Budget Speech Vote 7 on Social Development | Western Cape Government

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News

Budget Speech Vote 7 on Social Development

31 March 2017

[The following speech will be delivered by Minister Albert Fritz at Western Cape Provincial Parliament on Friday 31 March 2017, during his presentation of the Department of Social Development’s Budget Vote 7 for 2017/18.]

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 Development’s 2017/18 budget with our country once again on the edge of a precipice.

We are literally faced with a situation where a President and his ruling party have taken decisions that are not in the interests of our country.

This has everything to do with corruption, state capture and the total collapse of the rule of law

Once again our corrupt President is determined to destroy our beloved country in pursuit of his unprincipled aims and his fellow ANC leadership seem to do nothing about it.

To my ANC benches on the other side I want to say that Zuma is laughing in your face and he will preside over your death as a ruling party.

Speaker, the cabinet reshuffle announced last night has absolutely nothing to do with improving efficiency.

Instead, the nonsense spouted by Zuma had everything to do with capturing the Treasury and consolidating his corrupt hold on power.

The so-called “radical economic transformation agenda” of the ANC is nothing but an attempt to capture the treasury, in order to ensure that the politically-connected supporters of the Zuma ANC are awarded for their loyalty to the corrupt “Zupta” agenda.

At no point in the history of our young democracy has the call for the constitutional overthrow of this ANC government been more apt and appropriate.

Speaker, this disaster is not solely Zuma’s fault. The entire ANC is complicit in this national crisis. The members sitting on the other side of the House are just as complicit as Zuma and his cronies.

After-all you voted for him and you kept quiet, and you even defended him through his rape trail, Nkandla, and all of the other situations driven by his greed.

We cannot continue to allow our country to be driven to economic, social and political ruin by a ruling party that is powerless to act on their President. ZUMA is your president- he is not the President of the people of this country.

How long can we as a country allow this situation to prevail?

Well, Speaker, we cannot do so for a moment longer. We must mark this day, 31 March 2017, as the day in which the people of this country will finally say enough is enough!

ZUMA MUST GO! THE ANC MUST GO! THEY MUST GO NOW!

Madame Speaker, with those words, allow me to say that we in this government, and in this Department remain stable and consistent.

With a total budget of two billion, one hundred and six million, nine hundred and seventy four thousand Rand (R2 106 974 000), I will detail how the Department will allocate this budget in support of the most vulnerable citizens of this province.

Madame Speaker, this Department is guided and empowered by numerous legislation, policy mandates and Provincial Strategic Goals.

Provincial Strategic Goal 2 calls on us to improve education outcomes and opportunities for youth development, while Strategic Goal 3 calls on us to increase wellness, safety and tackle social ills.

The strategic goals impact five key areas intrinsic to the mandate of my department, namely,

  • Children and families,
  • Youth,
  • Disability,
  • Substance Abuse,
  • Older Persons.

Our efforts to ramp up delivery in these focus areas, shall be underpinned by a comprehensive review of our funding strategy to our partners in the Non-Profit Organization (NPO) sector.

In addition to this review, the ending of our current three-year contracts with NGOs in the upcoming financial year means that we will be calling for new funding proposals from July onward for a new three year cycle.

This process will enable my department to further ensure that our scarce resources are going to those programmes and citizens that are most in need of it.

I need to emphasise that NGOs remain critical partners in our efforts and the review is not a punitive exercise. Its sole objective is to ensure that we continually improve the quality of the services to our people.

Madame Speaker, the current budgetary pressure means that the Department is only able to provide below inflation increases to funded NGOs in the new financial year. This amounts to an increase of approximately +/- 3%.

We have also set aside R3-million for a comprehensive sectoral engagement process with all of our 2000+ funded NPO partners.

Children and Families

In the light of the imperative to deliver quality services to children there is a R 35 million increase to R 651, 5m.

The bulk of this increase will go towards the Early Childhood Development (ECD), Child Protection and Child & Youth Care Centre (CYCC) sub-programmes.

ECD

Speaker, our recognition of the critical importance of high quality early childhood development programmes has resulted in a number of initiatives in this regard.

We have allocated R314.4-million for the roll out of the Provincial Early Childhood Development (ECD) Strategy.

The ECD Strategy has already seen the development of a ground-breaking pilot ECD programme for language and cognitive development at 100 Provincial sites.

The  additional R19.1-million of the national ECD Grant will go towards emerging ECD infrastructure, and more importantly will add extra resources to our per child funding.

This will assist our attempts in conjunction with the WCED to improve ECD quality at an expanding targeted ECD sites where school readiness is poor.

Madame Speaker, I’m proud to announce that the department has just concluded the development of Care Up – an innovative learning tool for parents and ECD practitioners.

Care Up was conceptualised by the department, developed by the Reach trust, and subsidised by the Innovation Edge.

Care Up helps support children’s home language and second language development, and contributes towards quality focused parent - child engagement around improved learning outcomes.

UK funders and Innovation Edge have supported our expansion of the application by pledging R 1-million more towards enhancements to the basic design of Care Up.

My Department will also continue our involvement in the After School Game Changer, via our Partial Care facility programmes. An additional R2.1-million will expand our partial care facilities that provide spaces children need to engage in positive developmental activities.

Child Protection

R275-million has been allocated to child protection for the financial year.

This is made up of R177-million for child protection services and R98-million for Child & Youth Care Centres.

Our greatest efforts will be to hone our systems and skill sets amongst staff in honouring the statutory requirements placed on us by the Children’s Act of 2005.

This includes the finalisation of the Provincial Foster Care Management Plan, which will align foster care management across NGOs and government.

This will help in the uniform management of foster care in the province to manage the foster care backlogs.

As part of programme of continuous learning and upskilling of social work staff to specialize in Children’s Act matters, the department will provide training to social workers on the implementation of the Safety and Risk Assessment Tool in order to improve their child protection assessment skills.

Some of the key deliverables Child Protection Services will prioritise in the coming financial year are the following:

  • Developing an E-Learning training platform for social work staff to institutionalize statutory processes, SOPs, best practices,
  • Increasing the number of safety and foster parents on the DSD database to meet demand
  • And optimizing use of NGO partners to render services to children and families.

CYCC

Madame Speaker tremendous work has already gone into improving our Child & Youth Care Centres (CYCCs).

We’ve allocated R98.2-million for this service to meet all requirements of the Child Justice Act of 2008.

This figure excludes the R217.1-million under the Crime Prevention & Support sub programme which funds our services and outsourced facilities.

In total, the budget allocates R315.3-million to provide services to all vulnerable children.

Speaker, our major focus will be to overhaul our secure care Child and Youth Care infrastructure to meet the rapidly escalating demand for space in these centres.

In this regard, we are pleased to have been allocated an infrastructure grant of R72-million by the Provincial Treasury. This money will be held by Public Works, is for the CYCCs for the period of the MTEF.

We have experienced challenges at our CYCC facilities related to security breaches and ageing infrastructure.

Madame Speaker, we are already upgrading and improving security and infrastructure maintenance at CYCCs in line with Children’s legislation.

This includes additional fencing, access control technology and more cameras.

An additional R14-million was allocated to Public Works for urgent maintenance at our CYCCs in the 2017/18 year.

Along with our focus on infrastructure, we have instituted an effective centralized admission management system.

This will ensure entry into the correct programme in line with legislation governing CYCCs.

Madame Speaker, it is important to remind the House that the CYCCs are not prisons.

Our focus is to ensure programmes match a child’s needs, as per Section 191 of the Children’s Act.

Youth

The Western Cape is home to 2.1 million youth between the ages of 15 and 34 years.

These are young people with big dreams, who are hungry for the opportunity to pursue the life they want.

Using the Census 2011 data, it has been calculated that 13 per cent of these youth (approximately 277 160) can be classified as ’not in employment, education or training’ (NEETs).

Over the period of my term of office as MEC I am extremely proud to have shepherded the emergence of youth development as priorities at both departmental and provincial government levels.

Madame Speaker, my Department has set aside an investment of R15.6-million for the development of youth this financial year.

Our key priorities over the MTEF, in line with our Provincial Youth Development Strategy, are to ensure that all youth- focussed and funded programmes pay particular attention to those young people who lack the necessary skills and competencies to participate in the economy, whether as workers or as young entrepreneurs.

To this end our Youth Cafés remain central to expanding opportunities to young people across the province.

The Department has already invested in the growth of 6 Youth Cafés, in Rocklands, Vangate Mall, George, Oudtshoorn, Vrygrond and Gugulethu/Mannenberg.

I’m proud to announce that the province’s seventh Youth Café was launched earlier this month, in Groot Brak Rivier.

This R6.5-million state-of-the-art Youth Café will operate as a partnership programme between PetroSA, DSD and the Mossel Bay Municipality.

Madame Speaker, this financial year we expect to establish a minimum of two more Youth Cafés and we are also hard at work developing a roll out model that will allow us to establish more Youth Cafes at a much lower cost.

The Youth Cafés themselves have become a living laboratory around what works and what doesn’t work in youth development.

The establishment of a Youth Café Network has ensured that all the Youth Cafes as well as my department continuously learn from each other.

I would urge all members to visit one of our Youth Cafes to see at first hand the amazing programmes that take place there.

Speaker, our call for proposals for youth development for the 2017/2018 financial year will make sure that all funded organizations will align their services to support the Youth Cafes.

Madame Speaker, in support of Minister Alan Winde and PSG 1, which calls on us to create an environment for growth and jobs, my Ministry is busy working on a programme which will be called the Cape Youth @ Work.

Cape Youth @ Work seeks to provide job readiness and psycho-social support to young people participating in our programmes.

This is especially in support of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDAT), and the Apprentice Gamechanger.

It is one thing to train a young person and place them within a work environment, but it is another to ensure that they are ready to take on that responsibility emotionally and psychologically.

Madame Speaker, our efforts with young people have been paying off.

The Business Incubation Programme (BIP), run in conjunction with our partners at the Community Chest, saw 61 young people from all over the province graduate from an intense business, projects and events management course.

Most encouragingly 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.

In fact Madame Speaker, we recently held a business fair and fun day in Delft, to showcase businesses of BIP graduates.

Many of them found further business opportunities and mentors, to take their small businesses to the next level.

There have been a few noticeable success stories, let me share just two, who are with us here today;

SMME’s started by BIP graduates

Name

Business Name

Details

Ms Siphosethu Makayi

Sethu’s Event Management  

Event Management Company.

Ms Cleopatra Mokwape

Tshwelepelo Cleaning Services

hygiene solutions & cleaning products.

 

It is most pleasing to see these tangible results and impact from our partnerships.

Lastly Speaker, I intend zooming in on the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) by ensuring that it is more efficiently utilised for economic opportunity and skilling for young people.

 

Through the EPWP we seek to empower 1455 young people this financial year, by drawing young people from our various programmes and from Youth Cafes.

Gone are the days of just chasing numbers, I intend to ensure the EPWP focusses on creating value in the lives of youth.

It must restore dignity and prepare youth for the real world, not contribute to the misery faced by poor youth.

Disability

Speaker, I am really proud about the progress we have made regarding our strategy around disability.

This province plans to lead the way in not only advocacy for people with disabilities, but also issues of access and service delivery.

My administration has allocated R163.7-million this financial year for services to people with disabilities.

As mentioned by the Provincial Finance Minister this figure includes a further investment of just over R43.7-million for this financial year.

Over the MTEF period an additional R138.9-million (R138 923 000) has been invested, bringing our total spending to just over R512-million.

However Madame Speaker, our disability strategy isn’t only about money.

The teams working within the Disability Programme, including the newly established Disability Desk, have begun to put in place truly ground-breaking and innovative projects.

In this regard, our Disability Desk, run by Mr. Jeremy Opperman, assisted by Ms. Shayne Brandt, have already begun work on improving access to all government buildings, and are the go-to for all disabled Western Cape Government staff.

The Department has initiated a referral pathway for children and youth with disabilities that will improve the efficiency of services to these vulnerable young people.

To give effect to this we have begun to train social workers, in conjunction with our NPO partner, Uhambo Foundation.

Implementation has already started in the Metro East, West Coast, Metro South and Eden Karoo regions. In the new financial year we will also roll out to Metro North.

We have also established, and will expand, the Provincial & Local Parental Support Structures in partnership with our NPO partners.

A first for the province has been the introduction of electronic payslip systems for visually impaired and/or partially sighted provincial government employees.

Ladies and gentlemen, our work to increase and expand services will continue this year. We will increase the;

  • number of residential facilities from 34 to 35,
  • work spaces at protective workshops,
  • day care facilities for disabled children and adults.

Our services to disabled children with intellectual disabilities will continue to promote the progressive compliance and registration of facilities and service providers.

We are providing training programmes for all carers, to train them in modern continuous learning techniques.

We will also continue to increase resource allocations for bed spaces for the children most at risk, who need care and protection.

Work is underway to expand existing bed space at three facilities catering for intellectual disabilities. We are discussion with;

  • Agape Ministries in Worcester for 30 additional beds,
  • Die Eiland Huis in St. Helena Bay for 30 additional beds,
  • And Sivuyile in Maitland for 20 additional beds.

Substance Abuse

Madame Speaker, we cannot lead people to opportunity, if we do not tackle the scourge of drug and alcohol abuse in our society.

Our allocation of R96.3-million is meant to continue our work in tackling this.

Of course Madame Speaker, this figure does not include the R217-million we have allocated to own CYCC facilities which also provide substance abuse treatment services.

Real progress is being made, with the Department having increased substance abuse services to over 36 NGO partners working at 51 sites across the province.

We have also put in concerted efforts to raise awareness, especially with the youth.

The Department launched its online substance abuse mobi-site and Facebook page, which has received well over 66 000 engagements since the launch late last year.

Madame Speaker we want to build on this progress this year.

Older Persons

Madame Speaker, we have set aside R237.3-million for the Older Persons Programme.

This is a major increase of R31.7-million from the last year.

I have prioritized compliance to the norms and standards to the Older Persons Act for residential facilities (old age homes) and service centres.

This is important in the context of the sort of abuse cases we occasionally hear about at unregistered facilities and some registered ones.

This is why I have established the Inspectorate in the Department, and can announce that we are currently advertising these posts at the moment.

The Inspectorate will work with NPOs to investigate any allegations of abuse.

This is important; as 8 419 older persons access funded residential facilities, 13 805 access community-based services, in addition to the private services available.

I’m also proud to announce that substantial progress has been made with the mandatory registration of funded and private residential facilities.

With an additional R24-million, we have increased the unit cost subsidy of frail category older persons from R2000 to R3000 per month.

This increase specifically targets poor and vulnerable people who are social grant recipients, and whose families can’t contribute to the subsidy.

Other Funding Areas

Madame Speaker my devoting the bulk of my speech to the five identified focus areas, should not be misconstrued as us having neglected our other programmes.

Allow me to briefly touch on these;

Crime Prevention and Support receives an allocation of R217.1-million, which funds secure care Child & Youth Care facilities.

We’re focussing on providing quality probation services and implementing obligations of the Child Justice Act.

There will be a strong focus on reintegration of children in conflict with the law who completed residential and/or community-based programmes.

Victim Empowerment receives R31.7-million. This will bolster our work in assisting victims of gender violence and tackling human trafficking.

Key to our plans will be strengthening our network of shelters for abuse victims and their children.

This includes building on our already 16 shelters for victims of gender violence across the province, with plans afoot to expand into more rural areas, such as Eden Karoo.

Population Policy Promotion is allocated R2.3-million.

The development of population projections modelling has given us key insights into the challenges presented by the growth and contraction of populations across the Province. This allows the Department to plan ahead.

Conclusion

Madame Speaker, we seek to lead people to become self-reliant and empowered. However we cannot achieve this alone.

We need our NPO partners and delivery partners such as SASSA, to evolve in step with the Department.

SASSA in particular needs to get its house in order. Its conduct so far has been grossly negligent of the 1.5-million grant beneficiaries in the Western Cape.

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, serving the people of this province. I’d also like to thank my all my Ministerial staff, and my Head of Department, Dr. Robert Macdonald, for his outstanding leadership of the Department.

Most importantly, I’d like to say thanks to every official in the department and in our NGO partners, who work on the ground in service of those most in need of our services. I want to report that despite the ongoing efforts to disrupt our work, we are succeeding and will continue to build on this going forward.

Finally, to my wife and son thank you for your enduring love, understanding, and support.

Madam Speaker, it gives me pleasure to table Budget Vote 7 on Social Development.

I 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