Civilian Secretariat of Police on its 2014 Annual Performance Plan

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08 July 2014
Chairperson: Mr Francois Beukman (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Civilian Secretariat of Police, led by Secretary of Police, presented its Annual Performance Plan. The Committee asked questions on how CSP impacts communities on the ground, their research and policy implementation, monitoring and evaluation, the e-docket system, employee vetting, the role of CSP versus IPID, and questions about specific programmes and sub-programmes within CSP, oversight of the Domestic Violence Act, the Child Justice Act, victim friendly facilities.

The Chairperson criticised the CSP for not complying with its own legislative reporting requirements in terms of Section 13 of the Civilian Secretariat for Police Act (No 2 of 2011), which obliges the Secretary to submit quarterly reports to the Minister and also to Parliament on the activities of the CSP. He stated that the Act came into operation almost three years ago and that such report has never been tabled before Parliament. The Chairperson further noted the failure of the CSP to table its six monthly compliance reports on the Domestic Violence Act [the last was tabled in September 2012]. The Chairperson stated that the CSP is a  key role-player in the police oversight architecture and as such should comply with its legislative reporting requirements to Parliament in order to ensure effective oversight.   

Meeting report

Closed session
The meeting began with a presentation by Ms Nicolette van Zyl-Gous on the Civilian Secretariat of Police budget, Annual Performance Plan and its policy implementation. This was a closed briefing session, and no recording or note-taking was allowed.

Opening Comments
Following the closed session, Mr F Beukman (ANC) introduced the members of the Portfolio Committee on Police and the delegation from the Civilian Secretariat of Police.

Civilian Secretariat for Police (CSP) presentation
Ms Jenny Irish-Qhobosheane, Secretary of Police, presented the 2014/2015 Budget and Annual Performance Plan (see accompanying presentation). The CSP provides civilian oversight of the police and enhances the role of the Minister of Police. The strategic goals of CSP are:
▪ ensuring the Minister is well advised and supported by the Civilian Secretariat
▪ ensuring a service-delivery orientated police that is accountable;
▪ providing quality and evidence-based strategic research, police advice, and legislative support to the Minister;
▪ deepening public participation in the fight against crime; and
▪ enhancing accountability and transformation of the SAPS.
The strategic outcomes were also noted. The CSP staff establishment  has 114 staff members with 111 positions filled. All executive management posts have been filled.

Ms D Kohler-Barnard (DA) stated that on slide 24, the Secretary of Police referred to the priority of finalising regulations for the Private Security Industry Regulation Act. In her research she could find no sign of promulgation of the recently passed amendment bill. She asked if it is still a bill, or if the President has signed it into law. Secretary Irish referred to various areas on the CSP improving police accountability: what about the implementation of the Second Hand Goods Act? And monitoring the implementation of Portfolio Committee recommendations? She said that she thought the Committee would see a report at least once a year from the CSP.

Ms L Mabija (ANC) asked what impact the Civilian Secretariat has on the ground and in their communities. She has seen a lot of increased budgets, and wants more information on their impact on the ground, not just at the national level.

Mr Z Mbhele (DA) asked about the implementation of the Firearms Control Act and the strength and effectiveness of this type of oversight.

Secretary Irish replied about the impact of the Secretariat, saying there are different levels at which the Secretariat needs to be impacting. They bring communities together in the fight against crime, including via Community Safety Forums. Over the last period they managed to set up Community Safety Forums in 170 different communities. They want to develop a project looking at the impact of Community Safety Forums at the local level. Are there problems with service delivery because a Community Safety Forum does not exist? Or is it because they simply do not have an impact? When it comes to other areas of impact, the Secretariat’s role, apart from the strategic partnerships with communities and stakeholders, is to ensure the police operate in a professional manner. This impacts communities because they receive better treatment from the police. What CSP has started to do over the last year is to look at the work it is doing and the impact it is having. They want to look at not just the number and type of complaints, but at what systems and processes SAPS has in place to deal with these complaints. As a result, they have a mechanism and a system, together with SAPS, that assists communities in lodging a complaint and also making sure SAPS has the ability to deal with these complaints. CSP still needs to develop scientific tools to do these assessments, and they are looking at developing a special project that evaluates impact at ground level.

Secretary Irish said that once a bill is passed through Parliament it is referred to as an Act. It has not been put into operation yet because the President has not signed it. With regard to the Second-hand Goods Act, they just did a review last year and the oversight unit can speak to that review of the Second-hand Goods Act. They took a pilot of 73 stations and looked at how the Second-hand Goods Act is being implemented in those stations. This year they will be evaluating implementation of the “Fingerprint” Act, and monitoring the procedures that need to be put in place for implementation of DNA legislation. In terms of Committee recommendations, CSP will be reporting on this during the Annual Report, but they are happy to provide a second report specifically on the Firearms Control Act. It is not just about the destruction of firearms. In fact, South Africa has one of the strongest records internationally for the number of firearms they annually destroy. Immediately after the implementation of the Firearms Control Act, they saw a significant decrease in homicides linked to firearms. Over the last four years CSP did quite a bit of work around firearms.

Ms M Molebatsi (ANC) asked about the slow implementation of the docket system, as well as the Domestic Violence Act.

Mr M Tshishonga (AGANG) stated that there are a number of good things that are happening, and asked if civilians actually know that the CSP exist. How do they publicise themselves?

Ms Kohler-Barnard asked when CSP is planning on completing and presenting their research projects, and if CSP will be looking at an international perspective.

Ms M Mmola (ANC) asked how many internships CSP has.

Mr Beukman chided the CSP for tabling the architecture for its police oversight, and asked when it will happen. It is important that the Secretariat comply with its own legislation. What is the reason for the delay? When can the Committee expect it? The legislation is nearly three years old.

The Chairperson criticised the CSP for not complying to its own legislative reporting requirements in terms of Section 13 of the Civilian Secretariat for Police Act (No 2 of 2011), which obliges the Secretary to submit quarterly reports to the Minister and also to Parliament on the activities of the CSP. He stated that the Act came into operation almost three years ago and that such report has never been tabled before Parliament. The Chairperson further noted the failure of the CSP to table its six-monthly compliance reports on the Domestic Violence Act [the last was tabled one in September 2012]. The Chairperson stated that the CSP is a  key role-player in the police oversight architecture and as such should comply with its legislative reporting requirements to Parliament in order to ensure effective oversight.   

Secretary Irish responded that CSP reports on the Domestic Violence Act show that they have set up a compliance forum with SAPS. The issues that have come out of the Domestic Violence Act (DVA) report shows that SAPS is taking them quite seriously. The oversight section is an area where SAPS is becoming more and more compliant with issues. CSP has picked up matters for research and policy development. CSP is looking at projects that are coming out as a result of the Domestic Violence Act. They are now piloting a joint initiative with women’s groups and SAPS to look at what can be done about crimes against women and children. There is a lot of work that needs to be done to bring the work to the communities. One of the things CSP wants to do is to create a system where civilians can rate their experience at the police stations. It is not a complaint mechanism, just a system where they can express their service experiences. In regards to trend reports, one of the things CSP discussed is the need to benchmark progress internationally. In terms of internships, CSP has thirteen interns. It is based on the percentage of staff they have. They would like more but this is the percentage they are allowed. A forum exists and it meets bi-monthly that looks at IPID recommendations and what SAPS is doing and CSP can provide the Committee with the minutes and attendance rosters). They are setting these forums up at the provincial level. At the provincial level they include the department of safety. With regard to the question of the rights of women and children, there are quite a lot of projects that CSP will be embarking on, looking specifically at crimes against women and children. They are also embarking on a project that looks at utilising CPFs better, looking at issues around women and children that are handled effectively by the police stations.

Mr Beukman stated that the Secretariat must provide the Committee with reports within the next two weeks to ensure the Act is implemented. They need a status report to see that the Act is fully implemented.

On the question about the e-docket system, Secretary Irish replied that the e-docket system was developed by the “technology side” without full engagement with the “detective side”. It became nothing more than scanning dockets into a system. As a result, the question has arisen what is one actually looking for in terms of the e-docket system. When CSP was evaluating the e-docket, the detectives were not on the same page. SAPS needs to go back and say what it is they want from the e-docket.

Ms Molebatsi asked about the timeframe around the tabling of the new SAPS Act.

Ms Kohler-Barnard asked if Secretary Irish could provide input on the status of the Criminal Justice Review. They were told there would be a program where victims could monitor the arrest, trial, outcome, incarceration, and release date of their attacker, but they have seen on the SAPS budget that they take the R300 million and it just gets rolled over from year to year. Does CSP have a status update on this? How much money has been utilised on a system that has simply gone back to the drawing board?

Mr Mbhele asked how they could use Community Policing Forums (CPFs) better, not just with the Domestic Violence Act but across the board, and requested status updates on resourcing and funding CPFs.

Ms Molebatsi asked about the unsuitable vehicles at police stations.

Ms Kohler-Barnard asked for an update on the reservist situation.

Secretary Irish replied that the Criminal Justice Review was not just a SAPS project; it was an entire criminal justice endeavour. The e-docket was supposed to run across departments. What has happened is that these processes have been compartmentalised and different department has been doing different things. She does not want to create the impression that everything is being thrown out. This is a question for SAPS, CSP cannot deal with it. On the reservist system, the moratorium was lifted new reservists were not enlisted pending the review of the ­reservist system. Her understanding is that the process has been completed. With regard to the Resource Allocation Guide (RAG), one of the special projects that she has requested this year is to take the work that is being done around RAG and to benchmark it and look at what is being done on communities.

CSP Budget presentation
Mr Kibiti Lephoto, Chief Financial Officer, presented on the 2014/2015 budget for the Civilian Secretariat of Police. The total budget is R99 798.000, with R28 261.000 for Operations and R71 537 000 for Personnel.  The budget for each programme was: R28 347 000 Administration, R20 410 000 Intersectoral Coordination & Strategic Partnerships, R26 313 000 Legislation & Policy Development, and R24 728 000 Civilian Oversight, Monitoring & Evaluation.

Mr Beukman referred to page eight of the Annual Performance Plan, and pointed out that the current expenditure exceeds the budget. In terms of consultants, who are they and what are they used for? CSP now has an increase in staff, so why do they need consultants?

Secretary Irish responded that they do not use consultants, but for budgeting purposes certain items such as travel, is listed as a consultant. There is only one project that utilises consultants, otherwise all work is done by Secretariat staff.

Mr Beukman commented that it is quite clear there are cost saving efforts by CSP. However, in terms of travel, if CSP is cutting down on travelling, how will it affect its ability to do its monitoring?

Secretary Irish replied that they are not necessarily reducing the amount they are travelling, but they are adjusting how they travel. Both IPID and CSP are looking for office accommodation. They have no lease on their current accommodation, and they have serious security problems at their building. They have had seven break-ins, and they believe it is an inside job within the building. One of their staff members was mugged in the building. So CSP has been looking at relocating and one of the ideas is to co-locate with IPID.

Purpose, priorities and budget of the CSP programmes 
The Secretary of Police and the Chief Financial Officer presented the four programmes (see document).

1. Administration (Department Management; Corporate Services; Finance Administration; Internal Audit)
Some of the risks identified here were:
▪ Security and facilities management 
▪ Training not aligned to the strategic objectives of the Secretariat
▪ Insufficient HR capacity to meet the growing needs of the Secretariat
▪ Budget of Corporate Services
▪ Vetting of Corporate Services.

2. Intersectoral Coordination & Strategic Partnerships
Intergovernmental, Civil Society & Public-Private Partnerships priorities:

▪ Working agreements with civil society, government departments, academic institutions
▪ Anti-crime campaign
▪ Assessments of CSFs, SAPS Rural Strategy, SAPS Sector Policing
▪ Facilitating CSF Working Groups

Community Outreach priorities:
▪ Assessment of social crime prevention programmes
▪ Monitoring of implementation of community policing forum  guidelines in provinces
▪ Assessment of provinces implementing Community Police Forum training programmes

Identified challenges/risks were:
▪ Lack of participation of stakeholders on joint policy implementation programmes
▪  Readiness of municipalities to implement CSF policy

▪ Lack of participation of other cluster departments on CSF policy implementation
▪ Some provincial JCPS clusters and DevComs not functional, impacting on CSF policy implementation

3. Legislation & Policy Development
Policy Development  and Research priorities:

▪ Development of policies linked to the White Paper on Policing
▪ Serial murder and Rape policy
▪ Draft White Paper on Safety & Security
▪ Draft policy on Reducing Barriers to Reporting Crimes of Gender-based Violence
▪ Research projects on: Trends report on policing, IGR Anti-Gangs Strategy, Review of Public Order Policing, Impact of Firearms Control Legislation on firearm crimes in SA
▪ Maintenance of Resource Centre

Challenges/risks were:
•Inter-dependency on external role-players across departments and clusters on coordination, joint planning and delivery
•Short timeframes for delivery of policies and projects due to cross cutting nature of work
•Not effectively utilising civil society to maximise impact.

Mitigation of risks were:
•Establish joint indicators to be incorporated into Governments MTEF cycle and get buy-in of relevant clusters
•Proper development of realistic milestones and target dates and sequencing of project coordination
•Broaden networks across civil society and academia to enhance quality of research and policies

Legislation priorities:
▪ Bills for public consultation: Animal Movement & Produce Bill to repeal Stock Theft Act
▪ Bills to be developed: Revised SAPS Bill, Fire Arms Control Amendment Bill
▪ Bills to be tabled in parliament: National Key Points Amendment Bill, Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorists & Related Activities Amendment Bill
▪ Regulations: Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Act (DNA), Private Security Industry Regulation Act.  

Challenges were the
skills gap and reliance on finalisation of policy impacting on legislative Bills.

4. Civilian Oversight,  Monitoring & Evaluation
Police Performance, Conduct & Compliance Monitoring priorities:
▪  Effective oversight visits of local stations (oversights visits conducted and reports compiled)
▪  Trend reports on police stations service delivery (based on analysis of oversight trends)
▪ Reports on SAPS implementation of Public Order Policing policy
▪  Assessment of SAPS budget (Analysis reports)
▪  Monitoring reports on implementation of Child Justice Act, Public Order Policing, IPID recommendations
▪  Assessment reports on  SAPS Litigation management
▪  Developing Complaints management policies
▪ Monitoring reports on Domestic Violence Act compliance.

Challenges were access to data from SAPS and the lack of common understanding on Secretariat’s mandate by SAPS.

Discussion on Administration Programme
Ms Kohler-Barnard wondered if CSP has developed any ideas on how to retain corporate staff.

Ms Molebatsi asked what the functions of the supply chain management committee are.

In response to a question on Financial Administration wanting to prioritise improving the budgeting and spending patterns of CSP, Mr Lephoto said that the challenge they have is that they did not have their own financial administration system. They should have their own system for budgetary control. The support infrastructure is supposed to be provided by State Information Technology Agency (SITA). They hope SITA will provide them with the infrastructure for their own financial administration system.

Secretary Irish stated that they need an evaluation and adjudication committee because of the provisions of the Public Finance Management Act. They generate monthly reports on spending, which have to be signed off by the Minister and also discussed at management meetings. Under-spending has been a real problem.

Mr Beukman asked if the vetting of top management is done.

Secretary Irish replied that no vetting is done with top management. There has been a request to State Security, but only specific people have been vetted either because they were vetted prior to joining or because they are required to be vetted. CSP has requested that State Security vet senior management expeditiously. Treasury has given them additional funding for posts, one of which is a security officer to fast-track the vetting process.

Mr Beukman asked what the percentage of vetted employees is.

Secretary Irish replied that it is less than 50%.

Mr Beukman responded that they need all top management to be vetted - they need that to be fast-tracked.

Mr J Maake (ANC) asked about the relationship between headquarters and the offices in the provinces. How does CSP headquarters relate to the provinces in terms of the budget, and what kind of control does it have.

Secretary Irish stated that they are not like IPID or SAPS with branches in the provinces. There is a Civilian Secretariat of Police at a national level and they work with the processes at a provincial level in terms of oversight. So the province establishes Civilian Secretariats that work with the national Civilian Secretariat. It is an alignment process, rather than the national Secretariat having control over the provincial. They have a relationship with them, but they do not have control over their budget so they do not have that level of accountability that comes from when you have control over a budget. It is a complicated relationship, but it is a lot better than when the legislation was first passed. Now the provinces report to the national Secretariat on a quarterly basis.

Mr Maake asked if the national Secretariat has to ask permission from the provinces to monitor them.

Mr Beukman asked how many of the provinces are cooperating.

Mr Mbhele asked about resourcing the Community Police Forums (CPFs), and asked if it is the national or the provincial Secretariats that run CPFs.

Secretary Irish stated that there is a legislative mandate that the provincial Secretariats must cooperate with the national Secretariat, and if they do not then the national Secretariat could take legal action. The national Secretariat does not have to ask permission – policing is a national competency so they can walk into any police station without permission. However, their work is made more effective if the provinces are aligned with them and carrying out their functions. They do this through sector indicators of what they expect from the provinces each financial year. They then get filed with National and Provincial Treasury, and the treasuries report on whether they are spending the money.

With regard to CPFs, the Civilian Secretariat for Police works out the broad guidelines for how CPFs should and should not function; the provinces need to implement according to these guidelines. They are not removing from SAPS completely the responsibility for engaging with them, but there are certain things CSP handles, for example, national training levels, policy guidelines, training levels for Community Safety Forums (CSFs).

Ms Molebatsi stated that in 2011/12 CSP received 500 complaints that they had attended to, and she asked if they receive more currently.

Secretary Irish replied that that number has more than doubled, perhaps even tripled. CSP can get the Committee those exact numbers. The problem is they are not supposed to be handling complaints, they are supposed to be making sure that SAPS handles their own complaints. But CSP cannot hand them over until they know that SAPS can handle the complaints. But they have also engaged with SAPS to look at how SAPS handles complaints. They have set up a committee which looks at SAPS’ complaint system. They put together a protocol document on what turnaround time the community can expect on complaints. The last time they counted it was about 1200 complaints, which does not include the provincial complaints. They are receiving cooperation from all nine provinces. The level at which they progress depends on the budget.

Ms Molebatsi stated that in 2012 the Portfolio Committee held a Detective Dialogue, which came up with recommendations, and she asked what the status of those recommendations is.

Secretary Irish replied that the CSP agreed there needs to be a turnaround strategy that deals with detectives. They presented the policy on Detection to the Committee last year and they are now awaiting sign-off from the President.

Discussion on Intersectoral Coordination and Strategic Partnerships programme
Mr Beukman stated that the week before the National Commissioner indicated there would be efforts to strengthen the Public Order Policing community outreach, and asked if there is interaction with the Secretariat on this issue, or if it is a “silo” approach.

Ms Molebatsi asked if Secretary Irish can elaborate on the anticrime strategy, and if she thinks it is right for the SAPS tactical response team (TRT) to be commanded from somewhere else.

Mr Mbhele asked about the relationship between CSF and CPF. Is there a Secretariat represented on the Gender and Sexual Orientation-based Violence Task Team (GSOVTT)? If not, would they be willing to get in that space?

Secretary Irish replied that they are involved with the CSF, it is not a SAPS project it is a Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster (JCPS) programme. It is an entire public order issue. On the anticrime policy, they are rolling out an anti stolen goods campaign, which is linked to the Second-hand Goods Act. They are looking at breaking this campaign into different types of messaging: working with students on getting young people involved, working with traditional leaders in reaching rural areas, starting discussions with the business community. On CSF policies, the Committee has a copy of the policy, it was submitted last year and it is also on the CSP website. They are part of the National Task Team on Gender Based Violence and also are part of other gender structures. In regards to TRT, every unit that gets deployed will have unit commanders who take account of what their members are doing. Command and control have to operate at all levels. The commander must be held accountable for what those members do. It is a crack unit within the police that has undertaken specialised training; they are a tactical team and are trained to respond to tactical situations. The problem is TRT is being deployed to situations they should not be deployed to, like breaking up shebeens. They should be deployed to cash-in-transit heists, not shebeens, that is not a tactical function, that is an ordinary policing function. A tactical team fights fire with fire, and many complaints come from the public about their being overly aggressive. They are supposed to be aggressive, but are not being deployed appropriately. On the Domestic Violence Act (DVA), they have large cooperation from SAPS). They see that this is beginning to have an impact.

Mr Beukman asked about the impact of the Secretariat on SAPS: what is the outcome of the assessments on rural strategy and sector policing? At what forum with SAPS are they laying out their analysis to SAPS, and what is the impact in terms of ensuring a rural strategy?
Secretary Irish replied that where they have been most successful is where they have set up compliance forums. They have a structured forum where the output is taken forward. On the rural strategy, it depends on whom they are dealing with at SAPS.

Discussion on Legislation and Policy Development
Mr Beukman asked if they agree with the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) or the National Commissioner on crime statistics, and how are they going to ensure that what is produced is correct in order to reduce crime in South Africa.

Mr Mbhele asked about the draft policy on reducing barriers to reporting crimes, and how this will work with lesbian and transgender women.

Mr Molebatsi asked about the firearm registry backlogs.

Secretary Irish replied that SAPS has developed a policy on crime statistics, and CSP will be making input into that. CSP believes that this policy should be implemented and made known to the public. It believes this policy should be finalised with a sense of urgency and be presented to the Portfolio Committee. There is a lack of clarity as to what population ratios the police are using, which is causing tension. On firearms, the previous Minister of Police announced an inquiry into gun dealerships and firearms. The inquiry is about to finish its report and hand it to the Minister. On the firearm registry backlog, in 2010/11 CSP did an investigation into the Central Firearms Registry, and at that time the backlog was at 1.3 million. Over that year SAPS worked very hard to reduce this backlog. CSP also did a report on the management of SAPS firearms. She noted that the White Paper on Policing is being completed.

Mr Beukman asked if CSP can give a target date for when the new SAPS Act will come to this committee.

Secretary Irish replied that in terms of Annual Performance Plan it is set out for development by the end of March 2015, and they had broken their legislation programme into number of bills finalised for public consultation.

Mr Maake asked for clarity on how the process of policy and legislation development works. Does the public ask CSP to develop something or do they check out their oversight reports and think this and this need to be amended?

Mr Beukman stated that there should also be consultation with the Portfolio Committee. Is the capacity of the Secretariat up to dealing with these issues? With regards to a timeline, the Committee needs more specific dates, especially regarding public hearings.

Secretary Irish responded that they have been given money from Treasury and are looking at how to spend it, and one area they need to look at is legislation. They have a shortage of drafting skills in the Secretariat and have reached out to the School of Governance for assistance in drafting legislation. In terms of how they decide on a bill or policy, it is a variety of different ways. Sometimes it comes out of the portfolio committee. Other times from the Minister. On occasions it is from gaps CSP identified from monitoring and evaluation. In regards to concerns over the Firearms Control Act, their research confirms that there are areas that need to be engaged with on the Firearms Control Act. In areas where there is an absence of policy, CSP decides they need to have a policy and so they make one.

Discussion on Programme: Civilian Oversight, M&E
Ms Molebatsi asked if all vehicles within SAPS are fitted with automated vehicle location (AVL) systems. He noted the fake police vehicle in Gauteng driven by criminals terrorising people. What is the situation with this vehicle?

Ms Mmola asked about SAPS members who cannot use computers.

Ms Mabija asked if there is a monitoring tool being used on the SAPS members themselves. Some police members are on drugs and are a threat to society. She does not think it is good for them to spend a lot of money on SAPS members who are now a threat to the community. When she comes across an accident, she has seen SAPS members searching the victim. They are useless, they are drunk. If they do not have a monitoring tool on the SAPS members themselves, then they are just wasting time. SAPS members protect drug dealers. But firing a policeman is not a good thing, they need to make the ones they have into good policemen.

Mr Maake asked how monitoring and vetting happens.

Secretary Irish replied that there is a station tool that looks at how the station is operating. They need to look at alcoholism and drug use within SAPS, because this is an indicator of the level of stress of the job.

Ms Kohler-Barnard asked if the AVL contract had lapsed, and if it is dysfunctional.

Secretary Irish replied that it is on a month-to-month contract.

Ms Molebatsi mentioned that some of the station commanders cannot operate the AVL.

Secretary Irish replied that they are finding that with the other systems as well. With regard to the use of fake police vehicles, CSP needs to follow up what happened with that investigation. Police officers not using computers is an operational issue that needs to be addressed. SAPS signed an agreement to assist SAPS members with the use of computers. It is a broader issue than just computers. One of the things that comes out in the detection strategy is that it is crucial that a detective knows how to use a computer.

She said that anything that involves police abuse, misconduct, violence gets handed over to IPID. IPID at one point was looking at when there are serious protests, having people go out and monitor how SAPS is managing the process. CSP monitoring and evaluation is not desktop – they go out to the field. With regards to vetting, they have asked State Security to fast-track their vetting but SAPS has the same problems as CSP.

Mr Beukman asked what they want to do with their targets. What is the capability of the Secretariat to do it?

Ms Molebatsi asked how CSP plans on increasing the number of police stations that have victim empowerment facilities.

Mr Beukman asked about implementation of the Child Justice Act.

Secretary Irish replied that CSP would like to amend its legislation to not have to look at SAPS’ budget. SAPS has the biggest budget of any government department. What is it about the budget that makes CSP different from the Portfolio Committee? CSP needs to make its role different from the Portfolio Committee’s. Litigation is different because it can show problems with policing. If SAPS is being sued for unlawful arrests then they know they have a problem with arrests. With regards to the SAPS 13 stores– they produced a report detailing that they are not well-managed. Evidence is not properly tagged, not properly bagged, not sent through to the laboratories, rape kits get lost. They have made recommendations to SAPS about the storage of evidence. They also have a report on the implementation of the Child Justice Act. In regard to victim friendly facilities, the question is what SAPS is going to do about it. SAPS has a goal is to improve the victim-friendly centres. But again, it is not just having a facility, but about how it is utilised. SAPS has developed standing orders on what a victim-friendly centre should be like. Sometimes when CSF runs the centres, it is bad because they take the keys home with them and the centres are under utilised.

Mr Mbhele asked about the development of a complaints management policy. Where is the dividing line where complaints are referred directly to IPID and what type of cases are the ones that the Secretariat holds on to and processes?

Secretary Irish replied that any service delivery case that comes to them they process. They really hope the police processes that CSP has developed will assist them with regards to SAPS. She is not sure about having an ombudsman because they need to have SAPS manage the complaints. An ombudsman removes SAPS from the responsibility of managing its own complaints.

Mr Beukman asked how they will ensure collaboration between civil society and the police.

Secretary Irish responded that its Policy Development and Research unit has a reference group, a formalised group that makes an impact on legislation. There is a sector that deals with research and one that deals with women’s issues. So they have tried to break it down. One of the things the Strategic Partnerships programme is looking at are community based organisations (CBOs) and non-governmental organisation (NGOs).

The Secretary of Police thanked the Portfolio Committee, saying she appreciated the thoroughness of their questions and their interest in CSP.

Meeting adjourned.


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