Members of the Media;
Ladies and Gentlemen
Let me Greet you all.
* In my view and in the views of many scholars in Public Policy, Service Excellence, Improved Customer Experience and Satisfaction are the attributes of a caring government that will always earn public trust.
* I know Chairperson that the Department of Public Service and Administration directs all government departments to implement the approved Operations Management Framework and our Department is also one of those departments that have always complied with this requirement.
* The framework enables the Department to outline its service offerings and to thrive for service excellence and improved customer experience and satisfaction.
* In my entire political life, I have learned through experience and literature produced by various scholars, who believe that public trust in government is one of the most important foundations upon which the legitimacy, credibility and sustainability of governments are built.
* These scholars argue that public trust is also necessary for the fair and effective functioning of the Government for service delivery and the provision of infrastructure for the citizens - particularly in times of crisis - public trust empowers the government to act decisively.
* You will agree with me that in instances where bitter medicine is more easily swallowed, it is when there is public trust Honourable Members and in our case vaccination and herd immunity can be easily achieved when there is public trust.
* It is the Public trust that helps to resolve tensions over emotionally-charged issues, such as resource sharing, distribution of benefits, and perceptions of free-riding.
* But public trust Honorable Members – which is invariably hard-earned, can be quickly undermined.
* Honourable Members as we all know that this Government earned its Trust during the most difficult period of the Pandemic when we were criticized for all our interventions and plans.
* We know better today (and thanks to the Science Driven Approach despite the Criticism) that historically, some diseases have been contained Successfully, but others threaten to become Global Epidemics and Pandemics, - and such is the Covid19 Pandemic.
* We cannot over emphasize that the one Human Activity that is key to Microbe Spread, is our Propensity to Travel.
* Much to the relief of the majority of citizens in the country, we have lived up to our promise which is to commence the vaccine rollout for the health and frontline workers.
* We remain hopeful and trust that this program will achieve the country's herd immunity for the sake of our economy.
* Honourable Chairperson, even with the challenges of the various strains and the now recent India double variant in our borders, we remain vigilant and faithful in our Health Response Strategy.
The Budget Implications and Highlights for the Year 2021-2022.
* The Minister has already highlighted the key areas of our estimates of national expenditure, so I will focus briefly on the budget implications.
* In line with the National Treasury directive, all Departmental budgets were reduced by a minimum of 8% in the Prior Year and Honorable Members will recall that this intervention was part of several other interventions and Covid19 response towards saving lives.
* The reduced budget implications impacted on the compensation of employees by 1.1% (Administration - Programme 1),
* We also experienced 50% reduction on payments for capital assets - (Public Employment Services - Programme 3)
* Labour Policy and Industrial Relations - (Goods & Services - Programme 4 - Reduced by 32%) and Capital Assets reduced by 29%.
* The impact on our Re-Adjusted Budget reduced our budget by a total of 7.2% overall.
* These are the major adjustments and challenges the Department had to deal with and we've had to do with what we had.
* The impact on our budget certainly impacted negatively on some of our planned programs and targets but we managed to live up to the commitment we made during the 2019-2020 budget vote which is "Preserving jobs and saving lives in the era of Covid19."
* The current APP's and Stratplan which have been adjusted, also took a huge knock from the prior year budget reductions.
* This situation will persist over the outer years and probably for the longest time in the future as long as the economy remains stagnant.
* We are called upon by HE Honorable the President Cyril Matamela Ramaphosa in the SONA delivery to defeat the pandemic, Accelerate Economic Recovery, Implement Economic Reforms to Drive Inclusive Growth and to Create Sustainable Jobs as well as to Build State Capacity to deliver services and enhance Accountability.
* The President has instructed us to report on the impact of all our interventions and programs on service delivery instead of just simply reporting on the achieved targets.
* So, it is very comforting to realize that our collaborations across Departments and within the Department and its Entities strengthen government policy of the District Development Model to render services at the coal-face and doorsteps of communities.
* The Minister and I have been involved in several outreach programs in collaboration with other national Departments taking our services to the people.
* We Prioritize these outreaches because we understand clearly what it means to be a government that is the basic line and the guarantee for the people's happiness. There is so much we have achieved with the outreach programs and most importantly, this is an interactive contact session with the beneficiaries of our programs.
* We aim to prioritize massive infrastructure rollout and increase in local production as directed by the SONA.
* The SONA identified products such as the steel, edible oils, food concentrates, PPE and green economy inputs as being among the 42 identified products of local production.
* Our Labour Activation Programs (LAP), our Entities and all our training programs will also focus on expanding our productive economy and contribute to the return on investment for the country's annual productive output.
* Compensation Fund
The entity adopted the strategic approach known as - Compensation Made Easy.
The Compensation Fund Experienced 15% decline in revenue as a result of challenges posed by the pandemic and a 13% decline in employer declarations as compared to previous years.
* Unemployment Insurance Fund
The fund experienced a huge Impact of the downgrade on investments which impacted on its revenue.
Since March last year, the UIF has experienced over 100 million decline in monthly declarations.
* Productivity SA
The entity has adopted the strategic approach known as The Change Agenda.
The entity aimed to unlock South Africa's potential for sustained competitiveness and economic growth; to improve lack of productivity and competitiveness,
to promote comprehensive support for SMME's,
To Expand the capability of the current Public Employment Services System and Labour Activation Programmes, including TERS to buffer against the loss of jobs by transitioning the retrenched workers into other economic sectors;
The CCMA adopted the strategic approach known as the Imvuselelo/ The Revival.
Due to the macro-economic indicators forecast on the increase in case load, the CCMA continued to focus more on the enforcement of the NMWA and the BCEA.
Just over the first nine (9) months of the 2019/2020 financial year, the entity experienced about 17% case load - which equates to almost 30 000 additional cases due to the expanded jurisdiction.
At the core of the CCMA functions, lies the ease of access for services, the nature of cases coming from specific areas and the demand for services and other region-specific challenges when allocating resources for those regions.
Some of the factors that are leading to the growth rate in case referrals and the demand for various CCMA services;
The anticipated job losses arising from socio-economic challenges as a result of stagnant economic growth; and
The decline in mining, manufacturing and agriculture that used to dominate the economic environment of our country;
Honourable Members, the reality is that tertiary sectors like financial services, are driving growth in our economy and unfortunately these sectors are not so job intensive.
The South African tertiary sector (Trade, Government, Financial Services and Private Security) is one of the most advanced and sophisticated in the African continent - with the growth and transformation of the financial services sector matching that of developed countries.
Collectively, the sector has the potential to be the main and the largest contributor to the GDP.
But even the tertiary sector has not been immune to job cuts as much as there has been a surge in new jobs and skill sets owing to the uptake of 4IR to maintain competitiveness, increase reach, increase profitability and output.
The need for the CCMA to reach and support vulnerable groups in rural and remote areas as vulnerability increases remains the priority of this entity;
We are aware Honourable Members, that most standard employment contracts, including social protection benefits are being replaced with contract labour in a shift to a gig-based economy;
This may also result in increased caseload due to potential retrenchments;
It is becoming increasingly prudent for organisations and businesses to constantly re-skill and up- skill employees as digitisation and innovation become the drivers for success.
The following issues dominate the NEDLAC Agenda;
Measures to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on the lives and livelihoods of South Africans;
measures to fast track economic recovery and create jobs;
A strong focus on infrastructure investment, the digital economy and supporting the Africa Trade Agreement;
Looking at the future of work and strengthening labour market institutions;
Interventions to address challenges affecting youth, women and people with disabilities.
* Supported Employment Enterprise
The Entity has been receiving some support from the Department through the Procurement of PPE's.
We aim to provide more support in the future and we will continue to engage other Departments to do so.
At the right time, we will pursue legislation that makes it mandatory for government departments to procure goods and services through entities such as the SEE.
Let me thank Minister Nxesi for his leadershipand for sailing this ship against the tide and heavy storms. Enkosi Nqonqoshe. Enkosi Teacher omdala. Siyabulela Dlangamandla. Our people will always remember that this Department led by you has always been with them in difficult times.
Thank you so much.
© 2019 - The South African Department of Employment & Labour