whether he intends to make the report publicly available; if so, when;
(3) whether action against any official of the provincial or national department of education is recommended in the report; if not, why not; if so, (a) what action, (b) against whom and (c)(i) when and (ii) by whom will each recommended course of action be followed;
(4) what steps does the report recommend in order to prevent a recurrence of the situation that developed in Limpopo in 2012 in any province?
Yes, the report was received and it was released on 5 October 2012.
The Task Team recommended that the Public Service Commission should be directed to investigate the roles of the following (b) the Director-General: Basic Education, the Head of Department of Education and the Chief Financial Officer of the Limpopo Education Department (c) (i) within sixty days (ii) the recommended course of action will be made by the Public Service Commission.
The Report recommended that appropriate political oversight in relation to the delivery of textbooks be carefully monitored by government and to ensure that appropriate risk management mechanisms are put in place.
In addition, appropriate steps must be taken to ensure that sufficient Human and Financial capacity is available to support the intervention by developing a mechanism where institutional capacity can be deployed as and when the need arises. The said capacity should be located in the Department of Public Service and Administration and the National treasury respectively.
Further, to efficiently manage the budget and to have credible information that will serve as the basis for both costing and procurement (of) Learner Teacher Support Material, a headcount for both learners and teachers in the Province should be conducted and finalised by the end of November 2012 by the Department of Basic Education Intervention Team.
Question No. 2863
Mrs A T Lovemore (DA) to ask the President of the Republic:
(1) Whether all decisions listed under Decision of the President in the Report of the Presidential Task Team established to investigate the non-delivery and/or delays in the delivery of Learner Teacher Support Material (LTSM) in Limpopo schools in the 2012 school year will be subject to further action; if not, why not; if so, what are the relevant details;
(2) whether all recommendations detailed in the report will be subject to further action; if not, (a) why not, (b) which recommendations will be excluded from further action and (c) what action will be taken with regard to the recommendations that have been identified for further action; if so, what are the relevant details of the intended actions with regard to each specified recommendation;
(3) what are the reasons for his acceptance that there shall be (a) no further investigation of and (b) no punitive action against political office bearers who have been mentioned in the report?
The following actions have been or are being taken with regard to the decisions of the President:
a. The Minister of Basic Education provided a report on what has been done thus far with regard to the procurement, delivery and supply of LTSM to the affected schools, and on the catch-up plan in Limpopo.
b. The Minister of Basic Education has requested the Public Service Commission to investigate the conduct of the Director-General of the Department of Basic Education
c. The Ministers in the Presidency have started to assist the Minister of Basic Education in fulfilling the tasks and ensuring the implementation of the recommendations of the Presidential Task Team.
Implementation of all the recommendations in the report will receive the attention of the Ministers in the Presidency. In particular:
i. DPME will be assisting the Department of Basic Education to develop a policy for the standardisation of the procurement and distribution of Learner Teacher Support Material. It will also assist the Department to develop its monitoring systems in this regard.
ii. DPME will engage with the Department of Public Service and Administration and the National Treasury regarding the recommendation for sufficient human and financial capacity to be made available to support interventions.
iii. The progress of COGTA in developing the "Monitoring, Support and Interventions” (MSI) Bill will be monitored by DPME. DPME will also engage with NT and DPSA regarding the implications of the Bill for the Public Servants Association (PSA) and Public Financial Management Act.
The report does not recommend punitive actions against political office bearers.
Question No. 2911
Mr M G P Lekota (Cope) to ask the President of the Republic:
Whether the Presidential Infrastructure Coordination Commission, which was established after the lekgotla in July 2011, had spearheaded and coordinated any of the Government's infrastructure development programmes (details furnished); if not, why not; if so, what (a) are the details of the projects, (b) progress has been made in each case and (c) are the further relevant details? NW3589E
The Presidential Infrastructure Co-coordinating Commission has begun to coordinate Government's infrastructure programme by developing the National Infrastructure Plan, which was adopted in February 2012.
This Plan integrates and aligns the various separate projects into a coherent framework.
To develop the plan, the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Commission (PICC) worked through over 600 proposed projects in order to prioritise around 300 projects. These projects have been consolidated into 18 Strategic Integrated Projects, or SIPs.
Every SIP is expected to develop a localisation programme; a skills plan that identifies key skill needs, from artisans to engineers; a jobs plan including core targets for youth employment; a green component; a technology plan; and broad-based empowerment programmes.
Ultimately, all the state agencies involved in the SIPs will enter into compacts that specify what they will contribute and how they will be supported.
The PICC has developed a dashboard for reporting on progress in each SIP, with a quarterly report to Cabinet on construction progress and the enablers such as funding, inputs such as steel and bitumen, skills and licensing.
The provincial Premiers are members of the PICC Council, while local government is represented through the metros and SALGA.
The SIPs combine some investments that have been underway for some time with shovel-ready projects and initial ideas. As a result, the progress on individual SIPs varies widely.
We have launched eight SIP's, bringing together the three spheres of government, appointing a Cabinet member to chair it and appointing a public agency to coordinate the work of state-owned enterprises, departments and development finance institutions.
The other SIPs will be launched in the next few months. The PICC has set up a system to report on progress on the SIPs on a quarterly basis, providing an oversight mechanism and ensuring that delays and blockages are identified and addressed promptly.
The 18 SIPs are as follows:
SIP 1: Unlocking the northern mineral belt with Waterberg as the catalyst
SIP 2: Durban-Free State-Gauteng logistics and industrial corridor
SIP 3: South-Eastern node and corridor development
SIP 4: Unlocking the economic opportunities in the North West Province
SIP 5: Saldanha-Northern Cape development corridor
SIP 6: Integrated municipal infrastructure project
SIP 7: Integrated urban space and public transporting programme
SIP 8: Green energy in support of the South African economy
SIP 9: Electricity generation to support socio-economic development
SIP 10: Electricity transmission and distribution for all
SIP 11: Agri-logistics and rural infrastructure
SIP 12: Revitalisation of public hospitals and other health facilities
SIP 13: National school build programme
SIP 14: Higher Education infrastructure
SIP 15: Expanding access to communication technology
SIP 16: SKA & Meerkat
SIP 17: Regional integration for African cooperation and development
SIP 18: Water and sanitation infrastructure
Progress is now monitored for each SIP, tracking projects under construction as well as those in project planning stages.
As each programme is finalised, additional information will be released. The Estimates of National Expenditure contain details of certain of the component projects that go into the SIP's. Additional projects are being taken through the budget process and will be finalised in the next budget as well as a review of overall public investment, including elements that are funded off budget.
I am pleased that the Package of Issues in response to the downturn and labour conflict in mining, which we agreed on 17 October 2012 with organised business, labour and community representatives, included a common commitment to building our infrastructure programme.
A number of specific projects were identified which will now be fast-tracked. These include the programme to connect households to the national energy grid, a project to address water leaks and road building and
maintenance programmes. This National Infrastructure Plan is a central lever to restructuring our economy to ensure greater inclusion and solidarity. I welcome the support for this crucial project for our country.
Question No. 2953
The Leader of the Opposition (DA) to ask the President of the Republic:
With reference to his comments on 11 October 2012 that a large part of the building of his Nkandla homestead was paid for by his family (details furnished), what (a) amount are they contributing to the upgrade of his Nkandla homestead in terms of section 3 of the National Key Points Act, Act 102 of 1980, and (b) will the amount be spent on?
The scope of works for the Department of Public Works is limited to the security measures. Thus, the department only implemented the works in line with security assessments. The President therefore does not have to fund any portion from his own funds as he is not party to the arrangement for the installation of security measures.
Cell: 079 879 3203
Issued by: The Presidency
8 Nov 2012
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