MIL-OSI Africa: Address by Minister in The Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, on the occasion of the 2022/23 Budget Vote for the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, National Assembly, Parliament

6

Source: President of South Africa –

Honourable Chairperson of the Session,
Deputy Minister in The Presidency, Ms Pinky Kekana,
Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration, Mr T.H. James,
Members of the Portfolio Committee on Public Service and Administration,
Honourable Members of the House,
Director General for the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, Mr Robert Nkuna and his team,
Distinguished Guests,
Members of the media
Fellow South Africans,

I am pleased and honoured to table the budget policy statement of the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) for the financial year 2022/2023.

This occasion happens as we celebrate Africa month and the formation of the African Union. During this month we are all called upon to embrace our being as Africans and work towards the development of our continent and the African populace. As South Africa, we reiterate our commitment to building a better Africa and better World through dedicated programmes to reduce unemployment, inequality and eliminate poverty.

Many of the people in the continent and in our country are still trapped in poverty with limited prospects for employment. Hence, we welcome the African Union’s timely decision to dedicate this year towards the safeguard of nutrition and food security across the continent. This is consistent with our strategic long-term goals to reduce unemployment, poverty and inequality as expressed in the National Development Plan (NDP). Our government is already seized with endeavors to ensure that South Africans, especially the poor, do not only have access to food but to nutrition as well.

Government has established the Food and Nutrition Council which is led by the His Excellency the Deputy President David Mabuza, with the DPME providing secretariat services. Through this effort we intend to mobilize other stakeholders across society to ensure that South Africans have access to nutritious food. Government is already a significant contributor to food nutrition through its programmes and activities spread across departments such as Social Development, Health, and Basic Education. We will brief Parliament on progress in this regard as we move along with the implementation of this important effort.

Honourable Members,

The National Developmental Plan remains our lodestar as we continue to deal with current and future challenges post the Covid-19 environment. Besides the devastations caused by the pandemic, and most recently, floods in parts of our country including the Eastern Cape, Kwazulu-Natal and North West provinces, there is still scope to make significant strides to achieve the goals of the NDP.

For us to effectively achieve thegoals as encapsulated in the NDP, we have to overcome the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, rebuild our economy, equip our people with the necessary skills, fight corruption both in government and the private sector. Just as in many other African countries, our economy was badly affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In the past two years, we have had to battle the unpredictable surge of the Coronavirus, find solutions to protect lives and livelihoods and keep the system running in the service of the people.

Our economy was badly affected with some strategic businesses closed and many of our people lost their jobs. In the worst cases, many of our family members, who may also have been bread winners, succumbed to the pandemic and left families in worst economic circumstances and emotional distress.

This was further compounded by horrific emergent developments in the country such as the July 2021 unrest, floods and drought in the KwaZulu Natal, Eastern Cape and North West Provinces. Underlying and parallel to the Covid-19 pandemic, we also have to deal with the abuse, violation and killing of women – an unpleasant phenomenon which continues to hinder women’s participation in the economy and the full enjoyment of the basic human rights.

We would like to commend the efforts of all who continue to collaborate with government to ameliorate the impact of these unfortunate incidence. In a manner that signified the ultimate demonstration of our nation’s rootedness to the ethos of Ubuntu, frontline workers put their lives on the line to save those affected.

Ordinary individuals and community members worked with government to quell the July unrest and protect targeted economic infrastructure. Various civil society organisations joined government to deal with the devasting aftermath of the floods. We continue to work with all organisations and stakeholders nation-wide to call for an end to gender based violence.

The impact of these emergent circumstances is so vast and deep that our victory will only prevail if we continue to work together in the manner that we responded to these challenges.

The President reminded us during the State of the Nation Address to build on the foundation of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP) and continue to implement the seven priorities of the 2019 – 2024 Medium-Term Strategic Framework – which is the five-year plan of government towards the implementation of the NDP.

The President emphasized the need to work collectively with all partners to overcome the pandemic, massively rollout the infrastructure programme, substantially increase local production, implement the economic stimulus to create jobs and rapidly expand our energy generation capacity. The President also announced the amendment and tightening of laws that are critical in dealing with the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide.

It is upon us to ensure that all these key focus areas are implemented to help catapult our country out of this current situation. We need to forge a solid and seamless synergy with all government departments, entities and social partners, align our plans to these strategic objectives and long-term developmental plans. We must recalibrate our efforts to ensure that our plans are implemented within the set time and allocated budgets.

It is for this reason that we have identified the institutionalization of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation as the theme and programme of this year. DPME has to increase its effectiveness to ensure that we institutionalise these tools in such a way that we achieve tangible results.

Our resolve as the DPME is to ensure that this outcome action orientated planning and implementation process should happen consistently across all sphere of government and agencies. This synergy should entail mechanisms for us to be each other’s watchdog and encourage us to aspire to the highest levels of accountability. In this way, we will ensure that work gets done according to our plans and in a manner that improves people’s livelihoods and allow for the full participation of all the citizenry.

The DPME, working together with the National Planning Commission (NPC) and all spheres of government, is at the heart of this synergy and has a critical task to institutionalize planning and alignment with developmental goals and outcomes in government, provide effective monitoring mechanisms, evaluate all critical programmes to assess the nature of our impact in society.

The NPC in particular, as the custodian of the NDP, should assist with institutionalisation of planning amongst all social partners, provide critical research on the implementation of key focus areas and mobilise stakeholders outside government to contribute towards the attainment of our developmental goals.

Honourable Chairperson, I am excited that the newly appointed commissioners of the National Planning Commission have already shown the zeal to work with us towards the mainstreaming of long-term planning and attainment of the NDP goals. They bring with them a wealth of experience in various sectors of our society and help us reach as many potential stakeholders as possible.

We expect them to build on the crucial research outputs of the previous NPC and help to create a credible repository of evidence that will support the work towards the NDP goals.

This third NPC which commenced its duty last year in December has a critical mandate to lead the development agenda; advise on key developmental issues; accelerate, promote, monitor and assess implementation of the NDP; conduct long term research and create a body of evidence; help the country look ahead in a futuristic manner and ensure international partnerships for development in our country.

Although the NPC is an independent advisory body, we want to see them work closely with the DPME and create a framework for integrated planning in government. We remain committed to produce a legal framework that will usher in a new predictable and automated planning paradigm and discipline within and across all spheres of government.

In this regard, the DPME will undertake Inter-governmental and public consultations on the revised Integrated Development Planning Framework Bill. We anticipate that these consultations would be finalised by September 2022 and the necessary updates to incorporate comments will be effected by March 2023.

The finalisation and ascension of this Bill will build on the existing work that is happening in the DPME to institutionalise planning and assist with alignment of key priorities. Over the years, the DPME has consistently assessed all departmental strategic plans and Annual Performance Plans to ensure that they are aligned to the MTSF and NDP. These efforts were augmented with a series of training sessions for key planning functionaries in government to get them up to speed with the planning framework and guiding concepts.

This work, which will continue in the financial year 2022/2023, has been enhanced by the development of a much more nuanced theory of change that would guide integrated development planning in government and ensure that all components of the government machinery work collaboratively to achieve the set MTSF and NDP outcomes.

This work has also been strengthened by the introduction of the National Annual Strategic Plan (NASP) in the planning cycle of government to improve developmental results. The NASP sets out the priorities for the year ahead and improve alignment between the medium-term priorities and annual plans and budgets of departments.

The NASP is in alignment with the priorities that were set out in the President’s 2022 State of the Nation Address, NDP and the MTSF. It is anchored on four key areas that are aimed at stabilizing the current situation and lead to full recovery, namely: management of the pandemic, economic recovery, employment support and relief and building state capability for effective delivery.

In line with these key areas, the NASP identifies 10 critical interventions that should find expression in the departments’ Annual Performance Plans. These top ten interventions include the need to massify job creation, effect structural reforms and create conditions for ease of doing business in the country, digitization and modernization, food security and household income, provision of basic services, access to clean drinkable water and dignified sanitation, encourage citizens to take up vaccines for protection against the COVID-19 and deal with corruption decisively. The implementation of these top ten interventions will be monitored and evaluated on a monthly basis to ensure consistence in alignment and delivery.

We will ensure that this enhanced planning paradigm finds expression across all spheres of government through the District Development Model. The DPME chairs the Presidency Steering Committee on the DDM and has already established a number of workstreams to assist in driving integrated planning and implementation of programmes in the 44 pilot districts.

As you may be aware, the DDM adopts an integrated approach and dispels silos in the implementation of government programmes across the three tiers of government. Its intention is to ensure that plans translate into implementable programmes that yield demonstrable results. The DDM calls for government to coordinate and integrate development plans and budgets and mobilise the capacity and resources of social partners in pursuit of inclusive growth and job creation.

A number of pilot districts have launched the model and are beginning to realise its delivery capability across the three spheres of government. Most of the districts have submitted their One Plans which coordinates developmental efforts and set specific timelines for delivery. These One Plans also encapsulates identified catalytic projects which will help stabilize the current situation and lead to sustainable economic recovery and growth. The DPME will review these plans regularly to ensure alignment with NASP, MTSF 2019-2024 and NDP developmental goals.

We are building-in effective monitoring mechanism around all the plans to track implementation and develop timely corrective measures. The department will over the medium term continue to monitor government performance towards the achievement of envisaged outcomes by, among others, conducting bi-annual integrated medium-term strategic framework (MTSF) monitoring reviews.

These reviews are aimed at measuring progress against MTSF priorities to achieve improved accountability of the government in the implementation of service delivery programmes and projects. The reviews will include monitoring of the implementation of the Industrial Master Plans, Food and Nutrition Security, Gender Based Violence and Femicide, Covid-19 Assessments and Operation Phakisa Assessment and the Ease of Doing Business in the country.

As this financial year marks the mid-point of our MTSF 2019 – 2024, the DPME will also produce a mid-term review report of government performance against the set seven priorities.

We want to bolster the evidence that is generated through the monthly, bi-annual, midterm and sectoral reviews with rapid evaluations of key government programmes. Our Evaluation team at the DPME will conduct rapid evaluations on programmes that are aimed at achieving our annual apex priorities as detailed in the NASP.

Rapid evaluations will be implemented alongside the approved National Evaluation Plan which is anchored on the seven priorities of the MTSF 2019 – 2024. We need this feedback to design appropriate corrective interventions, improve our plans, and fine tune the delivery mechanism.

We are working on development of a large-scale tertiary knowledge hub that will host all this evidence and link us to research outputs in various sectors. The DPME will create a real-time data centre that is geographically reference to enable the President to have a line of sight of government interventions and the impact that these interventions have on the object of change, the people of our country.

We want to work towards a scenario where all the citizen can access and track progress in the implementation of government programme against the set targets. As a result, the DPME is at the advance stage in the development of the Centralised Data Management System (CDMAS) which will enable data users to access, retrieve, analyse and visualise data.

We want all citizens to be a part of the envisaged growth and development by building the necessary capability in the state and work towards the highest standards of accountability. Hence, we consider the signing and reviews of performance agreement for the executive and Heads of Departments an important element in the capability of the state. The DPME has a task to coordinate the signing of performance agreement for the Minister and Heads of the Department and ensure alignment with the Annual Performance Plans and overall developmental goals.

Our frontline monitoring team is on the ground to review the quality of government services, identify potential hindrances and bring in the necessary evidence.

We want to ensure that no one is left behind as we rebuild our country amidst this pandemic and work towards inclusive development and growth. We encourage all the people in South Africa to vaccinate against Corona Virus to offset its impact in our society.

We call on all South Africans to protect critical economic infrastructure to safe guard existing jobs and sources of livelihoods. Let us lead the charge against corruption, because it compromises all our efforts to accelerate the recovery process and set our economy on positive economic trajectory. No woman must be subjected to abuse, violation and discriminated against in all facets of our lives. The youth must adopt this recovery and stabilization as its main course and participate effectively in all programmes that seek to grow the country. We want a skilled youthful workforce that can drive this recovery with the necessary vigour and speed.

Honourable Chair, we commit to deploy the vote budget for the financial year 2022/23, which amounts to R470.9 million, towards building an integrated evidence based planning, monitoring and evaluation system. It is our view that this will significantly improve the capability of the state to deliver and promote participation of various stakeholders and ordinary people. With the budget made available, we have allocated and will spend as follows:

– R190,4m will be dedicated to the compensation of employees, goods and services.

– R84,6m to contribute to the improved development outcomes for the country through the coordination and institutionalisation of an integrated government planning system. Examples of interventions include the monitoring of the NDP; automation of the planning system across all government institutions; and stakeholder engagement programmes of the NPC.

– R69,4 dedicated to monitoring government’s progress on its achievement of the goals set out in the NDP. There are many interventions that will be implemented, to name a few: Monitoring reviews that measure progress against MTSF priorities and submitted to Cabinet Committees on the state of government performance against MTSF, Monitor the implementation of Operations Phakisa Labs and Implement the Local Government Management Improvement Model (LGMIM) self-assessments system by participating municipalities.

– R83,1m dedicated towards providing appropriate support for the implementation of the MTSF, with the following key interventions- Monitoring and reporting on the performance agreements and implementation of the Ministerial PMDS; Monitoring and reporting on the performance analysis of DGs and the performance and capability of National and Provincial departments. Other key areas include the monitoring of contribution of SOEs towards the MTSF and frontline service on the implementation of the MTSF priorities at district level, and Monitoring the institutionalisation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS).

– R43,4m dedicated towards advancing evidence‐based planning, monitoring and evaluation and this will enable reporting on selected indicators on economic and social development in South Africa, Technical support interventions, including training, capacity development, facilitation, data assignments and standard setting documents and guidelines and Development, piloting and deployment of the Centralised Data Management Analytical System (CDMAS) project.

As I conclude, I want to thank the Deputy Ministers in the Presidency who relentlessly support the work of the Department. I also want to thank the Director General of the DPME and his team for their commitment to work towards building synergized systems and delivery mechanisms. They understand that we have a mammoth task to contribute to this recovery and development.

This year is a turning point and we would appreciate if members of parliament could approve our programme of action against the voted funds and set us on a path to make our contribution in the stabilization and recovery of our country.

I thank you!

MIL OSI Africa