PRETORIA: The Ministry for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation has, since its establishment, introduced a range of performance monitoring and evaluation practices that have made government effective, President Jacob Zuma said.
Replying to questions asked in the National Assembly on Thursday, Zuma said one of the key roles that the ministry had played was to facilitate the putting in place and monitoring of delivery agreements for the 12 priority outcomes. The delivery agreements were completed by November 2010, and since then Cabinet has been receiving quarterly progress reports from the coordinating ministers for each of the outcomes.
Zuma pointed out that the Ministries and Departments of Basic Education, Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, as well as the Police were responsible for three of the outcomes.
They included "quality basic education" and "a responsive, accountable, effective and efficient local government system".
"For all of these outcomes, there has been progress and there are challenges still remaining," Zuma said.
He said with regard to basic education, there have been improvements in the matric pass rate and 90% of the target population was now in Grade R. However, average literacy and numeracy levels as measured by the Annual National Assessments remained unacceptably low.
There were still problems with the timeous distribution of textbooks at provincial level; and there was still some under-expenditure of school infrastructure budgets.
"Similarly with regard to reducing crime, since 2009 there has been a steady decrease in overall serious crime, contact and trio crime, but despite this, the levels of serious crime are still too high."
Zuma said there were remaining challenges in improving the detection of crime and ensuring higher rates of convictions, especially those of perpetrators of serious and violent crime. With regard to local government, since 2009 there have been improvements in access to water, sanitation and electricity infrastructure, but there were concerns regarding the operation and maintenance of this infrastructure in some municipalities and there has been insufficient progress in improving municipal audit outcomes.