The Portfolio Committee concluded its robust engagement with the South African Police Service on its 2010/11 Annual Report which had been conducted over the preceding days. SAPS presented their responses to matters raised by the committee in the previous sessions. SAPS briefed the committee on their Technology Management Services, located under Programme 1: Administration. This was followed by a presentation from SITA on the services they had provided to SAPS in the 2010/11.
SAPS had an allocation of R2,9 billion for Information Technology. The modernisation of the Integrated Justice System (IJS), the Criminal Justice System (CJS) revamp and the upgrading of network infrastructure and hosting environments were the main spending priorities. The overall target had been for the completion of 70% of Information Systems (IS) and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) projects during 2010/11 and SAPS reported actual performance of 75.7% of IS / ICT projects completed. A major project was the Investigation Case Document Management (ICDM) system, a multi year project using the eDocket which was a bespoke solution developed by SITA. Another multiphase project under the Criminal Justice System Information Sharing Initiative was the Property Control and Exhibit Management (PCEM) project. Other initiatives being undertaken related to the Criminal Justice System Performance Management; Corruption Perpetrator Information; Crime Victims Information; Identity Theft Information; and Cyber Crime Information.
The presentation from SITA covered the various Services Level Agreements (SLAs) they had with SAPS and the challenges encountered in the past financial year, the SITA annual results relevant to SAPS, the expiry of Contract 569 and the implications for SAPS, and the outlook for SITA and SAPS moving forward. The service scope entailed the hosting of 52 applications of which six were transversal systems, nine critical systems and 18 reporting systems. They guaranteed 98% availability of the systems and guaranteed response times of 0.8 seconds in the Oracle space and 1.0 seconds response times in the Adabas space. They also rendered an interdepartmental Data Exchange platform. SITA was instrumental in the development of the Investigation Case Docket Management System (ICDMS) popularly known as the eDocket. Performance outcomes were the maintenance of 32 applications and the completed application system infrastructure for the ICDMS. The Criminal Case Registration of the ICDMS was 70% complete. SITA had contracted 71 labour broker contractors under Contract 569 for servicing of SAPS and all contracts would expire on the 31 March 2012. There was a process underway to determine service requirements and deliverables for the 79 directly contracted by SAPS and SITA would provide a service to the IJS cluster. Other services that had been provided by Contract 569 which were no longer provided because the contracts had expired, were provided for under Contract 570. SITA was no longer offering SAPS a resource-based
Members asked if the working relationship between SITA and SAPS had improved as it had been very strained in the previous year. Given the fact that SITA performed a large proportion of their ICT function and that this use was mandatory, was SAPS satisfied with the service received and were they getting value for money. SAPS and members expressed concern at the expiry of Contract 569 and its impact and the fact that it had not been timeously communicated resulting in the stalling of projects. SITA explained that the Department of Public Services and Administration (DPSA) was the contract holder and was responsible for informing service providers. Members noted the increase in payment to external service providers for computer services and the decrease for SITA services. The Department responded that they had major projects which had required engaging external service providers. Members were concerned by the lack of tangible deliverables for PCEM and the lack of progress on the eDocket rollout. SAPS ICT management expressed a concern about potential wastage in respect of barcode scanners which would become obsolete if the rollout of eDocket was not accelerated.
SAPS supplied the outstanding information requested by the Committee which was mostly personnel and HR related such as the details of appointments made to senior management posts which were advertised and then withdrawn and vertically or laterally filled under a special dispensation reserved for the National Commissioner. Discharges under Section 35 (which were granted to 19 Senior Management Staff, four of whom were under investigation) were of serious concern to the Committee and the explanations provided by SAPS were rejected. Details of the number of suspensions with or without pay was provided by SAPS and members expressed concern at the high number. At senior management staff (SMS) Level there was one suspension with remuneration and none without remuneration for 2010/11. At Level 1 to 12, there were 205 suspensions with remuneration and 664 suspensions without remuneration totalling 869 suspensions at that level, for the reporting period. Members were concerned about the apparent abuse of Section 35 and the losses incurred by the Department. The Chairperson isolated three issues which she believed the Minister of Police, Hon Nathi Mthethwa, should respond to. These were the escalation in irregular expenditure, the Section 35 retirements and the appointment policy.
The Chairperson welcomed the delegation from the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the State Information Technology Agency (SITA). The first item on the agenda was a presentation from SAPS on its response to matters arising from the Portfolio Committee's engagement with them on their 2010/11 Annual Report on which additional information and clarification had been requested. This was to be followed by presentation by SAPS on their Technology Information Services (TMS) and from SITA on their services to SAPS for the year under review. The National Commissioner had been unable to attend the meeting and in his absence the delegation from SAPS was led by Deputy National Commissioner, Lieutenant General Anwar Dramat.
SAPS responses to matters arising from their Annual Report
Lieutenant General Nkruman Mazibuko, Divisional Commissioner: Personnel Management, presented the response document circulated to members at the meeting, on the questions raised by the Portfolio Committee in the preceding sessions on the SAPS Annual Report.
He supplied information on senior appointments made to specific posts which were advertised and then withdrawn, giving the dates the posts were advertised and withdrawn and when the posts were laterally filled by internal personnel whose names he supplied.
Lt-Gen Mazibuko supplied the information requested on Section 35 retirements on how many of these retirements were granted in Programme 1: Administration and the details on how they had qualified for this. The South African Police Service Act No 68 of 1995 made provision for the termination of employee services in certain instances. Thus the National Commissioner could, discharge a member because of the abolishment of his/her post, the reduction in numerical strength, the reorganisation or the re-adjustment of the service for reasons other than the unfitness or incapacity of such member if his or her discharge would promote efficiency or economies in the service or would otherwise be in the interest of the service. In terms of these provisions, the services of employees could either be terminated in terms of section 35(a) or 35(b) of the South African Police Service Act.
35. The National Commissioner may, subject to the provisions of the Government Service Pension Act, 1973 (Act No. 57 of 1973), discharge a member-
(a) because of the abolition of his or her post, or the reduction in the numerical strength, the reorganisation or the readjustment of the Service;
(b) if, for reasons other than the unfitness or incapacity of such member, his or her discharge will promote efficiency or economy in the Service, or will otherwise be in the interest of the Service; or
(c) if the President or a Premier appoints him or her in the public interest under any law to an office to which this Act or the Public Service Commission Act, 1984 (Act No. 65 of 1984), does not apply.
Lt-Gen Mazibuko commenced to disclose the details of senior staff and senior management staff (SMS) who received Section 35 terminations in the 2010/11 financial year, including the reasons why the termination took place in each individual case, the level they had occupied when they were discharged, the SARS costs and the environment in which they were placed at the time of their discharge.
The Chairperson pointed out that they had the details in the document and asked him to proceed to the total costs and what it meant.
Lt-Gen Mazibuko said the total number was 19 officers and the total cost was R31, 20 million. He said he was not sure what the Chairperson's last question implied.
The Chairperson said they would return to it in the follow-up questions.
Lt-Gen Mazibuko responded to the question on what criteria were used for suspensions with or without pay. Suspensions were regulated in terms of the Department's Disciplinary Regulations 2006 as gazetted (No. 643 of 3 July 2006). Section 13 made provision for precautionary suspensions. Under 13.1, provision was made for suspension with full remuneration or temporary transfer of an employee on account of misconduct. The employer could suspend employees with full remuneration or temporarily transfer employees on conditions, if any, determined by the National Commissioner. Disciplinary guidelines were subsequently drafted to provide clarity to officers implementing these measures. Formal suspension or transfer were contingent on the likelihood of the employee committing further misconduct if retained, negatively impacting on the investigation by hiding or destroying evidence or generally interfering in the investigation such as intimidating witnesses or impacting negatively on service delivery.
Lt-Gen Mazibuko said it was important to note that suspensions were only considered in cases of serious misconduct. The aim of suspension was not to punish employees but rather to enable the employer to conduct the necessary investigation without interference. In all cases of suspension, Legal Services was consulted to provide an opinion on the nature of the suspension that was to be applied.
The regulations relating to suspension without remuneration was that the National, Provincial or Divisional Commissioner could suspend the employee on reasonable grounds, if they were satisfied that the misconduct that the employee was alleged to have committed was misconduct as described in Annexure A. The case against the employee should be deemed so strong that the employee is likely to be convicted and dismissed. Before suspending an employee without remuneration, the employee should be afforded the reasonable opportunity to make representations. The Commissioner would then consider the representation and inform the employee of the outcome. The disciplinary process had to be initiated within 14 calendar days of the date of the decision to suspend the employee without remuneration. If the disciplinary process was not completed within 60 calendar days from the commencement of the suspension, the question of continued suspension without remuneration had to be considered by the Commissioner and the employee might make representations again, which the Commissioner must consider. The Commissioner must then take a decision on continued suspension and inform the employee of the outcome of his/her representation. A decision of continued suspension could only be for a further period of 30 calendar days.
The Chairperson noted that the information was contained in the document and requested him to move to specific questions.
Lt-Gen Mazibuko said that at SMS Level there was one suspension with remuneration and none without pay for 2010/11. In the current year there were two suspensions with pay and none without pay. At Level 1 to 12 , there were 205 suspensions with remuneration and 664 suspensions without remuneration totalling 869 suspensions at that level for the reporting period.
Responding to the question raised about the contract for Democratic Cleaning Services, Lt-Gen Mazibuko said the contract had been terminated some time back. A decision had been taken to employ cleaners in order to boost employment for the unemployed given present market conditions. A provision had been made for the investment in 2,573 cleaners who would be employed in terms of the Public Service Act (at Level 1), in the current financial year. This would be done in a phased in approach. Thus far 2, 520 cleaners had been appointed and a work study was underway to determine the actual future needs of the SAPS moving forward.
On equity profiling, Lt-Gen Mazibuko stated that over the past three years, the percentage of females in the Department had increased from 30.5% as at the 31 March 2008 to 32.6 % by 2010/11. During this period the Department's female staff members had increased by 10,404 to a total of 63,204 which represented a 50.4% growth of the staff complement. The number of female staff at SMS level increased from 20.7 % as at 31 March 2008 to 28.3 %. The number of females in the SMS improved by 62 to 196 out of a total of 693 senior managers.
Lt-General Mazibuko responded to the question of the payment of performance bonuses during 2010/11. SAPS used to pay incentives which had not been so popular as a number of complaints had been received from various sectors and from both management and the employees. Overall there was a 13th cheque bonus for Levels 1-12. The SMS category did not receive performance bonuses as their salaries were structured to include this.
Lt-Gen Mazubuko provided the statistics on disciplinary action for aiding an escapee. 259 officers were charged, 149 were found guilty and 85 were not found guilty, 18 cases were withdrawn and 15 were still pending.
Lt-Gen Mazibuko reported that there had been 1,335 firearm losses recorded during 2010/11 compared to 3,814 in 2009/10. A total of 227 members were charged in terms of the disciplinary regulations and he noted that the figure of 90 given in the Annual Report was incorrect. Of the actual figure of 227 disciplinary cases, 203 officers were found guilty and four cases were dismissed. 786 cases were not yet classified which meant that it had not yet been determined if the losses were as a result of theft from members or as a result of negligence on behalf of the members and investigations were still ongoing.
Maj Gen S Kwena noted that the information on detective training statistics had been presented the previous day.
Ms A Van Wyk (ANC) agreed that it had been presented and what was outstanding was the ideal number of detectives required.
The Chairperson confirmed this.
Lt-Gen Dramat said that this was the conclusion of the presentation, except for the response on the ideal number of detectives which Lt-Gen Stander would respond to.
Lt-Gen Magda Stander, Divisional Commissioner, Human Resources Management, indicated that Maj Gen Mankato of Organisational Development would respond.
Gen Makgato replied that the ideal number of detectives for the year 2010/11 was reflected as 28,723 inclusive of specialised units.
Ms A Van Wyk said it was not a difficult question. They were not asking what the ideal figure was for 2010/11, they were asking for the ideal number that SAPS wanted.
Gen Makgato said that what they were doing for the requirements of police personnel services was in terms of the MTEF and the figures they prepared reflected that.
Ms Van Wyk said that was not the question asked by the Committee and it was not the first time that they had asked the question. The question was not what they could afford, but what the department needed so that they could increase their conviction rates. The reason the question was asked was that when the criminal justice revamp had been done, a number had been suggested to SAPS and SAPS had rejected that number.
Mr M George (COPE) said that the way he looked at the question, it shoud be answered by Lt Gen Stander as the Head of Human Resources. It was a simple question dealing with the complement of detectives.
Lt-Gen Stander said that in the organisation, they had specific responsibilities. She was responsible for Human Resource Management. The Chief Operations Officer was responsible for Organisational Development. She acceded that the question had been asked on many occasions previously. They were working in terms of the resource allocation guide based on the figures provided by Organisational Development. They were interacting with one another but the responsibility lay within that environment and with the detectives themselves. She was not in possession of the figure but she would request it and supply it in writing, after consultation with the relevant people.
The Chairperson said it really was a simple question and she had expected that the Department would have known the answer as it would indicate where they were moving towards, their vision, and what they wanted to achieve if they had the resources. It would indicate the budget they wanted in the outer years. The Committee had done enough to ensure that there were enough SAPS members even if there could be more. The question was whether SAPS had enough detectives to perform their duties, improve their detection rates and court ready dockets and improve the conviction rates. She requested that they supply the figure to the Committee.
The Chairperson addressed Lt-Gen Dramat about the status of the Irregular Expenditure as requested by the Committee. SAPS had promised to supply a written response, but thus far there had been no presentation on what the R76 million Irregular Expenditure was spent on.
Lt-Gen Dramat replied that he had thought it had been covered in the presentation by Gen Kruser on the previous day.
Ms A Van Wyk said that it had been covered but because of time constraints, the Committee had not gone into it.
The Chairperson acknowledged this.
Mr V Ndlovu (IFP) wanted to know the reason why posts were advertised then withdrawn. It seemed as if this was being done covertly to put people one liked into positions.
Mr Ndlovu addressed questions on career pathing in SAPS at Lt-Gen Stander. His perception was that people moved from the bottom upwards through training. He was concerned about people being elevated to senior positions from outside, for instance a person from the metro hospital services becoming a Lieutenant-General.
Mr Ndlovu said the National Commissioner had staff assisting him in his office who were not police. Were they allowed to wear uniforms and why?
Ms Van Wyk commented that on the previous day certain things could not be presented to the Committee as the Department's management as a collective had not formulated their responses. Yet at the present meeting, they were taking selective ownership of certain issues and she did not take kindly to that. With regard to the appointments and withdrawal of the adverts for the posts, she asked if the Department could explain the difference between lateral appointments and transfers. She requested that they give a quick run down of every one of these positions and every one of the people whom had been appointed in this manner and to inform the Committee of what their position and rank had been, before their appointment.
Ms Van Wyk queried the Section 35 discharges and said she remembered that Lt-Gen Stander had said that this was not being abused in the Department and that it had only been done three times but it had actually been 19 times in the 2010/11 financial year. She asked whether the monetary figure that had been given was the total amount and included the payment that had to be made to the government pension fund. How many of the 19 members had been under investigation, whether internally for disciplinary hearings or externally, in terms of criminal charges. She noted that she could see the names of a number of people who had been under investigation on the list and she would be interested in the response. She specifically wanted to know on what grounds ex General Pruis received a Section 35 retirement as he had informed them before the World Cup of his intention to retire. Had section 35 become a way for SAPS to increase pension payouts to their own at this level? If not, could they explain what it was. She did not know all of the other individuals but she wanted to know who else were retirements that suddenly became Section 35s in order to get extra money.
Ms Van Wyk asked whether Lt-Gen Schutte could tell the Committee what they had asked Treasury for in each programme, the amount and the purpose in the adjustment appropriation. She noted that they had not had final feedback from Treasury yet, but what had he asked for? Would they have enough money? She noted that the amount was R31 million for Section 35 retirements.
Ms D Kohler-Barnard (DA) wanted more information on suspensions. She said she was fully aware that SAPS had ignored 95% of the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) recommendations over the past year and that this would change once the Independent Police Investigative Directorate Act (IPID) came in. In the past few days she had been most embarrassed by queries from the media on why the SAPS member who carried the bag of money containing R1,3 million and tried to bribe the Head of the Hawks in KZN, was now back at work in full uniform. The Hawks got huge credit for this as they had set up a sting. This was connected to the R60 million FIFA World Cup accommodation scam. There was a lot of speculation and it was very disconcerting. She did not know the answer to why a person was not suspended immediately when they had been arrested and were out on bail on major charges. What were the rules and regulations that allowed persons who were out on bail to sit at their desk as if nothing had happened and have free access to things that were in the offices which perhaps they should not be touching. On occasions SAPS was its own worse enemy. They had huge credit for being honest and honourable and this set them back. The investigations were also going very slowly and she had a feeling that it was being blocked in some area and she wanted answers.
Ms Kohler-Barnard said that Ms Van Wyk had raised many of her questions on the regulations for appointments. Could they explain the regulations for promoting people and bouncing them up the ranks? It was happening everywhere, for instance, a secretary was bounced into the SAPS up five ranks. People she was making tea for one day were saluting her the next day. What did that bring to the SAPS? She was seeing it in many areas, a bodyguard bounced up six or seven positions into the SAPS. She thought that if one worked for the SAPS, the regulations were that one would have to earn the right to rise through the ranks. She did not know what was happening with the bouncing in of people and felt it was some how related to people in the top structure of the organisation. She had details of the regulations but she wanted to hear from them why this was being allowed as it was a matter of good governance.
Ms Kohler-Barnard referred to the section 35 discharge granted Gen Pruis and said they had all been shocked as they were all convinced he was retiring. She wanted to know if there were additional benefits to leave under the now notorious Section 35. How did someone who had told them all he was retiring, now appear on the list of 19 members who had received this special dispensation. There were, indeed, people who had been investigated or were being investigated on the list and yet they had been given a section 35 and a fat pension and off they went. She asked them to explain so that they could make up their own minds on what was being done under section 35. Who gave the final order and took the final decision on who got a Section 35.
Mr George said he wanted to make a carefully considered statement and said that in life there was nothing more dangerous than exploiting regulations that were meant for good and used them for one’s own nefarious purposes. There was a reason why the National Commissioner would be allowed to appoint people at certain times but in the way it was done in certain cases, it was clear that something was wrong. If one appointed people to senior positions, it would always be better for those people to feel that they deserved to be there. When people were appointed on the basis of something that was not known by everyone, unnecessary discontent was created in the organisation. People would feel that they could have been in the position if they had been given the opportunity. Even the people who occupied the posts would not be as loyal to the organisation as they should be as their loyalty would be vested in the individual who had made their appointment. HR management had indicated that there were special circumstances that would warrant a deviation. They had not stated to the Committee what those exceptional circumstances were that made the National Commissioner appoint senior managers into the 20 top posts. They had been informed that the National Commissioner had to record the reasons for the appointments. For whom did he record this? Would the Committee be able to see the records? There were many questions which had to be explained. They advertised the posts for three months and then the adverts were withdrawn, but by that time they would have received applications. What happened to the people who applied? If HR found that there were no suitable candidates, they could have done head hunting.
Mr George asked if there were no checks and balances for the use of Section 35. The regulation was there for a good reason but it was very clear that the regulation was being misused. Who checked that people who wanted to retire early were being given Section 35s
Mr George noted with concern that there had been 869 suspensions in the past financial year. This was not good for the organisation as it meant that police stations did not have the full staff complement. They were still on the system and their posts could not be filled. What was SAPS doing about this? It was an organisation that had to enforce the law in the country and to make sure that there was law and order and no corruption. It was a problem if they themselves did not respect the law. What was SAPS management going to do about the high number of suspensions?
Mr G Schneemann (ANC) said his question related to the promotions listed in the document. He wanted to find out whether SAPS members had to do a course to move up in the ranks. Did one have to complete and pass the requirements and then be promoted or were they promoted if and when it was deemed necessary? In the previous week the Committee had been told that a large number of SAPS members had been promoted to the new rank of lieutenant and others to the rank of major. They were told that there had been 5,000 promotions and he wanted clarity on how one got a promotion in SAPS.
Mr Schneemann asked if there had been Section 35s granted to people below the ranks indicated on the list. He wanted more information on what happened to officers who had lost their firearms. He noted that the document listed that firearms had been lost in the toilet and he found it strange that this could happen.
The Chairperson asked Lt-Gen Dramat to explain the differences between the pension payout and benefits between a person granted a Section 35 and a person who reached the age of retirement and retired and a person who was fired from SAPS.
The Chairperson added emphasis to the questions raised by Mr George and asked what exactly and specifically were the exceptional circumstances that rendered a deviation from the normal route of appointments such as advertising vacant positions and allowing people to apply and undergo the interview process. She asked that the Committee be supplied with written records on the exceptional conditions according to Regulation 45.9. and also the positions the appointees held before.
Lt-Gen Dramat stated that the relevant managers would respond to the questions. He assured the Committee that there were no investigations that were being blocked deliberately or delayed or at least none that were under his direct supervision. He had some uneasiness about the question relating to the individuals who were under investigation as people had not been brought to court.
Ms Van Wyk said he did not have to give their names but he could supply the number of individuals of the 19 who had received a Section 35 who were under investigation whether internal or not. She knew of some disciplinary hearings that should have taken place and of criminal charges pending on the cases coming before the courts.
Lt-Gen Dramat said they could give the number and the managers would respond.
Mr George said that that he had asked a specific question which he felt should be responded to by Lt-Gen Dramat as he was the Acting Commissioner. Surely he should know the answer? Secondly, he was not comfortable with the answer given by Lt Gen Dramat as some time in the previous year, the National Commissioner had blazed on about what was wrong with Gen Terblanche and the Supply Chain Management and the next thing, he gave him a Section 35. The way he had presented it, was as if there was concrete evidence of wrongdoing and the next thing Gen Terblanche and others were given Section 35s.
The Chairperson corrected the statement about the National Committee “blazing on” and said he had merely reported to the Portfolio Committee.
Lt-Gen Dramat said that the line managers for personnel would be able to reflect on the questions about the exceptional circumstances. He also corrected Mr George’s misperception on his status at the meeting. He was not the Acting National Commissioner as the National Commissioner was still in the country and he was only leading the delegation at the meeting.
Maj Gen Mazibuko requested that they be provided with time to go to their records to provide a concise answer to the question about the exceptional circumstances for the appointments.
Lt -Gen Stander responded that the Committee had asked for the exceptional circumstances and the relevant documents could be made available. They could have it faxed and supply it to the Committee later in the day.
With regard to the issues raised about people being flown in at much higher levels, Lt Gen Stander noted that with appointments at this level, the process was regulated through the SAPS Regulation 44 and Regulation 45 which dealt with appointments and promotions. In addition, they were regulated by the National Instruction 3 of 2005 which dealt with the assessment centre process. National Instruction 6 of 2005 dealt with Levels 1-12. For the reporting period of the Annual Report those instructions were applicable. She had reported in the previous sessions that they had renegotiated the promotion process. A new agreement had been reached on promotion to the rank of lieutenant and major. The new ranks were contained in National Instruction 2 of 2011 and all the relevant documentation was on the SAPS intranet. National Instruction 4 of 2010 dealt with posts and salary levels 13 to 15. These were the processes they were following currently. The individuals they were referring to were covered in regulation 35.9 which stated that the National Commissioner could make the appointment if he was satisfied that the employee qualified in all respects for the post, and under exceptional circumstances and where such deviation was in the interest of the Service. All of this was contained in the documents which they would provide.
Lt-Gen Stander said that if people were promoted they had to comply with the inherent requirements of the post. In terms of their previous performance record, they looked at their performance assessment in their Performance Assessment Plan and they had to have a satisfactory mark. The process of the SMS selection was decentralized to the provinces where applicable, but the ultimate appointment took place at National level. The interview panels were constituted at a provincial level for appointments or promotions and then it came to the national office for ratification. Levels 1 to 7 were dealt with by the Provincial Commissioners. Levels 8 and above came to the National Office for approval. For captains, lieutenants and majors, the required qualification was at least an NQ4 or its equivalent. In this case, because there was a large percentage of people with over 20 years experience in this environment in these specific ranks, they had used seniority. The normal requirement was that they had to have uninterrupted service in SAPS of at least one year as at June 2010. They had to have a satisfactory performance assessment rating and they had to have no prior convictions or pending cases against them. They also had to be willing to be transferred to a specific environment to meet the requirements of the post.
Lt-Gen Stander said that it was true that people could skip ranks as long as they met the inherent requirements of the post. There was no requirement for them to move from one level to the next. This happened in other government departments as well and was not unique to SAPS. It was an open advertisement and people were invited to apply externally. They could come in at the level of Major General or Lieutenant General if they met the inherent requirements of the post and they went through the assessment centre and they conformed to all the requirements. Only those they had spoken about did not go through the assessment centre if the National Commissioner used the specific regulation that gave him the authority to make an appointment without advertising.
Lt-Gen Stander said that with regard to the Section 35s she had indicated that the number was 19 and she had never said that it was only three cases. SAPS had responded to Parliament on this question recently. She apologised if she had not been clear on the number.
Lt-Gen Stander clarified that people in the National Commissioner's office who were Public Service Act personnel, were not allowed to wear uniform. Only people covered under the Police Service Act were allowed to wear uniform.
On the question about the difference between a lateral appointment and a transfer, Lt-Gen Stander said that transfers were dealt with in terms of their transfer policy. If they identified an individual that could enhance service delivery, they could request for the individual to be transferred from one post to another in the interest of the service. Lateral appointments and lateral transfers were more or less the same thing, when the individual was moved from point A to B and where there was no promotion involved.
Maj Gen Mazibuko clarified that vertical movement entailed a promotion whereas in lateral appointments the individual moved from one position to an equal position and thus basically they remained on the same level.
Ms Van Wyk said that was clear, but why was there a differentiation between transfers and lateral appointments.
Maj Gen Mazibuko replied that sometimes people came from outside of the Department and it was the same phenomenon articulated in different ways.
The Chairperson said she did not know what they were debating. They had a report in 2010/11 on lateral appointments and the question was what would have been different if they had been transferred. Provincial Commissioner Petros who had moved from Provincial Commissioner of the
Lt-Gen Stander gave a quick run through the appointments made as requested by Ms Van Wyk. She said their response document indicated if people had moved from one level to another level, for instance the Chief Operations Officer, Maj Gen Mgwenya, was identified as the most suitable candidate for the post and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General. Before that she occupied the rank of Major General. The report read that Major General Mgwenya was identified as a suitable candidate for the post and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant General.
Ms Van Wyk said that not only was there an indication of the rank necessary but what they were doing and what were their responsibilities.
Lt-Gen said that this would be given in writing later in the day. Lt-Gen Mgwenya had been in the Department in the division of personnel management and acted as the Divisional Commissioner at some stage. Prior to that she had been in the Ministry as administrative support to the Minister and then she was transferred to SAPS. Before she had been in the Ministry, she was an operational officer in the Police Service so there were exceptional circumstances in respect of her administrative abilities and that was why she had been appointed to the post in the National Commissioner's office. She had also acted as COO in the National Commissioner's office for quite some time. As a result of her performance there, she was appointed into the post.
Lt- Gen Stander noted that the qualifications and skills of the people had been taken into consideration when they were appointed. In the case of Lt Gen Molefe, he had been acting in Legal Services For a long time and had worked in the office of the National Commissioner for some time. Gen Van Vuuren had been in the National Head Office.
Lt-Gen Stander responded to the question on why posts were advertised and then withdrawn. She stated that in the organisation a post became vacant and soon after it was no longer vacant as they could fill the posts laterally if they had people that could be employed in that environment and that was why they withdrew advertisements. There was a lot of movement in the organisation as people were retiring and services were terminated and some people requested transfers and posts were constantly becoming vacant. Before they finalised the process of appointments, they moved people laterally into posts. In the case of Gen Van Vuuren, he had been in organisational development and prior to that in the detective environment as well as crime intelligence and his transfer had been approved to fill the vacancy. There were many other cases of transfers and people received a notice and seven days to accept or not. Ultimately, in terms of the policy, the final decision still rested with the National Commissioner. Lt-Gen Stander referred to promotions specifically requested by the Provincial Commissioner of
The Chairperson was concerned about the constraints and said they had been more interested in the vertical than the lateral promotions and the information supplied thus far had sufficed.
Mr George said his concern with what Lt-Gen Stander had been saying, was that human resource management appointment processes did not only apply in SAPS but in all work environments. If they had advertised the posts, why did they withdraw the adverts? They were tampering with the labour laws. What about other people who had applied?
The Chairperson questioned Lt-Gen Stander's use of the word exceptional and the assertion that the appointees had what other people did not have in meeting the requirements in terms of their experience, qualifications and their performance level. Was she telling the Portfolio Committee that they had what no one else had.
Lt-Gen Stander said that was not what she was saying but the persons had been identified and they had exceptional circumstances. There might be other people that had similar experience and qualifications but the regulation made provision for the National Commissioner to deviate from the advertisement process.
The Chairperson said that the regulation stipulated that there had to be exceptional circumstances and that was what the Portfolio Committee was looking for. They had to be convinced that in these cases the circumstances were exceptional, for example if someone had been a Minister and no-one in the Department had ever been a Minister or had qualifications better than any other applicant. She had met many of the Department's officials through the Portfolio Committee and she was still wondering about exceptional and that was what she would be looking for when the letters came.
Mr Schneemann said he had been listening to the answers that had been given on how the promotions took place and he thought it was something that the Portfolio Committee had to look into. As far as he knew, using the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) as an example, one could not go from one rank to another without doing a course. One could not get promoted unless one passed a course and even then there was no guarantee of promotion. In the SANDF, they only did a certain number of promotions a year. If one wanted go from a private to a Lance Corporal, you had to do a course. The only time that he knew of when one could automatically become a Lieutenant without doing a course was when you had a degree. He said they did not need an immediate response but it was something they had to look into. They should look at other police forces around the world to see how the handled promotions. They had to accept that there would always be exceptional circumstances but it should not be the general rule. He was pleased that the ranks of lieutenant and major were being used but on the other hand he questioned what criteria had been used to make the promotions.
Mr Swathe added to the debate on ‘exceptional circumstances’ and said they needed to know how many positions they were talking about. There were so many people who had been promoted on that basis. When one spoke of exceptions it should be two or three but if they were talking of 10 or 15 then it no longer qualified as being exceptional.
Mr Swathe also wanted clarity on the advertised posts that were terminated after two months. What happened to the applications?
Ms Kohler-Barnard said that she was waiting for an answer about Colonel Meadow who was back at work in KZN.
The Chairperson asked Lt-Gen Stander about the allegations of poor performance made by their immediate superiors against some of the people who had been promoted due to exceptional circumstances. She requested that Lt-Gen Stander check the files of the people to see if it was true that they had reports of poor performance.
Lt-Gen Stander said she would check their records. She indicated that the performance records of the two people who had been promoted at the request of the Gauteng Provincial Commissioner was also captured on their system and she would supply the information by the end of the day.
With regard to what happened when the posts were advertised and withdrawn, Lt Gen Stander responded that the advertisements stated that SAPS was under no obligation to fill an advertised posts. All the candidates knew that up front as that clause was stated in the advertisement. When the advert was withdrawn then the other processes did not proceed.
Lt-Gen Stander said she was not sure about the facts regarding Colonel Madhoe as that was being dealt with by the provincial office in KZN. She had been told that after he had appeared in court and was out on a bail, he had immediately received a suspension notice and the Commissioner was in the process of suspending him. She would make a follow up later in the day to confirm what was happening.
Lt-Gen Stander referred to Lt Gen Dramat's statement that they were not in a position to reveal the details of the persons under investigation who had received Section 35s. She said that Section 35s were not awarded by one person alone. The employer could initiate it and the employee could also apply for it. What normally happened when they received such a request when it was not employer initiated, was that the National Commissioner, the COO, the Deputy Commissioner in whose environment the specific person worked and herself would discuss it. The Legal Services representative would also be present to weigh the pros and cons of each application and afterwards a decision was taken.
The Chairperson asked how many of the 19 individuals had applied.
Lt-Gen Stander said the list did not indicate this and she would get the information.
The Chairperson asked what was the difference in terms of benefits between a person who was granted a Section 35 and discharged and a person who went on retirement.
Lt-Gen Stander said she was going to ask the CFO to assist with this question as there were certain rules that had to be applied in terms of the Government Employees Pension Fund (GEPF), the Police Service Act and the Basic Conditions of Employment Act, when they did the calculations for the discharges.
Ms Van Wyk said she understood that Lt-Gen Dramat had said SAPS would not be in a position to give the names but they could give the number of people who were under investigation.
The CFO, Lt-Gen Stefan Schutte, said that they had done a comparative analysis on Section 35 discharges and early retirement in the past but he did not have it with him. Normally payments were a function of time and if one applied for Section 35 earlier there were a number of years that the person would have received a salary from the State if they had stayed. It was not just a simple scenario as the monthly payment was less if you were on retirement. It differed from person to person in terms of the length of service and the number of years left till one reached the age of normal retirement. Normally there was a lump sum under Section 35 that was higher than if the person stayed in the employ of the State till retirement. The moment they retired they had a lower income or payment by the state via the GEPF. Lt Gen Schutte said that was a basic comparative analysis and he did not want to speculate further as he only wanted to indicate the principles per se.
The Chairperson asked what benefits, in terms of pension and a portion of their salary on a monthly basis, did those discharged under Section 35 get.
Lt-Gen Schutte replied they would have to make that calculation but he could indicate that they only received 60% of their annual basic salary package. The monthly pension took into account the number of years service. If they had stayed in the employ of SAPS they would have earned a higher salary per month for a longer period of time in the case of a younger person.
The Chairperson said he should not speak about those who were staying as they were in the employ of SAPS. They were talking about the 46 year old who was granted Section 35 at a certain salary level and who got a payment every month calculated at that salary level. For how long would that person receive that payment and what was the benefit or loss to the Department?
Lt-Gen Schutte said that one had to take into consideration the number of years the person would have worked in the employ of the State. One could not just take it per annum. It had to be compared with what would have happened if the person had stayed.
The Chairperson asked Lt-Gen Schutte not to make the comparison but to give an example of a person who took a Section 35 and explain that in terms of benefits and payouts.
Ms Van Wyk said there was an example on the list of an individual who had been granted Section 35 .The question was why a 47 year old would prefer to take a Section 35 and what were the advantages.
Lt-Gen Schutte commented that Lt-Gen Stander had indicated that Section 35s could be employer initiated but it could also be applied for by the employee for various reasons. His point was that over time it would not necessarily be more beneficial and they would have to calculate that, taking the same person over the number of years left to their normal retirement age. If one took a Section 35, normally a number of years were added which increased one's payment.
The Chairperson said that Lt-Gen Schutte was not responding to the question and gave an example of the former Deputy National Commissioner on the list who took the Section 35 and asked what he was receiving per month.
Lt-Gen Schutte said that what he was getting was much lower than his monthly salary had been but he had received a lump sum.
The Chairperson asked what percentage of his former monthly salary he was receiving.
Lt-Gen Schutte said he did not have it with him but it was lower but he had also received a lump sum which he did not have when he was employed.
Ms Van Wyk said they had two examples on the list. The one of General Pruis and it was obviously to his advantage to take a Section 35 rather than a retirement. The simple question was why it had been to his advantage and what was the financial impact on the Department of that advantage. The second one was the case of the 47 year old and the question was what the advantages were for that individual to take a Section 35. It was a simple issue as in both cases the Department added to the years that had been worked and the lump sum payment was larger. The 47 year old would have the added advantage of still being economically active. Why individuals preferred to take a Section 35 rather than retirement was simply a matter of financial benefits and there were SAPS members in the room who were hoping to get Section 35s. She told Lt-Gen Schutte that the Committee should not have to drag the information from him and it should be clear and not technical.
The Chairperson requested Lt-Gen Dramat to co-ordinate the SAPS response on the issues raised and to supply the Committee with the information by the end of the SITA presentation.
SAPS Presentation on their Technology Management Services (TMS)
Lt-Gen Lea Mofomme, Deputy National Commissioner: Physical Resource Management, said that TMS fell under Programme 1: Administration. Its strategic objective was to regulate the overall management of the department and to provide centralised support services. The key priority was the development, sustainability and implementation of Information Systems (IS) and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) within SAPS and between the relevant departments in the cluster. The key indicator was the percentage of planned development, sustainability and implementation of systems within SAPS and the relevant departments. The overall target had been the completion of 70% of IS / ICT projects during 2010/11. In terms of actual performance, they had achieved 75.7% of IS / ICT projects completed.
Lt-Gen Mofomme indicated the targets and actual performance for the specific IS / ICT projects which had been undertaken to improve the TMS environment. These included the Investigation Case Document Management (ICDM), the Criminal Justice System Information Sharing, the Criminal Justice System Performance Management and the Corruption Perpetrator Information, Crime Victims Information, Identity Theft Information, Cyber Crime Information and Action Request for Service (see document for details).
Lt Gen Mofomme said they had distributed the response document on questions raised by members on previous occasions which Maj Gen Tshabalala, TMS Head, would present when requested by the Chairperson.
State Information Technology Agency (SITA) on services provided to SAPS in 2010/11
Ms Febe Potgieter-Gqubule, Acting Chairperson of the SITA Board, led the delegation from SITA. She responded to the Chairperson's comment that she had gone through the SITA's Annual Report but had not found any reference to SAPS in it. Ms Potgieter-Gqubule said there was a reference to SAPS on page 21 of the Annual Report which referred to a particular project. One of the issues that SITA had discussed as part of their turnaround strategy had been improving the reporting on the work they did for departments. They did an entity wide report and it did not indicate the exact work they did for departments. They intended to do that in the next Annual Report.
Chief Operational Officer, Ms Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, said the presentation covered the various services level agreements (SLAs) they had with SAPS and the challenges SITA had encountered in the past financial year, the SITA annual results relevant to SAPS, the expiry of Contract 569 and the implications for SAPS, and the outlook for SITA and SAPS priorities for 2011/12 (see document).
SAPS and SITA had signed seven SLAs in 2010/11 ranging from Hosting and Network Services to a bureau service for transversal systems for which they did a cost and an in-year performance analysis. They had agreed on performance targets and service scope and had done price negotiations.
Ms Ntshavheni presented the findings for each
In terms of the performance outcomes they had achieved 99.9% availability and the guaranteed response time for Oracle and Adabas had been met. Challenges they experienced during 2010/11 were their processing capacity which was 85% on a 24 hour basis and this was a bit thin in the case of contingencies. There was also insufficient storage capacity and these were challenges that they would be addressing moving forward.
Under the Application Maintenance & Developmental Services SLA, SITA did corrective and routine data maintenance and adaptive enhancements. In terms of application development, SITA dealt with the development of the Investigation Case Docket Management System (ICDMS) popularly known as the eDocket. Performance outcomes were the maintenance of 32 applications and the completed application system infrastructure for the ICDMS. The Criminal Case Registration of the ICDMS was 70% complete. The challenges were that the user requirements were not complete and the ICDMS team was not fully resourced due to the SITA turnaround.
Ms Ntshavheni expanded on the expiry of Contract 569 and the implications for SAPS and how they were dealing with the gap that had been created. The contract had expired on 31 May 2011. This contracting model had allowed departments to contract directly without going through SITA . With SAPS arrangements, there had been things that SAPS had contracted directly and there were contracts handled directly by SITA. SAPS had contracted 79 Labour Broker Contractors (LBCs) directly for the IJS cluster. 50 of the contracts had expired as of 30 September 2011, 12 had expiry dates between 1 October and 30 December 2011 and 15 contracts would expire between 01 January to 31 May 2012 with two having expiry dates beyond that. As there had been a need for some of the services that had expired, SITA had allowed SAPS to make use of their own procurement processes to retain the resources that they still required.
SITA had contracted 71 LBCs under Contract 569 for servicing of SAPS and all contracts would expire on the 31 March 2012. There was a process underway to determine service requirements and deliverables for the 79 directly contracted by SAPS so that SITA could provide a service to the IJS cluster. Other services that had been provided by Contract 569 and were now not provided for because the contracts had expired were provided for via Contract 570, in the event that SITA did not have the capacity to do so. SITA was no longer offering SAPS a resource-based
Ms Potgieter-Gqubule commented on the lack of investment by Government in infrastructure for SITA for the last two financial years. In 2009/10 SITA had invested R86 million in infrastructure, both new and in upgrades and in 2010/11 they had invested only R28 million. For an organisation that generated revenue of R4 billion this was seriously under capacitated. What they wanted to do with departments was develop a long-term perspective. For example in the current year they had raised their infrastructure spending to about R900 million which was a significant increase over the past year. This increase would impact positively on SAPS who was one of SITA's largest customers and also for the rest of government in terms of ICT services.
The Chairperson thanked the SITA for their presentation.
Mr Schneemann noted that they were doing the review of the past financial year and he wanted to find out from SAPS, given the fact SITA performed a large proportion of their ICT services, if they were happy and satisfied with the service received and were getting value for money.
Mr Schneemann referred to the expiry of Contract 569 and a letter that appeared on the SITA website in this regard. He asked SITA to expand on this as he wanted to know why it was being cancelled and not renewed. He had been informed that Contract 569 was covered by Contract 570. In terms of the Contract not continuing, he wanted to know what the impact and implications were, specifically from SAPS' perspective. Why would they appoint and get outside contractors to do work outside of what SITA was doing? What would happen to the work that was currently being done by SITA when the contracts expired by 31 March 2012. How was SAPS going to be able to fill this gap to allow these projects to continue.
Ms Van Wyk referred to the Annual Report which indicated the increase in payment to external service providers for computer services and the decrease for SITA services. She wanted an explanation specifically about the R38 million relating to exhibit management and the R6 million for case docket administration. She noted that these were not payments made to SITA.
Mr Swathe questioned what was happaning about TMS on the ground specifically the eDocket. When the Portfolio Committee visited police stations there were only a few utilising that technology. He was not sure if SAPS or SITA was responsible for the delay. When would the technology cover all the police stations and work effectively?
Mr Swathe raised the matter of a police station in the
Mr Swathe wanted clarity on SITA's statement that they would no longer be offering SAPS a resource-based
Mr V Ndlovu (IFP) noted the target of 70% set by SAPS for most of its targets and asked if the target was too high or too low. The target in question had been achieved with 75% and so the target seemed too low.
Mr V Ndlovu queried the performance levels SITA had given for remote sites which was 95%. The performance outcome was 97% for remote sites in terms of the Service Scope Network SLA. SITA had given a figure for upgrades and he asked if this included the remote sites. Mr Ndlovu said there was urban remote and totally remote.
Mr Schneemann asked when the decision had been taken that Contract 569 would not continue. When was this communicated to SAPS and service providers. The letter he had downloaded from the SITA website was dated 24 May 2011.
The Chairperson referred to the figure of R1 420 601 588 for revenue in the SITA presentation on the SAPS Account Performance which differed from the figure given in SITA's Annual Report.
The Chairperson asked what was meant by the performance outcome for the mean time to repair faults which was six hours average on 60% calls and VIP and Mission Critical, which had a performance outcome of two hours average on 50% of calls logged. She was asking this in connection with what they had found at police stations where computers were not in use.
The Chairperson queried the decrease in SITA payments and the increase in external service providers which members had noted and asked for an explanation. SAPS had referred to external computer consultants for an upgrade.
The Chairperson said SITA had referred to signing seven SLAs but there were only six listed.
Ms A Van Wyk noted that in SITA's Annual Report there was a reference to irregular expenditure of R5 million. Was it related to SAPS and if it was could they provide more details.
Lt-Gen Mofomme requested Maj Gen Tshabalala answer the relevant questions.
Maj Gen Tshabalala responded that the relationship with SITA had been very difficult. There had been an improvement and they were trying to work together but there were still differences of opinion but at least they were trying to iron out issues.
Ms Potgieter-Gqubule explained the difference between a resource-based SLA and a services approach
Ms Ntshavheni responded on the questions on Contract 569. She said that Contract 569 had not been established specifically for SAPS. It was a transversal contract used by all of government to service government similarly to Contract 570. In terms of process and regulation, Contracts 569 and 570 were negotiated by SITA and the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) who was the owner of the contract and renewal was done through them. With IT services, specifications and requirements changed and contracts had to be changed accordingly. If a transversal contract was established, it meant that there was a universal need across government for the service. As they did not want the SITA procurement function hamstrung, the transversal contract negotiated for bulk procurement, could be used in the departmental procurement process. They had given DPSA notice that Contract 569 was due to expire. SITA was not the contract owner so they had no obligations to inform other users that the contract was going to expire.
Ms Ntshavheni clarified the differences in Contracts 569 and 570. Under Contract 569 it was possible to contract a specialist such as an IT technician whereas under Contract 570, service providers would offer services such as programming. The difference was that Contract 569 worked like a recruitment agency. There were many IT recruitment agencies who were selling people to government departments to do their services and there was a proliferation of this in government. This could be done as a stopgap for six months but most of the people recruited under Contract 569 had been there for four, five and even up to 10, 12 years. As alluded to by the Acting Chairperson, people were recruited at premium rates to perform a certain function and when the work was completed they could not be utilised elsewhere and had to be retained at premium rate. Contract 569 did not give one the agility to get out of this. Under Contract 570 if you wanted a solution developed, one could contract for that solution. Contract 569 could be abused as it replaced the normal recruitment process in government. The argument was that if one could contract a person for 10 years, the person might as well have been recruited normally in terms of the Labour Relations Act provisions as they obviously needed the services. All skills that could have been sourced through Contract 569, could be recruited through Contract 570. The majority of IT labour brokers who were on Contract 569, were also accredited on Contract 570 and that was one of the reasons DPSA did not renew Contract 569. In terms of the notifications to departments, DPSA as the contract holder, had not sent the notifications out on time. SITA advised the departments and informed their clients by the notification on the SITA website, that their contracts were not going to be renewed.
Maj Gen Tshabalala said the impact of the termination of Contract 569 had been huge. They had reported on the AGS project that had been stalled because of the cancellation without SAPS being informed. DPSA wrote a letter about extending the contract but it was not done and SAPS had a large team dependent on that contract.
Ms Ntshavheni said the contract had been due to expire in March 2011 and DPSA had written SITA a letter requesting it be extended for an additional two months and SITA had extended it to the end of May 2011. SAPS had not communicated with them again on the matter.
Ms Potgieter-Gqubule said that Maj Gen Tshabalala was correct about the negative impact this had on SAPS and it had to be seen in the context of the relationship between SITA and SAPS which had virtually broken down during the 2010/11 financial year. Measures had been put in place to remedy the breakdown in communications and SITA as the service provider aimed to be more responsive to the needs of the Department.
Maj Gen Tshabalala responded to the questions on the decreased payments to SITA and the increase in costs to external service providers. He said that in 2009/10 the increase was due to additional data lines being implemented to the value of R40 million. They also had IJS projects that had kicked in in the 2010 financial year and there had been a project of R48 million. The decrease in SITA costs was due to negotiation on the SLAs and the optimisation of resources. In the service contracts, the number of resources had been agreed upfront.
Ms Van Wyk noted that Maj Gen Tshabalala had basically read the answer in the response document but they wanted to know why it happened and specifically the R38 million spent on the Property Control and Exhibit Management (PCEM). The Committee wanted to know why it was necessary to go outside and which companies had been contracted.
Maj Gen Tshabalala said they had given a written response on PCEM.
The Chairperson said he had brought it that day and members had not read it yet and if he had brought it on time they would have known what the responses were.
Maj Gen Tshabalala said he was responding to the questions asked and the first had been what was PCEM.
The Chairperson said there had been a specific question and asked Ms Van Wyk to repeat it.
Ms Van Wyk said that there was a reference in the Annual Report to R38 million more that was spent on PCEM. They wanted clarity on the matter and she was also interested to know which companies had received these external contracts.
Maj Gen Tshabalala said that his figure for PCEM was R30 million or 16% however what was spent under the same contract was R503 million rand.
The Chairperson asked him to repeat this as he had mentioned two figures and it was difficult to understand.
Maj Gen Tshabalala said that R30 million had been paid on the actual PCEM but there was also Schedule D for procurement for forensic science laboratories of R503 million. He was basically saying that it was more.
Ms Van Wyk queried the total of R38 million more for TMS in the documentation which she presumed had been for PCEM.
Maj Gen S Ngubane, TMS: SAPS, said the R38 million reflected the additional amount spent in 2010/11 as opposed to 2009/10. The figure Maj Gen Tshabalala had given was an overall spend. Broken down, the figures would reflect costs to development and the service provider had been Unisys. The rest were under Schedule D and Unisys was the prime contractor. They had a breakdown of exactly what was spent on the PCEM project. The spend on external service providers kicked in during the past financial year.
Ms Van Wyk asked what there was to show for the nearly R600 million that had been spent? What did they have tangibly? The SAPS 13 Stores were still in a mess and they were definitely not seeing anything happening.
Maj Gen Ngubane elaborated on the breakdown of Schedule D and indicated the CJS ringfenced funds that had been used on procurement for the forensic science laboratory. The increase in spending had been on the development of the system for which Unisys was the contractor.
Ms Van Wyk asked what they could show on the PCEM system. She understood the reprioritisation of what was a ringfenced amount, but what could they show for it.
Maj Gen Ngubane said they had the PCEM Version 1.1 which was the system and software they had procured and they had a system that worked but the functionality was limited and the service contractors were working according to the statements of work. The next phase was to convert the system to a different platform. They were running in an IBM environment which supported Java and that was the next phase and they were including all the exhibits.
Ms Van Wyk asked if he was saying that they had a R38 million software programme that was not speaking to their systems and it now had to be redesigned to speak to Java as they had an IBM system. Were these things not established before they had started the project? Surely people knew that SAPS worked on an IBM system. If they were saying it was limited, where was it used? It was a software programme and it was the best example of virtual nothingness, as that was what it was, although it had cost a lot.
Mr Ngubane admitted that the system had limited functionality as it could not handle all the exhibits. It was usable at this stage and they had planned that phase one would be for a quick win as they needed a system that could handle the exhibits, albeit on a limited scale, and then proceed to a full PCEM rollout.
The Chairperson asked Maj Gen Tshabalala for how long they would have this liability called PCEM.
Ms Van Wyk said she also wanted to ask that question and went further by asking if it was not time to call it a day in terms of the system. Why were they spending more on something that was not working?
Maj Gen Tshabalala said the Chairperson knew his position on this and asked if they could present the entire PCEM project plan to the Committee step by step, to show what had to be in place, at what phase. If there were anything untoward, it would be dealt with. Saying it does not work and did not perform the function was premature as the project had been planned in a phased manner, and that was the design strategy. It was similar with the eDocket system which they were rolling out.
The Chairperson asked what the duration of the contract was.
Maj Gen Tshabalala replied that it was a contract of R183 million over three years for PCEM and there were certain milestones that had to be achieved.
The Chairperson said that they would spend more and if there was a way of terminating the project she would do so. She did not know how the department could have signed such a contract. She said they would probably have a presentation on PCEM in the future. They would also be interested in the results of the investigations.
Ms Potgieter-Gqubule responded to the question on the 'remotes' and infrastructural upgrades and said it referred to the various categories of the rural areas countrywide. They were looking at strengthening the SITA provincial offices so that it was better able to address the needs of their urban and rural areas and improving the service levels and response times.
Ms Potgieter-Gqubule said she did not know if the Irregular Expenditure in the SITA Annual Report related to SAPS. They would check and respond in writing if it involved services rendered to SAPS.
Ms Potgieter-Gqubule responded to the question on the decline of revenue from SAPS and the fact that they were sourcing other service providers. There were certain mandatory services according to the Act which departments had to get from SITA. The difficulties had been that there were issues around quality of services and pricing with SITA and departments had gone elsewhere. The turnaround strategy looked at these issues as well as the value add they gave departments so that the ICT contracts delivered the services they needed. They had engaged with the Auditor-General (AG) to find a way for the Annual Reports of departments to reflect their ICT spending such as SITA costs, direct procurement and other service providers so that they could get an indication of the trends and address the implications.
Ms Ntshavheni responded to the questions on the eDocket and said phase one would be completed by December 2011.
Ms Ntshavheni addressed the issue of response time on calls received requesting repairs. They had agreed on an average turnaround time of 6 hours to repair and were achieving it for 60% of the calls they received and the rest of the calls were responded to beyond that time.
Ms Ntshavheni responded to the concern expressed by Mr Swathe on computers that were not functional in the Free State and requested the details.
The Chairperson said she had not understood the answer on the 60% response rate and what was meant by her use of the word 'beyond'.
Ms Ntshavheni said that if one called from a police station to report a computer not working, then SITA or one of their service partners should come and repair within six hours in the case of calls from ordinary police sites. In the case of the category SITA identified as VIP or Mission Critical, then the call should be resolved in two hours and this was taking place in the case of 50% of calls logged. Beyond that was when it took more than the two hours for VIP calls and beyond six hours if SITA responded beyond that period which happened because of capacity constraints. SITA was addressing these gaps and there would be penalties for their failure to meet their commitment and they would credit the department's account in their reconciliation.
On the seven SLAs with SAPS for the year 2011/12, Ms Ntshavheni said she had only reported on six as she had combined the bureau and hosting SLA for efficiency as they were related.
Maj Gen Tshabalala reported that the scanners that had been bought to scan dockets in preparation for the rollout of the eDocket had not been rolled out to all police stations. It was one of the tough decisions that they had to take as some of the scanners were not connected and some were not being used and they were very expensive. By December 2011, they would be rolling out to 20 police stations and by the end of the complete rollout, the scanners would be almost obsolete. They were going to interact with SITA and others as there were alternatives such as sub-contracting this work so that it could be done in the shortest possible time and the scanner would be matched with a functional desktop and fully functional eDocket.
Mr Schneemann referred to Maj Gen Tshabalala's comments on the discontinuation of Contract 569 and that the impact had been huge and that the AGS project had been stalled. Could he have an indication of where they were now and what was the situation, moving forward?
The Chairperson said Maj Gen Tshabalala had raised the issue of scanners and desktops. Did it mean that this had to be done together with SITA and what were the implications of what he was saying.
Maj Gen Tshabalala replied there had been a specific problem regarding Contract 569. There was no problem with procurement of equipment but his fear was wastage as they had bought scanners that were just sitting there. The ones they had, cost R340 million. When they went to police stations, there were points, but the scanner was not being used for what it was supposed to be used for. Stealing was also a challenge that had to be addressed. He was suggesting that they hold back while they were in the process of the rollout to the 20 police stations and getting a functional eDocket system operational. His worry was that equipment was being bought at a sizeable cost and not being utilised whereas they could use that money to ensure that the stations that did not have points got connected. If they did 300 in the current financial year they would be moving towards a fully fledged eDocket system. His concern was wastage which was apparent at some police stations.
Maj Gen Tshabalala said the impact of the cancellation of Contract 569 was that they had taken away from other projects.
In terms of contracting outside resources, Maj Gen Tshabalala commented that he was also concerned about the number of people who had worked for five and six years on a single project, who had almost become permanent employees. By the time they had developed a solution they had already expended R50 million. They were not kicking them out but had started getting them together, to work on projects.
Ms Van Wyk asked who had the contract for the eDocket.
Maj Gen Tshabalala said that an eDocket contract had not been awarded.
Ms Ntshavheni said that eDocket was an in-house development by SITA and they were using SITA resources to develop it.
Ms Van Wyk asked if it had ever been investigated whether there was an 'off the shelf' product that would serve the same purpose.
Maj Gen Tshabalala said people had been very busy developing but he was not sure whether there had been an investigation and they would have been informed about it.
Ms Ntshavheni responded that there had not been an investigation about an off the shelf product and they had engaged with SAPS on how to deal with this as part of their skills development moving forward. She invited Mr Nagalin Tuganandar, Chief Solution Development: Norms and Standards, to give SITA's approach vis a vis off the shelf products and bespoke solutions, given the free and open source software development policy of government.
Mr Tuganandar, said the eDocket solution was an in-house bespoke development by SITA. There was a case management system that was part of eDocket and SITA was investigating an electronic content management system supportive of the eDocket which could be utilised across other government solutions. The specific requirements of the eDocket and what was required in the workflow including security had been customised for the SAPS environment.
Ms Kohler-Barnard said a strategic question for the country was at looking at solutions that were procured off the shelf or developed. One of the difficulties was that they were faced with a lot of solutions and that was why there were escalated costs. If they got something off the shelf it had to be adapted to their particular specifications. There were off the shelf solutions that fit into the government environment. The eDocket had to speak to the justice system and correctional services and it was often cheaper to develop one's own system rather than buying something off the shelf which you had to pay to customise. There were often narrow margins in the cost analysis and SITA had to advise Departments on the cost implications of the bespoke route or the off the shelf route for the whole life cycle of the project.
Ms Van Wyk said that in the case of the eDocket, a comparative cost analysis had not been done. A question related to this was how SITA protected what had been developed by themselves. If one went on the internet one could see how many companies were running with products that had been designed specifically for government departments.
Mr Tuganadar, said in terms of the eDocket, it was actually called the integrated case management system and the aspect of integration implied that there was a component that integrated it to other solutions and processes. This had to be considered. They were using an IBM solution suite to develop processes and there was an integrating solution that brought in the other systems including modernising SAPS Investigation Case Docket Management (ICDM) and increasing security. There was also the bigger challenge of the longer term desktop strategy to make all the solutions web enabled so that they could interface with the internet. SITA did look at different product sets to see how well it could comply. Overall there was a protection policy for the configured solutions SITA built. What was customised for any department was owned by that department and SITA could have the rights, as in the case of SAPS, to utilise it in another department. There was also an internal protection policy to protect data.
Ms Ntshavheni added that the issue was that of protecting the intellectual property of government in terms of the solutions they developed. There was an intellectual property and knowledge management strategy on how the bespoke solutions were managed. Sometimes bespoke solutions were developed with other service providers and what would remain the intellectual property of government, was built into the contract. Similarly people who left SITA could not use the solutions, as they were legally bound not to do so.
Maj Gen Ngubane responded to the question on whether the 70% target was too high or too low. From the perspective of good management the target should not be set too low so that it was too easy to attain but they had to set a target that was achievable and their should be benchmarks. The fact that they had achieved the targets was a matter of people applying themselves. They were going to address this further in their own transformation strategy to come up with good targets and measurables, especially for multi-year projects.
Maj Gen Ngubane said that in a previous engagement with the Committee there been some discussion about new solutions and a representative from Vodacom was present, who could demonstrate a mobile law enforcement device based on smart phone technology that had been developed by Blackberry.
The Chairperson allowed the demonstration to proceed.
Maj Gen supplied further details including that the prototype was funded by Blackberry through their project 'Research in Motion'.
The Chairperson thanked the demonstrator for the information.
Mr Schneemann asked if it was being used at the moment and how many units SAPS had and how effective had it been.
Maj Gen Ngubane said the units had not been used and they had bought a 1,000 of the Max-ID units in the last financial year. He was not sure of the cost of the demonstrated device and they had not bought any.
Maj Gen Tshabalala said they would test what Vodacom had given them and then make a decision.
Lt-Gen Mofomme requested the information be regarded for information only as it still had to be discussed by management, the National and Deputy, Provincial and Divisional Commissioners, after which a decision would be taken looking at financial and other implications.
Lt Gen S Lebeya said it seemed like an improvement on the existing device being used which had a limited capacity. He wanted to know if the intention was to link to the data held by SAPS.
The Chairperson said that normally she would not have allowed the question but she was interested in the answer.
The demonstrator replied that being an online device it would allow the fingerprint image to be sent to the SAPS system and also to the SAPS AFIS system which had a much larger database of fingerprints. Beyond that the fingerprint could be sent to Home affairs National Identification System (HANIS) where most of the citizens had their fingerprints and where the identity of the person could be ascertained. Fingerprints could also be checked against the Electronic National Traffic Information System (eNatis) which had not been fully utilised by SAPS for identification purposes.
Ms Van Wyk noted that R26 million had been spent for fingerprint readers, hand held wireless devices, GPS and other technology SAPS had invested in, in the past. The Morphis system was supposed to have been rolled out to every police vehicle about ten years ago and it never happened. Maybe it was a good thing that management went and discussed these issues and came back. She was still interested in the quantity of 755 items bought at a cost of R26 million as it was quite an expensive gadget.
The Chairperson asked Maj Gen Tshabalala about the expenditure on the CJS budget which was at 14% in September 2011. Of a budget of R1,1 billion they had only spent R157,000 by the second quarter of the current financial year and she asked what had been his projected expenditure.
Lt Gen Tshabalala replied that in the normal expenditure programme in government, there was the expectation that one would spend a certain amount in every quarter. In the IT environment they experienced the challenge that the process of procurement took longer. They were sitting on 14% and orders were placed for all items planned and budgeted for. For the forensic science laboratory they had done procurement but they were waiting and the same happened in the last financial year.
The Chairperson said she could not understand that in two quarters he had only spent 14% of the budget in that area. He would be saying the same next year. He had used his whole 100% in the past financial year but it had also been in the last quarter. This spoke to his planning for the following year and when he started planning. In his annual performance plan they expected him to say exactly what he was going to spend in the first three months and the second three months and the last two quarters so that they could hold him accountable to that. It was actually saying to the Committee that he was not spending according to his annual performance plan. If all the spending was done in the last quarter, it led to fruitless expenditure and fiscal dumping which was something that they could not afford. There were so many needs and it was a worrying trend if the spending was this slow and it was already October.
Maj Gen Tshabalala acknowledged that there had to be better planning assisted by people processing things quicker.
Maj Gen Tshabalala said that the devices members had raised questions about were used in the labs and they had been deployed and were in use. He did not want to comment further on the issues raised.
The Chairperson said there would be further interaction on the outstanding issues.
Lt-Gen Mofomme said that there had been a lot of enquiries and questions about the Property Control and Exhibit Management (PCEM). They had not yet requested their Legal Services to look into it. Her plea was that if there was any information that could assist them, it should be put forward as they wanted to put everything on the table and resolve it, if it could be resolved as it was a contract.
The Chairperson responded that all the Portfolio Committee wanted was an efficient and cost effective service. They wanted the assurance that whatever route was taken, it would deliver this. They were aware, that at times, SITA and the Department could not sit in the same meeting and they appreciated the fact that this had been corrected. They needed the services SITA was providing and the Portfolio Committee supported SITA. They hoped the new Chairperson would bring some light at the end of the tunnel and the Committee was cautiously optimistic about the renewed working relationship between SITA and SAPS.
The Chairperson agreed with Lt-Gen Mofomme on the need to get to the bottom of the matters relating to PCEM. In her own view it would be better to go into the areas in which services were rendered and seeing what was not working rather than sitting in Parliament and discussing it. Maj Gen Tshabalala had to take the Committee through matters relating to TETRA in detail. She had seen some of the responses to the Committee's questions and they wanted more information on the contract and what was happening. They would invite Maj Gen Tshabalala to brief the Committee on TETRA in the future. The Chairperson thanked the SITA delegation.
Response to questions on Section 35
The Chairperson said that SAPS would respond to the matters raised earlier in the meeting.
Lt Gen Stander said she had prepared a letter with annexures on the appointments of the four individuals which she had handed to the Chairperson, on why their appointments had been approved under Regulation 45.8 and 9. General Schutte would also give an explanation of the calculations relating to the Section 35 discharges that had been requested.
Lt-Gen Schutte said they had done the calculations and for the purposes of the discussion they had focused on Section 35 vis a vis an early retirement. The fact was that a Section 35 was more beneficial to the individual than an early retirement. Section 35 had the following two elements which were added in comparison to an early retirement. A salary of approximately six months plus five years would be added to their service should the individual still have five years to normal retirement age. For example, if one took any one of the individuals and one looked at the comparative figures, the SAPS payment in terms of a Section 35 would be in the vicinity of R1,4 million whilst the SAPS payment for an early retirement would be in the vicinity of R852 thousand. In terms of the GEPF (based on estimates and not the actual) this would be R1,3 million in terms of a Section 35 and R1,183 million in terms of an ordinary early retirement. In terms of the lump sum it would be more for a Section 35. The monthly payment that the individual would receive from the GEPF would be R30,705 under a Section 35. In terms of an ordinary early retirement, it would be R26,724 making for a difference of R4,000. There would thus be a bigger lump sum due to the additional years the person had received as well as the termination salary in advance. This was thus the comparative model between early retirement where there were penalties for leaving early and a Section 35.
Lt-Gen Schutte responded to the questions on the additional amounts for the different programmes of SAPS and noted that the figures were not certified and had still to go through the approval process and submission to Parliament by the Minister of Finance. Rounded off, the amounts for Programme 1 was R76 million, For Programme 2, the amount was R126 million, for Programme 3 the amount was R112 million, for Programme 4 the amount was R78 million, for Programme 5 the amount was R20 million. These additional amounts were necessary for one thing basically, which was the improvement of conditions of service. He noted that in the Public Service Bargaining Council, an agreement was reached of a 6,8% increase. In terms of the Treasury Regulations and MTEF, SAPS had provided for an increase of 5.5% and the 1.3% increase would have to be provided for by the adjustment estimates. He said that those were the calculations at that point in time and emphasised that Treasury still had to go through their processes with regard to the matter. They also had to provide for cleaners and there were technical aspects in relation to this as SAPS was moving away from the use of labour brokers to the permanent employment of cleaners. The local government elections were also a factor.
Ms Kohler-Barnard wanted further clarity on the Section 35 as they had been informed that there had to be special reasons why a person was given a Section 35 and yet she was getting the impression that one could actually choose it because it was financially more beneficial. In which case why did everyone not take early retirement under Section 35 and get more money out of the SAPS. She had asked this before and she wanted to know who took the final decision? Who took the final decision on the 19 individuals who were given this special dispensation to get more money? How did this system work as anyone in their right mind would leave SAPS five years early under Section 35.
Ms M Molebatsi asked if she was right in saying that those given Section 35s benefited more than those taking early retirement? She also wanted to know if the lump sums were tax-free.
Lt-Gen Schutte replied that the lump sum was taxable.
Ms Van Wyk noted that there were still questions outstanding. She asked if the R31 million that was reflected for the Section 35s was the only expenses as the previous day it had been explained that if a Section 35 was provided, then a payment had to be made to the Government Pension Fund. What was this amount for the 19 individuals. The other question still outstanding was the number out of these 19 people who were under investigation whether externally or internally. Following those answers, she wanted to make another comment.
Lt-Gen Schutte said they had not calculated the GPEF amount. Normally the actuaries of the Fund would do the calculation and provide them with the figure and he did not have the figure at hand. In essence it was calculated against the additional years that the individual had received. The amount would vary If the individual had received the full additional five years or less than the five additional years (if they had been closer than five years to the age of normal retirement) as the GPEF would have received interest if they had invested the money.
Lt-Gen Dramat said the number of people under some sort of investigation was about four.
Ms Van Wyk said she had to be brutally honest. She did not believe that Lt-Gen Schutte did not know the amount because they were talking about a financial year where the books had been audited and not the current financial year. She would give him the benefit of the doubt but the Committee wanted the answer as soon as possible as they needed to table their Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR) by the following Friday.
Ms Van Wyk noted that General Schutte had given the additional amounts for the different SAPS programmes and that he had explained why it was needed and that they still needed feedback from Treasury. She understood that, but said that SAPS should read the requirements for Committees for the BRRR. In terms of this report, the Committee was required to make certain suggestions and findings in terms of the adjustments and appropriations that were before the National Treasury at that moment in time. SAPS should understand that the Committee was doing what was expected of them as parliamentarians by asking for the relevant information for the BRRR.
Ms Van Wyk said she honestly felt that she would not be fulfilling her duty as a representative of the people if she did not say that she felt that there should be a discussion on Section 35 when they met with the Minister. She got the feeling that even though, creatively, one could find reasons for Section 35, it was being used to get rid of problematic individuals instead of dealing with them. There were four or five people against whom there might be investigations and there were people on the list against whom there had been internal investigations and disciplinary hearings. She also had the feeling that Section 35s were used to enrich individuals and when there were personality clashes. Being in favour one day, could mean that you were out of favour the next. In her mind the issue was serious and she recommended that when the Committee did the new SAPS Act, they further limit the application of Section 35 in order to protect the integrity of the organisation and the service it was expected to deliver to citizens. This recommendation should be included in the BRRR.
Mr Schneemann referred to the former Lt-Gen Pruis who was on the list of Section 35 discharges and who had informed Committee members that he was going to retire. The criteria for making use of Section 35 included that such discharges should promote efficiency and economy in the service and this was cited as the reason for Lt-Gen Pruis' discharge. What he failed to understand was where the economy came from. Was it far more economic and efficient to give him more money? This did not make sense and it was up to the Committee to ask questions elsewhere. He reiterated his call for the ranking system to be looked into and he agreed with Ms Van Wyk's perception of personality clashes and that people were promoted on the basis of personal likes and dislikes of superiors and this was a cause of concern.
Ms Kohler-Barnard made a follow up on what was said by Ms Van Wyk. She referred to the fact that four of the nineteen individuals were being investigated. If they were found guilty of corruption or any of the charges for which they were under investigation, was there any way to get the money back given the fact that they were already gone with their fat pension and other benefits. If they had stayed and were found guilty they would not have received the payout. Could they get the money back or not? If not, then the Committee would understand exactly why special exemptions were given to certain people.
Lt-Gen Stander answered the question on who took the final decision on Section 35s and said she had explained earlier in the day that there was a committee but the final decision was made by the National Commissioner and no-one else had that delegated authority.
Lt-Gen Stander responded that there was no mechanism at that point in time to get the money back from the four out of the 19 Section 35s who were under investigation.
Ms Van Wyk said Ms Kohler-Barnard's question was justified as one could not touch a person's pension even if the person was declared bankrupt. The money was now lost and that was the bottom line.
The Chairperson asked Lt-Gen Dramat if the budget allocated to the SAPS during 2010/11 had been enough in his view. Was it adequate to enable SAPS to perform their duty?
Lt-Gen Dramat responded that Lt-Gen Schutte would be in a better position to respond to the question.
Lt-Gen Schutte responded that they had received a very credible budget allocation from Parliament. Obviously, in certain aspects it could be said that a little bit more here and there would have been appreciated but it was a credible baseline. They had tried to explain in the present legislative oversight hearings that they had indeed achieved, in the majority of instances, the key spending priorities and deliverables that they had indicated to the Portfolio Committee, whether it was personnel, technology, human resource development, the capital environment or the Soccer World Cup 2010. Thinking out aloud from his own perspective and looking at the major priorities of the department such as personnel, he felt that they had expanded sufficiently. In terms of the technology environment and the additions such as the IJS and the CJS, one would have to concede that there had been significant growth which was reflected in the funding. Although there were challenges in terms of human resource development, there had also been a very credible baseline. It was one of the three major priorities which were reflected in the Medium Term Budgetary Policy Statement. If one added the Soccer World Cup and some others, it had to be said that it had been a credible budget allocation that they had received.
The Chairperson commented that Lt-Gen Schutte had answered some of her next question which was directed to all the SAPS management, which was where they thought they had succeeded as a Department and where they thought they had performed poorly.
Lt-Gen Dramat responded that in terms of the areas where they had performed poorly, there were many challenges in the detective environment and this had been identified by the Portfolio Committee and SAPS management during the Annual Report hearings. The detective environment and crime intelligence should be a priority and they had not performed as well there. There were still challenges at the level of the first line of defence, the police stations and
issues had been raised about station commander management training and control of firearms.
Lt-Gen Lebeya added to Lt-Gen Dramat's comments and said that in the environment of visible policing there were challenges in the administrative processes. Firearm control was one of the areas that needed to be addressed.
Lt-Gen Schutte concurred with the issues identified by his colleagues and identified the quality of the docket which impacted on the detective environment as an area that could be improved upon.
Ms Van Wyk said that SAPS did not have to respond to her question immediately but there were outstanding questions. Firstly there was the question about the ideal number of detectives and secondly, the high number of escapes. She noted that the highest number of escapes were from Community Service Centres and Courts and they needed an explanation on that especially as it put the ordinary member of the public in danger.
Mr Schneemann repeated his question on whether Section 35s were used for lower ranks and added that if it was, why was it not reported on and what were the cost implications.
Mr Schneemann asked if the Committee could get feedback on a matter he had raised during the hearing on Visible Policing relating to Honeydew Police Station which the Portfolio Committee had visited on their oversight visit to Gauteng in July. The services here had been reduced from six sectors to four since the Committee's visit. There was one satellite police station in Cosmos City that had been operational but when they had visited it, it was not operational and had not been operational for some months. They had made a recommendation for it to be re-opened and that had been done. However the reason he had been given for the reduction in the number of sectors, was that it was due to the re-opening of the satellite police station. He had questioned this and was informed that there was insufficient resources because they were being sent to the satellite station and therefore they had to reduce the sectors. He had been receiving emails from members of the community served by that precinct expressing concern about the sudden reduction in the sectors. This was the reason for his previous query about the criteria and rationale for determining a sector and what rationale was used to reduce the sectors from six to four. He was concerned that the Portfolio Committee would eventually get blamed for the reduction of the sectors and there would be a negative connotation to their visit. By reducing the sectors they were going to reduce the response times as now four sectors were responsible for patrolling far greater areas. He asked for this to be investigated and if there were not enough resources then it was something that had to be engaged upon.
Ms Kohler-Barnard asked if they could confirm that students from the Police Colleges only required 38% to pass and qualify as SAPS officers. She commented that there used to be a pass mark of 50% and that it was then reduced to 48% and that now, apparently, it had been dropped to 38%.
Mr Ndlovu said he wanted to associate himself with the statement of Ms Van Wyk. He referred to Lt-Gen Stander's comments that although there was a committee, the National Commissioner made the final decision on Section 35 discharges. He asked if the decision was made in committee or out of committee.
Mr Swathe asked about SAPS response times as the Committee had received complaints from communities on their oversight visits and it was prevalent in many other areas. How was SAPS dealing with this and what were they doing to render a service to communities and to restore respect for SAPS in communities.
The Chairperson said that SAPS could respond to some of the questions by email by the following morning. She asked Lt-Gen Stander to respond to the question on the pass mark.
Lt-Gen Stander said she would respond in wring but as far as she knew, the pass mark was 50%. It was definitely not 48 or 38% but she would check with the Training Division.
The Chairperson said 38% was dismal and even 40% was not regarded as a pass and people should write a supplementary exam if they got below 50%. If they got below 40% they should redo the year.
The Chairperson asked Lt-Gen Mofomme for her closing remarks on the direction of the Department moving forward.
Lt-Gen Mofomme said the main reason for the existence of SAPS was service delivery. They needed to be making a difference in the community. Speaking on behalf of SAPS management, they should take what they had discussed here and go back and relook at what they had been doing including their internal processes and see where they could improve.
In his closing remarks, Lt-Gen Dramat expressed his appreciation for the Annual Report hearings process which had allowed SAPS management to account and reflect on what they had achieved and had not achieved as well as the engagement with the Committee. Many of the issues identified by the Committee had also been identified by management as weaknesses and shortcomings. The question was how they would begin to develop strategies and processes to improve the service so that they would be able to deliver safety to communities. He thanked the Committee for the engagement and said that they would address the challenges that had been identified, moving forward.
The Chairperson thanked the delegation from SAPS on behalf of the Portfolio Committee. She quoted the remarks made by the Minister, Nathi Mthethwa on winning the war against crime in the SAPS 2010/11 Annual Report which required the systematic implementation of detailed plans and techniques in the actual conditions being faced. She noted that there was a general awareness that the issue of crime could not be reduced by the police alone but that police had a central rolle in addressing crime. She noted that the Department of Police had received a budget of plus minus R53 billion for 2010/11 which was a budget that some other departments would never get. It was in this spirit that the Portfolio Committee had decided that they could not deal with such a budget over a day or two. The budget allocated to Programme 1: Administration, was above the total budget for some departments and something they could only aspire to. The Portfolio Committee had decided to deal with one programme per day so that they could do their work to their satisfaction. Further, they wanted to make the Department aware that whatever decisions they took, it would have to be accounted for.
A number of issues had been raised and there were three issues the Portfolio Committee wanted the Minister to account for in terms of the Executive’s obligation to account to Parliament. If Parliament approved they would meet with the Minister in the following week. Firstly, there was the matter of Irregular Expenditure and the Committee believed it could not be that in 2009/10, the Department had incurred irregular expenditure of R3 million and in 2010/11 it had increased to R76 million. This was not something they could promote and they wanted the Minister to account for this. Secondly, they wanted the Minister to explain the issues around Section 35 of the SAPS Act. The Committee was of the strong view that this section was beginning to be abused and misused. They believed that there was no way in which they could allow a situation whereby people incurred costs unnecessarily. Thirdly, they were of the strong view that the policy whereby posts were advertised and then withdrawn, had to be explained by the Minister. Reports given to herself as Chairperson had not confirmed any exceptional circumstances that could have led to this regulation being applied.
They therefore wanted to know whether the Minister had been aware of this and also, because many of these positions were at the level of Deputy Director General (DDG), there was a question about whether Cabinet was involved, although they were not normally involved. They expected the Minister to explain the implications for other members who could have qualified to apply and be considered for these positions. Based on the information before the Committee on appointments, they were seriously concerned about the appointments going on at the present moment. They were not sure as yet whether they should make a recommendation to the Minister, that until he appeared before the Committee, no appointments should be made by the Department, so that they were satisfied that procedures laid down, were followed from A-Z.
The Chairperson noted that the Committee agreed with the Department on the issue of detectives. They were not saying that detectives were not doing their work and, under the circumstances, they were trying their best. The mere fact that at some police stations, some detectives had not as yet received their two weeks basic detective training but were trying to do the work related to detective services, was commendable. The Committee believed there was a need for the Department to channel resources and energy to detective services and If this was not done it would undermine the good work they were doing. She urged SAPS management to look into this matter so that when the appeared before the Portfolio Committee next time around they would be able to report on what they had done. She was of the strong view that even if police stations had to operate on a skeleton staff while detectives underwent training, it had to be done.
The Chairperson commented that, without going into detail on issues relating to Crime Intelligence, there were serious signs and symptoms that indicated a dysfunctional programme. The mere fact that the Head of Crime Intelligence was suspected of serious crimes spoke to serious challenges in that environment. This had the potential to undermine what had been achieved thus far. The Committee was therefore of the strong view that management should look into this matter and correct the issues and problems in this programme.
The Chairperson noted that SAPS had raised the issues relating to firearms and acknowledged that management was dealing with this. She said that the Committee would definitely be going to the provinces and would be doing oversight visits in the Free State and Eastern Cape. They would be there for two weeks as they knew there were challenges especially in the Free State. The Free State, the North West, and the Western Cape had performed poorly in terms of crime statistics and the Committee would be focussing on them.
The Chairperson emphasised that firearms needed to be looked after and this culture should be inculcated into SAPS members.
The Chairperson said that there was only one issue relating to police stations and that was management. If they corrected that, all the issues at station level that were raised, would be resolved. It took a good manager to change a dysfunctional police station to a functional police station but it could be done through hard work and effective management.
The Chairperson noted that they had been informed of the issues leading to the decision to decentralize the Forensic Science Laboratories (FSL). Personally she thought it was the wrong decision unless the Committee was informed about which measures had been put in place to ensure that it did not increase the existing problems. The Committee believed that a controlled and correctly managed national FSL was the right way to go for now, unless they were told otherwise. The Department should review the decision or explain to the Committee what measures would be put in place so that they did not have a disintegrating FSL again.
The Chairperson congratulated SAPS on the introduction of Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) units throughout the country which the Committee felt was the best decision taken by SAPS. Crimes against women and children and other vulnerable groups should continue to be the focus of the Department. These vulnerable groups still suffered abuse from many quarters and most times the crimes were not reported. In the next Annual Report and budgetary cycle, the Committee would monitor whether it received more emphasis in terms of the budget and training and if more Victim Support Centres and more FCS were established.
The Chairperson said they appreciated the work SAPS had done in the implementation of the Child Justice Act and the Domestic Violence Act. However there was still work to be done. The Committee had requested that the Department inform the Committee if there were areas that SAPS found difficult to implement so that the Committee could recommend that those aspects in the Acts, be reviewed.
The Chairperson said the Committee appreciated the fact that they were meeting SAPS following the release of the crime statistics. The statistics indicated that crime had decreased. Murder had decreased for the first time since about 1995 that it was below 17,000. The Committee was setting the target at below 16,000 for the next statistics. This decrease in crime reflected that there were police out there doing their work. The members of the Portfolio Committee wished to thank them and continued to appreciate the work SAPS did.
The Chairperson said that they had agreed that they wanted more information on TETRA and PCEM and the Committee wanted to visit the sites where they were being implemented to see what it was all about and make the necessary follow ups.
On behalf of the Committee, the Chairperson thanked the delegation from SAPS and also the National Commissioner in his absence. She commented that he had always made himself available to attend the Portfolio Committee meetings and they had never had to stop meetings because the Department had sent only junior personnel to the meetings. The National Commissioner had always apologized personally if he had been unable to attend meetings. She noted that they had heated debate in the past few days but this was because they had to do their work as the Portfolio Committee. According to the Constitution they were expected to hold the Executive and by extension the Department accountable and the Accounting Officer was also accountable in terms of the Public Finance Management Act. She thanked the management for providing leadership in a department that was not easy to lead. She noted that SAPS was not often thanked for the work they did and were often blamed for many things in the public domain. While the Committee commended them for their good work, they would never hesitate to tell them when they were not doing well. She thanked all the Portfolio Committee members for their continued hard work, commitment and cooperation.
The meeting was adjourned.
- PC Police: Annual Report Hearings – South African Police Services (SAPS): Technology Management Services SITA Part 2
- PC Police: Annual Report Hearings – South African Police Services (SAPS): Technology Management Services SITA Part 1
- PC Police: Annual Report Hearings – South African Police Services (SAPS): Technology Management Services SITA Part 2
- PC Police: Annual Report Hearings – South African Police Services (SAPS): Technology Management Services SITA Part 3
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