Wednesday, 9 June 2021
Chairperson and Members of the Select Committee on Health and Social Services;
Deputy Minister of Social Development, the Honourable Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu;
Members of the Provincial Executive Councils here present;
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media joining us on social media platforms; and
Fellow South African
Thank you for the opportunity to present the 2nd Budget Vote 19, to the National Council of Provinces (NCoP) during the Sixth Administration. It is in working together with this House that we will strengthen our work within the District-centred Development Model.
We convene at a difficult time, against the backdrop of the covid-19 pandemic.
I wish to remind all of us that three (3) of our nine (9) provinces are experiencing the third wave of the CoVID virus (namely, the Free State, Northern Cape and North West provinces), while new infections are rapidly accelerating in the Gauteng province, and the Eastern Cape province is showing the highest reproduction number and rate of CoVID-19 spread.
Fellow South Africans, I urge you to invoke and practice the strictest adherence to all prescribed covid-19 protocols. At the minimum, always wear your mask in public; maintain safe social distance; and frequently wash your hands with soap and water. Be vigilant!
Community activation in promoting safe practices and strict adherence is necessary. Working together with the relevant government structures, we must assume leadership within our communities towards effecting health-improving behavioural changes. All social development institutions, including homes, shelters and service points should be find creative ways of spreading the message on the dangers of the Third Wave of CoVID-19. Certainty, protection, safety and agility are indispensable in our fight against CoVID-19.
National Child Protection Week
From the 30th May to 6th June 2021, we commemorated the National Child Protection Week. Beyond the week itself, the duty to protect children falls upon each and every one of us.
This duty demands work from all of us, beyond child protection week. It demands that each and every parent knows where their kid is at all times. We must all align our work as all tiers of government and social partners to ensure this happens.
The lessons from my exchanges with children in Delft (in the Western Cape province) as well as Kliptown (in Gauteng province) during the Child Protection Week are that our society’s future leaders are asking all of us to: decisively tackle the scourge of child abuse that is threatening our social values; and increase their prospects of realising their dreams and aspirations (and thereby elevating South Africa to its rightful place among future civilisations).
On a recent development, we extend our hearty congratulations to a Gauteng couple who gave birth to 10 babies- breaking the Guinness World Record! To this end, we wish to call upon the community, NPO’s and the private sector players to partner with us in supporting the family financially and in- kind as every resource will be highly appreciated given the abundant blessing of nature.
The Social Development portfolio acknowledges the persisting challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality faced by the youth.
As such, the Social Development portfolio will be intensifying youth development and empowerment programmes that are integral in paving the path that leads to the social and economic opportunities that our young people aspire to access. While it is important to prevent and undo the social ills that are peculiar to our youthful population, it is equally important for all of us to intentionally establish and sustain inclusive economic participation frameworks from which youth will be empowered and their prospects strengthened.
CoVID-19 SRD grant
As government, we are pleased to see that the over six million South Africans were able to benefit from the CoVID-19 Social Relief of Distress Grant (otherwise known as the R350 grant).
Our research found that during the implementation of the R350 grant some of the beneficiaries pooled their grants together with other household incomes in order to provide for the whole family. Likewise, others demonstrated their entrepreneurial flair by directing the grant towards developing businesses that augmented these incomes as much as they created sustainability platforms that would provide for them beyond the duration of the R350 grant. This grant seem to have provided the entrepreneurial springboard that government’s programmes seek to achieve.
We wish to call upon the private sector to do their part in increasing participation opportunities for our youth as our joint efforts will give rise to an inclusive growth path for our country.
uMama uCharlotte Maxeke
In the spirit of promoting patriotism and embracing partnerships with all social sectors, we recall the inspiring words of uMama uCharlotte Maxeke: a social worker; an intellectual; a diplomat; and a freedom fighter whose 150 years of pioneering and noble spirit we are commemorating this year. It is her who instructed us [I quote] This work is not for yourselves. Kill that spirit of “self” and do not live above your people but live with them, and if you can rise, bring someone with you. [Unquote]. Noting these, I am privileged to table Budget Vote 19 of the Department of Social Development for the 2021/22 financial year to this House as follows:
The Department’s overall allocated budget amounts to just over Two hundred and five billion Rand (R205bn) for the 2021/22 financial year. From this annual allocation, and constituting ninety-five percent (95%) of the annual budget for the 2021/22 financial year, the Department has allocated R195, 516 billion towards the monthly payment of over 18 million social grants to beneficiaries. The social assistance programme continues to be South Africa’s largest anti-poverty programme.
The remaining five percent (5%) of the budget goes towards the implementation of all the Department’s programmes. The big ones among these being Early Childhood Development (ECD) — with an allocation of R1,056 billion — and our significant investments towards non-profit organisations (NPOs) — with R8.3 billion being transferred to NPOs by provincial departments, and R33 million being transfers to welfare services NPOs by the national Department. The South Africa Social Security Agency (SASSA) has received R7,4 billion towards its efficient and effective management, administration and payment of grants. R215,970 million has been transferred to the National Development Agency (NDA) for it to implement the civil society organisation-targeted (CSO) programmes that contribute towards the eradication of poverty.
Owing to the reduction of the wage bill as well as the need for all of government to redirect its fiscal priorities towards addressing the socio-economic challenges that accompany CoVID-19, the 2021/22 allocation has been reduced by R6.5 billion. For the same reasons, the cumulative reduction over the next three (3) years will amount to R38.5 billion.
Towards strengthening government’s social policy and addressing targeted programmatic gaps, during this financial year we are going to take the following through the legislative passage:
- the Children’s Amendment Bill,
- the Non-Profit Organisation (NPO) Amendment Bill,
- the Older Persons Amendment Bill and,
- the Fundraising Amendment Bill.
Early Childhood Development (ECD)
The migration of the ECD function from the Department of Social Development to the Department of Basic Education is on-course. The Minister of Basic Education and I will be providing an update on the nation in due course. Other matters pertaining to the ECD sector will momentarily be dealt with by the Deputy Minister.
Gender Based Violence and Femicide
During this financial year we will also be giving priority to strengthening the implementation of Pillar 4 of the National Strategic Plan on Gender Based Violence and Femicide. In particular focus will be on expanding shelter services for survivors of gender-based violence (GBV). In this regard, working together with the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure, we aim to have at least one Khuseleka One Stop Centre per province. We must translate our gender programmes into women’s economic participation and benefit.
Other DSD Programmes
Other programmes of the Department include the implementation of the anti-gangsterism strategy (inclusive of curbing bullying in schools and communities); improving our services to vulnerable groups; widening the digitisation of social development services; improve access to food and nutrition through the implementation of the National Household Food and Nutrition Plan; etc..
Throughout our CoVID-19 response we demonstrated our ability to be responsive and agile, but this should be accompanied by patriotic actions through the establishment of dynamic people-public-private-civic-academic-multilateral partnerships.
A special thank you to the African National Congress (ANC) for granting me the privilege to, and in the service of fellow South Africans, have led the Social Development portfolio during these unprecedented times for all of humanity and our people.
As I conclude please allow me to thank Deputy Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu for the positive working relationship with which we continue to strengthen the delivery of the Social Development mandate.
I also thank the Acting Director-General, Linton Mchunu and his Management team; the Chief Executive Officers of SASSA and the NDA, Totsie Memela-Khambula and Thamo Mzobe, respectively, and their Management teams; the Registrar of the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP), Langi Malamba; the Ministry team; our social partners; and, importantly, all the social service professionals throughout the country.
I thank my family with whose blessings I continue to serve South Africans.
I thank you.