Provincial Departments

The Free State provincial government comprises of the Office of the Premier and ten provincial departments.

Office of the Premier

The Premier has executive, policy, legislative, intergovernmental and ceremonial functions and responsibilities as defined in Chapter 6 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. He is the political head of the provincial government and also the executive authority of the Office of the Premier. The Director-General serves as the Head of Department of the Office of the Premier and is responsible for the execution of duties and responsibilities as derived from, inter alia, the Public Service Act and the Public Finance Management Act. This includes administrative leadership, planning, monitoring, coordination and delivery in accordance with the Public Service Act, 1994 as amended, together with the regulations.

Agriculture and Rural Development

The functional responsibility of Rural Development was assigned to the former Department of Agriculture in 2010 and the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development came into being.  The executive authority of the Department is vested in the responsible Member of the Executive Council whilst two Heads of Departments are responsible for each of the functional areas, namely the HOD: Agriculture and the HOD: Rural Development. The Agriculture component focuses on Sustainable Resource Management, Farmer Development and Support, Veterinary Services, Research, Technology and Development Services, Agricultural Economics and Structured Agricultural Training. The focus of the Rural Development component includes the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP), the War on Poverty and the National Rural Youth Services Corps (NARYSEC).

Cooperative Governance, Traditional Affairs & Human Settlements

The Department was formerly known as the Department of Local Government and Housing and was reconfigured after the 2009 general elections to constitute the Department of Cooperative Governance, Traditional Affairs and Human Settlements. The executive authority of the Department is vested in the responsible Member of the Executive Council whilst two Heads of Departments are responsible for each of the functional areas, namely the HOD: Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs and the HOD: Human Settlements.

The scope of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs include the coordination of inter-governmental relations between the provincial and local spheres of government, the Municipal Infrastructure Grant (MIG) programme, Local Economic Development, the Community Works Programme and Operation Clean Audit. The Traditional Affairs component includes the establishment and functionality of the Free State House of Traditional Leaders and the respective Traditional Councils. The Land Use Advisory Board (previously the Townships Board) reports to the MEC. The programmes of Human Settlements include Housing Needs, Research and Planning, Housing Development, Implementation, Planning and Targets and Housing Assets Management. It is also responsible for the implementation of the national Integrated Housing and Human Settlements Development Grant in the Free State.

Education

The Department of Education is responsible to provide an education system that is free, compulsory, universal and equal for all children of the Free State Province. The executive authority of the Department is vested in the responsible Member of the Executive Council with a Superintendent-General being the responsible Head of Department. Programmes of the Department of Education include Public Ordinary School Education, Independent School Subsidies, Public Special School Education, Further Education and Training, Adult Basic Education and Training, Early Childhood Development and Auxiliary and Associated Services, e.g. the National School Nutrition Programme, HIV/AIDS and national and provincial infrastructure grants.

Economic, Small Business Development, Tourism & Environmental Affairs

The executive authority of the Department is vested in the responsible Member of the Executive Council with responsible Head of Department serving as the accounting officer.  Three functional areas fall within the mandate of the Department, namely Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs. Programmes of the Department Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs include Environmental Affairs (Environmental Quality Management, Environmental Policy, Coordination Planning and Empowerment, Compliance and Enforcement and Biodiversity Management) and Economic Development (Integrated Economic Planning and Development, Sector Development, Business Regulation and Governance and Tourism Support). The Department is also responsible for the Free State Development Corporation, the Free State Gambling and Liquor Authority and the Free State Tourism Authority.

Health

The Department of Health is responsible for providing quality, accessible and comprehensive health services through a family and community -based Primary Health Care (PHC) approach to the Free State community. The executive authority of the Department is vested in the responsible Member of the Executive Council with responsible Head of Department serving as the accounting officer. The programmes of the Department include; District Health Services, Emergency Medical (and Rescue) Services, Provincial Hospitals, Central and Tertiary Hospitals, Health Sciences and Training, Health Care Support Services and Health Facilities Management.

Police, Roads and Transport

The Department of Police, Roads and Transport was established following the re-assignment of the functions of roads and transport from the former Department of Public Works, Roads and Transport to the former Department of Public Safety, Security and Liaison.  The executive authority of the Department is vested in the responsible Member of the Executive Council with responsible Head of Department serving as the accounting officer. Programmes of the Department include Civilian Oversight, Crime Prevention and Community Police Relations, Public and Freight Management, Traffic Management and Roads Infrastructure.

Provincial Treasury

Provincial Treasury derives its mandate, core functions and responsibilities from the Public Finance Management Act, (Act 1 of 1999), as amended and Municipal Finance Management Act (Act 56 of 2003). The executive authority of the Department is vested in the responsible Member of the Executive Council with responsible Head of Department serving as the accounting officer. The programmes of Provincial Treasury include Sustainable Resource Management, Asset and Liability Management as well as Financial Governance.

Public Works & Infrastructure

Following the 2009 general elections, the functional area of Rural Development was assigned to the Department of Public Works.  The rural development function was, however re-assigned to the Department of Agriculture in 2010.  The executive authority of the Department is vested in the responsible Member of the Executive Council with responsible Head of Department serving as the accounting officer. The programmes of the Department of Public Works include Public Works (Works Design, Construction and Maintenance, Property Management and Security Services) and the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP).

Social Development

The main aim of the Department is to deliver an integrated developmental welfare service to the vulnerable, to provide sustainable development programmes which facilitate empowerment of communities, and to render residential care and integrated developmental services to children in need of care, older and frail persons. This is in partnership with the non-government, community-based and faith-based organizations to which the department award financial assistance. The executive authority of the Department is vested in the responsible Member of the Executive Council with responsible Head of Department serving as the accounting officer.

The programme of the Department of Social Development include Social Welfare Services such as Substance Abuse, Prevention and Rehabilitation, Care and Services to Older Persons, Social Crime Prevention and Support, Persons with Disabilities, Child Care and Protection Services, Victim Empowerment, HIV and AIDS, Social Relief and Services to Families. It also includes Development and Research Services, including youth development, sustainable livelihoods and population capacity development and advocacy.

Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation

The main aim of the Department is the promotion, development and transformation of sport, arts, culture and recreation in order to contribute to sustainable economic growth and opportunities; nation building; good governance; and social and human capital development. The executive authority of the Department is vested in the responsible Member of the Executive Council with responsible Head of Department serving as the accounting officer. Programmes of the Department include Cultural Affairs, Library and Archive Services and Sport and Recreation.