Budget Speech Vote 7 on Social Development | Western Cape Government

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News

Budget Speech Vote 7 on Social Development

29 March 2016

[The following speech was delivered by Western Cape Social Development Minister, Albert Fritz, at the Western Cape Provincial Parliament on Tuesday 29 March 2016, during his presentation of the Department of Social Development’s Budget Vote 7 for 2016/17.]

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 2016/17 budget.  I do so in the context of a sluggish economy and a growing pool of unemployed South Africans, which is placing more pressure on social services than at any other time in South Africa’s history.

This increased need for services, combined with the impact of above-inflation wage agreements and impending equitable share cuts to the province over the MTEF have compelled this department to make some hard budget decisions. These are just some of the key pressures we have had to address; in the budget

  • Absorbing the impact of the Wage Bill and the carry-through over the MTEF;
  • Prioritizing the provision of essential and statutory services, and downsizing non-core projects & activities. This is particularly critical in relation to the department’s ongoing drive to meet the greatly increased resource requirements that the Children’s Act places on the department.

Speaker, the budget cuts will hurt. We are particularly unhappy with the fact that we cannot give our NGO partners inflation related funding allocation increases due to the combined impact of the above-inflation wage increase for public servants and the budget cuts. However, we believe our budget is still a tool for maintaining and expanding quality services.

The department has received a total budget of one billion, nine hundred and sixty one million, four hundred and thirty eight thousand Rands (R1 961 483 000), which represents an increase of just over R62.5-million.

2014 – 2019 Provincial Strategic Plan and Game Changers

Madam Speaker, this Department’s budget priorities are guided by the Provincial Strategic Goals, and in particular:

  • 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.

To this end, the department has already established three Youth Cafés in Rocklands Mitchells Plain, at the Vangate Mall in Athlone and more recently the George Youth Café in partnership SUFF. I am happy to announce that, the Department of Social Development will be launching an additional three Youth Cafés;

  • Nyanga Junction at the end of this month,
  • Oudshoorn next month,
  • Vrygrond in May in partnership with SOZO.

The Youth Cafés remain the flagship youth development programme of my department. We will continue engaging the private sector and other municipalities to ensure that we can roll out more Youth Cafés in spite of the declining economic conditions. I can also reveal that work is at an advanced stage into looking at developing different Youth Café models, so as to ascertain the most cost effective way of rolling out more Youth Cafés across the province.

Through an initiative from my Office, we recently concluded the Youth Skills Transfer Programme (YSTP), which saw 363 young people from all over the province graduate from an intense business and entrepreneurial skills development course. YST graduates underwent training and workshops offered in 2 blocks of 5 days each. The workshops covered basic market principles and practical business skills in;

  • project management,
  • event management,
  • financial management,
  • resource mobilization,
  • marketing and life-skills.

I’m proud to announce that the young people who underwent this course, are already using their newly acquired skills to not only enter the job-market, but also start businesses and employ people. There have been a few noticeable success stories, let me share just five;

SMME’s started by YST graduates

Name

Business Name

Details

Mr. Christiaan Jafta

CJ Airconditioning

Airconditioning installations & electronics refurbishment business in Bredasdorp.

Ms. Asandiswa Hlaza

Divine Technologies

Communication design and IT solutions business in Mossel Bay.

Mr. Mario Klein

Creative Explosions

Painting classes and hosting painting retreats in Ebenaeser and the rest of the West Coast.

Ms. Leandre Adonis

Community Fashions

A ladies fashion clothing store in Bitterfontein (West Coast).

Mr. Mordegai Erusmus

Mordy’s Musical School

Performing artist and music lessons in Groot Brak River

The overall Youth Development component is allocated a budget of R12.7-million this financial year. This is our continued commitment to investing in ordinary youth under the guidance of the Youth Strategy.

Speaker, under PSG 2, Early Childhood Development (ECD) and Partial Care remains a key focus to improve the quality of ECD programmes and provide a safe environment and nutrition for children.

Indeed we are continuously building partnerships with NGOs working in the ECD space, and just over R290-million has been budgeted for registered ECD centres. The programmes of 1370 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.

The ECD space is undergoing significant transformation, as we look to reengineer the way in which we support and fund this sector.

In this regard, as part of the ECD Game Changer, we have identified 100 ECD centres to establish a special ECD programme for English language and cognitive development at 100 sites where school readiness is poor. In addition, the initiative will establish support systems for parents of children at the 100 sites to better equip them to stimulate the same learning within the home in order to reinforce the learning happening within the registered centres. A key development will be the establishment of a monitoring system to track baseline and end-line impact on school readiness in the pilot cohort. This will help us determine effectiveness for future general roll-out.

Provincial Strategic Goal 3

Madam speaker, the Department’s primary contribution to Provincial Strategic Goal 3 is in the area of children and families, restorative services, and a special focus on rectifying this province’s historic under-investment in services to people with disabilities.

The Department’s Children and Families programme is allocated R615.102-million, while a further approximately R200 million is invested in child care and protection services rendered by the department’s own social work teams across the province. The big task that lies ahead for us is to ensure

  • that we can bring these services fully into line with the Children’s Act,
  • to implement best practices in social work to children and families
  • and to ensure transversal alignment with our fellow PSG3 departments to leverage the combined impact.

Speaker, I’m happy to once again announce this year that we have continued to make progress on our Child & Youth Care Centres, as the norms and standards for facilities have been completed and have been implemented. The therapeutic programmes to sentenced children with severe behaviour problems are currently implemented in all secure care facilities, and this is distinctly separate to children placed at facilities due to being deemed at-risk children. To continue our gains, we have allocated over R284-million for this financial year. We also endeavour to improve the continuum of care to all children at CYCCs, and have thus implemented a centralized admissions system under the Directorate Facility Management and Quality Monitoring. This covers all CYCCs operated by NPOs and the department. This is a first in the country. Our model is truly world-class, and other provinces continue to learn from it.

The department will continue to build capacity, especially to respond to children’s needs. This is why over the last 6 years DSD has more than doubled the number of social workers within the department from 457 social workers in the 2010/11 year to 967 this year. We have consequently invested heavily in the training and specialization of staff, spending in excess of R5-million.

In terms of tackling social ills, this Department is continuing to prioritise services to address substance abuse related harms in the province. In this regard we welcome the announcement by the National Government of the reintroduction of specialized police units. We have long held that any strategy aimed at reducing the harms of substance abuse, require not only our social intervention, but a strong and competent policing and investigative element, designed to make arrests, and secure convictions of drug manufacturers and dealers.

Our department, together with NGO partners, is working hard every day to help more than 10 000 beneficiaries. Over the last seven years we have more than doubled our budget for these services, and this year have allocated R98.9 million to the Substance Abuse, Prevention and Rehabilitation sub-programme.

Our aim continues to be to improve the match between supply and demand for substance abuse services and improve overall outcomes. We have already increased our services over the last 6 years from 7 drug treatment and intervention sites to 25 sites around the province this year. Apart from expanding access to services, we are also driving increased specialisation in this difficult field. Our most recent specialised programme, an Opiate Substitution Treatment programme, will be expanded this year. The project has now been running for 3 years at Sultan Bahu in Mitchells Plain and the evidence so far is that around 85% of clients are testing negative, after undergoing treatment and therapy. These results are strong by international standards, making the case for us to expand the programme this year.

This year we will also continue to run our women-only residential treatment programme at Kensington Treatment Centre, as well as our specialised courses at UCT, SUN and UWC for addictions professionals and our school-based outpatient treatment programmes for adolescents, all of which are unique to this province in South Africa.

Women

Madam Speaker, sadly women and children still bear the greatest brunt of violence and abuse. In the past couple of months, I have heard very disturbing cases related to the abuse of women and children reported to my office. I cannot describe the sorrow I see on the faces of families I have visited, who have either lost a child through a gruesome murder or mysterious disappearance. I cannot describe to you the anguish of spouses and family who have to deal with their mother, daughter or sister who has been the victim of a rape, domestic violence or murder. This cannot continue.

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 R334.3-million, while the Crime Prevention and Support sub-programme receives R201.8-million and Victim Empowerment sub-programme receives R30.1-million.

We have worked hard to build specialized skill-sets amongst our social workers working within this programme, and have now established an Anti-Human Trafficking Unit, which works closely with NGOs, and other arms of the State, specifically the Justice System and the Hawks.

We will continue to support victims of violence, and ensure women and children have a continuum of services.

People with Disabilities

Honourable Speaker, my administration remains committed to nurturing a society that values the contributions of all of our residents, including people in this province living with disabilities. Promoting the rights, well-being and socio-economic empowerment of Persons with Disabilities remain a key priority.

The Services to Persons with Disabilities sub-programme has received just over R148.4-million in 2016/17. This is a major increase that will allow us to begin the process of consolidating services to children with severe and profound intellectual disability under the department of social development as per a 2015 cabinet resolution to this effect. This is a multi-year process, and will begin with the transfer of Sivuyile facility from the Department of Health to the Department of Social Development. In the outer years of the MTEF we will begin the process of taking over all funding of NGO residential facilities currently under the department of Health.

Furthermore, Madam Speaker, as mentioned by the Finance Minister, we have established a residential care facility in Maitland which will accommodate 30 persons with intellectual disability and those displaying challenging behaviour.

We are also expanding our 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.

Within the department, we are promoting access and inclusion for persons with disability via our disability desk. This service is aimed at ensuring improved access to information and physical accessibility for Western Cape Government employees and the general public.

Older Persons

Madam Speaker, my elderly mother is in her late 80’s, and so 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 R203.3-million, we plan to assist 24 931 older persons in this financial year.

Funding has increased for service centres, independent and assisted living facilities, and residential care centres. 92 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 9000 older persons at registered facilities, with an additional 15 931 funded to have access to community-based care and support services.

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.

The Western Cape Department of Social Development continues to fund the greatest number of NGOs compared to other provinces, despite having the smaller overall budgets of any other provinces.

As finances become ever more stretched, we have a responsibility to ensure NGOs use public funds as intended. Our capacity to manage funding of NGOs to render social services on behalf of the department is widely recognized as being the best in the country.

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.  Our departmental systems for monitoring the use of these funds by NGOs, continues to ensure that the vulnerable citizens of the Western Cape get maximum benefit.

It is thus hardly any surprise that the Financial and Fiscal Commission in 2014/2015 submitted 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.

Bringing the Institutional Capacity Building programmes in-house continues to yield good results, as we are better able to monitor use of funds. 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.

Conclusion

Madam Speaker, in concluding, let me 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 pleasure to table Budget Vote 7 on Social Development.

Thank you.

Media Enquiries: 

Sihle Ngobese

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 :  076 083 6543

Email : Sihle.Ngobese@westerncape.gov.za