South African Police Service on its 2014 Strategic Plan & input from Minister of Police, Institute for Security Studies, South African Police Union, Committee researchers

This premium content has been made freely available


02 July 2014
Chairperson: Mr Francois Beukman (ANC)
Share this page:

Meeting Summary

The Committee researchers briefed the Portfolio Committee on its responsibilities and the key issues facing the four government entities over which it had oversight. The Institute for Security Studies presented its research on the problems associated with SAPS and IPID. The Minister of Police spoke about the role of SAPS in relation to the National Development Plan in 2014/2015. SAPS will focus on four main areas: Strengthening the Criminal Justice System; Professionalising SAPS; Demilitarising SAPS; and Building a Safe and Secure Environment Using an Integrated Approach. The National Commissioner began the first of a three-day presentation on the strategic positioning and budget priorities for SAPS in 2014/2015.

The Committee asked questions about: farm attacks, criminality within SAPS, Deputy Station Commanders, modernisation, current shortcomings within SAPS, specialised units within SAPS, release of statistics, transformation, risk management strategy, role to be played by SAPS University graduates, clamp down on expenditures not directly related to policing, the budget increase of 5.3%, surveys on user satisfaction, the increased demand for protection services, lower compensation budget, SAPS recruits without a driver’s licence.


Meeting report

Roles and responsibilities of Portfolio Committee; Key oversight issues presentation
The Portfolio Committee had oversight over the South African Police Service (SAPS); Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID); Civilian Secretariat for Police; and the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority. The Strategic Plan and Annual Performance Plan process was outlined as budget planning tools, and the key issues associated with each of these four government entities.

Included in the key issues for SAPS were: the National Development Plan (NDP) proposals for improving SAPS: strengthening the criminal justice system, professionalising the police service, demilitarising the police service, building safety through an integrated response, and building community participation into community safety. Other key issues for SAPS included increasing reports of police brutality, corruption and criminality, the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry and Farlam Commission of Inquiry, leadership changes in SAPS, and SAPS under expenditures.

The key issues for the Civilian Secretariat for Police included: legislation establishing the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), which is currently the subject of matter of a Constitutional Court challenge that will be heard in August 2014; under expenditures; and departmental vacancies.

The key issue for the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority was the deficit at the conclusion of the fiscal year. Material losses to the amount of R53.006 million (2012: R82.487 million) were reported as a result of write-off of irrecoverable trade receivables.  

One of the key issues for IPID was the under-spending of its budget by R26 million, despite the department requesting and receiving a 28% increase on its main appropriation. Another key issue was increasing reports of SAPS brutality, which require that IPID ensure that SAPS members comply with the standing orders and the national instructions.

SAPS 2014 Budget Analysis presentation
Mr Thembani Mbadlanyana (Committee researcher) providing an analysis of the 2014/15 South African Police Service (SAPS) Budget, focusing on the alignment of the Strategic Plan, Annual Performance Plan (APP) and the budget allocations for 2014/15; an overview of the Department’s predetermined targets; as well as key concerns and challenges. The operational priorities are crime prevention, visible policing, public order policing, professionalism, combating corruption, partnerships, infrastructure, enhanced detection services, and specialised units. In order to ensure success in the above priorities, three further operational support priorities were identified: Human Capital Development, through skills development and retention; Budget and resource management, such as building new police stations based on set criteria and refurbishing existing ones and; Information systems and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) enhancement.

The five key recommendations of the National Development Plan were a synergised Criminal Justice System, in which the Criminal Justice System has a single set of objectives, priorities and performance-measurement targets; demilitarising the police; selecting and training police members to be professional and impartial, responsive to community needs, competent and inspiring confidence; coordinating activities across a variety of departments, the private sector and community bodies, the latter to include revitalised community-safety centres; and ensuring that all vulnerable groups, including women, children and rural communities, enjoy equal protection.

The presentation continued with an overview of the Annual Performance Plan; the SAPS overall budget allocation for 2014/15; changes that were made to the 2014 budget; the different expenditures for various economic classifications; a budget analysis of the programmes including Administration, Visible Policing, Detective Services, Crime Intelligence, and Protection and Security Service(see document). 

Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID 2014/2015 Budget Analysis
Ms Nicolette van Zyl-Gous (Committee researcher) gave an overview of the strategic goals of IPID. The aim of IPID is to ensure independent oversight over the SAPS and the Municipal Police Service (MPS), and to conduct independent and impartial investigations of identified offences allegedly committed by members of the SAPS and MPS and make appropriate recommendations. The presentation discussed IPID’s strategic priorities for 2014/15, and the performance indicators, targets, and budgets per programme. The four programmes mentioned were Administration, Investigation and Information Management, Legal Services, and Compliance Monitoring and Stakeholder Management (see document).  

Institute for Security Studies (ISS) submission on the SAPS budget
Mr Gareth Newham, Head of the ISS Governance, Crime and Justice Division, discussed crime statistics and the South African murder ratio distribution, and gave an overview of the Public Violence Monitoring and Mapping Project. He looked at the SAPS annual budgets and personnel trends, as well as SAPS arrests, National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) case finalisations, and crime trends. The focus of the presentation was to provide the Committee with an understanding of the areas of concern within SAPS and IPID. Included in these concerns were issues of police misconduct and impunity, suicides among SAPS members, and inaccurate crime ratios. Mr Newham then provided recommendations to the Committee, including supporting the recommendations of the National Development Plan, establishing a National Police Board, and releasing crime statistics more regularly (see document).

South African Police Union (SAPU) submission on the SAPS budget
The South African Police Union and the Minister of Police presented on issues of specific concern to SAPS. These included under-spending (by R233 million); the need to investigate specific crimes; the need to replace vehicles and other resources; public order policing; and the need for anti-corruption units.

Prior to 1994 policing was a closed system; now communities have the right to decide what kind of policing they want. Thus, the police must be open and transparent. There was a need for specific anti-corruption units. IPID is not sufficient, as its hands are full with other investigations. The police should investigate themselves where corruption was concerned.

On investigating specific crimes, it suggested that SAPS create special crime units tasked with investigating specific crimes. This would require constant training for police officers, and would integrate the use of crime intelligence information.

On public order policing, concerns were raised about the staffing shortages. At least 10,000 officers are needed, but only 4,000 have been allocated. Additionally, there is a need to decentralise public order policing, as the current organisational structure SAPU argued was inefficient.

Minister of Police briefing
The Minister of Police, Mr Nkosinathi Nhleko, gave an overview of SAPS’ four main focus areas: Strengthening the Criminal Justice System, Professionalising SAPS, Demilitarising SAPS, and Building a Safe and Secure Environment Using an Integrated Approach. He discussed the need to improve coordination of provincial and national levels of policing; the establishment of the South African Police University in Paarl and its impact on the professionalisation of SAPS; the need for appropriate training and equipment in demilitarising SAPS; and the importance of an integrated approach to criminal justice and law enforcement that requires coordination between SAPS and the other national criminal justice agencies.

Mr Nhleko discussed the importance of intensifying the efforts around community outreach programmes, and stated that South Africans need to take responsibility for building safe environments for themselves. He also discussed the need to increase police visibility and proximity of service, as well as focusing on issues of culture, organisation, processes of management, and standarisation.

South African Police Service on Strategic Plan, Annual Performance Plan and Budget for 2014/15
The National Commissioner of Police, General Riah Phiyega, presented on the strategic positioning, performance targets, and resource needs of SAPS (see document). Accompanying National Commissioner Phiyega was a delegation from the South Africa Police Service, including Lt General Stefanus Johannes Schutte; Deputy National Commissioner: Policing, Lt General Khela John Sithole; Deputy National Commissioner: Corporate Service Management, Lt General Nombulela Mbekela, and Head: Corporate Communications, Lt General Solomon Motswadise Makgale.

The presentation began with an explanation of the planning taxonomy, its planning towards its long-term vision, a discussion of the National Development Plan, the link between the fourteen outcomes and the NDP, what informs their strategic direction, the Ministerial priorities, SAPS strategic priorities, SAPS work organisation, which include its five programmes (Programme 1: Administration, Programme 2: Visible Policing, Programme 3: Detective Service, Programme 4: Crime Intelligence, Programme 5: Protection and Security Services), ways of advancing the NDP, and critical interventions.

Mr P Groenewald (FF+) asked the Minister how he plans on improving the prevention of farm murders and farm attacks, and how the Minister plans on dealing with criminality within SAPS.

Minister Nhleko replied that other arms of the Justice System are doing what they should be doing, and that efforts are geared toward addressing the issue of poor character and criminality in the Police Service. He acknowledged that it is a concern, and that the Ministry will continue to focus its attention on this.

Mr Z Mbhele (DA) asked why there is a need for Deputy Station Commanders. He requested more detail on what modernisation means, and what the current shortcomings within SAPS are. He asked for examples of recent high-profile cases that require specialised units within SAPS.

National Commissioner Phiyega responded that it has taken seven years to negotiate a new disciplinary arrangement, and that there are a number of things they can do to quicken the process. She stated that the police stations are the face of SAPS, and that because of all of the responsibilities of the Station Commander, a deputy is needed to assist with managing the station. She stated that SAPS University in Paarl is an important example of modernisation, with a rigorous selection process intended to select those with the DNA to be the kind of police leader they are looking for. She discussed their focus on demilitarisation, and how professionalisation is crucial: they want members of SAPS who know how to comply with the rules and regulations, understand the South African Bill of Rights, and have a respect for human rights.

Ms M Molebatsi (ANC) asked if there is documentation for officers that completed their degrees at the SAPS University.

National Commissioner Phiyega replied that SAPS University is offering degrees under the licence of the University of South Africa, and that admitted students will have already completed basic police training and worked in the field for one to two years.

Ms Molebatsi asked who the head detective is.

Mr Groenewald asked if statistics are available, and if they will be releasing them.

Minister Nhleko replied that he is open to a discussion on statistics.

Mr J Maake (ANC) said that his belief is that transformation requires changing an individual policeman or policewoman to think differently, and that he does not feel that this kind of transformation is being addressed in the discussion. Transformation is not purely about cosmetic changes like demographics. He asked what the risk management strategy entails.

Minister Nhleko stated that he agrees with Mr Maake’s outlook, and that transformation is not simply about cosmetics, though demographic transformation is important.

National Commissioner Phiyega stated that SAPS had to still identify the risks, and that they will discuss them in the SAPS audit committee.

Mr Mbhele asked which programmes the graduates of SAPS University would be drafted into. He asked if they would become full-fledged police officers or if they would play a consultant role.

National Commissioner Phiyega stated that graduates of the University would serve as uniformed police. She stated that this is important because policing from a police station is not sufficient. SAPS members must connect with the community, as this is part of the broader transformation.

Mr F Beukman (ANC) asked for disclosure of the budget. He asked if there is an effort to clamp down on increased spending on advertising and other expenditures not directly related to policing.

National Commissioner Phiyega stated that the DPCI budget is a mutual process, and that the environment must indicate its strategic needs, show SAPS what it needs to be doing, and use a history of budget allocation to determine the budget.

Mr Maake asked why the budget is not being applied rigidly, and why the budget is so small if we keep on blaming SAPS for not being proactive. He commented that it says that the budget is increasing by 5.3% but asked if it is accounting for inflation.

National Commissioner Phiyega replied that the question of the budget has a lot to do with the broader revenue and resource challenges that the government is facing overall. Everyone has had to come in and ensure that they are working with an affordable budget. They do not predetermine the rigidity versus fluidity of the budget. She said that when they were confronted by the Marikana strike, SAPS never expected that it would last as long as it has and that it had to heighten its deployments, and had to find resources within the department because no one was giving them additional money. On the increase in the budget, this is mostly due to inflation.

Mr Mbhele asked if there will be feedback surveys to provide a comprehensive understanding of user satisfaction and noted the increased demand in protection services.

National Commissioner Phiyega responded that there are several drivers of user satisfaction, including the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) and Statistics South Africa, and that they are currently piloting a citizen-based satisfaction monitoring tool together with DPME. In regards to increased protection services, she pointed out that there are more ministries and so there needs to be relevant protection and there is also a security assessment to determine appropriate security for each minister.

Mr Groenewald asked why compensation is being lowered for police officers.

National Commissioner Phiyega stated that in regards to salaries they cannot exceed the budget, so the finances have to be worked out depending on how many employees there are, and whether there are more at the top or more at the bottom. She stated that they are aiming for a 75/25 split.

Lt General S Schutte stated that they have a holding budget and a little bit of additional money here and there.

Mr Groenewald asked how many members of SAPS have a driver’s licence.

National Commissioner Phiyega stated that some of the children from the rural areas will never come with a licence. She said that there are donated cars for them and they take these children in for training and by the time they finish their training they have their licence.

Lt General Schutte said that SAPS does report on who has a driver's licence and who has a firearm licence even though they are not included in the performance indicators.

Mr Maake asked what dot pin marking is.

Lt General Schutte stated that it is like a barcode marking on a firearm.

Share this page: