Speech by the Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, MP On the occasion of the presentation of Budget Vote 19 of the Department of Social Development
13 May 2022
Honourable Chairperson of the National Assembly;
Chairperson and Members of the Portfolio Committee on Social Development;
Deputy Minister of Social Development;
MECs for Social Development here present;
Fellow South Africans;
Members of the Media; and
Ladies and Gentlemen.
Thank you for the opportunity to present the 2022/23 Budget Vote 19 of the Department of Social Development to this Honourable House.
In the past two years, our people and institutions have been on the frontlines of a series of novel challenges and disasters such as CoVID-19, the July 2021 unrests and, lately, the floods in the KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape provinces.
Throughout this time we held together as society and formed defences with which we are protecting and improving our people’s lives and livelihoods. Informed by the need to improve the state of the collective of our people, their families and communities throughout our country, the Social Development portfolio is entering a period of the great shift wherein our visibility, responsiveness and relevance will be aligned with the people’s felt needs.
As the Social Development portfolio we are saying: We are entering this era of great shift by remaking ourselves because the future of each South African is greater than the past we come from, and together with all South Africans we are going to make tomorrow worth living for.
Working together with our provincial departments of Social Development, the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) and the National Development Agency (NDA), and corresponding with President Cyril Ramaphosa’s State of the Nation Address (SoNA), throughout this financial year, the Department of Social Development will intentionally intensify its contributions towards interventions that address the impact of poverty, inequality and unemployment through:
- continuously improving the implementation, quality, and reach of all Social Development services for each South African and towards the realisation of a society-wide impact;
- strengthening our fight against gender-based violence and femicide by means of implementing the National Strategic Plan on Gender Based Violence and Femicide, in particular pillar 4;
- the establishment of beneficial and sustainable linkages between the implementation of Social Development services and economic opportunities, particularly through creating and supporting the participation of beneficiaries in the social economy;
- continuing with the implementation of the CoVID-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant;
- ensuring that our programme implementation embodies the protection and furtherance of the dignity of our people;
- leading the formation of community-targeted and strong people-public-private-civil-academic-multilateral partnerships and social compacting in areas such as tackling gangsterism, substance abuse, gender-based violence, and the impact of disasters, shocks and emergencies;
- expanding our support for food- and nutrition-provision interventions in pursuit of ending the pain of hunger as well as undoing the effects of malnutrition;
- implementing Social Development programmes through the Cabinet-adopted District Development Model;
- strengthening government’s coordination and implementation mechanisms across the three spheres in service of the people; and
- stabilising and strengthening institutional governance and capacity towards meaningful programme implementation throughout the Social Development portfolio.
In light of the sustained conflict in Europe, not only is the cost of basic food items and energy sources rising, but the likelihood of our people securing these basic provisions on a continued basis is increasingly becoming remote.
Inadvertently, ill-prospects such as these only serve to heighten the need for Social Development interventions to be strengthened towards ensuring that the state of our people does not deteriorate further.
We are presenting this Budget Vote at the mid-term point of the Sixth Administration’s electoral mandate. Therefore, this budget is the opportunity to meaningfully remake ourselves in a manner that reflects the great future that each South African lives to realise. Henceforth, programmatic performance across the Social Development portfolio must be consistent with the great shift as well as the people’s aspirations. Our institutions must be the true embodiment of the people’s aspirations. To this end, during the State of the Nation Address, President Ramaphosa challenged us to forge [I quote] a consensus that unites us behind our shared determination to reform our economy and rebuild our institutions [Unquote]. Guided by, among other, the SoNA priorities, the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan, the Putting South Africa to Work proposals and the need to found and sustain social compacts that will bring all of us, especially communities, together, the Department of Social Development is addressing itself to the realisation of the people’s aspirations.
2022/23 Budget Vote
Vote 19 of the Department of Social Development is government’s third largest budget for the 2022/23 financial year, and it constitutes 13.1% of government’s overall estimated budget of R1.957 trillion. Our budget allocation for the 2022/23 financial year is a total of R257 billion, of which R248 billion is allocated to cover more than 18 million social grants beneficiaries. This social grant investment constitutes 99.6% of the Department’s total budget allocation in the current financial year.
SASSA will distribute R248 billion directly to more than 18 million beneficiaries monthly. These include old age, child support, disability and foster care grant beneficiaries.
Added to this is an amount of R44 billion that has been allocated for the extension of the Special CoVID-19 Social Relief of Distress grant for one year. This will be distributed to 10.5 million eligible persons monthly. An amount of R7 499 billion is allocated towards SASSA’s operations and grant payment fees. This operational budget enables SASSA to continue to meaningfully contribute towards reducing poverty among South Africans who are unable to support themselves. Moreover, SASSA will continue to provide temporary reprieve to individuals and families who are experiencing temporary distress — such as those they assisted during the recent floods in the KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape provinces — in order to meet their basics needs whilst they are addressing their temporary challenges.
Most relevant to our commitment to social and economic reconstruction and recovery, henceforth SASSA will be supporting initiatives through which CoVID-19 SRD grant beneficiaries as well as child support grant caregivers can access employment opportunities. Meanwhile, SASSA continues to invest in enhanced digital and data capabilities by means of which the service experiences of beneficiaries are eased.
CoVID-19 SRD Grant
The allocation for the CoVID-19 Social Relief of Distress (SRD) grant for the 2022/23 financial year is R44 billion. This means that each month 10,5 million approved applicants will receive this important social safety net intervention that cushions them and their families against the constants of unemployment and poverty. This grant type is increasingly taking advantage of commonplace data and digital infrastructures to process applications and conduct verifications. Therefore, the need for physical contact is greatly reduced.
The application channels for the grant for the period from April 2022 to March 2023, as announced by the President, opened on 23 April 2022. By 30 April 2022, in excess of 8,1 million applications had already been received. I assure all qualifying applicants that they will be in receipt of their payments for this iteration of the grant by June.
On the question of the accessibility of grant payment infrastructure, SASSA is extending its negotiations to include local fast moving consumer goods traders as part of their payment outlets for the CoVID-19 SRD grant. I wish to reiterate our government’s commitment and readiness to fight crime syndicates and criminals who are defrauding the State. To this end, we are continuing to work together with the relevant law enforcement agencies to ensure that these and their actions are detected, isolated, arrested and successfully prosecuted. We are coming for you!!!
Extended Child Support Grant
In support of the Department’s commitment to find a comprehensive legal solution to the foster care challenges which have been plaguing the sector for many years, an amount of R687.0 million in 2023/24 and R871.0 million in 2024/25 has been allocated for the implementation of the long-awaited extended child support grant (otherwise known as the top-up child support grant) for orphans who are in the care of relatives. As soon as the amended regulations to the Social Assistance Act of 2004 are published in the next few days, SASSA will be in a position to provide the extended child support grant of R720 per child per month to relatives who are caring for orphaned children. While we expect the extended child support grant to be implemented in June of this year, we estimate that it will be received by over 191 000 relatives during the 2022/23 financial year. Let me remind you that in order to access this grant qualifying applicants need not go through the lengthy Children’s Court process. As a result, the affected children will quickly receive the support they need for them to unlock their full potential.
The National Development Agency (NDA) is allocated R219 million to implement its primary mandate of contributing towards the eradication of poverty and its causes by granting funds to civil society organisations. Through grant funding, the NDA will address the increasing cost pressures that civil society organisations (CSOs) are experiencing. This intervention will enable CSOs to support their communities as they recover from the effects of the disasters we have been through recently.
In the same vein, throughout this financial year the NDA will positively impact the skills base and sustainability within the CSO environment. To this effect, while a total of 1 846 CSOs were provided with financial and management skills that would enable them to operate sustainably and stabilise the governance of their organisations, this year the NDA will be implementing its partnership model by which the investments of a diversity of partners will be coordinated towards positive impact on targeted communities. At the heart of the success of these partnerships will be the piloting of interventions through the Cabinet-adopted District Development Model.
As companies are scaling down or shutting down their operations, the NDA will be creating 3 000 work opportunities in the current financial year. Out of these, 2 300 will be created through the implementation of the Volunteer Programme which will be funded through the Presidential Employment Stimulus Package.
For the remaining Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) period an amount of R125 million has been allocated towards strengthening the operations of the South African Council for Social Service Professions for it to carry out its legislated mandate. The Council is important to regulate and professionalise the social service profession sectors. We will continue our discussions with different stakeholders to ensure that social service professionals are adequately funded and utilised as part of our country’s social and economic reconstruction and recovery efforts.
The Department has allocated an amount of R43 million to be transferred to National Councils that render vital services. These include the South African National AIDS Council which is allocated an amount of R15 635 million in the current financial year. This leaves the Department with an operational budget of R944 million.
Welfare Services Policy Development
R309 million of the Department’s allocation will go towards Welfare Services Policy Development programmes among which are: Social crime prevention and victim empowerment (that has been allocated R75 402 million); Substance abuse (for which R20 726 million has been budgeted); Older persons (allocated R19 126 million); and Youth (which has been allocated R12 607 million). In this regard, we intend to go into our communities and, together with affected families, civil society formations and all of government, address the distress that gangsterism and substance abuse are causing us.
Social Policy and Integrated Development programmes
R359 million has been allocated towards Social Policy and Integrated Development programmes. This includes key programmatic areas such as: supporting the Central Drug Authority in doing its work (R 7 069 million); the Registration and Monitoring of Non-Profit Organisations (R41 910 million); the promotion of population policy (R38 773 million); community development (R29 863 million); and Substance Abuse Advisory Service and Oversight (R7 069 million).
Gender Based Violence and Femicide
In line with the commitment of the Sixth Administration, the Department will continue to play an important role in the implementation of pillar 4 of the National Strategic Plan on Gender Based Violence and Femicide. Our society’s success in undoing the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide rests on the pursuit of comprehensive and targeted partnerships across different sectors.
While we are working towards measurable outcomes, we shall continue with the implementation of awareness and advocacy programmes and assign specific attention to areas that the Minister of Police has declared GBV hotspots. To this end, we have trained and deployed GBVF Ambassadors to work closely with local community organisations. Towards ensuring that our services are accessible for survivors of gender-based violence, through the NDA, we partnered with community-based civil society organisations who are well-positioned to support locally. To this end, and owing to the Criminal Asset Recovery Account (CARA) funds, last year, the NDA funded 297 civil society organisations to render support services to survivors of GBV.
With regard to expansion of shelters, we are working jointly with the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure to identify state-owned facilities across the country that can be re-purposed into Khuseleka One-Stop Centres. In addition to rendering psycho-social support services to survivors during the recovery process, we are expanding the developmental dimensions of these facilities as far as offering productive skills and enabling economic empowerment towards self-reliance are concerned. In this regard, we are finalising agreements with different Sector Education and Training Authorities.
During the course of this financial year we will be processing and tabling the following legislation for consideration by this House:
- the Older Persons Amendment Bill;
- the Non-Profit Organisation Amendment Bill; and
- the Social Service Professionals Bill
Honourable Chairperson. As I draw towards the conclusion, please allow me to evoke Pixley ka Isaka Seme when delivering an address in 1906, he authoritatively stated: [I quote] The regeneration of Africa means that a new and unique civilization is soon to be added to the world [Unquote]. In view of the reconstruction and recovery path that we have chosen for our society and economy following the disasters we had to endure, Budget Vote 19 of the Department of Social Development for the 2022/23 financial year is a meaningful contribution to the rise of the South Africa that we all want as well as the South African whom we want to inhabit it.
Please allow me to conclude by thanking Deputy Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu for her relent-less contributions to the realisation of this mandate. I also thank the Acting Director-General, Linton Mchunu and his Management team; the Chief Executive Officer of SASSA and Acting Chief Executive Officer of the NDA, Ms Totsie Memela-Khambula and Mr Bongani Magongo, respectively, and their Management teams as well as the Council and Registrar of the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP). I am grateful to the Ministry team; and all the social service professionals who are going a long way towards translating the Social Development mandate into reality in many communities throughout the country.
I take this moment to acknowledge and thank the many social partners (including embassies, multilateral institutions, NPOs and private sector partners that we work with). A few among these are:
- the Embassy of the People’s Republic of China;
- the Embassy of Hungary;
- the Embassy of Nepal;
- the Turkish Cooperation and Coordination Agency;
- the National Lotteries Commission;
- the Old Mutual Foundation;
- the Motsepe Foundation;
- the Collen Mashawana Foundation;
- the Church of Christ of the Latter Day Saints;
- Pernod Richard; and
- Procter and Gamble.
A special thank you to my family with whose understanding and unconditional blessings I continue to serve South Africans. I am grateful to the African National Congress for the continued confidence in me to serve all our people.
Honourable Chair and Members. I hereby table Budget Vote 19 of the Department of Social Development together with priorities for the 2022/23 financial year.
I thank you.