Budget Speech of the Department of Social Development as presented by Mr Gift van Staden, Member of the Executive Council responsible for Social Development

Honourable Speaker of the Legislature, Mr Kenny Moeiemang

Honourable Deputy Speaker of the Legislature, Ms Juanita Beukes

Honourable Premier, Ms Sylvia Lucas

Members of the Executive Council and Members of the Provincial Legislature

Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Health and Social Development, Ms Tiny Chotelo

Executive Mayors, Mayors, Speakers and Councillors

Head of Department of Social Development, Ms Hendrina Samson

Acting Regional Executive Manager of the South African Social Security Agency, Ms Tsebeletso Makheta

Provincial Manager of the National Development Agency, Mr Lesedi Piki

Community Based Organisations and Non Profit Organisations

Distinguished Guests

Ladies and Gentleman


At the advent of democracy, President Mandela confirmed that “the ANC Government’s commitment to create a people-centred society of liberty binds us to the pursuit of the goals of freedom from want, freedom from hunger, freedom from deprivation, freedom from ignorance, freedom from suppression and freedom from fear. These freedoms are fundamental to the guarantee of human dignity. They will therefore constitute part of the centrepiece of what this Government will seek to achieve, the focal point on which our attention will be continuously focused. The things we have said constitute the true meaning, the justification and the purpose of the Reconstruction and Development Programme, without which it would lose all legitimacy”.


Honourable Speaker in pursuit of the commitment President Mandela made, and in celebration of ‘the year of Nelson Mandela and Albertina Sisulu: 100 years of selfless service in pursuit of the plight of the poor, the vulnerable and the marginalised’

During the State of the Nation Address, President Cyril Ramaphosa stated that “on the 1st of May this year, we will introduce the first national minimum wage in South Africa.  This historic achievement - a realisation of one of the demands of the Freedom Charter - is expected to increase the earnings of more than six million working South Africans and improve the living conditions of households across the country”.


Honourable Speaker, the minimum wage will result in a noticeable reduction in income inequality and thus a drop in the Gini coefficient. The minimum wage represents the first step in a multi-pronged strategy to reduce wage inequality and in securing the better life for all.


Honourable Speaker, on 16 December 2017, former President Jacob Zuma announced that government would be phasing in fully subsidised free higher education and training for poor and working class South Africans over a five-year period.  Starting this year, free higher education and training is available to first year students from households with a gross combined annual income of up to R350, 000.  


Therefore, children of the unemployed, social grant recipients, South Africans earning below the minimum wage, will now access public universities and TVET colleges for free, through grants provided for by government.


Honourable Speaker, at the core of these two strategic interventions, is our commitment to ensure we break the cycle of poverty by ensuring that those employed have an income that enable them to satisfy their basic needs, and that we widen access to education and training for the poor and marginalised.  These interventions affirms our commitment to the realisation of a people-centred society and a better life for all, especially the poor, the vulnerable and the marginalised.


These interventions forms part of our comprehensive and integrated approach to social protection as espoused in the National Development Plan, Vision 2030. However, this requires coordination, integration and importantly, strategic partnerships with Private Sector as well as Civil Society, if we are to give effect to the five features of social protection as envisaged in the NDP 2030 which are that it must be: protective; preventative; promotive; transformative as well as developmental and generative.


Therefore, in keeping with the Vision outlined in the National Development Plan, and working with our delivery partners we will ensure that we improve the coordination and integration of our intervention in terms of an inclusive and responsive social protection system.  This will ensure that we give meaningful impetus to our Policy Priorities, namely:


1. Policy Priority 1: Strengthening social welfare delivery through legislative, policy

reforms; capacity building.

2. Policy Priority 2: Improved provision (improved quality and access) of Early

Childhood Development Services for children aged 0-4.

3. Policy Priority 3: Strengthen Community  Development Interventions

4. Policy Priority 4: Deepening Social Assistance and Expanding Access to Social

Security (Provincial Priority-Food Security).


Honourable Speaker, Allow me therefore to turn my attention to the plans of the Department of Social Development together with its Agencies, namely South African Social Security Agency and the National Development Agency for the 2018/19 financial year in our effort to address the triple challenges of unemployment, poverty and inequality.


On our Policy Priority: Strengthening social welfare delivery through legislative, policy reforms; capacity building.


We are currently funding 126 students to the value of R 11,3 million through the National Social Work Scholarship Programme, however, the absorption of Social Work Scholars remains a challenge.  Therefore we have taken a decision to disolve the National Social Work Scholarship Programme against the backdrop of the fully subsidised free higher education and training for the poor and to redirect such funding towards the filling of vacant posts for Social Workers and other Social Services Professions.  


Honourable Speaker, on our Policy Priority: Improved provision (improved quality and access) of Early Childhood Development Services for children aged 0-4.


Like Mam’ uSisulu, President Mandela too believed that “our children are the rock on which our future will be built, our greatest asset as a nation.  They will be the leaders of our country, the creators of our national wealth”. 

Therefore, we must spare no effort in ensuring that we continue to enhance the quality of our ECD services by ensuring that all conditionally registered ECD Centres are re-registered in accordance with the Children’s Act (Act 38 of 2005) and compliant with the norms and standards on ECD and therefore rendering quality stimulation programmes to children in the 0 - 4 year age cohort.  


Honourable Speaker, government remains committed to the attainment of universal access to Early Childhood Development for all children in South Africa by 2030.  Therefore, in her Budget Speech in May 2018, Minister of Social Development, Ms Susan Shabangu, noted “the capacity to deliver Early Childhood Development services and programmes was being strengthened through the development of a Human Resource Plan. This Plan involves the community by encouraging parents and caregivers to participate in developing the potential of their children. Together with National Treasury, we are finalizing a national funding model for Early Childhood Development programmes including services for children with disabilities. We are also working in collaboration with the Department of Basic Education to ensure greater alignment of our ECD programmes to that of the Grade R and the school curriculum”.  


Working with various stakeholders, we are in the process to finalise the Early Childhood Development Strategy to ensure coordinated and integrated ECD interventions, especially in rural areas.  


Honourable Speaker, during the past financial year, 22 729 children were provided access to registered ECD programmes. Furthermore, through the Conditional Grant, 65 ECD sites underwent infrastructural upgrades, thus ensuring that these sites attain gold (fully compliant) registration status in line with the Children’s Act.  An additional 40 ECD Centres have been identified to benefit from the Conditional grant for infrastructure in 2018/19 financial year to the value of R 7.2 million.


A pilot project will be implemented in Namakwa District through a partnership with Namakwalandse Assosiasie vir Voorskoolse Onderig (NAVO) in order to expand non-centre based ECD services to children in the Namakwa area.

Honourable Speaker, during last year’s Budget Speech, I announced that the Health and Welfare Seta have allocated funding for the training of 91 ECD Practitioners who currently have an NQF level 4 qualification to enrol for a two year NQF level 5 Diploma programme.  I am pleased to report that these Practitioners will be completing their qualification at the end of this year.  I am also pleased to announce that a further 120 ECD Practitioners have been enrolled for training on NQF Level 4 in partnership with the Health and Welfare SETA for a one year training programme, thus ensuring that we continue to provide quality stimulation programmes to our children in the formative years of their lives.


Honourable Speaker, we have set aside R 105 million to realise our vision of universal access to early childhood development services. Inclusive in the allocation of R 105 million is an amount of R 18, 4 million which is a Conditional Grant to increase access to ECD Services and to address infrastructure challenges in terms of upgrades and maintenance at the 40 ECD Centres across the Province.


Honourable Speaker, On our Policy Priority: Strengthen Community Development Interventions.


Like former President Mandela, we too believe that “children must play in the open veld, no longer tortured by the pangs of hunger or ravaged by the disease or threatened with the scourge of ignorance, molestation and abuse, and no longer required to engage in deeds whose gravity exceeds the demands of their tender years”. 


Therefore on the 1st of June 2018, Premier Sylvia Lucas launched the provincial integrated programme for child participation under the name #my voice, I take charge.  The project is a partnership between the Department of Education and the Department of Social Development and is aimed at involving Grade 9 learners in all high schools in the province to actively participate in projects aimed at empowering young people to improve social cohesion and address issues of moral re-generation.  We are fully conscious of the fact that young people remain a key motive force and therefore no meaningful change can be effected without their full participation and activism.


Honorable Speaker, last year I announced that in partnership with the University of Sol Plaatje, the Department launched a pilot project in Kimberley focusing on street children. We have observed some success in terms of behaviour change, therefore, the "Bana Bokomoso" Soccer Project will this year be rolled out to Green-Point to ensure that we address the plight of street children in a more holistic manner and to ensure the reintegration of street children back into their families and or places of safety.


Therefore, in terms of Child Care and Protection, we have allocated R 57 million to address the needs of orphans and vulnerable children. This will ensure that children's basic needs are met, their rights are protected and families are supported to provide adequate care to their children. The care and protection of our children remains our collective responsibility, which calls for collective action from all sectors of society.


Honourable Speaker, we must continue to strengthen and intensify our early intervention and prevention services in order to ensure the provision of integrated and developmental programmes and services to promote the wellbeing and protection of women, children, and persons with disabilities, older persons and for the restoration of families as the basic unit.   


In terms of services to persons with disabilities, we have allocated R4, 6 million to fund 3 Residential Care Facilities for persons with disabilities for a 24 hour service.  Further to this, we have allocated funds for 7 Protective Workshops to the value of R 1, 2 million.  In addition to the funded 2 social worker posts to strengthen services to persons with disabilities in Springbok and Postmasburg.  We will be funding a social worker post for the Northern Cape Mental Health Society to ensure that we address issues of mental health in an inclusive manner.


Honourable Speaker, President Mandela once asserted, “A country that does not value its older people denies its roots and endangers its future”.  Therefore we need to work together to ensure that we create a better life for all ages, including the aged.   


Therefore in terms of Older Persons, the Department will continue to fund the 55 Service Centres to provide community-based services to older persons, thereby ensuring we promote active ageing of our older persons.  However, we will also be strengthening our services in terms of residential care for both older persons and persons with disabilities.  The Department will therefore continue to fund 24 residential facilities which provides a 24 hour service for our frail older persons in the province.  We have allocated R 18, 9 million to ensure we respond to the needs and challenges of our older persons in a comprehensive manner because we ought to ensure that our older persons are treated with care and dignity because they have dedicated their lives in service of others.


Honourable Speaker, the Life Esidimeni tragedy highlighted the inadequacy of residential care, especially for older persons and persons with disabilities.  We are therefore engaging different stakeholders in an effort to review and rethink residential care in the Northern Cape.  If there is one lesson to be learned from this unfortunate tragedy, it is the need to ensure that we act proactively to ensure we address issues of management or lack thereof and the general level of care and funding for residential care, because failure to address this issues can have unfortunate and deadly consequences for the vulnerable and frail persons.  I have therefore identified residential care as one of the key strategic focus areas for the Department for this financial year.   I will also be engaging both National Department of Social Development and Provincial Treasury in terms of a more holistic approach towards funding for residential care.  We are also working with the Department of Health to ensure the provision of medical care at these residential facilities.  


Honourable Speaker, families form the backbone of our societies, therefore, we will continue to implement comprehensive family preservation services and programmes focusing on healing the brokenness within families, restoring relations, effective communication and promote positive moral value system.  The Department has therefore allocated R 33 million towards family preservation and reunification programmes and services.


Honourable Speaker, the stubborn challenge of substance abuse and its attendant social ills such as crime, poverty, dysfunctional family life, reduced productivity, and unemployment and the burden of diseases such as HIV and AIDS, continue to plaque our communities, despite numerous efforts of different government departments.  I am therefore pleased to announce that we have finalised the construction of the very first Northern Cape In-Patient Treatment Centre on time and in line with the allocated R 68 million for construction of the facility. We are in the process of operationalization, and we have therefore started with our recruitment process by advertising 73 posts to ensure the operationalization of the Centre by August 2018. We have received an allocation of R 17, 7 million during this financial year for the operationalization of the treatment facility.  In addition to this, we have allocated R 23 million for programmes and services aimed at the prevention of and treatment for substance abuse.


In addition, we have identified the need to convene a multi stakeholder engagement session with religious leader, government departments, civil society and business to find creative ways to tackle social challenges such as substance abuse, and other related social ills.  We know that irrespective of our status or standing in life, the religious fraternity can play an important role if given the space, because we all have some moral conviction and therefore we need to activate our religious community as key partners in the fight against social ills.  


Honourable Speaker, HIV and AIDS continues to be a deadly disease that requires a collective response in terms of prevention services, psychosocial services and treatment services.  Therefore we will continue to fund Home Community Based Care Services especially for orphans and vulnerable children in need of such service to ensure some semblance of normality in their lives. The Department has set aside R 25, 8 million for the provision of home based and psychosocial support services to orphans and vulnerable children and households.  


Honourable Speaker, the social and behaviour change programmes implemented by the Department in partnership with the South African National Aids Council and Ethembeni in De Aar and Ikaya Lethu in Kimberley continues to show some positive results.  Through this intervention, 75 work opportunities were created for the Social and Behaviour Change Facilitators, who are receiving a stipend of R 5 000,00 per month for the implementation of a series of social and behaviour change programmes. During a recent visit to the two sites by South African National Aids Council and the National Department of Social Development, the programme was lauded for its unique focus on targeting parents with children aged 9-12 years and men as champions for behavioural change.


Honourable Speaker, last year during the budget speech, I paid tribute to 6-year old baby Kutlwano Garesape from Jan Kempdorp who was brutally stabbed to death trying to protect his mother Ms Segomotso Garesape from being attacked by a man who wanted to rape her.  I am happy that this case has been brought to finality with a guilty verdict for Mr Tefo Dikole, more importantly we welcome the sentence of life imprisonment because this must send a clear message to criminals that we will not tolerate the abuse of women and children. However, we must at all times remain vigilent and ensure the safety of our children and women.  I am also pleased with the recent opening of a Sexual Offences Court in Colesburg on December 7, 2017.  This is in response to a need identified during the 16 Days campaign of no violence against women and children. During last year’s budget speech, I announced that the Department will be establishing a Victim Empowerment Centre in Colesburg. Honourable Speaker, I am pleased to announce that we have completed the refurbishment of the Centre and will soon be operationalizing the Centre.  Furthermore, through our partnership, Kolomela Mine have donated the Department with a house which we are in the process of refurbishing for a Victim Empowerment Centre in Postmasburg.  This Centre will officially be opened during this year. Honourable Speaker, this clearly demonstrates our commitment to the plight of the vulnerable.  We have therefore allocated R 18 million for Victim Empowerment programmes. In addition, we have received R 2, 7 million earmarked funding to strengthen prevention and victim empowerment programmes for women and children.  This brings our allocation to R 20, 7 million, however this is not enough, therefore we must collectively strengthen our interventions aimed at the prevention of abuse of women and children.   


Last year, Premier Lucas reached out to men to speak out and act out against abuse of women and children.  She asserted, “I know it is not all men, therefore we call on men to join the call to action, “#not in my name” to pledge support and work with us to intensify services to prevent violence against women and children”.  I am therefore pleased to announce that we have launched District and Provincial Men’s Forums and we are working with these Forums to ensure a comprehensive all year-long campaign against abuse of women and children.

Honourable Speaker, we have noted with concern the attitude and behaviour of society towards the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex and Queer people.  We have also heard their plight and therefore, wwe will be engaging this community to develop a programme aimed at addressing their vulnerability and to create greater awareness about the challenges facing this community.  We must at all times embrace each other as human beings, despite our difference, because we are and must at all times be united in our diversity.


Because of the importance of the need for care and protection of our vulnerable people, the Department will continue to fund 22 Social Service professional posts to NPOs rendering social welfare services.


Honourable Speaker, June is youth month, youth month must always serve as a reminder of the courageous and selfless acts of young people that changed the course of our history.  In 2015 we were reminded of the activism of young people during the #Fees Must Fall Movement.  Therefore we must never take for granted the creative energies and activism of our young people, therefore we have set aside R 2 million to train 360 young people in technical and other skills because technical skills are the backbone on which every successful economy relies.  We remain mindful of the fact that education remains one of the most effective tools in the fight against poverty, because it is only through education that we can create sustainable change.  


An additional R 4 million have been allocated to fund further and higher education programmes, as well as for the employment of 40 Interns and 7 students placed for work integrated learning.  This brings our total allocation on skills development and education to R 6 million. This clearly indicates our commitment towards the empowerment of our young people as Agents of Change.  Honourable Speaker, the plight of our young people is urgent and time-bound and therefore, we need to triple our efforts as a collective to address the challenges faced by our young people.  If we are to succeed in building a better life for all, we need to work together to ensure that the nurturing of our youth stands at the centre of our reconstruction and development.


Honorable Speaker, the creation of work opportunities for the unemployed remains our collective responsibility. Therefore, the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) remains one of government's catalyst initiatives aimed at involving unemployed South Africans in productive work. Therefore, the Department received an allocation of R 11, 2 million from the Social Sector EPWP Incentive Grant. This allocation will enable the Department to create 436 work opportunities for our poor and vulnerable people.  


In addition, we have set aside an additional R 26 million from our Equitable Share allocation to create additional 2 000 work opportunities to ensure we strengthen the provision of our service ranging from home community care to Isibindi and Isolabantwana.  Honourable Speaker, although the stipend is marginal, it goes a long way in contributing positively to restore the dignity and self-esteem of our poor and vulnerable people because it provides them with opportunities to work and an earn their living.


Honourable Speaker, during the last financial year, SASSA provided 3 825 learners with school uniform.  These school uniforms were procured from 36 Cooperatives in the Northern Cape to the value of R 5, 8 million, thus ensuring economic spin-offs for our local Cooperatives.  This strategic procurement initiative is aimed at ensuring that we create opportunities for the empowerment of women and young people to participate in the mainstream economy in an attempt to fastrack the participation of our most vulnerable sector of society.


Honourable Speaker, On our Policy Priority: Deepening Social Assistance and Expanding Access to Social Security (Provincial Priority-Food Security).


Therefore, during the 2018/19 financial year the South African Social Security Agency will pay just over 475 000 social grants, for this purpose, an amount of R 4 billion has been set aside, of which R 1,6 billion is for old age grants followed by R 1,5 billion for child support grants.  These grants remains an important instrument in the fight against poverty and deprivation.  

Furthermore, the Agency will spend an additional R 12, 3 million to supplement the R 7, 5 million of the Department of Social Development’s allocation for Social Relief of Distress (SRD) in the form of food parcels, vouchers for school uniform and blankets to ensure immediate relief for families and people in distress, bringing the total budget of SRD to R 17, 8 million.  We are mindful that this is not sufficient to address the challenge, we will therefore be engaging Local Government to partner with us on social relief of distress amongst other issues of mutual interest and benefit.


Honourable Speaker, Sassa has recently introduced a new card that will prevent fraudulent transactions as [the Post Office] will not allow unauthorised debits, such as for loans, airtime, electricity, life policies on the Postbank accounts. Since 2013, the Black Sash has been advocating that deductions made automatically and directly from beneficiaries’ accounts be stopped.  The card swapping process will take place in phases based on the type of grant, we therefore call upon all grant beneficiaries to ensure that their cards are swapped with the new cards to avoid illegal deductions and to ensure you receive your grants on time, all the time.


Honourable Speaker, due to the high levels of unemployment or seasonal employment, inadequate access to food remains a huge challenge and therefore the cause of hunger and malnutrition by certain categories of individuals and households in the population.  Therefore, we have set aside R 18, 4 million for the Food Security Programme, in addition, the National Department of Social Development committed R 5, 9 million to strengthen our food security programme. This bring our total food security budget to R24, 3 million.  


Through this intervention 27 000 food insecure people will benefit from at least a cooked nutritious meal per day for 5 days a week.  Through our food security programme, we are creating work opportunities for at least 445 unemployed people who are benefitting from a stipend, as they offer their service to assist other equally vulnerable people.


Honourable Speaker, I am aware that the number of people reached through our interventions are insufficient, especially if one considers the challenge of food insecurity in the province and the high level of unemployment, we therefore call upon various stakeholders, especially private sector to work with us to address food insecurity in the Province.       

Honourable Speaker, in everything we do, we recognize that success is founded on strategic partnerships. We are mindful that in order for us to deliver on all these commitments, we need the support of our Non-Profit Partners.  However we must acknowledge that our Non-Profit Organisations are at times inadequately resourced and therefore their capacity is constrained, therefore during the past financial year, the Department allocated R 8 million for training and capacity building of our NPOs. For the 2018/19 financial year an additional R 8,8 million has been allocated for Non Profit Organisations (NPO’s) capacity building interventions as part of our plan to entrench good governance and to ensure the institutional sustainability of our funded NPO’s. Honourable Speaker, through our partnership with the National Lotteries Commission, the Commission allocated R 2 million to 13 Non-Profit Organisations for the implementation of programmes.


Furthermore, Empilisweni Community Development Centre in Prieska received 400 school uniforms from Sonnedix Solar Panels for needy learners in the Siyathemba municipal area. Sika Sonke Community Development Centre in Victoria-west created 80 work opportunities for the beneficiaries of the Centre within the Ubuntu municipality through the IDT non-state sector funding.  Honourable Speaker, this initiatives confirms that our NPO are not just relying on government, but they have fully embraced their developmental role as a key partner in the creation of a better life for all.  Therefore, during this year, we will be launching our Non-Profit Organisation’s Excellence Awards to showcase and profile the all-important work these NPOs do on behalf of government.

Honourable Speaker, the Member of the Executive Council for Social Development, Free State was taken to court by the Association of Welfare Organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations and Others (Case no: 1719/2010.)  Free State NPOs challenged government on problems in its NPO funding policy, however, the court judgments of the Free State High Court in respect of funding of non-profit organisations (NPOs) are relevant for NPOs and provincial departments of social development in all 9 provinces as well as National, because the policy on funding of NPOs is almost identical to the national policy which covers all provinces.

The court judgement made several important findings with far reaching implications;


1. The court ruled that the Free State’s Policy on Financial Awards (2003) was unreasonable - and that extends to the National Policy on Financial Awards (2004) and provincial policies aligned to the national policy.

2. The court further ruled that any new NPO financing policy needs to be aligned with the NAWONGO judgements, and

3. Importantly, the court ruled that “to date, provincial DSDs have understood the transfers to NPOs to be subsidising the services they deliver:

The 1st NAWONGO judgement stated that this mode of securing social welfare services “fails to recognise, as a fundamental principle of funding, that NPOs that provide care to children, older persons and vulnerable persons in need, as well as statutory services, fulfil constitutional and statutory obligations of the department.”

4. Therefore, the level of funding for a service should cover the core items required to deliver the service at a reasonable unit cost of these items, which should be revised every three years in consultation with stakeholders

5. When a service is prioritised, it must be fully funded according to the criteria set out in the policy


Honourable Speaker, this means that we need to urgently rethink our funding model and work with Treasury to cost such services in line with the norms and standards for such services and implement the court judgement within prescribed period.  This process is being led by the National Department of Social Development and National Treasury to ensure that we adequately address the plight of the vulnerable.


Honourable Speaker, Government on its own cannot realise the vision of a better life for all.  The Private Sector remain one of our strategic partners in pursuit of the goals of freedom from want, freedom from hunger, freedom from deprivation, freedom from ignorance, freedom from suppression and freedom from fear.  Therefore, I will be engaging the Private Sector in a Round-Table Discussion to agree on a social protection agenda for both Government and Private Sector in our fight against poverty, because together we can usher in a new era that is inclusive, just, and equitable of all.


Honourable Speaker, The budget allocation for the Department for the 2018/19 financial year is R 870 million, inclusive in this allocation is R 48 million allocation conditional grant.  The allocation is as follows, Social Welfare Services R 116 million; Children and families R 294 million; Restorative Services R 177 million; Research and Development R 145 million; and Administration R 137 million.


Our budget clearly demonstrates our commitment to service with over R 733 million going to service delivery line function programmes and only R 137 million going towards Administration. However given the sheer scale of the challenges of Early Childhood Development, youth unemployment, child care and protection, the abuse and trafficking of women and children, food security and the lack of social infrastructure, we will be working closely with Government Departments, Private Sector, the National Lotteries Commission, the Religious Fraternity and other stakeholders to address these key focus areas of the Department during this financial year.


Honourable Speaker, Former President Mbeki once proclaimed, “those who complete the course will do so only because they do not, as fatigue sets in, convince themselves that the road ahead is still too long, the inclines too steep, the loneliness impossible to bear and the prize itself of doubtful value.”  Therefore we must continue to work together for the benefit of our people.


Honourable Speaker, as we approach the end of our electoral mandate, allow me to express my most sincere appreciation and gratitude to the officials of the Department of Social Development under the capable leadership of the Head of Department, Ms Hendrina Samson. I also wish to express my gratitude to the Regional Executive Manager of SASSA, Ms Tsebeletso Makheta and the Provincial Manager of NDA, Mr Lesedi Piki and their entire staff because it is through their selfless acts and commitment that I can boldly state that we are a Department hard at work to address the plight of our people.  


I also wish to express my gratitude to the officials in my office, under the leadership of Mr Neo Maneng, because it is through their commitment that I am propelled forward.  To my family, I am forever grateful for your love, support and understanding.  It is because of your love and selflessness that I am able to dedicate my time and energies to the people of this beautiful Province of ours.  To the Premier of the Northern Cape, Ms Sylvia Lucas and my colleagues in the Executive and the Legislature, thank you for your guidance and continued support in our collective aspiration as we strive to create a better life for all.


Lastly, to the movement of the people, the African national Congress, I am forever grateful for the opportunity to serve the people of the Northern Cape.  In paying tribute and celebrating the centenary of President Mandela and Mam’ uSisulu, we salute the late Mam’ uWinnie Madikizela Mandela and our late former Minister, Mr Zola Skweyiya who both passed away this year.  We thank them most profoundly for their selfless service to all South Africans and humanity at large, for their generosity of spirit and for teaching the nation humility, respect for human dignity and compassion for the weak, the poor and the downtrodden. 







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