Policy and Budget Speech delivered by
Mpumalanga Legislature, 24 May 2011
Honourable Speaker and Deputy Speaker
Honourable Members of the Provincial Legislature
Honourable Members of the Executive Council
House of Traditional Leaders
Ladies and gentlemen
Honourable Speaker allow me take this opportunity to acknowledge and congratulate my special guests, the citizens of our Province who continue to inspire us with their outstanding contribution in their respective fields. These, the 2011 gallant recipients of the National Order of Ikhamanga;
- Mr Masana Samuel Nzima
For his excellent contribution to photo journalism and putting the brutality of apartheid police in the international spotlight
- Josiah Thugwane
For his excellent achievement during the Atlanta Games 1996 and his contribution in the field of Athletics
- Ray Phiri
For his excellent achievement in the field of music and contribution for the struggle against apartheid
Honourable Speaker, it is imperative that we, as the ANC-led government, constantly remind ourselves about the mandate that our people have given us in 2009 to execute during our term of office.
We are expected to put together strategies, plans and programmes aimed at:
- Creating decent work and sustainable livelihood for our people, particularly the poor;
- Improve the quality of education and health profile of all citizens in the Province;
- Improve the quality of life of people living in rural areas and
- Intensify our fight against crime and corruption
On Wednesday last week, our people have demonstrated again at the Local Government polls that it is the ANC-led government that is better placed to address their plight and aspirations. Through their votes, they sent a very clear message to the ruling party.
In one voice, they re-affirmed the mandate of 2009.
In one voice, they demand from the ruling party the speeding up of service delivery on agreed priorities.
In one voice, they demand of us to work together to change their lives for the better, particularly those of the poor since they are the ones who bear the brunt of poverty, unemployment and inequalities on a daily basis.
Honourable Speaker and Members, let me take this opportunity to thank our people for entrusting us with this mammoth task of creating a better South Africa for all who live in it. As we said before, if we work together, we can do more.
Honourable Speaker and Members, of critical importance, not only did our people outline the priority areas that government must focus on during its term of office, but they also charged us with the responsibility of utilising public funds as efficiently as possible to realise these identified priorities.
Mandate of the office
Today, as the Office of the Premier, we have come, once
more, before this august House to humbly request that our proposed budget for
2011/12 financial year be considered favourably so that we are in a position to
execute our mandate as designated by the Constitution of this country, and other
accompanying body of policies and legislation.
Yes, it is financial support that must assist the Office of the Premier in its endeavours of ensuring that government delivers on its mandate as expected by the electorate.
Indeed, it is a budget that must enable the Office of the Premier to build a state machinery that is amply capacitated to implement the twelve performance outcomes that we, together with the people, have agreed upon to pursue in the five-year time period of this administration.
Of course, it is a budget that must be employed to build a Premier’s office that is efficient and effective, and also geared towards ensuring that the set outcomes are realised as expected.
2010/11 Performance Assessment and 2011/12 priorities
Honourable Speaker, like in the previous policy and budget speech, this budget that we are requesting for approval from this House today, is intended to focus also on the five key areas of work as outlined in that speech, including the re-engineering of the Premier’s office – an area of work which we said will consume the bulk of our 2010/11 Budget.
In the same vein, the Office of the Premier will be facilitating a process of reviewing organisational development and designs of all provincial departments with the view of:
- Firstly, enhancing the overall efficiency and capacity of the Administration to respond to development and service delivery needs of communities. This includes the elimination of wastage in non-core activities, efficient and effective utilisation of available resources, as well as fostering a strong culture performance and productivity.
- Secondly, ensuring proper alignment of mandates, strategic focus with organisational structures. This work entails a concerted effort to curb the bloating of organisational structures, and the artificial creation of posts that are non-core service delivery.
- Thirdly, unlocking financial resources to increase the proportion of budgets meant for service delivery. We are painfully aware that inefficiencies and the ever-growing personnel budget continue to hamstring government to accelerate service delivery.
Re-engineering of the Premier’s office
Let me quickly point out Honourable Speaker and Members that the work on the re-engineering of the Premier’s office has not panned out as planned.
The process is moving at a snail’s pace due to a new approach that the Department of Public Service and Administration, in collaboration with the Presidency, are working on. It is a view that seeks to standardise the configuration of all offices of Premiers in the whole country and also align them properly with the Presidency.
Fortunately, we, as an office, are also participating in this process. It is work that is already at an advanced stage and will be concluded during the course of this financial year. Once this guidance is received, we will be in a better position to conclude our re-engineering work in line with national expectations.
Therefore, it is worth pointing out that, in the upcoming financial year, the big chunk of our budget will still go to personnel due to the new focus of the Premier’s office – the five key areas of focus to be precise.
What is also worth noting is that, while the re-engineering process has not moved as fast as we would have expected, however, some work was taking place in the identified key areas.
Honourable Speaker, allow me to go through these focus areas individually, basically looking at both their performance during 2010/11 financial year and priorities for 2011/12 financial year.
Policy and Planning
If Members will remember, in the previous Policy and Budget speech, one highlighted policy and planning as one of key focus areas that the Office of the Premier will be paying attention to.
We pointed out that this area of work includes functions that range from development and coordination of policies and strategies to coordination of macro-planning; targeted research to inform decision-making processes of cabinet; and co-ordination of international co-operation across all spheres of government.
With regard to macro-planning, there are three broad issues that the office of the Premier is expected to provide strategic direction on for the entire administration. This includes the development and implementation of:
- Vision 2025;
- The Provincial Economic Growth and Development Path; and
- The Provincial Five-Year Plan – a Plan focusing on the implementation of the Medium Term Strategic Framework
Honourable Speaker and Members, in terms of progress, work on Vision 2025 is still at an elementary level. We are still waiting for guidance from the National Planning Commission. However, as the Province, we have started to look into issues that involve the Provincial Spatial Development Framework since it is such a framework that is the building block of Vision 2025.
Relating to the Provincial Growth and Development Path, much ground has been covered. Together with the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environment, we are at the final stage of completing this important framework for the Province.
What is also worth mentioning is that the coordination and facilitation of the development and implementation of other crucial Provincial Plans which underpin the Economic Growth and Development Plan are unfolding very well.
One refers to, inter alia, the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme; Skills Development Plan; Infrastructure Development Plan; Human Settlement Plan and Sustainable Environmental Plan.
Honourable Speaker and Members, with regard to the Provincial Five-Year Plan, great strides have been achieved. The twelve outcomes from the Medium Term Strategic Framework have been reduced into this Plan, with clear activities and targets for each financial year.
To this end, Delivery Agreements have been signed and sealed with respective Members of the Executive Council except the MEC for the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environment who has been given extension pending the finalisation of the Provincial Economic Growth and Development Path.
Honourable Speaker, it is our understanding that, for policy and planning work to be on the cutting edge of the information highway, research work is undoubtedly fundamental. Our planning should be based on credible information so that development and service delivery interventions are properly targeted.
To this end, we have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Stats South Africa to assist the Province in building the requisite capacities to coordinate and manage development planning and performance information.
As the Office of the Premier, we are in the process of coordinating an information nerve centre that will become a central and common source for planning, performance monitoring and decision-making information.
Now, for 2011/12 financial year, we will continue to build on the work already in progress, that is:
- To collaborate with other institutions and Departments in the development of the Provincial Spatial Framework
- To facilitate the completion of the Provincial Economic Growth and Development Path, including all the Plans that the Growth Path is hinging on
- To facilitate the alignment of the Provincial Five-Year Plan with Integrated Development Plans of District and Local municipalities
- To strengthen our strategic collaboration with Stats SA to enhance the management of our planning and performance data and information analysis
Performance Monitoring and evaluation
Honourable Speaker and Members, another important area of work relating to the Office of the Premier involves performance monitoring and evaluation.
If one could refresh our memories, performance monitoring and evaluation is largely about measuring, monitoring and evaluating government performance – an area of work that government has struggled with for quite some time.
It is in this context that, in the previous financial year, we prioritised, among other things, the need to enhance performance monitoring and evaluation systems and tools that enable timely access to departmental and municipal performance information.
In 2011/12 financial year, special attention will be paid to monitoring and evaluating progress in the implementation of Delivery Agreements that were signed between the Premier and Members of the Executive.
Honourable Members, we are collaborating with the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency to ensure that, at a provincial level, we monitor and evaluate government performance and the realisation of agreed national outcomes.
To date, the Presidency has developed a monitoring tool to track the implementation of Delivery Agreements wherein the contributions of all spheres of government are monitored and reported on, on a regular basis. As the Office of the Premier, we are strengthening our own systems of monitoring and evaluation.
Honourable Speaker, as we speak, the Presidency, together with all other stakeholders in government, is engaged in a process of developing a national ‘Performance Assessment Tool’ to be applied across all spheres of government. This process is almost complete.
This tool is intended to be a comprehensive institutional performance assessment mechanism that evaluates each institution’s overall performance on key areas such as management practices, financial management, and strategic execution.
The Presidency has identified government departments and Provinces where this tool will be piloted. I am pleased to announce that this Performance Assessment Tool will be piloted here in Mpumalanga in 2011/12 financial year.
After the pilot, we will ensure that we coordinate and facilitate the roll-out of the Performance Assessment Tool in all Departments and municipalities.
Honourable Members, our analysis of the socio-economic environment indicates high levels of poverty amongst the most vulnerable groups of our society such as unemployed women, children and persons with disabilities. Most importantly, rural women, children and persons with disabilities bear the heavy burden of poverty and social deprivation.
Our analysis also indicates that we have a large number of young people entering the labour market each year, adding to the growing number of unemployed youth in the Province. Everywhere we go and interact with communities, it becomes evident that something drastic needs to be done to address youth unemployment.
High levels of unemployment and poverty among the youth of our Province call for extraordinary measures to expand targeted programmes that facilitate opportunities for young people to acquire skills and access to employment opportunities.
Government’s response to poverty and underdevelopment challenges facing target groups needs to focus on providing comprehensive support to individual households to enable them to graduate out of poverty.
As part of our overall approach to the delivery of anti-poverty programmes, the Province identifies and profiles poor households, and designs specific support interventions responding to the poverty circumstances of profiled households, including linking them with existing government anti-poverty programmes.
Among other government programmes, we want to ensure that all the Comprehensive Rural Development Programmes (CRDP) interventions account specifically for government’s contribution to:
- Youth employment and the creation of youth and women-owned enterprises and cooperatives
- The provision of skills development opportunities for unemployed youth
- Equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities
- The protection and development of children, including targeted support to orphaned children as a result of the HIV and Aids pandemic
As the Office of the Premier, we will continue to play our leadership role in sharpening the focus of key government programmes on addressing the issues of women, youth, children and persons with disabilities.
We will continue to enhance our monitoring and evaluation capacity to ensure that government institutions, including municipalities and parastatals meet agreed targets with regard to addressing the development needs of target groups.
We will continue to roll out capacity building and advocacy programmes to ensure that the development needs of target groups are always placed high on government’s development agenda.
Honourable Speaker, last year, the Office committed to paying special attention to strengthening the function of government communication to ensure that government messages across the Province are coherent and integrated.
I am pleased to report that the Provincial Government Communication Framework was adopted by the Executive Council in 2010. This framework provides guidelines for managing government communication within respective Departments.
In this financial year, we will institutionalise this communication framework within government institutions, and mobilise other key stakeholders to participate in the implementation of the provincial communication strategy.
This year, we will convene a Communication Summit to discuss the implementation of various facets of government communication and ensure that there is a common approach to dealing with issues pertaining to government communication.
As we continue to strengthen overall government communication, we are also cognisant that public participation provides one of the important platforms for government to interact and communicate with citizens.
I am satisfied that over the last few years, government has deepened a strong culture of interaction with citizens around development and service delivery issues. Through izimbizo and our Cabinet Outreach programmes, we have created platforms for engagement where communities raised issues that require government intervention.
As we continue to implement our major development programmes such as the CRDP, we will intensify public participation in matters that involve their own development.
The Cabinet outreach will continue to be part of the Office of the Premier’s focus in this financial year.
We will continue to improve our system for capturing and monitoring the processing of issues raised by the communities during community meetings.
As the Office of the Premier, we are able to generate reports on the implementation of issues raised by communities, including issues raised through the Presidential Hotline.
Integrated Security Management
Honourable Speaker, As the Office of the Premier, we remain seized with the leadership responsibility to safeguard the integrity of the state, including, but not limited to:
- Effective coordination of security management across government
- Maintaining high security standards and protocols
- Ensuring that government assets and classified information are protected, and
- Fighting fraud and corruption
Last year, we committed to conclude the process of centralising the security function to enhance, coherence, uniformity and integration of the currently disjointed security functions. Unfortunately, we have not been able to conclude this work as we had anticipated.
Our approach to this process has to be more detailed and thorough so that we achieve intended outcomes.
Our ability to mobilise requisite capacity in the Office the Premier has taken longer than we had anticipated. All outstanding work will be finalised during this financial year.
Work on the development of an Integrated Security Plan is currently in progress and is due to be presented to the Executive Council for approval.
We will continue to work collaboratively with government institutions to build requisite capacity to deal with security aspects such as document security, information security, personnel security, computer security and physical security.
In the new financial year, the Office of the Premier will strengthen collaboration with the State Security Department to coordinate the vetting of all employees in strategic offices like supply chain management, and other sensitive areas of government work to ensure that the breach of security standards and protocols is minimised.
Honourable speaker, we are confident that enhanced security standards and improved risk management systems will contribute to addressing challenges of fraud and corruption.
As government, we have, over the years, demonstrated our commitment and willingness to deal decisively with individuals engaging in corrupt and fraudulent activities.
A recently published report by the Public Service Commission (PSC) entitled Report on the Profiling and Analysis of the most Common Manifestations of Corruption and its Related Risks in the Public Service bears testimony to this effect.
This report highlights Mpumalanga as a Province that has committed resources to deal with fraud and corruption. The analysis of cases dating back from the inception of the National Anti-Corruption Hotline on 01 September 2004 to 31 June 2010 indicates that Mpumalanga is the province with the highest percentage of cases investigated and closed.
We will continue to support the work of the Integrity Management Unit in the Premier’s Office to ensure that fraud and corruption cases are investigated and closed speedily. Alongside this, we will support provincial departments and municipalities to build their internal capacity to investigate and deal with cases of fraud and corruption.
Honourable Members, I am pleased to report that the Executive Council has approved the Provincial Anti-Corruption Strategy that will guide government initiatives towards eradicating fraud and corruption.
This year, we will establish the Mpumalanga Anti-corruption Council comprising various stakeholders to drive anti-corruption interventions in the Province.
Working together with our business, labour, and civil society partners, we will defeat corruption where it rears its ugly head.
As I conclude Honourable Speaker, I wish to appeal to this august House to approve the 2011/12 budget of R141 464 million to enable us to drive the three programmes that constitute the work of the Premier’s Office.
Let me also take this opportunity to thank Members of Legislature and the Executive Council for their support to our work as an Office. To the Director-General and all Senior Management for their dedication and commitment.
My gratitude will also go to all the stakeholders that continue to support us in our endeavours to realise our mandate.
I thank you
Issued by Office of the Premier