21 July 2014
Chairpersons of the Portfolio Committees on Public Service and Administration as well as on Finance
Deputy Minister in the Presidency: Honourable Buti Manamela
Members of the Audit Committee
Members of the Departments management and staff present
Members of the media present
Comrades and friends
Ladies and gentlemen.
It is both a privilege and honour for me to present to this august house the Budget Votes of the newly proclaimed Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, and Statistics South Africa. The two budget votes are a story of the National Development plan and its implementation through monitoring and evaluation, supported by a raft of national statistics. The NDP, M&E and statistics will result in an improvement in the capacity of the state to deliver better results, faster, to claim victory over the triumvirate of poverty, inequality and unemployment. In order to achieve faster and better results President Jacob Zuma reminded us in the July Cabinet Lekgotla of 2013 of a 1977 message written by our former President Nelson Mandela to Adelaide Tambo. It reads thus: “Significant progress is always possible if we ourselves plan every detail and allow intervention of fate only on our own terms. Preparing a master plan and applying it are two different things.”
At the national conference of the ANC held in Mangaung in December 2012, the ANC embraced the centrality of the National Development Plan (NDP), Vision 2030 as a platform of action by all South Africans to address the persistence of the legacy of apartheid colonialism. To echo the words of the President in his SONA address on 17 June 2014 and in response to the Debate on the State of the Nation Address 20 June 2014: “We have put in place a programme of action based on the ANC Manifesto and the National Development Plan … The National Development Plan outlines the future we want, a society free of poverty, inequality and unemployment”.
Honourable members, subsequent to the national general elections held on 7 May 2014, the President announced the appointment of new Ministers and Deputy Ministers, as well as some reconfiguration and reorganisation of departments. These changes include the merging of the National Planning Commission Secretariat with the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation to form a new Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation. A process facilitated by the Department of Public Service and Administration is currently underway to give administrative effect to this change, in terms of transferring budgets, staff and assets from Vote 1 to Vote 6. We are hoping that this process will be completed by the end of October, and we are intending to apply to National Treasury for the budget for the NPC to be transferred from Vote 1 to Vote 6 in the October Adjustments Estimates, if possible.
Honourable members, the aim of this reorganisation is to give effect to the commitment in the election manifesto of the African National Congress to institutionalise long-term planning within the state. The intention is to put in place the necessary capacity both to plan on an on-going basis, and to ensure that the plans are implemented.
National Planning Commission (NPC)
The National Planning Commission has made an enormous contribution to our country through overseeing the development of the National Development Plan. In 2009, we introduced long-term planning as an important element of our national planning system when we established the National Planning Commission. In 2012, the Commission handed the National Development Plan to the President and it was subsequently adopted by Cabinet as well as the structures of the governing party. It has also been embraced by the majority in our country across sector and party lines. It is this Plan to 2030 that provides hope and a prospect of a better future for all South Africans. Some of the commissioners are present here today and we would like to express our gratitude to them on behalf of the country.
Implementation of the NDP
Honourable members, the most important priority for the Department for the next five years will be coordinating and monitoring the implementation of the NDP. The key instrument that we will use to do implement the NDP is the 2014-2019 Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF). The MTSF identifies the important actions required to implement the aspects of the NDP for which government is responsible over the next five years.
The MTSF builds on our experience and learning between 2009 and 2014 with the delivery agreements for the 12 outcomes. Similarly to the delivery agreements, the MTSF clearly identifies roles and responsibilities for implementing the key actions and contains measurable indicators with targets and timeframes, to enable systematic and evidence-based monitoring of the implementation of the NDP. The number of outcomes has been increased to 14, with the addition of two new outcomes, one on social protection and another on social cohesion and nation building. These 14 outcomes cover all the chapters of the NDP.
The MTSF reflects the commitments made in the governing party’s election manifesto, including the emphasis on radical economic transformation during the second phase of the democratic transition. The MTSF also emphasises improving service delivery and the performance of the public service and improving the efficiency and effectiveness of local government.
Honourable Members, in order to address some of the problems with implementation that we have experienced in the past, this MTSF differs from those of previous administrations in a number of ways. Firstly, for the first time, the MTSF serves as a 5-year building block towards the achievement of the vision in the country’s long-term plan. Secondly, it is much more detailed than previous MTSF’s and incorporates the outcomes-based planning methodology developed during the previous administration. Thirdly, measures have been put in place to ensure that the 5 year strategic plans and annual plans of all national and provincial departments are aligned to the MTSF, and therefore to the NDP. The Treasury Regulations have been amended so that all departments submit their draft plans to DPME, in order to enable DPME to review whether the plans incorporate all the targets from the MTSF before the plans are submitted to Parliament.
Parliament also has a critical oversight role to ensure that departments’ plans are aligned to the MTSF and the NDP. I would like to take this opportunity to commit the Department to collaborating with Parliament and all the Parliamentary Committees by sharing our planning, monitoring and evaluation information, with the aim of supporting Parliament to carry out its oversight function.
Once the MTSF has been approved by Cabinet, the President will enter into performance agreements with all Ministers, based on the roles and responsibilities and targets in the MTSF. Ministers will also ensure that the relevant actions and targets in the MTSF are reflected in the performance agreements of their Directors General and cascaded down to the lower levels.
The President will also appoint coordinating Ministers for each of the 14 outcomes in the MTSF, who will be required to coordinate the implementation of the MTSF outcomes, and present evidence-based progress reports to Cabinet at least three times a year. These progress reports will be made public through the Programme of Action website managed by the department.
Honourable Members, the injunction by Madiba that preparing a master plan and applying it are two different things rings loud and in that regard all of these measures that I have described are aimed at ensuring that the aspects of the NDP for which the government is responsible are indeed systematically implemented. I would like to emphasise this point for the benefit of those who doubt our commitment and capacity to implement the NDP and to those who have raised questions as to how we are going to ensure that the NDP is implemented.
I would like to use this occasion to challenge leaders in other sectors of society to similarly move with speed to implement the parts of the Plan for which they are responsible. There are a number of initiatives between government and other sectors of society that are already underway that are inspired by the Plan and I would like to mention a few to highlight our strength in working together.
The National Education Collaboration Trust
The NDP proposes a national initiative involving different stakeholders to improve learning outcomes in schools, starting with the worst performing schools. In response to this call, the Minister of Basic Education, Honourable Angie Motshekga, convened different stakeholders from government, the private sector, unions and civil society to establish a National Education Collaboration Trust intended to drive the education improvement agenda as set out in the NDP. Work is underway to select districts in which to pilot this initiative that will see government, labour and the private sector partner to improve education outcomes.
The Mpumalanga Land Reform Project
We are also engaged in a pilot project called the Mpumalanga Land Reform Project, the aim of which is to develop an accelerated redistribution model for land reform based on Chapter 6 of the NDP, which proposes a workable and pragmatic land reform scheme. A technical committee to configure the land financing model has been established and has also begun to design the implementation plans to guide the roll-out.
Harambee Project adopted by Business Leadership South Africa
There have been numerous engagements with the private sector to discuss how they can contribute to the implementation of the NDP. In this regard, Business Leadership South Africa has decided to adopt a project called Harambee as one of its contributions to the NDP. The unique feature of this initiative is that it targets young people who have no links to the labour market and where no one in the family is employed.
Strategies to Overcome Poverty and Inequality
The academic community is also playing a critical role in the implementation of the NDP. For example, in 2012 the University of Cape Town convened a conference to explore different strategies to overcome poverty and inequality.
Within government, the Commission and its secretariat has supported a number of policy and planning processes. They include the soon-to-be-completed Integrated Urban Development Framework which will help us respond more effectively to challenges of urbanisation and ensure that our cities and urban spaces provide opportunities to all their citizens. The Commission has also supported the formulation of the Early Childhood Development policy; it has been working with the Provincial Government of Gauteng to establish a Centre for Urban Innovation; and has been working with the Department of Social Development on the review of the White Paper on Social Welfare.
The Commission has continued to engage South Africans to raise awareness about the Plan and to mobilise support for it. As part of this engagement, a number of social dialogue sessions are planned to discuss what the elements of a decent standard of living as articulated in the NDP are and how to ensure that they can be achieved.
South Africans at all levels are excited about the NDP and have displayed an eagerness to contribute to making it work. We want to reiterate the message that the NDP is a plan for the whole country, not only government. During the current financial year, the National Planning Commission will continue with these various initiatives to further the implementation of the NDP.
Improving planning and implementation of policies and programmes
Honourable Members, there remain a number of challenges relating to the implementation of government policies and programmes, including weaknesses with meeting targets as well as weaknesses with the speed and quality of service delivery. Many priorities in the NDP are not about new policies and programmes but rather about giving effect to existing laws and policies and improving their implementation.
The evaluations of government programmes that have been initiated by the department over the past few years have indicated that many programmes are not achieving as much as they were intended to achieve, partly due to weak programme planning, and need substantial redesign. To address this, the department is developing guidelines on improved programme planning and putting in place support programmes to assist departments to develop improved programme plans. DPME is also providing support to national and provincial departments to produce better quality strategic and annual performance plans and reports against the plans.
Honourable Members, as part of improving the planning and implementation of policies and programmes, we have decided to pilot a methodology used by the Government of Malaysia, called Big Fast Results. The methodology involves intensive detailed collaborative planning by all the stakeholders who need to work together to achieve an outcome, public commitment to the agreed actions and timeframes, and intensive monitoring of implementation. Using this implementation methodology, the Government of Malaysia was able to register impressive results within a short period. In South Africa we have decided to call this methodology Operation Phakisa and the President launched the first pilot Operation Phakisa project on the oceans economy in Durban last weekend. If successful, DPME will work with other departments to facilitate similar projects in other priority areas, such as health, basic education and municipal service delivery.
Evaluation of government programmes
Honourable members, if we are to improve government performance, we have to reflect on whether our programmes are achieving what they were intended to achieve, whether we are doing the right things, whether we are being effective, efficient and providing value for money, and how we can do things better. To this effect we are implementing a three year rolling National Evaluation Plan, which identifies a minimum set of key government programmes to be evaluated over the period. The results of these evaluations are presented to Cabinet and to Parliament. Departments are required to put in place improvement plans to address the issues raised in the evaluations, and the improvement plans are monitored by DPME.
Departments are encouraged and supported to also carry out evaluations of their programmes on their own. The Department has been working with the Offices of the Premier in the provinces to support them to put in place provincial evaluation plans. To date, two provinces have provincial evaluation plans in place, and we aim for a further three provinces to have plans in place by the end of the 2014/15 financial year. We will aim for all provinces to have provincial evaluation plans by the end of 2015/16. To date, three national departments have put in place their own departmental evaluation plans, and we will start a major drive for departmental evaluation plans in 2015/16.
To date, 38 evaluations in the rolling National Evaluation Plan are now completed, underway or starting. We have completed 11 evaluations, of which one has been presented to Parliament. We are aiming for the results of a further 10 evaluations to be presented to the relevant Parliamentary Committees during the 2014/15 financial year. We call on Parliamentary Committees to engage with departments regarding both the results of the evaluations and the implementation of the improvement plans.
Building capacity for monitoring and evaluation across government
The NDP notes that weaknesses in how government institutions function constrain the state’s ability to pursue its developmental objectives. It identifies the primary problem as weaknesses in capacity, which lead to weaknesses in performance. It then makes a range of proposals for addressing this problem, including the development of managerial skills.
Research by DPME indicates that one of the areas in which skills are generally lacking is monitoring and evaluation. There is a widely-held perception amongst managers that monitoring is an activity carried out by monitors who monitor the work of others, and limited appreciation of the importance of managers themselves monitoring and evaluating their own work. Many departments do not yet have appropriate information management processes and systems in place to generate reliable data. To address this, the department will continue with a range of initiatives to build the capacity of managers in government to use monitoring and evaluation as a tool to improve the performance of their departments.
Honourable Members, the department is also involved in a number of monitoring initiatives across the three spheres of government, including monitoring of the experience of citizens when obtaining services from government and monitoring the quality of management practices. Deputy Minister Manamela will describe these initiatives in his speech to the House.
Monitoring the revitalisation of distressed mining towns
During State of the Nation Address, the President announced that government will implement the undertaking to build houses and other services to revitalize mining towns, as part of the October 2012 agreement between business, government and labour. An Inter-Ministerial Committee on the Revitalisation of Distressed Mining Communities has been established under my leadership. As I mentioned in the SONA debate, working together with mining companies and organised labour, we will be seeking to urgently address the intolerable situation where our mines which produce so much wealth are surrounded by human settlements characterised by such squalor and poverty. The department will continue to play a coordinating and monitoring role in this work.
Honourable members, on administration, in the 2012-13 financial year, the department obtained a clean audit opinion. The audits for the 2013-2014 financial year are underway and we are again looking forward to a positive audit opinion once the audits are concluded.
The budget allocated to the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation for the 2014-2015 financial year is R208.2 million. The budget is divided into three programmes:
• Administration: R63.8 million
• Outcomes monitoring and evaluation: R78.2 million
• Institutional performance monitoring and evaluation: R66.2 million
The budget for the NPC for the 2014/15 financial year is R113.4 million. This amount will remain on Budget Vote 1 until the NPC budget is formally transferred to Budget Vote 6.
Vote 13: Statistic South Africa (Stats SA)
Turning to Vote 13 for Statistics South Africa, let me start by indicating that statistics in general and official statistics in particular, are about people, places and possibilities. Statistics benefits society because it enables us to predict the future based on data we gather. Being able to predict the future helps us to be more efficient and effective in the actions we take and in the decisions we make. Statistics inform us about where and how South Africans live, work and play.
The role of evidence in decision-making as a society becomes more complex becomes increasingly important. In addition, more difficult questions that get asked require a raft of continuous evidence. These include questions such as: Do we know and understand the quality of health services and the difficulties that confront people when they go to public health facilities? Do we know and understand what is happening in our schools, not only the suburban schools, but do we know what the conditions are in our township schools? These questions need to be answered by information derived from accurate and reliable statistical data.
The integrity of any national statistics agency is therefore so important in that those in the production of statistics cannot dabble into the policy terrain to make methods and numbers succumb to any pressure. Instead, those in the practice of official statistics should maintain their independence in providing data that support or challenge policy options.
However, the environment within which official statistics plays its role in the national policy discourse needs to be strengthened. In this regard, the Statistician-General and the Statistics Council have decided to convene and engage the Minister next week in a meeting with key national and international players to discuss developments with regard to statistical practice and legislation.
Strategic intent for the future
In pursuit of the overall goal of government of providing a better life for all, through alleviating poverty and reducing inequality, Stats SA has worked tirelessly to provide statistical information to support the development of the NDP. The statistics produced by Stats SA will now play a key role in the monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of the NDP. Looking forward in strengthening the state’s capacity to deliver, government needs a system of evidence that is transparent, accountable, results-based and transformational.
Key priorities for 2014/15
Stats SA will be focusing on the following key strategic priorities in 2014-15 to drive strategic change:
• Expanding the statistical information base
Stats SA has stabilised its statistical production base as evident through the suite of economic, social and population statistics. The organisation produces more than 171 statistical releases and reports on various aspects of the economy and society annually. In 2014/15, the organisation will sustain this raft of statistical products, whilst exploring new and innovative methods and systems to expand the information base and implementing international statistical standards and frameworks. The most important information gap is the provision of statistical information at a lower geographic level to support the integrated development plans (IDPs) and local economic development (LEDs). Conducting a large scale population survey in 2016, piloting a new continuous population survey and implementing a geographically weighted projection model to generate small area statistical estimates are key strategic initiatives in the short to medium term.
• Leading and coordinating the statistical production
In response to the high demand for statistical production at national, sub-national, sectoral and international levels, the Statistics Act mandates Stats SA to coordinate statistical production across organs of state. In 2014/15, Stats SA will be focusing on creating an enabling regulatory environment for the production of statistics by organs of state. Statistical coordination is an enormous task to be achieved and the implementation will be guided by the policy framework on statistical production systems in South Africa. In response to the recommendations made by the Standing Committee on Finance, amendments to the Statistics Act will be presented once the policy framework has been consulted upon through relevant structures.
• Increasing public confidence and trust of users
Following Census 2011, we now have a complete list of dwellings in South Africa and this frame will be continuously updated. To remain relevant, the strategic intent is to roll out a collaborative mapping approach through cooperation with municipalities. Furthermore continued efforts into improving the business frame are based on collaboration with SARS and the CPIC.
An important future outcome is the certification of statistics produced by other organs of state as official which will provide users and the public with the assurance and confidence in the quality of statistics. In 2014/15, the organisation will invest in building assessment capabilities to roll out the South African Statistics Quality Assessment Framework (SASQAF).
• Investing in learning and growth of skills, resources and infrastructure
A key strategic enabler for a sound statistical production system is statistical competence and capability. Stats SA will continue to invest in learning and growth of statistical skills and programme now forms part of the recruitment drive to build a statistics system and a statically literate society that enables active citizenry. Stats SA jointly with the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal has piloted a legacy schools programme, maths4stats, to promote statistical literacy at schools level by training teachers in statistics modules.
At tertiary level, Stats SA created a Centre for Regional and Urban Innovation and Statistical Exploration (CRUISE) at the University of Stellenbosch and provides a Masters Degree Programme that convers statistics and geography – a new powerful approach to understand, interpret and use geospatial information in planning, reporting and monitoring and thereby building statistical thinking, capability, technical and leadership capability in statistics.
Statistical capability, especially at municipal level, needs urgent attention. Government must capitalise on building these skills to inform planning, monitoring and evaluation at local level. The organisation therefore will continue to invest in this programme and extend it to reach a wider policy audience.
Honourable members, Stats SA has secured the necessary support and resources for a new home as its head office. Construction has commenced in April 2014 and we will be moving to the new premises in the next 24 months.
• Promoting international collaboration and participation
Stats SA is currently playing a leading role in international statistical development for a better Africa and the world. Stats SA chairs the Africa Symposium on Statistical Development (ASSD) as well as housing the secretariat thereof. As African leaders, we have to know how many people we lead and what the circumstances of their lives are. The ASSD has ensured that African countries participate in the UN-led 2010 Round of Population and Housing Censuses (RPHC). Plans are afoot to participate in the 2020 RPHC, which will start in 2015.
Furthermore, the first and second meetings of Africa Ministers responsible for Civil Registration has mandated the heads of National Statistics Agencies to provide the evidence that would sharpen policy intervention in a manner that would give human life a meaningful worth. It is for this reason that the current focus of the ASSD on Civil Registration and Vital Statistics (CRVS). The next ASSD will be held in Uganda later this year. For Africa to leapfrog as an equal player into the future, all these initiatives require capacity. Stats SA hosts a conference for young African statisticians every two years where young and upcoming statisticians are mentored on writing papers and responding to policy challenges. Stats SA will host 4th session of this conference this month.
The budget allocated to the Stats SA for the 2014-2015 financial year as stated in the ENE is R2,24 billion which is divided to the programmes as follows:
• Administration R 934.7 million
• Economic Statistics R 210.5 million
• Population and Social Statistics R 117.9 million
• Methodology, Standards and Research R 65.5 million
• Statistical Support and Informatics R 245.1 million
• Statistical Collection and Outreach R 524.5 million
• Survey Operations R 144.3 million
In conclusion Honourable members, we accept the injunction by our former President Mandela that: “Significant progress is always possible if we ourselves plan every detail and allow intervention of fate only on our own terms. Preparing a master plan and applying it are two different things.” We consequently chose evidence based decision making and this consists of a plan, a national statistics system and a framework for monitoring and evaluation.
Through this effort, together as a nation at work we can do more in moving South Africa forward faster and achieve a better life for all. Our people have the right to expect quality services from their government and to hold leaders to account for their actions. We are of the view that if all of us, Parliament, Government, and civil society work together in unison, we will be on course to create the future we need and deserve for our country as envisioned in the National Development Plan.
Finally I wish to thank the President, the Deputy President, the Deputy Minister in the Presidency, Chairs and Members of the Portfolio Committees, the Chairperson of the Statistics Council and Commissioners of the NPC, the Director General of DPME and the Statistician General as well as other officials for being present today, and for providing us with support.
I thank you