Ms Pinky Kekana
ADDRESS BY THE DEPUTY MINISTER IN THE PRESIDENCY,
MS PINKY KEKANA, MP,
ON THE OCCASION OF THE 2022/23 BUDGET VOTE FOR THE DEPARTMENT OF PLANNING, MONITORING AND EVALUATION; NATIONAL ASSEMBLY, PARLIAMENT OF SOUTH AFRICA
CAPE TOWN - 20 MAY 2022
Madam Speaker, Hon. Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula,
President of the Republic, His Excellency Cyril Ramaphosa
His Excellency, Deputy President David Mabuza,
Ministers and Deputy Ministers
Members of Parliament,
Members of the media
Fellow South Africans,
We thank you for this opportunity, to present the Budget Vote of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), together with the Minister in the Presidency, Mr Mondli Gungubele.
The President has instructed us in his 2022 State of the Nation Address, to ensure that no one is left behind. Our recovery must be all-inclusive. And this is the theme of my presentation here today.
Lest we forget that our constitution says, “Improve the quality of life of all citizens and free the potential of each person; and Build a united and democratic South Africa able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations."
Our responsibility as the DPME is to ensure that government's developmental plans, implementation mechanisms, and most importantly, our performance, must be obligatory to all South Africans.
This obligation is founded in our constitution and is translated for all South Africans into the National Development Plan (NDP), and the 2nd Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) 2019-2024 which is aligned to the electoral mandate of the sixth administration.
Aligned to this, on the 15th of October 2020, H.E. President Cyril Ramaphosa launched South Africa's blueprint, the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP).
For the purposes of this engagement, I wish to reiterate the national objectives, of the ERRP, for all Government departments, being:
• To create jobs, primarily through aggressive infrastructure investment and mass employment programmes;
• To reindustrialise our economy, focusing on growing small businesses;
• To accelerate economic reforms to unlock investment and growth;
• To fight crime and corruption; and,
• To improve the capability of the state
To ensure inclusive economic stabilisation and recovery, as articulated by the Minister earlier, it is our responsibility to monitor and evaluate the performance of all national government departments, and use the data to inform the forward planning and the implementation approaches, but most importantly, we have stepped up efforts in assessing the delivery to our people on objectives as laid out in the Annual Performance Plans, and most critically, against the ERRP.
The DPME was created to ensure that the voices of the citizens forms the biggest part of the continuum of evidence on government performance. In this, we are consistently striving to reach as many people as possible to provide feedback on government performance.
We are in this together.
As the DPME, we want a state that works with our people to take joint ownership of the development of the country and reflect on their lived experience as they interact with government programmes and services.
Our stepped-up efforts have rendered great results in improved delivery, and as a result, for the next budget year, we will be aggressively refining our channels to ensure efficient facilitation of citizen-government engagements. Together with the Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) we have reintroduced the SONA Presidential Izimbizos, to create a platform for citizens to engage with government directly on issues that undermines their full inclusive participation in the development of the country.
As we sit here today, the President himself is engaging communities in the Mpumalanga Province, and some of our team members are there to record the feedback from those communities and get the unfiltered truth.
Feedback like this is constantly being solicited, and is submitted into our monitoring system that allows Government departments to evaluate and understand exactly what their respective impact is, according to their APP's, and ultimately what their status is, in service to our people.
We have Frontline Monitoring Support Teams, whose jobs it is to visit service centres in line with the priorities of government, as I have listed at the beginning of this presentation. The team also visited a number of health facilities to assess their state of readiness to handle COVID-19 related cases and later to incubate and rollout vaccines. We have been to schools to assess their state of readiness to receive children and protect them against this virus, and its variants, as they arose.
When GBVF first became a critical growing challenge in the various stages of lockdown, we visited a number of police stations to assess how they are dealing with these cases amidst the pandemic.
We met with various leaders in communities to determine possible interventions to rebuild our country.
All of this has been developed into reports, highlighting areas of improvements for the various Government departments and we are working with the relevant stakeholders to ensure that all challenges are addressed.
We can't turn things around overnight, we wish we could, but we can ensure that delivery to our people is focused on, in a way that is tangible and valuable. The adage goes, “what gets measured, gets managed" – WE are the measurement part of that adage, so that management of the challenges are made clear to all those responsible, because how we manage this country is this administration's chapter in the history books of South Africa.
The floods in KwaZulu-Natal, Eastern Cape and North West Provinces have left many people devasted and dislocated from their homes, without food, shelter, and many other basic amenities, while dealing with the hurt or loss of loved ones.
As the monitors of the country, we have to ensure that all relevant national resources are deployed accordingly to restore the dignity of the victims and the economic infrastructure. We have deployed an experienced team that will be able to identify challenges, propose interventions to fast-track the rebuilding process, and capture the response and feedback on the ground.
The Presidential Hotline continues to be an expedient platform for thousands of citizens to make their voices heard, but more importantly, today I want to confirm to our people – WE ARE LISTENING! So much so, that the DPME is upgrading the Presidential Hotline with advanced new technologies for tracking of progress in the resolution of complaints. Last year, we piloted the Presidential Hotline Mobile App in partnership with the Limpopo Provincial Government to allow citizens to engage with government.
On my visits home, I have been inundated with compliments about its impact, but officially, we are currently assessing the feedback we are receiving from this pilot exercise, and once all the kinks of the pilot test have been registered and fixed, we will roll out the mobile app nationally.
To ensure that it responds to the needs of the people with efficiency and speed, we are exploring the signing of memorandums of agreement with national, provincial and local government leaders and bureaucrats, on clear operational terms and conditions.
The official feedback from citizens have spotlighted the shortcomings in both the government system and the abilities of officials to deliver services to our people. We are critically monitoring the dangerous levels of corruption in our country and to this end, we welcome the efforts of the JCPS cluster to deal with this scourge. We call on our people to continue to report fraud and corruption to the relevant law enforcement agencies.
I want to reiterate to our people that as the DPME, we are your voice in Government. As citizenry, we need to work together to ensure that corruption does not undermine the efforts made by the majority to rebuild our country, our economy, and to create much-needed jobs.
On that note, we are also working closely with National Treasury to monitor the payment of service providers within the prescribed 30 days.
Entrepreneurs have been calling on Government to ensure that all its departments and entities comply with the 30-day payment prescription to protect business activity and jobs. Our assessment thus far, shows that many departments are indeed complying with the 30-day rule, especially in the Gauteng Province, but we call on all departments, to exceed, not just comply – this way our country gets an economic boost by literally putting money into the hands of our people.
This country belongs to the people of South Africa. We invite all stakeholders to form a compact with us as government, partner with us in head and heart to reconstruct and recover our economy, improve livelihoods, and truly live beyond this pandemic to create a prosperous nation.
I thank you.