Presentations

Presentation on UIF. KwaZulu Natal Legislature: 11 May 2020
Final Employment Creation Presentation to Legislature
Report Workers Parliament: 8 May 2020 Version V2

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Statement on the first ever Virtual Workers Parliament

STATEMENT BY THE SPEAKER OF KWAZULU-NATAL LEGISLATURE, MS NONTEMBEKO BOYCE ON THE STATE OF READINESS FOR THE FIRST EVER VIRTUAL WORKERS’ PARLIAMENT

9 MAY 2020

The outbreak of Coronavirus dictates that the efforts and work of all of us including the Executive is directed towards curbing the spread of the virus. We, at the Legislature understand that this mammoth task of containing the spread of the pandemic requires our collective efforts working with the Executive, to ensure that all the COVID-19 regulations and protocols that have been promulgated and all other executive decisions and actions taken are implemented fully, efficiently and effectively within available recourses. 

Even during this time of COVID-19, the Legislature remains compelled to consider the most appropriate mechanisms and modalities for ensuring that as a separate arm of the state, the Legislature exercises its constitutional responsibility of oversight, law-making and public involvement. 

Workers’ Parliament

Over the past three weeks, the leadership of the legislature has been seized with critical consultations with the federations regarding the annual Workers’ Parliament. We would like to announce that it is all systems go for the 2020 Workers’ Parliament. The Legislature, through sector parliaments, involves various sectors of society in matters of governance in the province. Workers’ Parliament is one of the sector parliaments initiated by the Legislature to give workers a platform to discuss and debate issues that affect them. We are excited about the fact that all our stakeholders are now fully on board and we are ready to officially host the 2020 Workers’ Parliament

This is an annual event, and traditionally over the years, has been a two-day programme that commences with the commissions discussing various topics and culminates in the Premier’s address. Due to the current situation wherein, the country is in a state of disaster and all sections of society are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, calls for radical alteration and adjustment to the normal way of functioning. The programme has been crafted to allow the sitting to be no longer than 3 hours.

Theme

With the month of May being the Workers’ Month, the KZN Legislature will host its annual Workers Parliament on the 12th of May 2020 on a Virtual Platform where workers from the three major federations in the province will participate in discussions, discussing matters that affect workers. Delegates from Cosatu, Fedusa and Nactu will deliberate on this year’s theme “Economic Shocks of COVID-19, Its Far-Reaching Impact on the Labour Market: Workers Feeling the Pinch”

The thinking behind this theme:

COVID-19 came as a health crisis which gradually developed into an economic and labour market crisis. We seek to hear from the presenters the list of economic shocks presented by the pandemic, what impact on the labour market. Planning team also spoke about challenges facing the UIF, and undoubtedly such challenges impact negatively on the workers, that’s why we are putting forward the statement “Workers feeling the pinch”, job losses retrenchments, and grave risk of absence of social security caused by devastating health and economic crisis, these combined make workers feel the pinch.    

Platform and how many people will participate

The proceedings will run virtually through a tool called Microsoft Teams which will allow all 20 presenters and delegates to be added as participants. 

Presenters and topics

Background and Purpose of the Workers’ Parliament, and the role of the Legislature in holding government accountable on promises made regarding COVID-19 -Hon. NN Boyce Speaker: KZN Legislature

A presentation on Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF): How it is done and how many companies have applied for COVID-19 relief benefits on behalf of their workers for this relief fund will be done by Ms Gugu Khomo from Department of Labour

Job losses and retrenchments because of the current economic climate: what is government’s plan for job creation, this presentation will be done by Sihle Mkhize from Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs

There after we will have the Premier’s Address on Responses to 2018 Resolutions, implementation thereof, and on government mechanisms to deal with the pandemic and address job losses

Participants and Observers

The sitting will have 20 participants which include 10 delegates from all 3 federations; Cosatu 5 delegates, Fedusa with 3 delegates, NACTU with 2 delegates. A number of observers have also been invited, these include the MPLs, MECs, Speakers and Deputy Speakers of the other 8 Legislatures, Workers in KZN apart from the federation delegation and the Media.

 

 

Communication Channels

As you are aware that public participation is critical in the business of the Legislature, we have created a number of platforms to ensure that the sitting reaches a wide audience even under such challenging times. Workers and the public at large will be able to access the proceedings through the following channels.

WhatsApp Number: 060 503 2194

Email Address: 2020WorkersParliament@kznleg.gov.za

Website: www.kznlegislature.gov.za

Twitter: @KznLegislature  #KZNWorkersParliament2020Live

Facebook: KwaZulu-Natal Legislature, KZN Legislature Speaker and KZN Legislature Deputy Speaker

Instagram: kzn.legislature

YouTube: KwaZulu-Natal Legislature

These can be used to view the proceedings and also get updates on the proceedings.

What is the Legislature doing for the workers during this difficult time?                 

The Legislature, as part of the Speaker’s social responsibility programme is engaging federations on interventions to be made for workers during this time where some have had to endure Salary cuts, Job losses and the lack of Personal Protective Equipment. More details will be shared in the coming weeks as the programme gets finalised.

The work of the Legislature during Lockdown

In these circumstances, it becomes even more critical for the Legislature to exercise oversight and hold relevant departments accountable for actions taken to stop the spread of the virus. To this end, the Legislature is informed formally by the Executive of actions to be taken at various stages, and its Committees oversee those actions.

The work of the Legislature continues even under these challenging times, management provided guidelines on the critical roles that staff must perform during the lockdown period to ensure that the Legislature is able to perform its oversight, law making and public involvement responsibilities.

Just to take you through briefly on what has been happening in the Legislature during Lockdown, the following meetings took place on the week of the 13 April 2020 to give direction to the business of the Legislature

a) Meeting with Leaders of political parties

This meeting was held on the 15th April 2020 for the Premier to present a report to the Speakership and Party Leaders in the Legislature on the Executive Council’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and for the Speaker to share the Legislature’s plan to perform its oversight function, law-making and public involvement responsibility in the context of the lockdown. 

b) Programme Committee

The Programme Committee met on 16th April 2020 to consider and adopt the revised calendar. The adopted calendar is hereby attached as Annexure C and covers activities until June 2020.

The calendar reflecting the period between July to December will be developed in consultation with the Presiding Officers having due regard to the fluidity of the Covid-19 environment.

c) Chairpersons Committee

The Legislature drafted guidelines on how its Committees should perform their oversight function in the context of Covid-19 pandemic. These were adopted by the Chairperson’s Committee on the 16th April 2020.

These guidelines are aimed at assisting the Legislature to undertake oversight specifically on the Government Programmes to contain the spread of the virus.  They are aimed at ensuring that the Legislature is able to undertake its Constitutional Mandate with members playing an active role albeit in a safe environment that will not expose them to risks of contracting the virus.

d) Whips Forum

A Whips Forum meeting took place on the 17th April 2020. This session was to sensitize the Committee on the changes in respect of the Calendar and how the Legislature is responding to Covid-19 pandemic.  The Whips Forum will then consider the Sitting programme in the light of the calendar that was passed by Programming Committee.

e) Rules Committee

The Rules Committee met on the 17th April 2020 to consider a new chapter in the Rules to cater for virtual meetings of the Legislature Committees and House Sittings.   This was pre-empted by the Speaker sharing her proposed Ruling in terms of Rule 2 that caters for eventualities that the Rules do not provide for.

 

Having considered all the above, the Legislature adopted an approach underpinned by the following:

a) Deployment of Information Communication Technology (ICT) solutions,

b) Training of Members and Staff on the use of Microsoft Teams;

c) Review of the annual calendar of the institution to respond to Covid-19 pandemic;

d) Reactivation of all Committees to conduct their business through virtual means;

e) Options for Sittings that include Virtual Sittings, cluster approach for physical Budget Sittings or normal budget and other Sittings with increased distancing. The relevant option will be chosen depending on the circumstances that prevail at the time;

f) Development of Oversight guidelines on Covid-19 for all Committees;

g) Development of a Covid-19 Communication Strategy;

h) Review of the Standing Rules of the Legislature to accommodate virtual sittings and meetings;

i) Review of data allocation for members and staff for virtual meetings; and

j) Provision of safe environment for the Legislative work as and when Members, staff and stakeholders attend at the Legislature Buildings.

The above interventions have enabled the Legislature to conduct all political management committee meetings by virtual means, including the budget hearings, save for Portfolio Committee on Conservation and Environmental Affairs which will meet on Tuesday 28th April 2020.  The knowledge gathered thus far does indicate that the Legislature is able to conduct most of its activities through virtual means and this augurs well for the delivery of e-legislature, this being a strategic objective for the sixth political term.

On 23rd April 2020, the President unveiled a Risk Adjusted Strategy in respect of Covid-19 and informed of the level 4 stage which would commence on the 1st May 2020. 

It is therefore important to stress that during the initial lockdown period, and at level 4 of the risk-adjusted strategy which commenced on the 1st May 2020, Legislatures and Parliament are regarded as essential services.  Staff were informed that they remain available for business remotely and physically as and when called on.  A policy on Covid-19 was passed to ensure that Staff and Members subscribe to the testing of temperatures and sanitization requirement of the legislature.  Management was responsible for drawing workplans and ensuring staff that were working remotely were reporting and providing proof of service, where applicable.

The Legislature has considered business units that could continue to operate remotely with no negative impact on the work of the Legislature. Equally, the Legislature has also considered the option of allowing 1/3 of the legislature employees to physically return to work, however this option will only be utilized as a last recourse where working remotely is not possible or feasible.

 Lastly, there are business units whose core function have been negatively affected by the restriction and are thus unable to perform their normal functions either remotely or within the office environment.   The legislature has identified some business units whose functions cannot be executed at all under a restrictive period of risk adjusted strategy. Going forward, the legislature will review its business process to arrive at a permanent solution in this regard. This may include re-training and placement in other business units.  In addition, the HR division is investigating support platforms to assist Members and Staff in adapting and coping with the new work environment, time management and soft skills that contribute to productivity.

Upcoming sittings

We will continue sharing the weekly schedule of the legislature with you.

 

Thank you.

 

ISSUED BY THE KWAZULU-NATAL LEGISLATURE OFFICE OF THE SPEAKER

Enquiries

Nomusa Phungula – 071 851 0085/ 072 294 7237

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Statement on the Human Settlements COVID-19 PC Meeting

07 May 2020

Embargo: For Immediate Release

Attention: News/Assignment Editors, Political Reporters, Reporters

From: KZN Legislature Communications Unit

RE: KZN PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE ON HUMAN SETTLEMENTS COMMENDS DEPARTMENT FOR ITS COVID-19 INTERVENTION

KwaZulu-Natal Legislature’s Portfolio Committee on Human Settlements this morning held its scheduled meeting with the department and the MEC for Human Settlements to receive and consider the department’s COVID-19 report.

The department was led by MEC Neliswa Peggy Nkonyeni and the Head of Department Mr Mduduzi Zungu. Other stakeholders such as the South African National Civics Organisation and the “shack-dwellers” movement – Abahlali base Mjondolo were also in attendance.

Nkonyeni and Zungu reported on the department’s COVID-19 interventions which included the following:

· Mass sanitization/disinfection of informal settlements, transit camps and hostels

· Public Hygiene interventions including supplying sanitizers to households and bar soaps etc

· Public health awareness campaigns

· Installation of static water tanks to communities such informal settlements

· Extended informal settlement upgrading programme and anti-land invasion campaigns

The department’s report was well received by members of the portfolio committee with most of them commending the department for its swift interventions.

Portfolio Committee Chairperson Honourable Linda Hlongwa-Madlala thanked the department and the MEC for prioritising the marginalised sectors of our society such as informal settlements and hostels.

Hlongwa-Madlala also emphasised that the department needed to develop a post COVID-19 plan.

“The department also needs to plan beyond COVID-19 and present us with its plan on the reprioritised budget, at the face of the COVID-19.,” said Hlongwa-Madlala.

Nkonyeni also added that the department has also received a request to include Old Age Homes in its sanitization programme.

Ends

Issued by Human Settlements Portfolio Committee Chairperson Hon Linda Hlongwa-Madlala. Contact her on 0782923687

Or

Wonder Hlongwa 0829083532

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President Cyril Ramaphosa: Extension of Coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown to the end of April

President Cyril Ramaphosa: Extension of Coronavirus COVID-19 lockdown to the end of April

My Fellow South Africans,

At midnight tonight, it will be exactly two weeks since our country entered into an unprecedented nation-wide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

During the course of these last two weeks, your lives have been severely disrupted, you have suffered great hardship and endured much uncertainty.

We have closed our borders to the world, our children are not in school, businesses have closed their operations, many have lost their income, and our economy has ground to a halt.

And yet, faced with such daunting challenges, you, the people of South Africa, have responded with remarkable patience and courage.

You have respected the lockdown and largely observed the regulations.

You have accepted the severe restrictions on your movement and many of the daily freedoms that we all take for granted.

You have done so because you have understood the devastating effect that this disease will have on the health and well-being of all South Africans unless we take drastic measures.

You have also understood that we must do everything in our power to prevent the massive loss of life that would occur if we did not act.

For your cooperation, for your commitment and above all for your patience, I wish to thank you personally.
I wish to thank you for reaffirming to each other and to the world that we South Africans are a people who come together and unite at moments of great crisis.

Earlier today I had a most productive meeting with our Premiers about the work they are doing in provinces and districts to stop the spread of the virus.

I also had a discussion with the leaders of all our political parties represented in Parliament, who collectively pledged their support for the efforts that are being made to combat the pandemic.

Through this we are demonstrating that we are able to work together across party lines to confront a common threat.

Since I announced the lockdown just over two weeks ago, the global coronavirus pandemic has worsened.

Two weeks ago, there were 340,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the world.

We now have over 1.5 million confirmed cases worldwide.

Over 90,000 people across the world have died from this disease.

The health systems of many countries have been overwhelmed.

Even the most developed economies in the world have not had the means to treat the many thousands who have fallen ill.

They have struggled to find the medical supplies and personnel necessary to deal with the pandemic.

The devastating effect of this is that many people have died.

The global evidence is overwhelming.

It confirms that our decision to declare a national state of disaster and to institute a nation-wide lockdown was correct and it was timely.

While it is too early to make a definitive analysis of the progression of the disease in South Africa, there is sufficient evidence to show that the lockdown is working.

Since the lockdown came into effect, the rate at which new cases have been identified here in South Africa has slowed significantly.

From 1,170 confirmed cases on the 27th of March, the number of confirmed cases today stands at 1,934.

In the two weeks before the lockdown, the average daily increase in new cases was around 42%.

Since the start of the lockdown, the average daily increase has been around 4%.

While we recognise the need to expand testing to gain a better picture of the infection rate, this represents real progress.

The measures we have taken – such as closing our borders and prohibiting gatherings – as well as the changes that we have each had to make in our own behaviour, have definitely slowed the spread of the virus.

But the struggle against the coronavirus is far from over.

We are only at the beginning of a monumental struggle that demands our every resource and our every effort.

We cannot relax. We cannot be complacent.

In the coming weeks and months, we must massively increase the extent of our response and expand the reach of our interventions.

We are learning both from the experiences of other countries and from the evidence we now have about the development of the pandemic in South Africa.

Both make a clear and compelling case to proceed in a manner that is cautious and properly calibrated.

Simply put, if we end the lockdown too soon or too abruptly, we risk a massive and uncontrollable resurgence of the disease.

We risk reversing the gains we have made over the last few weeks, and rendering meaningless the great sacrifices we have all made.

Fellow South Africans,

This evening, I stand before you to ask you to endure even longer.

I have to ask you to make even greater sacrifices so that our country may survive this crisis and so that tens of thousands of lives may be saved.

After careful consideration of the available evidence, the National Coronavirus Command Council has decided to extend the nation-wide lockdown by a further two weeks beyond the initial 21 days.

This means that most of the existing lockdown measures will remain in force until the end of April.

We will use the coming days to evaluate how we will embark on risk-adjusted measures that can enable a phased recovery of the economy, allowing the return to operation of certain sectors under strictly controlled conditions.

We will also use this time to ramp up our public health interventions.

We did not take this decision to extend the lockdown lightly.

As your President, I am mindful of the great and heavy burden this will impose on you.

I am keenly aware of the impact this will have on our economy.

But I know, as you do, that unless we take these difficult measures now, unless we hold to this course for a little longer, the coronavirus pandemic will engulf, and ultimately consume, our country.

We all want the economy to come back to life, we want people to return to work, we want our children to go back to school, and we all want to be able to move freely again.

But our immediate priority must remain to slow down the spread of the virus and to prevent a massive loss of life.

We must do this while preventing our economy from collapsing and saving our people from hunger.

We are determined to pursue a path that both saves lives and protects livelihoods.

Our strategy is made up of three parts:

– Firstly, an intensified public health response to slow down and reduce infections.

– Secondly, a comprehensive package of economic support measures to assist businesses and individuals affected by the pandemic.

– Thirdly, a programme of increased social support to protect poor and vulnerable households.

As government, together with our many partners, we have used this lockdown period to both refine and intensify our public health strategy to manage the coronavirus.

Our approach is to screen in communities and test people in hospitals, clinics and mobile clinics, to isolate those who are infected, and to care for those who are ill in our health facilities.

We need to do this intensively and systematically.

We have used the last week to develop our screening and testing methodology in various parts of the country.

Over the next two weeks, we will roll out the community screening and testing programme across all provinces, focusing in particular on highly vulnerable communities.

Those who test positive and cannot self-isolate at home will be isolated at special facilities that have been identified and are now being equipped.

At all times, we will observe the human rights of all people.

Let us not discriminate against people who test positive.

To ensure that our strategies are effectively coordinated and to ensure they are informed by comprehensive, real-time data, we have established the COVID-19 Information Centre at the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research.

This world-class centre will keep track of all screening, testing, isolation and hospitalisation throughout the country.

It is already identifying infection hotspots.

It is following the spread and the severity of the disease, and enabling us to move our focus and resources where they are most needed.

We are working with mobile telephony companies and other institutions to locate those people who have tested positive for the virus and those with whom they have been in contact.

As part of the second element of our strategy, we have put in place various measures to provide support to businesses in distress, to workers facing loss of income, to the self-employed and to informal businesses.

Many of these measures are being taken up by both large and small businesses.

The Unemployment Insurance Fund has set aside R40 billion to help employees who will be unable to work, as part of the effort to prevent jobs losses as a result of the lockdown.

To date, it has paid out R356 million.

I would like to applaud all those employers who have continued to pay their workers during this difficult time, as well as those employers who are working with unions and government to assist their employees to access these benefits.

I would like to call on all businesses to continue to pay their suppliers, to the extent that they can, to ensure that those suppliers can also continue to operate and pay their staff and suppliers.

In this respect, I would like to appeal to all large businesses not to resort to force majeure and stop paying their suppliers and rental commitments, as such practice has a domino effect on all other businesses dependent on that chain.

We must do all we can to ensure that the underlying economy continues to function and to focus support on those small businesses that really need them.

The Industrial Development Corporation has set aside R3 billion for the procurement of essential medical supplies.

It has already approved R130 million in funding and expects to approve a further R400 million in the coming week to companies who applied for funding under this special facility.

The Small Enterprise Finance Agency has approved the postponement of loan repayments for a period of 6 months.

The small business debt relief and business growth facilities are currently adjudicating applications for assistance.

There is a total of R500 million available in support.

Government has reprioritised R1.2 billion to provide relief to smallholder farmers and to contribute to the security of food supply.

In addition to these expenditure measures, the Reserve Bank has also lowered interest rates and has taken measures to inject liquidity into the economy.

One of the biggest challenges that all countries in the world are facing is the shortage of medical supplies to fight the coronavirus.

As a country we have had to rely on our own capabilities to supply these goods, but have also had to source supplies from other countries.

In recent weeks, we have seen a massive mobilisation of South African business, labour, academics and government agencies to build the stocks of medical and other equipment needed to fight coronavirus.

We have, for example, established the National Ventilator Project to rapidly mobilise the technical and industrial resources of our country to manufacture non-invasive ventilators, which can be used to support patients afflicted with the disease.

Other projects are focusing on increasing the local manufacture of protective face masks, hand sanitisers and pharmaceutical products which can be used by health care workers and the public at large.

As the third part of our coronavirus response, we have been working to provide basic needs such as water and to maintain the reliability of food supply to the poorest South Africans.

We have also expanded the provision of food parcels and we’ve provided spaza shops with financial support.

To date, government has delivered over 11,000 water storage tanks to communities in need across the country, and many of these have been installed.

In addition, 1,000 water tankers have been provided for the delivery of water.

Several homeless people have been accommodated in 154 shelters.

I am pleased to report that the Solidarity Fund – which was established to mobilise resources from companies, organisations and individuals to combat the coronavirus pandemic – has so far raised around R2.2 billion.

It has already allocated around R1 billion to buy sterile gloves, face shields, surgical masks, test kits and ventilators.

It will also allocate funds for humanitarian relief to vulnerable households, in addition to the R400 million set aside by government for Social Relief of Distress grants.

All of these efforts, while necessary and commendable, will not be sufficient on their own to cushion the poor from the impact of this pandemic.

Nor will they provide the relief that businesses and their employees require.

Additional extraordinary measures will need to be put in place in the coming weeks and months to absorb the sudden loss of income to both businesses and individuals.

We are in a situation that demands swift action and exceptional methods, a situation that demands innovation and the mobilisation of every resource that we have.

Cabinet will be developing a comprehensive package of urgent economic measures to respond both to the immediate crisis and to the severe economic challenges that we must confront in the months ahead.

Further announcements on the next phase of our economic and social support strategy will be made in due course.

An essential part of our response to this emergency is the principle of solidarity.

From across society, companies and individuals have come forward to provide financial and other assistance.

In support of this effort, we have decided that the President, Deputy President, Ministers and Deputy Ministers will each take a one-third cut in their salaries for the next three months.

This portion of their salaries will be donated to the Solidarity Fund.

We are calling on other public office bearers and executives of large companies to make a similar gesture and to further increase the reach of this national effort.

In this regard, we welcome the donation of 20,000 cellphones by Vodacom for health workers that will be involved in screening and tracing in communities.

As we have stressed before and we will stress once again, our struggle against the coronavirus requires fundamental changes in behaviour from all of us.

Until we have contained the coronavirus, the same rules remain.

Shaking hands, hugging, sitting close to each other and other forms of physical contact enable this virus to be transmitted, and must be avoided.

We must continue to wash our hands regularly and thoroughly using water and soap or sanitiser.

To stay safe and to keep others safe we must continue to respect whatever restrictions that are placed on our movement and on our daily lives

Over the past two weeks, I have been speaking to other African leaders about a coordinated continental effort to combat the coronavirus and support our people and our economies.

We have established an AU COVID-19 Response Fund to mobilise the resources necessary to support this effort.

We have reached out to world leaders, even as they struggle with the pandemic in their countries, to assist the continent with essential medical supplies and to support a comprehensive stimulus package for Africa.

As we confront this disease in our country, we are part of a great global effort that is bringing humanity together in ways that many never thought possible.

For billions across the world, and for us here in South Africa, the coronavirus pandemic has changed everything.

We can no longer work in the way we have before.

As government, as NGOs, as political parties, as large corporations and small businesses, as financial institutions, as community organisations and as South Africans we will need to adapt to a new reality.

As we emerge from this crisis, our country will need to undergo a process of fundamental reconstruction.

To do so, we will draw on our strengths: our abundant natural resources, our advanced infrastructure, our deep financial markets, our proven capabilities in information and communication technology, and the depth of talent among our people.

We will draw on our proven capacity for innovation and creativity, our ability to come together in a crisis, and our commitment to each other and our common future.

We will learn from global experience and the best scientific evidence, but we will craft a uniquely South African response that uses our own capabilities as a nation.

This weekend is a sacred time for many South Africans.

For many, it will be difficult to spend this time without their friends and family.

I ask that you keep in your thoughts tonight all in our land who are vulnerable, destitute and alone.

I ask that you give what you can to alleviate their burden.

To contribute to the Solidarity Fund in any way you can.

This is a difficult time for us all.

Yet the message of Easter is one we carry in our hearts tonight.

It is the message of hope, of recovery and of rebirth.

As we walk this road together, as we struggle to defeat this pandemic, we remain strong and united and resolved.

Much is being asked of you, far more than should ever be asked.

But we know that this is a matter of survival, and we dare not fail.

We shall recover.

We shall overcome.

May God bless South Africa and protect her people.

I thank you.

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UNPACKING THE KZN BUDGET 2020/21

UNPACKING THE KZN BUDGET 2020/21 

On Tuesday, 10 March 2020, Provincial Treasury briefed Members of the Finance Portfolio Committee on the KZN Budget for 2020/21.

The KZN Budget is appropriated to all KZN Government departments through the KZN Appropriation Bill which is tabled by the MEC for Finance annually.

Money Bills are the Bills defined by Section 120 of the Constitution and usually appropriate money, impose taxes, levies, duties or surcharges in the Province. They also abolish or reduce , or grant exemptions from provincial taxes, levies duties and surcharges. Money bills also authorise direct charges against a provincial revenue Fund and they are processed by the Finance Portfolio Committee.

The Chairperson of the Finance Portfolio Committee, Honorable KK Nkosi said, “The briefing by Provincial Treasury is welcomed by all Members of the Committee.  It offers us all the opportunity to unpack the budget and allows Members of the Legislature the opportunity to clarify any issues they might have directly with the KZN MEC of Finance, Hon Ravi Pillay, and his senior officials.”  

The  next step in to process before the budget is passed by a Vote of the Full Sitting of the House in the KwaZulu-Natal Legislature is that each Department and each Portfolio Committee will appear before the Finance Committee.

The Chairperson of Chairpersons of Committees, Honorable Themba Mthembu (MPL) said, ” This briefing by Provincial Treasury is attended by all Members of the Legislature in preparation for their meeting with KZN Departments who will outline their budgets. These budgets will be studied by Members of portfolio committees who will in turn draw up a report.  This Committee report is then tabled at a Sitting of the House by the Chairperson of each committee.”

“The IFP welcomes the briefing on the 2020/21 budget. The cuts on budget emanating from cuts by the National Treasury, indicates the state of finances in our country. Our priorities should be on service delivery than the nice to have. It is important that the money we have for this financial year must be spent on time and correctly for the benefit of our people! ” says Honorable VF Hlabisa (MPL), who is the Leader of the Opposition in the Legislature.

Hon Ravi Pillay, the KZN MEC For Finance emphasised,” We find ourselves in a situation where the economy of KwaZulu-Natal is under strain by various international and local factors and despite the budget cuts, we have geared the KZN Budget for 2020/21 to protect government’s key priority programmes so that we do not lose sight of our vision of ensuring a better life for all.  Our focus in all decisions taken was to protect the funds allocated to departments for the improvement of the lives of our people.”.

He added, “This challenge we face today is different from that of Luthuli and OR Tambo and Mandela. We are not required to face bullets or go to jail. We are simply asked  to be sober, determined, disciplined and focussed and work hard every day for as long as we are called upon to do so.”

For any Enquiries please contact the Finance Committee coordinator: Mr Siphamandla Chili on 063 251 8538.

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The Finance Committee Portfolio Committee Intervenes in a Sanitation Programme in Nongoma

After receiving reports (through a whistleblower) of a stalled Sanitation Programme in Msebe in kwaNongoma the Chairperson of the Committee Hon SC “KK” Nkosi led his Committee to hear the views of the community and the Zululand District in a bid to restore the project to the service of the needy community of Nongoma. According to the Chairperson this was not the only objective to conduct this Focused Intervention Study, but it was also to “kuphenya ibheshu (to expose the dirty work) ” to those who have led to the suffering of the community by abusing the taxpayer’s monies, thereby leaving the community with no toilets when in fact, government had planned and invested a lot of money on this project.
The Chairperson the vowed in front of a fully packed hall of Msebe that whoever is responsible for this wastage will face the full might of the law, and that investigations are to begin so that those responsible can be made accountable.
Members of the community of Msebe when weighing in on this matter, expressed serious concerns regarding the conduct of officials employed in that district. In no uncertain terms the allegations made by most speakers pointed out to “corrupt officials who receive brown envelopes”. During an interview with members of the media the Chair Hon Nkosi also said that according to the Department Treasury’s report presented it does point out that the Supply Chain section of the Municipality may have committed errors in the tender process, but Hon Nkosi emphasized that the Committee will however await the full report from the Municipality (before jumping into any conclusions) on how this project was rollout including the tender processes involved.

Hon. Nkosi addressing the Community of Msebe on the purpose of the visit of his Committee.

Members of the community register their unhappiness with the officials of the Municipality.

He Chairperson “KK” Nkosi addressing the media after the Focused Study Intervention Study.

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A Special Meeting with the Department of Health to discuss readiness of institutions to deal with the Coronavirus named COVID-19

The Chairperson Hon N Majola fires series of questions to the senior management as the Committee seeks assurance on the readiness of health institutions.

The Chairperson for the Health Portfolio Committee Hon Nomakiki Majola and her Committee has called for the department to make presentations on the readiness of Health Institutions to manage the spread of Coronavirus. This was after the Chair had visited various Health Institutions across the province. These include Greys, Addington, Ngwelezane, and Manguzi hospitals. In her findings the Chair was not so pleased with the state of readiness as there were several infrastructural adjustments that had to be put in place to ensure that the isolation rooms are equipped to admit patients. For instance, in Addington hospital’s air-conditioning in the designated facility, Addington had better facilities although some adjustments were needed, this was according to the Chairperson Hon Majola. She added that Ngwelezane and Manguzi hospitals were also in a much better state.
The MEC for Health Hon Nomagugu Simelane said although Grey’s Hospital was one of the designated institutions by the National department, the Provincial department of Health decided to further designate a few others, “because of the vast province we have, we cannot only have one institution. These include four Regional hospitals, namely, Madadeni, Newcastle, Ladysmith, and Edendale. “We do not have any confirmed cases in our province, the MEC continued “the three cases that were suspected were simply because they worked for Chinese shops, this was just a false alarm, if you were top say”.

The Portfolio Committee in its Special Meeting with the Department of Health

The discussion was extended to include the training of staff which the department confirmed to have taken place, and ensured the Committee that issues of waste management in cases of death and general management of the infected patients was properly addressed to eliminate human to human transmission. There is also an assurance of ongoing contact between the department and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in which revised case definitions are distributed regularly to all health facilities through their Communicable Disease Control Coordinators.
The Committee was assured that additional hospitals had been identified for renovations of their Isolation wards or units to meet the requirements for future use and management of confirmed cases. These are Dundee, Vryheid, Emmause and Murchison District hospitals.
Members were of the Committee impressed on the Department the importance of running media campaigns including newspaper adverts where community awareness campaigns can be reinforced.
What is Coronavirus:
“A virus that causes infection in the nose, Sinuses, or upper throat which may complicate into lower respiratory infection resulting in pneumonia. Affected individuals present with upper respiratory infections symptoms like a stuffy nose, cough, sore throat and fever. The Coronavirus is spread through infected people coughing, and sneezing by touching, an infected persons hand or face, or even touching doorknobs touched by infected people”.

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Hippo attack resulting to death

Committee chairperson visits the family in distraught

The Chair of the Portfolio Committee on Conservation and Environmental Affairs Hon SW Mshengu moved swiftly (after the news of the death of a young man in Umtubatuba Dukuduku area) to visit the bereaved family and the CEO of Isimangaliso Wetlands Park. The death of a member of Nxumalo family was because of the attack by a Hippo that was said to be wondering about in the community. “Hippos do come out to graze at night and it was unfortunate that the young man had to die in this way”, said the CEO, Mr Sibusiso Bukhosini. In his visit to the Wetlands Park the Chairperson of the Committee sought to understand why and how this incident had happened and to meet with the family to express his condolences on behalf of the Committee.
The Nxumalo family was in tears as they were explaining the pain of losing a member of their family. “we are struggling here at home, and the death of our brother brings no hope of a better life for us, as he was a breadwinner. We now are even afraid to go out at night in this community as Hippos roam around here”. In his response the Hon Mshengu promised the family to consult with the Committee and return in three weeks’ time to “see what assistance could be provided to the family”. He further promised to engage with the entire community and Isimangaliso Wetlands Park to seek a lasting solution that will prevent such incidents in the future. Chief amongst preventative measures is a possibility of fencing the area to keep Hippopotami away from the community, a suggestion which the CEO of Isimangaliso said, was (in the past) rejected by the community, as the community felt that the Wetlands Park’ intention was to keep the community away from the Park thereby preventing their freedom of movement in and out of the Park.

Hon SW Mshengu listening (in blue pant and T-shirt) to Nxumalo family as they express their pain at the loss of a member of the family.

Community development initiatives such as empowerment of SMME in the field of nature conservation and road construction opportunities were explored by the Chairperson and the CEO in the meeting that preceded a meeting with the family. The Chairperson commended Mr Bukhosini for his passion for community upliftment and his plans (which he briefly shared) for the future of Isimangaliso. The meeting concluded with the invitation of the CEO to a Committee meeting planned for late November in Hluhluwe.

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What a successful Amajuba Stakeholders Engagement!!!

The KZN Finance Portfolio Committee took the Provincial Treasury to Amajuba District, Dannhauser Municipality, Durnacol Sports Complex on Friday 6 December 2019. The Provincial Treasury presented the Draft Annual Performance Plan and Budget for 2020/21 Financial Year. The main aim was to expose the public to have a glimpse of the APP and Budget long before these two are passed by the Legislature. Their views and comments are factored in as the two are in a draft form.

This public involvement proves that the KZN Legislature is a truly “activist Legislature” which is a centre for public involvement and oversight. Our people are involved many months before the APP and Budget are passed by their Legislature.

The public members were exposed on how the KZN Provincial Treasury is structured and what are its main functions. Treasury Programmes and Sub programmes were clearly explained. These were presented by the Deputy Director General Mrs Shezi, Chief Financial Officer Mr Ndlovu and other three senior officials.

The Chairperson Hon “KK” Nkosi welcomes the members of the community to the Stakeholder Engagement Session.

The public was afforded the opportunity to engage on these presentations. The questions and comments were of a high quality thus all Hon Members of the Finance Portfolio Committee commended the public. They were indeed involved in their Legislature which passes Laws.

The Chairperson of the Committee Hon Sipho “KK” Nkosi said, “we salute the people of Amajuba for posing relevant yet difficult questions during this, and concluded by thanking the Speaker of Dannhauser and all Councillors who had taken their time to attend this important meeting.

Hon Rogers outlines the purpose of the visit on request by the Chairperson.

Hon Sonjica makes input into the presentation and probes the departments CFO an DDG who are seen here seated.

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