You are left with one minute.
Let me actually emphasise this point for the hon member of the DA. The hon member talked about social issues, but it was ambitious to say that social issues should be implemented by a certain period of time. Let me educate the hon member from the DA by saying that social issues are recurring issues that change owing to the material conditions on the ground, and they will be there as long as humankind exists. [Applause.]
To the hon member from the EFF: What a contradiction! One minute you demand; the next you are saying, "Let us implement."
Ha ke qetela ke re, re le ditho tsa ANC tsa Komiting ya Ntshetsopele ya Setjhaba, re ikgotsofaditse hore ditekanyetso tsena tsa lefapha di kgokahane le ditokomane tsa mokgatlo, tsa mmuso, le tsohle tse tlileng ho tlosa bofuma. Re le ANC, re tjhaella ditekanyetso tsena monwana, ntle le qeaqeo. Ya kgaola, ya ya! [Mahofi.] (Translation of Sesotho paragraph follows.)
[In conclusion, as members of the ANC in the Portfolio Committee on Social Development, we are satisfied that the budget vote for this department links with the documents of the party and of government, and with everything that is going to eradicate poverty. As the ANC, we support the budget vote without hesitation. I thank you. [Applause.]]
Chair, I get the feeling that the important changes taking place in and around this department are having a generally motivating effect and that stakeholders are more encouraged than usual. Many of the changes will be the result of the transformation the department is undergoing in order to incorporate Programmes 3 and 4 - from what was the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities - to be more specific: children and people with disabilities.
The excitement generated seems to have spilled over into other areas that have long been desperately needing attention, such as the additional allocations being made in this budget to provinces to enable them to increase the number of social workers employed and to provide additional support to NGOs providing essential welfare services. The Gauteng Welfare, Social Service and Development Forum says it best:
This comes at a time when cutbacks in services to our country's most vulnerable people have been happening on an appalling scale, and many thousands of workers in struggling non-profit organisations (NPOs) have been retrenched.
The ACDP is aware of the tremendous anxiety caused by a lack of funds necessary to intervene where children and families are at risk or in crisis. And, like other stakeholders, we are daring to hope that the allocation will make a significant difference in many lives. Hon Minister, will the department be able to hold provinces accountable in ensuring that funds go where they are actually meant to go?
A major concern for the ACDP and, indeed, the country are statistics showing that there is a crisis in adoption in South Africa. The Actuarial Society of SA estimates that by 2015 there will be 3,5 million more orphans in South Africa, taking the number to a staggering 5,5 million orphans and, yet, at the same time, fewer orphans are being adopted.
Hon Minister, there are those who see the department as part of the problem as adoptions are being overcontrolled, causing serious delays at a high cost to the best interests of many children. Section 239(1)(d) of the Children's Act stipulates that the report of the social worker must be accompanied by a letter from the provincial head of department recommending the adoption. But in practice the department's scrutiny of the report can lead to a six-month delay in the process, preventing a needy child from being in the arms of a loving parent.
Hon Minister, what can and is the department doing to rectify this situation and ensure that delays and processes do not cause suitable parents to be disqualified or dissuaded? Would the Minister consider amending section 239 of the Act, to eliminate the unnecessary blockages hindering and discouraging adoptions?
The ACDP is pleased to see the department's focus on early childhood development. Nongovernmental organisations say that thousands of toddlers and children in our nation are in informal ECD centres that need to be put firmly on the radar of the Department of Social Development, the Department of Home Affairs and municipalities, which is not the case at present.
A more inclusive approach is necessary. Informal, unregistered centres are where most children are in care, and they need to be incrementally supported and assisted. Formal registration and related formal processes are beyond their reach. They need a range of support, including training and materials, of course, but also infrastructural improvements like sanitation, fencing, water supply and often even shelter.
Hon Minister, the ACDP implores you and your department to adopt a different, more incremental and more inclusive approach, ensuring co- ordination and participation between all relevant departments.
Lastly, the ACDP would like to acknowledge the work done previously by Social Development with regard to recognising the importance of family and notes with appreciation that the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva adopted a resolution on "Protection of the Family".
The ACDP, along with many others, has been concerned for the longest time that the importance of the family has been ignored by those drafting influential goals that will determine the UN's budget and actions and, to some degree, South Africa's. We will be supporting this budget. Thank you. [Applause.]
Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, hon members of the House and distinguished guests, good morning. The ANC government's position on early childhood development is a developmental approach emphasising the need for universal access and the strengthening of the capacity of the state to deliver quality, affordable and sustainable ECD services.
There is no doubt that early childhood development plays an important role in developing the basic cognitive skills for the future successful learning of the child. Research proves that children who have undergone ECD stand a better chance to progress in later years. Therefore, ECD remains the basic foundation for learning. Furthermore, research shows that a high dropout rate and failure in grades have a direct link to a lack of access to ECD in the formative years of the child.
The National Development Plan: Vision 2030 prioritises ECD and clearly identifies the areas to be focused on.
What is to be done to take the ECD sector forward? Firstly, it requires government to address the co-ordination weaknesses and institutional framework of ECD, and it requires government to clarify the roles and responsibilities between national, provincial and local government, as well as NGOs and the private sector. Secondly, we need to encourage innovation in the way early childhood development services are delivered. How can home- based, community-based and centre-based programmes be expanded? Thirdly, state funding for early childhood development should be improved. Funding the programmes and services at an appropriate level is key.
In addition, adherence to norms and standards for ECD will facilitate the provision of a quality service to children. Finally, there should be investment in the training of ECD practitioners and upgrading of their qualifications and careers. One training package will not cater for the range of needs of children. Therefore, we need a tiered-up or a step training system which caters for the needs of ECD workers with little or no basic education to a mid-level training level and through to tertiary-level training.
Three initiatives pertaining to ECD took place in 2011-12, namely the review of the National Integrated Plan for Early Childhood Development, the Diagnostic Review of Early Childhood Development and the Early Childhood Development Conference. The aim of the set processes was to review ECD service provisioning, co-ordination and implementation in terms of children in the birth to four years of age cohort in South Africa.
The ECD programme was identified as one of the apex priorities that were indicated by the government as areas that need special strategies and additional funding. The national Integrated Early Childhood Development Programme of Action: Moving Ahead 2013 to 2018 addresses some of these challenges through the proposed 10-point agenda for ECD in South Africa. The challenges were identified as follows: to develop a new ECD policy framework that will provide a legal basis for the state to fully support; to define service packages for various age groups; to establish an effective service delivery model that is based on state support for a strong cadre of community workers from health, social development and the NGO community; the service delivery model should adopt a range of mechanisms for reaching young children, including, but not limited to, home- based, community-based and centre-based mechanisms; to establish a central agency or mechanism to provide leadership and to ensure adequate regulation, capacity development, funding and co-ordination; to establish funding norms and standards for differentiated services and models; to develop and implement an integrated infrastructure policy strategy; to develop and implement an advocacy communication and social mobilisation strategy.
In conclusion, thousands of our children who were previously excluded from ECD now have access to it. The ANC supports the Budget Vote. Thank you, Chair. [Applause.]
Voorsitter, agb Minister en Adjunkminister van Maatskaplike Ontwikkeling, agb Voorsitter van die Portefeuljekomitee oor Maatskaplike Ontwikkeling, agb lede, dames en here, dit is vandag vir my 'n groot voorreg om aan hierdie jaar se begrotingsposdebat deel te neem.
Die begroting van die Departement van Maatskaplike Ontwikkeling raak verskeie kwessies aan wat my na aan die hart l. Dit sluit in die rol van maatskaplike werkers en nie-regeringsorganisasies, NRO's, veral ten opsigte van middelmisbruik en gesinsgeweld en hoe hierdie aspekte inskakel by die Nasionale Ontwikkelingsplan.
Die visie van die departement is om 'n samelewing te skep wat omgee - een waar alle Suid-Afrikaners gentegreerde maatskaplike ontwikkelingsdienste kan bekom. Dit is soortgelyk aan die visie van die DA van 'n oopgeleentheidsamelewing vir almal, waarin almal die geleentheid het om te word wat hulle as waardevol beskou. Beide hierdie visies onderskryf dt wat die Nasionale Ontwikkelingsplan onderskryf - dat die departement mense teen armoede moet beskerm, maar ook uiteindelik uit armoede moet lig. (Translation of Afrikaans paragraphs follows.)
[Ms K DE KOCK: Chairperson, hon Minister and Deputy Ministers of Social Development, hon Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development, hon members, ladies and gentlemen, it is my great privilege today to take part in this year's Budget Vote debate.
The budget of the Department of Social Development touches on various issues that are close to my heart. This includes the role of social workers and nongovernmental organisations, NGOs, especially in relation to substance abuse and family violence and how these aspects link up with the National Development Plan.
The vision of the department is to create a caring society - one where all South Africans will have access to integrated social development services. It is similar to the vision of the DA of an open opportunity society for all in which everyone has the opportunity to become what they consider to be worthy. Both these visions subscribe to what the National Development Plan upholds - that the department must protect people against poverty, but also eventually lift them out of poverty.]
In order to protect South Africans from poverty, the department has allocated approximately R120 billion to social grants. This constitutes 95% of this department's budget, and it is an initiative that the DA supports because it is a constitutional imperative. However, this leaves a mere 5% of the budget for rendering social services other than the distribution of grants. This is problematic because the role of the department is not only to protect people; it is to actually release people from poverty.
Having said that, this does not mean that the department should engage in employment-generating projects. Way too much money is spent on such projects, and they often fail because this department does not have the capacity and the expertise. They are best dealt with by departments within the Economic Cluster in partnership with the private sector. The role of this department is to provide a safety net and to address the issues that hamper people from accessing the economic opportunities that are presented to them. Currently, in this country there are two: substance abuse and domestic violence. We are all politicians; we all go to the rural areas.
Alkoholmisbruik en gesinsgeweld is komplekse probleme, en ons is dit verskuldig aan mense wat daardeur geraak word om toegang tot 'n professionele diens te verseker. [Alcohol abuse and family violence are complex problems, and we owe it to people affected by it to ensure that they have access to professional services.]
The DA notes the construction of four new rehabilitation centres across the country, and we are aware of the millions of rand that is being spent on scholarships for social workers. But if we are really serious about domestic violence, if we are really serious about substance abuse, the Minister must critically examine the relationship this department has with formal NGOs. Currently, this relationship is strained, and this negatively impacts the availability of social workers, particularly in rural areas.
One of the reasons this relationship is strained is because there is a discourse in this country that states that formal NGOs are racially untransformed and that they push their own agendas. Therefore, there is a funding bias towards community-based organisations, CBOs. There is nothing wrong with funding CBOs, but often the unintended consequences are unaccountability and a lack of professional service. We would like to see an increase in funding for formal NGOs, and this should be relatively easy to achieve - maybe not in this term but in the next financial year. As the economy grows and more and more young South Africans become employed, we should see a reduction in the number of people who are dependent on grants and an increase in the amount of money that we can spend on social services other than social grants. Thank you. [Applause.]
Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Ministers, hon members and guests in the gallery, social crime is not just a South African challenge, but a worldwide challenge. Substance abuse is rife in all our communities. Substance abuse knows no colour, creed, race or gender. It affects all of us. We need to work together to move South Africa forward in combating substance abuse within our neighbourhoods and our communities.
The ANC Youth League, as a huge wing of the ANC, resolved at its 23rd national congress that it would support and be part of a campaign aimed at educating the youth about the dangers of substance abuse. This includes supporting the Department of Social Development's Ke Moja campaign by ensuring that it filters down to all levels of society and reaches a wider audience. In working together with nongovernmental organisations and community-based organisations, the government is working with all these people in our communities.
Any intervention must involve all sectors of the community, as was done in Eldorado Park. The government's intervention to rid the area of the scourge of drug abuse changed the lives of the people of Eldorado Park. President Jacob Zuma set up a steering committee, including the then Gauteng premier, Nomvula Mokonyane, and former Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, to begin intensified law enforcement in Eldorado Park. [Applause.] An integrated special intervention team, which included the Police Tactical Response Team, the flying squad and provincial officers, was dispatched to the area to increase visibility and hunt down drug dealers. During this operation, there were vehicle checkpoints, stop searches and visits to houses identified as those of alleged dealers and to lolly lounges.
This was a very successful operation in which a total of 1 400 drug-related arrests were made in the period following the President's visit. A lot was achieved during this operation. We need more of these types of operations on a sustainable and continued basis as they build communities into drug- free ones.
This operation was undertaken not just in Eldorado Park but also in eight other provinces. This operation was roped in to participate in the implementation of the programme, as part of the experience, the learning and the rationale behind the challenges we faced in Eldorado Park and experience throughout South Africa and elsewhere.
The Ke Moja buses programme has been successfully launched. This programme includes a parenting skills programme, the Bright Star programme, the Addicted for Change programme and the removal of graffiti.
Counselling and the Ke Moja buses will improve accessibility to social work services and interventions intended to benefit the youth of Eldorado Park. Youth facilitators will engage the youth in empowering them with social skills and educating them about the negative effects of drug abuse and alcohol. As a country, we need to continually explore better ways of ensuring access to treatment by building additional centres.
Gender-based violence, especially threats directed at women and children such as sexual and domestic violence, remains a serious regional and global human security concern. A South African study of survivors of gender-based abuse showed that just under a third of women went to the police despite the fact that 89% of these women felt that what was done to them was a crime. The elimination and prevention of all forms of violence against women and children is a serious concern. Though the country has been commended for its robust legislative framework to address the scourge of violence against women and children, there remains an urgent need for intersectoral interventions to prevent and respond to this scourge of violence.
Violence against children cuts across the boundaries of geography, race, class, religion and culture. It occurs in homes, schools and streets, in places of work and entertainment and in care and detention centres. Perpetrators include parents, family members, teachers, caretakers, law enforcement authorities and other children too. Some children are particularly vulnerable owing to gender, race, ethnic origin, disability or social status. And no country is immune, whether rich or poor.
Children in South Africa live in a society with a Constitution that has the highest regard for their rights and for the equality and dignity of everyone. Protecting children from violence, exploitation and abuse is not only a basic value but also an obligation.
In the state of the nation address, the President declared 2014 as the year of the disabled. We need to improve the public transport system, especially the train system. People with disabilities cannot access trains as easily as they would like to because there are no ramps. In some instances, there are only staircase bridges that don't allow them to cross the railway line. We need to do a countrywide assessment of disabled people to assess their levels of disability. Hon Minister, we cannot have a one-size-fits-all approach, as no two disabled people are the same. We need to create opportunities for disabled people to be independent and not interdependent.
I would like to quote our former President Nelson Mandela when he said:
Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear.
The ANC supports this budget. Thank you. [Applause.]
Hon Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, hon members, the Social Development family, which is where I am from before I came to Parliament, and our guests, I would like to refer to what you just said, Deputy Minister, as it empowers me. I am a mother of a child with a learning disability. Therefore, I am on the right committee to assist these kids. [Applause.]
As a Member of Parliament of the ANC, I rise to support Budget Vote No 19. Together we are moving South Africa forward, ... [Applause.] ... as we declared in our 2014 election manifesto. Our strategic goal is to create a national democratic society in which everyone shall live in peace and harmony. Not only is such a society necessary to realise our objective of a better life for all, but it is also possible from a scientific basis.
My speech today is based on the scientific foundation of what Marx and Lenin said in 1818: that you cannot base politics on assumptions, but you must use science to determine where you are going. [Applause.] So, this is the story that I will tell. I am guided by the revolutionary and democratic programme of the Freedom Charter, which said: "There shall be houses, security and comfort." In terms of this objective of the Freedom Charter it says, "The aged, the orphans, the disabled and the sick shall be cared for by the state." So, there is nothing wrong with what the ANC is doing; we are implementing our mandate. [Applause.]
Furthermore, social assistance grants are one way in which government gives people access to social security, which is a right guaranteed in the Constitution of South Africa. Over the past 20 years of building a nonracial, nonsexist, democratic, prosperous and caring inclusive society, the Department of Social Development, like other departments, created under our democracy to drive the democratic mandate of the masses of our country, has done enormously well in fulfilling the obligations of uplifting the plight of the poor and the people of South Africa. [Applause.] These great achievements have been felt in every corner and in all spheres of government and our society. Indeed, the Department of Social Development, the SA Social Security Agency and the National Development Agency have a good story to tell to our people.
Why do I say so? The South African Constitution guarantees the rights of all citizens to have access to social assistance. In the last 20 years, the number of people receiving social grants increased from 3 million to 16 million, benefiting the elderly, children and veterans, as stated in the 2014 ANC election manifesto. I think my task is to educate others about what social service assistance is all about and not to talk about things that you do not know about. [Interjections.]
The South African government accepts that it has a responsibility to take care of people who cannot take care of themselves. When people are very young, sick, old or injured or cannot look after themselves, then government will provide social support where possible. This kind of support is called social assistance. South Africa has six types of grants.
To begin with, we have the child support grant, which was confirmed through research. It is not just a myth, as a study was conducted on the need for a child support grant. The study was conducted to promote human capital investment, improve gender outcomes and reduce inequalities with regard to kids. The child support grant has benefited 11 million beneficiaries, as compared to 30 000 previously. We also have the foster care grant and the old age grant.
One needs to emphasise Sassa. I want to say to our committee - I want to address the members of the DA and EFF - we said there are policies that are still under discussion and will be reviewed. I am a new member of this Parliament. Even though I have attended only two committee meetings, a guarantee was given in the committee that we would review the issue of social grants. The ANC listened when Sassa was taken to the Gauteng High Court on the issue of grants. As a result, the grants are going to be paid to all children, irrespective of their situation. This is what the High Court said, and Sassa is going to implement that.
In conclusion, the ANC wishes the department well in its plan and the implementation and translation of this mandate. Let us take South Africa forward, together with the Millennium Development Goals of 2015. Amandla! [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Chair, hon Minister, Members of the Fifth Parliament, Deputy Ministers, fellow South Africans, it is much harder for children who are born into poverty or disadvantage or whose family structures have collapsed to use their talents and seize opportunities later in life. That is why the DA believes the state has a duty to ensure that all people have equal access to opportunities and that they are all equipped with the tools they need to use those opportunities. This must start from childhood.
There are 2,8 million households vulnerable to hunger, 72% of which are in rural areas. Over a third of very young children do not get enough food and nutrition, which affects their growth, health, cognitive development and full participation in society. Nowhere is this more evident than in South Africa's poor schooling outcomes and low skills base. Early childhood development, ECD, is critical in addressing these concerns.
The success of the next generation is dependent on the decisions of this government and this department, that are made now. The Department of Social Development has continually talked about the plans to improve the quality of ECD. We hear, yet again, Minister, that this department will develop and implement an ECD policy. In the diagnostic review of the ECD presented to this committee in March of 2013, recommendations were made that policy and legislation must be addressed to ensure that ECD services are adequately resourced and provided. What progress has been made?
In the same meeting it was reported that this committee would implement a national plan of action. In the 10 points of the plan that it would implement, priority would be given to developing a new ECD policy that would provide the legal basis to fully support a defined set of critical ECD services and universal access to ECD centres.
Hon Minister, the time for talking is over. Plans must be implemented now in order to give the current young generation a reasonable future. The National Development Plan makes it compulsory that every child under the age of five should have access to ECD services. We are a long way from meeting that priority.
While the National Development Agency plans to focus on infrastructure upgrading and capacity-building, this is old news. Oversight is seriously lacking in this department. Visits in recent weeks to some community-based ECD centres have revealed that there are centres that are more detrimental to the health and safety of young children than they are a benefit. Infrastructure is collapsing or nonexistent. Many do not have access to running water, toilets, even the basics. There are no cooking facilities, nothing in the way of stimulation materials or adequate playing facilities. The qualifications of caregivers were seriously questionable and several could not advise when last a social worker or a representative of the Department of the Social Development had even visited.
Plans by the NDA to improve 375 ECD sites over the next five years translate to 77 per year. This is not acceptable. Which sites are prioritised and when, and at what cost? This is unclear. What progress has been made by the Department of Social Development and the NDA as a collective, and where does the accountability lie? There is a serious lack of integration between the agency's performance targets and the Department of Social Development mandate.
Hon Minister, we call upon you to address this lack of convergence between the NDA and the Department of Social Development. There is no co-ordination with regards to proposals and points of departure in several areas, including early childhood development, which has resulted in confusion, ineffective management and the collapse of essential services to communities.
Minister, let us forget about Jan van Riebeeck. This ... [Interjections.]
HON MEMBERS: Why?
This government has had 20 years ... [Interjections.] You have had 20 years to address and rectify the unfortunate legacies of the past. We still face ... [Interjections.]
Order! Order, hon members! Order! Order, hon members!
We still face corruption, inefficiency and ineptitude ... [Interjections.]
Order! Let the member complete her speech. Order, hon members!
Jan van Riebeeck's alleged corruption does not justify the corruption and mismanagement of this ... [Interjections.]
Your time is up, hon member.
Let us stop making excuses for poor performance. [Applause.]
HON MEMBERS: Viva!
Chairperson, hon Minister, hon Deputy Minister, Members of Parliament, ladies and gentlemen, regarding certain issues that were brought up by the opposition in this august House, I need to educate members about the fact that our committee is an extension of Parliament.
Many of the questions that are brought up were discussed in our committee meetings and members were just taking out what the department gave us. I even have departmental documentary proof about the tender on which the department was taken to court. They explained those things to us.
Even when it comes to foster grants, the department explained this to us and spoke to the policies that they have in place. So I feel that they should use that platform because the chairperson is very open and she allows everyone to speak. When it comes to the EFF: Win the elections, then you will be able to implement your manifesto. [Interjections.] When it comes to food parcels and blankets, that is an old story that is always being brought up. You know, in our communities people say, in Afrikaans: "Kospakette en die kombersies is nou geregtig om te stem. Maar die storie is so oud." [Food parcels and blankets are now eligible to vote. But the story is so old.]
The story is so old, they can vote already. So, don't worry about these things, Minister, because there are criteria in place.
It gives me great pleasure, and I am also humbled at the same time, to participate in this debate in which all the members of the ANC have attested to the good story the ANC can tell. And we spoke about our own challenges as we were telling our good story. The ANC members who spoke before me have already spoken on the core mandate of the department because they spoke to each programme - on how the chairperson, the study group and I worked.
We know that when it comes to the core function of the department, this is a constitutional imperative. There are quite a lot of added pieces of legislation which tell the department to provide access to appropriate and comprehensive social assistance.
Now we have our opposition parties which single out only the issue of grants. They do not speak about the comprehensive service that this department offers to our people. And when it comes to that, we say that the services offered to our people are for the most vulnerable within our society.
The department itself gives the appropriate care, which includes basic nutrition, shelter and health care - because it uses an integrated approach. The social services - which I normally refer to as a basket of services - are given to children, including the youth and people with disabilities. So, let us not just speak to grants. This is a basket of services.
According to the Freedom Charter of the Congress - and I am speaking about the true congress of 1955 - South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black and white. When it comes to South Africa, which also includes the Western Cape, it is governed by the ANC. [Applause.] South Africa, including the Western Cape, belongs to the ANC. [Applause.] The Minister sitting there, who is our Minister, is an ANC member. She is in charge of the whole of South Africa and not only of eight provinces, but of all nine provinces.
Regarding the introduction of the Mangaung resolutions - in order to enhance that statement - South Africa belongs to all who live in it. The goal of the ANC, as outlined in the Strategy and Tactics document of 2007, states:
Our strategy for social transformation must seek to empower people to lift themselves out of poverty while creating adequate social nets to protect the most vulnerable in our society.
Therefore, in concluding the above point, our goal as ANC members to realise our objectives within the Strategy and Tactics document is our oversight function to ensure that the ANC-led government of South Africa - not leaving out any provinces, hence I say the government of South Africa - implements a comprehensive programme, not only of grants, but a programme that focuses on the triple challenge faced by the most vulnerable persons in our society, a comprehensive programme that also addresses the challenges of poverty, inequality and underdevelopment.
I am speaking again on the triple challenge - which are advancing and defending the human rights embraced in the Bill of Rights in our Constitution. The hon Mama Xaba spoke so ably about it when she gave that political background. She put everything - when it comes to social development - into context.
But I wouldn't like to be a prophet of gloom and doom, because significant strides have been made in fighting poverty. An impact study was done and when it came to our past recessions - because we had to do this impact study as Social Development - there was proof that our most vulnerable people during that period were protected by the social net in the form of grants and other social services rendered by this department. And I must applaud the Minister and her department for doing such wonderful work.
I am not going to speak further now to the opposition, but look at my speech itself. [Interjections.] Don't worry, don't worry. Minister, when it came to our oversight function, there were a few observations which we put into our recommendations to you and there is only one resolution. This is because my speech covers oversight. There were challenges that we were worried about and these include a movement that resulted in your getting a new department.
This is because even if funds follow functions, it is going to impact on your budget. We will have to look at your budget when it comes to the annual report in September so that we could see how to work on it. In terms of the loose arrangements, when it comes to sister departments, tie them up because they are helping this department with the work. We in the committee and the ANC support this budget. [Time expired.] [Applause.]
Chairperson, firstly, let me thank my parents for attending this Budget Vote debate. Secondly, I wish to thank all members for their participation, and more particularly those who supported the Budget Vote.
Regarding our work on the Mikonzo programme, we are going to be mobilising as communities in order to promote social co-operatives and social entrepreneurs. This comes from what has happened in Brazil. It has been approved by Cabinet and we are moving forward with our work. We will be working to ensure that we implement this programme.
Also, the issue of equal opportunities - forgetting about Van Riebeeck - makes me laugh. The issue of equal opportunities has confused our people a lot, because you cannot talk about equal opportunities when you are not equal. What we are doing now is to uplift the quality of life of our people. Additionally, our people are not in control of the resources. What is important is for us to be able to control the resources on the ground, and then you can talk about equal opportunities, because we would then be competing on an equal basis. [Applause.]
We are told to forget about Van Riebeeck. Jews are still talking about the Holocaust today. Every year they remind us of the Holocaust. They do not stop talking about it. We can forgive, but forget - never. We would be committing a big mistake. [Applause.]
When it comes to the provision of services, I think the Western Cape is part of this. I want to report to this House that whenever time we come here, social workers disappear. We have brought social workers from the head office to Gugulethu, Khayelitsha, Langa, Valhalla, Delft, De Doorns, Atlantis, Heideveld, to mention but a few places. This says that there are people who want to behave as if the Western Cape is a country on its own. [Interjections.] [Applause.]
On a lighter note, the issue of the distribution of food parcels is always talked about when we are campaigning during the election period. As I am speaking, we have been to Delft - after the elections - Phalaborwa, eThekwini and Marikana - we are going back there on Sunday. We are going to Mafikeng on the 18th, and the Deputy Minister will be in Titibe Village in Limpopo. So we are out there to ensure that we fight poverty. Bathi ngesintu indlala iza kugwetywa. [Kwaqhwatywa.] [They say in our language, hunger will be a thing of the past. [Applause.]]
Regarding the issue of early childhood development, the ruling party conference in Mangaung took a decision that ECD must be a public good. We are going to come up with legislation - firstly policy and then legislation. Even so, we have been supporting ECD. That is why we started with the audit. We have equalised support for ECD centres. Moreover, we are going to be training ECD practitioners ... [Applause.] ... because we do not want to leave them behind; and, more particularly, because ECD centres are driven by women. They were an initiative of women, and during the struggle women knew that our children had to grow up under the right conditions because they had to develop cognitively, emotionally, psychologically and all the issues you raised, hon member.
When it comes to the issue of nonprofit organisation funding, we are reviewing policy in 2019, but we are supporting NPOs, and, when it comes to child protection organisations, we are not going to stop supporting them, because they are not suitcase organisations. They are with the people on the ground. What we are going to do is train them, build capacity and incubate them so that they can provide the proper services. The research that the hon Kopane talked about was done by us. So the recommendations that we are implementing come from us. The issue of universalisation, again, comes from the ruling party. It does not come from the DA. And the pioneers of the campaign were the late Baba Mgojo and the committee on older persons. So, one should not the claim other people's victories. We will be implementing this in 2016. Thank you very much, Chairperson. [Applause.]