Welcome to the Mpumalanga Provincial Government

Department of Social Development Policy and Budget Vote Speech for 2010/11 delivered by Hounourable MEC for Health and Social Development, Ms DG Mahlangu, Mbombela

13 May 2010

Honourable Speaker
The Honourable Premier
Members of the Executive Council
Honourable members of the house
Distinguished Mayors
Your Excellency Chairperson of House of Traditional Leaders
And all traditional Leaders in the province present here
Esteemed guests
Leadership of Labour and Business
Management of the South African Social Security Agency
Management of the National Development Agency
NGO sector
Acting Head of Department Ms NL Mlangeni, Management of the Department of Social Development and all its employees
All HODs present here
Members of the media
People of Mpumalanga
OGogo no Mkhulu abakhona ngaphakathi kwethu
Ladies and gentlemen 

Honourable members the mother of twins is once more back. I was on this podium on Tuesday presenting one of my babies and I am back today, to present to this august house yet another critical of the two babies. 

The world outlook has drastically changed in the recent past. Increasingly mankind is faced with massive natural disasters that wreak a lot of havoc in lives of many and have unimaginable interruption to daily routines. 

Besides these natural disasters, the recent economic global meltdown reversed some important gains that were made in improving living conditions of many people across the globe. Even in developed countries, we have witnessed the cutting back on some important social security net guarantees, leaving many people out in the cold, with dire consequences for generations to come.

As the economies of the world slow down, their ability to absorb or create new jobs is curtailed, meaning that many people especially the youth who are economically active are left to fend for themselves  outside the formal economy, consequently many rely on state assistance for their living. 

It is in this context that the Department of Social Department becomes critically important; in that it not only has a challenge to maintain the usual clients who are mainly vulnerable groups, but also to assist with the economic interventions especially for the youth. Arthur C. Clarke once said, I quote “The only way to discover the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them to the impossible.”  We need to continue to venture this path in search for possible ways to better the lives of our people.

The cohesion and stability of our country depends to a large extent on our ability to create jobs and opportunities for the citizens but more importantly on a security net system for many who are outside the formal economic sector.

The mandate of this department is to build a humane and caring society founded on sound principles of human solidarity, ubuntu and common prosperity. 

Solidarity is what has brought apartheid to its knees, so it remains relevant even today that those who are in a better economic situation should make a contribution even at individual level to assist those worse off.  

Over the years we have progressively positioned social development as an agent of social change and cohesion from historically being known as a department of grants.  

Institutional organisation and capacity 

Honourable Speaker, in my maiden speech last year I outlined key interventions that will take the department forward and deliver better services to our people in the province. In addition, we committed to improve our systems and processes and to also increase our capacity especially at local level where service delivery takes place. 

We have made commendable progress towards the improvement of salary levels through the implementation of the Occupational Specific Dispensation (OSD) for all Social Workers and have completed the regrading process for our Community Development Practitioners. 

In our commitment to fill all critical posts in the Department, we have already filled and appointed 860 Social Workers and 203 Social Auxiliary Workers. 

The appointment of Social Auxiliary Workers in particular puts us in a better situation as it eases the case load on social workers, thereby allowing them to focus on their core professional services.  

In this financial year we will be filling all vacant funded posts. 

The development of our Human Resource Plan has been completed. This will in no doubt assist us plan better going forward by ensuring that we have human resources with the requisite skills and competencies where we need them most.

Honourable Speaker, a thorny issue in this Department has been the challenge we face that has led to our audit qualification, which was our lack of proper asset management.  The department has put systems in place to ensure that the asset register is updated on a regular basis. 

In ensuring prudent financial management we have developed and reviewed policies, trained our personnel and also improved on our systems and processes. 

The Risk and Fraud Unit is now operational and we have developed a Risk Strategy informed by our risk register, which will be monitored on a regular basis this financial year.

One of the ruling Party’s priorities is the fight against crime and corruption. In this context, I have enlisted the services of the Special Investigating Unit to deal with all cases of fraud and corruption in the Department with speed. We want to send a very strong message both within and outside the Department that government resources must be used solely for purposes they were intended for. 

We have further introduced a procurement system within Supply Chain, which will assist us to deal with issues of corruption and to give fair opportunities to all our credible service providers on a rotational basis.

Honourable Members, as you are aware that this is the year of action, therefore our interventions have to be measured, monitored and evaluated to assess if we are indeed delivering on our plans. We can only do this if we constantly monitor and evaluate our performance.

Our plans to have the Monitoring and Evaluation Unit fully functional are quite advanced, and this will improve our performance as a Department.

Social Welfare Services 

Honourable Speaker, let me highlight the key programmes within the Department where most of the budget is allocated. The programmes are carried out in partnership with our Not-for-Profit-Organisations (NPOs), and I want to take this opportunity to extend our sincere appreciation for the wonderful work done by most of the organisations on behalf of government in places we cannot reach due to limited resources.

In September 2009 we had an NPO summit where NPOs were afforded an opportunity to engage with the department on issues that affect them in rendering services to our communities.

We have identified these areas which will inform our service delivery improvement plan on a continuous basis. 

One of the major challenges faced by our NPOs is the high turn over of Social Workers. To retain Social Workers in the NPO sector, the Department has considered an increment in the subsidy of their salaries to ensure sustainable service delivery. This will be effective from October 2010 in line with available resources the department has at its disposal.

We have developed monitoring tools to assist with regular support to NPOs for immediate intervention where there are challenges. We are indeed humbled by the commitment displayed by many NPOs who continue to make a difference in the lives of our people.

Allow me to outline some of the key priorities within Social Welfare that support the high level priorities as identified by our government as well as legislative imperatives for Social Development. 

Our contribution as a department in the realisation of the high level priorities will be in the following sub-programmes parallel with other programmes;

  • Early Childhood Development (ECD)
  • Foster care
  • HIV and AIDS
  • Substance Abuse
Early Childhood Development 

Early childhood should never be considered as a privilege but as a right for all children if they are to become better citizens who will contribute positively in the creation of a humane and caring society. 

We have therefore, with our sister departments, re-affirmed this program as a crucial priority in this financial year and beyond.

To demonstrate our commitment in the last financial year, we funded 565 registered ECD centers at a rate of R11 per child, thus reaching 30 808 children. Of these ECD centers, 183 were strengthened in line with the Expanded Public Works Programme through the provision of stipend and training of ECD practitioners.

In this financial year, we will increase the number of children funded at existing ECD centers focusing at the most deprived municipalities. 

The Department shall further extend funding to 191 new centres to reach Eight 8 983 children.

Foster Care 

Honourable Speaker you will recall that in the previous financial year I reported to this House that we have a backlog of 17 000 foster care cases, and I further said that our plan is to reduce this backlog by half.  

Between April 2009 and March 2010 a total of 7 478 children were placed in foster care indicating a shortfall of just over a thousand of our target. This Honourable Speaker is due to the number of cases that had to go through court. 

The case load is not static in that additional cases are continuously reported, compounding the backlog. We will place 11 330 children in foster care in this financial year.  

In an attempt to strengthen services to children, a Provincial Strategy on adoption will be developed.  Awareness to communities will be strengthened as one of the basket of services provided to children who are found to be in need of care through the Children’s’ Court. 

Honourable Speaker many children are denied the warmth of family life due to a number of reasons.  I hope that once we finalise the Provincial Strategy on Adoption there will be a drive to encourage our communities to open their doors and hearts and adopt children in need of care as their own.


Honourable speaker I have already in my presentation on Tuesday alluded to the disastrous impact of HIV and AIDS especially as it relates to children. More and more children are forced at an early stage to assume a role of parenthood denying them an opportunity to grow as children due the scourge of the pandemic.  

The care and support of these children should clearly not be relegated to the department alone, but as earlier mentioned we need community partnerships where all of us in one way or another play a particular role. 

We will continue to render psychosocial services to children who are orphans and those heading households in partnership with our Community Home Based Care (HCBC) organisations. In addition, we will fund 150 HCBC organisations.  

Two Hundred and sixteen additional jobs will be created as part of Phase two of the Expanded Public Works Programme in this financial year and provide a stipend of R1 000 to caregivers. 

A total of 221 caregivers will undergo accredited training focusing on psychosocial support to children and families in need.

Substance abuse 

Honourable Members, substance abuse is one area in our province that requires urgent attention not only of government, but also that of civil society. History will judge harshly on us for having done so little, when the lives of so many of our youth are ruined due to substance abuse. Our province is also experiencing a steady increase in drug use and trafficking. 

In an endeavour to combat and prevent substance abuse and dependence, the department has developed the Provincial Drug Master Plan which has been approved by Cabinet. 

This plan attempts to guide service delivery in terms of appropriate intervention strategies through a collaborative effort by all government departments.

In this financial year, The Plan will be communicated to all stakeholders especially the Municipalities for proper planning and full implementation in the next financial 2011/12. A budget of R18 409 million is allocated for substance abuse program.

Older persons

Somlomo, kufanele ukuthi sibahloniphe oGogo no Mkhulu bethu abalwa, behluphekela inkululeko yethu. Ngakho-ke sekuyisikhathi sethu sokuthi sibaphathe kahle, sikwazi nokuhlangabezana nezidingo zabo. Sifanele ukukwenza lokhu ngoba sazi kamhlophe ukuthi babamba iqhaza emindenini nasemiphakathini yethu. Kufanele sifake umfutho, ukuze bakhule, bephilile bengenazo izinkinga ezibakhathazayo. Okubalulekile esizobhekana nakho ngqo, ukwenza ukuthi uMqulu Wabantu Abadala (Older Persons Charter) ugcizelelwe. LoMqulu uqonde ukuvikela amalungelo abo njengoba ekuMthetho-Sisekelo Wezwe lakithi, nanjengoba ugcizelelwe kuMqulu KaMhlabuhlangene (UN Resolution Number 46 of 1991).  

Lokhu kuzonikeza ulwazi ikakhulu ngoba sizoqeqesha izinkhlangano ezingu 150 zabantu abadala ngaloMqulu. Sizosebenzisa imali engu R28 million ekusizeni izinhlangano ezingama NPOs ukuze zikwazi ukusiza o Gogo no Mkhulu ukuze baphatheke kahle uma beqhubeka bekhula. 

Viva bo Gogo no Mkhulu-Viva.

Phansi ngabahlukumeza oGogo no Mkhulu-Phansi 


Hounarable Speaker, the rights of persons with disabilities are constitutional rights and cannot be ignored. In the previous financial year, we provided care and subsidies to 465 people with disabilities in residential facilities and further reached 1 645 persons with disabilities through services rendered by Social Workers

We will spend over R26 million to promote the wellbeing, independent living, socioeconomic participation and protection of persons with disabilities; and will intensify awareness campaigns on disability issues. Training on disability mainstreaming to officials including senior managers as well as service providers will be conducted during the current financial year.



Families are without doubt a foundation of society. The prosperity and cohesion of society depend on strong families, rooted in sound values of Ubuntu, solidarity, care and support, love and respect.

May I indicate that on 15 May each year we celebrate International Family Day and will celebrate this with the Minister of Social Development Mme Ednar Molewa this Saturday in Nokaneng at Dr JS Moroka Municipality.  

We will continue to strengthen families through positive values and family preservation programmes.

Victim Empowerment Programme

Honourable Speaker some of our communities and our families are no longer safe havens. Whereas, historically family or home was considered the safest place, it is increasingly becoming hell for more and more people especially for children, people with disabilities and women. 

More and more women and children experience abuse at the hands of people who are supposed to offer ultimate protection. Prevention of abuse requires a collective effort as it happened mostly behind close doors and in many situations victims are hesitant to report it.

Let us remember that abuse takes many forms and is not always explicit. It can take a form of economic abuse where victims depend on the perpetrator for survival and will endure whatever abuse for this reason.  

We are working closely with our NPOs and other government departments to ensure that victims of crime are safe and reunited with their families after appropriate interventions.

In an attempt to curb the gender based violence the department will implement the men and boys gender based violence prevention programmes and further strengthen the One Stop victim empowerment centers and shelters. In strengthening this programme, the department entered in partnership with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime through the National Department (UNODC). In the financial year 2009/10 an amount of One Million and R1,9 million was granted to Four NPOs to strengthen services rendered to victims of crime and gender based violence. The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has further invested in training and awareness campaigns. Their support is highly appreciated.

Crime prevention and support 

The promulgation of the Child Justice Act in April 2010, Honourable Speaker, should be welcomed as it spells a new era in the protection of children in our country. 

To contribute to the reduction of crime, we will in collaboration with other stakeholders conduct awareness campaigns on crime and human trafficking, particularly with the advent of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Our target this financial year is to reach 1 968 children in conflict with the law and 1 964 children participating in diversion programmes.             

2010 FIFA World Cup 

As part of the processes towards ensuring that appropriate organisational and operational measures are in place for integrated social welfare services during the 2010 FIFA World Cup, we have established a task team to work closely with other departments and NPOs to ensure that issues of care and protection for children and other vulnerable groups are not compromised. We have also developed a departmental plan on activities to be undertaken in preparation for and during the World Cup. 

These activities include raising awareness to highlight issues of children’s rights and responsibilities, child trafficking, positive parenting as well as creating awareness on prevention programmes available in communities. Our main targets are children and other vulnerable groups. Social workers will be deployed at Public Viewing Areas, Mbombela Stadium and Fern Fest to render the necessary services.

Community development

Youth development

Honourable Speaker 2010 has been declared the International Year of the Youth. This calls upon all of us to contribute meaningfully to Youth programmes.

During my engagements with the NPOs as well as the recent Cabinet Outreach programs, it became evident that most of our young people are at home without jobs and the requisite skills to find employment.

In the last financial year, as a contribution to young people, the department spent R11 065 million to fund 21 youth Centers rendering youth development services within communities and 13 economic empowerment projects.

We have planned to support 36 youth cadres in this financial year at the cost of R15 886 million. 

In 2008 we initiated the Masupatsela Youth Pioneer Programme. This programme targets unemployed youth, through skills development and linking them to sustainable opportunities.

The programme is also meant to promote activism, patriotism, social cohesion and nation building. There are 319 youth enrolled and will complete their three year training in this financial year. 

A total budget of R14 6 million will be set aside for this purpose.

In addition, we will spend over R4 million to train 222 youth who will be recruited to participate in the National Youth Service Programme. They will be exposed to a skills development programme that will give them an opportunity to acquire an accredited qualification at the end of 18 months. The young people will continue to receive a monthly stipend of R1 500. 

Sustainable livelihoods 

Honourable speaker, in line with the priorities identified for this term of office, we will support the Provincial Comprehensive Rural Development Strategy.  

We are working closely with the Department of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Administration in this regard.

At an operational level, there is a considerable scope of aligning the work done in the War-on-Poverty campaign and the Rural Development Strategy.

We will spend over R7 million to support 45 sustainable livelihoods projects mainly in Nkomazi, Bushbuckridge, Dr JS Moroka, Thembisile Hani, Albert Luthuli, Mkhondo and Pixley ka Seme. The projects will focus on poor and vulnerable communities in the Province.

The War on Poverty Campaign will focus on ensuring that all the 17 identified wards are completely profiled before identification of other deprived wards. The National Integrated Social Information System (NISIS) is up and running and the profiles have been captured to be accessed by departments who will then intervene in the households. 

The year 2010/11 has been declared as the year of service provision in War on Poverty campaign; therefore in all the profiled households, all relevant departments are expected to continuously render appropriate services and report on progress accordingly. We will spend over R5 million for the co-ordination of the War-on-Poverty Campaign. 

Institutional capacity building and support

Honourable Speaker, 37% of our budget goes to the support and funding of NPOs and community development projects. These NPOs make an enormous contribution to the lives of our people, especially in rural areas.

We are however concerned about their viability and capacity for effective project management and financial management. We have developed monitoring tools for all programmes to ensure that all funded NPOs comply in terms of the Service Level Agreement and Norms and Standards.  

In this financial year, we will spend over R2 million in intensifying our programmes to capacitate 200 NPOs in governance, project and financial management as well as in their respective core business.


Most of our service centers were built in towns away from the people who need the services most. To redress this state of affairs, we have identified infrastructure as priority to ensure that our people access services close to where they live.  

Our progress in building new offices has not been satisfactory. Eight out of the 15 office blocks that we planned to be built in the previous financial year have been completed and they are:

  • Hluvukani – Bushbuckridge Municipality
  • Zoeknog  -   Bushbuckridge
  • Mkobola   -  Thembisile Hani
  • Msogwaba - Mbombela
  • Moloto       - Thembisile Hani
  • Ka-Majika  - Mbombela
  • Simile         -  Thaba Chweu
  • Jerusalem     - Mbombela

We will continue with the remaining projects in the current financial year.

An amount of R66 million has been set aside to complete the remaining projects in the following areas:

  • Balfour - Dipaleseng
  • Bethal - Goven Mbeki
  • Volsrust – Pixley Isaka Ka Seme
  • Carolina – Albert Luthuli and
  • Gert Sibande District offices
  • Marapyane – Dr JS Moroka
  • Kamaqhekeza - Nkomazi

Honourable Speaker allow me to present to this august House and to further request the House to approve the budget of the department of Social Development Vote 12 which is R881 447 000. 

Programme 1: Administration       R246 587 000 

This programme provides policy direction, overall strategic leadership of the whole department and monitoring and evaluation. 

Programme 2: Social Welfare R516 801 000

This programme provides integrated developmental social welfare services to the poor and vulnerable in partnership with stakeholders and civil society organisations.

Programme 3:  Development and Research R118 059 000

This programme provides sustainable development programmes which facilitate empowerment of communities as well as information towards the implementation of the National Population Policy.

Allow me also as I close, to thank all our stakeholders without whom our work would be very difficult; our NPOs, SASSA, NDA, HOME AFFAIRS and many home based carers in our communities.  

Again to thank the Acting Head of Department for her sterling and courageous leadership and spirit of unity in the department, Managements and all our employees for their continued  service to the people of our province. My special thanks go also to all members of the portfolio Committee on Health and Social Development led by Honorable P Ngobeni, for their continuous guidance. 

I once again thank the support of our Premier Honourable DD Mabuza and my colleagues in the Executive council and my family for their valued support. 

South Africa will not be the same after the FIFA World Cup. We have an opportunity to use the platform created by hosting this prestigious event to put our country on a new road map. This new road map should be guided by a prevailing atmosphere of solidarity, cohesion, patriotism and loyalty to our country, its people and heritage. We have a real opportunity to build a true humane and caring society. As Maharishi Mahesh Yogi puts it, the secret of success in business is creativity. Let us all get creative and make South Africa a better country.

Lets us all take part, siyanakekela.

Feel it, it is here.

Kea Leboga.


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