Office of the Premier 2010/11 Policy and Budget Speech delivered by Premier DD Mabuza, Mpumalanga Provincial Legislature
27 May 2010
Honourable Speaker and Deputy Speaker
Honourable Members of the Provincial Legislature
Honourable Members of the Executive Council
House of Traditional Leaders
Distinguished guests from the different sectors of our communities
Ladies and gentlemen
Honourable Speaker, in the State of the Province Address that one delivered on 19 June 2009, I said that:
“When our people renewed the mandate of the ANC-led government on 22 April …., it was an unequivocal call for action to deliver tangible results on government priorities for the next five years as articulated in the ANC election manifesto. These priorities are:
- Creation of decent work and sustainable livelihoods
- Rural development, food security and land reform, and
- The fight against crime and corruption
In essence, our people expect the democratic government to continue in its quests to reduce poverty, unemployment and inequality in the context of a growing economy.”
Honourable Speaker and Members, when one appeared before this august House on 18 August 2009, I asserted that:
“For this to be possible, the Office of the Premier plays a central and a leading role. It will be expected to provide the necessary leadership, that is, leadership that will continuously bring, inter alia, a perspective to the development path that this government and the people of this province have agreed to pursue”
One also highlighted certain actions that the Office of the Premier would be undertaking as part of crystallising the issues raised in the 2009 State of the Province Address and further refined in the 2010 State of the Province Address.
Therefore, for the Office of the Premier to remain focused on ensuring that all organs of the state act in unison towards delivering on the mandate of the people, it has to reposition itself differently. It has to lead with the clarity of purpose and direction to realise the goals that the Province has set itself.
After an in-depth analysis, and also informed by national developments, we came to the conclusion that the office of the Premier will focus on five key areas.
Policy and Planning
The first key area of focus involves policy and planning.
As members will know, the ANC-led government has taken a view that, for our policies to have maximum impact on the lives of our people, there will be a need for the creation of an institutional centre for government-wide planning with the necessary resources and authority to prepare and implement medium and long-term development plans.
It is in this context that we have seen:
- The emergence of the National Planning Commission,
- The appointment of a Minister for National Planning and
- The re-configuration of the President’s Office as part of ensuring that this key policy imperative takes off the ground.
As a province, we have also deemed it important to align accordingly. In the main, this area of work will pay more attention to, inter alia,
- The development and co-ordination of provincial policies and strategies
- The provision of advisory services to government on policy implementation strategies, and more importantly
- Co-ordination of macro-planning, including
- Conducting targeted research to inform decision-making processes of cabinet
- In addition, ensuring that we co-ordinate and facilitate international co-operation across all spheres of government.
- The realignment of the Provincial Growth and Development Strategy, and the Integrated Development Plans of the eighteen municipalities which I alluded to in my previous policy and Budget speech, will rest within this area of work.
Honourable Members, part of our policy co-ordination work will focus on strengthening government’s capacity to mainstream programmes that address the plight of target groups, namely the youth, women, children and persons with disabilities. Admittedly, this is an area of our policy implementation work that requires special attention.
The establishment of the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities and the National Youth Agency bears testimony to this effect.
From a policy perspective, the Office of the Premier needs to have the requisite capacity to co-ordinate, advise and lead the institutionalisation of programmes that are aimed empowering women, youth, children and persons with disabilities.
Honourable Members, this brings me to the second key focus area of the Premier’s office, namely, performance monitoring and evaluation.
Performance Monitoring and Evaluation
Marko Saravanja once said:
“The challenges facing business and government are not about a lack of ideas or policies but about implementation…Life happens at the level of action and not words and thoughts.”
Honourable Speaker and Members, as government, we cannot agree more with Saravanja’s assertion.
In the past fifteen years, the ANC-led government has developed an array of best policies aimed at creating a better life for all our people, particularly the poor. However, the area of challenge has always been the implementation of these wonderful policies.
The administration of President Zuma has decided to confront this challenge head-on. Already there are positive developments in this regard. The Minister responsible for performance monitoring and evaluation in the Presidency has already produced policy guidelines to this end.
Fundamentally, the new approach not only serves as a mechanism to guide the direction of policy implementation but also introduces a new paradigm shift in terms of measuring the performance of government. This approach assumes an outcome-based approach as opposed to our traditional expenditure performance approach.
Taking cue from national, as the Office of the Premier, we have also prioritised this area of work. We also intend to strengthen the capacity of the Office of the Premier to monitor and report on government performance. In essence, more attention will be paid on:
- Monitoring the implementation of policy and agreed-upon programmes, and
- Evaluating the quality of achievements on set targets and outcomes as captured in the Provincial Five-Year Plan.
- Enhancing performance monitoring and evaluation systems and tools that enable timely access to departmental and municipal performance information.
Honourable Speaker, part of our organisational transformation programme relates to the critical need of co-ordinating government communications. We need to ensure that the provincial government creates a ‘single window’ of communication on matters affecting the Province. Alignment and consistency of government messages across various government institutions in the Province remain essential.
We are quite aware that this issue is not new at all within the corridors of government but, the truth is, as a province, we always find ourselves wanting when it comes to providing a single window of communicating the activities of government.
Our provincial communication strategy is not integrated and this presents serious problems not only for government but also for the people who consume our information.
Therefore, as the Office of the Premier, we intend paying special attention to this area of work.
- We intend ensuring that an integrated provincial communication framework is developed and implemented as expected.
- Public participation will also feature high within this area of work. Activities of the call centre that one mentioned in the Policy and Budget speech last will serve to create a necessary platform for communities to raise issues and interact with government. Cabinet outreach and provincial events will be part of functions co-ordinated within this area of work.
Integrated Security Management
Honourable Speaker and Members, in the previous policy and budget speech, we highlighted the issue of security management within government.
As things stand currently:
- The whole aspect of security management service within government is disjointed. Part of the security services are co-ordinated by the Department of Safety, Security and Community Liaison and other security activities are left to individual departments to discharge.
- Adherence to security standards and protocols is also a thorn in the flesh of government.
- The safety of government assets, protection of sensitive government information and classified documentation leave much to be desired.
- Fraud and corruption within government is alarmingly high, and if not curbed, will undermine the integrity of government.
To address these challenges, the Office of the Premier has already begun work to develop a framework that will guide government on all these matters that we have alluded to.
However, let me quickly point out that these security services that we
are referring to are those falling outside the core mandate of the Department of
Safety, Security and Community Liaison.
Honourable Speaker and Members, the last major focus area of leadership by my Office places particular emphasis on institutional capacity, efficiency and effectiveness through out the provincial administration. This area of work will involve, among other things:
- The provision of institutional development services to the provincial administration, largely dealing with organisational design and systems
- The standardisation of policy implementation across the entire administration, as well as
- The provision of administrative services to the Office of the Premier.
Priorities for 2010/11 financial year and the Budget
Honourable Speaker and Members, these five key areas of focus that I have just outlined define the new Office of the Premier. Therefore, the big chunk of the Budget that we have come to motivate for today will be used to reengineer the Office of the Premier. We have to ensure that we put together not only a fit organisation but an organisation that will exhibit fitness over time.
The centre must hold. The centre must lead.
We are inspired by the wise words of Bobby Knight when he argues that:
“The will to win is not as important as the will to prepare to win”
It is our belief and conviction that creating an institution that is effective and efficient is key to our progress as a Province. Such an organisation will go a long way towards ensuring that the set priorities are realised.
Honourable Speaker, as I conclude, I would like to call upon the people of the Province to come out in numbers to enjoy the upcoming ‘once-in-a-life-time’ experience of being part of the World Cup soccer spectacular. It will always remain a firm reminder of where we come from as a country as well as the continent.
South Africa could not have not have pulled it together alone without the support of the continent. Therefore, this World Cup will remain a proud legacy to all of us but most importantly our National Pride.
It must be emphasised that hosting this event did not come as a miracle but through hard work of the country and the contribution of the continent as a whole. We therefore deserve it.
Let us all go out there to send positive messages about this prestigious event. As Mpumalanga, let us prepare to welcome our visitors to our beautiful province with warmth and hospitality. With 14 days to go, the World Cup is here.
Let us feel it, and see it. Now, it is here.
I thank you