The mandate of The Presidency is to ensure that the President of South Africa can execute their constitutional responsibilities in leading and galvanising government and society to implement the electoral mandate. Broadly, The Presidency oversees the implementation of the electoral mandate, the National Development Plan (NDP) and government’s 2019‐2024 Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF). The Presidency is situated in the Union Buildings, Pretoria, and has another subsidiary office in Tuynhuys, Cape Town.
The main focus of The Presidency is to give meaning and substance to cooperative and integrated government and unleashing all the capabilities to be found both in the state and through building partnerships across society to build a capable and developmental state.
The department supports the President and Deputy President of South Africa in advancing South Africa’s national interest and foreign policy through strategic bilateral and multilateral meetings, state visits and other international obligations.
Over the medium term, The Presidency was expected to focus on providing leadership and support on the implementation of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP), and advancing South Africa’s regional and global interests. The ERRP is underpinned by a dedicated focus on key economic reforms, particularly in network industries like energy, water, ports and rail, and telecommunications.
The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) pandemic has caused severe damage to global economies, affecting trade, investment, international travel and global supply chains. In South Africa alone, it has created myriad socio-economic challenges and threatened millions of jobs and livelihoods, especially those of the most vulnerable.
In response, government has – in consultation with social partners, labour, businesses and community organisations – developed the ERRP to restore and grow the economy. In guiding the implementation of the plan, The Presidency focuses on coordinating and facilitating various priorities and interventions.
These include stimulus packages to create jobs and support livelihoods; support the reindustrialisation of the economy with a focus on advancing the development of small enterprises in townships and rural areas; and accelerate economic reforms aimed at unlocking investment and growing the economy.
Presidential Employment Stimulus
The Presidential Employment Stimulus, which was launched in 2020, is the largest and fastest scale-up of public employment in South Africa’s history. By mid-2021, the Presidential Employment Stimulus had supported nearly 700 000 job opportunities.
Of these, 422 000 were jobs that had been created or retained, 110 000 were awards issued for livelihoods support, and a further 162 000 were opportunities where awards were underway. Since its inception, this programme has been making a difference in the lives of many South Africans. The stimulus has played a crucial role in supporting vulnerable households to keep working and earning an income, while at the same time benefitting the communities in which they work.
As part of the Presidential Employment Stimulus:
- more than 300 000 education assistants were placed in over 20 000 schools across South Africa. Funding has also been provided to protect vulnerable teaching posts.
- income support is being provided to more than 100 000 workers in the Early Childhood Development sector.
- more than 50 000 opportunities were being created in public employment programmes in the environment sector, including in natural resource management, fire prevention and the war on waste.
- the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure has hired almost 2 000 artisans have been hired by to support water and energy efficiency, facilities management and the Welisizwe Rural Bridges Programme.
- The expansion of the Global Business Services Incentive has enabled the creation of more than 8 000 new jobs in the sector since October 2021.
- More than 100 000 small-scale and subsistence farmers are being provided with input vouchers to expand production.
Project Management Office (PMO)
The PMO supports the delivery of key strategic priorities from the centre of government. It works across government to ensure effective coordination where multiple departments and agencies are involved and provides implementation support where required.
In addition to the Presidential Employment Stimulus, the PMO has been integral to the development of the Presidential Youth Employment Intervention, which was developed before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The backbone of this intervention is a national Pathway Management Network, which brings together a wide range of partners from within and beyond government to provide young people with opportunities for learning and earning.
Young people can join the network through a dedicated mobi-site which has been zero-rated by all mobile networks or by visiting a labour centre or offices of the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) in all nine provinces. Once they have joined the network, they will be able to view and access opportunities and receive active support to participate in the economy. Among other things, the intervention will support new models of skills training linked to employment in fast-growing sectors, to ensure that our skills development system is closely matched to demand in the economy.
Presidential Economic Advisory Council (PEAC)
The PEAC, which was established in 2019, comprises leading local and international economists. Its role is to identify, analyse and make recommendations to the President on key economic issues facing South Africa.
Through formal meetings, bilateral engagements with Ministers and their departments, and open workshops, the advisory council has brought insight and expertise to pressing economic policy challenges such as energy reform and fiscal consolidation.
The interactions have been informed by extensive research and have provided constructive criticism and encouragement for government’s economic policy positions.
The PEAC has six workstreams to align with government’s economic priorities, namely macro-economic dynamics and public investment; poverty, inequality and jobs; agriculture, trade and industrial policy; state capacity and political economy; energy transition and growth; and South Africa’ growth narrative.
Investment and Infrastructure Office
A central pillar of South Africa’s economic recovery is a massive infrastructure investment programme. The work of this office, which is driving a coordinated government approach to both investment and infrastructure development, supported the operationalisation of the Infrastructure Fund in August 2020.
It has also supported the establishment and work of Infrastructure SA, which will enable an integrated approach to the identification, preparation, financing and implementation of major infrastructure projects.
Following the inaugural Sustainable Infrastructure Development Symposium held at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 23 June 2020, a pipeline of 88 projects to the value of more than R2.3 trillion were identified. The interest raised by investors in specific projects led to the gazetting of 50 strategic integrated projects in human settlements, student accommodation, transport, water and sanitation, energy, agriculture and agro-processing, and digital.
They include the Redstone renewable energy project that, once operational, will supply stable electricity to more than 200 000 homes.
By mid-2021, the Investment and Infrastructure Office was working with the private sector to develop the requisite skills in relation to financial and technical engineering. This will enable us to prepare and package projects that can attract funding and financing.
Professionals and experts in project finance, financial structuring of complex infrastructure projects, programme management and infrastructure planning have been seconded to work with the Investment and Infrastructure Office.
This massive infrastructure development effort complements the ambitious investment drive launched in 2018, with a view to attract at least R1.2 trillion in new investment over five years.
In support of this drive, government hosted three South Africa Investment conferences in 2018, 2019 and 2020 respectively, which together raised over R750 billion in investment commitments by mid-2021.
This is a significant achievement, especially since the Third Investment Conference at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg was held in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global economic slowdown.
To accelerate the policy reform trajectory embarked upon before the pandemic, The Presidency inaugurated Operation Vulindlela in 2020 to unlock key economic reforms.
A dedicated team has been set up in The Presidency and National Treasury to drive this initiative. The Vulindlela team is working daily with implementing departments to drive the delivery of priority reforms and build momentum in the reform agenda.
The focus is on a limited number of high-impact reforms in key economic sectors such as energy, water, telecommunications, ports and rail and immigration.
Operation Vulindlela represents a new determination to forge ahead with economic reforms to improve South Africa’s global competitiveness, lower costs and barriers to entry, attract investment and create jobs.
It recognises that the only way to place South Africa on a fundamentally different growth trajectory is to implement structural reforms and by mid-2021, intensive work was underway in a number of areas.
In 2020/21, South Africa assumed chairship of the African Union and the Committee of African Heads of State and Government on Climate Change. It also chairs the Presidential Infrastructure Championship Initiative and the African Peer Review Mechanism. These are strategic positions to consolidate the African Agenda and speed up the implementation of flagship programmes.
Minister in The Presidency
The Minister is responsible for the:
- Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME)
- Statistics South Africa (Stats SA);
- Government Communication and Information System (GCIS);
- Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA); and
- Brand South Africa (Brand SA).
Minister in The Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities
The Minister is responsible for the:
- Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities (DWYPD); and
Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation
The DPME is mandated to:
- support the National Planning Commission;
- facilitate the implementation of the NDP through the development of sector‐specific and outcome‐specific medium‐term plans and delivery agreements, and monitor and evaluate their implementation;
- ensure the alignment of departmental strategic and annual plans and budget allocations with government’s MTSF;
- monitor the performance of individual national and provincial government departments and municipalities, and facilitate targeted intervention programmes;
- monitor frontline service delivery and manage the presidential hotline;
- develop and implement the annual national evaluations plan, and support the national evaluations system; and
- promote good planning, monitoring and evaluation practices in government.
The NDP was adopted as a guide to achieving South Africa’s goals, broadly in terms of socio-economic development, and specifically in terms of eliminating poverty, creating jobs and reducing inequality by 2030.
Over the medium term, the DPME planned to focus on strengthening its planning and budgeting functions to support government priorities, and on strengthening the production of evidence‐based reports to create robust planning, monitoring and evaluation systems.
Evidence‐based planning, monitoring and evaluation is integral to the department’s efforts to facilitate the achievement of government’s plans and priorities. Towards this end, the department will develop and monitor the implementation of a national evaluation plan, and conduct evaluations and research to support planning and monitoring activities.
Over the medium term, the department planned to continue monitoring the implementation of government’s 2019‐2024 MTSF and other key priorities set forth in the ERRP.
Statistics South Africa
Stats SA is a national department accountable to the Minister in The Presidency.
The department’s activities are regulated by the Statistics Act of 1999, which mandates the department to advance the production, dissemination, use and coordination of official and other statistics to assist organs of state, businesses, other organisations and the public in planning, monitoring, policy development and decision‐making.
The Act also requires that the department coordinates statistical production among organs of state, in line with the purpose of official statistics and statistical principles.
Over the medium term, Stats SA was expected to focus on modernising its operating model, strengthening statistical reform and conducting the 2021 national population census. To improve the quality of statistics and turnaround times for releasing them, and to reduce costs, the department has embarked on a process to modernise and automate the statistical value chain through computer‐assisted, personal, telephonic and web interviewing technologies.
The Statistician‐General aimed to drive reform by setting statistical frameworks, standards and classifications for statistical production in the national statistics system as a basis to certify statistics as official.
The implementation of the District Development Model (DDM) was expected to create new demand for statistical information to inform planning, monitoring and evaluation, and decision‐making. This helps the department to unlock and harness the power of statistics in the data ecosystem. Stats SA was expected to undertake a population and housing census, Census 2022, from 2 February 2022.
Government Communication and Information System
The mandate of the GCIS is derived from Section 195(g) of the Constitution, which stipulates that the public should be provided with information that is timely, accurate and accessible. This is in support of the constitutional principles of freedom of expression, and transparent and open governance. The department is responsible for providing strategic leadership and coordinating government communication to ensure that the public are informed, and have access to government programmes and policies that benefit them.
Over the medium term, the GCIS planned to continue focusing on providing and facilitating strategic government communication, and encouraging active citizen participation. It supports all government departments in conceptualising cohesive campaigns, developing communications strategies and content, disseminating information and engaging stakeholders.
The department enhances delivery of these core services by harnessing various communications structures, such as social media, to reach and provide information to more South Africans.
The GCIS keeps communities and stakeholders abreast of government’s progress with the implementation of the DDM, which aims to improve the coherence and impact of development in 44 districts and eight metropolitan municipalities across the country. It holds community and stakeholder liaison visits and development communication projects.
The department’s outreach programme us talk shows on community radio and television stations, activations at taxi ranks and malls, commuter train blitzes, izimbizo and door‐to‐door campaigns. These activities allow the department to interact with communities, and often provide an early warning for any societal issues or discontent.
To make the public aware of the opportunities created by government, in line with its key priorities, the GCIS planned to publish 15.3 million copies of the Vuk’uzenzele newspaper per year over the medium term.
Among other things, the GCIS is responsible for maintaining government’s website (www.gov.za), which provides general information about government.
Among other products, the GCIS publishes the South Africa Yearbook, Official Guide to South Africa (formerly Pocket Guide to South Africa), Vuk’uzenzele newspaper, Public Sector Manager magazine and My District Today newsletter.
It is also responsible for the South African Government News Agency, SAnews.gov.za.
The Thusong Service Centre Programme enables communities to access government information and services. Thusong Service Centres are one-stop centres providing integrated services and information from government and other civil society groups, to communities close to where they live as part of a comprehensive strategy to better their lives.
They also enable communities to access opportunities offered by other civilsociety groups such as businesses, non-governmental organisations and parastatals. The GCIS also gathers public opinion, research and analysis of media coverage to understand the communications environment and to inform government messages.
The department provides media bulk-buying services, which are designed to reduce the cost to government on advertising; facilitate a rapid response mechanism to hasten government’s response to issues arising in the media; and provide media production services to support other government departments.
Providing and facilitating strategic government communications
One of the key functions of the GCIS is to provide the public with information about government policies, plans, programmes and activities. The department uses its Vuk’uzenzele newspaper and weekly newsletter, My District Today, to disseminate information that empowers South African communities to participate in government programmes.
Information published in Vuk’uzenzele newspaper, which is also made available in Braille, focuses on key government priorities such as service delivery and rural development projects, and publishes advertisements for vacant government posts.
The department provides guidance and assistance to government communicators on how to develop communications strategies and better understand the broader communications environment. In support of deepening its relations with the media, the department also drives a proactive and reactive media liaison strategy by hosting cluster and Cabinet media briefings, and communicating with the public through activities such as door‐to‐door visits, and community workshops and gatherings, in all provinces.
The department aimed to reduce government’s cost of advertising in the media over the medium term while maintaining the visibility of its communications campaigns.
This entails providing bulk-buying services to other government departments for media advertising; media production services such as photographic and video products and services; and live radio products and services such as advertisements, the hosting of talk shows and the compilation of voice‐overs.
The department manages the interface between government and commercial and community media, and provides support to Cabinet through regular media briefings in which the decisions of the executive are communicated to the public.
The GCIS has embraced the move towards the Fourth Industrial Revolution by adopting new technology to deliver government’s messages to citizens in more creative and interactive ways, such as the use of more communications content on government websites and social media platforms.
Facilitating active citizen participation
The GCIS is committed to aligning provincial and local communications strategies with the national communication strategy framework. This entails providing information on government services directly to communities through outreach campaigns in high‐traffic areas such as taxi ranks, shopping malls and commuter trains, as well as talk shows on community radio and television stations.
The department planned to continue the Imbizo programme, which facilitates interactions between political principals and the public, and develops content for print and electronic products, including leaflets during the State of the Nation Address.
Media Development and Diversity Agency
The core activities of the MDDA are to provide financial and non‐financial support to community broadcast and small commercial media projects, with an emphasis on promoting indigenous languages and contributing to community development and the alleviation of poverty and inequality.
Over the medium term, the agency aimed to intensify its focus on serving communities that are typically sidelined by the mainstream media, and addressing pressing societal issues.
To ensure the sustainability of the community media sector, the MDDA planned to ensure that the initiatives in which it invests support skills development and social upliftment.
The agency was expected to also invest in three research projects per year over the medium term to develop a sustainability model for community and small commercial media projects.
Brand South Africa
Brand South Africa works to improve South Africa’s global competitiveness index ranking, boost business confidence in the country, and improve the country’s reputation in the region and the world.
Over the medium term, the entity planned to intensify its efforts to promote South Africa as an investment destination of choice by showcasing the range of investment opportunities on offer.
The entity aimed to conduct four marketing campaigns per year over the period ahead that illustrate the attractiveness of investing in the nation brand to domestic audiences.
Investments in international media partnerships are expected to ensure the dissemination of this message through the global market programme, which will be implemented in key African and global strategic markets.
To provide stakeholders with a better understanding of the nation brand, the entity will continue to commission and subscribe to key research indexes, which provide insights on both domestic and global investor perceptions.
Department of Women, Youth and Persons with disabilities
The DWYPD derives its mandate from Section 9(3) of the Constitution. The department is required to champion socio-economic transformation and the empowerment and participation of women, youth and people with disabilities through mainstreaming, advocacy, and monitoring and evaluation.
Over the medium term, the DWYPD will continue to focus on reducing the incidence of gender‐based violence and femicide (GBVF) and strengthening the national response to it; and promoting the inclusion of women, youth and people with disabilities in the economy and society more broadly.
Addressing GBV and supporting empowerment
In its efforts to mitigate and prevent violence against women and children, the DWYPD planned to launch the National Council on GBVF in 2021 to lead and guide the national response. The council’s work will complement programmes undertaken by the department, the Commission for Gender Equality and the DPME.
The department continues to advocate and assess the gender‐responsiveness of government programmes by analysing other departments’ plans and performance against priority indicators and targets for gender development.
The DWYPD has also partnered with the Department of Social Development, United Nations (UN) Population Fund and WaterAid to ensure Menstrual Hygiene Management is accessible to vulnerable women and girls.
Promoting the rights of people with disabilities
Over the medium-term period, the department aimed to develop the National Disability Rights Bill, and finalise frameworks for awareness campaigns on disability rights, the self‐representation of persons with disabilities, the professionalization and coordination of disability rights in the public sector, universal access and reasonable accommodation support.
These initiatives are in line with the recommendations of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
National Youth Development Agency
The NYDA’s role is to initiate, implement, facilitate and monitor development interventions aimed at facilitating the participation of young people in the economy, empowering them, and promoting social cohesion. It derives its mandate from the NYDA Act of 2008.
Over the medium-term period, the agency planned to focus on providing comprehensive interventions to support decent employment, skills development and entrepreneurship for young people.
This will include partnering with different sectors to provide training in technical and vocational skills through sector education and training authorities, providing grants to young people for enterprise development and coordinating the national youth service programmes.
NYDA projects include enhancing the participation of young people in the economy; ensuring that they serve their communities to build the spirit of patriotism, solidarity, social cohesion and unity in diversity; and to help them find employment through jobs programmes.
The agency was expected to provide support services to enable young people to gain direct access to markets and relevant entrepreneurial skills, and provide financial and non‐financial support.