Bathabile Dlamini started as deputy minister in the department in 2008 and took the reins as minister in 2010. Her department secured a clean audit for 2013-2014 and she won praise from the auditor general for spending 99% of her R118-billion budget allocation.
Not all was good news, however.
The department was discredited by news that about R10-million had been needlessly spent by the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) on hiring bodyguards to protect senior departmental officials. There were also reports of irregular spending by Sassa.
The R10-billion contract Sassa awarded to Cash Paymaster Services was found by the Constitutional Court – in a case lodged by the losing bidder, Allpay – to be "constitutionally invalid" and is sure to leave a poisoned legacy. Dlamini needs to clamp down on fraud and corruption, and on unscrupulous microlenders who prey on those collecting their old-age pensions.
The National Adoption Coalition of South Africa found that only 1 699 adoptions took place in 2013, from 2 840 in 2004. Potential foster parents say the adoption process is cumbersome and frustrating and is an indictment on Dlamini's department. Of the 16-million social grant beneficiaries, more than 11-million are children.
She has been criticised for not supporting non-profit organisations, which carry out most of the work that is constitutionally part of her portfolio.
Dlamini has launched Project Mikondzo, however, which is aimed at improving and strengthening the role of these organisations to deliver better services.
It would also seem she has not learnt from the controversy she courted when her department and Sassa distributed food parcels in the North West a few days before the 2013 Tlokwe by-elections.
At the time, they were accused of using poverty to campaign for the ANC. In the run-up to elections in April this year, the Democratic Alliance accused Sassa and the department of distributing food parcels in Atlantis in the Western Cape to promote the ANC.More On Bathabile Dlamini
|A||Take a bow. You are doing an excellent job.|
|B||Good, but room for improvement.|
|D||Get your act together.|
|E||Do yourself and the country a favour -- resign.|