Budget Vote 7 on Social Development
[The following speech was delivered by Minister Albert Fritz in the Western Cape Provincial Parliament on Tuesday 24 March 2015, during his presentation of the Department of Social Development’s Budget Vote 7 for 2015/16.]
Honourable Madam Speaker and Deputy Speaker,
Honourable Premier and Cabinet Colleagues,
Honourable Leader of the Opposition,
Honourable Members of the WCPP,
Mayors, Councillors and Municipal officials,
Special Guests, NGO and community leaders,
Citizens of the Western Cape,
Honourable Speaker, I rise to present the Western Cape Department of Social Developments 2015/16 budget.
Madam Speaker, this budget works for the people of this province, especially the poor. It is an instrument for helping us achieve our vision of creating a self-reliant society, based on creating opportunities for all.
Echoing the words of my right Honourable colleague and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ivan Meyer, this budget is citizen centric, pro-poor, pro-investment (especially into poor communities), and it is pro-delivery.
This budget isn’t only about numbers and figures, but also rather is about real people and real communities. This budget deals with how we, as a government department, will respond to the priorities and challenges facing our people on the ground.
Speaker, many a Minister of Social Development has stood where I am today to deliver this speech. Such speeches have often been spoken during rising tides of prosperity and the still waters of recession. Yet, every so often this speech is also given amidst gathering clouds and raging storms. We are indeed living in challenging times that will test the resolve of all – including my Department which is at the coal-face of delivery to the poor. But, Speaker, at moments of difficulty, the people of the Western Cape are renowned for putting their shoulders to the wheel – in so doing we remain faithful to the ideals of our forbearers, and true to our founding document, the Constitution of the Republic.
This budget is the embodiment of this spirit, and is guided by the Constitution, the National Development Plan, our Provincial Strategic Goals, the State of the Province Address, the DSD Annual Performance Plan, and the new Provincial Strategic Game Changers as announced by the Premier in her SOPA speech.
With a total budget of one billion, eight hundred and ninety seven million, nine hundred and eighty five thousand Rands (R1 897 985 000), we are committed to creating public value by being more responsive and effective in addressing the issues which are most important to the public.
2014 – 2019 Provincial Strategic Plan and Game Changers
As pointed out by the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ivan Meyer, in his Budget speech, we are faced by persistent low economic growth, high unemployment- especially amongst the youth, coupled with many socio-economic challenges. These require a concerted and comprehensive transversal approach in order for us to restore the required high growth path towards prosperity.
In responding to these challenges, my department honours its core functions and responsibilities of creating a caring society through developmental social welfare service; and by providing opportunities through community development services. In this regard, the department is guided by the new Provincial Strategic Goals that are our implementation agenda.
The key Provincial Strategic Goals that we will focus on are:
- Strategic Goal 2 - which calls on us to improve education outcomes and opportunities for youth development,
- Strategic Goal 3 – which calls on us to increase wellness, safety and tackle social ills.
Allow me to share a few highlights of how we are allocating our resources to address these goals;
Provincial Strategic Goal 2
Together with the Department of Education, this goal focuses on improving education outcomes and more importantly for my department, calls for the creation of an enabling environment for the youth of our province to thrive and reach their full potential.
The department has experienced a high demand for services to youth, and our Provincial Youth Strategy has helped us focus our response by providing innovative services, opportunities and support programmes for young people. We are bringing the strategy to life through our budget and various programmatic innovations that will revolutionize services for the youth. The Western Cape must become a place of endless opportunities for young people to thrive and grow, and like Wordsworths poem on the French Revolution, “bliss was it on that dawn to be alive, and to be young was very Heaven”.
In this regard the department has established two Youth Cafés in Rocklands Mitchells Plain and at the Vangate Mall in Athlone. The department has allocated R5.64-million, towards the delivery of three additional Youth Cafés at Nyanga Junction, George and Oudshoorn in this financial year. I’m proud to announce to the youth of the province that we have also partnered with PETROSA to establish a fourth Youth Café in Groot Brak Rivier.
The Youth Cafés remain the flagship youth development programme of my department. We will be engaging the private sector and other municipalities to ensure that we can roll out more Youth Cafés as budgetary conditions improve. We are also hard at work in developing a number of different Youth Café models in order to ascertain the most cost effective way of rolling out the Youth Cafés across the province.
Speaker, the overall Youth Development component is allocated a budget of R12.27-million this financial year. This allocation will be used extremely judiciously to implement the other important elements of the Youth Strategy. In this regard we will also partner with the Department of Community Safety and other role-players in a strategy that focusses on high risk youth- particularly those that are susceptible to joining gangs. In line with our NGO Funding policy we will engage the services of competent and delivery oriented NGOs to provide the necessary services, opportunities and support programmes for young people most in need of them. In that regard there will also be a significant focus on youth in rural and farming communities, many of whom I have been engaging with during my ongoing Youth Outreach Programmes across the province. In this regard we are also in discussion with PRASA regarding the possible use of some of their redundant trains as a way of rolling out mobile Youth Cafés in underserviced rural communities.
The department will also continue to support the Mass Opportunity and Development Centres (MOD centres) through providing nutritious meals to participating learners. We have provided meals to 101 of the 181 schools participating in the MOD centre programme. These meals have proven to be an important element of the MOD centre programme in that it contributes to school retention and broader participation in academic and character-building extra-mural activity. This function has been moved to the Poverty and Alleviation and Sustainable Livelihoods sub-programme, which is allocated a boosted R80.347-million in 2015/16.
Provincial Strategic Goal 3
Working closely in a transversal manner with the Departments of Health, Community Safety and Cultural Affairs and Sports, the department has focused our programmes to fight poverty and bolster support and empowerment of vulnerable segments of our population.
The department remains committed to expanding quality services for children, people struggling with substance abuse, women, and people with disabilities, and older persons. Our efforts in this regard are also guided by key progressive pieces of national legislation, such as the;
- Children’s Act no. 38 of 2005,
- Prevention and Treatment of Substance Abuse Act,
- Older Persons Act no. 13 of 2006.
Madame Speak, to greatly boost our ability to deliver and to assist our NGO partners deliver on this legislative mandate, I am proud to announce that the department will be increasing funding for social worker posts at funded NGOs by 22% for Social Work Managers, 40% for social work supervisors, and by 40% for social workers. Social workers are the coal-face of service delivery, and this funding boost will bring the salaries of professionals in NGOs closer to their counter-parts in government and the private sector. Most importantly, this will help NGOs retain critical skills and staff, to continue their good work delivering to the poor.
The department of social development remains committed to protecting and ensuring the well-being of all children in the Western Cape. This is why the Children and Families programme is allocated R605.549-million. This is the second largest portion of our total budget (31.9%).
We are continuously building partnerships with NGOs working in the ECD space, and just over R294-million has been budgeted for registered ECD centres. The programmes of 27 ECD organizations have been registered and are thus compliant with the Children’s Act, allowing them to train practitioners working in our funded ECD facilities.
Speaker, I’m happy to announce that we have made immense progress on our Child and Youth Care Centres. The norms and standards for facilities have been completed and therapeutic programmes to sentenced children with severe behaviour problems are currently implemented in all secure care facilities. To continue our gains, we have allocated R94.517-million for this financial year. Our model is truly world-class, and other provinces have sought to learn from it.
The department will continue to build capacity, especially to respond to children’s needs, and have allocated R755 000 for bursaries in this academic year for existing DSD staff to further specialise in this and other fields.
My Department is continuing to prioritise the massive task of tackling substance abuse in the province. Our social workers, together with our NGO partners, are working hard every day to help more than 10 000 people in their journey to beat their addiction to drugs and alcohol. Our approach as government is to focus on;
- early intervention,
- statutory services and, after-care support programmes.
Over the last five years we have more than doubled our budget and this year have allocated R92.662-million to the Substance Abuse, Prevention and Rehabilitation sub-programme.
This will help improve the match between demand for substance services for individuals, families and communities and; improve overall outcomes of services. If we are to rapidly reduce the harm caused by substance abuse, we need to adopt a whole-of-society approach.
I’m proud to reveal that our approach and partnerships in this regard are notching up some pockets of real excellence. In order to address the rising use of heroin in the province, we embarked on an outpatient-based Opiate Substitution Treatment programme in Mitchell’s Plain.
The project has now been running for a year, and we have received very good feedback from Sultan Bahu, our NGO partner in this venture, about the positive responses from clients.
In their latest report to us they cite that out of their first intake cycle, 16 out of 21 clients (76.5%) who completed their statutory phase, are still testing negative for illicit substance use in their continuum of care. The second cycle has shown even better results, with 85% still testing negative.
This is most pleasing, as the results exceed the treatment outcome expectations reported in international literature.
Speaker I am proud to announce that for the first time ever, the department will provide a substance abuse treatment programme for children and youth with acute substance dependency problems at De Novo Treatment Centre in Kraaifontein accommodating males between 16 – 17 years old, and at Lindelani Child and Youth Care Centre in Koelenhof in Stellenbosch, which accommodates males and females between13 – 15 years old. The substance abuse treatment programme at Lindelani will run separately from all other Child and Youth Care Centre (CYCC) programmes.
These two programmes are additional inpatient substance abuse treatment programmes to those currently offered by the Department and admissions to the programmes is both voluntary and through court referrals.
Speaker, as evidence of the pro-poor focus of this budget we aim to expand services for substance abuse treatment in previously under-served poor communities.
We have increased our services in this regard in the last 5 years from a mere 7 drug treatment and intervention sites to 24 sites around the province. We will continue to bring hope to sufferers of drug and alcohol addiction.
Madam Speaker, sadly women and children still bear the greatest brunt of violence and abuse. As the periodic and totally unacceptable incidences of child and women abuse cases indicate, there is still much work to be done in this regard. Ultimately, the solution lies in everybody in society taking responsibility to ensure that this scourge is eradicated. Our department has redoubled efforts to provide support to victims of violence.
Our Restorative Services programme as a whole receives R304.332-million (16%), while the Crime Prevention and Support sub-programme receives R180.617-million and Victim Empowerment sub-programme receives R28.173-million.
We will continue to support victims of violence, and ensure women and children have a continuum of services.
People with Disabilities
Honourable Speaker I want to take some time to speak to people of this province living with disabilities. You have lived for far too long in the shadows of our society, relegated to a life of being second class citizens. This stops now. I am committed to nurturing a society that values the contributions of all of our residents, including people in this province living with disabilities. This budget should be a source of hope to all people with disabilities.
We have increased our allocation to the Services to Persons with Disabilities sub-programme by just over 32.7%, spending just over R134-million in 2015/16.
This department is working hard to prioritize the delivery of services and empowerment of people with disabilities. The department has identified 7 key focus areas for the next five years;
- The promotion of the rights, well-being and socio-economic empowerment of people with disabilities and their families and caregivers;
- As directed by the 2010 Western Cape High Court judgement, the Department will continue to make provision for a subsidy towards care for children with severe and profound intellectual disability at 44 daycare centres;
- NPOs working in the rural areas will be strengthened;
- The mainstreaming of disability as essential to improving service delivery access and socio-economic empowerment;
- The establishment of a transversal disabilities programme with consistent referral lines for high risk communities, and standardization for children with intellectual disabilities;
- The establishment of provincial and local parental support structures for parents of disabled children;
- The establishment of a helpdesk for persons with disability.
On this last point, and as already mentioned by the Honourable Minister of Finance, I am proud to announce our department has established a Disabilities Desk located in my Ministry. The Manager of the Disability Desk has already commenced his duties and will prioritize interfacing with persons living with disabilities, and their efforts to engage government services, as well as driving disability policy reform in the province as a whole.
In addition, we have designed and implemented a pilot project in Mfuleni, Vredenburg and Diazvile aimed at the primary identification of children and youth with disabilities between ages 0 to 35 years. This includes families/caregivers at risk through not being linked to any type of services. Our project ensures referral to available support services.
Madam Speaker, as the son of an elderly mother myself, I understand first-hand the responsibility that we have to ensure that our older citizens receive the very best care. This is especially important where older persons are frail and no longer live with family.
The department aims to ensure access to quality services for poor and vulnerable older persons. With an allocation of R194 762-million, we plan to assist 25 884 older persons in this financial year.
Funding has increased for service centres, independent and assisted living facilities, and residential care centres. 73 residential facilities for older persons have been registered and are in compliance with the Older Persons Act.
In line with the Older Persons Act, we will continue our campaign to register all residential facilities, whether state funded or private. In this regard, the department plans to fund 9688 older persons at registered facilities, with an additional 15 265 funded to have access to community-based care and support services.
The importance of my department’s determination to ensure compliance of all residential facilities (Old Age Homes) to legislation has been highlighted recently in the media with the Serendipity Home scandal. Speaker, registration enables us to monitor the treatment and care of all older persons and to protect their rights and dignity.
Partnerships: NGO funding model
The department delivers its services in partnership with many NGOs, both big and small. These community-based organizations are staffed by highly motivated and committed people. However our relationship must be governed by a commitment to effective and efficient service delivery. We have a responsibility to ensure NGOs use public funds as intended, for the service of the poor.
We have greatly strengthened our capacity to manage funding of NGOs to render social services on behalf of the department.
Our introduction of a comprehensive NGO funding policy enables us to ensure that funding applications and allocations are managed through a consistent and transparent process. Alongside this we have introduced new departmental systems for monitoring the use of these funds by NGOs, ensuring that the vulnerable citizens of the Western Cape get maximum benefit.
This drive has resulted in the finding by the Financial and Fiscal Commission in their submission for the division of revenue in 2014/2015 that the Western Cape Department of Social Development spends a bigger portion of its budget (68%) on transfer payments to NGOs, more than any other province in this country. Surely Speaker, this objective fact exposes the oft misleading and frankly politically mischievous claims by the opposition that this government and its departments favour the rich and more specifically that my department is deliberately underfunding NGOs!
We are pleased to announce that the new departmental systems for monitoring the use of these funds by NGOs has begun to yield tangible outcomes, resulting in truly effective NGOs receiving more funds to carry out their work, and importantly, identifying poor performance and/or maladministration and suspicious practices in some NGOs. Madam Speaker, ensuring that NGOs use tax payer’s money properly and responsibly is non-negotiable and we will not shirk our duties in this regard.
Our drive has resulted in the department spotting areas for improvement and efficiency, such as bringing Institutional Capacity Building programmes in-house. Also, where we have the necessary evidence and information, we will even discontinue funding to those NGOs that do not comply or where there are proven instances of corruption and misuse of tax payers money.
Madam Speaker, as I conclude, I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Premier for her leadership. Also, to thank my Cabinet colleagues for the hard work they put in, in service to the people of this province. I’d also like to thank my all my Ministerial staff, and my Head of Department, Dr. Robert MacDonald. Most importantly, I’d like to say thanks to every official in the department and in our NGO partners, who wake up every day and work on the ground to serve their fellow residents. It is your tireless efforts that are transforming this province, creating a brighter future. Finally, to my wife and son thank you for your love, understanding and support.
Speaker, it gives me great pleasure to table Budget Vote 7 on Social Development.
Spokesperson for Albert Fritz, Minister of Social Development
Western Cape Government
7th floor, 14 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town, 8000
Tel : (021) 483 9217
Cell : 083 280 9199
Email : Sihle.Ngobese@westerncape.gov.za