Responsibilities of the Deputy President
11 March 2011
In terms of the Constitution the Deputy President (DP) is appointed to support the President in executing the mandate and functions of government. Broadly, he gives political leadership (takes special interest) in the:
· Pursuit of building a developmental state and the fostering of social cohesion through defined programmatic interventions;
· Identification and unlocking of constraints to the creation of work opportunities and the elimination of poverty which is perpetuated by joblessness, lack of skills and poor social capital; and
· Selected Cabinet Committees (such as Justice, Crime Prevention and Security as well as Governance Administration).
During this current term of office, in addition to any other functions that the President may assign to the Deputy President, the Deputy President has the responsibility to lead the following functions:
Cabinet Committees delegated to the Deputy President include:
- Justice Crime Prevention and Security
- Social Protection (including Human Capital)
- Governance & Administration
Special programmes and projects
- Anti-Poverty Programme including War on Poverty Campaign
- Energy Advisory Council
- Human Resource Development Council
- International Relations & Cooperation
- Leader of Government Business
- South African National AIDS Council (SANAC)
- Social Cohesion: Moral Regeneration Movement & engagement of Traditional, Religious, Linguistic & Communities
Anti-Poverty Programme including War on Poverty Campaign
Eradication of poverty is the cornerstone of this government’s Programme of Action and the Deputy President will lead us in championing the fight against poverty.
The programme retains elements of the short-term War on Poverty Campaign which seeks to intervene and address the plight of indigent households. This will see the President, Deputy President and other members of the Executive visiting households mostly affected by poverty and working with them to find short, medium and long term solutions.
The plan primarily focuses on:
· Accelerated provision of Social Infrastructure e.g. schools & clinics,
· Pursuing universal access to basic services such as water & electricity,
· Successful rollout of the Expanded Public Works Programme to create work opportunities,
· Accelerating Community Works Programme (incl. non-state sector),
· Improving access to micro financing,
· Skills development through initiatives like FET colleges recapitalisation, vocational training & enhanced/remodelled learnerships (creating second chance opportunities for school drop-outs),
Energy Advisory Council
Although the national grid has stabilised, reserve margins continue to concern government & stakeholders. Government is therefore working with stakeholders to promote responsible use of energy and sustainable ways of future energy generation.
The Council’s main focus is on:
· Collective leadership of Eskom’s recovery programme
· Leading efforts to reach agreement on Pricing Policy
· Sustaining national electrification commitments
· Finding ways to cushion the poor from higher tariffs
· Leading efforts to accelerate Demand Side Management interventions
· Giving a national profile to renewable energy sources initiatives
Government has issued regulations under the Energy Act, which will facilitate energy efficiency through tax breaks that are commensurate with the savings that a company achieves. Although the Eskom power station is on track, the procurement process under REFIT will also commence in order to introduce power from investors, other than Eskom.
Human Resource Development (HRD) Council
The HRD Council is a multiple-stakeholder Council that leads and oversees the pursuit of commitments, strategic objectives & HRD Strategy targets. The HRD Council determines the agenda for scarce and priority skills. The Council comprises senior leaders & experts from across sectors including:
o Organised labour
o SA FET College Principals
o Higher Education South Africa
o State Owned Enterprises & Science Councils
o Departments of Higher Education and basic Education
o Other relevant government departments
The Deputy President will engage relevant stakeholders on the envisaged relationship between the HRD Council & the National Planning Commission
International Relations & Cooperation
The Deputy President plays a significant role in South Africa’s international relations programmes. The Deputy President Co-chairs a number of bi-national commissions formed with countries with which South Africa has strategic relations. The Deputy President works closely with the International Relations and Co-operation Department in strengthening and consolidating and bilateral relations with other countries.
Leader of Governemnt Business (LoGB)
In terms of the Constitution the President appoints a Member of his Cabinet to be the Leader of Government Business in the National Assembly. Currently, the Deputy President has been assigned this task. According to the National Assembly Guide of 2004, this office-bearer is ex officio member of the Assembly Programme & the Joint Program Committees. The Leader of Government Business is responsible for:
o The affairs of the national Executive in Parliament;
o Liaison between the Executive & Parliament;
o The programming of parliamentary business initiated by the national Executive, within the time allocated for that purpose;
o Arranging attendance of Cabinet members, as appropriate, in respect of parliamentary business generally; and
o Performing any other function provided for by the Joint Rules or a resolution of the Assembly or the Council or resolution adopted by both Houses
During this term of office the Leader of Government Business will focus on:
o Improving the quality of the Legislative Programme. This entails prioritization of Bills by Departments, setting of realistic timeframes for developing & processing legislation & ensuring meaningful stakeholder consultation.
o Building stronger relations between the Executive & the Legislature;
o Building stronger relations between the Executive & political parties represented in Parliament;
o Encouraging Ministers to respond promptly to matters raised by Parliament e.g. Parliamentary Questions & Reports to the NA, NCOP;
o Improving quality of legislation thus minimizing come backs & litigation; and
o Improving political management of the Legislative Programme through regular interaction with Presiding Officers, Whips, Committee Chairs & Opposition Party Leaders
South African National AIDS Council (SANAC)
The Deputy President chairs SANAC and is also the head of the Presidential Task Team on HIV and Aids. The activities of both structures are informed by the extent of the problem and the challenges that HIV and Aids and TB pose to our society.
South Africa’s response to the epidemics takes into account the need for the involvement of all sectors, and for the strengthening of partnership between government and civil society. The South African National Aids Council embodies the concept of partnership, and comprises 17 government representatives and 16 from civil society.
o Strengthening partnership through SANAC and its structures;
o Strengthening & profiling the work of provincial & district structures where actual delivery takes place;
o Guiding the public HIV and AIDS campaigns aimed at achieving meaningful behaviour change especially among the youth; and
o Supporting NGOs to access funds to implement programmes
The Deputy President provides leadership in the areas of traditional, religious, cultural and linguistic affairs, which are key areas in promoting national unity in the country. The Deputy President will assist the President in leading efforts in engaging with traditional, religious & linguistic communities.”
· Whereas CGTA will heighten its focus on governance matters concerning traditional authorities, the Presidency sustains its interaction with traditional leaders in pursuit of socio-economic transformation objectives set out in the manifesto of the mandating party
· The Religious community is among the largest organized segments of civil society. This presents opportunities for direct as well as meaningful interaction in pursuit of moral regeneration, anti-poverty and social cohesion objectives
· Promotion of all official languages remains a strategic transformation objective hence the significance of political championship from the centre of government. Language policies in public institutions are often contested and has the potential to divide communities or hamper access to services/rights
· It is these communities / sectors of society that can drive targeted social inclusion initiatives that complement the work of government, the private sector and other civil society formations
Moral Regeneration is a nation-building programme undertaken by Government and civil society, aimed at promoting human rights, ethical behaviour and the values enshrined in the Constitution.
The Moral Regeneration Movement (MRM) involves various sectors of society and has forged a strong partnership with Government in the campaign to restore the moral fibre of society. The philosophy of the MRM is that effective actions and campaigns towards moral renewal should be rooted at grassroots level.