Social Accountability Input and Battles

Informal practices of patronage and clientism, negate the intent of formal legal reforms. The criminal element in the elite within Government circles, form clandestine network of personal power and self-interests that consolidate power grab to the detriment of the poor, the powerless and the voiceless. With this, framing and the abuse of State power, Judiciary, the Media and the Security forces become instruments of use in their hands. Public opinion is welcome in these matters.

SAACSO ANTI-EVICTION CAMPAIGN ||
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Black communities are under attack of property dispossession.

Let’s build a vibrant and a people centred democracy

JOIN SOUTH AFRICAN ACTIVE CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANISATION (SAACSO) AND SHARE YOUR IDEAS ON A FORUM OF VIBRANT DEMOCRACY, SERVICE DELIVERY AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE

ANTI-EVICTION/ ASIPHUMI EZINDLINI CAMPAIGN: Black communities are under attack of property dispossession, their only life time family investment.

Cause factors:

  • High interest rate charged by banks
  • Government failure to cope with housing
  • Housing costs are far above affordable housing bench mark
  • Privatisation of municipalities’ delivery of basic services
  • Lack of a legal provision protecting the poor
  • Corruption

No bond default payment must justify a daylight robbery of the black people’s family life investment. A house is the only life investment Black people have for their children. The owner of a house on the picture, spent cold nights sleeping with children outside his house after being evicted mercilessly, when his bond was left with a balance of R25 000. His house was sold at the market value of R320 000 of which he never got even a cent out of it.   He is now disabled and black listed and doomed for life. 90% of eviction cases we have dealt with as SAACSO are similar to this case. Black communities are under attack. This result in a trauma, displaced and broken families, suicide, fear, mental disorder, death, intergenerational poverty transmission and street kids. Find out why. Follow the topic and share your ideas with us to find a solution. Join SAACSO on line and continue to share your ideas to build a vibrant Democracy and a struggle for economic justice.

Shelter is one of the basic human needs enshrined in the constitution of the Republic


The Housing Act, “housing development” is defined as:

1(vi) “… the establishment and maintenance of habitable, stable and sustainable public and private residential environments to ensure viable households and communities in areas allowing convenient access to economic opportunities, and to health, educational and social amenities in which all citizens and permanent residents of the Republic will, on a progressive basis, have access to:
(A permanent residential structures with secure tenure, ensuring internal and external privacy and providing adequate protection against the elements; and
(b) Potable water, adequate sanitary facilities and domestic energy supply.”

This country has seen an influx of FDI and is relatively competitive, yet this has not resulted in the masses of the poor being lifted out of the squalor in which they live. According to South African government statistics, the poorest 50% of South African’s have seen their income drop by 20%.

Since 1994, the number of people living on less than $1 a day has doubled, from 2 million to 4 million in 2006.Between 1991 and 2002, the unemployment rate for black South Africans more than doubled, from 23 percent to 48 percent.

Is Government coping with a Housing backlog?

In her address in the National Assembly, Mthembi-Mahanyele said more than five million poor South Africans were provided with housing over the past six years, but there remained a backlog of seven-and-a-half million people who needed proper shelter. She said 1,1-million houses had been built over this period, all with secure tenure, running water, sanitation and electricity. But another two to three million units were still needed. A total of 53, 6 percent of the country's population lived in urban areas - most in informal settlements because of a shortage of adequate shelter. Mthembi-Mahanyele said her department had upgraded 293 projects and provided 232000 families in informal settlements with proper houses.

South African Press Association, CAPE TOWN 22 June 2001

Since 1994, more than 2.3 million housing units have been made available for nearly 11 million people," Sexwale, a millionaire businessman- turned-politician, said. South Africa's housing backlog has grown from 1.5 million in 1994 to around 2.1 million now, meaning as many as 12 million South Africans -- a quarter of the population -- were still in need of better shelter, Sexwale said. CAPE TOWN (Reuters)

Comparison

The comparison above clearly shows that in 2001 the Government had built 1.1 million houses accommodating approximately 5.5 million people, the backlog then was about 2 million houses to accommodate approximately 10 million people.

In 2011 ten years later the Minister of Human Settlements Mr Sexwale clearly indicates that since 1994 the Government has built 2.3 million houses accommodating approximately 11 million people. An increase of 1.2 million houses over 10 years since 2001. Meaning that an addition of approximately 5. 9 million people have been achieved by Government. However this is just a reduction of 60% from the backlog of 1994 over 10 years. Still considering the fact that a number of houseless people increases every year, Shocking to mansion is that out of all the construction work done since 1994, the Government still has to spend 50 billion rand to repair the houses shoddily constructed, apart from the fact that the RDP houses in general are of a very poor quality.

In 2001 the backlog was 10 million houseless people, and in 2011 ten years later the backlog stands at 12 million people still needing houses. This is 20% increase to a backlog of 2001, 10 years ago.

This clearly shows that the Government is failing to cope with the housing backlog.

The effects of the Failure of democracy in South Africa: leaves the state of the nation worse than in the apartheid era.

In spite of the prevailing poverty, Joblessness and poor wages,  Gauteng cities and townships are among the most expensive places in the world to live in, in terms of housing and transport costs. This is according to a study of the province published on Wednesday by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)Households spend more than 23 percent of median income on housing, more than double the level for Vancouver, the Canadian city which is ranked number two in terms of housing costs in the world. The housing cost for Gauteng is also eight times higher than the 3 percent or less of annual income that the OECD deems as the benchmark for affordable housing. Though way below the Gauteng average, formal housing costs in the townships are, at about 5 percent of annual income, above the benchmark for “seriously unaffordable” housing. The calculations for housing affordability are based on data for a two-bedroomed, one-bath roomed house for the third quarter of 2009 compiled by Absa.

Township housing data from the Affordable Land and Housing Data Centre is drawn from 2008 median house prices for Diepkloof, Protea North, Katlehong Phooko, Dube neighbourhoods and Tsakane (RDP housing). The OECD calculated median house prices as a percentage of median income to make comparisons possible. However, it cautioned that this was not the only indicator of affordability because it did not, for instance, take into account differences in house and stand sizes as well as interest rates on mortgages and transport costs. The picture is worse for the poorest as they also live very far from where jobs are available, which raises their transport costs as a percentage of monthly income to the highest on the African continent. Gauteng residents spend 21 percent of their monthly income on transport. “No subsidies are given to low-income residents to rent in moderate-income neighbourhoods, as is common throughout the OECD member countries,” the OECD said. It recommended that the government consider a rent subsidy voucher programme to enable recipients to choose residential areas that would best meet their needs. In South Africa, shelter being a basic human need enshrined in the constitution of the Republic, professionals earning R13 000.- 17 000 a month are unable to buy even a town house in the suburbs like Sandton. South African Banks are holding the poor communities hostage.

Mortgage bond payers have since become slaves of financial houses. They only work to keep their families under shelter when failing to feed them due to a high interest rate pushing housing costs sky high, privatisation of basic commodities like water, electricity and refuse removal have gone beyond imaginable levels to make live unbearable to the poor. When they are about to finish paying for their houses, the only investment they worked for in their lifetime, they are robbed of their properties and dumped on a human rubbish heap. No legal provision protecting the poor families from exploitative housing and rental costs. The Government must move decisively to protect the houseless by forcing the housing and renting costs to affordable housing benchmark of 3% of individual’s income. The houseless are held hostage by banks, Municipalities and landlords. The Government must consider providing subsidy vouchers for rentals. The poor are simply working to keep their families under shelter nothing more.

Comparison of South African Banks interest rate with other Banks elsewhere in the world

A Comparison on a loan for a low income earner in South Africa, a class presently under attack of property dispossession and the same low income earner in America a developed country (USA).

South African Banks
9% 
Loan Period Interest Rate Monthly Instalment Total Payment at the end Total %
300 000 20 years 9% 2699.18 647 803.2 115.93%
A cost of Houses picked up from a company building and selling Houses in Gauteng ( COSMOPOLITAN PROJECTS) GAP HOUSES.
House Size Loan Period Instalment Total Payment at the end Total %
60m2 R323 649.00 240 R3 231.00 R775, 440 139.6%


USA
Ally Bank mortgage rate 3.87% 
Loan Period Interest Rate Monthly Instalment Total Payment at the end Total %
300 000 20 years 3.87% 1797.46 431 390.40 43.79%
                                                                       

A comparison above clearly shows that a monthly instalment of a low income earner in South Africa is 50.2% above a monthly instalment of the same low income earner in America. Let alone the fact that most likely labour in America earns far better than labour in South Africa.

After 20 years on completion of the bond in South Africa, a client will have paid more than twice the initial money he/she borrowed from the Bank, while in America on comparison the client on completion will have paid only 43.79% of the money he initially borrowed from the bank.

Further than that in South Africa, a Borrower has to pay about 21% of his earnings for transport, commuting from township to work in Town, Added to this the Municipalities have privatised basic commodities like water and Electricity. Instead of subsidising these commodities as it used to happen during the apartheid era, they have  contracts with Rand Water the company supplying water and Eskom supplying electricity not to supply these commodities direct to poor communities, rather they must be supplied via the City management chain, where instead of being subsidised, profit is being added to charge exorbitant rates to the disadvantage of poor communities, added to these, exorbitant refuse removal charges go as far as R500.00 a month. All these charges impact on Loan burden and rentals making housing unaffordable. There are companies that buy electricity and sell it at profit to residents renting townhouses. The poor need protection; instead they have become a grazing land for the Government Municipalities, the Banks, the Landlords and the rich.

For instance on the above comparison table, if the monthly bond instalment is R2699.18 + 500 Refuse removal + 800.00 Electricity and R500.00 water keeping out the  house insurance, we are looking at 4499.18 monthly expenditure excluding transport, let alone the high costs of food. More than 50% of labour in South Africa earn between R 2500 – R5500 a month.

“ The Government initially tried to fulfil its pledges, it did build more than 100 000 homes in the first two years and millions were hooked up with electricity and water. But after 10 years of democracy, under neo-liberal duress and bankruptcy, privatization of government services ensued, resulting in millions of people cut off from newly connected water and electricity because they could not pay.

The government has built 1.8 million homes, but in the meantime 2 million people have lost their homes. Close to1 million people have been evicted from farms in the first decade of democracy. Such evictions have meant that the number of shack dwellers has grown by 50 percent.  In 2006, more than one in four South Africans lived in shacks located in informal shantytowns, many without running water or electricity. South African Democracy has resulted in nothing other than what we have seen today where there are a handful of incredibly wealthy winners and the rest losers”.

We must as well take into cognisance that every year property appreciates. When a client is left with a little balance, a house is being repossessed and sold on auction at half of the bond balance. The remaining debt balance plus legal costs are used to hang a victim to an execution tree of credit bureau, where he/she is doomed for ever on a heap of human junk, where he/she will never get credit again in his/ her life up until over seven years, and his/ her house is sold at its market value to benefit someone else. In Sebokeng a pensioner of 68 years of age had a balance of R12000 She had renovated and extended her house to a value of 350000.00, without even been called to court, her House was sold for 280 000 to someone else.  At her age she can never qualify for a house loan anymore. She does not qualify for government subsidised house (RDP) either, because she previously had a house. SAACSO is facing these types of cases. This is a daylight robbery of Black people’s property.

SAACSO SAYS NO TO EVICTIONS/ ASIPHUMI EZINDLINI CAMPAIGN. THE LAW FAVOURS THESE THEFT AND ROBBERY. THE WAR IS DECLARED ON US THE POOR MASSES, LETS FIGHT BACK, TOGETHER WE SHALL WIN.


ASISABI LUTHO, KUYA THINA MAQHAWE PHAMBILI, A MAGWALA A HLEHLELE EMUMVA. NOMA BESIBOPHA, BESISHAYA, BESIDUBULA,  SIYAYA NOMA KUKUBI!


KAPELE HOYA RONA BA PELO TSE THATA, MAKWALA A CHECHELE MORAO
SHARE YOUR IDEAS WITH US.

Bradley Tshabalala
The National President
073 311 1021
071 130 8867

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SAACO's QUESTIONS AND INPUT TO NATIONAL STRATEGIC PLANNING GREEN PAPER ||
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SAACSO's QUESTIONS AND INPUT TO NATIONAL STRATEGIC PLANNING GREEN PAPER

Lack of a coherent long term plan has weakened our ability to provide clear and consistent policies. It has limited our capacity to mobilise all of society in pursuit of our developmental objectives. It has hampered our efforts to prioritise resource allocations and to drive the implementation of government’s objectives and priorities. In addition, weaknesses in coordination of government have led to policy inconsistencies and, in several cases, poor service delivery outcomes.

This Government is determined to fix these weaknesses. Critically, it will work with all social partners to mobilise society in pursuit of objectives that are broadly accepted and enshrined in our Constitution. More focus on planning and more attention to coordination are related interventions to remedy what has not worked.

To fix the weaknesses mentioned above the Government of necessity will work with all social partners to mobilize society in pursuit of objectives that are broadly accepted and enshrined in our constitution.

Question:

Starting from the preface of the green paper the office of the Minister in Presidency has identified the weakness of government as the lack of a coherent long term planning, weakness in co ordination that has led to policy inconsistencies and poor service delivery in general.

These two weaknesses are part of a host of other factors contributing to Governments failure to realize its objectives more in particular of moving back the frontiers of poverty.
Addressing these two weaknesses will not remedy the situation. There is a need to identify and address all the weaknesses.

Lack of positive outcomes in service delivery results from lack of a coherent organic plan to connect intent and implementation. To investigate the gap we need to address the following among others:

  • The consultation and the participation of civil society in policy formulation is lacking
  • Policy formulation, service delivery, planning, monitoring and evaluation are too state centric to effect meaningful transformation
  • The theoretical assumptions underlying the intellectual foundations of policies
  • The effectiveness of the administrative function of government, their deployment strategy, accountability and transparency and respect to the people they serve.
  • The lack of a participatory role of civil society organizations in key decision making processes.
  • Effectiveness and accountability of Government led development agencies.
  • The effectiveness of Government to appoint competent people to lead ministries and departments.
  • Effective monitoring and evaluation by the state and the people on the ground.
  • Transformation of state centric approach of Government to a more people centered approach.
  • Accountability of Local Government to the people on the ground.
  •  Service delivery monitoring on at the coalface by the people is lacking while the executive function of Government has no capacity to do it effectively.
  • fighting corruption through the people on the ground who see it as soon as it happens

How will the planning commission address the above?

 According to the preface page, the planning commission shall consist of independent expects and thinkers outside Government.

  • How will they be selected?
  • What will be the level of civil society involvement in the commission?
  • To what extend will the decisions of labour movement and other civil society organs influence the decisions of the Planning Commission?
  • When the decisions of organized Labour and Civil Society Organs clash with the decisions of the planning commissioners what will be the deadlock breaking mechanism?
  • How will the commission account to the people on the ground?
  • How will the commission avoid technocratic shortcomings of excluding the ordinary from key decision making processes?
  • How will the commission consult the people on the ground?
  • Will the long term plan be informed by the collated decisions and the felt needs of the people on the ground, or by the decisions of the commissioners as they perceive the needs of the people? We believe there is a difference between collating information from the affected and to make own decisions on planning as perceived by planners and collating information and process the decisions of the affected in planning.
  • Civil society has a crucial role to play ensuring that the transformative goals to which we committed ourselves are constantly supported and monitored. The measure of civil society’s vibrancy and success will ultimately depend on its role in bringing about socio-economic change. In the final analysis, a number of strategies – collaboration, monitoring, assistance, and even in policing of the State – are appropriate for civil society in South Africa to achieve that goal.

The record of civil society’s relationship with the State is patchy for other reasons as well. Like in many other governments, South Africa has a large and often impenetrable bureaucracy. Despite the devolution of powers to other spheres of government provided for in the Constitution, the structure of government is skewed in favour of centralism. How will the planning commission address this problem?

  • Will the Planning Commission address policy issues?
  • Will the macroeconomic policy issues be debated between the Civil Society Organs, organized labour and the Commission?
  • Will the Planning Commission have powers to recommend economic policy changes?
  • To what extend will the Government be obliged to honour the recommendations made by the Commission regarding economic policy changes?
  • How will the planning commission monitor the effectiveness of service delivery on the interface between Planning Commission and M&E Ministries?
  • Who will assess and evaluate the performance of the Planning Commission?

SAACSO believes that it is neither the role of Government to develop people nor the fact that Government has any capacity to do so, or to create employment; but that the poor are the subject of their own development through Government support and empowerment. The effective State and active citizens are key role players in the drama of true development. Government has no control of industry as a result they cannot create jobs. Government efforts to do so result in short term unsustainable relief that do not have minimum impact on the poor. The industry is owned and controlled by few private individuals who care less about the poor and perceive poverty as the responsibility of the Government. This has been evident in South Africa throughout the whole 15 years of democracy and the call for privatization as opposed to nationalization of the key economic sectors. Poverty eradication needs a new approach, mobilization of the whole society to work together. Sustainable efforts to consistently place food on the table of the hungry are from the hands of the hungry themselves in their initiatives. 

Corruption in service delivery is one of the main causes of poverty
Efforts facilitating service delivery are blocked by rampant corruption and insufficient monitoring. Corruption paralyzes, undermines democratic values, is systematic and thrives on ability to implicate those who make noise to alert people of its presence, it takes scarce resources from priority areas, it undermines the ability of Government to perform, it has lasting detrimental impact on society. It is a serious threat to lasting peace and sustainable development. It does not only take the form of fraudulent cash transactions and sordid gains but has multi facets forms, inter alia the abuse of institutions incumbency as a power of patronage and disrespect of human rights. The combination of effective state’s efforts and the active citizens working together can make a desired improvement.  In the past the executive function of Government failed to control and bridle the administrative function where things are done and implementation expected. The Government has to form a strong partnership with civil society as their eyes and partners to monitor what is happening on the ground.
Conclusion and Recommendations

  • The consultation and the participation of civil society in policy formulations is lacking and needs attention.
  • Policy formulation, service delivery, planning, monitoring and evaluation are too state centric to effect a meaningful transformation and the Presidency has to adopt a new participatory approach.
  • The theoretical assumptions underlying the intellectual foundations of policies need to be revisited.
  • Civil society organizations must be empowered to monitor service delivery and report direct to Presidency and the parliament
  • The President must establish a civil society secretariat in Presidency that liaises with a national civil society forum to assess the needs and the voice of the people on the ground.
  •  Every individual civil society organization must have access and the right to be heard by the civil society secretariat in Presidency.   
  • The President must have the sitting sessions with the National Civil Society forum
  • Ministries, Government led development Agencies, Municipalities and Provincial structures must be transparent and be accountable to civil society organizations and the citizens at large.
  • Recommendations and concerns made by the Civil Society O rganizations  must be equally treated serious by the Government like the ones made by the Parliament
  • Civil society must be fully represented in parliament as a forum
  • Each civil society organization must be given an opportunity to present its case, views, reports of achievements, constraints and recommendations  to the Parliament
  • Each National civil society organization must be resourced to establish its local structures and mobilize support to the achievement of its objectives.
  • The Planning Commission must account to civil society organizations
  • Civil society must be free to debate and build consensus on the policy recommendations of the P lanning Commission
  • The Planning Commission must not be treated as a superior body to the National Civil Society Forum and the commission’s decisions and recommendations having precedence over the said forum.
  • The Commission’s recommendations and decisions must be validated by their prior consultation with the civil society forum
  • The commission must use the n ational forum of civil society as a vehicle of consultation with the people on the ground
  • Individual civil society organizations must have access and a right to be heard by the planning commission.
  • The n ational civil society forum must have sitting sessions with the planning commission.
  • The Forum must be given the right to decide and recommend how many sitting sessions they would like to have with the Planning Commission.

Bradley Tshabalala
The National President
073 311 1021
071 130 8867

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SAACSO's questions to Gauteng Legislature ||
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2/06/2010
Gauteng Legislature,
The Public participation liaison officer
Dear Dumisani,

The above Civil society organisation would like to direct a few questions regarding the Civil society participation in Gauteng legislature. As much as we all know that the President is passionate and is calling for the mobilization of civil society towards anti poverty strategy, also declared thus as the mandate of Gauteng legislature: Holding the Gauteng Government accountable, encouraging public participation ( understandably Civil Society and promoting  co operative governance.

Not denying the conceptual ambiguities surrounding the concept of Civil society or public participation as it is perceived in many different ways by people, leading to different path ways of treatment, behavior and attitudes affecting its fundamental functions as well as creating enabling/ disabling environment, there by stifling or helping its growth.

The role of civil society is an important component to governance and development. How this gets done is our main question directed to your office in legislature.

What access do we have to your office? This is another question we would like you to respond to explicitly. Holding the Gauteng Government accountable is yet another question we would like you to unpack so as to allow us as civil society to identify areas of participation as its credibility rests on citizens.

Where are collaborative, consultative and participatory platforms for civil society to engage with Gauteng legislature? We believe participation is engagement with the state on critical issues of policy and law making, methods of delivery, holding the State accountable and bridging accountability gaps. It is far beyond invitations of passive civil society to State events and meetings to endorse decisions already made. For change to be realized we need to bridge credibility gaps between rhetoric and real practice to which both State and Civil society must adhere and committed.

Your response to these questions will be highly appreciated.

Regards,

 

Bradley Tshabalala
The National Executive Director.

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The Battle starts here

SAACSO's appeal for the President's urgent intervention. ||
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6/10/2010
The President of RSA,
Addendum: Ref 276310
SAACSO’s appeal for the President’s urgent intervention

This is an appeal for an immediate and urgent intervention by the President to rescue the officials of South African Active Civil Society Organisations, from a witch hunt chase by the people who use false car registration numbers operating as Gauteng Health and Social Services special investigating unit. This gives us fears and suspicions that these people might be a dangerous syndicate.

Soon after the submission of the South African Active Civil Society Organisations investigative report to the President’s office, reference number 9/30/1/2 (276310) 2010 (ns), regarding an application of the MEC of Health and Social Services to the High court of Johannesburg; to step down the Board of Takalani Home for the Disabled (NGO) and a spate of death threats to the Director of Takalani by the People closely linked to the officials of these departments, SAACSO officials together with the Director of Takalani are hunted down by seemingly an assassinating syndicate operating under the MEC as Special investigating unit.

The stepping down of the Board of Takalani by the High court was for the purpose of the MEC to engage a special investigating unit to investigate allegations of financial irregularities and abuse of residents as alleged by the MEC.

SAACSO’s investigation and findings on this matter have by inference indicated the direct opposite, alluding to a possible serious fraud and corruption scandals by the department itself.

According to case number 1502/6/2010 Mr. Henry Ford an Afrikaner man threatened to kill Ms. Lynn van Rooyen the Director of Takalani (in the presence of Gauteng Department of Education Legal Team, Advocate Victor Languza and Ms. Sibongile). He Mr. Henry Ford and Takalani X Chairman Mr. Sam George accused the Director, of influencing the Board of Takalani to refuse to sign a fraudulent agreement document for the sale of Takalani school sub division to the value of 12.5 million. According to Ms. Lynn van Rooyen the document stated that all the money had to be deposited to Mr. Henry Ford attorneys account. The controversial contract agreement is annexed hereto as HF 1.  According to Ms. Lynn van Rooyen and Takalani Board Members Mr. Henry Ford associates and facilitates corrupt under basement payments to a number of government officials. For example through him Takalani paid monies to Mr. Gary Cooney of the department of Housing for a title deed. Acknowledgement of payment is annexed hereto as GC 1 and GC 2.

Mr. HA Ford of Geo Rennie and Ford living in Boksburg quoted by Takalani Home Board members whilst addressing them: “ Julle sal nog dink Takalani Home is in julle besit DAN het ek dit klaar weggevat uit julle se hande uit!  En julle sal nie julle Takalani Home se title deed kry van my af nie! Ek het dit gekry deur Mr Gary Cooney se harde werk! Julle sal julle gate sien sonder n spieel! Ek sal daardie MEC van Social Services, Quedani gebruik om julle n goeie les te leer want julle mors met my kinders se geld! Julle neem my kinders se kos uit hulle monde uit! Vanaf julle daarde slim kaffirmeid Thandi op julle Board het maak sy julle te slim! Ek gaan julle n les leer!”

According to the director the amount of R20 000 was paid by Takalani for the ear operation of Ms. Lebo Rapetswa’s child, a general director for special projects in the MEC’s office During the time of Mr. Sam George as a Treasure of Takalani. This is clearly stated in the story of Takalani as told by the Board and the Director in SAACSO’s investigative report.

On the 13th of September 2010 an Afrikaner man driving a white Mercedes presenting himself as from the special investigating unit of Health and Social development accompanied by the Boksburg sheriff of the court arrived at Golden Crest Estate demanding to enter into the House of Ms. Lynn van Rooyen in her absence claiming to seek the documents of Takalani as per High Court order. The security company at the gate of the Estate refused them entry stating that Ms. Lynn van Rooyen was absent. . We annex hereto the security company report as GC 3.

On the 28/09/2010 the department of Health and Social development made an application to the High court Johannesburg demanding that Ms Lynn van Rooyen must be jailed for three months for defying the Court order allowing her dogs to attack the sheriff of the court. The case was dismissed with costs and the High court senior judge Copen reprimanded the department of Health and Social development to stop bringing an NGO to the High court as they know that an NGO does not have money.

Again an Afrikaner man accompanied by the Orlando police arrived at the House of Mr. Ephraim Xaba an elderly parent Board member, driving a white Mercedes presenting himself as from a Special investigating unit of Health and Social Services, presenting an identity card confirming as such demanded Mr. Xaba to give him the vehicle Toyota Hilux belonging to Takalani. Mr. Xaba refused to co operate with him.

On the 1th /09/2010 the same Afrikaner man driving the white Mercedes, who initially accompanied the sheriff of Boksburg to the House of Ms Lynn van Rooyen, arrived again at the gates of Golden Crest Estate where Ms. Lynn van Rooyen lives. He presented himself as from the Special investigating unit and his identity card confirming as such. He demanded entry into Mrs. Lynn van Rooyen’s house and further demanded the security guard officer of Makopano protection service Mr. Thami Mthembu to write down for him vehicle models and the registration numbers of the vehicles delivering Ms Lynn van Rooyen to her house, the car and the registration number of the car she drives, the times she leaves the house and arrives at the house. We annex hereto a registration number of his car DZP 533 GP and a letter written by Makopano Protection Services on this matter. GC 4

On the 5/10/2010 an Afrikaner man called the offices of South African Active Civil Society Organizations. He presented himself to be from the Special investigation unit of Health and Social Services. He demanded to be informed about the Officials of South African Active Civil Society Organisations. He demanded to be informed about the whereabouts and identities of the National Executive Director (Mr. Bradley Tshabalala).

This sounds quite strange to us as to whether this Special Investigating Unit is about Takalani or South African Active Civil Society Organizations officials. SAACSO undertook to investigate this man claiming to be from the Special investigation unit of Health and Social Services. In our investigation we found that this Special Investigation Unit of Health and Social Services is using false registration number of a vehicle they are driving. They are driving a white Mercedes Registration DZP 533 GP. This registration is for a white Toyota Hilux belonging to EMFULENI MUNICIPALITY.

SAACSO made an effort to open a case against this Special Investigating Unit and was advised that this is a high profile case, it will need the President’s immediate attention.   South African Active Civil Society Organisations has fears and suspicions   that the department of Health and Social Services in Gauteng Government uses people who display mannerisms of a dangerous syndicate and assassination squad. The MEC is equipped with State power that she abuses to the detriment of the powerless and the poor. To SAACSO’s findings some of these Afrikaners are from Boksburg where comrade Chris Hani was killed. We have fears and suspicions that the South African Active Civil Society Organisations in its social accountability responsibility might have shaken an intricate syndicate “Hive” masquerading as Gauteng Provincial Government officials.

We thought Vlakplaas killings were over! We believe it is only your power and instruction that can stop these fearful happenings done by the officials entrusted with State power in Public Office.

   

 President, we have fears that our lives are in danger, we need your urgent and immediate help.

Your urgent attention to this matter will be highly appreciated.

 

Bradley Tshabalala
The National Executive Director

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SIU Letter of Demand to SAACSO ||
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10/12/2010

Mr Bradley Tshabalala
SAACSO
4th Floor Nedbank Building
Cnr Smal and Commissioner Street
Johannesburg
Email: info@saacso.org .za; Bradley@saacso.org.za
Cc: prince@thonpro.co.za

Dear Mr Tshabalala

RE: Demand to remove untrue and defamatory statements from website

The statement on the "Open Talk" section of your website, SAACSO's appeal for the President's urgent intervention refers.

It is the view of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) that this statement contains information that is both untrue and defamatory towards the SIU.

We demand that this and any other untrue or defamatory publications be removed within five days of the date hereof, failing which legal proceedings will be instituted.

Yours faithfully,

Marika Muller
Unit Secretary - Special Investigating Unit

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SAACSO's Response to SIU Demands. ||
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Cc: The President
Cc: Minister of Justice
Cc: The Public protector

Dear Marika Muller,

SAACSO's response to SIU letter of demand We acknowledge receipt of your letter of demand that SAACSO must remove its statement of appeal to President's intervention from its website. The appeal of SAACSO to the President is about the threatening activities that actually happened between SAACSO and SIU members for which SAACSO has a proof. And you further intimidate SAACSO of a legal action. When we sent the statement to the President, we assumed that these people falsifying their car registration numbers are just people impersonating the SIU. If this is SIU in real, then SIU has to explain to us why they use false registration numbers of the vehicle they drive, and convince us that they mean no harm to us.

Maybe what SIU must have done precisely, was to investigate the truthfulness and untruthfulness of the allegations made by SAACSO. As much as SIU denies the allegations as untrue and call them defamatory, SAACSO also has a proof of their truthfulness and view them as dangerous if not exposed and resolved. We therefore recommend that SIU must call a meeting with SAACSO and bring its proof of the falsehood of the allegations and SAACSO will bring its proof of the truthfulness of the allegations. SAACSO views this as the best way to resolve this matter.

SAACSO requests that SIU must first investigate itself and find out whether there is no one of its members implicated in the complaint alleged by SAACSO to the President. We believe it is the constitutional right of all Citizens to disclose and expose anything threatening their lives no matter where it comes from. Maybe the test of the validity of legal reform in this country starts here.

The President said we must build the society that draws its norms, capabilities and energy from the fundamental rights of all its people to express themselves freely. This also means without fear of intimidation as SIU seems to be doing to SAACSO.

Our lives have been threatened by your members and we have a right to protect ourselves by telling everyone in this country, and that is what we have done so far including the President, so that if tomorrow we are killed as it is happening in our neighboring countries and as it used to happen in the past (Vlakplaas), then it must be known to all the people of South Africa. This serves as the only means of our defense. We need an explanation why your members use false car registration numbers when investigating a case of an NGO that also relates to SAACSO's investigation of the same case. Why do they phone and inquire about the whereabouts of SAACSO's officials from our offices. Why did they instruct the security guards of Makopane to write down for them the car registration numbers of vehicles delivering the Director of Takalani to her house, the registration numbers of the cars she drives and times when she leaves and arrives at home, while they themselves were driving a vehicle with false registration numbers? What can justifiably make a government official to conceal his identity if there is no sinister motive behind? SAACSO's reaction to these happenings and mannerisms is only natural.

We have proof, witnesses and evidence to this effect and we request SIU to bring its proof to support its claim of the falsehood of SAACSO's allegations. Your letter of demand and our response to it, will be sent to the President of the Country, The Minister of justice, the Public protector and other interested parties, they will as well be on SAACSO's website and SAACSO will invite open public debate, up until such time that this matter is resolved between SAACSO and SIU and SAACSO's fears and suspicions are allayed. And this is all about transparency and self-defense. You cannot point a gun to people and there after accuse them for their assumption that you want to kill them. Those who conceal their identity are assumed to be killers. We are as well not aware that the use of false vehicle registration numbers is one of SIU's traditions in its operations. These are things for which we need explanation. We would be happy to work co-operatively with SIU to fight corruption as it is one of the main causes of poverty against which we all stand.

Takalani's case is viewed by SAACSO as very sensitive and dangerous because it involves a fraud of a lot of money ( about R280 000.00 monthly estimate from both government departments, Health and Social Services). In SAACSO's view the very people involved are high profile individuals most probably inside and outside Government, White and Black(and this makes a syndicate) to which in our view the very investigator from SIU are friends and makes the whole investigation partial and biased to other parties and deflects crime away from the guilty to implicate others. We are fully aware of the fact that the involvement of SAACSO's social accountability unit in seeking an objective, fair and impartial investigation might be a stumbling block and efforts to implicate and remove SAACSO on the way are possible. However, whatever the cost, SAACSO is not ready to renege from its course of seeking a true, fair and impartial investigation in the interest of justice for all.

Regards,

Bradley Tshabalala
The National Executive Director.

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SAACSO's letter to the MEC of Health & Social Development ||
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16/08/2010
Cc: The Premier of Gauteng Province
Cc: The Minister of Health
Cc: The Minister of Social development
Cc: The President of South Africa
ATT: MEC Qedani Mahlangu
Gauteng department of Health & Social Development
JHB.
RE: Request for clarification, information and answers on Takalani
Introduction:

South African Active Civil Society Organizations is a national multi sectoral civil society umbrella body for non governmental organizations, actively engaging with government on policy, governance and development.

SAACSO social accountability unit kindly requests the honorable MEC to provide information, clarification and answers for the department’s application to court demanding:

  1. Takalani’s board of directors to step down for special   investigating  unit to investigate financial irregularities and the abuse of children in Takalani
  2. To place Takalani under an interim administration of Avril Elizabeth pending the investigation.

Request for clarification and information:

An application brought to court by the honorable MEC Qedani Mahlangu represented by Mr Welcom Sibisi  on Monday 17 June 2010, case No 21919/10 page 18 paragraph 62 reads as follows:

“ From the recent department’s mini audit, there are many disturbing revelations of possible theft of money, un authorized or unknown transfers of the home’s money, unknown transections that oppose obligations on the home some of which the home does not benefit from. The home, it is evident, is losing money that is deposited by the department and seems to be happening at an alarming rate and involving daringly large amounts of money. I refer to the investigative report where an amount of R1 500 000 ( one million and five hundred thousand Rand) that was siphoned to an unknown account”

The above statement clearly refers to the money deposited by the department for the home being siphoned to an unknown account and the amount referred to is R1 500 000.

On page 14 case No 21919/10 paragraph 44 reads as follows:
Other than the department’s funding, the home receives sponsors and donations from other persons. Such sponsors are mainly in the form of financial sponsors, in some instance amount amounting to over R2 000 000.00 ( two million Rand) have been donated to the home”.

The above statement refers to the amount over two million donated by other persons other than the department.

The Mini Audit report of the department of social development monitoring and evaluation unit compiled by Ms. Ntomfuthi Myeni/ Mr. Motseo dated 26 & 30.03.2010.

Under the heading: The bank statements were scrutinized and the following are the findings.

Irregularities in finances
item 4 reads as follows:

payment received in June 2009 R2,027,461.88 not from the department of Health & Social services and immediately R1 ,500,000.00 stop was effected and the amount transferred to another account (unknown).

The above statement clearly states that R1 500,000.00 transferred to the unknown account was not from the department of Health & social services therefore contradicting the statement in paragraph 62 page 14 case No 21919/10

1. Would you please clarify this ambiguity as to how much money was transferred to an unknown account. According to the above two statements R3 000 000.00 was transferred to unknown accounts. R1 500 000.00 from the money deposited by the department for the home and R1 500 000.00 donated by other persons other than the Department of Health and Social development.

2.Please clarify the definition of an unknown account as to what does it really mean. We are of the mind that in South African banks no bank transaction can take place to non existing account. If an account does exist, it is therefore known because it is traceable.

3.We are kindly requesting the honorable MEC to provide us with a documented proof in a form of bank statements supporting these allegations for both R1 500 000.00 from the money deposited by the department for the Home and R1 500 000.00 from the donor other than the department.

Page 23 paragraph 79 case no 21919/10 says:

“on top of these issues, Ms. Lynn Van Rooyen is accused of concluding a contract to the tune of 12.5 million with the department of Education for the sale of a vacant land allegedly belonging to the home. She intended to sell the Home’s immovable property donated to it by Anglo American which land had been vacant for many years and held in trust for all these years. The department of education had interest in developing this land for its purpose and Ms. Lynn Van Rooyen intended to sell the land there to without any consultation with any of the executive committee members. This issue raises chilling prospects that should all these actions which are prima facie supported by audit reports conducted by the department be corrected, these could seriously destroy the home.

The above statement raises a serious allegation of theft of property. Please provide us with a prima facie evidence supporting this allegation as per report conducted by the department. The above statement confirms a concluded contract of sale of the land to the department of education by Ms. Lynn Van Rooyen.

4. Please provide us with a written contract confirming the sale of the vacant land belonging to Takalani.

Page 24 case no 21919/10  paragraph 83 says:
These actions led the chairperson of the executive committee and in consultation with the other members thereof, to suspend Ms. Lynn Van Rooyen pending the departmental full investigations into the matter.

5.It is our request to be provided with the letter by which the chairperson of the executive in consultation with other members suspended Ms. Lynn Van Rooyen. The list and names of the members consulted will be highly appreciated.

6.page 24 paragraph 84 case 21919/10

‘Ms. Lynn Van Rooyen in retaliation has done two things, Firstly, she caused Mr George to be arrested for some offence which she claims Mr. George committed relating to the theft and fraud of monies belonging to the Home”.

7. Please provide us with a case number and the police station  where Ms. Lynn Van Rooyen opened a case for Mr. Sam George.

Page 24 paragraph 85 case no 21919/10

‘Secondly, together with a sector of executive committee held a meeting at her Ms. Lynn Van Rooyen place of residence and there resolved to remove Mr. Same George as a chairperson of the executive committee and purported to replace him with his deputy as an acting chairperson.’

8. Please provide us with a letter by which Ms. Lynn Van Rooyen and the other sector of the executive committee purported to replace Mr. Same George with his deputy as an acting chairperson.

Page 19 paragraph 62 and 63 says case No 21919/10:

“other problems that are apparently caused by Ms. Lynn Van Rooyen relate to non-payment of the Home’s employees. There are presently one hundred (100) employees at the Home looking after and providing 24 hour care to about 159 beneficiaries. The numbers are startling disproportional and this non-payment issue, if left unresolved for too long, would seriously compromise the quality of care at the Home.

The department provides funding which must include payment of salaries for the staff. This failure to pay has led to low staff morale”.

9. Please provide us with a list and names of employees of Takalani who were not paid May 2010 salaries.

ABUSE OF CHILDREN:

Closure or locking of toilets that service the Home

page 21 paragraph 75-76, case no 21919/10
‘The worst that has occurred recently with Ms. Lynn Van Rooyen’s leadership was discovered when I, together with the five (5) other members of the departmental Management Team arrived at the Home unannounced. At the gate, we found two huge men of Nigerian descent manning the gate and who initially refused us entry. I had to announce that we are government officials and, by luck, a police van happened to drive to the Home and came where we were. I explained the purpose of our visits and the Nigerian men opened the gates for us. These men appear to be living there and perhaps offering their service as gatekeepers/bodyguards in exchange for accommodation.

Once inside the home we discovered, to my shock, that the main door leading to the toilets that ought to service over five hundred people was locked. There was no access to the toilets. Upon enquiry as to the reasons therefor, the security person accompanying us informed us that Ms. Lynn Van Rooyen had instructed them to lock those toilets. This was most foul to say the least as patients and staff had no other place to relieve themselves’.

10.Please provide us with the Names and identity documents of the Nigerian security gatekeepers/bodyguards who offered their service in exchange for accommodation in Takalani.

Page24,paragraph 71-72 and page 30 paragraph 97 case no 21919
‘The director has excelled in seeking and securing food donations. There would be no transactions of a purchase of such foods but the amount of money would disappear and be ‘accounted’ for in duplicate receipts.

The problem with these donated foods is that they mainly comprise of rotten food or food that have gone off or past their sell-by dates. On or about April 2010, and in one of the Unit’s regular but unannounced visits to the Home, Ms. Ntomfuthi Precious Myeni, a senior administration officer of Monitoring and Evaluation in the Department and who was Unit’s team member observed a green and bad smelling meat in the Home’s fridge. I confirm this discussion by annexing a confirmatory affidavit of Ms. Myeni and mark it as annexure WS7. This is shocking to say the least.

We believe the confirmation of Ms. Myeni that she found rotten food in Takalani is not enough to substantiate this allegation  in this regard, especially when she is an employee of your department not a micro biologist.

11. Please provide us with a micro biologist you inspected the food with and a micro biologist report confirming that the food removed from Takalani was rotten.

 

Regards,

Bradley Tshabalala
The National Executive Director

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Re MEC'S Office promise to respond to questions of SAACSO ||
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Good day Mr Tshabalala,

Kindly note that MEC has requested the DDG to have a look at document and im awaiting their response from their office, you will have the response before the end of this week.

Kind regards,

Beverley Carls

-----Original Message-----

From: Bradley Tshabalala [mailto:bradleyt@saacso.org.za]

Sent: 04 September 2010 09:12 PM

To: Beverley Carls; nomsan@dsd.gov.za; presidentRSA@po.gov.za

Subject: An appeal for an urgent response to SAACSO's questions.

cc: Minister of Social Development

cc: The President of South Africa

Hi! Bervely,

Since we sent you a list of questions on the 16/08/2010 regarding the MEC's application to Court to step aside Takalani Home for the disabled Board of directors. We admit the fact that you promised us the MEC's report concluded and awaiting her signature.

May you please indicate to us when can we expect receipt of both the report and answers to SAACSO's questions, as we are now going towards the fouth week without any concrete response.

Your urgent response to our request will be highly appreciated.

Regards,

Bradley Tshabalala

The National Executive Director.

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Minister's acknowledgement of receipt of communication between SAACSO & Department of Health and Social Development ||
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Dear Mr Tshabalala

The copy of your letter to MEC Q. Mahlangu, pertaining to the above-mentioned subject is hereby acknowledged with appreciation. Please be informed that the content will be brought to the attention of Minister Molewa.

Regards,

Dinkwetse Mooketsi
Ministry: Social Development

 

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SAACSO's Letter to Gauteng Legislature ||
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Hi! Lerato,

After your presentation on the 8th in Legislature, we were made to believe that your unit is a gateway for public participation. However we believe that there is a need to redefine its meaning within the legislative context, the constitutional framework and enhance  its desired value in a way that will reflect and effect its meaning in practice. Seemingly there are different perceptions of public participation in the minds of both public and government officials. It is therefore, highly vital that the concept be redefined for both Government and public to have a common understanding in order to flow together to achieve the desired outcomes, otherwise the whole lot of participatory efforts will be spend fruitlessly for the sake of formality and outlined procedures.

We took a keen look at the booklet you presented to us called ' your Guide to Gauteng Provincial Legislature'. We highly appreciate Gauteng Legislature's steadfast adherence to promote public participation as stipulated in section 118 of the Constitution of South Africa. The Legislature exercises an oversight function on Gauteng Government, among others to prevent the abuse of State power to the detriment of the powerless and the voiceless by those who have been entrusted with power in public office. It is therefore important that the Legislature's function be a vehicle for promotion of access to information act, to promote public access to Legislature to be heared by the standing committees concerned and other relevent platforms where their cases may be heared between them and government officials.

Please receive the communication of South African Active Civil Society Organisations social accountability unit, with the MEC of Health and Social Development regarding the issue of Takalani Home of the disabled. The issue received a crescendo of media coverage and High court ruling infavor of the MEC; without the powerless Takalani board being afforded an opportunity to be heared. (their side of the story).

The South African Active Civil Society Organisations is keenly investigating this matter; and it is their request to present their findings and to be afforeded an opportunity to be heared by the legislature. There are questions the South African Active Civil Society organisations social accountability unit, would like to ask the MEC Qedani Mahlangu on the relevent platform in the legislature.




Regards,


Bradley Tshabalala
The National Executive Director

 

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SOUTH AFRICAN ACTIVE CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATION INVESTIGATION REPORT ON TAKALANI 4 ||
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SOUTH AFRICAN ACTIVE CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATION’S INVESTIGATION REPORT, AND APPEAL FOR URGENT INTERVENTION BY THE PRESIDENT, THE MINISTER, THE PREMIER OF GAUTENG..

THE MATTER BETWEEN THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT AND TAKALANI HOME FOR THE DISABLED

South African Active Civil Society Organisations is a national multi sectorial umbrella body for civil society organisations for self-advancement of citizens, and engagement with government on issues of development and governance, and to promote people centred democracy where all citizens and the state work together for common good.

SAACSO undertook to investigate the matter between the Department of Social Services. The department, made an urgent application to the high court of Johannesburg, requesting the Board of Takalani to step down to allow an investigation on financial mismanagement and the abuse of Residents in the institution.

The purpose of the investigation is to establish facts surrounding the matter, and advocate for justice and ensure that Takalani being a non-governmental body is fairly treated.

Respondents consulted and tools used during investigation

  • TAKALANI Board of Directors
  • The MEC’s office
  • Parents
  • Workers
  • Takalani Legal team

Tools and methods used

  • One to one interview of the Board, Parents and workers
  • Electronic communication with the office of the MEC

Trail and sequence of events:

  • According to Mini Audit Report of the Department of Health and Social Services attached as EW 1 On the 26/03/2010The department compiled a min Audit Report that according to the Board and parents took them five (5) weeks to make.

What the department calls financial irregularities
  • The centre does not have monthly budget
  • Amount of R800,000.00 was deposited in June by the department of Education and the funds were immediately withdrawn with Cheque nr 12580
  • Salary of the centre manager (Lynn Van Rooyen) is not reasonable (R45, 011.69)
  • Loan repayment amounting to R570, 500 without any contract or the name of the service provider.
  • Sheriff payment amounting to R324, 173,98.
  • Payment received in June 2009 R2,027,461.88 not from the department of Health & social Services and immediately 1,500,000.00 stop order was effected and the amount transferred to another account (unknown.)
  • Car instalment (7,900 monthly) paid to wesbank for the manager debited from the account.

Insurance policies running from the account.
  • MetLife R6 024.00
  • Hollard R1 941,34
  • Stancom R75
  • Met Life R5,100,00
  • Tracker R422,00
  • Webank Reference nr FI 85092480042 amount R7, 960,61
  • Wes bank Reference nr FI 85140525679 Amount R4,238,82
  • Net star R149,530,00

According to minutes annexed hereto as EW2. On the 4th of May the department by Mr Solomon Ndweni called a meeting in Takalani expressing a forensic audit is required by the MEC to examine the financial management of Takalani Home has been done correctly and make certain the patients of Takalani Home are cared for at the approved standards. To ensure that the forensic runs smoothly and speedily it is requested that the current Takalani Home Board Members and distinguished management voluntarily step aside throughout the process.

The Chairman, Sam George recommended to the Board that they gracefully step aside throughout the process of the forensic audit.

On the 13 May Mr. Solomon Ndweni the Regional Director of Health and Social Services made a follow up letter to the Chairman of the Board Mr. Same George requesting for an update of the hand over date. This is confirmed by the letter annexed hereto as EW3

According to the board Mr. Sam George continued to hold meetings with the department alone to the point where Mr. Rex the interim chairman reprimanded him.

On the 22/05/2010

According to the suspension letter attached as EW4 Mr. Sam George the chairman of Takalani by then handed a notice of suspension to Lynnette Van Rooyen where the Chairman stated clearly that the suspension of Mrs. Lynn Van Rooyen was in accordance with the demand of the Department of Health and Social development. Further instructing Mrs. Lynn Van Rooyen to hand in her laptop, all files and documentation relating to Takalani.

During her suspension she will receive her normal remuneration and benefits.

On the Contrary the department in their application to court says Mrs Lynn van Rooyen was suspended by the Chairman in consultation with other Board members. It reads thus:

‘These actions led the chairperson of the executive committee and in consultation with the other members thereof, to suspend Ms. Lynn Van Rooyen pending the departmental full investigations into the matter’. Page 24 case no 21919/10  paragraph 83 says: On the 26/05/2010

The board members of Takalani and parents voted Mr. Sam George (the Chairman) out. This is stated in the minutes of the Board of the above said date, attached hereto as EW5

On the 28/05/2010

 According to the letter of the Board of Takalani written to the Star Newspaper on the 01/June/2010 attached as EW6, Mr Same George the out voted and disgruntled x Chairman with his entourage of the unknown people arrived in Takalani Home claiming that they were acting on behalf of Social services and Mental Health department. They took the cottage residents out to toy toy and destabilize the Home.

Subsequent to that the same drama happened again. Mr Sam George arrived in Takalani and flattened the tires of the bus transporting the patients, instructed the patients to shout and say Lynn Van Rooyen must go. The police were called and captain Mokhele who was on private instructed Mr Sam George to return the files he had packed in the boot of his car that he removed forcefully from Takalani’s office, instead  Mr. Sam George insulted Captain Ms. Mokhele calling her names, saying She is stinking like a rotten fish. He cannot be told by a fucken bitch what to do. The captain cried tears and  opened a case against Mr. Sam George and He was subsequently arrested and locked up in Deipkloof Police station.

On the contrary the MEC said in her application to court that:
Mrs. Lynn van Rooyen in retaliation caused  Mr Sam George to be arrested  due to the theft and fraud of monies belonging to the Home. as stated below. In page 24 paragraph 84 case 21919/10

“Ms. Lynn Van Rooyen in retaliation has done two things, Firstly, she caused Mr George to be arrested for some offence which she claims Mr. George committed relating to the theft and fraud of monies belonging to the Home”.

Contrary to the MEC’s statement above
The case was opened by captain Mokhele against Mr.Sam George for insulting her   that She is stinking like a rotten fish after instructing him to return all the files and the documents of Takalan, that he removed unlawfully from the office of Takalani. This is clearly stated in a letter of complaint written by the Board of Takalani to the Star Newspaper on the 1/06/2010. Attached here as EW7

Page 24 case no 21919/10 paragraph 83 says:

These actions led the chairperson of the executive committee and in consultation with the other members thereof, to suspend Ms. Lynn Van Rooyen pending the departmental full investigations into the matter.

Contrary to the MEC’s above statement. The suspension letter handed to Mrs. Lynn on the 22/05/2010 clearly states that Mrs. Lynn Van Rooyen was suspended by the chairman in accordance with the demand of the Department of Health and Social Development.

On the 17 June 2010 the department of Health and social development made an urgent application to the High court to make a ruling that the board of Takalani must step down and recommended that Averill Elizabeth be appointed as an interim administrator.

In this case Takalani Board is Respondent number one
Mr Sam George is responded number Two. At the same time in his affidavit  He is a witness of the department. In case 21919/10 page 20 paragraph 70 the department clearly states that he is their Monday to Monday advisor.

Mrs. Lynn Van Rooyen is respondent number three, and she is the one who has been placed at the centre of the whole drama.

Discrepancies in the department’s allegations as tabled in their application to the High Court.

“From the recent department’s mini audit, there are many disturbing revelations of possible theft of money, un authorized or unknown transfers of the home’s money, unknown transections that oppose obligations on the home some of which the home does not benefit from. The home, it is evident, is losing money that is deposited by the department and seems to be happening at an alarming rate and involving daringly large amounts of money. I refer to the investigative report where an amount of R1 500 000 (one million and five hundred thousand Rand) that was siphoned to an unknown account”

The above statement clearly refers to the money deposited by the department for the home being siphoned to an unknown account and the amount referred to is R1 500 000.

On page 14 case No 21919/10 paragraph 44 reads as follows:
Other than the department’s funding, the home receives sponsors and donations from other persons. Such sponsors are manly in the form of financial sponsors, in some instance amount amounting to over R2 000 000.00 ( two million Rand) have been donated to the home”.

The above statement shows the amount over two million donated by other persons other than the department.

The Mini Audit report of the department of social development monitoring and evaluation unit compiled by Ms. Ntomfuthi Myeni/ Mr. Motseo dated 26 & 30.03.2010,

Under the heading: The bank statements were scrutinized and the following are the findings.

Irregularities in finances
item 4 reads as follows:
payment received in June 2009 R2,027,461.88 not from the department of Health & Social services and immediately R1 ,500,000.00 stop was effected and the amount transferred to another account (unknown)

The above statement clearly states that R1 500,000.00 transferred to the unknown account was not from the department of Health & social services therefore contradicting the statement in paragraph 62 page 14 case No 21919/10

  • There is an ambiguity as to how much money was transferred to an unknown account. According to the above two statements R3 000 000.00 was transferred to unknown accounts. R1 500 000.00 from the money deposited by the department for the home and R1 500 000.00 donated by other persons other than the Department of Health and Social development.
  • There is a need for a Clarification and the definition of an unknown account as to what it really means. We are of the mind that in South African banks no bank transaction can take place to non-existing account. If an account does exist, it is therefore known because it is traceable.

ABUSE OF CHILDREN:

Closure or locking of toilets that service the Home
  • page 21 paragraph 75-76, case no 21919/10
  • ‘The worst that has occurred recently with Ms. Lynn Van Rooyen’s leadership was discovered when I, together with the five (5) other members of the departmental Management Team arrived at the Home unannounced. At the gate, we found two huge men of Nigerian descent manning the gate and who initially refused us entry. I had to announce that we are government officials and, by luck, a police van happened to drive to the Home and came where we were. I explained the purpose of our visits and the Nigerian men opened the gates for us. These men appear to be living there and perhaps offering their service as gatekeepers/bodyguards in exchange for accommodation.
  • Once inside the home we discovered, to my shock, that the main door leading to the toilets that ought to service over five hundred people was locked. There was no access to the toilets. Upon enquiry as to the reasons therefor, the security person accompanying us informed us that Ms. Lynn Van Rooyen had instructed them to lock those toilets. This was most foul to say the least as patients and staff had no other place to relieve themselves’.
  • SAACSO has contacted the body guards who were at the gate. They are not Nigerians, they are Zulu speaking South Africans . SAACSO has requested the MEC to provide   the Names and the copies of identity documents of the Nigerian security gatekeepers/bodyguards who offered their service in exchange for accommodation in Takalani.
  • On the 9th/09/2010 the MEC of Health and Social Development appeared on Soweto TV. When the presenter asked her about Takalani she said children in Takalani had no linen, nappies, mattress and they were fed on soup and pap every day.

    On the contrary SAACSO annex invoices of the purchases of  mattresses, vegetables suppliers to Takalani, an affidavit , by the groceries buyer for Takalani and the matron’s affidavit confirming the food menu used in Takalani as opposed to what the MEC of Health and Social Services said on public TV.

    It must be noted that according to the Director of Takalani and the Management team the MEC of Health and Social Services had never sat Her foot on Takalani’s Soil during their time, in spite of many invitations they made for her before and She never honored any of them. According to them She only visited Takalani after her application to Court to step down Takalani Board, the Director and the management team. In her visit she addressed the assaulters of the Director Mrs. Lynn Van Rooyen and in her speech assured them that Mrs. Lynn van Rooyen will never set her foot on Takalani’s soil any more, here application to court to step her down and the Board was a strategy to remove her.

    The relationship of the Department of Health and Social Services had not been good due to conflicts arising from the Department failure to honor service level agreements pertaining to subsidy payments and non- payments of disability grants to Takalani’s residents. This is clear in a letter written by Mrs. Lynn van Rooyen on the 27/09/2007 annexed hereto as EW8

    SAACSO has a deed of sale of a farm by Takalani for its self-sustainability, an account of an estate agent who assisted Takalani to purchase the farm, a bank statement clearly showing R1500000. Transferred to the estate agent account and the transference of R1500000. Transferred to the farm’s seller.

    SAACSO has repeatedly requested the MEC’s office to provide an information in a form of a bank statement clearly indicating the unknown account to which a controversial R1500000.00  was transferred.

    This is almost a month since the request was made; SAACSO has not received any concrete response from the MEC’s office on this matter.

    SAACSO’s understanding of the story told by the Board of Takalani, The Director Mrs. Lynn van Rooyen and parents of children of Takalani, since Mrs. Lynn van Rooyen came to this institute in 2002, Takalani has been accommodating more than 400 disabled tenants each entitled to a disability grant presently to the value of R1010.00 a month.

    Out of the above  stated figure it is clear from calculations that the institute at present accommodating 209 tenants must be receiving over 209 000 a month from the department. On the contrary Takalani only gets R69 000 a month from social services. This alludes a serious corruption as to who is pocketing these grants for the disabled.

    All staff members who disagreed with the department officials have been suspended by Avril Elizabeth the interim administrator appointed by the department.

    After a few weeks Mrs. Lynn van Rooyen having enquired as to who is really pocketing these grants for the disabled, the department made an application to the High court to step down the Board of Takalani Home for the Disabled.

    Mrs. Lynn van Rooyen was physically assaulted by a sector of workers who were aligned to the department in the presence of Her legal team in front of the high court.,

    Her laptop was taken, all bank accounts are frozen, together with other workers who do not agree with the department are not being paid their salaries for almost four months now, some of them their houses are being repossessed, her family has been traumatized, her name has been published in a number of national press and electronic media as a fraudster and a child abuser.

    Each time SAACSO tries to publish her side of the story the press media call the MEC who then instructs them not to publish their side of the story. She is gagged and denied access to finance for her legal defense.

    It does not appear that there was any evidence supporting the allegations of the department in this regard. The High court judge Mbha made an arbitrary ruling to step down the board of a Non-Governmental body on allegations without evidence. It is apparent that the judge failed to apply his mind and discretion in the interest of justice and equality before the law, as a result Mrs. Lynn van Rooyen a 50 years old widow was physically and brutally assaulted, beaten and traumatized.by a section of workers who were on the side of the department.

    Although the constitution declares itself transformative and skewed towards protecting the powerless from the abuse of State power, the justice system and the courts proof the opposite by favoring the powerful to the detriment of the poor, the powerless and the voiceless.

    SAACSO’S COMMENT

    Starting from the mini audit made by the department, SAACSO fails to understand why the expenditure listed there in are called financial irregularities. Takalani is a Non-governmental organization guided by its constitution and managed by a Board of directors as stipulated by the constitution. The Board of directors have a right to spend money as they see fit to the interest of the beneficiaries. The department has no other relationship with the institution beyond the service level agreement of the monies they deposit in the account of the institution.

    Takalani generates over a million a year other than the monies deposited by the department of Health and Social development.
    Furthermore Takalani has one collection account to which all monies are deposited. A keen look at the mini audit report made by the department, the Department portrays an impression that all the monies belonging to Takalani is their money. In other words the department wants to dictate to Takalani on how they must run their institution as if they the department own the institution, therefore denying them the right to run the institution as they see it fit guided by their constitution. This is a false impression prevailing in this department and all over the country. This must be counteracted with severe measures  as it has created a patronage relationship between government departments and Civil Society Organisations, a fertile ground for corruption and a blockage of effective service delivery on the ground.

    SAACSO recommends that the department of Health and Social services must step aside and a Neutral body be appointed to investigate the department. The department of Health and Social Services is highly implicated in corruption in Takalani; through the previous Chairmen. It is as well ironic and unfair that the department can be a referee and a player at the same time in the spoils the department staff have been part of.

    One wonders, when looking at the fact that Mrs Lynn van Rooyen has been a director of Takalani Home for the disabled since 2002. All along she has been receiving accolades regarding her work for caring for the disabled. The former Minister of Heath Minister Mantu Tshabalala visited Takalani and commended Mrs. Lynn van Rooyen for her work.

    South African Active Civil Society Organisations believes that, this is a tip of an iceberg alluding to possible serious corruption scandals that need to be investigated by a neutral body other than both of these Departments.

    A neutral investigating body is urgently required looking at the fact that according to  Takalani Board members, the Machine for Takalani coffins manufacturing project worth R1.5 Million was removed from Takalani premises on public holiday of the 24/09/2010. The Board and the Director are worried that their stepping down by the MEC and the Department management staff, was to open a way to plunder what they worked for as a Board and the management staff.. Attempts to remove the machine from Takalani premises for personal gains under the pretext that, Takalani owes Mr Jerry Mahopo a salary after voting him out for defrauding the institute, were made two times before, through the very same Sheriff  who has presently  removed the machine.from Takalani’s premises. .. These attempts were made by the people .closely linked to the department staff. They failed because the Director and the Board stood against them.

    Regards,

    Bradley Tshabalala
    The National Executive Director
    Cell: 2711733111021

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    TAKALANI STORY AS TOLD BY LYNN 4 ||
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    PART 1

    THE TRUE TAKALANI HOME “STEP-ASIDE” STORY-MY PERSONAL LONG-WALK TO EQUALITY, FREEDOM AND FRATERNITY-DATED 19 JUNE 2010 UP TO DATE

    Takalani Home for the Mentally Disabled is subsidized by the Department of Mental Health and the Department of Social Services. For the financial year 2009 / 2010 the two departments subsidized respectively, as follows:

    Mental  Health  (for between 75 – 120 residents)   =   R  221 000.00 (Mthly) and……..  Social Services and Development, Welfare R 69 000.00 – 80 adults… (mthly, BUT deposited into Takalani bank acc every 3 to 4 mths). HOWEVER, Takalani Home sustained the home by fundraising in various  ways!

    In South Africa all people who are disabled receive social pension presently R1010.00. In Takalani Home for the disabled we have 209 residents who are entitled to the amount stated above monthly.  From a mere calculation one can see that Takalani has to receive R211 090.00 instead Takalani receives only R59 000.00 monthly in this category. All non governmental organizations rolling out welfare activities receive a sub-sidy from Government, and Takalani receives only R69 000.00 monthly from Social development.   Subsidies have a name in all NGO’s :” EXPECT IT WHEN YOU SEE IT MONEY!” I took care not even to abuse staff as I’ll tell you a true happening! Takalani Home did not receive the subsidy agreed upon in the SLA with Mental Health and Social Services for months  ….so I, together with my late-husband, may his soul rest in peace……we accessed or bond to pay staff salaries to buy necessities to keep the adult cottages going and the workshop!

      RENTAL OF TAKALANI HOME PROPERTY BY SOCIAL SERVICES AND BY MENTAL HEALTH SINCE 2002:   Takalani Home’s property is rented to these two departments and also to GDE, on it’s own….RESPONSIBLY, Gauteng Department of Education  PAYS EVERY YEAR(TWELVE MONTHLY), ONLY  ONCE, THEY PAID IT AFTER 18(EIGHTEEN) MONTHS!!      A minimum of 8000m squ has accommodated residents under  Social Services and Mental Health! Therefore a monthly rental amount of R80 000.00, for this square metres of rental has not been paid since 2002 up to and including 2010. Simply meaning…………..                          R 8 160 000.00, is owed to Takalani Home by these two tenants Social Services and Development and by Mental Health.   When the Takalani Home Board invoices these two departments and  Takalani  asks for rental money owed to Takalani. DISABILITY GRANTS:        

    Takalani Home for the 2009 / 2010 financial year has accommodated 209 residents / workshop students which means that disability grants income owed to Takalani Home to 209 x R  1010.00 and this is not paid to Takalani since 2002 up to and including 2010 – R20 264 640.00! RENTAL AND DISABILITY GRANTS OWED TO TAKALANI HOME SINCE 2002 IS …..R 8 160 000.00 (RENTAL) AND R R20,264,640.00 (DISABILITY GRANTS) added together the amount owed to Takalani Home by the Department of Health and Social development is R28,424,640.00

    Just after a week SA Social Services  meet with Takalani Home Boardmembers  regarding these out standing disability grants…..The MEC of social development made an application  to the High court to step aside Mrs. Lynn van Rooyen (the Director) and the board.

    RAPES / SEXUAL  HARRASSMENT:

    It is so difficult to handle the abuse cases in Takalani as the perpetrators of these crimes are               Monday to Monday advisors of the MEC’s office.

    Crime of Abuse

    Mr. Sam George who the office of the MEC explicitly states in their application to court that He is their Monday to Monday advisor repeatedly raped a mentally disabled resident on a cold kitchin floor on weekends, and paid her twenty Rand. As this became habitual the resident developed courage to confront him with resistance.In the midst of other residents Mr. Sam George the MEC’s  Monday to Monday advisor and a 76 years old man demanded his twenty Rand payments from his mentally disabled Rape prey  and further insulting her that she is stinking like a rotten fish.  As staff  and board members, we made all the necessary attempts to address this serious crime. We compiled the reports and reported the case to the police who then demanded the case to be reported by the social workers.

    Our main difficulty is that the perpetrator threatens all the staff/board members and social workers that He is working with the department and any one who works against him will loss the job.

    He repeatedly calls white children white squatters, white kaffirs, white free loaders , white trash, HF Verwoerd is dead and they must go and join him together with Lynn white people are not needed here in Soweto.

    It is more difficult with me as a white woman in Soweto as my life is in danger as Ms Maureen Sonto publicly confessed to the Board members  that she was promised R70 000.00 to have me killed by MEC’s right-hand lady Ms Lebo Ramapetla’s, close friend Mr Jeremiah Mahopo! I am such a KNOW TOO MUCH MUST BE DONE AWAY WITH…. little person in their eyes that MEC,s cronies now want to pay someone R 70 000.00 to kill me!  Sonto admitted this in a staff-meeting and to the board-members in a boardmeeting! Sonto’s confession was startling!  She was remorseful and confessed to everybody she was prepared to listen! How nerve-wrecking but the truth must be told.

    The next day, after the section of workers on the side of the  MEC attacked me outside the high court …I was in a meeting with Takalani Home Board and  our Advocate Dlamini about all our legal matters I received a phone call from Regional Director Social Services, Mr Solomon Ndweni asking me; whilst I had him on speaker phone: “HOW ARE YOU FEELING TODAY AFTER THE ATTACK…..!” All of us could hear in his tone of voice that he enjoyed the fact that I was attacked.  I replied to him in the midst of all:” Sir, how do you think I should be feeling after yesterday’s attack! “ He immediately told me they (Social Services) are at Takalani Home and was going to get into the office! They wanted the keys – adv Dlamini then took a phone and addressed  Mr Solomon Ndweni (whilst all members are listening, attentively!) and told him that he and his team must not enter the offices as Takalani Home Board is appealing the Judge Mba’s “almost fatal attack” decision. Mr Solomon Ndweni just said that he will anyway enter the offices by getting a locksmith to open! Adv Dlamini told Mr Solomon Ndweni  that what he is doing is illegal; he also referred him to their own advocate!  They then used Takalani Home Residents (adult cottage residents Ryan and Thabiso)… to CROW-BAR their way into Takalani’s offices and removed all files containing important documents of the Home, a few days latterThe MEC of SocDev Health addressed my ASSAULTERS  and reassured them that “Lynn and the Takalani Home Board appeal….”  is just a formality they will NEVER, EVER be seen at Takalani Home again! She has connections in the highcourt and they will deal with them accordingly! What a statement to make to assaulters who victimized, traumatized me! I was having pins and needles in my left side of my body for many, many days! Even presently my left side feels stiff! Takalani Home has on many occasions invited MEC SocDEv Health to functions; she did not even acknowledge receipt of emails BUT she comes promptly after my  attack.

    The MEC of Health and Social Development has published her  side of the story widely in the press media. When we have been  denied any platform to tell our side of the story. on the contrary.

    We have been denied access to finance for our legal defence by the MEC and Avril Elizabeth the department interim administrator of our institution. In spite of the fact that as a Board of Takalani we are entitled to be defended by the institution. South African Active Civil Society Organisations has made efforts to appeal to the director of Avril Elizabeth Sylvia Haywood to pay for the Board’s legal fees, She clearly stated that she will not. The legal team has faxed their account to her and she has ignored it.

    We believe the MEC of Health and Social development took us to the High court with a calculated intention that in a High Court we will not be in a position to stand in person and defend ourselves as we need an advocate to do so on our behalf. And has intentionally unjustly and unfairly denied us access to legal fees to render us defend less for a calculated reason. We are tempted to believe that this is an abuse of State power.

    We have everything if afforded that opportunity to prove that the MEC has been misled and the arbitrary ruling made infavor of her was made by Judge Mbha out of emotions of betrayal as He stated before making the ruling that he was emotional. It is one of the most unfortunate scenarios that the Judge can use emotions against the defend less and the powerless. We know for the fact that the ruling was made out infavor of the MEC without any evidence but mere allegations of him being misinformed.As a management staff we are entitled to our salaries but on the contrary we have been denied our payment for four months. We have nothing to feed our children with and our houses are being repossessed.

    It is our plea to the Legislature as an overseer of Gauteng Government to summon the MEC of Health and Social development before the relevant standing committee, and afford us an opportunity to present the truth of the matter.

    By

    Lynn van Rooyen the Director of Takalani and the Board members.

     

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    Poverty eradication requires a new approach. ||
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    Poverty alleviation is high on Government agenda, many strategies, policy interventions and institutional support have been made in an effort to fight challenges facing our country. The question remains, are we winning?

    Poverty in South Africa was created by the Apartheid policies that deprived the majority of the population and accumulated wealth in the hands of the few. Our economy is highly monopolized by the few who are not really willing to share wealth with the economically disadvantaged majority.

    The democratic Government is faced with a mammoth task of implementing relevant policies for equitable wealth distribution across the entire population groups. Policies aiming at bringing the economically disadvantaged majority into the mainstream economy without a clear focus on depleting the existing economic monopolies will only result in a few black people joining the privileged few and leaving the majority in the same economic conditions.

    It is our opinion that this is partly the results of the existing turbulent political landscape. Enough consultation and a practical participation of the people on the ground in policy formulations and implementation are lacking. A top down approach to development is self defeating and counter productive. The Development of Small Micro and Medium Enterprise (SMME) and the Co-operative sector is high on the Government Agenda. This is premised on the fact that these two sectors have a potential ability to create jobs and fight the challenges of poverty facing our country. The majority of small enterprises that are started by individual entrepreneurs with the aim of benefiting their families have tended to fail in the first year of operation. It is estimated that 9 in 10 small enterprises in South Africa fail within the first two years of operation. This has prompted government to consider different alternative strategies and models for improving the survival rate of Co-operatives and the SMMEs.

    In an effort to support Government endeavors aimed at accelerating the development of the Co-operative sector and SMMEs, South African Active Civil Society Organizations (saacso) and African Business and Manufacturers Development Association (ABUMDA) encourage democratization and liberalization of the development process through a joined facilitative network comprising all relevant role players, including the NGO sector, the private sector, relevant Community Structures and the Government. Our developmental priorities must be guided by our collective needs and challenges on the ground that then necessitate and require our collective ideas and concepts.

    In the past the main parastatals ignored the role of NGOs in entrepreneurial development, ignoring the fact that NGOs emerge from the communities as a spontaneous response to their adverse Socio-economic conditions. They were in the forefront of the struggle against the Apartheid Government. They are a genuine voice of the suffering. We can not continue ignoring the experience gained by the NGOs during their struggle against the Apartheid system if we are serious about service delivery.

    It is important to improve a democratic participation of all sectors of the communities in their development process.

    During the Apartheid system the NGO sector played a great roll in socio, economic and political development of the poor through the support of the domestic and foreign donor agencies. To name the few, European Union, the Japane’s Government and many others.

    Later the donor funding became dry for the NGO sector, all support was channeled through the Government. As a result the NGO sector could no longer receive a direct support from the foreign Donor agencies and that resulted into a collapse of many NGOs. The wheel was reinvented by creating the Parastatals like National Development Agency and many others whose success rate still remain questionable.

    No representation of the people on the ground in these main parastatals who report to the parliament or department directorates under which they are located. The question has always been asked whether their reports on their performance are confirmed by verifiable success indicators and input of the beneficiaries and whether there is an independent monitoring system evaluating their performance. The measurement of success will be the sustainable quality of jobs created as opposed to quantitative quick fix short life hand to mouth activities. Is there any sustainable turn over generated in Entrepreneurial activities and Co operatives that justify the amount of funds invested in communities for job creation?

    For the purpose of regulating resources and maximizing delivery in meeting the challenges facing our country today, channeling support through the Government was good for regulation purposes, but there must be a clear support strategy empowering all sectors and key role players including the NGO sector. Democratization and liberalization of a development process is necessary to achieve more. The NGO sector must be given a fair chance to demonstrate their ability and experience gained while transparency, professionalism, code of ethics must be encouraged. It is not enough to give them NPO certificates and forget about them to rot in a rubbish heap of forgotten history.

    We are faced with a situation where the key parastatals have financial resources with less or without experience. This is our honest opinion looking at their current performance; if they had experience their performance rate would have made a visible change. The NGO sector has experience without financial resources and if they didn’t have experience they wouldn’t have played such a great roll during the Apartheid system.

    ABUMDA believes we need each other. The Government the facilitator, parastatals, the NGO sector, the Private Business Sector, relevant community Organizations and laborer Movements must work together to make a change and together we will achieve more.

    Social grants will not place the poor majority in the mainstream economy. They can only give a temporary relief to the suffering. Affirmative action is a good idea as it is an instrument of bridging the cap created during the economic deprivation of the majority. However the difficulty is that the haves are in the minority about 20% and the have-nots are in the majority of about 80%. It is then difficult for the minority to absorb the majority. Unlike in America where the black disadvantaged were in the minority and the privileged whites in the majority.

    Our socio economic material conditions are peculiar, and will require peculiar instruments relevant to them that cannot be copied and imported from else where in the world. Hence ABUMDA believes only the people of South Africa working together are capable to create their relevant tools to transform their socio economic material conditions. Together we can make the difference. Involvement of people in their Socio economic development provides less chances of pointing at the Government as a failure.

    From: South African Active Civil Society Organizations. (SAACSO)

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    Departments and Agencies are failing to eradicate poverty. ||
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    Eastern Cape is one of the poorest provinces and many people are unemployed. Budget estimates presented by the former MEC in his Provincial Budget Vote 2008/09 (13/03/2008) stand as follows:

      Administration Social Welfare Services Development and Research Total
    2007/08 (Revised Estimate) R202, 646 million R573,039 million R166, 784 million R942,649 million
    2008/09 (Medium Term Estimates) R331,896 million R840,076 million R213,151 million R1385,123 million
    2009/10 (Medium Term Estimates) R365,928 million R847,100 million R199,845 million R1 412,873 million
    2010/11 (Medium Term Estimates) R379,936 million R935,209 million R317,834 million R1 632,979 million

    The Eastern Cape Social Development budget vote of 2008 reflects 379,935 million for development. The budget is for poverty eradication that prioritizes job creation for the past two years. The department is transforming itself into an effective and efficient custodian on delivery of services to the poorest of the poor, and shifting from the traditional welfare model approach to social development.    

    The success of this shift to a development model has to be measured by its positive out come. A legislation subjecting performance to sustainable employment and income generation impact sturdy is necessary to make job creation real. Job creation can best be created where there is a sustainable income generation in a form of a sustainable turn over and steady business growth. It is important to have objective and verifiable number of jobs created by funds disbursed for  job creation and the turn over sustainably generated  justifying the investment, or the expenditure.  

    The worrying factor is that many job creation and poverty alleviation income generation initiatives funded by Social development around Nelson Mandela Metro in Port Elizabeth and Development Agencies in Gauteng province collapse within a year, the existing few hardly achieve operational and financial sustainability. If we are realistic about pushing back the frontiers of poverty, we must not confuse sustainable development with quick fix unsustainable brief bust development crafts empty of content or short life flash light development initiatives.

    Departments and agencies assigned to eradicate poverty have to work under public awareness and Government monitoring.

    If departments and Agencies in this sector fail to report a sustainable turn over generated by projects they fund justifying the funds invested in job creation as a hall mark of success, job creation and poverty eradication are a rhetoric. There are reports on how many projects funded and how many people employed. But no reports on follow up evaluation processes giving a clear picture of how many of those funded collapsed, how many stagnant, how many achieving operational and financial sufficiency and how many have achieved growth at what rate.

                     

    The President in his inauguration speech said “ We are now called upon to implement our Manifesto. The dreams and hopes of all the people of our country must be fulfilled. There is no place for complacency, no place for cynicism, no place for excuses”. “To achieve all our goals, we must hold ourselves to the highest standards of service, probity and integrity. Together we must build a society that prizes excellence and rewards effort, which shuns laziness and incompetence”.

    The President puts his thrust on fulfilling the dreams of the people of which we all know that poverty eradication  constitute the top priority. This can not be done without probity the quality of trust, collective efforts, competence of the people staffed to implement policy and commitment to shun laziness.

    To achieve goals outlined above, we need to have sound and implementable policies to translate thinking into action that has positive outcomes, that will in turn incarnate efforts in the mould of a Vision of creating a society free from poverty.

    At the center of development there must  be human beings and economic  growth directed to serve  broad base human sustainability. Lack of transparency with objective and verifiable success indicators clearly indicating how many sustainable jobs created with funds disbursed and the turn over sustainably generated, clearly indicates a failure. There is no place for excuses. Theorizing impressive Visions and mission statements by development Agencies hardly translated into positive outcomes will not serve this nation in eradicating poverty. Agencies and departments have funds to finance research, institutional capacity building, evaluation and monitoring and seed capital. In the light of all these, failure to produce positive results to push back frontiers of poverty is inexcusable. The lack of positive outcome leads to fruitless expenditure and drainage of scarce resources while poverty deepens on the ground.

    Lack of positive out comes suggests that there is a gap between thinking and implementation. Either there is no coherent organic plan to connect intend and implementation or the personnel staffed to implement policies are incompetent or both. Markinor’s 2008 Government performance barometer found waning confidence in Government’s ability to make right appointments to lead departments and Agencies. Backlogs on service delivery is one of the sure signs of poor performance.

    There is a need to investigate the gap between thinking and implementation to achieve positive sustainable measurable results. The investigation must examine the intellectual foundation of the policies and find out whether there are no flaws on theoretical assumptions underlying the policies.. Central to sustainable development is a combination of efforts from active citizens and effective state. The Government on its own cannot be the sole custodian of sustainable development as much as the civil society cannot be the sole custodians of development. Sustainable development is the results of complementary efforts from both effective state and active citizens. The poor are subjects of their own development against the top down approach.

    Policies for development can not be developed outside the beneficiaries. They have to be developed in full consultation with the people and informed by their voice, other wise they will not be sufficiently responsive to their needs. The question remains whether existing development policies are a result of a wide consultation process with citizens or  products of closed door Boardroom engagements between Government and local Governments, Development Agencies and the selected  few mind like civil society representatives with no evidence of prior wide consultation with the citizens they represent. Policies drawing reference from circumstances out side the local socio economic material conditions of existence will not be automatically relevant to local development needs. Visiting libraries and copying the policy blue prints written by people outside our circumstances and assume their relevance. is wrong. We are a peculiar nation with peculiar circumstances. We cannot import solutions. An African proverb says the food to satisfy the family is cooked at home. No imported development models will be relevant to our circumstances. Yes we can take lessons from else where but lessons will have to be modified to suit local socio economic material conditions of existence.

    The fate associated with boardroom policy development is that their failure takes years to be noticed, by the time their engineers realize their failure and return to a drawing board the time is over, this will make the Government return to election poles with unfulfilled promises. This is a political risk. There is no transparent evaluation process on poverty eradication reports made by departments and Agencies.  Reports of progress are circulating between Development Agencies, Government departments and parliament, without comments from beneficiaries. All this is done without giving the citizens a chance to comment on the quality of what has been delivered to what has been promised. Portraying the achievements of development Agencies and departments  in a best possible manner by using a selected data and suppressing other indicators is lack of transparency and must be discouraged. There is no  representation of the poor mandated from the bottom on the boards of development Agencies. Their reports to the parliament are uncontested. Until strong and direct links of communication are established between the President’s office and the Civil Society, the Government will not know what is happening on the ground to take relevant corrective measures. This will deepen poverty and simmering resentments on the ground. The support of Civil Society organizations by parastatals is highly questionable as it has taken a form of a compassionate attitude or a humanitarian result rather than a right to which the poor are entitled. If the Government would like to know what will have been achieved in this five years term in the current state of affairs of development Agencies and departments with regard to job creation and poverty reduction, the Government has to set up a commission to investigate the amount spend by development Agencies and departments on job creation for the last five years, the number of jobs created and how many of those created still exist sustainably and how much is their turn over justifying the expenditure of the last five years. With this and looking at the rate of collapsing job creation initiatives and the white elephants all over the country,  the government is likely to find that very few jobs created are existing, probably most on a verge of collapsing or hardly generate sustainable income to make a living for those who work in them. This tells us that if there is no radical paradigm shift in the manner development agencies and departments do things, after five years we will still be here where we are with a huge drainage of resources pursuing perceived needs rather done the felt needs.  

    The base line statistics and yard sticks to evaluate progress in achieving goals must be agreed upon by the departments, development Agencies and the Civil Society.  Public service delivery methods are not mutually agreed upon.

    The Government needs to undertake a task of supporting the civil society initiatives to raise the public awareness that development is not a delivery of services to passive citizens and objects of periodic elections, but it is the results of complimentary differences between active citizens and effective state. The President stated in his inauguration speech that there is no need for conformity, we seek a vibrant, dynamic partnership enriched with democratic debates that value divers views and accommodates dissent. Things get done between opposite forces, good decisions are never bought or sold, they are a result of arguments and debates.  What the civil society cannot do is what the state must do e.g. legislate in favor of the poor, policy intervention, resource mobilization and institutional support. That what the Government cannot do is what the Citizens must do e.g. Job creation initiatives through wealth creation. The Government does not create wealth but collects it from those who create it in the form of revenue. The role of the State in development is to empower and transform the inability of those who are unable to create wealth to be able to create wealth not to perpetuate dependence on Government. The rights based approach to development has a potential to transform the self perpetuating vicious circles of poverty, inequalities, vulnerability and powerlessness into virtuous circles that guarantee the rights of all people to create wealth and access to the essentials of decent life.  The Government has declared commitment to people centered democracy in pursuit of development goals. We believe that the Government is on the right rout of true development and this will be made real by supporting the Civil Society to reclaim its rightful place and play an active role in development and have a meaningful involvement in other spheres of Governance.

    Government departments and Agencies sometimes compete among themselves. Lack of co ordination and co operation between Government departments and development Agencies may as well stifle progress. A mind set among civil servants that Citizens are their clients, service delivery is an act of charity must be challenged. Otherwise they will continue demanding bribery from the poor for service delivery.

    The Government was voted into power on the basis of promises, there is a social contract based on a mutual trust between Government and the Citizens to control political power and manage the Economy in the interest of a broad base human sustainability under a clear microscopic observation of public awareness. Civil servants are employed to serve not to be served. Corruption deepens poverty, the Government and the Civil society have to work together to monitor service delivery. There is a demand for comprehensive, interactive multi stake holder mechanisms to monitor and evaluate progress on job creation and poverty reduction. The people on the ground are the eyes of the Government to monitor service delivery. There is a need for training to re orientate Civil servants to a required public service.

    Conduits of service delivery are blocked by rampant corruption and insufficient monitoring. Corruption paralyzes a developmental state, undermines democratic values, it is systematic and thrives on its ability to implicate those who make noise to alert people of its presence, it takes scarce resources from priority areas, it undermines the ability of Government to fight for reform and maintain public order, it has lasting detrimental impact on society. It is a serious threat to lasting peace and sustainable development. It does not only take the form of fraudulent cash transactions and sordid gains but has multi facets forms, inter alia the abuse of institutions incumbency as a power of patronage and disrespect of human rights. The combination of effective state’s efforts and the active citizens working together can make a desired improvement.  In the past the executive tier of Government was failing to control and bridle the administrative tier where things are done and implementation expected. The Government has to form a strong partnership with Civil society as their eyes and partners to monitor what is happening on the ground.

    The Civil society has to be given a space to contest around policy, have access to media for their voice to be heard. The poor hardly have their voices heard in the mainstream media, but there are issues that pertain to them that warrant media attention. They are not afforded an opportunity to voice their concerns in a commercial media that prioritizes profits, ministers, Government related issues as their key focus and main source of news. The Civil Society has to be assisted by Government to develop its own development media where the poor in the remotest rural areas interact horizontally nationally. People’s rights to be heard will be guarantied by their access to the media. As long the poor have no access to the media their fundamental rights to freedom of expression, information, association and assembly is at stake.

    by Bradley Tshabalala: from African Business and Manufacturers Development Association and South African Active Civil Society Organizations (ABUMDA and SAACSO)    Tel: 011 333 8165

                            cell: 071 130 8867

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    Over-Lapping Efforts ||
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    Lack of coordination, insufficient monitoring and evaluation has led to contradictory outcomes of development by the departments and Development Agencies. Actions, programmes, monitoring and evaluation are not done within a coherent common framework of reference driven by an agency at the center of Government.

    This has led to paralysis and adverse outcomes, fruitless expenditure, failure to eradicate poverty, unemployment and crime is escalating. The national strategic planning in the office of the President among other things has identified the need for an agency that authoritatively and forcefully drive planning, monitoring and evaluation and institutional improvements at an apex of Government. It is important to note that at the center of all Government initiatives, is the improvement of human life, poverty eradication, and all of its associated implications.

    There is a need to have an agency that drives planning, monitoring and evaluation to ensure that all spheres of Government, the Civil Society and the Private Sector are mobilized to work towards a common goal of improving human life.

    It is therefore important to evaluate the effectiveness of the role played by the government departments and semi-autonomous development agencies in fulfilling the mandate of poverty eradication and job creation.

    1. Eastern Cape Social Development

    The department of Social Development is transforming itself into an effective and efficient custodian on delivery of services to the poorest of the poor, and shifting from the traditional welfare model approach to social development.

    The Eastern Cape Social Development budget vote made by the former MEC of the department in 2008 reflects the amount of R 379,935 million for development. The budget is for poverty eradication that prioritizes job creation for the past two years. It reflects R534 542 million for administration and R 1, 4 billion for welfare.

    We need to bear in mind that this department is staffed with social workers suitably qualified to tackle welfare issues. It is quite clear that 1.4 billion will be spend effectively on pensions and other forms of social protection.

    1.1 POVERTY ERADICATION AND JOBS CREATION

    2. The National Development Agency (NDA)

    3. Khula Enterprise

    4.  Indemnity lending scheme 

    3. Conclusion
    In addition to deficient programs and strategies and poor management, lack of appropriate skills due to wrong (sometimes corrupt and fraudulent) recruitment systems and approaches have proven to these intuitions’ major undoing. It is not uncommon to find people who either not qualified or who are under qualified in critical positions in these institutions. This situation obviously would have a negative impact on the performance on the institutions. A staff/skills audit must be undertaken as matter of urgency to arrest the rot in these institutions.
    Another area of concern that could be impacting negatively on the performance of the institutions is procurement in general and acquisition and use of computer systems. Being locked into a long-term contract with a service provider with an underperforming system is a serious concern. Usually these contracts are ever renewed because the staff members involved enjoy corrupt benefit of some sort. Hence staff members in all these institutions must be regularly investigated see how they accumulate their wealth.
    Finally, interventionist strategies and programs and business models of these institutions must be reviewed without delay.

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    Java is completely different from JavaScript. The former is a compiled language while the later is a scripting language.

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    A Request for answers, queries and clarification on NDA’s annual report. 2007/08 ||
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    According to the former minister of Social Development, NDA received R787 million since the year 2000. The ultimate intention was to develop the broader civil society sector to engage in poverty eradication initiatives and participate in the mainstream economy.

     According to NDA’S Annual Report of 2007/2008:

    • The Agency has spend R 8 349 054 (over eight million Rand) on salaries for ten Executive Directors.
    • The highest paid Director about R1.8 million per annum.
    • R2 577 065 was spend on phones, cellular phones and faxes pushing all the staffing costs to 35.5 million.
    • Marketing and communication:         R4 776 180
    • Miscellaneous:                                    R2 533 161
    • Consulting and professional fees       R13 614 298
    • Accommodation and travel               R2 532 374                

    According to our calculations taken from the annual report of 2007/2008 NDA has spend R84 006 587 on its cost structure and effectively paid out R76 126 100 to projects

    The ratio above indicates that the Agency spends 52% of its total annual expenditure on its cost structure. If this has been a recurring trend since the year 2000, 52% of the financial input of 787 million will be spend on the Agency’s cost structure.

    Page 56 reflects R36 965 944 paid to suppliers, however there are no explanatory notes explaining in detail the items making up this amount specifically.

    The Report reflects R133 072 628 (One hundred and thirty three million) committed to projects, and 61 million net deficit for the year, meaning the Agency is 61 million Rand below zero). However on page 74 the Agency closed the year with R278 650 078 in money market, call account and cash on hand. Does the Agency have capacity to utilize funds?

     This survey will surely give us a better precise indication and overall impact of NDA’s intervention on poverty eradication and job creation, its relevance and irrelevance in the sector.

    How does the Agency measure its success rate to evaluate and assess the resonance of its efforts with its mandate of poverty eradication?

    It is very much important to emphasize this point because in job creation the bottom line is money generated to be carried home by the poor. We cannot compromise and gloss over this reality.  No money generated, no jobs created. No short cuts. It is against this hall mark that all job creation and poverty alleviation efforts must be measured. Outputs and outcomes must go beyond financial inputs if we are realistic about pushing back the frontiers of poverty. In job creation there are no short cuts, financial inputs must relate to financial outcomes, otherwise poverty eradication through employment creation is rhetoric.

    The only accurate measuring tool at our disposal is the use of financial inputs and outputs against financial outcomes. We are precisely more concerned about the resources NDA spends on its entire logistical support, its costs structures and resources committed to  Projects against the aggregate turn over generated by end users or beneficiaries, and the portion carried home by the poor to feed their families. (impact)

     To be more precise we must further say, before NDA’s intervention an employer or the project generated a turn over of X amount, and employed Y number of workers, and after NDA’s intervention the same employer or the project has an increased turnover of X amount and added more Z number of workers. The difference between the two will give us an indication of NDA’s effectiveness in terms of its programmes and impact on Poverty eradication, such as X above. The aggregate national financial implications of the above mentioned outcomes, against the total financial inputs made by NDA, should give us a clear overall picture of NDA’s performance.  

     

    From: South African Active Civil Society Organizations (SAACSO)

    Questions & Answers

    Does NDA have the evaluation and assessment tool emphasizing the following?

    The baseline statistics of sustainable jobs created

    No direct response.

     

    The income stream generated by the jobs created to match the financial input the agency made to projects and to sustain itself since the year 2000.

    No direct response.

     

    The total turnover of the income stream generated by the jobs created has to give an indication as to whether the graph is steadily moving towards the direction of the break-even point of the financial input made by the Agency.

    No direct response.

     

    Out of a total number of projects funded and jobs created:

    How many have collapsed?

    No direct response.

     

    What was the cause and how much the Agency has lost as a result?

    No direct response.

     

    How many projects that are stagnated?

    No direct response.

     

    How many exist, sustainable and growing?

    No direct response.

     

    How many are growing and at what growth rate?

    No direct response.

     

    What is their aggregate annual turn over?

    No direct response.

     

    How many sustainable jobs created since the year 2000?

    No direct response.

     

    Does NDA have an enterprise-wide risk management program? If yes, how effective is it? Is it able to identify possible risks that should be managed or avoided? Was it able to identify and help NDA deal with the risk of failure of  Projects?

    No direct response.

     

    What about internal auditing function, does NDA have one? If yes, does it report directly to the chairperson of the board? Is it effective? Can it avail its company-wide report on systems of control review and operational effectiveness auditing?

    No direct response.

     

    Can the Agency avail a data base, amounts and projects location of all projects funded since 2000 to autonomous Civil Society Organizations, for their own independent assessment of the Agency’s performance?

    No direct response.

     


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