Do your homework, Xingwana tells DA

2012-04-17 21:05

Pretoria - The department of women, children, and people with disabilities was not an "implementing agent but a co-ordinating and monitoring ministry", Minister Lulu Xingwana said on Tuesday.

Briefing reporters in Pretoria, Xingwana rubbished allegations submitted by the Democratic Alliance to the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) calling for a probe into the department's "failure to protect the rights of the disabled".

Xingwana said the "misleading allegations" stemmed from people who did not understand the mandate of the department, established in May 2009 by President Jacob Zuma.

"At the beginning, many people did not understand this department. Now even the DA does not understand our mandate despite the fact that we have given them our reports and strategic plan in a bid to educate them.

"They still expect this department to operate on deaf children. They still expect this department to deliver grants for people with disabilities."

She said it was evident her department was affecting the lives of the vulnerable.

"I want to urge the members of the DA to do their homework, to understand the mandate of this department before they make public statements that are misleading to the nation," said Xingwana.

She said her department was ready for the investigation and would "welcome the SAHRC".

Xingwana conceded her department had not had a clean audit in three years, but said there were improvements in financial management, as evidenced by the unqualified audit received last year.

"This department is three-years-old and I have presided over it for one year. I think we all know that only three departments in government had clean audits last year."

She said that of the department's R142m annual budget, R55.2m was transferred to the Commission for Gender Equality, leaving the department with R86.9m, which was not enough to execute its mandate.

"Our budget is not sufficient for the work we need to do. We need more resources for us to effectively implement our mandate."

She said discussions were underway within the government about the need for additional funding.

"We need more people to do the work of the department. We have only one DDG [deputy director general], but we need at least three DDGs at least to be able to monitor women, children and people with disability," she said.

Key concerns

In its submissions, the DA said that evidence from the Third Quarter Expenditure Report for 2011/2012 showed the department would overspend on salaries, despite a 21% vacancy rate.

Xingwana said that although she did not have precise figures, salaries gobbled most of her department's budget.

"The department needs the experts and the necessary expertise does not come cheap. To date, posts are being filled continuously, programmes are being co-ordinated and monitored."

Travel costs on official business were another major cost incurred by the department: Deputy Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu will lead a delegation to New York in September for the annual conference of state parties.

Xingwana said R1.1m was spent by the seven department delegates who went to New York last year, and not the R6.8m claimed.

She said the other delegates were from Parliament, non-governmental organisations and other government departments, and their expenses were footed by their entities. On reports that some of the delegates did not attend the conference, Xingwana pleaded ignorance.

"I am not aware of who did not attend. If I can be supplied with the names of those who did not attend then I can be able to respond," she said.

Later on Tuesday, DA spokesperson Helen Lamoela said the SAHRC had confirmed its legal team would be assessing the case.

"She [Xingwana] certainly did not address our key concerns today. We look forward to further feedback from the SAHRC and findings of a comprehensive investigation into the poor performance of the department," she said.


Read more on:    da  |  sahrc  |  jacob zuma  |  lulu xingwana

Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


SAPS waited too long to complain about ad - DA

The DA has told a public hearing that the SA Police Service was "hopelessly out of time" to lodge a complaint against its election advert.


Latest elections multimedia

13 days to elections - news you need to know
11 Julius Malema quotes you'll never forget
DA won't get 30% - Zille
The EFF's ad was banned, see why
  • Thursday Kenilworth - 12:59 PM
    Road name: M5 Northbound
    DELAYS between Ottery Road and Race Course Road
  • Thursday Brackenfell - 12:39 PM
    Road name: Frans Conradie Drive Eastbound
    SLOW TRAFFIC approaching Okovango Road
More traffic reports...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Fashion Editor

Western Cape
New Media Publishing (PTY) Ltd
Market Related

Financial Administrator

Western Cape
Peoplefinder Career Placements
Market Related

Corporate Office Cleaners Wanted

Western Cape
Dymasize (Pty) Ltd
R4500 - R5000

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now! - shop online today

24 hour sale- 30% off beauty products

Today only, get 30% on all hair care, skincare, selected cosmetics and fragrances. Offer expires midnight 24 April. While stocks last. Shop now!

Mother’s Day special offers!

Spoil mom with these awesome specials that will warm her heart. Shop now!

Twisp – the smoking alternative

Buy any 2 refills for R250 and save R149. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Mother’s Day specials on appliances

Browse our range of Mother’s Day appliances to spoil and pamper mom. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

BlackBerry Bold 9790

Bold Design The BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone combines the iconic BlackBerry...

From R2979.00

I'm shopping for:


You may be more sensitive today and can be influenced easily by the energies around you. Try not to be swayed too much by more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.