Civilian Secretariat for Police 2012 Strategic Plan

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20 April 2012
Chairperson: Ms L Chikunga (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Civilian Secretariat for Police presented its 2012 Strategic Plan to the Committee. The Secretariat had been established during 2011. Its role was to provide oversight over the South African Police Service, and to advise the Minister on policing matters.  The Secretary for Police hoped that the Secretariat would become a designated Department by 1 April 2013.  Several positions were still vacant.  This was hampering their work, in particular the process of preparing legislation for presentation to Parliament.  There was already a provincial secretariat in Gauteng, and secretariats would eventually be set up in all provinces.  A White Paper would be published during 2012. A major amendment needed to be made to the South African Police Service Act by early 2013. Limited staff and technology were hampering the operation of the Secretariat. The work of the Secretariat was divided into five sub-programmes. These included:
Sub-programme: Office of the Secretary for Police
Human Resource Management & Development
Sub-programme: Supply Chain Management
Sub-programme: Financial Management
Sub-programme: Auxiliary Services

The strategic objectives and outputs for each sub-programme was outlined in the presentation. The total budget estimate was R63 million for the 2012/13 financial year. A breakdown showed that R45 million was directed towards personnel matters and R17 to operational issues.

Members welcomed the Secretariat but had concerns. The slow pace of preparation of legislation was making the work of the Committee difficult.  In particular, an amendment to the Police Act regarding the establishment of the Hawks had to be made soon in response to an order of the Constitutional Court.  Other pieces of legislation, such as that on DNA, were also being delayed. The Secretariat was instructed to investigate the situation regarding staff cuts which had apparently been forced on the Police by National Treasury.  There seemed to be different interpretations of what the actual instruction had been.

Members urged the Secretariat to exercise control over the Police budget vote and expenditure patters.  It seemed that operational plans were not linked to the budget process.  Members called on the Secretariat to play a leading role in the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act and related matters, as the Police seemed to see this Act, and other similar legislation, as an extra burden added to their other tasks.

Meeting report

The Chairperson reminded the delegation from the Secretariat of Police about their mandate. Their main role was to oversee the South African Police Service (SAPS) and to advise the Minister of Police on policy matters.

Presentation by Civilian Secretariat for Police
Ms Jennifer Irish-Qhobosheane, Secretary for Police, Civilian Secretariat for Police (CSP), said the Civilian Secretariat of Police Act came into effect on 1 December 2011 with the exception of clauses relating to its departmental status. The organisation structure was signed off by the Minister in November 2011, but there was a delay in the office of the Minister of Public Service and Administration (PSA). Positions had been advertised and the staff complement would increase from 53 to 110.  

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said the targets were included in the document. With the Secretariat moving towards departmental status it would have to review its strategic plan and targets. Those sessions would start in August. There should be alignment between the different units.

The CSP hoped that its shift towards becoming a designated department would happen in the 2013/14 financial year (FY). The structure had finally been approved by the Minister of PSA. The structure would be reviewed after 18 months once the Secretariat became a Department. The suitability of candidates for appointments would be assessed by Deloitte and Touche. The anticipation was that the Secretariat would become a Department on 1 April 2013. Thereafter provincial secretariats would be established.  There was already a secretariat in Gauteng and four other provinces were leading the way.

The work of the Secretariat had been broken down into Programmes. The first sub-programme was the Office of the Secretary for Police. The strategic objective was to provide an effective and efficient Secretariat able to fulfil its mandate. The output was to ensure that all systems and planning processes were developed and effectively implemented.  One aspect of the legislation that had not yet been implemented was the establishment of a forum, as this could only be done once all provincial secretariats had been formed.  One aspect to look at was the benefit of all the international trips being conducted by SAPS.  International co-operation agreements would also be reviewed. An effective communications strategy had been developed.  Effective communication with SAPS was essential so both bodies knew where they stood.  The strategy focused on getting the public to understand the role of the Secretariat and communication with all stakeholders including SAPS. Existing media could be used. A proper internal communications strategy was needed. One of the requirements of the Act was to submit quarterly reports to Parliament. The first would be submitted in May 2012.  The Secretariat was actively involved with the JCPS cluster.

Dumezweni Zimu, Chief Director (CD): Partnerships, CSP, said the main focus of the year relating to partnerships would be strengthening relations with civic and police unions. An anti-crime operation would be launched later in the year. Focus would be put on second-hand goods and the sale of stolen goods.  There would be public participation programmes. The Secretariat would ensure that the guidelines for Community Policing Forums (CPFs) would be followed. There were pilot projects in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Facilitation forums for Community Security Forums (CSFs) would be established. An anti-crime small business strategy would be implemented in conjunction with the South African Revenue Service (SARS) and the industry. Some big companies were aware of the problems of small business. A rural safety strategy would be implemented.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said that the small business robbery strategy had been finalised. There were exciting developments. A cash management strategy was being piloted in Tembisa, based on methods used by big business. Some banks were looking at funding this project. The strategy dealt with cash handling and business principles. The CPF development had not been easy. There were no blueprints anywhere in the world. The focus was on policing rather than general issues.  Each province should have a forum. The implementation plan for CSFs had been developed.

Ms Millicent Kewitu, CD: Marketing and Evaluation, CSP, said that the Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E) Unit had to be overhauled to exercise oversight over SAPS. Reports were made on visits to SAPS stations. The Secretariat would extract the trends to inform the Minister. It would also look at how SAPS managed its performance. The Secretariat would also report to the Minister on how SAPS was managing its budget. Some key findings raised by the Committee had now been raised with the Minister. SAPS had to provide a plan on how it would mange its funds. The Secretariat would also monitor Police conduct and integrity. It would use information from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) and the Committee. The Secretariat would monitor SAPS training standards and disciplinary procedures. The Secretariat would also be looking on how SAPS managed litigation.

Ms Kewitu said that the Secretariat would monitor implementation of legislation such as the Domestic Violence Act (DVA) and Child Justice Act (CJA). It would report to the Committee bi-annually. The Secretariat would look at the implementation of the Firearms Control Act. It would also evaluate the success of SAPS programmes. The Secretariat would evaluate the performance of the National Inspectorate.

Ms Kewitu said that partnerships would be established to ensure the effective functioning of the different forums and reference groups. The Secretariat would be able to submit a combined report.  New technical teams would be set up. Training on oversight would be provided. The work of the Secretariat should be stored at a data warehouse. The current internal storage system had been developed in-house but an integrated system was needed. The final area the unit would monitor would be the implementation of special partnership projects.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said the original mandate included monitoring SAPS handling of complaints. This was not happening. The Secretariat needed to get better information from SAPS. There was concern about the SAPS budget and the Secretariat would submit quarterly reports. Three reports had been presented. This information would be included in the report to the Committee. The entire management of SAPS had been called in to deal with the contents of these reports. Management was either to deal with the issues raised or to develop turnaround strategies. Any recommendations made had to be implemented. The State Information Technology Authority (SITA) was not capable of implementing the data warehouse. The Secretariat had issued a tender.

Ms Bilkis Omar, CD: Policy and Research, CSP, said the Unit had five objectives. The first was to develop and implement a research programme on policing, crime, safety and security issues. The second objective was to provide policy advice on policing issues to the Secretary of Police. The third objective was to engage stakeholders in order to improve research capacity.  The fourth objective was to provide the Secretary with an information hub on issues of policing to increase the quality of research and policy.  The work of the resource centre would be expanded. The final objective was to provide strategic research.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said that the White Paper on transformation issues had been developed in two provinces. One of the key positions advertised was for a Head of the Legislative Division. The lack of an incumbent had led to delays in forwarding legislation. Objectives of the Legislation unit were to provide effective legislative support to the Secretary of Police. Problems relating to the reluctance to release information by SAPS had been resolved. There had been lengthy discussions with SAPS and National Treasury (NT) on shared service agreements. The Dangerous Weapons Act had attracted a number of public comments. The feeling was that the draft Bill was draconian and would be modified.  There would be consultation with stakeholders regarding the Firearms Amendment Act.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said that the effective organisation of the human resources (HR) was important. Currently members of the Secretariat were doing jobs beyond their skills level due to vacant posts. Although the Secretariat was 100% compliant with supply chain management (SCM) policies, much of their procurement was done on their behalf by the SAPS. This had to change. The supplier database had to be reviewed and purified. A lot of money had been spent on middlemen. Mark-ups went up to 300%. A R15 bottle of disinfectant was being supplied by a middleman at R70. Cuts should take place. Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) compliant suppliers had been identified on the database. Each unit was receiving a monthly summary of their expenses compared to their budget. A team had been set up with NT to ensure financial compliance. The Auxiliary Services function would be made more effective so that information was properly registered and would be easier and quicker to access.

The total budget estimate was R63 million for the 2012/13 financial year. A breakdown showed that R45 million was directed towards personnel matters and R17 to operational issues.

Ms D Kohler-Barnard (DA) understood the HR management constraints. Nevertheless, the recommendations of the Glenister report had taken a year to come to the Committee, which now had to work with unseemly haste to satisfy the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) directives. She did not think that Parliament would be able to do justice to the Bill. She asked if extra legal advisors could not have been brought in to expedite the work on the recommendations, as Parliament might be humiliated again if the ConCourt rejected the Bill.

Ms Kohler-Barnard welcomed the inclusion of a Secretariat member on oversight visits. She asked what value the Secretariat gained from these visits. Legal services at SAPS were in a dire condition. There was a culture of challenging and appealing even in clear cut cases. Victims were eventually forced to withdraw cases due to escalating costs. Some cases could not go to IPID and the Secretariat was the only recourse.

Ms Kohler-Barnard asked how far the legislation on DNA was. The study visit had been conducted a year previously. She appreciated that the Secretariat was busy but would appreciate a target date.

Ms Kohler-Barnard said that NT had ruled that SAPS must lose 9 000 members. This would have a telling effect on SAPS productivity. She suggested that the Secretariat should meet with SAPS top management as to how effectively legislation could be implemented.

Mr G Lekgetho (ANC) said that the President had approved the Act in 2011 and had become effective in December 2011. He asked what the Secretariat had done to communicate their role to the community. SAPS had told the committee that the Secretariat was taking the CPF structure over. On SCM, the plan was short of dates. It was an open-ended plan.

Ms A van Wyk (ANC) asked why the strategic plan only covered three years instead of the usual five year period. Budget figures did not have middle and outer year figures over the medium term expenditure framework (MTEF). This would indicate where there was future growth planned. This could not happen again as Members could not make a complete evaluation.

Ms van Wyk said that target dates were needed regarding the establishment of provincial secretariats. Gauteng was established and there was movement in the Free State, but they should anticipate challenges in the other seven provinces. 

Ms van Wyk hoped that the Secretariat staff would be able to assert themselves in order to extract the performance information. She asked if there were any Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) in place with SAPS. Members did not believe that neither IPID nor the Secretariat had given a clear outline of meetings and forums.

Ms van Wyk agreed that the Secretariat was not the complaints department. However, a formal procedure to address complaints had to be established. It was not a difficult issue. There were National Instructions regarding complaints. There should be registers under the control of Station Commanders at each SAPS station. She had been disgusted with the reaction from SAPS on the firearm plan. It had denied that there were backlogs which Members knew to be true. SAPS management did not seem able to discern between renewals and new licence procedures. The Secretariat had to make sure that the right thing was done. She asked what it was doing in this regard.

Ms van Wyk was glad that the Committee would be receiving reports. She did not think that the Secretariat was fulfilling its obligations towards the Committee. It had not attended the budget workshop.  She would like to see the entity following a more proactive role. She asked what the role of the Secretariat was with SAPS stations. The process of budgeting had to start in June of each year.  She asked when the Secretariat would play its role in the budget process. There was a limit to how much NT could give. It was a question of using available funds wisely. NT had felt that money budgeted for the Criminal Justice System (CJS) should not be used on staff. She believed that SAPS would get the extra funds it needed in the special appropriation later in the year. The new legislation would have an effect on the SAPS in all its operations. She asked what the Secretariat would be doing.

Mr V Ndlovu (IFP) asked if the Secretariat was monitoring spending patterns. He had not seen any policy on reservists. He asked if there were any challenges on CPFs and CSFs. They had heard what SAPS had to say on these matters. He asked what was contained in the SAPS Amendment Act. If the White Paper had been finalised, he asked if the inputs from stakeholders would be included or would only be finalised afterwards. The Secretariat had named six Bills to be processed during the year. He asked if the Bills would be modified if there was significant opposition from stakeholders. The White Paper should precede the Bill.

Ms M Molebatsi (ANC) asked about the anti-crime initiatives. She asked how these would be organised. She asked when all the details regarding DVA would be finalised such as the transfer of skills. She asked when financial reports would be provided.

The Chairperson asked how the DVA process had been taken over and how the Act would be implemented going forward. Although the Act had been in existence for some time there was a lack of knowledge and understanding at station level. She asked how shortcomings would be addressed. Detailed reports were prepared by the National Inspectorate but seemed to be filed away and never read.  In terms of the integrated technology (IT) problems, the same problems had been in the last Annual Report.  She wanted clear information on CPF policy guidelines. Many factors had lead Parliament to adopt the CPF model. She asked if there was a policy on CSFs. She asked if the SAPS Bill or the White Paper would come first.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said that there had been a consultation process around the White Paper but it had been targeted at specific bodies. The broad public consultation only happened after it had gone to Cabinet and was released for public comment. It was not a new White Paper but a revision of an existing document. It served as a vision. The original White Paper had been drafted in 1996. Government had to be sure that SAPS shared the same version.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said that the Firearms Bill was not new legislation. The Dangerous Weapons Bill was an attempt to consolidate the legislation in different provinces. The SAPS Amendment Bill was a complete overhaul of the existing Act. This was only planned to be tabled in the final quarter of the current FY, and would be informed by the findings of the White Paper. It would align the Act to the current Constitution. The current SAPS Act had been written under the interim constitution and before the original White Paper had been published.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said that there was a constitutional guideline for the Directorate for Primary Crime Investigations (DPCI) Amendment Act. There was an SAPS Amendment Act related to the ConCourt judgement, while the other SAPS Amendment Bill would be a complete overhaul of the current legislation. There were other factors involved in the DPCI legislation. A considerable international review had been conducted. There had been engagement with NT on the viability, as there had been problems with similar legislation for the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). Capacity was an issue certainly, but not the only one.

The Chairperson accepted the explanation. The Committee would have to work a bit harder, but would remain within the processes prescribed by Parliament. The date for the extension of submissions had been extended, and public hearings would be held the following week.

Ms Kohler-Barnard hoped there was uniformity of bail granted by SAPS members at station level.  Judgement calls were made by SAPS members and not the courts.

The Chairperson agreed. SAPS were granting bail in cases of assault with intention to do grievous bodily harm, and in one case even rape.  Detectives were making the decisions but should be advised by prosecutors.

Mr Ndlovu was not happy with amending an amendment. Things were being done piecemeal.  He advised that all the inputs should be consolidated before the Act was amended. The White Paper should be completed first.

The Chairperson said that the first amendment had to do with the creation of the Hawks, and was subject to the ConCourt judgement. This could not wait as a deadline had been imposed. The White Paper would follow, and then the major amendment to the SAPS Act. Should the White Paper reflect on the clauses affecting the Hawks, as amended, then those further amendments would have to be incorporated with the later amendment.

Ms van Wyk said that the Criminal Procedures Act (CPA) only allowed bail for theft up to an amount of R2 400 and possession of a small amount of cannabis. There would be a trouble if a suspect released on bail contrary to this clause caused further harm.

The Chairperson added that it could be an avenue for corruption.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said that the White Paper was a large document, already sitting at 76 pages. Some topics would be picked up in future years and lead to policy documents. She noted the bail issue. Directives and policies based on the CPA might be more applicable than an entry in the White Paper. No new policies were needed for SAPS13 stores as policies were in place. Implementation of these policies was the problem.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said that the Secretariat was looking at the actual expenditure, albeit not in the finest detail due to staff constraints, and spending patterns. It worked closely with NT, which had a wealth of information. Currently monitoring of the budget was reactive. The Secretariat had been consulted on the SAPS strategic plan and Annual Performance Plan (APP), but only at the last moment. The Secretariat would be making greater input on the budget in future. The issue of the budget cut had not been reported completely accurately. The Secretariat intended to have quarterly meetings with SAPS in future to discuss spending patterns in the current FY.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said that the reservist policy had been finalised.

The Chairperson said that the Committee was concerned about unrealistic budgets, such as R3 billion for Technology and Management Services (TMS) which could never be spent due to lack of infrastructure.  The amount of R1 billion for building programmes was also an overestimate. There was uncertainty in the way the building plans had been presented. Money had been budgeted for the recruitment of 800 forensic experts but this plan had been cancelled and the money for their salaries shifted to the detectives programme. The Committee could not allow this situation to continue and wanted to meet with NT.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane would be happy to attend meetings where the budget was discussed.  The entity had not been able to do so in the past. The Secretariat would be happy to present quarterly reports.  SAPS was allocated a budget but planned outside the budget. It was difficult for such a big organisation, but the planning section did not deal with finances.  Budget was therefore not matching the planning.  The budget process should start in June and early intervention was needed. When preparing the report on the SAPS budget in January 2012, some of the SAPS priority areas included major over or under-spending. Planning and budgeting should not be separate, nor could spending patterns and performance be considered separately.

Ms van Wyk said that interaction should come at the first point of planning. Budget followed policy and not the other way around.  There had been a lengthy discussion on victim support centres (VSCs). It remained a priority of Government and the Minister, but not of SAPS.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said that the Secretariat had only received the APP in February. She wanted to take up the VSC issue as it was actually a cluster priority. The reservist policy had been finalised. A presentation had been prepared. The policy had to be aligned with National Standing Orders and not the other way around. There was a joint forum with SAPS dealing with this matter.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane had no doubt that CPFs were an international challenge. Many countries were grappling with the issue. The logistics had proved to be a problem. The Secretariat did not wish to disband such bodies, but the rectification was not a simple process. The policy had been done and approved by the JCPS cluster. She would forward a copy of the document. There was a difference between CPFs, which should be focused on policing, and CSFs which had a broader security focus.  Funding for CPFs should come from provincial structures. The funding did not come from SAPS, but the Police had to remain part of the CPFs. Questions needed to be answered on the role of these bodies.  Some of the procedures were found in the Act and Regulations, but were not being adhered to. 

Mr Zimu said that there were broad concerns shared by CPFs. The Secretariat did not have the power to scrap CPFs. The Ministry had not looked carefully at their mandate. The structures had been created to represent the community but there was no instrument to capacitate the CPFs. It was an anomaly that SAPS was so involved in establishing a structure which they really should be overseeing. SAPS should look at issues of training and capacity. An oversight structure was needed but this should not be performed by SAPS. Part of the things that had to be cleared was that CPFs stood between the community and the Police. Some slight amendment to the legislation might be needed. They fell under the relevant Member of the Executive Council (MEC), but in some cases there was a lack of interest.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said that the issue of litigation had been raised at the budget. It was a crucial area. Litigation could point to problem areas. If managed properly, patterns could be seen. One aspect was what consequences resulted where an SAPS member was shown to have acted illegally. Proposals had been made to SAPS which addressed many issues, but had not been implemented. The M&E unit would have to monitor implementation. 

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said that the HR would need to be put in place quickly. The Secretariat could not ignore cases involving disrespect of human rights. Some monitoring systems were needed. It was a question of how SAPS should be dealing with complaints. The DNA legislation needed to be on the parliamentary roster by September 2012. The Secretariat was working on policy and legislation simultaneously.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said that the reduction of SAPS members and NT instructions were being studied.  The Minister had asked the Secretariat to look at international best practice to advise on how any staff reduction should be conducted. The SAPS Administration programme was too big. Certain functions needed to be allocated to the operational units, such as IT, leading to a bloated budget and a lack of control. In the case of the Secretariat they could not account for the equipment that they were given to utilise. There was an incompatibility between SAPS and NT systems. NT figures indicated a much higher level of vacancies. If there had to be a personnel cut the Secretariat would have advise the process. The ratio of SAPS members to the population size was higher than the international norm.  She had only been informed of the situation the previous week.

Ms Kohler-Barnard had heard a different story the previous day. SAPS had presented the cut as non-negotiable. What the Secretary was saying was different.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane emphasised that the Secretariat was still trying to understand the reasoning and implications.  There might be other factors impacting on NT's decision. 

Ms van Wyk did not believe that NT would issue such an instruction. Staff cuts should be the last option.  It should be more an issue of reprioritisation. There was a problem with the personnel system. Dead people had been promoted. SAPS had asked rather for money to come from ring-fenced funding for CJS.  It was a question of how the R300 million should have been saved. There were two streams of appointments within SAPS which spoke to personnel problems. Every Department had been instructed to cut its budget. SAPS was following a process of crisis management. The money might be allocated in June, but probably with an insistence that some saving be made elsewhere.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said that there had been engagement with the National Planning Commission.  The team had not met during 2012 due to time constraints. The plan ran until 2013/14. A new five year cycle would start then. They were already into the third year of a five year cycle and so had confined the current strategic plan to the remaining three years.

Mr Renier van Huyssteen, Acting Director: Finances, CSP, said that Secretariat would move away from SAPS budgeting process and appoint its own Chief Financial Officer once it was established as a department.  It would then fall into the five year planning cycle.

Ms van Wyk said that the SAPS budget was for three years. The Secretariat was therefore still falling in with the SAPS budget. The Auditor General had commented on the lack of financial reporting from the Secretariat.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said that there was an in and out budget, which would be forwarded to the Committee. The figures for the last two years were available although the figures before then were a mess.

Ms van Wyk did not need the historic data. She was concerned with the future financial planning.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane undertook to compile a budget plan as requested. The strategic plan included targets for upgraded databases. There was an implementation plan for the DVA. There was no MoU but there was a shared service agreement. There would be a legislative prescript for the SAPS to provide the data. The agreement should be in place by July 2012. There was a delay in training. The training sessions on the DVA were more of a presentation on the contents of the Act.

The Chairperson asked who was responsible for what in the interim period.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said there was an implementation plan. The Secretariat had negotiated on how the DVA would be taken over. All the material had been delivered to the provincial structures on the day the DVA came into existence.

Ms van Wyk was worried about the absence of target dates for the implementation of the DVA. She felt that both the Secretariat and IPID had failed the Committee. There were no forums for the targets. There was nothing speaking to monitoring how IPID recommendations were enacted. The ICD had failed Parliament in monitoring the DVA. There was no change in performance by SAPS. She suggested that the Chairperson set a deadline for IPID and the Secretariat to provide feedback.

Ms Kewuti said that the Secretariat had drafted an overview on how the DVA monitoring function would be taken over from IPID. A number of outstanding cases must be handed over. There was a draft agreement with IPID. There had been training in all provinces. The Secretariat had been informed that the training had not been effective. In the meantime the Secretariat would continue with the tools used by the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD). The complaints forum would look at the quality of reports received. Simple check-lists for use at station level were being prepared. Currently the recording in registers was appalling.  Some station commanders were not interested. The DVA had been enacted almost ten years previously but did not seem to be having any impact. Civil reference groups were being used to generate awareness. These groups had assisted in suggesting amendments. The electronic systems would have been handed over, but this was later said not to be possible. The Secretariat had therefore developed an in-house system. A plan had been given to the Committee. 

Ms van Wyk said that part of the problem was that SAPS saw DVA as a burden on it. The Secretariat, even though it had introduced the legislation, might see it as an administrative burden.  It should be part of identifying crime.  A serial offender against the DVA should be identified as a risk.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said that whatever form of legislation was seen as an additional burden by SAPS.  Some of the legislation which had been introduced was of world class.  She did not know how this perception could be turned around. SAPS needed to be convinced that these Act were enabling the work of SAPS.

Ms van Wyk said that this was where the ICD had been incorrect in the past. It was not a case of correcting the register but correcting that action, or inaction, which followed. Linking the DVA register to firearm applications could help the SAPS in their work. A visit to an SAPS cell in Orkney had uncovered all forms of contraband. Members had insisted on the two young constables removing the contraband.  When informed of the consequences, the constables started taking the initiative themselves. SAPS legal services had initiated the Firearms Control Act. The Fingerprint Act was introduced at the insistence of SAPS.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said this issue needed some reflection. The Secretariat would prepare a plan and would be happy to discuss it with the Committee. She also believed that the firearm licence backlog had not been cleared. There had been some progress but there were still a number of complaints reaching her office. A significant number of licences had been processed. The focus on the CFR was on a long-term structure. A strategic planning expert had been brought in. SAPS had developed a turnaround strategy but it was not acceptable to the Secretariat. An expert for the SAPS had helped considerably. The deadline for developing the strategy was the end of April 2012.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said that it was important for members of the Secretariat to attend meetings impacting on their work at first hand. Mr Mohote reported back on the oversight visits he attended in more detail than the Committee's report.  The information might lead to projects. Once the provinces were up and running she would like to see the provincial secretariat pay follow-up visits. It was not a problem to submit quarterly financial reports to the Committee. She felt that the National Inspectorate should be monitoring the quality of service delivery. This was not happening satisfactorily and the Secretariat had to step in. The head of the Inspectorate should report directly to the National Commissioner (NC).  Management issues were being raised. The Inspectorate had to be located correctly and their reports had to be taken seriously.

The Chairperson said that the Deputy NCs should report to the NC. The National Inspectorate was seen as a dumping ground. Top management was not aware of what was happening at station level.  The unit which should be identifying these problems was not heeded. Gen Tshabalala had not said a word during the three-day meeting held that week. Until the Inspectorate was used correctly it should be closed down.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said that the Secretariat would investigate and highlight the Inspectorate in the Amendment Act. Proper research was needed, benchmarked against international practice. The Inspectorate was in place and there was an internal performance committee in addition to a performance chart. Useful information came from these bodies but top management was not aware of it.  Other performance systems were never utilised. 

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said that the database had been a to-ing and fro-ing process with SAPS. The Secretariat had engaged with SITA. There had been an engagement of more than six months with SITA.

Ms Kewuti said that SITA could only offer a prototype in two years. The Secretariat had felt it necessary to issue a tender while managing data in-house in the interim.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said it was fortunate that Ms Kewuti had the IT skills to develop the in-house solution.  She did not want to see the management of the tender be left up to SAPS bodies altogether.  It could be done cost-effectively. Often the operational arm of SAPS was excluded from the procurement process and did not receive the equipment they needed.

The Chairperson asked if the performance plan addressed the budget.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said that the personnel budget had increased to R45 million. Most of the work was done in-house.  There might be under-spending if the new appointments were not made soon.

The Chairperson returned to the R300 million shift in SAPS funding. NT had said that money under the CJS programme should not be used for compensation. SAPS had said that NT had instructed that the cut be made. She read a letter containing the instruction concerning the transfer.

Ms Kohler-Barnard asked what the time-frame of the instruction was.

Ms van Wyk said it was clear that the money could not be used for compensation. It could have been taken out of any programme. The R300 million had been allocated to the operation of forensic laboratories. This was only a portion of the CJS funding. The previous correspondence was needed to interpret the instruction. There had obviously also been some negotiation on the issue. It was easy to shift money around, particularly with the amount allocated to SAPS. Millions of Rand could be shifted while remaining within the regulated variances. The Committee needed clarity before the budget speech was made. 

The Chairperson instructed the Secretariat to investigate the circumstances.

Ms Irish-Qhobosheane said that CJS money could be used for personnel. A certain amount had been allocated to personnel and a certain amount for technology. Money was ring-fenced. She would attempt to meet with NT the following week.

Ms van Wyk said there was a need to appoint people for the DNA Act implementation. It might be that SAPS had decided to shift money allocated to this programme as the experts it needed would only be employed at a later date.

The Chairperson said that the discussion on the structure of forensic laboratories had led to much discussion. Even without the DNA Act, new laboratories were being opened and staff were needed. The budget had been approved for two FY. She had a different interpretation to the letter. The Committee was not agreeing to the move. Detectives and stock theft units did need operational funding.  It was important to retain staff.

The Chairperson said the language of reports should list what had been done, not what was going to be done. There were a number of challenges. The SAPS presentations had been depressing. The presentations on Crime Intelligence and Visible Policing were horrible.

The meeting was adjourned.


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