The ANC supports Vote 19 Social Development
Honourable chairperson, the ANC has always acknowledged that in order to build a socially inclusive society, it needs to progressively address the challenges of poverty, underdevelopment and unemployment. Such a society, must be able to chart the way forward towards the democratically determined, equitable, just and effective social delivery system.
The ANC argues that such a system, in- line with the Freedom Charter should have a transformative outcome of creating a united nation with the requisite conditions which enable South Africa and Africa to make their contributions towards human progress. To effectively achieve this people must be taken as a fundamental resource which is central to the development of the economy and the nation as a whole.
As we work towards arriving at this united nation that has an equitable, just effective social delivery system, the ANC commits not only to continue to extend the social safety net, but also to maintain and expand our social security system to protect the vulnerable and reduce poverty. To ensure that we work progressively to achieve this social delivery system we need to ensure that there is an efficient, effective, functional and integrated social development which drives this vision.
Honourable members, the integrated portfolio approach has enabled the department and its entities to provide investment in programmes and services that enable individuals and communities to participate in their own development. We welcome this approach led by the Minister, as it has enabled a collective approach towards achieving the central mandate of the department.
We do note, there are individual deficiencies that confront the sector, these have been raised by the Auditor- General (AG) in his assessment of the Annual Performance Plans. This deficiencies must be systematically addressed to ensure that they do not continue to hinder the performance ability of the department. We will periodically request the department to give a report back on they are addressing the issues raised, as these cannot be raised again in the AGs next assessment.
Honourable chairperson, we need this portfolio to be efficient, effective and functional because of the mammoth yet important responsibility it has in restoring dignity to our people. Our people look to this portfolio for an improved quality of life and the freeing of their potential. This portfolio respects and advocated for the recognition of human dignity, equality and the advancement of human rights and freedom. These tenants underpin the work of the portion. Our work is to ensure that the targets and activities planned by the portfolio each financial year over the rest of this five- year period are impact driven and make a tangible difference in the lives of our people. There must be a fundamental difference in how the portfolio operated previously to how it will operate moving forward.
Its policy imperatives must ensure that the work of the portfolio is focused on qualitatively improving the lives of our people through evidence- based and results based targets that are impact driven.
Honourable members, the transformation of this sector is central to implementing the mandate of the vote. However, as abovementioned transformation has to start internally. This relates to the organisational design of the portfolio and how this contributes towards implementing its mandate. A significant issue that always comes out of our joint committee meetings with the portfolio committee on Social Development is the use and application of the theory of change. Transformation means the application of this theory which must be linked to evidence and results based applications. The work of the portfolio must be thoroughly informed by these tools so that we can begin to see the tangible difference it is making in the lives of our people. Targets and indicators must be informed by the tangible and practical difference that the portfolio seeks to make, which must be seen when we conduct our oversight on the ground.
Transformation in this sector is significant to human development. It is also key to the coordination of the different parts of the social protection system which are complementary.
This committee must ensure that we work on ensuring that these scientific approaches are applied in the work of the department. We must ensure that this transformation advances the work of this portfolio to ensure that by 2030, everyone enjoys an adequate standard of living, through the provision of basic social protection guarantees aimed at preventing and or alleviating poverty and protecting against vulnerability. These should be easily accessible and available to those who need them the most.
Honourable members, if we are to make real progress in eliminating poverty and reducing inequality, we will need to provide our people with a secure foundation from which they can expand their capabilities and improve their life opportunities. It therefore is crucial that our actions today direct us in the direction of a positive future for our country.
It cannot be that Honourable Members of the DA comes and laments the Department, when the DA is failing to apply its own Policy on Social Protection in the Western Cape. Your Policy claims that it will allocate 76% of the annual budget of the Western Cape towards opening opportunities people in poor communities, through education, health services, housing and social development programmes. Yes, the largest budget allocation on paper goes to these programmes, but not true on the ground, go to Hout Bay, Kayamandi, Belhar, and Thembalethu in George, Concordia and Judah Square in Knysna and tell the nation how your Social Protection policy budget allocation is changing the lives of people there. There is no opening of opportunities in those communities, the only open opportunities that the DA is affording to poor communities in the Western Cape, are sadly the daily service delivery protests that we see. Where is the budget going? Tell us which vulnerable communities will benefit from the proposed R100 million targeted intervention programmes meant to provide food relief and immediate, short- term work opportunities.
The ANC supports Vote 19 Social Development.