Hon House Chairperson, Mr Ntombela, the Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Ms Thembi Siweya, hon chairperson and members of the portfolio committee, hon members of this House, Deputy Chairperson of the
National Planning Commission, Professor Malegapuru Makgoba, who is here with us, commissioners of the National Planning Commission, NPC, Director- General of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Ms Mpumi Mpofu, secretary of the National Planning Commission, Mr Tshediso Matona, in his absence, distinguished guests in the public gallery, ladies and gentlemen it is my greatest honour to table the first Budget Vote for the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation - Vote No 8, to this sixth Parliament of the people.
This budget vote provides us with an opportunity to enunciate critical focus areas for our department to contribute to the united action to grow our country. I take up this task from the capable and inspirational leadership of my predecessors, former Minister Jeff Radebe and hon Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma. As we take this baton, we will continue with the efforts to facilitate effective planning, evidence-based monitoring and evaluation of government programmes aimed at improving service delivery, outcomes and impact on society.
This is the year in which we will work differently to ensure that government interventions yield demonstrable, efficient and faster results. It is noteworthy that July marks the birth month of the founding father of our democratic dispensation, the late President
Nelson Mandela, who would have turned 101 years old on the 18th day of this month. We are deeply humbled to follow in President Mandela's giant footprints and we commit to uphold his legacy of bettering the lives of all South Africans.
Accordingly, in honour of this stalwart of our liberation struggle, we are all called upon to, "Take action; inspire change; make every day a Mandela Day." As we celebrate the 10th anniversary since the launch of Mandela Day, let us remember that our cumulative small and sustainable efforts have the potential to drive change in our society and contribute to the social and economic security of all citizens, especially the poorest of the poor people.
This year marks 25 years since the dawn of our democracy. Reaching such a milestone obviously calls for a celebration, but it also means that we can no longer blame our inadequacies squarely on our regrettable past. While we recognise the depth of the legacy of colonialism and apartheid rule in South Africa, the time has come for us to put in place measures that will ensure that we radically improve the lives of our people, particularly on the economic front, in this next phase of our democracy.
As part of executing our planning, monitoring and evaluation mandate, the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation was entrusted with the responsibility of conducting the review of the performance of government and its social partners during the first 25 years of democratic governance in South Africa.
Our 25-year review, which will be launched within our first 100 days in office as this sixth administration, indicates that our democratic government achieved beyond expectations in the delivery of social services, particularly basic services and social protection. We must however, be concerned about those who still do not have access to basic social services. One South African who does not have access to water and electricity is one too many.
The persistent challenge that remains a major hindrance in our growth and development endeavours is the economy, where progress on economic growth, employment, inequality and poverty reduction has unfortunately been slow. It is for this reason that this sixth administration has identified a radical shift in our delivery implementation model as articulated by President Ramaphosa, which we will unpack in greater detail later in our speech.
The year 2019 provided us with a glorious opportunity to take an introspective view on the mountains we have climbed, the rivers and the valleys we have crossed and the paths we created over the past 25 years. Our economy is currently hanging on a precipice, but many of our people have crossed the River Jordan and our government continues to provide the social security safety net to over 17 million South Africans.
Leading up to the 2019 National and Provincial General Elections on
8 May 2019, leaders from various political organisations travelled the length and breadth of our country, trying to convince the electorate to vote for them. The overwhelming majority of South African electorate voted the ANC as their preferred governing party. These people voted the ANC on the basis of its electoral promises.
We raised our hands and said to the South African populace, "Thuma mina!" - send us, because we are capable of delivering on your needs. We promised that we will create more work opportunities for the unemployed. We promised to build an economy in which all our people can benefit. We promised quality health, safe communities, security and comfort for all our citizens. We also promised a capable and honest government.
We have now entered the era of, "Khawuleza!" - let us hurry up! The electorate has given us only five years to deliver on our electoral mandate, and the five years began from the moment the Independent Electoral Commission. IEC, pronounced the 2019 elections outcomes. Every single day counts!
This called for a change of strategy to ensure that we work more efficiently and speedily to meet our targets. The election manifesto of the governing party shows precisely this strategic shift to focus on economic transformation and job creation as the first priority. The sixth administration is fundamentally and unapologetically about the implementation of the electoral mandate of the ANC.
To this effect, in his first state of the nation address, under the theme, The Year of United Action to Grow South Africa, His Excellency, President Ramaphosa, directly converted the 2019 ANC Elections Manifesto into a programme of action for the sixth democratic administration.
President Ramaphosa announced the following seven apex priority areas of government for the next five years: Economic transformation and job creation; education, skills and health; consolidating the social wage through reliable and quality basic services; spatial
integration, human settlements and local government; social cohesion and safe communities; a capable, ethical and developmental state; and lastly, a better Africa and a better world. Therefore, all our programmes and policies across all departments and agencies will be directed in pursuit of these overarching tasks.
The President also decidedly reaffirmed the National Development Plan, NDP Vision 2030, as our lodestar in building a developmental state. The NDP was adopted by all parties represented in this Parliament, and it is our collective responsibility to ensure that it is implemented successfully and efficiently. The Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation has been entrusted with the custodianship of the NDP in government. Working in close collaboration with the National Planning Commission, the department is duty- bound to ensure effective implementation of the NDP in our journey towards 2030.
The strategic objectives of the NDP include the eradication of absolute poverty, reduction of unemployment rate to 6% and significantly reducing inequality through a range of policy interventions. We are acutely aware that we are left with only ten years to attain the NDP objectives in 2030.
Indeed, we have a mammoth task in our hands, but it is not insurmountable. We need to adopt a different work ethic in order to achieve what seems impossible at the moment. The successful implementation of the NDP needs strong political will, unity of purpose and collective effort from different social partners who will be joined at the hip by the common vision of growing South Africa.
We must work together to dismantle the structural economic elements that remain unchanged and continue to undermine our economic growth endeavours. These include the continuing challenges of spatial injustice and landlessness, as well as underdevelopment of the small business sector, which should allow greater participation in the economy. We intend to thoroughly assess the nature of these challenges together with the National Planning Commission social partners and the academic society in a colloquium to be held later this month.
Among the seven apex priorities, priority 6 - a capable, ethical and developmental state - is one of the core responsibilities of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. If we are to achieve our national imperatives, we must build a capable developmental state to constantly monitor and evaluate the
implementation of our development strategies, like the NDP and its various programmes.
Therefore, as part of our planning, monitoring and evaluation of the work of government across all spheres, we have developed the 2019 - 2024 Medium Term Strategic Framework, MTSF, which will serve as our framework for implementing our programme of action for this sixth administration. This new implementation paradigm is a radical shift to a comprehensive framework that is inclusive of resourcing, integration of all public sector institutions and social partners, which informs all levels of government planning through an integrated planning framework.
Accordingly, the new MTSF combines the NDP Five-Year Implementation Plan with a revamped integrated monitoring system and the accountability framework. The NDP Five-Year Implementation Plan will be spatially referenced in accordance with the National Spatial Development Framework and will be monitored in accordance with an implementation delivery model at district municipal level.
We have to deal with the impediments related to the implementation of our plans by clearly defining our targets on an annual basis. Therefore, the NDP Five-Year Implementation Plan will show how,
where, when and by whom priorities will be implemented, in which portfolio or level of government. These targets are deliberately set to achieve the desired outcomes, as derived from the seven priorities announced by the President. Therefore, we will be able to monitor exactly what the impact of each government programme is and whether they are delivering the desired outcome.
This integrated monitoring system and accountability framework will therefore also allow us to make the necessary interventions as and when the need arises. We want to ensure stability and build professionalism within the public service as it is central in achieving our vision of a developmental state. Paramount to the establishment of the developmental state is the appointment of the Head of Public Administration by April 2020 as espoused in the NDP.
Also urgent is the consideration for permanent appointments of Heads of Departments to ensure focus and stability in the implementation of programmes. We also need to enhance the role of the National School of Government to capacitate the entire public service in the interests of achieving initially our MTSF 2019-2024 and later our Vision 2030. The President has already indicated that all Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Premiers and directors-general will sign clearly
defined performance agreements that are aligned to the set seven priorities.
Hon members, we have to support our local government with skills, financial management, and infrastructure building and maintenance to restore trust in this critical sphere of government. We want to ensure 80% reduction in unauthorised, irregular, wasteful and fruitless expenditure in municipalities and enforce consequence management against officials charged with financial misconduct by 2024. We want public trust and confidence in local government to increase from the present 46% to 80% by 2024.
All departmental strategic plans and annual performance plans will be informed and geared to deliver on a clearly defined set of priorities as articulated by President Ramaphosa. We intend to minimise duplication and wastage of resources by streamlining the structure of government including Cabinet clusters, ministerial and technical implementation fora for better results and effective delivery. We will soon be presenting the proposed Integrated Planning Framework Bill to Parliament, which will ensure better integration across all levels of government.
We will also be outlining the implementation model, based on the Sukuma Sakhe KwaZulu-Natal Model, which will spatially reference project monitoring at district municipalities for all levels of government and private sector. Our sister department, the Department of Co-operative Governance, is currently developing this model of implementation. We will work together in the implementation of this new model and the effective monitoring of all the programmes using this new approach.
To further enhance this approach, we have already requested all national and provincial departments to provide us with their five- year strategic plans mapped out at, and to be monitored at district municipality level. This will allow the President clear line of sight of the performance of these programmes over the next five years across the length and breadth of our country.
The successful implementation of our plans will depend largely on our collective effort to contribute in the renewal project. The NDP Five-Year Implementation Plan calls for an effective social compact to facilitate the implementation of the priorities. Our department has spearheaded a public- private growth initiative, PPGI, to promote economic growth and create jobs. We have since handed over the project to the relevant Ministry of Trade and Industry.
Through this initiative the private sector has committed investment of over R800 billion in 43 projects across various sectors of the economy to create over 150 000 jobs in the next five years. Government has committed to work with all its partners to prioritise the elimination of growth inhibitors or constraints to ensure these projects are successfully implemented.
We are fully aware of the devastating effects caused by the delay of payments by government departments to service providers, particularly small and emerging entrepreneurs - SMMEs. All government departments are required to pay service providers within 30 days of the submission of valid invoices. We encourage suppliers not to suffer in silence but inform us of a failure by any government department to pay within the prescribed period. We are more than ready to crack the whip where there is noncompliance on this issue.
We would like to commend provinces like Gauteng who have undertaken to make payments for services and goods rendered by SMMEs within 15 days. Indeed, they are getting closer to the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation's timeframe of 10 days of which, in the last year, the department has even reduced to seven days, which proves that indeed 30 days it is doable. We will at the same time
ensure that government departments prioritise the payment of their debts to one another, to owed municipalities and state-owned entities, SOEs.
In this sixth administration, we are determined to bridge the gap between government and the people. We will create an enabling environment for a robust community engagement and consultation programme through a series of izimbizo programmes involving the President, Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Premiers, MECs, mayors and local government officials. This will form an integral part of the performance agreements which will be signed between the President and Ministers.
We will augment the role and accessibility of the Presidential Hotline. This will include exploring a variety of platforms for members of the public to relay their comments and complaints to the Office of the President. We reaffirm our commitment to revive Operation Masakhane to encourage our communities to pay for services they receive and restore the culture of payment.
If we do not pay for the services, we deprive the state of the necessary resources to build the desired inclusive and developmental state. Our vision for a better and more prosperous South Africa will
be delayed and at worst compromised. Thank you very much, House Chairperson. [Time expired.] [Applause.]