South African’s National Liberation Movement

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National Conference​

Report of the Secretary General

8: Ministry Reports

17 December 1997

Goals and Functions

The constitutional function of Defence is to loyally defend and protect the sovereignty, territory and people of our country against external aggression, and, as its secondary object, to assist our civil authorities in maintaining the rule of law when necessary. Defence must serve to uphold peace and security in a democratic society, so as to create a stable environment for the improvement of our people`s lives and for the development and progress of our country.

Central to this goal is the consolidation of civil control over the military, the enhancement of representivity at all ranks to reflect the demographic composition of our population, and the creation of a new military culture that accords with the values of our new democracy.

Achievements since December 1994

The achievements of the Ministry of the last three years include:

  • Demilitarisation encompassing a non-aggressive Defence posture, considerable budget reductions, tight control over arms exports, and steps, such as the banning of weapons of mass destruction and of anti-personnel land mines, in which we have taken a leading role both nationally and internationally.
  • The integration of the various armed forces and the downsizing, to peace time levels, of the new SANDF.
  • Marked progress towards representivity within the new SANDF.
  • Building national consensus on Defence through the White Paper and Defence Review process.
  • Consolidating civil control over the military.
  • Instilling new democratic attitudes and values within the military through a Civic Education programme and by establishing Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunities programmes.
  • Rendering essential support to the South African Police Service in the fight against crime.
  • Assisting local and provincial authorities in disaster relief.
  • Promoting Defence cooperation and common security in our region and beyond.
  • Building the Part Time Force, which should become the backbone of our armed forces.
  • Caring for our veterans.
Specific achievements with regard to RDP implementation

Assistance is rendered to other state departments and civil authorities in all provinces, in times of natural disasters or humanitarian need, including:

  • search and rescue at sea and on land;
  • assistance in the case of floods or severe weather conditions, as has been the case in KwaZulu and Mpumalanga;
  • repair of roads and bridges washed away in the flooding;
  • supplying water to drought stricken areas;
  • naval patrols to deter poachers;
  • inoculating children against diseases and other medical assistance to the population.

In addition, the substantial reduction in the Defence Budget means that considerable funds have been diverted to socio-economic reconstruction.

Relations with provinces and ANC Study Groups

The Ministry is creating very positive relations with the new National Council of Provinces, assisting to empower the new NCOP members on Defence issues, especially in how this relates to provincial and local authority.

The Ministry has a productive relationship with the relevant ANC study groups and the NEC Peace and Stability Committee. Much of the success in developing the White Paper and Defence Review has been in conjunction with these groups who have also been active in monitoring the integration process.

Evaluation and problems

Defence transformation since 1994 shows significant progress. But much of the implementation is slow, such as the development of the Defence Secretariat`s capacity. It is only with a strong Secretariat that the Ministry will have the necessary management structure to ensure the supervision and implementation of policy throughout the SANDF.

We have managed to cope with the successive annual budget cuts since 1994. The major cuts this year, however, are causing severe difficulties as we strive to identify areas where they can most effectively be absorbed without compromising national security.

A major problem faced by the SANDF has been the aged equipment which is becoming increasingly obsolete, especially in terms of the ships for the navy and planes for the air force. A very strong case has been put forward through the Defence Review whereby Cabinet and Parliament have accepted that essential equipment requirements can be linked to strategic Defence and trade co-operation programmes with major partners abroad.

There is still evidence that elements of the former military bureaucracy are not exhibiting the positive spirit required, and they are still in strategic positions to slow down the pace of change and create frustration. This has been most noticeable with regard to the integration process. Many newly ranked Black officers have found themselves in marginal positions with little decision-making responsibilities. But lessons have been learned, the administrative processes improved and a more level playing field is being created.

The SANDF`s overall performance has been one of the great successes of our new democratic government, bearing in mind the uneasy question marks that hung over the military at the time of our first democratic elections in 1994.

Future plans and priorities

An immediate priority is the completion of the remaining stage of the Defence Review – dealing with Defence`s land holding, legal framework and support structures.

The Secretariat is being strengthened through newly reformed management structures under the transformation process and affirmative staffing programmes.

The implementation, during 1998, of our Civic Education programme and further work to reformulate Defence doctrine will give a great impetus to transforming values and attitudes.

The implementation of the Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action policy and programme, as well as the fast-tracking of younger black officers with potential, will further achieve our representivity target .

Budget allocations need to be reorganised to ensure the advancement of a recruitment programme for the Part Time Force in the townships and rural areas so that representivity is achieved.

The lifting of Government`s retrenchment moratorium needs to be prioritised as a key way to rationalise several thousand posts currently held by former SADF members.

The programme for the re-entry of former combatants into civilian life should be improved by strengthening the Service Corps, Veterans associations, and coordinating veterans` care through a Veterans Act – operated by a Veterans Directorate within the Ministry.

It is anticipated that Government`s decisions regarding the strategic packages offered by key international trading partners will be finalised early in 1998.

Goals and Functions

The main function of the Education Ministry is to translate the provisions of the Constitution into a national framework within which higher education institutions and provincial education departments can make the most effective contribution to the development of the nation`s human resources.

The Ministry is empowered to achieve the following goals:

  • basic education for all people;
  • equal access to educational institutions;
  • non-discrimination in the system;
  • protection of linguistic, cultural and religious diversity;
  • protection of academic freedom;
  • equitable funding.
Achievements since December 1994

The Department has put in place the following elements of its legislative framework:

  • White Paper on Education and Training in South Africa (February 1995)
  • White Paper on School Organisation, Governance and Funding (February 1996)
  • White Paper on Transformation of Higher Education (August 1997)
  • South African Qualifications Authority Act (September 1995)
  • National Education Policy Act (April 1996)
  • Schools Act (December 1996)

The School Register of Needs Survey, a massive date gathering and information analysis exercise, located, visited and mapped 32,000 education institutions. For the first time in its history, the Department has a comprehensive database of every school in the country, its exact geographic location, its condition and resources.

School governing bodies had successfully been elected at approximately 90 per cent of schools countrywide by the end of September. Draft National norms and standards for school funding have been published for public comment.

The Culture of Learning, Teaching and Service Campaign has prioritised issues around commitment, motivation, discipline and quality education in the minds of teacher, pupils and communities.

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme was established in 1995. The final proposals on what form a permanent arrangement on the scheme will take will be produced by the end of November 1997. The Higher Education Bill is currently before Parliament.

The establishment of the National Qualifications Framework will facilitate access for learners, promote mobility and progression between different levels and enhance the quality of the entire system.

Curriculum 2005 is currently being piloted in Grade 1 in 30 schools in each province until December 1997.

The Ithutheng (Ready to Learn) campaign aimed at improving both the quality and the quantity of state delivery to adult learners at the lowest levels of adult basic education and training. Over 100,000 learner nationally were reached.

Interim policy on Early Childhood Development was developed in 1996 and subsequently announced as national policy by the Minister. This marks the first national policy for the age group from birth to nine years.

Since 1995, the Department has dedicated R1.5 billion from the RDP Fund to upgrading of education facilities. Investment is targeted at those provinces with the highest needs, rural communities and those which have been historically neglected. For the first time in 1996 matriculants across the country wrote a common examination by province.

An intensive process is underway to transform the Department into an effective, responsive and proactive organisation through changing its culture, and building the institutional and management capacity so that it can deliver its services in an effective, efficient and responsive manner.

A Gender Equity Task Team has been researching gender discrimination in the education system, and is due to present its report to the Minister before the end of 1997.

The voluntary severance package offer removed from the system many valuable skills, but it also provided an exit for many of those who were not prepared to work in and towards a new order. Budgetary problems with the existing provisions, and disputes with unions regarding the present teacher-pupil rations, have forced the Department to investigate new approaches to achieving equity.

Evaluation and problems

The Ministry believes the major obstacle to the achievement of its goals remains the inadequacy of funds allocated to it. Given the backlogs in education, the Ministry has always argued that the education budget would have to rise for at least a few years before achieving the savings that would bring it down.

Other problems include lack of capacity in provinces, the magnitude of the challenges and confusion in roles between political and administrative arms in the provinces.


The Environmental Affairs and Tourism Department has been slow to transform itself, given that it was under the direction of a National Party minister until May 1996. As a consequence, all the current policies are less than a year old, and none has been tested in implementation.

Goals and Functions

The tasks of the Department fall into three categories:

  • environmental management and protection;
  • marine fisheries;
  • tourism.

In addition, the Department is responsible for the National Parks Board, the National Botanical Institute, the Weather Bureau and the SANAE Base in Antarctica.

The Department has prioritised policy on the basis of its impact on the most exploited and historically disadvantaged communities. It has sought to address the issue of poverty by opting for a policy thrust that will create employment, protect those in employment and make the control and disposal over assets more representative.

Achievements since December 1994

The Ministry has completed a White Paper on Environmental Management and one on Biological Diversity, and an implementation paper for the tourism sector title `Tourism in Gear`. It has also initiated a policy process on waste management in conjunction with the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry.

A large measure of consensus on policy has been achieved in the Department and among the stakeholders. To ensure the most affected understand fully the implications of policy, we have tried to produce accessible editions of all policy papers.

Evaluation and problems

In the development of policy, the Department has been faced by two major constraints:

The technical nature of the subjects inhibited participation by grassroots organised structures.

The ANC`s own constituency, including ANC and Alliance structures, took little interest in the process, relying on Parliament to provide a forum for the presentation of progressive views. This has created space for other sections of society, particularly those interested in maintaining privilege, to have a disproportionately loud voice.

Future plans and priorities

The Department will continue to strive to reconcile economic growth and development with environmental protection, captured in the concept of sustainable development. In Marine Fisheries this concept translates to sustainable exploitation, which means striving to exploit the resources of the sea in a manner that ensures their future and their survival for future generations to exploit them. The Department aims to create a globally competitive South African tourism industry which can become a lead sector of the national economic strategy.

The restructuring of the Department needs to be a priority if these aims are to be achieved. There is also an urgent need to synchronise the policies of the Department with those pursued by other departments.


Goals and Functions

The Ministry of Finance is in many respects unique because it is responsible for four separate departments:

  • Department of Finance,
  • Department of State Expenditure,
  • South African Revenue Services,
  • Central Statistical Services.

These departments are not geared for delivery in the same way that `line` departments are, but instead they provide a support service to Government.

The Department of Finance is responsible for shaping the macroeconomic environment; for rendering support services to national departments and the provinces; administration of pensions; shaping fiscal policy; and management of assets and liabilities of government.

The Department of State Expenditure is responsible for the financial management systems of government, state procurement and the administration of the Central Computer Services.

The Department of Finance and the Department of State Expenditure together are responsible for making the national Budget.

The South African Revenue Service was granted administrative autonomy during this year, and is responsible for the collection of taxes, and of excise and customs duties. Central Statistical Services is responsible for the collation of statistics.

Achievements and evaluation

Significant progress has been made in transforming the four departments, and ensuring that they are realigned to meet the objectives of the government.

The Ministry has paid much attention to the stabilisation of the currency. The success of policies adopted has been shown by the ability of the Rand to hold its own during this year when there has been a serious loss of confidence in the currencies of many developing countries.

There has been a significant reduction in debt service costs and better management of government spending. This is in line with policies which seek to redirect expenditure towards spending on services in keeping with RDP objectives.

In June 1996 the Growth Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) strategy was adopted as a means to provide a coherent fiscal and macroeconomic framework to enable the achievement of the RDP objectives.

Gear has meant accelerated expenditure in infrastructure, a significant expansion in the contribution of the fiscus to training and vocational education, a labour intensive shift in government spending on poverty relief and basic infrastructural development, and redistribution within the education, health and welfare services in favour of historically disadvantaged communities.

The Central Statistical Services conducted the first door-to-door census during 1996 (Census 96). When the final results are published next year, these statistics will have an impact on the understanding of the country`s demography and future allocation of resources.

The process of Budget Reform is well underway, and preparations for the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) are in their final stages.

Relations with provinces

The Ministry has a good and open relationship with all provinces, including KwaZulu-Natal and the Western. The success of this relationship can be ascribed to the frequent Budget Council and MINMEC meetings.

The Department of Finance has a established a Chief Directorate for Intergovernmental Relations which has the responsibility for all relations between National and Provinces, as well as with local authorities.

There are problems in relation to the overspending by some of the Provinces. Disagreements between National and some of the Provinces exist over this, which is compounded by the legal status of such over-expenditure. Failure to resolve these differences will lead to serious problems.

Future plans and priorities

The major focus of the work of the Ministry of Finance in the forthcoming period will be to focus on the issue of budget reform and the implementation of the Medium Term Expenditure Framework.

The MTEF will ensure that:

  • political control over priorities in the budget-making process will be enhanced;
  • an understanding of the main cost drivers in the budget will be promoted;
  • it will link expenditure to service outputs;
  • co-operative governance will be facilitated.

The MTEF will reassert the commitments to meet the objectives of the RDP by adherence to three inter-linked principles. Firstly, the budget will ensure strict fiscal discipline at all levels of government. Secondly effective reprioritisation within government will allow for the freed up resources to be targeted more precisely. Thirdly, the success of the process will require efficient spending within government.


Goals and Functions

The thrust of South African foreign policy includes the pursuit of the following objectives:

  • security and quality of life for all South Africans;
  • justice and the rule of international law;
  • non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries;
  • promotion of human rights, democracy and international peace;
  • support for Africa`s needs and aspirations;
  • the promotion of the economic well-being of the people of the Southern African region.

Achievements since December 1994

The Department has given priority to effecting institutional changes to address inequalities in the race and gender composition of its officials, both at head office and at missions abroad. The targets set out in the Public Service White Paper have already been exceeded by a significant margin.

The presence in South Africa of 115 embassies and more than 97 missions abroad, is a clear reflection of South Africa`s growing interaction with the global community. In addition, South Africa has been chosen to chair the Southern African Development Community (SADC), to preside over the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), and to host the next summit of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Relations with African states, especially SADC countries, constitute a cornerstone of our foreign policy. The government has made considerable progress to design and implement an effective regional growth and development strategy.

Economic and political relations have also been expanded between South Africa and Equatorial and North Africa. The Department has been actively involved in international efforts aimed at bringing about an end to conflicts and disputes in these regions.

South Africa has continued to be an active participant in the United Nations, supporting the reform of the UN in general and the restructuring and democratisation of the UN Security Council.

In the international disarmament arena, a major achievement was the signing in April 1996 of the Pelindaba Treaty establishing an African Nuclear-Weapon-Free Zone. South Africa has become recognised as one of the small group of countries leading the negotiations on an international agreement to ban anti-personnel landmines.

Relations with Asia has deepened considerably, and trade has increased to the extent that Asia is now South Africa`s second largest trading region after the European Union.

The President announced in November 1996 that South Africa would normalise relations with Chine by the end of 1997, bringing South Africa`s foreign policy on line with international practice.

The Binational Commission with the United States is the most visible manifestation of our close bilateral relations, which have been systematically developed and expanded over the last two years. Bilateral relations with Latin American countries were boosted during 1996 and expanded in 1997 with reciprocal high-level visits, which helped South Africa to re-evaluate its priorities in the region.

Relations with provinces and ANC Study Groups

Because of the growth of international contact with Provinces, it became necessary for the Department to establish a Provincial Liaison unit to maintain contact with the provinces on legal and constitutional matters relating to agreements with foreign countries and international organisations.

On occasions when it has been difficult for the Minister or Deputy Minister to attend ANC study group meetings, communication – including written inputs and feedbacks – have continued to flow.

Evaluation and problems

Much as the new South Africa would like to become involved in all issues and all laudable initiatives in the international arena, it does not have the resources of personnel and finances to achieve this.

In pursuit of its foreign policy objectives, South Africa will need to contend with some of the following potential obstacles:

  • the risk of protectionism and the undermining of the international trade system;
  • refugees, mass migration and the threat to job creation;
  • arms proliferation and the spread of the capability to produce weapons of mass destruction;
  • disease, drought and other natural disasters, which will remain a constant threat to the economic and social development of Africa.

Future plans and priorities

The conclusion of a wide range of bilateral and multi-lateral agreements with a number of African countries shall continue. The Department has undertaken further preparation for the role it foresees in the area of conflict resolution and peace support. It is cooperating with the National Conventional Arms Control Committee in the preparation of legislation to impede mercenary activity by South African citizens.

South Africa continues to support the Angolan peace process, and encourages the private and public sectors to participate in the reconstruction and development of that country.


Goals and Functions

When the Ministry of Health took office in 1994 its chief task was to transform a health care system which was racially segregated, highly fragmented, biased towards curative care and the private sector, inefficient and inequitable.

The goal of the Department is the achievement of a single integrated National Health System based on primary health care, decentralised to the lowest level possible that is compatible with rational planning and maintenance of good quality care.

The priorities are maternal and child health; nutrition; control of communicable diseases; violence against children and women; programmes for vulnerable groups; rational drug use; emergency services; programmes against substance abuse; and promotion of oral health and environmental health.

Achievements since December 1994

Within six months in government, the Ministry amalgamated the 14 health departments and formed one national health department and nine provincial health departments. With the democratisation of local government, the Department is engaged in discussions with organised local government to establish the district health system as a model for health care delivery at local level.

The Department has provided free health care for children under six years and pregnant women since June 1994. Since 1 July 1996, all South Africans have enjoyed free health care services at the primary level.

Because of the major clinic upgrading and building programme it will be possible to reach an immunisation rate among children of between 80 and 90 per cent by 1999. South Africa has been declared a polio-free country, and progress towards the eradication of measles is being monitored.

The passage of the Termination of Pregnancy Bill before the close of the 1996 Parliamentary session was a major victory. The ANC is to be commended for supporting this Bill, which will improve the health and welfare of many women in South Africa.

The target for improved access to emergency care services has not been achieved in full, although provinces have commissioned more clinics that will provide a 24 hour service. One of the problems in reaching the target is the shortage of human resources, especially doctors in peripheral and rural areas.

A National Health Information System Committee has been established, and a national health information strategy has been developed. The Department has developed a national drug policy which will ensure that quality drugs are accessible and affordable to all South Africans.

Future plans and priorities

The Department has established a task team to investigate a mandatory health insurance scheme to address some of the problems of private health care financing. The Department is collaborating with the Ministry of Welfare and Population Development and the Ministry of Labour to put together a proposal for a comprehensive social security plan for South Africa.

The White Paper on Local Government should address the problems relating to the structures and function of local government to facilitate the implementation of the district health system.

An audit of all state hospitals revealed that 27 per cent of hospitals are in a bad state of disrepair. A big challenge is to develop innovative financing strategies to fund the replacement and rehabilitation of these hospitals.


Goals and Functions

The function of the Department is to provide a public service to protect the interests of the people of South Africa, as individuals, in respect of their status, identity and specific rights and powers as enshrined in the Constitution. This is done through:

  • recording of members of the population in the population register;
  • provision of identity documentation for the population;
  • granting of specific rights such as passports;
  • exercise of control over the admission of immigrants and their sojourn in the country;
  • management of the operation of the Government printing works;
  • responsibility over various independent statutory bodies, like the Elections Commission, Immigration Boards, Film and Publications Boards.

Achievements and evaluation


The Department has completed the integration of the Home Affairs of the eleven former Bantustans. The placement of personnel within the new structure has also been completed. However the Department is still experiencing some difficulty in the placement of certain supernumerary staff. Much attention needs to be given to the issue of transformation within the Department as this lags far behind expectation.

To ensure that the previously disadvantaged communities are provided with the services of Home Affairs, mobile units have been extensively utilised in the remoter areas.

Election planning

The Independent Electoral Commission under the direction of the Electoral Steering Committee, had been charged with laying the groundwork for the effective and efficient establishment of the new Electoral Commission.

The Electoral Steering Committee:

  • is managing a project aimed at producing an accurate Geographic Information System for South Africa. This system will utilise data collected from the 1996 Census for the delimitation of voting districts and wards.
  • has consolidated the 843 separate voters rolls used in the 1995/6 Local Government Elections.
  • has also been designing proposals for the Electoral Commission`s job grades and salaries, the implementation of financial controls, the identification of data communications and the submission of budgets.

Elections for the National Assembly and Provincial Legislatures will be held within 90 days after 30 April 1999. It has, at this stage not yet been determined if municipal elections will be held simultaneously with national and provincial elections in 1999.

Immigration matters

The Department has embarked on the reformulation of the immigration policy. A properly managed immigration programme can be of great economic social and cultural benefit to the country. The new policy therefore will be aimed to allowing entry to those persons who can contribute substantially toward the needs of the country in the form of personal skills or investment, leading to industrial expansion and job creation. The new policy, while allowing the country to exercise effective control over all who sojourn in the country, will also preserve the humane face of the government.

The Department has also embarked upon bilateral discussion with members of SADC community on issues related to border control. This has not only lead to better understanding but also to joint problem solving process such as standardisation of entry forms and the planning of one stop facilities.

A new restructured Immigration Selection Board, consisting of one Central Committee in Pretoria, with reviewing powers, and one regional committee for each province, was appointed in January 1997. While the autonomy of the new board is assured, the board is still bound by the legal provisions of the Act.

Illegal immigrants

This continues to be an issue on which there does not seem to be a permanent solution in sight. It is hoped that the ANC will develop a strategy on the issue that could impact on the Department.

SADC exemptions

Exemptions were granted to citizens of SADC countries who have resided illegally in South Africa for at least five years. There have only been approximately 240,000 applications, far below the expected figure.

Civic affairs

The aim of the Department is to ensure that every South African is in possession of an identity document. It is estimated that up to 95% of all adults above that age of 18 years is already in possession of some form of identity. The objective now is to ensure that there is one uniform South African document available to all by the year 1999.

For the longer term Home Affairs has embarked upon an automated identification project called Home Affairs National Identification System. This will employ the most modern technology available in the world to identify citizens of South Africa by means of fingerprints and data encoded on a credit card. This will be the first time that a civil system of this magnitude will be developed, using fingerprint technology.

Films and publications

The Film and Publication Act was passed, in 1996, amid much controversy. The fears of the Women`s Caucus of Parliament were allayed with last minute amendments to ensure that the board set up to control undesirable films and publications, will be firmly representative. The new Act effectively puts an end to all backward censorship laws and allows maximum freedom of expression of the individual, while safeguarding the interests of children and women.

Opening of new offices

The Department does not have adequate space to execute its functions. In some cases, some of the functions are still performed by other departments. Visits to the provinces showed shortcoming of Departmental infrastructure, especially in the rural areas and former homelands. There is a general shortage of offices.

To provide services for our people, and ease the burden on other Departments which renders services for the Department of Home Affairs, the establishment of new offices has been prioritised by the Department.


Goals and Functions

The functions of the Department include:

  • issuing of housing subsidies and the delivery of acceptable housing units through integrated development projects to the poorest sections of our society;
  • ensuring that the pace of delivery is sustained, and assist provinces in speeding up delivery;
  • consolidating the legislative and institutional framework within which housing takes place.

Achievements since December 1994

Among the Department`s key legislative achievements was the passage of the Housing Act by Parliament. It is a comprehensive piece of legislation consolidating all the disparate roles and institutions charged with housing delivery. The Act spells out the roles and functions of the three levels of government, sets norms and standards for housing development and creates a framework for the fulfilment of the right to shelter.

A process has been started for the writing of a new White Paper on Housing in order to consolidate the existing one, address gaps which have become apparent and introduce new approaches to housing needs. A framework for the implementation of rural housing programmes has been completed.

Among the housing support institutions, the National Housing Finance Corporation has committed R246 million to date to benefit 213,500 households; the National Urban Reconstruction and Housing Agency has issued 46 guarantees mostly to black emerging contractors; the Mortgage Indemnity Fund has granted more than 104,000 loans in areas where banks had previously withdrawn all banking operations.

A computer data management system, NOMVULA, has been installed to monitor the rate and nature of delivery and cash flows in the provinces.

Relations with provinces and ANC Study Groups

The relationship of the Ministry with provincial housing department political heads has improved significantly since 1995. There is mutual respect, confidence and healthy debate about housing issues, especially strategies to increase and improve implementation of projects.

Initially there were tensions among the Ministry, Department and Study Group. The relationship has improved considerably and a positive role is being played by the Study Group.

Evaluation and problems

The past year has seen a significant escalation in development. The number of subsidies allocated are the highest ever in the history of the country. Approximately 500,000 houses have already built or are under construction since March 1994. It is reasonable to assume that targets will be reached. Implementation at ground level has been fraught with problems though.

Future plans and priorities

Some of the future plans of the Ministry include:

  • ensuring that norms and standards are met and that the quality and size of housing units is improved;
  • making provision for meeting the special needs of vulnerable groups – disabled people, pensioners and women;
  • building capacity at provincial and local level;
  • consolidating work on the Second White Paper on Housing;
  • speeding up delivery further.


Prior to the 1994 elections, there was no fully fledged Ministry for Intelligence Services. The Ministry was launched in 1996, in keeping with the ANC Bloemfontein Conference decision of ensuring civilian control over the security services.

Goals and Functions

The Ministry has, as its goals and functions, the transformation of the intelligence services into timely, relevant, accurate, user-friendly intelligence producers in compliance with the Constitution, the relevant statute and international practice.

It has to ensure that the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), the South African Secret Service (SASS) and the National Intelligence Coordinating Committee (NICOC) are geared to effectively warn, inform, advise and predict threats and potential threats to the security of the Constitution, the government, and the people of the country.

Achievements since December 1994

The Ministry has been involved in the successful amalgamation of the six intelligence services from the former statutory services and non-statutory services. Two new intelligence services were set up – NIA and SASS – and NICOC was set up as a coordinating body to avoid duplication, unhealthy competition and waste.

The deepening of the transformation process has been achieved through the establishment in July 1996 of a Ministerial Commission of Review. Following the commission`s report, a set of Ministerial Directives were issued in January 1997 for implementation by the intelligence services.

Some of the directives have already been implemented, including:

Both NIA and SASS have submitted plans to build their capacity in the sphere of crime combating.

The NIA has conducted a full audit of all human resources in the agency and are presently working on an evaluation of current sources. The SASS is nearing completion of its audit of sources and structures.

A National Strategic Intelligence Amendment Bill has been drafted by the Ministry and will be tabled in the next parliamentary session.

The NIA and SASS have begun re-gearing their information technology and information management systems to ensure the most advanced, efficient and timeous movement of information.

The Ministry has been given the responsibility of assisting in the transformation of Defence Intelligence and the setting up of an effective crime intelligence capacity in the South African Police Service.

At an international level, the Ministry and the Intelligence Services have participated in a number of regional meetings and conferences focusing on security and intelligence affairs.

Relations with provinces and ANC Study Groups

Relations with the provinces takes place through the Nation Intelligence Coordinating Committee, which has provincial infrastructure to service the provincial clients. In this regard, briefings have been given to the Premiers and members of the Executive Committees of the different provinces.

The relations with the ANC study group are very positive, and have been further boosted by the existence of the NEC Peace and Stability Committee.

Evaluation and problems

Transformation of the intelligence community has clearly been and will continue to be a difficult, but also costly exercise. Budget constraints arise out of the lack of a link between the ANC`s strategic prioritisation and the budget process.

Poor training and development, and certain areas of incompetence, are targeted by elements working against the government. Some internal constraints include the lack of political coordination which in many ways leads to internal resistance, and a refusal to accept the coordination responsibility of NICOC.

Future plans and priorities

The Ministry is in the process of reviewing, with the aim of proposing amendments to, legislation relating to the Non-proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction Act, the Nuclear Energy Act, the Security Services Special Account Act, the Protection of Information Act, the Interception and Monitoring Prohibition Act, the Archives Act and the Open Democracy Bill.


Goals and Functions

The core business of the Department is to provide policy, and in most cases, administrative and support services for the national courts and tribunals. In particular, the Department is responsible for:

  • provision of legal aid;
  • state attorneys` offices;
  • state law advisors;
  • South African Law Commission;
  • extradition agreements;
  • various institutions that support constitutional democracy.

The mission of the Department is to develop and maintain a legitimate system for administering justice and state legal affairs by ensuring that the system of justice is efficient, responsible, humane, accountable, user-friendly and representative of the whole South African community.

Achievements and evaluation

The national transformation strategy for the administration of justice has been completed. However, the Department continues to experience a high staff turnover especially in the prosecutorial ranks and the Attorneys-General Offices. One of the reasons for losing staff members is the inadequate salaries of the professional and other legally qualified personnel.

Although the state is constitutionally bound to provide legal representation to the poor, the high cost of litigation and budgetary constraints limit government`s intervention to only a small portion of those in need.

The directorate on Gender and Children is working on programmes aimed at ensuring support and sensitivity when dealing with victims of violence. This includes a review of the Prevention of Family Violence Act to make it practically possible for rural women and children to obtain family violence interdicts. The Department is also re-examining laws and procedures relating to rape and other forms of sexual violence.

The Department has drafted a bill aimed at redesigning the maintenance system to ensure that it is efficient, effective, racially integrated and sensitive to all users.

The Department is the leading department on re-engineering the criminal justice processes within the National Crime Prevention Strategy. We have completed a set of business plans which are aimed at addressing inadequacies relating to the infrastructure, witness protection, witness management and information, as well as court management.

The implementation of a separate juvenile system is receiving attention by the South African Law Commission. It is also investigating the question of sentencing, which includes the compensation of victims, guidelines with regard to sentencing and community involvement in sentencing.

The Department is promoting legislation which will oblige presiding officers to impose certain minimum sentences for certain serious offences. Consideration is also being given to amend existing legislation to ensure the prohibition of bail in cases where accused persons are alleged to have committed certain categories of serious crimes.

The Special Investigation Units and Special Tribunals Act, 1996, was drafted to provide a mechanism whereby allegations of serious maladministration, misappropriation of state funds and corruption can be summarily investigated and dealt with expeditiously and comprehensively.

The Department has embarked upon an ambitious pilot project for the establishment of `Model Courts`, which include both judicial and prosecutorial services, in Mitchell`s Plain and Johannesburg Magistrates Court. The programme is designed to provide a benchmark to define the Department`s future activities and programmes.


Goals and Functions

The Ministry of Labour`s Programme of Action has the following key objectives:

  • The development of a comprehensive labour market policy, based on worker and union rights, consensual policy formulation, rising average living standards, employment creation and productivity enhancement.
  • Rectifying racial and gender imbalances in the workplace.
  • The development of a national policy on unemployment coverage.
  • The strengthening of civil society in order to promote effective functioning of the labour market.
  • The development of a national policy and strategy on occupational health and safety.

Achievements since December 1994

Institutional change

The Integration of Labour Laws Act, 1994 provided enabling legislation whereby the labour laws of the former RSA would apply to the entire South Africa. The administrations of the former bantustans and RSA were abolished and a national Department of Labour established. The National Economic, Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC), comprising of representatives from government, labour, business and the organisations of community and development interests, was launched in February 1995.

Collective Labour Relations

The labour relations law inherited in 1994 was outmoded, fragmented and needed to be brought in line with the RDP and the Constitution. The new Labour Relations Act which came into effect in November 1996 provides labour rights to all workers; overhauls and consolidates dispute resolution; establishes a Labour Court; and encourages co-operative relations in the workplace.

Comprehensive Labour Market Policy

A Commission to formulate proposals for a comprehensive labour market policy was appointed by the President in May 1995. Its recommendations informed the Department`s major policy statement on labour market policy. The Labour Market Policy document, which has been approved by Cabinet, will be published in due course.

Unemployment coverage

The Unemployment Insurance Fund division has embarked upon a process aimed at its own restructuring. To give effect to this stakeholders meetings were held representing the interests of the state, workers and the unemployed community. Final recommendations will be made early in 1998. In the interim, the Fund has already undertaken certain steps aimed at improving its service to the community. The separate funds that existed in the former TBVC territories have been successfully integrated. This enabled service delivery to be rendered on a uniform basis across South Africa. The backlog of unemployment insurance benefit claims in the former Transkei are being progressively eliminated, ensuring payments of benefits to 25,000 claimants.

Occupational Health and Safety

A Committee of Inquiry into the Establishment of a National Health and Safety Council was appointed in October 1996. The Committee`s recommendations can be broadly summarised as the need for a national occupational health and safety council, development of national occupational health and safety policy, establishment of a national council and the elements of a national occupational health and safety policy.

Employment Standards

An extensive process took place to draw up new employment standards legislation. After the publication of a Bill and negotiations at NEDLAC, a Basic Conditions of Employment Bill was tabled in Parliament during October 1997. The Bill aims to ensure that the working conditions of unorganised and vulnerable workers meet minimum conditions that are socially acceptable in relation to the level of development of the country and remove rigidities and inefficiencies from the regulation of minimum conditions of employment and promote flexibility.

Strengthening of Civil Society

Funds have been made available through the Department of Labour to non-governmental institutions to strengthen civil society. The main focus has been on education and programmes aimed at the expansion of knowledge and labour matters.

Human Resources Development

The Department has been involved in developing new policy which will replace the existing Manpower Training Act, 1981 as well as the Guidance and Placement Act, 1981. The new policy aims to link skills formation to the requirements of a growing economy and extend skills development to people wishing to enter the labour market as well as those already working. A Skills Development Bill was approved by Cabinet and is presently being negotiated at NEDLAC.

Employment Equity

An Affirmative Action Policy Development Forum was constituted in March 1995. Arising from the process an Employment Equity Bill has been drafted. It will be submitted to Cabinet and negotiations will commence on it shortly at NEDLAC.

Relations with provinces and ANC Study Groups

Labour is a national competency. The Department has ten provincial offices situated in each of the provinces which serve as the frontline of service providers to the public. The Minister had requested at a meeting of the Inter-Governmental Forum that the respective provinces establish a mechanism through which to interact with the Ministry and Department of Labour. This initiative has not materialised.

The issues discussed related to establishing tangible mechanisms of interaction between the Minister and the study group. The Labour study group should develop a strategic mechanism to interface with the ANC Policy Unit.

Future plans and priorities

The major issues for the Ministry in the coming year are:

  • The need to coordinate labour market policies with macro-economic and industrial and other sectoral policies to ensure the generation of adequate employment opportunities.
  • The need to arrive at a National Accord that could underpin the implementation of stabilisation developmental policies that would also promote employment.
  • The finalisation of the Skills Development Bill and the establishment of the institutional and organisational infrastructure to support and execute it.
  • The finalisation and implementation of the Employment Equity Bill and the establishment of an appropriate infrastructure for monitoring progress toward employment equity.
  • The rationalisation of labour centres to ensure effective and efficient delivery of services.


This Ministry of Land Affairs and Agriculture is dealing with two line-function departments. This report will deal with each department separately.


Goals and Functions

The aim of the Department of Agriculture is to promote and support the development of agriculture through policy development and coordination, and the promotion of food security and international trade.

The Ministry also has responsibility for the Land and Agricultural Bank, the Agricultural Research Council and the National Agricultural Marketing Council.

A primary objective of the Department, in the context of our new political order, is to move away from the previous government`s emphasis on programmes that built national food self-sufficiency, through substantial interventions and subsidies to the sector, to one of household food security and efficiency based on world market prices and comparative advantage.

Achievements since December 1994

The Department has undergone significant policy shifts and structural changes over the past 18 months. There are 10 technical task teams, consisting of representatives from the department, the private sector, university and specialists investigating policy on some of the following areas: Cooperatives, Disaster Management, Finance, Food Security, Rural Development Support Services, Resource Utilisation and Trade.

The Marketing of Agricultural Products Act of 1996 replaced provides for a sunset period of up to a year for the phasing out of statutory controls within the agricultural marketing sector. Most control boards will disband and form industry trusts, funded by their existing assets, to provide necessary services such as market information, research and export advice.

Deregulation and trade liberalisation processes are gaining momentum. The sector is more flexible and less dependent on government subsidies and interventions. Price controls in large parts of the farm sector have largely been liberalised.

In 1996 the Grant Assistance for Small Farming Development Scheme was introduced to help groups of emerging and small food producers develop and improve their production efficiency. A total of 814 projects over the whole country have been funded through this scheme, benefiting 20 224 farmers.

There has been an increase in interest rates on loans to near market levels thereby eliminating past distortions that encouraged over-mechanisation at the expense of employment. The Strauss Commission report, which examined all aspects of rural finance, contains recommendations for further improvements to rural financial markets including a new role for the Land Bank. Credit to emerging black farmers will be more readily available through the transformation of the Land Bank.

Much attention is being paid to external economic relations involving the South African Customs Union (SACU), the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and the European Union (EU).

The Department has taken steps to eliminate or reduce funding from the national budget for many support activities to large farmers. Government is also revamping its drought relief support programme, so that relief is only provided in exceptional circumstances, like national disasters, and is introducing an incentive system that encourages farmers to adopt low-risk technologies and practices.

Government has shifted away from large-scale, consultant-run projects in favour of an approach based on the provision of farmer support services such as extension services, infrastructure, access to financial services and markets.

Specific achievements with regard to RDP implementation

Liberalisation of trade and deregulation of agricultural marketing is already impacting on productivity and exports particularly in the fruit and vegetable industries. These are highly labour intensive industries, so these reforms are likely to increase employment and agriculture`s total contribution to the economy and to export earnings. Consumers, especially the poor, are also beginning to benefit directly from these reforms, as cheaper products come onto the market, thus improving household food security.

Relations with provinces and ANC Study Groups

Quarterly ANC caucus meetings have been held throughout the year, involving MECs, provincial legislatures and PEC representatives. These meetings are also attended by FAWU, SAAPAWU and the SACP.

Relations with the ANC study group are very good. The study group itself has regular weekly meetings and these are attended by the Minister as an ordinary member of the study group

Evaluation and problems

Transformation has been delayed in the Department and in the sector by the National Party`s control of the portfolio for the first two years of this government`s term of office.

A large number of agricultural development corporations and parastatals inherited by the provinces are either unprofitable or bankrupt, and the Department has embarked on a process of closing, restructuring or privatising them.

The voice and power of the organised commercial farming sector is a constraint to change, and in contrast, small farmers, and particularly the landless, have a weaker voice.

Future plans and priorities

Future priorities for the Department include:

  • Continue with the progress made on the deregulation of the marketing environment.
  • Small farmer development programmes with special focus on support services, including rural financial services.
  • Finalising and prioritising agricultural policy process.
  • Pay special attention to the development of household food security.
  • Transformation of Department and other agricultural institutions.


Goals and Functions

The prime responsibility of the Department of Land Affairs is the implementation of a national land reform programme designed to redress the legacy of apartheid in relation to inequitable distribution of land, forced removals and insecure tenure. In addition, the Department is responsible for the national deeds registry and surveyor general functions. The department also has considerable responsibilities relating to public and state land management and the national framework governing land development.

Achievements since December 1994

Since December 1994 the legal framework for land reform has been extended to include a number of new Acts:

  • The Development Facilitation Act, no 67 of 1995
  • The Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Act, no 3 of 1996
  • The Communal Property Association Act, no 22 of 1996
  • The Interim Protection of Informal Land Rights Act, no 31 of 1996
  • The Land Survey Act, no 8 of 1997
  • The KwaZulu Ingonyama Trust Amendment Act, no 9 of 1997
  • The Extension of Tenure Security Bill [B 47-97]

The Department has introduced a redistribution programme which provides grants and technical assistance to help the historically disadvantaged purchase land as it comes on the market . The total number of households that will benefit from the projects the Department is working on is 80,000 which translates into 392,000 people.

Government has also introduced a programme of tenure reform which aims to bring all people occupying land under a unitary, legally validated system of landholding. It will devise secure forms of land tenure, help resolve tenure disputes and provide alternative land for people who are displaced in the process.

In 1996 the Communal Property Associations Act, the Interim Protection of Informal Rights Act and amendments to the Upgrading of Land Tenure Rights Act were passed by Parliament. These laws create an interim situation in which people with insecure tenure are protected, a framework which regulates group land holding has been created, and the procedures through which land rights can be upgraded to individual tenure have been democratised and simplified.

The promulgation of the Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Act has virtually ended the unfair evictions of labour tenants. There are an estimated 250,000 people affected.

The Extension of Security of Tenure Act gives rights to well over 6 million people living on land which is not their own.

Government has initiated a programme of restitution of land, which involves returning land (or providing other compensation) to people who lost land since June 1913 because of racially discriminatory laws or practices.

The total number of claims lodged with the Commission for the Restitution of Land Rights is 17,803. Thirteen rural communities and three urban claimants have now had their land returned to them. This involves a total of 4 ,169 households – approximately 20,500 people.

The Department is providing a Grant for the Establishment of Land Development Objectives to under-resourced local authorities, particularly in rural areas. This will support the formulation of a developmental vision for local authority areas, and ensure that land reform planning is integrated into broader development plans.

Significant steps have already been taken to draw up an inventory of all State-owned land, including information regarding the allocation, occupation and purpose of such land. By identifying superfluous and under-utilised state and public land, the Department can take strategic decisions around land use, creating opportunities for the productive use of such land for land reform and for job creation and food security projects.

The affirmative action and diversity programmes, begun in the Department in 1995, have continued to function and have resulted in a steady increase in the number of black people and women employed in the Department, especially in the provincial offices where most of the new posts have been located.

Relations with provinces and ANC Study Groups

Land reform is a national programme of the government and this has created some blockages in terms of delivery at a provincial level. The decentralisation programme, aimed at providing the greatest level of authority and responsibility for implementation to the people at the `front-line` coupled with the establishment of district offices, will almost certainly improve provincial coordination and speed up delivery.

The quarterly ANC agriculture caucus meetings, involving MECs, provincial legislatures and comrades nominated by PECs, have recently been expanded to cover land issues as well. Relations with the ANC study group are very good.

Evaluation and problems

The Department has had a capacity problem. Until recently only 400 posts were allocated to land reform.

As was expected, the Extension of Security of Tenure Bill has not been well received by white farmers in particular. Organised agriculture is particularly vociferous in its opposition to the Bill and in manipulating its implications.

Coordination of implementation strategies between the Department of Land Affairs and the Department of Agriculture has not been adequate, but these problems are being and will continue to be ironed out through the process of implementation.

Future plans and priorities

Future plans and priorities for the programme of the Department include:

  • Increase the speed of implementation of land reform programmes.
  • Continue to develop closer working relationships between Land Affairs and Agriculture.
  • Implementation of the Extension of Tenure Security Act.
  • Completion of Tenure Reform policy and comprehensive legislation.
  • Continue to deal with the disposal of state land
  • Continue to oversee the implementation of the Development Facilitation Act.


Goals and Functions

The Ministry of Posts, Telecommunications and Broadcasting is responsible for the Department of Communications. The Department`s vision is to use the country`s information infrastructure to empower people, promote socio-economic development and actively participate in the information society.

The activities of the Department include:

  • developing policy for the sector through research;
  • providing support to all portfolio organisations falling within the ambit of the Department;
  • shareholder management of state enterprises in the sector;
  • managing the phased liberalisation and development of the market structure;
  • overseeing budgets and business plans of portfolio organisations to ensure alignment with overall government policy.

The overall goal is the achievement of universal affordable service to all.

The transformation of the communications sector is aimed at ensuring the representation and active involvement of historically disadvantaged people. This will be accompanied by the development of human resources, affirmative action policy and strategy and improved access to capital.

Achievements since December 1994

The Telecommunications Green Paper and White Paper led to the passage of the Telecommunications Act in November 1996, that has fundamentally transformed the sector.

The policy process and legislation laid the basis for the restructuring of Telkom, with the sale of 30 per cent of Telkom`s equity to Malaysian and United State consortium. This sale represented the single largest foreign direct investment in the country since the advent of democracy.

In the international arena, South Africa has made significant gains with its return as a member of the International Telecommunications Union.

Postal Services are currently under review through a policy process. A White Paper is currently being written for submission to Parliament, which should lead to legislation to be tabled in 1998.

The broadcasting policy initiatives have radically restructured the broadcasting sector during the period under review. The SABC has been repositioned from being a state broadcaster to fulfilling the policy objective of being a public broadcaster. Broadcasting policy is under review which will lead to a White Paper and legislation to be tabled during 1998.

Specific achievements with regard to RDP implementation

The roll-out of telephone services has increased dramatically. Last year Telkom exceeded the highest annual figure for new telephone connections during the apartheid years of 150,000, by installing 250,000 new telephone lines. In the 1997/98 financial year the target is to install 300,000 new telephones.

Priority customers – a total of 24,000 schools, clinics and hospitals, libraries, police stations and community centres, and 3 200 village – are at the head of the queue for new lines.

The formation of the Universal Service Agency, which is focused on achieving universal access, is in the process of setting up community tele-centres, to provide public access to telephone services and internet facilities in every community across the country.

The South African Post Office has rolled out 1.1 million new postal addresses to households that previously didn`t have access. The Department is piloting a Public Internet Terminal that will make internet facilities available to the general public.

Within the broadcasting sector, more than 80 community radio stations have been licensed. Six SABC regional radio stations have been sold, with emphasis being on the economic empowerment of people who previously had no access to broadcasting.

Relations with provinces and ANC Study Groups

The core mandate of the Department is a national competency, and there are no direct formal relations with provinces. However, portfolio organisations are encouraged to brief provinces on their activities.

The minister holds regular briefing sessions with members of the study group.

Evaluation and problems

While significant progress has been made, the challenges remain daunting due to fiscal restraints, a lack of skills and the need to realign the sector with emerging international trends.

Future plans and priorities

The plans and priorities in respect of the transformation of the communications sector include:

  • establishment of guidelines for the governance, regulation and financing of infrastructure agencies;
  • creation of public-private partnerships;
  • addressing major backlogs in the provision of services;
  • improvement of the maintenance and operation of public assets through the use of advanced services;
  • restructuring of public corporations as one of the mechanisms for meeting the infrastructure backlog.


Goals and Functions

The Department, through its various directorates, performs the following functions:

  • building the capacity of provincial and local government;
  • implementing the provisions of the Constitution regarding local government;
  • promotion and management of traditional leaders and institutions;
  • remuneration of traditional leaders, except in KwaZulu/Natal;
  • render specialised constitutional support services and advice;
  • coordinate inter-governmental relations between the three spheres of government;
  • support provincial governments through development policy alignment, provincial capacity building, coordination of foreign relations and managing intergovernmental financial relations.

Achievements since December 1994

The Department has achieved the following:

  • The country has been demarcated with `wall to wall` local government, and elections for interim local government structures have taken place.
  • Inter-governmental grants to local government have been consolidated and targeted more effectively.
  • The Council of Traditional Leaders and Provincial Houses of Traditional Leaders have been established.
  • An electronic database on traditional leaders and institutions has been developed.
  • The Department assisted in the establishment of the National Council of Provinces.
  • A policy framework for constitutional education has been developed.
  • Projects aimed at building provincial capacity have been identified in seven provinces and, in some cases, implemented.
  • Progress has been made in establishing a provincial database of financial, economic and social indicators.

Specific achievements with regard to RDP implementation

Approximately 1,100 municipal infrastructure projects have been launched, and at least 12 million South Africans have benefited from improved services as a result of these projects. Virtually every municipality has launched at least one RDP project.

Relations with provinces and ANC Study Groups

The Department works closely with provinces in executing its functions. In addition to liaison between the Minister and MECs, a wide range of interactions take place with provincial departments of local government, focused on building delivery capacity at provincial level and monitoring and oversight of functions.

In provinces like the Eastern Cape, the Department has adopted a more proactive and interventionist approach, directly assisting provincial counterparts to perform certain functions.

The Minister attends study group meetings on request to provide briefings on a variety of current Department al policies and programmes.

Evaluation and problems

Some of the problems experienced in effecting local government transition include:

  • fragmentation of approach by national and provincial departments to local government functions;
  • continued problems of poor revenue collection, non-payment and lack of credit control;
  • lack of capacity of many municipalities, and failure to adequately transform the local government training system.

Problems are also experienced in some areas around the relationship between traditional leaders and elected government structures. Some provinces have experienced capacity problems with respect to the process of implementation of the Constitution.

The functioning of the intergovernmental system is still marked by insufficient coordination and deficiencies such as contradictory decision-making and a lack of communication between structures.

Future plans and priorities

Some of the future plans and priorities of the Department include:

  • Intensifying the Masakhane campaign, and improving the participation of communities in municipal governance.
  • Restructuring the local government training system, and coordinating a national capacity building programme for local government.
  • Rationalising intergovernmental transfers to local government, identifying new sources of revenue and tightening up financial control measures.
  • Drafting a White Paper and rationalising legislation on traditional leaders and institutions.
  • Improving the relationship between traditional leaders and elected local government.
  • The promotion of constitutionalism through constitutional education programmes.
  • Reviving the provincial capacity building programme.
  • Finalising the development of policy on provincial border disputes.


Goals and Functions

The critical goals and functions being pursued by the Ministry include:

  • continuously monitoring and evaluating the performance of the six state-owned enterprises Alexkor, Aventura, Denel, Eskom, Safcol and Transnet;
  • coordinating and managing the restructuring of state assets;
  • maximising the contribution of state-owned enterprises to the economy of the country;
  • achieving greater and focus and efficiency of the activities of state enterprises.

Achievements since December 1994

The overall performance of the state-owned enterprises has been very satisfactory, although Aventura has been performing poorly. The total investment in human resource training and development in these enterprises amounts to more than R250 million.

In 1995 the government decided to restructure state assets. The Ministry is coordinating the restructuring process through the Inter-Ministerial Cabinet Committee (IMCC). In order to create an effective consultative structure, government and labour signed the National Framework Agreement in February 1996.

Government has agreed that a master plan be produced to cover all aspects of restructuring of the Transnet Group. Progress has been made to convert SAA as a company on its own to be a subsidiary of Transnet. The restructuring of the Airports Company is expected to be completed during early 1998, and government is in the process of finalising the sale plan for the disposal of the company.

Options for the restructuring of Alexkor will be presented in due course. Because of the importance of the company and its role in Namaqualand, government has prioritised its restructuring.

Significant work is now progressing to effect the 100 per cent sale of Aventura. Land claims relating to Aventura will be resolved through the formal accelerated land claims procedure.

The Minister is currently working on an Enabling Act which will facilitate the smooth implementation of the restructuring process. Work on the National Empowerment Fund is fairly advanced and was expected to be launched in October.

The state-owned enterprises contribute immensely to the development of the country through infrastructural development, human resource development and job creation.

Relations with provinces and ANC Study Groups

The Ministry has good working relations with the provinces. The relationship with the ANC study group has moved beyond mere briefings to joint strategising. The study group has held a series of strategic sessions evaluating the work of the Ministry and the Portfolio Committee, and identifying gaps and issues critical in the fulfilment of our mandate.

The Ministry extensively consults with the unions and other stakeholders, but there is little direct input from ANC constitutional structures, the Alliance or MDM formations in the policy formulation process.

Evaluation and problems

The Ministry has had to contend with bureaucratic structures which have been inept, slow and incapacitated to deliver quality services due to a poor skills mix. In 1994, we inherited completely dislodged bureaucratic organisations characterised by a great sense of drift, inertia and lack of direction.

The restructuring process so far has provide some invaluable lessons. The disposal of Sun Air, for example, exposed the government to the complexity, intrigue and difficulty of the disposal process.

Both government and labour have accepted the importance of consultation in the smooth running of the restructuring process. Above all, government has the overall responsibility to deal in a balanced manner with its social partners.

Future plans and priorities

Transnet will undergo major transformation in the years ahead, capitalising on strong growth potential in South Africa and beyond our borders. Financial and management skills will be strengthened in identified areas.

Denel is planning to increase productivity and global competitiveness through improved training, development and communication.

Within the framework of corporate governance, the Ministry plans to have regular reports from the parastatals on financial performance, black empowerment issues and internal restructuring progress, among other things.

One of the major policy requirements of public enterprises is the post-privatisation management; the development of performance contracts with management of state-owned enterprises; and developing reliable, consistent and sustainable policies integrated with the government`s macro-economic strategy.


Goals and Functions

The goal of the Ministry is the creation of a public service which is transparent, efficient, effective, coherent, representative, accountable and responsive to the needs of all South Africans.

The functions of the Ministry are to formulate government policy regarding the public service on:

  • remuneration matters, general conditions of service and labour relations;
  • human resource development;
  • organisational matters and information technology;
  • public service reform.

Achievements since December 1994

Since 1994, the most significant achievement has been the release of the White Paper on the Transformation of the Public Service. Since 1994, legislative reform has gained momentum within the Public Service.

The Public Service has managed over the last two years to move away from an adversarial labour relations climate towards a climate of co-determination. Government and the unions agreed on a package deal that accommodates:

  • a new grading system;
  • restructuring pension benefits;
  • introducing voluntary severance packages, and;
  • effecting right-sizing.

The Green Paper on Affirmative Action which was released in 1997, ensures that Affirmative Action Policy is not just seen as a hiring policy or numbers game but as a holistic approach that empowers people hitherto marginalised and enables them to succeed.

Transforming service delivery is an important area of focus for the Ministry, which launched the Batho Pele – People First initiative which introduces national principles and guidelines for improving service delivery.

Transformation Units have been established in most departments and provincial administrations. They act as change agents, and facilitate and pursue the transformation of departments and administrations.

The Presidential Review Commission was established to inquire into the structures and functions of the Public Service and its statutory bodies, and conduct a review and revision of systems, routines and procedures for planning, budgeting and financial execution in the Public Service.

The voluntary severance package was introduced as an instrument to generate savings to fund improvements in remuneration and other conditions of service. It was also meant to facilitate right-sizing. There have been problems with this process, and a rightsizing project has been launched to reduce public service consumption and personnel expenditure.

One of the most significant and far-reaching initiatives that were undertaken by the Ministry was the review of the state of administration in the provincial administrations. Between October 1996 and May 1997, every department in the nine provincial administrations was reviewed in an intensive process. The purpose of the review was to improve the management of the provincial administrations and to identify what the obstacles to effective service delivery are.

Evaluation and problems

Several problems facing the Public Service were revealed during the Provincial Audits undertaken by the Ministry, including:

  • lack of financial management capacity;
  • lack of proper human resource management capacity;
  • confusion and lack of clear role definition between the politicians and bureaucrats;
  • national departments not adequately supporting provincial departments in the performance of their tasks;
  • new policies are often set at national level without due consideration to the organisational, financial and service delivery implications in provinces.

Future plans and priorities

The future plans of the Ministry include:

  • active implementation of policies that have been put into place;
  • capacity building and training to ensure effective implementation;
  • facilitating good service delivery.


Goals and Functions

The Public Works Department aims to implement the government`s mandate by:

  • contributing to the generation of sustainable economic growth;
  • implementing programmes towards sustainable employment creation;
  • expanding human resource development through the integration of training in all programmes;
  • providing active support for small, medium and micro enterprises, as well as cooperatives and non-profit NGOs;
  • the introduction of rapid and dependable delivery of services and facilities especially in previously underserviced areas.

The Department is responsible for the provision and maintenance of accommodation for line function departments, including providing additional facilities for the departments of Justice, Correctional Services, Defence, and Safety and Security.

Achievements since December 1994

One of the key achievements of the Department has been the adoption of the National Public Works Programme, with components relating to the transformation of the construction industry; the introduction of the Community Based Public Works Programme; and the development of previously disadvantaged enterprises through targeted government procurement reform.

Among the Department`s other achievements have been the transformation of:

  • state property policy to release land for development purposes in partnership with other government departments;
  • management techniques and approaches to state asset management;
  • personnel and operation in the Department in line with the general policy of Public Service transformation.

Specific achievements with regard to RDP implementation

The Department is engaged in major provisioning of facilities for physically disable people to ensure access to all public facilities. It has also been involved in the adoption of a new approach to heritage sights and the refurbishment of major sites of historical interest.

The successful and ongoing implementation of the Affirmative Procurement Policy since August 1996 has resulted in a major shift of Public Works contracts towards previously disadvantaged businesses.

The Department has disposed of land deemed redundant for state purposes with a view to encouraging local economic development of such areas. It has reached agreement with the Defence Department to establish a framework for the integration of former SANDF land into the broader community.

Relations with provinces and ANC Study Groups

Relations with the provinces are good, with MINMEC being the major forum of interaction between the minister and MECs. There is little direct interaction between the minister and the ANC study group due to the scheduling of meetings. The minister is constantly briefed however on developments and discussions within the study group, and maintains regular contact with the chair and individual members of the study group.

Evaluation and problems

While the Pilot Roster Programme has gone some way to ensure that black professionals gain greater access to the Department`s work, the skills shortage among the majority of South Africans in the specialist fields required by the Department remains serious.

The problem of slow implementation of critical Public Works programmes has been identified, and is being addressed together with the provinces.

Future plans and priorities

A number of policy declarations are scheduled for the immediate future, effectively summarising the policy processes of the last three years. The Department is also anticipating the finalisation and consolidation of all Pilot Project Assessments and the subsequent refinement of relevant policies.

The Department will continue to monitor and evaluation the pace and nature of personnel transformation, and intends to complete the initial Community Based Public Works Programme projects and the allocation of Poverty Relief Funds before the end of the 1997/98 financial year.


Goals and Functions

The Department`s core business is the prevention and combating of crime.

Achievements since December 1994

The Police Services Act of 1995 built democratic control, accountability and transparency through the creation of a civilian Secretariat for Safety and Security. It provided for an Independent Complaints Directorate to ensure independent investigation of complaints of police abuses.

The National Crime Prevention Strategy, launched in 1996, motivated for a new paradigm for Safety and Security a shift in emphasis from crime control to crime prevention; and a shift from emphasising crime as a security issue towards crime as a social issue with a wider array of preventative measures has been successfully launched.

The appointment, this year, of the Chief Executive Officer of the SAPS is designed to free the police to get on with the operational work and leave the management to professional managers.

The Department has successfully made progress in respect of policy objectives, like community policing, affirmative action, a system of performance and service evaluation, and accountability and transparency.

Specific achievements with regard to RDP implementation

The Department is spending R250 million on RDP programmes, including:

  • building and upgrading of police stations;
  • community policing projects;
  • Project Lifeline to improve station management;
  • victim support programmes;
  • human resources development, including the launch of a Detective Academy;
  • the Community Safety Centres Project, a on-stop shop for service rendering in the criminal justice process.

Relations with provinces

Policing policies affecting provinces are being developed by the Minister after consultation with provincial government. An Executive Co-ordinating Committee consisting of provincial members of the Executive Council chaired by the Minister meets regularly.

The National Secretariat and the emerging provincial Secretariats have sought to work together in close cooperation.

Evaluation and problems

The South African Police Service is confronted by a range of deep-seated problems, including:

  • inadequate management capacity and ability;
  • inadequate planning processes;
  • low morale, lack of capacity and insecurity due to the transformation process;
  • a culture of crisis management;
  • lack of respect for and trust in the police.

Future plans and priorities

The Department`s key policy initiative is the White Paper Process, which will help:

  • provide an analysis of the safety and security environment in South Africa;
  • detail appropriate guidelines and strategies for dealing with crime;
  • outline how the Department needs to transform itself to implement the principles and guidelines;
  • set key performance indicators to measure progress.


Goals and Functions

When the Department was formed in 1994, it immediately embraced the total transformation of the entire sport scenario in the country from being effectively the exclusive preserve of white to become the property of the people as a whole. This meant:

  • elimination of discrimination based on race, gender, geographical location and physical and mental state of stakeholders;
  • a shift in the previous apartheid policy, in the provision of facilities and resources to the white section of the population;
  • a reflection of the demographic realities of the country in the selection of all representative teams;
  • promotion of women in general and black women in particular into higher participation levels in sport and recreation;
  • capacity building for administration and support services for sport and recreation so that the presence of black personnel becomes visible.

Achievements since December 1994

The Department`s achievements have included:

  • The building and completion of 203 basic sport facilities in historically disadvantaged areas.
  • The establishment of Women and Sport South African (WASSA).
  • The launch of the recreational programmes SANGALA directed at all sections of the population including street children and prisoners.
  • An investment of R 800,000 for the introduction of Protea sport for young South Africans on an annual basis.
  • The establishment of a Sports Information and Science Agency as an institution for support services.
  • The establishment of the Sports Trust – a partnership between the Department and some private sector companies.
  • The establishment of provincial academies in all provinces
  • Brochure on HIV / AIDS in Sports Policy
  • Sustenance of 92 national federations on an annual basis.
  • Indoor sports and recreation contracts signed with all nine provinces.

Relations with provinces and ANC Study Groups

When the Department was established in 1994 a process of consultation on policy issues with the relevant provincial departments was unleashed. This matured into the regular MINMEC meetings where strategic policy position as worked out at the national level was refined.

Initially there were problems with KwaZulu/Natal after they have pulled out of the Government Consultative fora. The situation has improved and relations between the provincial department and the national are good.

The ANC study group in the National Assembly has been very helpful in the formulation of our national policy and assisted enormously in getting our Draft White Paper off the ground. They also assisted in the preparation of groundwork for the Drug-Free Sport Bill and the draft South African Sports and Recreation Commission.

Evaluation and problems

The Department is still subjected to the strains and stresses of a virtual no-budget situation. In addition, the following areas remain problematic:

  • Wide-raging consultative process hamper the pace of policy formulation.
  • The conservative element within the white community continue to resist transformation.
  • Lack of capacity at provincial level, mainly due to insufficient finance to institute training courses.
  • Infighting amongst federations.
  • The inclusion of physical education as an element of the education department`s curriculum, and the handling of after school sports has not yet been resolved.

Future plans and priorities

The Department plans:

  • The introduction of an enabling bill to establish the South African Sports and Recreation Commission. The passage of the bill, which is being strenuously resisted by establishment sport administrators from some certain codes and sections of the media, will give the Department the necessary clout to speed up transformation and improve representivity in all areas including administration.
  • Consolidation of SANGALA programmes in the rural areas. Cultural and psychological attitudes are proving tough obstacles with the elderly not seeing the point of engaging in organised recreational activity.
  • The establishment of the national academy with an academic school for talented children from standard four to matric.
  • The launch of women in sport structures in all nine provinces. There is already a National Steering Committee housed at the Department .


Goals and Functions

The basic objective of the Department is to ensure sustainable and quality employment opportunities for our people. The broad area of work of the Department is located in three major areas:

  • external trade and investment relations which deals with tariff policy, trade relations, and trade and investment promotion;
  • industrial strategy, which is a wide range of measures to restructure our economy to make it more effective and competitive in the context of the world economy;
  • commercial services and fair trade, which is a range of legislation and regulations that attempt to regulate competition, corporate practice, commercial relations and consumers affairs.

Achievements since December 1994

In line with the policies of increasing the country`s competitive capacity and concentrating on supply-side support, the Department is undertaking a managed reduction of tariff levels. The tariff reduction will take place over a five year period ending in 1999.

A lot work has been done towards the finalisation of a Free Trade Agreement among SADC countries. By the August 1996 Summit nearly all member states could sign the Protocol on Free Trade Agreement to be achieved in eight years.

Trade negotiations with the European Union, South Africa`s largest trading partner, has been a protracted process. It is possible that the first draft of an agreement could be reached by January 1998.

New markets are opening up to South Africa, and to take full advantage of these opportunities, major delegations have been to over 20 countries. Such trade promotion is very closely linked to investment promotion. In February this year Investment South Africa was launched, which will act as a one-stop investment centre.

As part of the Department`s industrial strategy, analysis and consultation has been taking place in clusters of related industries that affect each others performance. These result in reports on the strategic strengths and weaknesses of a cluster or sector, and allow all parties to identify concrete actions to improve competitive performance and employment creating capacity.

Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises is one of the largest programmes in the Department. The basic approach has been to create a supportive environment for SMMEs through institution like the National Small Business Council; Ntsika, which provide non-financial support; and Khula, which provides a wholesale finance facility.

Spatial Development Initiatives is an approach develop with the Transport Department to use infrastructure to speed-up and facilitate investment. Current initiatives include the Maputo Development Corridor, Lebombo Initiative, KwaZulu/Natal Industry and Eastern Cape Industry.

There is a general view that current competition policy and law is not effective. A draft document is under consideration, which will form part of a wide-ranging reform of corporate and consumer law. Provinces are in the process of passing legislation on gambling, and the national structures are being set up.

Relations with provinces and ANC Study Groups

The link between the Minister and a policy process in the broader ANC structures is in need of strengthening. The main link with provinces has been through MINMEC, and there is an increasingly closer link with provinces on the implementation of key programmes.

The relationship with the ANC study group has improved with the introduction of reasonably regular meetings between the Minister and the study group. The study group is particularly strong and plays an important role in the implementation of policy.

Evaluation and problems

The setting in place of the various policy frameworks and institutional structures has gone well. The internal changes in the Department are significant, although there are still problems with representivity in the upper skill levels.

A major weakness has been in communication of the work of the Department and the various services and incentives that the Department offers. A further area of work is to acquire the logistical capacity to deliver our services to enough users that would make an impact on the broader economy.


Goals and Functions

All functions of the Department of Transport are conducted in terms of the White Paper on National Transport Policy, which was accepted by government in August 1995. The key element s of the policy reflect the need:

  • for government`s role to change from deep involvement in operations to a clear focus on policy, strategic planning and regulation;
  • to change the institutional arrangements for the provision of transport to ensure that it is efficient and effective;
  • to promote an integrated system that maximises transport`s role in realising the social and economic development priorities of this country.

The White Paper process is now being taken forward in a 14-month strategic planning project called `Moving South Africa`, which will research and identify the strategic transport needs of South Africa over the next two decades.

Achievements since December 1994

The Department has identified four activities which would be more efficiently undertaken in different agencies operating at arms length from government. These agencies would be for:

  • the issuing of cross-border permits for goods and passengers;
  • maritime safety;
  • national roads;
  • civil aviation safety.

As well as being involved in the major Spatial Development Initiatives, such as the Maputo Corridor, the Department is also playing a key role with provinces and municipalities in developing urban corridors. The work on urban corridors is part of a larger policy plan for integrated, multi-modal passenger transport, focusing mainly on bus, train and taxi transport.

The Department has made significant progress in partnerships with the private sector in the financing of transport infrastructure through road building and maintenance contracts, concessioning of services and contracting out services.

Four large and 25 smaller road projects are contributing to both the RDP and Gear through on-site training of consulting engineers and the use of construction services. The Department has a dedicated programme of appointing previously disadvantaged companies. Currently more than 30 per cent of the work is targeted towards small and medium businesses with a value of R150 million.

The National Traffic Information System, a nationwide central database for vehicle registration, is being set up to aid police in tracking stolen vehicles, fraudulent licences, road worthiness and outstanding traffic violations. A new credit card driving licence, which will begin to be issued in March 1998, will reduce the number of new fraudulent licences and eliminate illegal licences from the system.

Education programmes in traffic safety have reached more than 300,000 school children, and it is hoped to include existing traffic safety programmes in Curriculum 2005 for all schools.

Relations with provinces and ANC Study Groups

The formal relations between the Department and the provinces are conducted through the Ministerial Conference of Ministers of Transport and the Committee of Land Transport Officials. A separate forum for the MECs` media liaison officers was also established to improve the flow of communication and information between national and provincial government. The forums assist the devolution of powers to the provinces and the process towards policy uniformity in transport.

The Ministry has maintained a close liaison with the ANC Study Group, providing support in the form of documentary material and holding briefings on key policy and tactical issues.

Evaluation and problems

One of the biggest problems faced is the lack of capacity for the specialised skills and services needed in the transport sector. This is even more marked at provincial and local government level. Many of the functions and tasks devolved to provinces and local government cannot be carried out due to the capacity problem.

Future plans and priorities

To introduce an integrated approach towards public transport, land use and transport planning, a draft National Land Transport Bill will be introduced to Parliament early in 1998. The Bill will consolidate all the law on land transport, address the minibus taxi industry and fundamentally restructure the provision of road and rail public transport services.

A major focus of the coming year will be the restructuring of the Department to bring about the four agencies. A sound implementation strategy arising from the Moving South Africa project and the appropriate institutional arrangements will provide the means towards an effective and efficient transport system.


Goals and Functions

The Department`s Community Water Supply and Sanitation Programme was initiated in 1994 to achieve the Constitutional Objective of ensuring that all South Africans have access to sufficient water and a healthy living environment.

As custodian of the water resources of South Africa, the Department has to ensure the equitable allocation and control of water. The Department is also responsible for the implementation and operation of the national water infrastructure.

The aim of the Department is to effect the management of the forestry resources if South Africa to achieve optimum social and economic benefit from their use. The Department facilitates community forestry development throughout the country by initiating and supporting community-driven development and management of the resource.

Achievements since December 1994

Community water supply and sanitation

As at September 1997, 1,020 water supply projects were identified, under way or completed. Over 1.2 million previously unserved people have already been supplied with water. A network of provincial planning forums to guide the community water supply and sanitation programme has been established and a national assessment of water and sanitation needs was completed.

The minimum level of services that is already being provided to communities is 25 litres a day, which is the medium term service level recommended in the RDP.

Water resource management

In September 1997 a draft of the National Water Bill was released for comment and discussion. It will fundamentally change the water law of the past, which favoured the privileged, in the direction of equity for all the people. The water pricing and irrigation policies are currently under review through participatory processes.

Through the management of the national dam infrastructure and the issuing of early warnings to affected communities, flood damages were kept to a minimum.

Progress on the critical Lesotho Highlands Water Project has continued to be good, and water is due to flow to South Africa before the end of the year.

Working relationships with neighbouring countries have developed well and the SADC protocol on shared water courses has been ratified.


The publication of the Forestry White Paper in March 1996 was a major milestone, with its clear policy commitment to support community forestry. The impact of the Community Forestry Programme is evident in the total of 2,4 million trees that have been planted.

As part of the incorporation of the commercial forests of the former homelands in the Department, an audit was conducted, where vast deficiencies in planning, marketing, silviculture and infrastructure were brought to light. Current harvesting practices are unsustainable and are further eroding the long-term financial viability of the forests.

Relations with provinces and ANC Study Groups

Relations with the ANC study group have improved considerably over the past year, and a good working relationship has been established.

The establishment of provincial liaison committees has considerably facilitated working relationships with the provinces, as have regular MINMEC meetings.

Evaluation and problems

A key concern for both the water supply and sanitation and the water resource management programmes is the inadequacy of the budgetary framework for the promotion of capital programmes.

The restructuring and transformation of the Department is hindered by the difficulty of recruiting trained and qualified staff in a number of specialised areas.

As South Africa is poorly endowed with water resources, interbasin transfers of water and storage dams of large capacity are required in order to provide an assured supply. The annual Departmental budget for these major water resources development projects is inadequate. Alternative funding mechanisms are therefore being sought, including the creation of a national water agency.

Further developments in community forestry may be impeded by the lack of capacity and funds within the Department to provide the necessary support and extension services. The over-exploitation of natural forests, mainly in the Eastern Cape, poses a major problem and there is real danger of these forests being destroyed.

Future plans and priorities

By April 1999 a further two million people will be served by the community water supply and sanitation programme, bringing the total to 3,7 million. Where capacity exists the operation of existing water supply schemes at local level will be handed over to local government or water boards.

The new National Water Bill, which will be tabled in Parliament in 1998, will provide the basis for the management of the nation`s water resources on a fair, efficient and sustainable basis into the next century.

The commercial forestry component of the Department has been operating on a trading account from April 1997 and steps will continue to make this operation commercially viable.

The Department will strive to make budget provision and mobilise further support from outside the Department for the expansion of community forestry. It is anticipated that the community forestry programme will directly promote the planting of approximately one million trees annually over the next three years.


Goals and Functions

The function of the Department is to facilitate the provision of appropriate developmental social welfare services to all South Africans, especially those living in poverty, those who are vulnerable and those who have special needs.

A new national Department of Welfare was formed after splitting from Health in 1994. Because welfare is a shared competency with the provinces, the national department`s main functions include national policy and planning, norms and standards, monitoring, capacity building, legislation and social welfare financing.

Achievements since December 1994

The basic policy document for the Department, the White Paper for Social Welfare, represents major policy shifts in a number of areas, including a move away from costly institutional care to community based care. The Draft White Paper for A Population Policy for South Africa seeks to move away from a narrow focus on simply keeping numbers down, to linking population concerns to sustainable development. A Social Welfare Plan has been finalised and is intended to be the five-year plan of action for the government.

The first pilot project of the Flagship Programme for Unemployed Women with Children Under Five was launched in the Northern Province in July 1996. So far 10 pilot projects have been launched in 7 of the 9 provinces. A total of 1 075 women countrywide are participating in the pilot projects, which will be reproduced on a much larger scale in the future.

New criteria for admitting the elderly to old age homes have been developed and are being tested nationwide. A new funding formula for frail care was implemented in May 1996.

The Inter-Ministerial Committee on Young People at Risk was established to ensure the Transformation of the Child, Youth Care system. Six projects were established in 1996 to test the new policy framework and principles. Projects have been extremely successful, with the full involvement of communities, inter-sectoral delivery, and the successful delivery of services to approximately 3,000 young people and their families.

A new residential care option and approach for young people in trouble with the law was launched in 1995 to provide for an appropriate alternative for young people who require containment while awaiting trial.

The Department is one of the lead departments in the National Crime Prevention Strategy, and is responsible for convening the Committee on the Management of Juveniles Awaiting Trial, the Victim Empowerment Programme and Diversion.

By April 1997, the 14 segregated pension systems of the previous dispensation were successfully amalgamated on to one computer database, which has enabled the Department to begin a major data cleaning-up exercise.

In an effort to better target and extend the state support that goes to children in poor households, the Child Support Grant will be introduced in 1998. It will replace the maintenance grant , which at present reaches 169,000 parents and 226,000 children, and is intended to reach 3 million children over a period of five years.

Relations with provinces and ANC Study Groups

The Minister meets regularly with the Chairperson and members of the Welfare Study Group. As far as possible meetings take place prior to the presentation of legislation.

Through the Ministers Committee for Welfare and Population Development, MINMEC and the provincial heads of the welfare departments, the Department has been working closely with the provinces to advance co-operative governance.

Evaluation and problems

In six provinces the welfare function is shared with other portfolios, though there is consensus that these functions should be separated with respect to the administration, financial management and human resources requirements in order to facilitate efficiency. At the provincial level the financial and management and administration capacity had to be upgraded.

Future plans and priorities

At the request of the Minister, the South African Law Commission has appointed a project committee to review the Child Care Act of 1983 and to work towards producing comprehensive child care legislation. The Law Commission is also set to conduct a thorough investigation into the Juvenile Justice System.

The Department aims to develop a uniform strategy to assess disabilities in order to determine the criteria for disability grants.

A programme has been developed to target R100-million for the poverty-alleviation fund allocated in the Budget. The Department is collaborating with its partners in the NGO sector to ensure the effective use of the funds that will be allocated.