General Cele on SAPS Property Management, Leases and Building Police Stations

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02 September 2010
Chairperson: Ms L Chikunga (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Before the presentation, the Committee asked questions about the 18 May presentation. They raised concerns about the recent resignations and early retirements of Generals Hamilton Hlela, Stefanus Terblanche and Matthews Siwundla from the Supply Chain Management unit, as well as Divisional Commissioner Piet Du Toit from Forensic Services Division. The Committee said it welcomed the President’s decision to have the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) investigate the Department of Police. The questions stemmed from SAPS presentation of 18 May 2010.

Members had hoped they would receive an explanation on why SAPS had extended a lease for ten years for a second accommodation for SAPS headquarters for an amount of R500 million. They also wanted to know how much SAPS had paid for the use of consultants to date. The Committee asked for the number of police stations built since 1994 and the cost to build them, and if the Memorandum of Understanding which gave SAPS the power to build police stations, was signed between the DoP and the Department of Public Works (DPW). The Committee noted that the DPW had built many more police stations than SAPS and it took SAPS 4-6 years to build one police station and the cost of building was much higher than that of the DPW. The costs that SAPS incurred when building were unacceptably high. Why should SAPS be given the responsibility of building police stations when their performance was so unsatisfactory? Members asked why three resignations from the Supply Chain Management division had taken place and what would happen if the SIU investigation found they were implicated in wrongdoing. The Committee noted a planned maintenance fund of R30 000 for station commanders for day-to-day maintenance of stations. However, Committee oversight visits of a number of police stations painted a completely different picture with station commanders waiting ages to get permission to do minor repairs.

The Committee wanted to know if SAPS had provided proof that they could afford the R500 million lease in addition to their current liabilities. Members noted that 271 stations had been fully devolved from the DPW to SAPS and 56 more stations would be devolved in the next financial year. SAPS did not have the capacity to take on this responsibility as research showed that the costs that SAPS incurred for building police stations were too high and completion took too long. Also based on the number of consultants that SAPS used, it was clear that this was true.

A Member suggested that questions on leases could jeopardise the work of the SIU - there would be time for questions once the SIU investigation was complete. Another Member argued that only subjects that were sub judice were not allowed to be discussed in Parliament. The matters were still under investigation, but they were not sub judice. The National Commissioner said that many of their questions and concerns would be addressed in the presentation.

The South African Police Service briefing at this meeting on property management looked at supply chain management challenges and guiding principles for interventions, the devolution of custodial functions from Public Works to SAPS, and service level agreements with other departments. It compared capital works projects executed by Public Works and SAPS, how it prioritised the need for new police stations (immoveable assets) and the current backlog and funding for police stations and other facilities, site acquisition, contract bidding, station construction cost comparison, Eastern Cape radio upgrading and forensic science laboratories. It also provided information on all its leases and its lease reduction plan, the process for planned and unplanned maintenance and the backlog plus the way forward to improve matters.

Members commented that based on the presentation, many questions could not be answered because SAPS was in total chaos. Three people had already left the Supply Chain Management unit. They wondered how many others in the unit would be forced to leave so it could start to function properly. It would have assist the Committee if SAPS had given timeframes for the completion of projects. They said it was unfortunate that the National Commissioner had been appointed in July 2009 but was only finding out now the situation in SAPS. The Committee asked how the R30 000 maintenance fee was accessed so they could tell police stations how to do this. Members were glad the SCM presentation acknowledged the mistakes SAPS had made; however, it did not clarify the medium and long term approach to resolve the problems. The backlog for building police stations was huge. Next year, 59 more stations would devolve to SAPS. There were over 800 stations that still had to be devolved to SAPS. The Committee should not allow this to happen. SAPS was asked how it could have told the Minister that they had the capacity to build and maintain police stations. SAPS obviously did not. Any entity that needed the help of consultants did not have in house expertise. The Committee did not understand why SAPS insisted on building its own police stations. It was clear that the SAPS building services section could not do its job. Members hoped that this function would be re-assessed. The core function of SAPS was to fight crime, not to build police stations. It was clear that SAPS was unable to build police stations faster or more cost effectively than the DPW.

Meeting report

Opening Remarks
The Chairperson congratulated the South African Police Service (SAPS) for their good work during the FIFA World Cup. SAPS was also commended for submitting their presentation well before the meeting, allowing Members had plenty of time to study the document.

The Chairperson said that the Committee welcomed President Zuma's decision to investigate the Department of Police (DoP). When responding to questions in the National Assembly on 1 September, the Minister said the DoP had requested the President to include SAPS in the list of departments for investigation by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU). The SIU and the Hawks would be investigating Supply Chain Management (SCM). She wished that the SAPS Forensic Science Services unit had been included in the list of units for investigation. Forensic Science Services had informed the Committee earlier this year that a machine called “Marshall”, worth millions of Rands, had been dismantled and the parts used to repair other machines. How was it possible that this had been allowed to happen? If one visited the Forensic Science Laboratories (FSL), one saw equipment worth millions of Rands still sitting in their boxes, not being used.

Members were surprised that there had been so many SAPS resignations in such a short period. The Committee had visited Pretoria earlier in the year and had asked certain questions about the SCM, which were not answered properly. Shortly after the visit, Divisional Commissioner Piet Du Toit, Head of Criminal Record and Forensic Science Services (SAPS), resigned. The President then called for the investigations of SCM and SETAs. Shortly after this announcement, Generals Hamilton Hlela, Stefanus Terblanche and Matthews Siwundla from the SCM unit resigned or took early retirement. She wondered what would happen if the findings of the investigation implicated any of these individuals. It could be a coincidence that people started resigning or taking early retirement just as Members of Parliament started asking questions. What were the conditions of these retirements and resignations? Were exit interviews conducted and what were the reasons cited for the retirements and resignations?

She hoped the Committee would receive an explanation for the R500 million lease for a second accommodation for SAPS Headquarters. What happened? The contract for the building was supposed to end this year. Now, the Committee was told the lease had been renewed for another ten years. Who owned the building and how much was the rent in the previous contract. How much was DoP paying now? The Committee had also been informed DoP was going to build their Headquarters using a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model. Why did DoP change their minds and were any costs incurred due to the change? Members were given a list of consultants for the new head office building to be established through PPP. She wanted to know how much DoP had paid the consultants to date and the status was of the new Head Office PPP project in light of the new lease agreement.

On 18 May 2010, the Committee had met with the National Commissioner of Police, General Bheki Cele, and a delegation from DoP to discuss property management within SAPS. After Members questioned SAPS, General Cele requested the meeting be postponed to a later date so DoP could prepare itself properly to answer the questions and concerns raised by Members. Today’s meeting was a continuation of that meeting. The document received in the previous meeting would be used along with the document prepared for this meeting. She would allow Members to ask questions stemming from the last presentation.

Discussion on 18 May 2010 SAPS Briefing
Mr V Ndlovu (IFP) asked how many police stations had been built since 1994 and how much it had cost to build them. When was the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between DoP and the Department of Public Works (DPW) signed, which gave SAPS the powers to build police stations? He was interested to know what happened to the R1 billion used for building in the Eastern Cape.

Rev K Meshoe (ACDP) stated that only 100 police stations had been built since 1994 between DPW and SAPS. The DPW had built more police stations than SAPS. It took SAPS 4-6 years to build one police station and it cost SAPS much more than when the DPW built a station. Why did it take SAPS so long to build a police station? The costs that SAPS incurred when building were unacceptably high. Between 2007 and 2008, SAPS did not build any police stations while the DPW built four. Between 2008 and 2009, SAPS did not build any stations while the DPW built seven more. He wondered if government would receive value for money if SAPS performance was so disappointing. Why should SAPS have the responsibility of building police stations when their performance has been so unsatisfactory?

Ms D Kohler-Barnard (DA) asked why the three resignations from the SAPS Supply Chain Management division took place. She believed that they had been given “golden handshakes”. She wanted details on why these people were paid to leave. DPW had sourced the building in Pretoria for SAPS to move into while the current SAPS building was being renovated. SAPS had not yet moved into the building, but rent was being paid for it at approximately R2 million a month. The building has been empty for the past eight months. She asked for clarity on the matter.

Mr M George (DA) addressed the matter of the three resignations. He asked if they had resigned or if they were pushed out. He also wanted to know to what extent consultants were used by DoP. There was talk of a planned maintenance policy for police stations. When was it going to be finalised?

Ms M Molebatsi (ANC) asked what would happen to the three people who resigned from SAPS if it was found in the investigation that they were implicated in any wrongdoing.

Mr G Schneeman (ANC) referred to the 18 May presentation which gave the Committee a list of police stations to be completed in the 2010/11 financial year. Would these stations be completed on time? The 18 May meeting indicated there was R30 000 maintenance budget available to station commanders to do day-to-day maintenance of stations. The Committee had visited a number of police stations and the picture on the ground was completely different. Members were told it took station commanders ages to get permission to do minor repairs. He asked for an explanation.

Ms D Schafer (DA) asked what process station commanders had to go through to claim the R30 000. When the needs assessment report was signed by the National Commissioner for the R500 million lease agreement, what proof was given that DoP could afford to pay this amount in addition to their current liabilities? How much was the monthly rental for the new building per square metre?

Mr G Lekgetho (ANC) addressed the matter of prioritising projects. Certain areas had been prioritised in terms of acquiring police stations, but these stations had never been built. There was no system within DoP that prioritised projects.

Ms A van Wyk (ANC) noted SAPS reported 271 stations had been fully devolved to them. The 18 May presentation stated more stations would be devolved to SAPS. Today’s presentation listed 56 stations to be devolved over the next financial year. Was the plan to have all the police stations fully under the control of SAPS? Did SAPS have the capacity for this? The Committee believed SAPS was unable to take on this responsibility. According to the Government Immovable Assets Management Act (GIAMA), all government departments were required to have a proper plan in place. She asked why it was necessary for DoP to use a consultant to draw up the plan. Did DoP not have the capacity to draft the plan in-house? The Committee knew the plan was drafted by consultants; however, they did not know if the plan was ever adopted and implemented. If it was not implemented yet, by when would it be fully implemented? At this point, DoP was not adhering to the Act. How much had it cost DoP to employ the consultant?

She said the reason it was important for the Committee to know if a plan was in place for building police stations was because Members had picked up contradictions in the presentation. Some stations reported that they had finished construction; however, they still appeared on the list of projects that had to be completed. There were contradictions in the 18 May presentation. Research showed that the costs that SAPS incurred for building police stations were too high and they were taking a long time to complete the stations. She wished that he had brought more DoP management to the meeting, as the Committee needed top management to answer some of the questions and concerns. The DPW took 2-3 years to build police stations on average. Some of the stations built by SAPS took six years to complete. The Committee had to know if SAPS had the capacity to complete the task they were given. When the previous SAPS management made this agreement, they assured the Committee they had the capacity to take on the responsibility of building police stations. The Committee needed to know if this was true. From the number of consultants that SAPS was using, it was clear that it was not.

The Chairperson added some of the cost escalations for building police stations did not make sense. A lot of the actual costs for building the police stations exceeded their estimated costs. On 19 April 2006, DoP sent an information note to the DPW signed by Generals Hlela, Siwundla and Terblanche. The note said DoP had the necessary core expertise such as architects, engineers and quantity surveyors for the building of police stations. It seemed the note was supposed to be sent to the DPW as a condition to show DoP had capacity to build the stations. DoP was not supposed to be using consultants in excess. It seemed approximately 18% of the funds for construction of police stations was being used for consultancy fees. The Committee needed proper figures on this matter. Why was DoP using consultants for every project when the note said DoP had such expertise in-house? She noted some of the information contained in the 18 May 2010 presentation was inaccurate. For example, SAPS reported a police station completed in the 2004/05 financial year when in actual fact, it was completed in 2003. The Committee was not sure if the inaccurate reporting was done on purpose. Melkbosstrand Police Station was reported to have been completed in the 2006/07 financial year, but it was actually completed on 10 June 2005. Why the inaccurate reporting? Were SAPS misleading Parliament on purpose? The Committee needed more information on the matter.

Ms van Wyk added SAPS seemed to be reporting estimated expenditure figures to the Committee as if they were the actual costs. This was another example of inaccurate reporting. It meant Members had to go and look for the actual information, which should not be necessary. SAPS was lying to Parliament.

Gen Cele answered that some of these questions would be answered in today’s presentation.

Gen Cele explained that three people had resigned and there were people acting in place of these commissioners. The head of the forensics division, Mr Du Toit, had also resigned. The person acting in his place had since reported that five people had already been suspended from that division. A thorough investigation was being conducted by the Hawks.
He said that when he first started as National Commissioner, he had been brought a document that had to be signed. The document contained the details and the costs of the new headquarters for the police, where everyone would be housed. The building was going to be huge, as it had to house approximately 18 000 people. He had been taken to see a plot near the Correctional Services Department building and told it was a PPP project. He was given a document to sign but he chose not to sign it because he wanted further information on the headquarters. He thought it would be better to spend the money on nicer police stations instead of a huge headquarters for the police. He was told the PPP did not like this. The matter was not raised again after he had asked that question. The issue just seemed to fade away.

Immediately after that, another document was sent to his office requiring his signature. The document spoke of renovations to the Minister's office as well as his office amounting to R12 million. He was told R8 million would be used for renovations, while R4 million would be used for rent in transit for the Minister and himself. He asked why the building was being renovated by the government if the building was privately owned. He was told the lease had expired and the government was not renewing it. Therefore, rent of R4 million for an interim headquarters was being paid because the lease on the current building was not being renewed. He wondered why renovations to the new building were being done by DoP and not DPW. He was told the renovations were being done by DPW, but he had to sign the agreement. He said if DPW were doing the renovations, then they should sign the agreement. The issue was never raised again after he requested DPW sign the contract.

A while after, someone told him that his office as well as the Minister's office would be renovated, and they would be moving to another building in the mean time. Gen Cele told the Deputy Commissioner about this and the Deputy Commissioner confirmed the story. However, the lease for the current headquarters had been renewed on 28 July 2009. The DPW had renewed the lease without telling SAPS.

Gen Cele noticed many contracts had been extended. However, he had not signed any contracts yet. He made a note of telling people this and 36 contracts were brought to him that were signed while he was in office. This was when he realised there was a problem. He then held a meeting with Mr Willie Hofmeyr, Head of the SIU, in November 2009. He told Mr Hofmeyr there were things happening in DoP that SAPS did not have the capacity to understand. He asked for Mr Hofmeyr's help. At this point, the SIU had already been approached to investigate DoP. He confessed there were many things happening in DoP that he was not aware of or could not understand. He hoped the investigation would help him understand what was going on. He appreciated that any extra capacity would contribute to the investigation.

A second meeting was held with Mr Hofmeyr and a preliminary report was handed to Gen Cele. The report did not paint a good picture of SAPS. Early in 2010, SAPS met with Presidency to move for the early declaration of an investigation. He wanted to talk honestly about the situation in SAPS because the SIU was present at the meeting.

Gen Cele addressed the questions on the resignations and early retirements. He said Commissioner Siwundla retired because he wanted to take care of his sick wife. The preliminary report stemming from the investigation into SAPS showed there was a problem somewhere. Commissioner Terblanche was going to be “shifted” in order to “open up some space for the investigation”. Commissioner Terblanche requested to be let go instead of being shifted to a different environment. Commissioner Hlela left recently as well. There were no “golden handshakes”. The commissioners received the money owed to them when they left. People were allowed to resign if it was in the interest of the organisation or if it would result in better efficiency of the organisation. One of the commissioners who left actually said he was leaving for reasons of efficiency within the organisation. He believed SAPS would be more efficient if he left.

He informed members a huge document was intercepted in London, which spoke of completely outsourcing the forensic services division. If this document had not been found, the whole of DoP would have been outsourced and there would not have been a forensic services division.

Gen Cele said SAPS did not have the capacity to build police stations. SAPS had to get people from outside to oversee the construction of police stations. Any capacity SAPS had, they outsourced. It was called internal capacity.

In terms of the R500 million lease, there was no Director General in any government department that had signed this lease. He wanted the Members to know this and he wanted the media to know this. The media did not report the R500 million that was discussed was for a lease period of ten years. SAPS budgeted approximately R1, 2 billion for leases per year so they would have money for the R500 million lease. SAPS then communicated its needs to DPW in terms of lease agreements. The negotiations of lease agreements were left to DPW. SAPS had never signed any lease agreements.

The Chairperson asked what processes were followed when SAPS wanted to lease certain properties.

Gen Cele replied his duty was to identify the needs of SAPS and to communicate them to DPW. The process was taken further by DPW.

Mr Siviwe Dongwana, Director General: DPW, said when the Minister was appointed, he had some concerns about SCM processes in DPW. He had started a process by getting the SIU on board, which culminated in a proclamation being gazetted on 30 July 2010. The matter of the R500 million lease was raised in August 2009. The SIU investigation into DPW extended to much broader SCM processes that included the matter of leases in general. The leases were based on government department needs. The departments asked DPW to procure leases according to their needs. The DPW then initiated a process internally in order to procure accommodation in line with SCM processes and policies, the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and National Treasury regulations. The primary basis was to open a tender. The DPW then required from the client department a certificate of their needs and a confirmation of their budget. This enabled DPW to conclude the lease on behalf of client departments.

He said that one of the issues plaguing DPW was how some of the leases had been procured - most specifically, the Sanlam building lease - which was being investigated. A number of things that happened in DPW resulted in the advisor to the Minister and himself reviewing this specific lease. A number of concerns were raised about whether due process was complied with. The concerns were raised with the Minister, who agreed to initiate an investigation into the lease. The DPW recognised this fell squarely in the ambit of the SIU investigation. DPW proceeded to comply with the SIU investigation. The DPW also received a letter from the Public Protector saying they wanted to investigate the leases. They asked DPW to suspend the lease for the Sanlam building as well as for the building in Durban. DPW was in the process of negotiating the Durban lease, and the lease had not been signed.

Mr Dongwana said that Gen Cele had spoken of leases being entered into just before and around the time he was appointed. It was important to understand, within DPW, leases were not entered into in the Office of the Director General. The leases were entered into, in terms of delegated authority, by the regional offices of DPW. This meant a number of things happened which were not necessarily known to the Office of the Director General and the Minister. Those delegations had then been suspended and DPW had requested all urgent leases should be escalated to the Office of the Director General so they could have a sense of the contents, costs and terms of the leases. It was DPW’s responsibility to ensure client departments entered into leases that were cost effective. The DPW investigation was nearing completion. The reason they wanted the investigation to be completed quickly was to be able to give objective answers to Parliament. They hoped the investigation would give them an indication of whether all SCM processes had been complied with. Over and above this, DPW has implemented other measures to strengthen procurement processes.

Mr Dongwana was grateful Gen Cele had admitted SAPS did not have the capacity to build police stations. The DPW had its own challenges for turnaround times for projects of this nature. They also had concerns about the escalations in costs and managing consultancy fees. However, DPW believed it had the capacity to deliver on projects and provide infrastructure to client departments.

Mr Dongwana answered that there was an MoU between DPW, DoP and National Treasury. He was aware the MoU had not yet been signed but he was unsure what the problems were regarding its signing.

Ms Kohler-Barnard asked if the need for the urgency had led to the dispensing of the tender process originated from SAPS or DPW. She wanted to know if the needs assessment documents and the budget letters were given to DPW by SAPS, which confirmed funding was available for specific buildings, were signed by the National Police Commissioner. Did any of these deals go out to tender?

Mr M George (COPE) wanted clarification that it was true that SAPS duty was only to identify its needs and communicated them to DPW. This was a matter of public interest. People wanted to know exactly what happened with the leases.

Ms Schafer asked what issues were experienced with the Sanlam lease and who signed it.

Mr Schneeman understood the interest in the leases. However, he had to wonder if some of the questions and discussions were venturing into the SIU investigation. He was concerned certain names were being mentioned and questions being asked that could interfere with and jeopardise the work of the SIU. He suggested the Committee focus on the agenda for the meeting, which was property management. Once the SIUs investigation was completed, there would be time for questions.

The Chairperson replied that if Members' questions touched on vital information in the investigation, then SAPS and DPW were allowed to say so.

Mr Dongwana commented that the Committee’s questions were the same that the Minister and he had raised with their officials. There were many questions for which they did not have answers. This was why DPW asked its investigators to work with the SIU on the investigation. It was important DPW provide information to Parliament that was accurate and complete. He did not want to give incorrect information.

Gen Cele said it would be best if they could get their hands on the lease agreements they spoke of, so they could see if his signature was on them. This would settle the argument of whether he was signing “dodgy” deals. In the Chairperson's opening statements, she mentioned SAPS was not factual or accurate when they reported to the Committee. He understood different answers were being given publicly and privately. He understood SAPS was coming to the Committee with inaccurate answers that were being provided by the different components of the organisation. He had raised this issue with his officials yesterday and told them he was becoming suspicious. It looked like people were providing inaccurate answers purposefully so when SAPS appeared before the Committee, they looked like fools. He did not know why members of his organisation would do this. He hoped he could get to the root of the problem.
Ms van Wyk noted Gen Cele spoke of receiving incorrect information. However, her questions as well as the Chairperson's questions and comments were derived straight from the presentation made on 18 May 2010. It showed SAPS contradicted itself from one report to the next.

Rev Meshoe wondered how people had been allowed to resign from the department right at the commencement of the investigation. Gen Cele said that the officials were allowed to resign because it was in the interest of the organisation. He did not understand this.

The Chairperson said the Committee wanted to know why Commissioner Du Toit resigned. When Members visited Pretoria some time during this the year, they had asked him some questions and were given “flimsy” answers. Shortly after the meeting, the Committee heard that he was resigning.

Mr George pointed out that the argument given for not being able to discuss certain matters in this meeting was incorrect. Only subjects that were sub judice were not allowed to be discussed in Parliament. The matters were still under investigation, but they were not sub judice.

Mr Ndlovu requested that Members should deal with these matters as adults and respect one another. The Committee had to concede that there were certain matters that had to be dealt with privately. At this moment in time questions had to be paused until the relevant parties could be questioned properly.

The Chairperson agreed that there was not any matter that was sub judice. Mr Dongwana was only saying that he did not want to give the Committee answers that were inaccurate because he did not want to mislead Members. He would provide the facts after the investigation, should the need for it arise.

Gen Cele said that he was not refusing to answer certain questions posed by Members. He wanted the Committee to know that he did not have the answers to certain questions because the matters were still being investigated.

Gen Cele answered that the resignations were allowed because they benefited the efficiency of SAPS. If these people were implicated in any criminal activities, they would be called in to be charged.

From what he knew, 31 police stations had been built. But, now he was being told that 100 police stations had been built. He did not know where this figure came from. However, he knew that there were different categories of stations. The first category was newly established police stations. The second category consisted of re-established police stations. He was of the understanding that there were 31 newly established police stations.

Gen Cele appealed to the Committee to let his team present their current document as it would answer many of the questions that Members had asked.

Ms van Wyk suggested that the Chairperson allow SAPS to make its presentation with the provision that if Members still had questions stemming from the 18 May 2010 presentation, they would be allowed to ask them.

The Chairperson noted that there were questions on the use of consultants, the completion of police stations and other questions that still needed to be answered.

Lieutenant General Gary Kruser, Acting Division Commissioner: SCM (SAPS), assured the Committee that many of the concerns raised in the 18 May presentation had been included in today’s presentation. Most of the questions were covered in it.

The Chairperson allowed SAPS to give the presentation.

SAPS Briefing on Property Management and Capital Works
Lieutenant General Gary Kruser informed the Committee that he had been appointed as the acting divisional commissioner for SCM on 9 July 2010. He would be focusing on tactical interventions in SCM to ensure an adequate and optimally utilised physical resources establishment.

Some of the challenges within the SCM unit included:
• The lack of professional SCM practice and understanding
A fragmented management approach and practices due to a general lack of command and control, poor financial and asset management and selective administrative compliance towards the regulatory environment
The non-availability of management information
No strategic planning or development framework for SCM capabilities
Problems relating to bid and tender processes
Conflict of interest issues
• Undetected incidences of corruption and fraud
• A lack of alignment between performance outputs and services rendered
• An absence of service orientation
• A lack of professionalism.

Its interventions included becoming involved in strategic investment and economic empowerment. The SCM practice had to reflect the accumulation of assets and resources as strategic assets for SAPS. The focus had to be on the procurement of locally sourced equitable and affordable quality resources relevant to service delivery by SAPS. The second intervention would include sound and professional SCM practice and methodologies. The third intervention would see SCM senior management become responsible and accountable for professional practices, SCM outcomes and leading interventions. The fourth intervention was the re-alignment with service delivery through proper consultation and agreement with customers. A multi-year strategic and development framework for SCM would be established. The last intervention would focus on the enforcement of accountable and responsible use of resources within SAPS. The interventions ensured that strategic management issues such as the strategic planning process and the agenda would be addressed. It would ensure that service delivery priorities such as the building of police stations would be looked at, and that issues of integrity within SAPS would be addressed.

Brigadier E Mantsi, SCM: SAPS, focused on the devolution of custodial responsibilities for immovable assets from DPW to SAPS. The devolution of budgets and the introduction of accommodation charges were introduced on 18 December 2005. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the devolution of immovable assets between SAPS and DPW was signed by SAPS on 31 January 2006. The National Treasury approved SAPS’ state of readiness on the devolution of custodial responsibilities from DPW to SAPS on 3 December 2008. In terms of the agreement, only function specific accommodation such as the police stations could be devolved. The agreement came into effect on 1 April 2009.

Currently, 271 police stations had been devolved. SAPS was in the process of negotiating with DPW as to the exact number of police stations to be devolved in 2011/12. It was only stations not on the DPW system for capital works and planned maintenance that were devolved. These stations were not registered for planned maintenance nor capital projects, and their contractual obligations as well as guarantees and payments were outstanding. It was estimated that 59 police stations were to be devolved in 2011/12.

The MoU on custodial devolution addressed maintenance, property rates, municipal services, property leases and capital works. Property leases remained DPW’s responsibility. The advantage of having the maintenance plans devolved to SAPS was that the organisation could now manage its own maintenance plan. The disadvantage was that the maintenance plan was still in the development phase. No leases had been devolved to SAPS. This meant that SAPS did not have any control over lease periods or lease negotiations. Some leases were re-negotiated or leased without the approval of SAPS. SAPS gained increased control over planning in terms of timeframes and contractual issues. However, they did not have control over contractual issues between DPW and suppliers or contractors.

SAPS and DPW were in the process of agreeing and finalising their draft Service Level Agreement (SLA). SAPS has initiated a partnership with SALGA in order to discuss land reservation for new police stations and expansion of existing police stations. SAPS also requested SLAs with the Departments of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Science and Technology, Rural Development and Land Reform, Human Settlements and Environmental Affairs.

A comparison was made of capital works projects executed by DPW and those by SAPS. In 2006/07, DPW executed 1 548 projects while SAPS executed 67. The DPW allocated R285 961 000 to the projects while SAPS allocated R212 224 000 toward the projects. In 2007/08 DPW executed 1 248 projects and SAPS executed 83. The DPW allocated R498 705 000 compared with SAPS R228 314 000. In 2009/10 SAPS executed 64 projects and DPW executed 898. The DPW allocated R794 419 000 towards the projects while SAPS allocated R259 309 000.

There was a need for immovable assets to be identified at various levels of SAPS. Factors influencing the identification of need included whether new townships had been established, population growth, crime statistics, improved service delivery to communities and the demand for operational needs. The current process for identifying priorities included developing a consolidated list of station/cluster/provincial priorities, which had to be approved by the National Commissioner. Work-study was utilised to quantify the need regarding resources required. Priorities would be linked to the budget for implementation purposes. The prioritisation model was being developed in accordance with the Government Immovable Asset Management Act (GIAMA).

Presently there were no clear criteria to ascertain the backlog of police stations. A scientific process was to be developed by SAPS efficiency services and the Department of Public Service and Administration. The final list of backlogs would then be approved by the National Commissioner. SAPS estimated a backlog of police stations based on priorities identified by it. There were estimated to be 28 police stations currently under construction, 103 stations included in the 2010-2016 building programme (in planning, no construction yet), and 27 not included in the building programme. There was also a backlog of other facilities based on priorities identified by SAPS. These included facilities such as dog units, forensic science laboratories, office accommodation, training facilities and provision of basic services. The total estimated cost for addressing this backlog was R2, 364 billion.

In 2007 the Bid Adjudication Committee approved the use of the DPW pre-qualified roster to appoint consultants. The roster was used to appoint consultants for all amounts less than R500 000. SAPS had planning and monitoring mechanisms in place to control the quality of their police stations in terms of construction. They used professional service providers and appointments were made based on the specialised skills required. Registered professional were used to ensure that there was value for money.

According to DPW policy, the standard lease period for a Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) compliant “lessor” was five or ten years. The standard lease for non-BEE compliant lessors was two years. The impact of the two-year lease on the SAPS budget included an increase in relocation costs, an increase in computer infrastructure costs and reduced service delivery. SAPS’ lease reduction plan involved no renewals for residential leases, developing a space management plan, building offices for detectives at stations, and prioritising the building of police stations within the capital budget to replace existing leases. The total number of leases for 2010 amounted to 1 322 with an annual cost of R804 million.

Planned maintenance involved planned work performed on capital assets that would help them to reach their originally anticipated life or to restore them to their original condition. Unplanned maintenance pertained to unscheduled work that required immediate action to restore services, or to remove a problem that could interrupt activities or services. The total amount spent on unplanned maintenance for 2009/10 amounted to R139 614 000. SAPS would be intervening in order to improve unplanned maintenance. Stations commanders would be trained to manage day-to-day maintenance of police stations. A workshop was held on 26 May 2010 with provincial representatives to discuss day-to-day maintenance funding (R30 000 per annum from 1 April 2010). The value of maintenance backlogs on police facilities amounted to R 13 291 704 163. SAPS would request an increase in the baseline for capital works, since most planned maintenance required extensive work of a capital nature.

SAPS hoped to finalise the SLA between SAPS and DPW. SAPS wished to actively drive the devolution process so more stations could be devolved in the next couple of years. SAPS also wanted to develop a plan for maintenance, to optimise the occupation and utilisation of leases, develop scientific criteria to identify needs for police stations and improve management of information on property management.

The Chairperson noted that from what was said in the presentation, the Committee acknowledged that many of the Members’ questions would not be answered because SAPS was in total chaos. She thought that the Commissioners that had resigned had to be put through disciplinary hearings. The presentation showed the Committee that SAPS hoped to move forward. But she wondered how SAPS hoped to do this. Three people already had left SAPS. She wondered how many other in the SCM unit would be forced to leave so it could start to function properly. There were so many worrying problems. She said it would assist the Committee if SAPS had given timeframes for when projects had to be completed. She could not understand why maintenance costs were so high if SAPS was leasing the building they were in. Her understanding was that the owner had to take care of maintenance when a building was being leased.

Gen Cele agreed that SAPS had to work on project timeframes. He had met with the Efficiency Services unit in SAPS and told them their performance was below par. He had met with the unit five times to discuss the building of police stations and how many of them were still needed. He knew there was a shortage but the Efficiency Services unit could not tell him how many were needed and how long it would take. After the fifth meeting, nothing had happened. He had stormed out of the last meeting. There had to be a major improvement in these matters. He did not want to “thumbsuck” a timeline in order to give Members an answer. SAPS would go back and discuss the matter of the timeline.

Ms Molebatsi stated that the presentation confused her. She understood why there was so much confusion in police stations. She asked who funded the building of police stations in tribal areas.

Brigadier Mantsi answered that police stations in tribal areas were funded from the SAPS capital budget and was constructed by SAPS building services. There was a police station being built currently in one of the tribal areas. However, while the station was being constructed, it had been found that there was a fountain underneath it that had to be taken care of before the project could be finalised.

The Chairperson commented that SAPS should have known about this obstruction before they started with the construction.

Brigadier C van Vuuren, SCM: SAPS, answered that once their building services started with the excavation processes, they found water that would not stop running. This was the flow from the septic tanks that came from properties situated above it. Special measures had to be developed such as drawing up documentation that addressed special “tanking” of the structure to ensure the water did not hamper the construction.

Ms Schafer wondered how long the situation in SAPS had been that way and why nothing was done about it. The National Commissioner had been appointed in July 2009 and he was only finding out the situation in SAPS now. She asked what the rates paid to DPW were actually for and how the R30 000 maintenance fee was accessed. The Committee wanted to be able to tell local police stations how they could access the money. She noted that the work budget and expenditure report showed that SAPS had overspent on many things. She wondered from where the money had come.

Gen Cele replied that it was unfair to say that he had already been in his position for a year and had not done anything. SAPS was a huge organisation. This was just the beginning; it was not the end. An acknowledgment of what he had done in SAPS so far would have been nice. There was a long list of people that wanted to come back to SAPS. The morale of the organisation in general was very good.

Ms van Wyk noted that Lt Gen Kruser’s presentation on SCM acknowledged the mistakes that SAPS had made. She agreed that timelines were needed for projects. The presentation did not clarify what the medium and long term approach were to resolve the problems. She doubted that SAPS had the ability to do what they wanted to do, such as building police stations. Also there were figures in this presentation that did not make sense. Lt Gen Kruser spoke of selected adherence to some processes and procedures in SAPS manuals. The Committee picked up on this as well. She asked when the SAPS Prioritisation Plan would be finalised and how they prioritised the building of police stations. The backlog for building police stations was huge. The Committee knew this from visiting police stations. Next years, SAPS was supposed to have 59 more stations devolved to it. There were over 800 stations that still had to be devolved to SAPS. She did not think that the Committee should allow this to happen at this point in time. She was concerned that SAPS did not have the capacity to deal with 800 more police stations. She had to congratulate SAPS for acknowledging that they had challenges and trying to correct all the problems. However, the presentation did not show Members that they would be able to handle more police stations. The R30 000 for maintenance issues was proof of this. She did not know why Ms Schafer kept asking about the R30 000. The Committee knew the stations had to go to provincial commissioners to get permission to use the funds. Members also knew there was a bottleneck somewhere that hindered police stations from accessing the money. Some police stations told the Committee that they had asked for the money approximately 8-10 months ago but they still had not received any money from the provincial commissioners. She asked how SAPS could have said to the Minister that they had the capacity to build police stations or to deal with devolvement of stations. SAPS obviously did not have the capacity to take on this responsibility.

Gen Cele answered that he hated using consultants. It cost SAPS a lot of money. Almost 18% of their funds were being used for consultants. The use of consultants went hand-in-hand with retaining skills within the organisation. SAPS had to find a way to retain skills once they found them.

He said that the Committee had to agree that the devolution processes were necessary. But, there were times that DPW signed and extended leases on behalf of SAPS without their approval. This could not just be allowed to happen. The DPW and SAPS definitely needed to discuss this going forward.

Brigadier van Vuuren explained that the intention was never to execute all the construction work in-house. Even DPW did not execute all works in-house in terms of planning. This was outsourced to consultants. SAPS was only going to manage the process of appointments and constructions. The capacity SAPS referred to was also going to be used to do in-house planning and documentation as far as this capacity allowed.

Ms van Wyk commented that this was not what the agreement said. It said that SAPS would take on the responsibility, provided they acquired the necessary capacity and expertise. SAPS said that they had the necessary expertise such as architects and engineers, technical personnel, builders and finance management.

The Chairperson agreed with Ms van Wyk. This information was also included in the 18 May presentation. SAPS said they had the necessary capacity. However, the Committee realised that everything was being outsourced.

Brigadier van Vuuren answered that there were some projects that were outsourced, but there were other projects that were planned in-house in as far as SAPS capacity allowed. If she had the list of projects in front of her, she would be able to give the Committee a better answer.

Ms Kohler-Barnard said that Gen Cele had said that the MoU had not been signed between SAPS and DPW. However, the presentation said that the MoU had been signed. She asked for clarity on the matter. She wanted to know what the timeline was for identifying and resolving the backlogs for completing police stations. In her mind, any entity that needed the help of consultants did not have the expertise in-house. It meant that SAPS was not hiring the right people with the right qualifications to fulfill the SAPS mandate. How much has been spent on consultants in total?

Brigadier Mantsi replied that the MoU was for the devolution of budgets. Each department had to outline what it was going to be doing and what it was currently busy with. If there was something that had to be done, DPW and SAPS would sit and agree on the process that would be followed going forward. The Service Level Agreement (SLA) was the agreement with the Minister for the devolution of assets. The SLA looked at time frames for the devolution process as well as how it would be completed.

Mr Schneeman said he did not understand why SAPS insisted on building its own police stations. It was clear that the building services section of SAPS could not do its job. SAPS did not have the capacity to build stations. He hoped that this function would be re-assessed. The core function of SAPS was to fight crime, not to build police stations. The MoU had been signed in 2006, but the SLA was not even implemented yet; it was still in a draft form. It was no wonder that there was no timeframe in place. If SAPS did not have any plans on paper, then they would not be able to progress. The presentation seemed to imply that the backlog for building police stations was not that great, but after listening to SAPS, he thought the problem was a lot bigger than SAPS let on.

Mr George wondered if it would be wise to capacitate the SAPS building unit. Construction took a long time. The police stations that the Committee visited complained that there were capacity problems. It seemed like a better idea to ensure that police stations were capacitated.

Ms van Wyk reminded Mr George that SAPS had told the Minister in 2006 that they had the capacity to take on the responsibility of building police stations. The core business of SAPS was to fight crime; it was not to build police stations. She had to agree with Mr Schneeman on that fact. It was clear that SAPS was unable to build police stations faster and more cost effectively than DPW. The challenges within SAPS were immense, particularly in the SCM unit.

Gen Cele asked if SAPS would be allowed to discuss this matter of capacity so they could respond to Members adequately. They would come back to the Committee with a final conclusion on the matter.

The Chairperson stated that she agreed that SAPS had to discuss the matter further. The Committee wanted to hear SAPS’ final decision on the matter.

Ms Kohler-Barnard noted that consultants were being hired when entities did not have the experience or expertise in-house to complete the function. The Committee and SAPS had to look at whether it was more cost-effective to hire permanent staff or to let DPW do the job. It seemed that DPW was better equipped to take on the responsibility than SAPS. SAPS main function was to fight crime.

Gen Cele replied that SAPS wanted to do whatever the Committee thought was correct. He wanted SAPS to be able to operate at its optimal level. SAPS was committed to doing its best.

The Chairperson concluded the discussion saying that she wished that Generals Terblanche, Hlela and Siwundla had been at the meeting to answer some of the questions and concerns raised by Members. She could see that certain measures were being put in place to improve the SCM in SAPS, but she was concerned at the high level of mismanagement within the organisation. It was discouraging and disgusting. The Committee would be inviting SAPS to Parliament to talk to problems that the Committee was aware of in the Forensic Services Division of the organisation. She thanked SAPS for their presentation.

The meeting was adjourned.  



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