Members discussed three pertinent issues with the Acting National Commissioner of the South African Police Service. (1) A unit dealing with organised crime in the Cato Manor area had been disbanded while serious allegations were investigated against its members. (2) The Head of the Hawks in
Members of all parties present expressed their support for the Acting National Commissioner.
Members had visited many police stations in at least six provinces. There was a large disparity in the conditions of the stations, with some being singled out for criticism and some for praise. These comments were noted by senior management. Members were particularly concerned at the seeming indifference of police officers to legislation such as the Domestic Violence, Child Justice, Criminal Procedures and Independent Police Investigative Directorate Acts.
The South African Police Service then continued its briefing on its Strategic Plan. It would strive to reduce serious crime, create a more effective criminal justice system, reduce corruption, create a better public perception and provide better border security. The four pillars of the fight against crime were crime prevention, crime investigation, support to investigation and crime intelligence. A sound integrated technology network was in important key in the fight.
The Minister had determined certain priorities. These were transformation of SAPS, smarter policing and revamping the CJS, accelerating the pace of building Police stations, implementing the Public Order Policing Policy, building a stable environment within the crime intelligence community, capacitating specialist units dealing with family, child and sexual offences, and stock theft, focused recruitment of specialist skills, effective training, professional command and control and accountability, and implementing rural safety programmes.
The Police would be following a strategy of quality rather than quantity in its recruitment practices. The number of staff members needed to be reduced in the medium term because of budget cuts. The budget for the new financial year was R62.5 billion, an increase of 6.7% over the previous year. This would increase to R70 billion in the medium term. The Administration programme was the subject of the day's presentation, which was allocated R16.3 billion. Members were briefed on the cluster approach which would be followed, training at all levels, building and procurement policies and the upgrade to the integrated technology network. There would be particular emphasis on detective training where there was a training backlog. The performance targets were presented.
Members questioned the omission of certain targets. The effectiveness of the cluster approach was questioned. Members were also concerned with the effectiveness of training. Members were concerned with the low detection and conviction rates related to domestic violence and sexual offences. The public perception was that victims would be further traumatised by their contact with Police to the extent that the reporting rate of sexual offences was already low.
Members felt that the control of firearms was also in a state of backlog, both for members of the public and the Police themselves. Many Police officers were not competent to handle firearms. There was also a problem with the supply of equipment.
Many Police buildings were in a deplorable state of maintenance. From the information provided it was difficult for Members to keep track of projects regarding new buildings and renovations. The same applied to projects related to the information technology network. Equipment control was poor and the possibility of Police uniforms and equipment being stolen by criminals was high.
Members were concerned over the proposed staff cuts. Concern had been expressed at the current top-heavy structure. Members were not convinced that the number of officers in senior positions was justified. Many complaints had been received from Police members regarding unfair promotions, and Members had seen for themselves how some incompetent officers had been promoted.
The matter of private attorneys was raised and the Department stated they used them only in exceptional cases. Clarity was provided on the use of the billboards to publicise the faces of criminals. Other topics discussed the Integrated Ballistics Identification System Test, the police vehicle plan and the ratio of vehicles to personnel, the potential shortage of vehicles, the misuse of vehicles and its effect on vehicle maintenance, the basic service needs of stations, the role of Public Works in the station building project and why provincial commissioners had not been consulted when re-prioritising the list of stations that had to be built.
The Chairperson welcomed the Acting National Commissioner (NC), Members, media and members of the public. The Department of Police were present to explain how they would spend their budget of over R62 billion. The honeymoon period was over and it was necessary to cut back on spending. She congratulated the Department for submitting its revised Strategic Plan well on time. This was one of the few Departments to comply with the deadline. She congratulated the South African Police Service (SAPS) for the good investigation which had led to the conviction of the murderer of Constable Frances Rasuge, long before her body was found. A precedent had been set.
The Chairperson said that the Committee had visited six provinces to date. Issues had been raised with the Department. In
The Chairperson hoped that all stations had the beautiful charts which illustrated the Domestic Violence Act (DVA) and Child Justice Act (CJA) as they had seen in
The Chairperson said that the names of the outstanding station commanders would be noted in the reports. However, it seemed that such leaders were often overlooked when promotions were announced. There were three matters which Members wished to discuss with the Acting NC before SAPS made their presentation. These were the Cato Manor matter and what had happened to the officers there. She wanted to know if members had been held accountable for the accusations levelled against them. The second matter related to the suspension of the Head of the Hawks and his re-instatement. The third matter was the issue relating to the suspension and re-instatement of the Divisional Commissioner (DC): Crime Intelligence, and new developments. Such serious allegations were painful to hear of, and were a breach of the moral integrity of the SAPS. Obviously the accusations had still to be proven true. Some of the revelations being made in the Sunday newspapers on a weekly basis.
The Chairperson said that these accusations had been raised by the Committee in 2010. In particular, accusations had been made about misuse of secret funds and subsidised vehicles. The Department had undertaken to revise the relevant policies and revert to the committee. This had never happened. It had been no surprise when the accusations had resurfaced in the media. She asked what point there was in having such engagements if there was no follow-up. She invited Members to ask questions before moving on to the presentation.
Acting National Commissioner, Nhlanhla Sibusiso Mkhwanazi, SAPS, said that the SAPS took to heart what Members had reported on their visits to SAPS stations. This informed the decisions of both national and provincial commissioners. The Cato Manor unit was on old unit. It was referred to as a murder and robbery unit, one of many in the country. Cato Manor was the area in which the unit was based. The name of the unit had changed a few times, and was currently an Organised Crime Unit. They reported directly to the Head of the Hawks in the province. He had been embarrassed by the accusation. He had read about it while on an aeroplane in uniform. He could not explain why they would act as they did. An enquiry had been instituted. The office had been closed and the members redeployed elsewhere in the SAPS.
Gen Mkhwanazi said that the matter regarding the Head of the Hawks was currently before the courts and he could not comment. In the matter of Lieut Gen Richard Mdluli, Divisional Commissioner (DC): Crime Intelligence, the officer had been arrested the previous year. There were prescribed actions in such a case, and Gen Mdluli had therefore been suspended. Corruption charges were added later. These charges involved allegations related to misuse of secret funds. These funds were not under the control of the SAPS but under bodies such as the Joint Standing Committee (JSC) for Intelligence. These entities had to be engaged in the disciplinary action. The JSC should be approached. There was no evidence in the murder case. The cause of death was unknown. He had only become aware of the alleged offences around the inquest over the previous weekend. The DC had been tasked to investigate the case. He would not want to discuss action against individuals until the enquiry was completed.
Ms M Molebatsi (ANC) noted that the corruption allegations against Gen Mdluli were still under investigation.
Gen Mkhwanazi said details of these charges could not be discussed as it was under the control of the JSC.
Ms Molebatsi asked if the Acting NC was satisfied with the state of the investigation.
Ms D Kohler-Barnard (DA) said that the closure of the Cato Manor unit had been the result of claims made by two persons who had been arrested by the Hawks. Residents of the area were in uproar because the crime rate had soared since the closure of the unit. She asked what would happen if the accusations were subsequently found to be false. The leaked photographs of killed crime suspects were actually from all areas of the province. The unit had been damned by the allegations. If the members were exonerated, the good name of the unit should be restored.
Ms Kohler-Barnard said that hardly a day passed without more allegations being made against Gen Mdluli. There had been claims that the Acting NC had threatened to resign. This was an honourable action. Gen Mdluli had more clouds over his head than should be the case with any person in the SAPS. There were numerous accusations of corruption involving the secret fund and nepotism on a vast scale. She could see that the Acting NC was uncomfortable answering these questions. She asked if his decision had been overruled by the Minister.
Rev K Meshoe (ACDP) asked if the corrective action taken was in line with the issues raised by the Committee, and when the action would be taken. Secondly, there had been reports that some of the detectives involved in investigating Gen Mdluli were fearing for their lives. He asked if management had measures in place to protect the investigators. SAPS members should not be afraid to investigate their own. Some allegations were so serious that Members no longer knew whom to trust. He asked if the integrity of the SAPS was being protected.
Mr V Ndlovu (IFP) asked how the Department had communicated. It seemed that this had been done through the media. Regarding the suspension of the Hawks Head in KZN, he asked if this had been done on fact or suspicion. The same applied to the Cato Manor unit.
Ms A van Wyk (ANC) found it sad that a meeting with the SAPS had to be started with these matters. However, it was the responsibility of Members to re-establish the trust of the public in SAPS. This had been lost. A certain set of rules was used to judge one group of people, and a different set of rules for another. The reports on the Cato Manor unit justified an investigation without fear of favour. If the best option was to close the unit before the investigation could take place, then this was the route to follow. She could not tell SAPS how to do its work.
Ms van Wyk said that the same rules should apply to the accusations against Gen Mdluli. The Committee had argued for years that there was a need to strengthen the Crime Intelligence programme. It was hard to justify this with the clouds hanging over the head of its DC. The oversight did lie with the JSC, but the same principle should apply as with Cato Manor.
Ms van Wyk said that the Head of the Hawks in KZN had been re-instated by a court order. Investigations against him should continue. If the country was serious in fighting crime then matters should be investigated no matter who the accused or accuser were. She asked if the Acting NC was satisfied that there would be no undue pressure on witnesses.
Ms Kohler-Barnard asked if the Acting NC had accused the Minister of being a liar. This had been a shocking headline. The Committee was tired of all the secrecy around this slush fund. The Committee had a duty to oversee the billions of
Ms van Wyk said, on a point of order, that the restrictions facing the Committee in this regard were not merely rules but were conditions imposed by the Act. Parliament would have to change the Act if they were not happy, and there was also responsibility with Members of the JSC.
The Chairperson said that the Acting NC was saying that he was learning of these matters through the media. She concluded that senior members of the SAPS were not informing their head. Some of the Generals attending this meeting may themselves be guilty of corrupt practices. The Cato Manor members might well be teaching their alleged corrupt practices to the units where they were now employed. The Head of the Hawks in KZN also stood accused of serious crime. He had presided over a unit which stood accused of killing several black suspects. This organisation was the hope of the nation in fighting crime. The Head of Crime Intelligence also stood accused of serious crime. Clarity was needed on what this all meant. She respected that the court had reinstated the Head of the Hawks, and also that SAPS had suspended him.
The Chairperson asked what was happening with the quality of investigations when senior officers were suspected of being involved in criminal activities. She asked who present in the meeting could be trusted.
Gen Mkhwanazi said that there was a plan for the year which involved fixing SAPS stations. The nine provincial commissioners were present so that they could learn of the problems at first hand. The issue of command and control at stations would be addressed. The state of the stations would have changed by the end of the current financial year (FY). The administrative part of policing would be taken care of. The provincial commissioners had committed themselves to this.
Gen Mkhwanazi said that SAPS regulations prescribed that a senior commander should take action when he was aware of misconduct. He had ordered the closure and redeployment of the Cato Manor members. Not all of the members were implicated in misconduct while those that were, were not assigned to investigations. There had been statements written about him, and he would defend his honour in court. A member of the Portfolio Committee had accused him of witnessing some of the alleged crimes. His duty as a policeman was to arrest those suspected of dangerous crimes. He was prepared to risk his life to support the detective. Once arrested the suspects would be restrained and handed over to the detectives. As he walked away he heard shots being fired, and returned to the scene to find that the detectives had shot the suspects, allegedly in self-defence. This was strange as the suspects were unarmed and restrained with cable ties after being arrested. This was part of the enquiry. He welcomed the enquiry as to his actions and would take legal action. If anyone were found guilty of misconduct by the IPID, then those members would face both departmental and criminal actions.
Gen Mkhwanazi said that everything the SAPS did was based on facts and not emotion. The Head of the Hawks had exercised his right to take legal action, but the investigation against this person was proceeding. It might be difficult to obtain evidence from those under his command, but transferring him to some other area was an option.
Gen Mkhwanazi was not used to Parliamentary language. While a member could be suspended or even dismissed on disciplinary grounds, that person could take legal action to have himself re-instated. The secret fund could only be discussed with the Joint Standing Committee for Intelligence. He could not pursue the matter here as much as he might want to. The SAPS had done what it could to send a murder suspect to jail in the Rasuge case. Means had to be found to prove his guilt without compromising his human rights.
Gen Mkhwanazi was not a friend of the media. He hardly read newspapers unless he was bored. There were issues for a disciplinary procedure to take place. Managers needed to be given the information to enable them to take action. The incident he alluded to had happened in 1998. There was the Crime Stop hotline, or someone could make a report. The media was another option. He had worked with the Cato Manor unit for many years without being aware of the alleged offences. In another case he had been informed of misconduct and action had been taken without it appearing in the media.
Rev Meshoe repeated his question regarding the safety of investigating officers. He noted when Gen Selebi had been taken to court he had been surrounded by fellow Generals. This brought their integrity into doubt.
Gen Mkhwanazi said it was difficult to be a SAPS officer. He had to be prepared to die. Even bodyguards would not always help. A Police officer was trained in self-defence techniques. Unfortunately some detectives in the Mdluli investigation might need protection from dangerous criminals who would not hesitate to kill a policeman. Assigning SAPS members to protect their own would compromise the safety offered to the public. In some cases extra protection was provided. There were always challenges. Even persons sentenced to jail time could seek vengeance after they were released.
The Chairperson did not want to speak on behalf of any Member. She supported the Acting NC on any investigation and internal disciplinary process. Her support was for all three of the cases raised in the meeting. She invited Members to make statements on behalf of their parties rather than as individuals.
Rev Meshoe said that the ACDP fully supported the fight against corruption or any action which hindered the work of the SAPS. His party fully supported the Acting NC.
Mr Ndlovu said that the IFP supported the investigation of whomsoever was suspected of crime or misconduct irrespective of the status of that person.
Mr L Ramatlakane (COPE) said that crime had been committed and there was no way that his party could not support action being taken against the perpetrators of serious crime. The Acting NC could count on the support of COPE. The activities of an alleged internal hit squad could not be condoned. Action should have been taken against this group some time previously.
Ms Kohler-Barnard indicated the support of the DA.
Ms van Wyk wanted to repeat that the ANC gave its full support to the Acting NC to investigate the accusations without fear or favour. The pride of wearing the blue uniform of the SAPS must be restored.
The Chairperson closed this item. She invited the SAPS delegation to commence with the presentation.
Presentation by SAPS: Administration
Gen Mkhwanazi said that SAPS would present its budget for the 2012/13 together with its Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan. SAPS was busy compiling its Annual Report for 2011/12. These had been revised in order to comply with National Treasury instructions. New performance indicators could be included in the Annual Performance Plan in subsequent years. There had been a co-ordinated effort to compile the budget between SAPS, National Treasury, the Presidency, the Civilian Secretariat for Defence and organised labour. All performance agreements were in line with the Annual Performance Plan. Unreasonable target indicators had been removed. The SAPS would continue to use its resources to ensure the safety of the public. He outlined some of the outputs and targets concerning serious crime and detection.
Gen Mkhwanazi said that Output 1 was the reduction in the level of serious crime. Output 2 was the provision of a more effective Criminal Justice System (CJS). Output 3 was the reduction of corruption within the JCPS Cluster. Output 4 was improving the public perspective on crime. Output 5 was improving investor perception by reducing the levels of corruption. Output 6 was the safeguarding of the country's borders. Output 7 was securing the identity and status of citizens. Output 8 was combating cyber crime.
Gen Mkhwanazi said that the Strategic Plan was also informed by Outcome 12. This spoke to service delivery and access, Human Resources (HR) management and development, business processes and accountability, and tackling corruption. The State of the Nation Address (SONA) was also taken into account, especially in terms of reducing crime, countering structural unemployment, employing persons with disabilities, economic transformation and gender equality.
Gen Mkhwanazi said that certain priorities had been determined by the Minister. These were transformation of SAPS, smarter policing and revamping the CJS, accelerating the pace of building Police stations, implementing the Public Order Policing Policy, building a stable environment within the crime intelligence community, capacitating specialist units dealing with family, child and sexual offences, and stock theft, focused recruitment of specialist skills, effective training, professional command and control and accountability, and implementing rural safety programmes.
Gen Mkhwanazi said there were various policies and strategies in place. This included the Medium Term Strategic Framework, the CJS review, the Anti-Corruption Strategy, Risk Management Strategy, Service Delivery Improvement Programme, Rural Safety Strategy, Public Order Policing Policy and Sector Policing Policy. SAPS operational priorities were based on four pillars, namely crime prevention, investigation of crime, support to the investigation of crime and crime intelligence.
Gen Mkhwanazi said that crime prevention involved several factors. These included reduction of crime levels, improved visibility of SAPS members, improved response times, improved access to services, managing perceptions, victim empowerment policies and facilities, border management, policing incidents of public disorder, external deployments and combating corruption.
Gen Mkhwanazi said that investigation of crime included effective investigation of reported crime, the apprehension of known criminals, resourcing the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation and increasing the capability of detectives. The detective service would be boosted by recruitment and training of detectives and the re-establishment of specialist units.
Gen Mkhwanazi said that the support of crime investigation included the improvement of processing evidence and criminal records, capacitating the Criminal Record and Forensic Science Service units, more extensive taking of fingerprints, improved processing of forensic and fingerprint evidence, and implementing the War Room solution.
Gen Mkhwanazi said that crime intelligence involved the provision of intelligence to enable prosecutions, operations pertaining to serious crime, and capacitating crime intelligence. Operational support priorities would be enhanced by human capital development, budget and resource management and enhanced information systems and integrated communications and technology (ICT). Human capital development would be achieved by skills development, focused recruitment, ensuring the health of members and transformation. Budget and resource management would ensure responsible budgeting, spending and accounting, improved infrastructure and enhanced asset management.
Gen Mkhwanazi said that improved ICT would enable effective management across the CJS, developing a system to capture records, developing a victim database, establishing a database to track identity theft, and establishing an integrated approach to cyber crime. The Administration Programme would be responsible for much of the SAPS success in achieving these goals. There was a reliance on a capital works programme. SAPS was negotiating to return this programme back to the Department of Public Works (DPW). There was an understanding that a station should be built within three years. The move of certain building functions to the SAPS had been an error. There were challenges on unused budget. The business relationship the State Information Technology Authority (SITA). An ITC specialist had been appointed as a DC. The ICT plan would be revised in the current FY.
Gen Mkhwanazi said that there would be an emphasis on quality over quantity in HR development. The data integrity of the Persal and Vulindlela systems would be improved. All tenders would be tenders and products effectively obtained and utilised. There should be upward mobility for all members. Members found incompetent to render policing duties would be used to safeguard facilities. This arrangement would replace agreements currently in place with security companies as these contracts expired. Attention would be given to cleaning services, where lower levers of the employment structures would be used to recruit staff. This was still a challenge which needed to be overcome.
Gen Mkhwanazi said that in Programme 2 the shortage of probation officers made it difficult to comply with the provisions of the CJA. Front line service delivery would be a focus area, including partnerships with other state organs. Bimonthly reporting on targets would assist in administering. SAPS had declared 2012 the year of the detective. Need assessments would be carried out and the training backlog would be addressed.
Gen Mkhwanazi said the cross cutting issues regarding criminal intelligence in Programme 4 would enable better utilisation of resources. Public order policing policies would be improved to provide for better crowd control. The promotion policy would be improved to avoid allegations of nepotism. The Inspectorate would ensure better command and control and discipline. Quarterly reports would be made on performance. The anti-corruption strategy would be followed to increase the professionalism of the service.
Gen Mkhwanazi said that performance indicators would be linked to the Annual Performance Plan. The presentation would include key priority areas. Programme 1 would be discussed at this meeting. The delegation would provide the expert knowledge which he lacked as a career policeman.
Gen M Stander, Deputy National Commissioner (DNC): Human Resource Management, SAPS, led the presentation on the Administration programme.
Gen Stefan Schutte, DC: Finances and Administration, SAPS, said that the Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan tabled in 2011 had not been fully requirement with regulations, He trusted that the 2012 documents were an improvement. The first document was the Estimate of National Expenditure (ENE) which specified expenditure in economic classifications. The second document was the Strategic Plan. There should be correlation in the templates provided. There was some duplication. This enhanced the linkage.
Gen Schutte said that specific priorities were enhancing the capability of SAPS in terms of crime investigation, crime intelligence, visible policing and enhancing the DPCI capacity. Other focus areas were training, the revamp of the CJS, funding the Integrated Justice System (IJS), upgrading networks, resourcing the DPCI, capital infrastructure and property management, capacitating tactical response teams in the provinces and strengthening of units dealing with family and child protection, sexual offences (FCS) and stock theft. Since 2001/02 there had been a significant allocation to the SAPS budget for capital works although DPW still played a significant role.
Gen Schutte presented a graphic depiction of the steady growth of the SAPS budget since 2008/09. The budget for 2012/13 was R62.5 billion, increasing to R70 billion in 2014/15. The increase for the 2012/13 FY was 6.7%. National Treasury did not want to see Departments discounting inflation, so the figure represented a small increase in real terms. The increase enable to the Department to maintain its capacity except perhaps in terms of compensation. The 2012/13 budget was based on a 2011 ENE baseline of R61.1 billion. An additional R872 million had been allocated for salary increases but there had been a baseline decrease of R465 million. This left SAPS with a total budget allocation for 2012/13 of R62.5 billion.
Gen Schutte said that expenditure had increased from R41.6 billion in 2008/09 to R58.6 billion in 2011/12, an average annual increase of 12%. This was mainly due to increased salaries. Over the medium term an average increase of 6.6% was expected, taking expected expenditure in the medium term to R70 billion. Compensation for employees in 2012/13 would be R45 billion.
Gen Schutte gave a breakdown of expected expenditure for each Programme. For Programme 1: Administration, the figure was R16.3 billion which was 26% of the total expenditure and an increase of 7.1% over the previous FY. Programme 2: Visible Policing would spend R28.7 billion (46% of total spending, increase of 5.2%), Programme 3: Detective Services would spend R13.2 billion (21%, increase of 10%), Programme 4: Crime Intelligence R2.6 billion (4%, increase of 6.6%) and Programme 5: Protection and Security Services R1.8 billion (3%, increase of 4.9%).
Gen Schutte presented the expenditure figures in terms of economic classification. Current payments would account for R58.7 billion, which was 94% of total expenditure and represented a 6.6% increase. Of this figure, 77% would go to compensation and 23% to goods and services. The second classification was transfers and subsidies, to which R492 million had been allocated (0.8% of total expenditure, increase of 5.8%). Of this, 5% went to municipalities and provinces, mainly for vehicle licences, 6% to departmental agencies and accounts, and 89% to household expenses such as payouts to retiring members and compensation to families of deceased members. The final classification was payments for capital assets which would consume R3.3 billion (5% of total expenditure, increase of 8.9%). Of this, 41% would go to buildings and other fixed assets, 59% to machinery and equipment and R300 000 to cultivated assets such as the horse and dog units.
Gen Schutte gave an explanation of how the compensation component had been calculated. The wage bill was R36 billion, 80% of the total allocation. Allowances were allocated R1.4 billion (4%), overtime payments R401 million (1%), housing benefits R1.6 billion (4%), medical benefits R5.3 billion (11%) and scarce skills and promotions R163 million (0.3%).
Turning to specifics on Programme 1, Gen Schutte said that the budget for this programme was R16.3 billion. Of this, R31 million would go to the Ministry (0.2%), R101 million for Management Services, mainly associated with the Civilian Secretariat for Police (0.6%), Corporate Services had been allocated R13.3 billion (82%). This category included funding for HR Development (13%), Technology Management Services (TMS) (19%) and Supply Chain Management (SCM) (28%). SCM expenditure would be used on capital works, personnel management, HR utilisation, financial and corporate services. There was also significant funding for the CJS revamp and IJS projects. The final category under this programme was office accommodation, which would consume R2.8 billion (17%).
Gen Stander introduced the annual performance targets and indicators in the Administration programme. The purpose of the programme was to develop policy and manage the Department. In all cases, the targets for 2012/13 were presented against a background of baseline figures for 2010/11 and the estimated performance in 2011/12. There were three indicators under the strategic priority human capital development, budget and resource management. The percentage of personnel would be maintained at 98% of the establishment. The percentage of learners declared competent at the end of their initial training would be kept at 88%. The percentage of compensation to operational expenditure would be maintained at 73/27%.
Lieutenant-General Audrey Mofomme, Deputy National Commissioner: Physical Resource Management, SAPS, introduced the three targets under the priority improvement of capital infrastructure and asset management. 100% of firearms and bullet resistant vests planned would be procured and distributed. The ratio of personnel to vehicles would be maintained at 4.51: 1. 95% of police facilities would be completed as planned.
Gen Mofomme said that the next priority was the enhancement of information systems and ICT. The target was to complete 70% of the funded projects.
Lieutenant General Christabel Mbekela. HR Development, SAPS, was presenting on HR Development of SAPS members. She presented a synopsis of the factors influencing the training plans for members. The needs of members were gleaned from a skills audit. Skill and knowledge gaps were identified. Training Committees needed to look at the organisational needs as expressed in the Strategic Plan. Provinces might have different needs. Reports compiled by various bodies, including the AG and this Committee, were also considered. Performance charts were considered as well as issues such as availability of trainers and facilities. Once all the provincial training plans were co-ordinated they were sent to headquarters and co-ordinated into a single plan. Further guidance was in terms of the allocation of the budget. Operational development should get a higher percentage. There were three aspects of operational development. General policing training should get 30% of the budget, tactical and firearm development 25% and detective development 25%. The remaining 20% should go to support and generic skills development.
Gen Mbekela than went through the planned courses for the FY. A total of 7 030 courses, training 166 591 members. This included members who would attend more than one course during the year. Implementing these programmes would see a shift of focus towards ensuring the quality of delivery rather than quantity. Courses would be spread throughout the year. The forthcoming year would be the Year of the Detective. Detective training consisted of a two-week basic detection course, a yearlong Resolving of Crime course (ROC) as well as specialist courses and short interventions in skills such as the taking of statements.
Gen Mbekela said that 1 640 detectives had received ROC training during the 2011/12 FY, but that still left a backlog of 3 205 going into the current FY. The plan was to train 2 161 in 2012/13 with the remaining being accommodated in subsequent FY. Six Detective Commanders Learning Programmes (DLCP) would be presented at the academy in Paarl during the year. Four Station Management Learning Programmes (SMLP) would be presented. The model had changed to centralised training rather than being devolved to provincial level. A number of ITC courses for station commanders were also planned.
Gen Mbekela said that a total of 834 courses would be presented to equip SAPS members with the skills to assist in cases of violence against women and children. Course would be presented in victim empowerment, the CJA, human rights, the DVA and sexual offences. She said that 293 courses would be presented directed at the improvement at the improvement of service delivery at CSCs and on help lines.
Gen Mbekela said that 1 235 courses would be presented on three levels for all members. SAPS had decided to move away from the WordPerfect package to the Microsoft Word suite. Detectives had been identified as a critical area for ICT training. Thirty courses were planned as refreshers and re-skilling exercises. The programme had started in KZN and
Gen Mbekela said that 208 members would receive SARPCCO training and 327 would attend international programmes. Training schemes would also be held for police members from other African countries. Some discussion was still needed on the training plan. In terms of the Skills Development Act, SAPS paid levies to the Sector Educational Training Authority (SETA). Eight courses had been planned which would train 760 members. There would be 192 courses involving special projects such as K53 and Adult Basic Education and Training (ABET). These would be provided for 6 621 members.
Gen Mofomme proceeded to discuss SCM policies. Bullet resistant vests would be provided according to demand and for new intakes. The process of issuing firearm certificates and control would be enhanced. Microdots would be used. The ratio of 4.51 members per vehicle would be maintained. Boarding processes would be managed while garages would be optimised. Management of contractual arrangements with service providers would be improved. Relations with DPW would be strengthened. There would be improved management of capital and maintenance projects with DPW. The management of leased facilities would be enhanced. Maintenance contracts would be put in place for devolved facilities.
Gen Mofomme said that there were 1 365 lease agreements in place at the start of the FY. Of these, 967 were for office accommodation, 91 for living quarters and 307 for land. The plan for the FY was to build one new SAPS station. Three facilities would be re-established. One police facility would be newly established and three would be upgraded for a total of eight projects. There were also six projects which had not been completed in 2011/12. There had been 22 projects for 2011/12 of which sixteen had been completed. There had been a problem with the contractor for the Joza station as he had underestimated the time needed to finish the station. SAPS was in consultation with him and he had committed to speeding up his work. Labour problems had delayed the work at Tembisa. Other incomplete projects were in
Gen Ben Ngubane, DC, Supply Chain Management, SAPS, was honoured to take on the challenge of his new appointment. There had been changes within the organisation leading to some instability. Some of the changes he would implement might not be popular. It was important to improve governance and stability. All procurement must be above board. Value for money was important. He cringed when he heard that the Committee had visited SAPS stations and found that the standard of ICT was not acceptable. There would be discussions with SITA on service delivery. The past could not be fixed. His focus would be on changing future direction.
Gen Ngubane said that the first priority was to ensure internal integration. The extent of integration had to be determined. There was a difference between integration and interfacing. Security had to be considered. Systems had to be prioritised. Optimal deployment of technology was needed. Common databases should prevent duplication. A structure was needed to enhance inter-departmental exchanges. SAPS was talking to the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) on access to the fingerprint database. The format of the DHA database would have to be changed in order to accommodate SAPS requirements.
Gen Ngubane said that the SAPS ICT and information systems networks needed to be upgraded. At present only a single service provider was used, and this was a risk. Two or three more service providers were to be identified. Such a service would have to be to SAPS specifications. The network needed to be extended. Some stations, especially those in the deep rural areas, needed to be included even if this meant the use of microwave and other wireless links. SITA would be approached to set up a voice over internet protocol (VOIP) network utilising the existing data network.
Gen Ngubane said a number of existing projects would align SAPS systems to other government systems. Products would be provided that would be cost-effective and integrated. By 1 April 2012 the e-docket system had been been rolled out to twenty SAPS stations. SITA had had to create space on the mainframe to accommodate this. The system was being stabilised in the twenty test stations. They were all in
Gen Ngubane said that SAPS had progressed in their relationship with SITA. An exciting development was that SITA would make their server network available to SAPS. It would no longer be necessary for SAPS to buy and maintain their own equipment. This would enable a saving of between 20 and 30%.
Gen Mkhwanazi thank the Members for their attention to what had been a long presentation. The plan would be implemented under project management conditions. There would be quarterly reporting and every cent in the budget would be accounted for.
Ms Molebatsi asked about the cluster structure. She asked if it was effective. Members visited SAPS stations where the cluster office was inside the station, but the station was non-existent. She said that source documents were not provided. She asked Gen Schutte why this was the case. She asked Gen Mbekela asked if station commander training was effective. One might have completed the courses and the other not. The untrained commander might be providing better service than his trained counterpart. She asked how training on firearm skills was being monitored. Some stations had no access to shooting ranges. She asked Gen Mofomme for the list that she had talked about. Some SAPS members had to work in horrible conditions. Some stations were at the point of collapse. She wanted to see the list of upgrade projects.
Ms Kohler-Barnard had received conflicting reports on the incidence of violent crime. She had figures from Counterpoint which indicated that only a small number of such crimes was reported. Of some 45 000 reported cases of domestic violence, only 17 000 had been investigated. Only one rape in eleven was reported. Victims were reluctant to report attacks to SAPS as they feared that their experience with SAPS would be as traumatic as the attack itself. There was a question of the aggregation of the 59 different categories of sexual offences. This clouded the ability to analyse the situation properly. She asked if it would be possible to separate the categories so that Members could see if there were different success rates for the different categories.
Ms Kohler-Barnard said that ambitious targets had been set regarding firearm control. These were admirable, but the situation on the ground was totally different. She had waited two and a half years for a renewal of her licence and that seemed to be the average although she had heard of people who had to wait much longer. All the stations Members had visited reported backlogs. This was in addition to the 27 000 SAPS members who did not have licences. SAPS was breaking the law by allowing these members to carry arms. She agreed that training was needed on a regular basis. She questioned the state of marksmanship under these circumstances. There was no reference regarding firearm training.
Ms Kohler-Barnard asked if recruits from training colleges were fully equipped. Some recruits arrived at their first station fully equipped with bullet resistant vests and firearms, but others only in the uniform they wore, or some combination of the two. She asked what the policy was. The province then had to pay out of their funds to supplement the equipment. This should come from the training budget and not stretched provincial resources.
Ms Kohler-Barnard said that R750 000 had been lost due to the faults with the billboard campaign publicising the 10111 number in 2010/11. She asked if anyone had been held to account. She asked how many psychologists were in SAPS employ. Many members went through traumatic experiences and counselling should be mandatory. In 2008 she had been told that the majority of station commanders were not trained. Former NC Jackie Selebi had deliberately appointed station commanders who had not completed the prescribed management courses. Many problems at stations presently related to this situation. She asked how many station commanders were fully qualified, and why those who were not had not first received the training before being appointed. There was also the possibility that they might fail if they were appointed before being trained.
Ms P Mocumi (ANC) had a general question to the team. Regarding the reduction of vacancy rates, she asked what the Department's current vacancy rate was. She asked how the target of 2% disabled people would be reached. The Employment Equity Act was fourteen years old but not a single government Department had reached this target. She asked how detectives qualified for overtime allowances. She had heard allegations that detectives were told they did not qualify when they submitted claims. She asked what happened to learners who were not declared competent. The target was a pass rate of 88%. This would leave about 17 000 members who were not regarded as being competent. She asked what criteria were used to determine which stations which needed to be built. There was a station due to be completed at Kanana by 2014/15. The situation there was worse than in Isoseng. She asked Gen Mofomme about the stations which did not appear in any document, but where work was in progress. Members wanted to keep track of the projects that were under completion and their expected completion dates. Without this information she felt that the projects might fall through the cracks. She asked where the training for ADL came in. Without training the system would become a white elephant. A number of courses had been indicated. She wanted to know what the duration was of these various courses.
Rev Meshoe asked if there was a way to measure the effectiveness of development of SAPS members. There was abuse of sick leave. Members did not seem to be healthy. It was shocking to hear how many children were being sexually abused. He asked what would be done to protect children being abused on a daily basis. SAPS members laughed when the victims tried to report the cases.
Rev Meshoe asked why it was not possible to clear the backlog of untrained detectives in a shorter time. There was a dire need for investigations. He asked how the number of course attendees were estimated, and why they were not referred to as trainees. Members had been told that the DHA fingerprint database should conform to SAPS specifications. It seemed more logical that it should be the other way around. If it had to this way, then he asked how long it would take to align the systems.
Mr Ramatlakane wanted to hear about the relationship between SAPS and DPW on capital works. He asked if SAPS was still using private attorneys to defend cases against them, and why. It was important to know the calibre of the attorneys. He asked what progress was being made with the Bisho / Lady Frere station. It had taken a while to get this project off the ground.
Mr Ndlovu agreed that some stations were in terrible conditions, including one in his constituency. Action was needed before the buildings collapsed. Regarding structural unemployment, something had to be done. The diagram showed that the number of SAPS members was to be reduced. He asked why this was to be done. Unemployment was high in the country. While vacancies were being filled jobs were being cut. This discrepancy needed to be explained.
Ms van Wyk had a number of questions. She asked why a number of performance targets had had been omitted, for example with detective training, especially in the Year of the Detective. She asked what the current detective strength was and what SAPS considered the optimum number was.
Ms van Wyk said that thirty capital projects had been identified. She asked why the number had been reduced to eight. She asked if the target regarding firearms had been reached, and if it was now simply a matter of supplying new recruits. In the previous year there had been a target of 600 inspections, but this had now disappeared.
Ms van Wyk noted that the target for ICT projects had been reduced from 75% to 70%. There had been a budget cut in real terms. There would be staff cuts. She asked why the adjustment had been in terms of staff numbers. This might the correct option, but she wanted to hear the rationale. She was pleased that SAPS had joined the rest of the world by moving to Microsoft. Members had been told that it was not possible to do this earlier due to a long-term contract with WordPerfect. She asked if that contract had expired.
Ms van Wyk agreed with what had been said about the cluster approach. She was glad not to be in Gen Nchwe's position. The theory was fine, but things were not working out in practice. Management was a daily exercise and not an event. She had still to see a cell at an SAPS station which was managed according to instructions. She disagreed that the control of SAPS13 stores had improved. There were various rules and instructions in place. She asked what informed the belief that clusters were effective. At Burgersfort the cluster was within the station, and this was probably the worst station in the whole province. They had found two detainees who had been tortured. SAPS13 evidence was found in a cell without identification tags. This had been an announced visit. Medicine and various kinds of contraband were in the cells. Hourly visits were not being conducted. When the Committee engaged with trade unions on the budget, a recurring theme was the top-heavy structure of SAPS. The cluster system imposed a top-heavy structure. She was not experiencing any advantage from the clusters. She would like to see proof of the policy to justify the expense.
Ms van Wyk was glad to hear that there were indications that station commanders would be trained in ICT. In
Ms van Wyk said that Members had been told that every recruit would be issued with a safe, a firearm and a vest. Most did have a safe when reporting to their first station, but often the firearm and vest were lacking. She asked what was happening with Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS) training. Effective utilisation would enable SAPS to address the rogues within the organisation.
Ms van Wyk said there had been another incident of a criminal attack by persons wearing SAPS uniforms. Members had visited Rooigrond in
Ms van Wyk asked if the plan was to continue with barracks as a form of accommodation. The barracks in Wynberg were an absolute disgrace. She asked why there was no target for basic service provision to stations.
Mr Ramatlakane queried the value of the estimates column in the presentation. Reliable figures were needed for the Committee to do its oversight work. There were omissions from the Annual Performance Plan. He asked if the microdot marking of firearms had been completed hence the omission of the target. He asked how training backlogs were being eradicated. There had been an issue over the 27 000 SAPS members incompetent to handle firearms. It was a big number and he wanted to know how SAPS was dealing with the problem. He was worried about the term “attendees”. It obscured the numbers.
Mr Ramatlakane asked about demand driven supply, such as the supply of bullet resistant vests. He asked what cycle the provinces complied with in order to meet the national plan. This had an impact on expenditure. He asked how long the various courses were. On the upgrade of ICT, he had noticed a move towards dual systems. He asked what this would mean in terms of lead times and cost. There was always a lot of discussion around SITA. Further engagement was needed.
Mr Ramatlakane had visited
The Chairperson said the reason for the interaction was to enable the Committee to express its support, or lack of support, for the budget. She noted 24 TMS projects but there was no indication of cost or time schedules. Some had been in the 2011/12 Annual Performance Plan. The Department had come to the Committee with SITA and presented 22 projects. The Committee had instructed SAPS to provide costs. Only twelve had been costed. Some were not in the Annual Performance Plan and were new projects. She did not know what she must approve. There were 22 in the Annual Performance Plan and 22 in the Strategic Plan. She still wanted to be told what the costs would be. In the previous Annual Performance Plan there was a reference to PCAM. There was no indication of progress. The Committee had to oversee the roll-out of projects without knowing the details. Serious concerns had been raised over PCAM with any indication of what it was about.
The Chairperson referred to the building schedule. The one police station indicated would be built in 2012/13. Members were now being told that the building might stretch over more than one FY. It made it impossible for the Committee to exercise its oversight role. There was no cost attached to the project. Clarity was needed on what the information provided meant. Some projects had been in the Strategic Plan since 2010/11 still appeared while other projects had been dropped.
The Chairperson said that questions had been asked about the construction of stations and the offices in
The Chairperson said that a better procurement plan was needed for vehicles. Such vehicles should be robust and suitable for the terrain in which they would operate. A maintenance plan was needed. Serviceability of the current fleet was poor. This maintenance should be properly funded.
The Chairperson asked what level would be targeted for staff cuts. The SAPS had a top-heavy structure. There was duplication within the organisation. She asked how many Generals were in the police. She felt the SAPS had more than the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). She asked how the cuts would impact on service delivery, and on sector policing in particular.
The Chairperson has looked at the TMS projects. She asked where Tetra featured in the plan. She asked what information was available on progress, implementation and a maintenance plan. She thought it might be a scam. She wanted to know what had happened to projects in the previous year.
The Chairperson welcomed the introduction of the two year training plan. She was not sure how effective the new curriculum would be. She asked what plans were in place to train the trainers. The field trainers were saying that they had not received any training. The same applied at the colleges. An SAPS trainer raised the issue that he had not been trained to teach the subjects allocated to him, and had been dismissed as a result. She asked what qualification trainers should have, if any.
The Chairperson did not want to raise past issues such as the integrity of the examination process. Information was still being received about a “pass one pass all” policy. She asked how clinical training learners met their objectives. Basic training would now have an introduction to detective training. Once assigned to a unit they were expected to apply their brief theoretical training in practice. She asked why SAPS had decided that portfolios were no longer needed. The Chairperson said that not all stations were suitable for training. In some cases, constables were trained to meet to meet the lowest standard. She asked how the Inspectorate received its budget.
The Chairperson said that promotions were an issue. Sometimes she felt that the Committee had to act as a trade union because of the outcry over promotion policy. She asked what criteria had been used to promote members into the ranks Major and Lieutenant. Ms van Wyk had spoken about the worst run SAPS13 store, and yet the person responsible for this store was promoted. A case had been reported of a member who abused alcohol so badly that he had to report to his commander on a daily basis. He had been promoted but was not qualified for his new rank and had to be transferred. This person had only worked for three days in his new job before staying at home. The Committee would have to visit the provinces to investigate the situation. There had been reports of promotion based on tribal allegiance. Promotions had been granted to members who were no longer in active SAPS service.
The SAPS delegation continued answering questions that had been posed in the morning session. These were interspersed with fresh questions.
Acting National Commissioner, Nhlanhla Sibusiso Mkhwanazi, said the fact that the Department was only presenting the plan now when it was already the 17th day of the new financial year was “a bit skew” but hopefully in the future this could be corrected.
Gen Mkhwanazi said the budget was R62 billion and R45 billion of it went into compensation. The core business of the organisation, such as goods and services and capital assets, was then attended to with the remaining R17 million. This core business of the organisation is where operations had been conducted. The Department had thus thought it important not to cut the budget affecting operations. It thought it better to cut the budget affecting compensation. The focus was on cuts to personnel rather than services. The Department’s management agreed that there would be stock taking of personnel and a checking of all their human resources to see if the framework of 80-20% distribution in terms of ‘operations versus support’ had been complied with. It was possible that it was only be on paper and not in reality that this was being complied with. The cutting of numbers was not meant to compromise service delivery. The question had been from where would the Department have to cut numbers? Would it be the lower levels or managerial levels? It might look like there was a large number of managerial positions within the police. However when looking at the workload, it was found that the number was in actual fact quite low and may have had to grow.
Gen Mkhwanazi said the system for policing the Department had developed was termed the cluster approach. This was aimed at distributing resources closer to the ground. By closing down the area commissioners, the Department had wanted to reduce the number of personnel that were meant to do operations functions but were sitting in area commissioners’ offices doing administrative functions. Thus the area commissioners had been released from the burden of administration. They would thus focus on policing. SAPS appointed managers or commanders that would administrate a group of stations. It had been a been a bit of an oversight that a management framework informing the commanders exactly what was expected of them within the cluster, was not developed. What had not been addressed was how did station commanders communicate with the cluster commander and how did they in turn communicate with the provincial officer. The actual duties of the cluster commander were not addressed. The Department had assumed they would know what was required of them but it later realised it had faltered on that. Hence one saw the development of the framework that would talk to individual performance. This is what the Department was attempting to rollout and within a year or so they would be able to come back and evaluate the entire system.
Lieutenant-General Julius Molefe, SA Police Service legal adviser, said that all government departments had the use of the Office of the State Attorney. Thus the use of private attorneys had been more an exception rather than the rule within the department. It could only happen in situations in which there was a conflict of interest – of which there had not been many. An example would be if the Department was involved in a court matter in which another department was involved and thus there was a conflictual position before the court. There were instances in which the state attorney had sought to withdraw from handling the Department’s matters because, for example, the department did not agree with the legal position to be advanced by the state attorney. There was extensive use of correspondence and this legal work was outsourced by the state attorney’s office. This was driven by issues of capacity in the Office of the State Attorney where there were serious issues of capacity. This was coupled with the extensive use of advocates. The conclusive answer was private attorneys were used in exceptional circumstances otherwise the department was solely dependent on the State Attorney.
A SAPS delegation member said that the billboard campaign was meant to publicise the wanted faces of criminals and was a joint GCIS and SAPS campaign. The reason GCIS had been involved was because of the government instruction on media bulk buying that government departments had embarked on. In implementing this, there had been teething problems in the creative work done by GCIS. The Department’s role in the billboard campaign endeavour had been approval of the wanted faces and not the overall copy that was flighted. However on this point it was important to highlight that GCIS had undertaken to compensate the Department on the creative work of the campaign as the task at hand was actually a joint responsibility.
Gen Mkhwanazi said targets had been removed from the plan which specifically spoke to the inspectorate. This was because the department had felt it was not important to include it in the plan as the role of the inspectorate was almost similar to the role of the internal audit. There were however targets in terms of performance. A plan was drawn up and in place. Although not included, it was in the supervisory part.
Lieutenant-General Mzondeki Tshabalala, Head: Information and Security Management, SAPS, stated that there would still be a service delivery inspection for 600 stations. The target for 600 still remained for the year 2012/13. On top of that there would be a focus on the 14 presidential and 169 priority (or high-crime) stations. The Department wanted to look at the performance of these stations from the time there were declared presidential stations and see if there has been a difference in terms of performance, based on the resources that had been channeled to them. The other focus of the Department was the stations that had been inspected year in and year out and there had not been a definite improvement in their performance. They sought to work closely with the cluster commanders, the provincial commissioner and station commissioners.
The Chairperson asked where this information was.
Gen Mkhwanazi stated that this was not necessarily in the plan and he had indicated that there were a number of things that would be deployed as a management tool to ensure that this plan was implemented. It was not necessarily in the strategic plan.
The Chairperson stated that this was an omission. How was it possible that the inspectorate which had an office headed by a general did not have targets? How was the Committee expected to know that they were doing their work if they had no targets? These questions were asked when police stations were visited by the Committee. They had been joined by the provincial inspectorate who gave reports.
Gen Mkhwanazi replied he had indicated that a great number of things that were not in the plan were on the operational plan which was used to judge performance. This was the same as the internal audit which had not been included in the previous year’s plan. The plan was not necessarily based on individuals but certain strategic issues the department wanted to embark upon. There were a lot of activities taking place on the same budget that could not be covered in the strategic plan but they were all in the operational plan.
Lieutenant-General Audrey Mofomme, Deputy National Commissioner: Physical Resource Management, SAPS, stated that the department did, through Supply Chain Management national, supply bulletproof vests and the safe to trainees when they left the college. However they were not supplied with a firearm as at that stage they were not qualified constables. In terms of standing orders, once they were qualified they could apply to their station commander to be allocated a personnel issue firearm. This in turn went into the inventory. The provincial commissioners usually submitted their requests to Supply Chain Management. When they submitted their requests to be supplied with handguns they made provision for students as well. That was why they were not given firearms.
Lieut Gen Mofomme said bulletproof vest requests came from the provincial commissioners who indicated the number needed and the Department budgeted for them as the Department paid for them out of its budget. Thus they submitted their needs and that is how the order was placed for bulletproof vests. It became difficult to state the number of bulletproof vests that needed to be used since if a member got shot whilst wearing a vest, then the vest could not be used again, even if the bullet did not go through it. These had been consumable items that would need to be replaced.
The Chairperson interrupted by saying most Committee members had never been SAPS members thus there were things they would not know and would only know if they were told by SAPS members. One of these things was the fact that once trainees completed training, they were given their caps and firearms within the college. This had been told to the Committee in a meeting. Thus when the Committee visited police stations they asked questions based on the information that had been received at meetings. In some police stations, there were large volumes of firearms in the CFC safe. Had the Department counted them in order to decide whether they needed to buy such large quantities of firearms each year? Some police stations had large quantities of firearms not used and some even misused. The questions asked within police stations was based on the information provided at meetings.
Ms A Van Wyk (ANC) said that many members of SAPS management were present at the meeting in which it was said firearms were issued with basic training. The Committee on a site visit witnessed the distribution of firearms at a training facility. She did not understand how those present said that these trainees were not qualified to have firearms yet they were able to get firearms from the police station. Trainees were sent to practice with a firearm that was not their firearm however no two firearms acted in the same way. Thus were the lives of South Africans being unnecessarily endangered? It was those constables who were said not to be fully trained who were expected to be meet criminals in a situation. She asked the Department to stop laughing about it, as it was not a laughing matter. This issue of firearms needed to be sorted out once and for all. This is what had been reported to the Committee and it was something they had witnessed. There had been questions about distribution as there was not proper control at some of the points.
Ms D Kohler-Barnard (DA) stated that the Committee had visited six provinces and at every station there had been a different answer to her question. At some stations, students had said they came fully equipped with a firearm and bulletproof vest etc. Others said that there had been a bulletproof vest but no firearm, however they had been issued a safe. The answer always differed. No province had every station saying the same thing, every province was different. What was being said by the department did not match what was happening on the ground. Either the provincial heads were misinforming the department, or the stations were misinforming the provincial heads, or everyone was fabricating what was being told as there was no resemblance to what was happening on the ground. There were different answers from everyone.
Gen Mkhwanazi replied there were different levels involved in terms of firearms. When the student finished training, they did not go straight to the station. They used their own means of transport from the training institution to go home or wherever they went, before reporting to the station. That was the norm. As a result it could not have been correct that the student constable was issued with a firearm. The Act prescribed that before one could be issued with a firearm, there needed to be a safe where the firearm was locked up, as well as certificate proclaiming competency. When the trainee arrived at the station, Supply Chain became involved in issuing them with the equipment that was required. Some of the equipment was issued at training level, and some was issued at operations. The trainee was issued with a handgun that they carried during the course of their duties and they may have not necessarily been authorised to take the firearm home. The Department had to be honest with the Committee that some SAPS members stayed in conditions that did not allow them to take firearms home as it was not secure in terms of the Act. At work they had been issued with additional firearms other than the handgun. These other arms were never authorised to be taken home. Supply Chain issued some resources at college level and others at the station level. At the college level what was mainly issued was the uniform. It was the duty of the station commander, the unit commander and the provincial commissioner to ensure that when the employee came on duty or went off duty they were properly equipped. The rules said that if the employee wanted to take the firearm home they needed to apply. It was not an automatic thing. In the application the employee needed to state whether they had a suitable place to store the firearm. It was issued with a safe that needed to be mounted according to the Act within the employee’s residence. If the Department found a situation of negligence, it would be difficult for that member to carry the firearm home again. Supply Chain did not determine whether those to be issued with firearms were competent, it was merely told that they were and it issued the firearm.
The Chairperson stated that this was something that had never been said to the Committee. However when they went to police stations they would seek to confirm what had been said in the meeting. In a previous meeting the information that had been provided by management was that they had planned to decrease the number of firearms issued to students as when they got their caps they had received their firearms. However in the current meeting the Committee was being told something different and they had no reason to check this as they did not want the colleges to issue firearms to students if it was not correct. The Committee will look at how firearms are being issued to learners at the various training colleges and the process involved.
Ms Van Wyk said that just for clarity she wanted to confirm those present were speaking about 9mm and not other weapons. She wanted to say on the record that on a site visit the students had been issued firearms and they had been issued safes. This was something the Committee had witnessed.
Gen Mkhwanazi replied that he acknowledged that there had an error on the part of the Department in not communicating that the Act prescribed that no member could be issued a firearm without a safe. To issue a firearm to a student who still needed to travel around the country was against the rules. Those within management would be looking into this matter.
Ms Van Wyk said that if a student had a licence to carry a firearm but did not have a safe then it did not matter. According to the law if the student had a licence then they were able to carry the firearm.
Gen Mkhwanazi replied that SAPS did not allow a person to take a firearm home if they did not have a safe mounted properly on the wall. It was for that reason that a student could not be given a firearm who still had to travel somewhere (with the firearm in their possession). This was because the accountable entity for that firearm was the police station in the area in which he was. However it was not a station to which he was going to report. That station commander did not know what the member had brought into the area and thus could not be held accountable. That meant that if anything happened to firearm, then the college commander would be accountable. For that reason the Department had not wanted to issue firearms at the college. They preferred it that when the students arrived at their station, they received all their equipment so the Department could know where all their resources were.
Lieut Gen Mofomme noted that the dot pin marking project for 2011/12 had reached 86%. There had been a few challenges towards the end of the financial year but this project was being completed. However in the new financial year new firearms would be issued only after they had been dot pin marked. This had become part of the set standard that before firearms were issued, they should be dot pin marked.
Lieut Gen Mofomme said that in terms of Integrated Ballistics Identification System (IBIS) testing the Department would have to get together with Forensic Science Laboratories (FSL) in order to get a progress report. This was because armourers tested the firearms but Supply Chain did not really do the testing. An agreement had been reached between Supply Chain and FSL to say that the firearms had tested. In order to do that the Department’s armourers were the ones who tested the firearms and then sent the bullets to FSL to do ballistic tests. In order to get the completed IBIS tests, the Department had to go to FSL.
Ms Van Wyk said that this was a very good point as there was a good reason for the tests. She was however not satisfied with the answer. She argued that there needed to be a logical process that looked at how many firearms there were and which ones needed to be tested as there were ones in the field that needed to be tested. She requested that the Committee got a clear programme of how far the IBIS testing had gone. This programme did not need to come right now but it would be a good idea for the Committee at some point to have that. It would need to include the different firearms owned in SAPS, the different firearms issued to members as well as the firearms issued to stations and to units. She asked for the programme to include where the Department stood at the moment as well as what the plan for the financial year was. She did not see that this could take forever as new firearms were being tested as they were received and this was recorded. The Committee needed to push on this issue as there was a good reason for the IBIS testing.
Lieut Gen Mofomme replied that the Department would provide the requested information
Ms Kohler-Barnard said that on a site visit the Committee had encountered a station that did not know what IBIS testing project was about. They had been an organised station but they had not received the standing order concerning the testing and they had not sent their firearms for testing. She would like believe that there was a clear handover of the identification of the firearm to the cartridge to the testing and back again. This was because when there were incidents of a shooting occurring, the right person had to be tied to the right firearm for disciplinary purposes. It was crucial that this was done in an orderly fashion and it was disappointing that some officials were not aware of it. There had been reports from certain stations that people doing the test shooting were placed in a small room and expected to shoot continually. There had been incidents of this affecting hearing and those stations doing nothing about it. The Department needed to be careful as it did not want to be sued.
Lieut Gen Mofomme noted that an automated vehicle location (AVL) training manual had been developed and the provincial vehicle fleet managers had been trained. They were then to train the other people in the province. When Supply Chain Management installed the AVL system, they trained those who were to operate it and this was a continual activity.
Lieut Gen Mofomme explained that there was a truck from Supply Chain management that went to provinces to deliver uniforms as per orders. The arrangement was that as they delivered the new uniform, they needed to collect the old uniform that had been brought in by members looking to procure a new one. At this stage the old uniforms had been stored at the Supply Chain at national. However it had been found that sometimes it was not possible to store some uniforms, these uniforms were then burned. However the Department was in the process of procuring a shredder and the waste would then be disposed of.
Lieut Gen Mofomme replied that provincial commissioners had indicated the number and type of vehicles they wanted to procure. The Department then awaited the publication of the RP 57 transversal contract of the National Treasury. Once it was announced, then there would be an indication to the provincial commissioners of the vehicles approved as per the transversal contract (which they could compare with what had been submitted). To ensure that vehicles did not come in dribs and drabs, the Department planned to place 100% of their orders. They had indicated to the provincial commissioners to state all their needs in their entirety. There would be a push on the contractors to deliver the vehicles and they hoped that these vehicles would improve the situation.
Ms Van Wyk said that the previous personnel per vehicle ratio was 3.91. It was now 4.51 which showed upward mobility. She asked if the Department would return a few years from now and say that there was a shortage of vehicles? What was the Department’s target as there should not be a repeat of a few years before where there was a shortage of vehicles.
Lieut Gen Mofomme replied that on average the target was not to exceed the 4.51. Having looked at performance over the past few years, it was true that in the 2010 financial year performance was better than the target. However the Department was not saying they did not want to go beyond the 4.51 to one vehicle.
Ms Van Wyk said she was asking what the ideal figure needed to be as those present were talking about the budget and money. She did not want to know how they had got to the figure, but what the ideal figure was.
Another Member asked about the sustainability of 4.51 and how they arrived at that figure. If next year the Department was to come with a different ratio how would they explain themselves? Was this going to be sustained and what were the future plans for this?
Gen Mkhwanazi said previous averages had been taken with consideration of the number of employees in the organisation. SAPS had performed better than the average in past years. The picture was changing slowly over the years and the Department was certain by the time they reported to the Committee at the end of this year, the number of people in the each vehicle may have dropped. It needed to be emphasised that this was a summary of everything. There had been talks with the provincial commissioners that there was a need for a breakdown in terms of the number of vehicles. The Department was sure by next year they would be performing better as they seemed to be getting more vehicles.
Ms Kohler-Barnard said that on one site visit, of 153 operational members, 123 had failed the firearm competency test but were still armed. This was for the Department’s own information.
Lieut Gen Mofomme explained that there was a budget for all the vehicles procured by police for maintenance within its life span. This was managed at provincial level.
The Chairperson said that in
Mr G Lekgetho (ANC) stated that when visiting
Lieut Gen Mofomme referred to the AVL and said the primary purpose was for operational duties. If a crime was committed at a certain time, there needed to be knowledge of what vehicle could be deployed for that crime. However the secondary purpose was for the Department to utilise it for control purposes. Although not all the vehicles had AVL, the majority did. Supply Chain were able to utilise this to help the provincial commissioner in the control of vehicles.
The Chairperson asked who was qualified to take a vehicle home according to policy?
Lieut Gen Mofomme said prescripts were very clear on the conditions for taking a vehicle home but did not say who exactly could take a vehicle home. The garaging of a vehicle was not for a particular person but was based on the duties that the person needed to perform.
A SAPS member added that the Department’s processes prescribed that there need to be an application process. At police station level, members had to put in an application to the station commissioner or detective commander and then it would be looked at for approval. Those that were approved could use only those vehicles registered in that Community Safety Centre, any other vehicles were not approved.
Ms Van Wyk asked how it was recorded (and in what book was it registered) that certain vehicles had been taken home?
The Chairperson asked if SAPS members qualified to be fetched by state vehicles from their homes and if so who were these members?
A SAPS member replied that paragraph 3 in the National Instruction dealt with vehicle management and thus dealt with the taking home of vehicles. The picking up of members was allowed in certain circumstances such as where there was no public transport.
Ms Kohler-Barnard said there was a certain level above which a station commander was allowed a dedicated vehicle which would be virtually their own private vehicle. There were also standby detectives. These seemed to be the two instances in which vehicles could be used in this manner. However, it seemed that sometimes the regulations were merely swept aside.
Gen Mkhwanazi replied that there was a garaging register which was available and there was a register that one had to complete before they drove a vehicle. It was indicated on this register that there was authority to take the vehicle from one place to another. When applying for garaging authority, one had to give the address of where the vehicle would be parked as well as the time frame. There were rules that stated that if a vehicle was taken, then it must be parked in a secure area. Some members were offered transport not only because they were on stand by but due to the non-availability of public transport from the station. It was sometimes an issue of safety. It was thus the prerogative of the station commissioner or the detective commander to authorise that member could make use of the state transport. Despite these regulations, the Department was still dealing with human beings and there were people who would abuse the system. Some commanders had neglected their supervision duties and the tools that were there to assist with this had not been utilised. This was a weakness from the Department’s side but they sought to work on that. He asked if Lieut Gen Mofomme could return to answering the questions. [The Committee kept interrupting the block of questions she had been assigned to answer].
The Chairperson stated that the point being made by the Committee was that there needed to be more done by the Department to control the use of vehicles. Whatever measures had been put in place had still not yielded the necessary results and more needed to be done. She said provincial commissioners had so far been prompt to deal with issues raised by the Committee.
Lieut Gen Mofomme said the Bisho and Lady Frere police stations were now operational. Bisho had been opened on 22 October 2011 and Lady Frere on 21 October 2011.
Lieut Gen Mofomme said the Basic Services project had been planned as a one year project. The Department had identified the stations that did not have basic services. Different stations had different needs. The Department had been handling the devolved stations and the Department of Public Works (DPW) had handled the non-devolved stations. Once the project execution had started, Public Works had realised mostly on its side that there were some challenges and it was taking longer than DPW had thought but it would be continuing with the project. This is why it had not been put as a new target for the new financial year as these were targets from the previous financial year. The work had been started and merely needed to be completed.
Lieut Gen Mofomme noted that to determine the priority for stations to be built, the Department obtained a needs list from each provincial commissioner. Once these needs were collected, they were consolidated and supplied to the National Management Forum for approval. The challenge was that priorities sometimes changed, either from the provincial commissioners side or due to the request of communities. As a result there was a shifting of projects to satisfy the latest instruction. It had then been decided what stations to build in what order and, in this, the provincial commissioners had been consulted.
The Chairperson asked when these changes were enacted, did the Department consult with the provincial commissioners and the communities that had been promised that a police station would be built in their area? This all tied up with the issue of job opportunities since communities would think that a police station was to be built in the area which would provide jobs. However if this had not happened due to certain changes and prioritizing, was this communicated to the provincial commissioner? She asked if the list that was in the Strategic Plan was the list agreed upon by provincial commissioners.
Lieut Gen Mofomme replied that the building projects were presented by Supply Chain Management and the National Management Forum, where the list was approved. From her perspective, the answer was yes, there had been meetings where the building plan had been presented as had the changes.
The Chairperson stated that in the past more police stations had been built in places like KZN and when she had asked why, she had been told it was because other places did not have provincial commissioners appointed yet. However the list presented at the meeting looked much the same as the one before with only a few changes. The issue was could one really say that the police stations in some areas would be built at a later date because those areas had agreed to that? How was it possible that a police station that could collapse today, would be built in 2014/15? Thus could the Committee be certain that this list was the list that the provincial commissioners were in agreement with? Some of the police stations the Committee had visited could not possibly wait four more years to be rebuilt as per the plan in front of the Committee.
Ms M Molebatsi (ANC) asked if the Committee could be taken through what the Department took into consideration when the priorities had been shifted.
Ms Kohler-Barnard said that through Parliamentary Questions she had established that 150 police stations did not have access to basic services. This seemed to have been blamed on Public Works not functioning properly. However some of the issues affecting some of the stations could have been dealt with by the Department. The worst cases were in the
The National Commissioner of
Gen Mkhwanazi stated that it had been trial and error taking the building projects over from the Department of Public Works. The Department had thought they could do a better job but it had proved to be a challenge. He was not sure how far back the decision had come from but from 2010, General Cwele had requested the provincial commission provide him with a list. An unfortunate occurrence was that there was no assurance that when the list had been compiled, that the community had been consulted. What had happened was a task team was formed to prioritise the ‘5 x 9’ into a number of years and have nine per year. There had been a provincial commissioners’ collective to decide which nine would be started with and which 9 would follow and so on. That is how the list was created. From Head Office, projects had been included which were not necessarily part of the police stations, for example, the 10111 centres. As everything could not be done, it had to be prioritised to fit into the budget. That priority had been approved by general commissioners and it in turn became the infrastructure plan. There were a lot of administrative obstacles with building and as the changes came, the provincial commissioners were not consulted.
Gen Mkhwanazi noted that the majority of the building projects lay with the Department of Public Works and not SAPS. This year they had a budget of R1.3 billion rand for building projects of which R305 million was for the police, the rest lay with Public Works. Public Works had however given the Department its plans and if these plans had changed due to challenges, that was communicated to Supply Chain. This unfortunately was not communicated to provincial commissioners. An oversight happened when National did not consult with provincial in advance when such changes were made. This had been a mistake that the Department had acknowledged. They had committed themselves that in future if any changes to any building project were to be made, these were to be presented at the quarterly Management Forum where all the provincial commissioners would be present and these would be approved there. It had been a challenge but the Committee could be assured that any changes would be discussed by this management.
The Chairperson asked if Gen Mkhwanazi had said nine police stations per year?
Gen Mkhwanazi replied he wanted to clarify the plan in 2010 was the National Commissioner had asked each provincial commissioner to give a priority list. However there were other building projects on top of that that had to be included. Provincial commissioners had sat in
The Chairperson said she wanted to be assured that they were not saying that the list of police stations in the current Annual Performance Plan could have been changed without provincial commissioners knowing. If that was the case, the Committee could not accept this. They wanted to be assured that if the list the Department had said was not going to change, did change, then management would inform the Committee. Also in this Strategic Plan 2010/11 to 2014/15, the Department had planned to build 144 police stations with some being renovated. 45 police stations had been spoken about but what about the others? Where had they come from? 99 still remained which was a huge bulk. She wanted to know if the provincial commissioners had been part of the latest prioritisation or was it still the list that had come into being without their consultation? Had the provinces been involved? Could she get some information in terms of how far the list had gone?
Gen Mkhwanazi replied he had taken note that Lieut Gen Mofomme had to make available a list which detailed the progress of buildings. The total number of 145 was over a period of five years which had been broken down into a number of different years. What was before the Committee in terms of the Annual Performance Plan was the list that had been consulted with the provincial commissioners. The provincial commissioners had been involved in the prioritisation of the 45 stations but the other building plans they had not necessarily been involved with. The Department may have had to revise their priorities in the Strategic Plan 2010/11 - 2014/15 as the previous priorities had been done with the budget in mind. It was something that, as management, they had discussed and after the meeting the Department would re-prioritise and return to the Committee to present amendments which would only speak to the Strategic Plan. It would only be on the building side. It was the hope of the Department that this would only happen on the police side and not the side of Public Works which had a bigger budget. It was a complicated matter and would be better handled by Public Works so that SAPS could focus on policing instead of building.
Ms Van Wyk said, given what had been said, what was really needed was a simple document stating that in 2012/13 this was where the Department was in terms of stations. There was a need for a progress report on stations detailing how much had been spent as well as completion dates and where the Department was at in terms of certain stations.
The Chairperson wanted to be assured whatever re-prioritisation that took place would not influence the 2012/13 Annual Plan and any changes made would be for the following financial year as the Department wanted the Committee to accept this plan.
Gen Mkhwanazi thanked the Chairperson for accepting the plan as it was.
The meeting ended there as the next issue, Human Resources, would begin the next day.
- PC Police: South African Police Service (SAPS) on their Strategic Plan, Annual Performance Plan and Budget for 2012/13 am1
- PC Police: South African Police Service (SAPS) on their Strategic Plan, Annual Performance Plan and Budget for 2012/13
- PC Police: South African Police Service (SAPS) on their Strategic Plan, Annual Performance Plan and Budget for 2012/13 am2
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