The Committee met to be briefed by the Committee researcher and content advisor in preparation for briefings by the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA). The first briefing was conducted by the Committee researcher who explained to Members the National Development Plan (NDP) in relation to rural safety, sector policing and challenges and recommendations relevant to the NRSS. The Committee content advisor prepared Members for the PSIRA briefing on progress made on key issues by reminding Members of which issues were in discussion and why they needed to be thrashed out.
The Committee then proceeded to be briefed by SAPS in the presence of the National Commissioner looking at the NRSS in close detail. The comprehensive presentation looked at the overview, objectives and intentions of the NRSS, focus areas of the Strategy, strategy pillars and approaches, operational and tactical approaches and the emphasis on multi-disciplinary work through collaborative mechanisms and leadership. The presentation also discussed implementation dimensions and criteria, the status of implementation of the NRSS, the responsibilities of police stations, the stock theft pilot project, Operational Sizanani to address cross border crime, implementation challenges, proposed areas for improvement and engagement before concluding with the strategic review and alignment.
Members then engaged in discussion questioning whether there were safety plans for each farm, the status of communication technology, resource allocation for the NRSS, and the capacitation of Community Policing Forums (CPFs) to assist in rural policing. Members were particularly concerned about possible discrepancies between the figures of SAPS and outside figures when looking at farm and smallholding murders and attacks as well as stock theft. Around this issue there were discussions on the integrity of data, methodology and having the figures reinstated in the SAPS Annual Report. Other points of engagement centred on cross border management and SAPS role in this environment, the role, policy and categories of police reservists, rural reaction and mounted units and mobile police facilities. A few of the Members expressed the sentiments that the Strategy was only a theory with no practice and formed part of countless other plans and strategies always being developed by SAPS.
The succinct presentation by PSIRA looked at the progress made by the Authority on matters raise by the Committee previously stemming from the 2013/14 Annual Report. These matters latterly related to the head office lease, appointment of the CFO, governance framework and awareness of the role of PSIRA.
The Committee asked about the progress on the PSIRA Act, numbers relating to unregistered and unlicensed operators, status of the collection of revenue, the current classification of security service providers, contract of the Council chairperson vs. contracts of the councillors and contingency plans regarding the audit committee.
Committee Researcher Briefing: Implementation of the National Rural Safety Strategy
Ms Nicolette Van Zyl-Gous, Committee Researcher, took the Committee through the briefing emphasising Chapter 12 of the National Development Plan (NDP), which stated that “Access to justice and the safety of rural and farming communities demand special attention…” The Plan placed significant emphasis on the importance of rural communities and made several recommendations. Amongst others, it recommended that the National Rural Safety Strategy (NRSS) should be implemented in its entirety.
In terms of the actual strategy, it was a comprehensive plan with two main goals:
- Reduce insecurity in rural areas; and
- Enhance accessibility to policing and service delivery to rural communities.
The disbandment of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) Commando structure left a significant gap in the previous Rural Protection Plan (RPP) as it had formed the cornerstone of the Plan.
As rural safety had to be taken over by the SAPS, a new rural safety strategy had to be developed to define the new roles and responsibilities to be played by the police. In order to deal with the new responsibilities, the SAPS put in place the following five mechanisms to replace the SANDF Commando System:
- The implementation of sector policing;
- The utilisation of SAPS reservists based on a revised reservist system;
- A substantial increase in SAPS personnel;
- Restructuring of specialised investigation units; and
- The establishment of Crime Combating units for Rural Safety.
Turning to rural police stations, in April 2012, SAPS concluded an accessibility analysis to determine the ideal number and also location of service points across the country. The analysis found that, of the 1 131 police stations country- wide, there were 473 rural police stations, 315 rural/urban mix stations and 403 urban police stations. The Eastern Cape Province had the largest number of rural police stations (118), followed by the KwaZulu-Natal (107) and Limpopo (79). During the 2012/13 financial year, the NRSS was said to be fully implemented in only 108 identified priority police stations across the country with sector policing based on the minimum criteria. There was also no legal definition for rural areas.
Ms Van Zyl Gous explained that sector policing basically entailed the division of a police station area into manageable geographic areas or sectors where police members were allocated to every sector on a dedicated basis in order to familiarise them with the sector and the residents and businesses in the area. Sector policing was especially crucial in a rural context, as sector police members were expected to mobilise and organise the rural communities in the sectors they served.
In 2011, the Portfolio Committee on Police had raised serious concerns around the slow pace of implementation of sector policing and pointed out that in stations where it had been implemented, it was not implemented effectively. The Committee requested SAPS to conduct an extensive review and ‘assessment of the successes, problems and lessons learnt around the implementation of sector policing’. Based on the analysis, the following conclusions were made:
- A “one size fits all” sector policing approach can not be adopted;
- Sector policing cannot be regarded as the only operational policing approach/tool and police stations should be given discretion to determine which policing approach was the most suitable;
- Police stations, especially in deep rural areas, cannot implement sector policing to the same standard as in urban areas;
- Sector policing was not a sustainable policing approach if its successes depend on large numbers of human and physical resources; and
- Sector policing should be used as a policing approach to encourage community mobilisation, interaction and building a culture of mutual cooperation and trust.
Additionally, the analysis observed discrepancies in the implementation of Sector Policing - that the Strategy was resource intensive and the performance target changed from full implementation to using the minimum criteria.
Ms Van Zyl-Gous explained the challenges and recommendations included for the performance target for rural safety to be reinstated, the Civilian Secretariat for Police (CSP) must monitor implementation, farm structures should be supported by local SAPS to alleviate the burden of patrol of vast areas and a communication and early warning should be developed, but basic communication services were not even available. Crime prevention training should be provided to farmers and farm workers jointly and safety plans for farms should be developed. The challenges related to no support to emerging farmers and the lack of rural development, which impacted negatively on service delivery. Resource allocation must be done fairly – it was often lacking in rural areas.
In conclusion, the Committee should request the SAPS to provide a clear time-frame for the completion of the NRSS review to incorporate the recommendations of the NDP. It was important to note that the NDP recommended that the NRSS must be implemented in its entirety. The strategy was comprehensive, but it was not being implemented due to significant challenges faced by the SAPS, especially in terms of resources. The SAPS should also indicate the expected completion dates for the following proposed areas for improvement:
- Alignment of the NRSS to existing government and SAPS Strategies. The SAPS should also indicate which existing strategies are being referred to;
- The development of a rural accessibility model;
- The development of a Rural Support Strategy;
- Rural safety definition and classification of police stations; and
- The review of the SAPS Rural Safety Strategy.
Committee Content Advisor Briefing: PSIRA Key Issues
Mr Irvin Kinnes, Committee Content Advisor, took the Committee through the briefing beginning with the thoughts that the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) had been asked by the Committee in its Budget and Annual Report hearings to implement the following recommendations:
- Leadership of the Council
- Status of the appointment of members of the Council
- Appointment of Audit Committee of the Council
- Appointment of the CFO
- PSIRA Building
The issues raised by the Committee relating to PSIRA included:
- Governance and Leadership of PSIRA
- Creating and awareness of PSIRA
- The role of the research Unit and the projects they were working on
- Security Industry Alliance Court Cases with respect to Annual Fees
- Status Report on criminal cases backlog
- Risk Management framework for PSIRA
- Promulgation of the of PSIRA Act
- Intelligence gathering of Private Security companies
Key issues within PSIRA itself included:
- Review of PSIRA salaries
- Audit Committee remuneration
- Auditor-General Findings: the quality of financial statements stayed stagnant as PSIRA still had to adjust significant material misstatements resulted in them being financial unqualified. Inadequate consequences and lack of skills contributed to the stagnation. Predetermined objectives remained unsatisfactory at PSIRA, mostly as a result of ineffective leadership resulting in processes and procedures not being adhere to. Financial and performance management were intended to enhance the “checks and balances” during the year to ensure that all reconciliations were done on a daily / monthly basis. 37 out of 60 inspections of security officers selected for audit could not be verified due to a lack of supporting documentation
Mr Kinnes highlighted the other issues the Committee needed to look into. The entity needed to report on the number of unregistered companies investigated by the Authority, and also to develop a measurable target on this to be included in the 2014/15 Annual Performance Plan. The Committee raised significant concern regarding the lack of planning made for a contingent liability in the PSIRA budget, especially in the light of the fact that a court case was pending against them and their budget projected on the increased annual registration fees.
SAPS Implementation of the RSS
Chairperson’s Introductory Comments
The Chairperson noted that rural policing was one of the priority areas of the Committee. A vast number of South Africans resided in rural areas and it was quite important that the Committee got a sense of what was happening in this area. A lot of the Members also represented rural constituencies so were au-fait with the challenges and issues in this policing environment. The point was to look at what the NDP was saying and what the SAPS strategy was so that there could be improvement to ensure people in rural areas were safe and secure. Necessary attention needed to be given to the issues affecting rural communities – sometimes politicians tended to have an urban bias in looking at issues so it was important to work against this tendency. The Committee was privileged to have recently visited Mpumalanga on an oversight visit two weeks ago and there was good work being done by SAPS but it was important to look at the country holistically. Areas of improvement were also important currently as Parliament moved into the budget period.
Brig. J le Roux, SAPS Section Head: Pro-Active Policing and Crime Reduction, introduced the National Rural Strategy by noting the unique circumstances/conditions that prevailed in rural areas, the seriousness of continued acts of violence against the rural community as well as the high levels of stock theft required from the SAPS to formulate a comprehensive and holistic strategy. The resultant operational strategy to address rural safety was approved by the former Minister of Police and former National Commissioner during a National Management Forum in 2011, for implementation from 2011 – 2014. The Strategy was officially launched in Free State on 15 July 2011. SAPS were in process of reviewing the Strategy through:
- hosting provincial stakeholder engagements and
- the recommendations made in the National Development Plan: 2030
In terms of the overview and intention of the Strategy, the NRSS entailed addressing rural safety as part of an inclusive, integrated and holistic day-to-day crime prevention approach, based on the principles of community policing, as expressed operationally though sector policing. It was intended to address safety in rural communities, including the farming communities. The NRSS aimed to adopt a multi-disciplinary operational approach by intensifying crime prevention actions, a reaction capacity and an investigation capability managed through Standard Operational Procedures aimed at improving accessibility, response and service delivery. Reservists were further used at sector level as force multipliers. Rural safety on the SA borderline was further strengthened in terms of integrating and coordinating local deployment along border-lines and operations to combat illegal cross border movement of people, goods and contraband in cooperation with the SANDF. The approach aimed to sustain and integrate the Rural Safety Strategy by providing a properly trained and resourced capacity to implement rural safety measures.
The objectives of the Rural Safety Strategy were to:
- enhance policing and accessibility to the rural community;
- improve safety and security within the entire rural environment;
- adopt an integrated approach in addressing rural safety
- improve/enhance relationships between the police, farming community, all stakeholders and extended rural communities;
- foster and establish partnerships within the rural community which related to safety and security concerns and issues;
- establish/improve systems to address crime in the rural areas;
- improve/enhance service delivery within rural communities;
- support the implementation of sector policing in the rural environment;
- enhance rural infrastructural development, accessibility and service delivery
- foster and establish enhanced communication within the rural community among all role players;
- educate the rural community on safety and security matters;
- support rural development, rural growth and upliftment of the rural community;
- create a safe and secure environment on farms and smallholdings to ensure food security; and
- support the development of a vibrant, sustainable and equitable rural community by creating a safe rural environment.
Brig. Le Roux turned to the focus areas of the NRSS which included, but were not restricted to:
- Stock theft, including poaching (Rhino’s and game)
- Serious and violent crime affecting rural communities
- Abuse/exploitation of farm workers
- Crimes against the vulnerable (women, children, elderly, disabled, foreigners)
- Domestic violence
- Substance abuse
- Sexual offences
- Juvenile delinquency/child abuse/child neglect
- Youth development
- Theft of farm produce, input supplies and equipment
- Non ferrous metals
- Illegal initiation schools and practices
- Crimes motivated by myths, beliefs and ritual killings
- Incidents of violence on farms and smallholdings
The strategy pillars of the RSS were (1) enhanced service delivery (2) an integrated approach (3) community safety awareness and (4) rural development. The strategic approach was to ensure the strategy was driven by a geographical approach, driven by intelligence, followed an integrated approach and had community involvement and partnerships. Tactically, the approach needed to be intelligence led, proactive, reactive and had shared responsibility and accountability. In terms of a multidisciplinary approach, the Strategy was to ensure there was community involvement and mobilisation along with involvement by government, NGOs, business and civil society.
In terms of defining rural, a single definition for rural did not exist. SAPS had since drafted a definition to assist in the classification of police stations and implementation of the Strategy. A police station/service point would thus be serving a rural area if the area in the whole or a part thereof, met the following criteria:
- an area which was not urbanised, in other words located outside big cities or towns;
- an area which typically consisted of land which was devoted to agriculture, whether commercial or subsistence;
- an area which lacked infrastructure or infrastructure development, such as tarred roads, public transport, adequate sanitation and electricity, built up areas, communication networks
- an area which encompassed large settlements in former homelands, which depended for their survival on migratory labour and remittance
- an area with a population of less than 150 000
Brig. Le Roux then moved to discuss the implementation of the strategy was monitored against the following determined implementation criteria:
- Were Rural safety Priority Committee meetings being facilitated quarterly at provincial and cluster levels?
- Had a Rural Safety Coordinator been appointed to coordinate all policing activities and actions in the policing precinct?
- Had a Rural Safety Plan been developed in cooperation with all stakeholders to address crime in the rural community in an integrated manner?
- Were rural safety meetings facilitated with the rural community to create awareness and enhance access, response and service delivery?
- Had a capability been established to respond to incidents in the rural community as well as to plan and execute joint crime prevention operations to address crime in the rural community, including stock theft (Visible Policing members, Tactical Response Team, Public Order Policing Unit and/or Stock Theft Unit)?
- Had a joint crime prevention programmes/projects and operations been implemented in cooperation with all role players to address contributing factors influencing crime and crime in general (Government, NGOs and the rural community)?
- Had a mobile contact point been established to enhance access to rural community?
With SAPS implementation actions, Rural Safety Plans were in place in the provinces as a tool to assist police stations to prevent crime in the rural and farming communities. Rural Safety Priority Committees were functioning at national, provincial and cluster levels and all role players in the rural and farming community, departmental and civil society were involved in the committees (this included the SANDF, Agricultural Unions, Departments of Agriculture, Rural Development and Land Reform, Traditional Affairs and all relevant units of the SAPS). The Rural Safety Priority Committees met on a quarterly basis to monitor incidents of violent crime in the rural community, to establish trends and new developments and plan interventions. The priority committees were open to all stakeholders and did not operate behind closed doors. As such the priority committees presented an opportunity for, inter alia, organised agriculture and farmers unions to keep their members briefed on security-related matters. Rural safety Coordinators had been appointed at all levels to interact, consult and implement appropriate measures to address rural safety and crime in rural areas. Operational information (trends, modus operandi, threats, hot spots) of crimes affecting the rural and farming community were shared during the Rural Safety Priority Committee meetings in order to promote awareness. Sector Policing was reviewed to determine minimum implementation criteria to also enable rural police stations to implement sector policing as policing approach. A Communication and Marketing Strategy was developed to enhance awareness, Pocket Safety Guides were developed and distributed, pamphlets were developed, translated in all 11 official languages and distributed and Stock Theft Units were resourced and aligned with priority rural areas. Information in general indicated a constant decrease in crimes on farms and small holdings since 2006. Community Policing Forums had been established at police stations, including stations in rural areas. The rural community, including the farming community, farmers and farm workers, participated in Community Policing Forums at station level, as well as in the Sector Forums, as part of Sector Policing.
Brig. le Roux explained it was the responsibility of police stations to create a multi-disciplinary operations model to prevent crime, involving all role players at local, cluster and provincial level, focusing on priority crimes, including crimes against women and children and incidents on farms and smallholdings. The stations were also there to enforce legislation, provide community services and ensure that all police stations provide a victim friendly service, optimally combat crime by means of implementing proactive and integrated policing approaches, such as sector policing, conduct visible policing by means of patrols to eliminate the desire and opportunity to commit crime in an area and reduce levels of public fear through more visible policing. The stations were also set up to ensure intelligence driven patrols in sectors and hot spots, obtain effective Crime Intelligence through the SAPS Crime Information Office (CIO), distribute Crime Intelligence to patrol officials on a daily basis, conduct intelligence driven operations, conduct road blocks based on analysis of available information, conduct joint high density operations, enhance public safety awareness, work closely with the community and other force multipliers, such as the SANDF, other local Government Departments, Community Safety Forums, local Traffic Departments and Security Firms.
With the stock theft pilot project, it was developed to prevent and enhance the recovery of livestock and stock theft investigation and was implemented during 2012 and 2013 in five police station areas based on the following operational concept:
- Develop and capacitate police station in respect of Visible Policing and Detective Service functions.
- Increase capacity within Stock Theft Investigation Units and align placement of Units with priority areas.
- Extend mandate of existing response capacities at provincial level to also respond to stock theft and other serious crime in rural areas.
- Enhancement of a multi-disciplinary operational approach through a Standard Operational Procedures by involving all role players and stakeholders.
- Establishment of partnerships with Government Departments, NGOs and community structures to enhance community involvement.
- Communication, raising awareness and education of the rural community in respect of responsible livestock ownership and safety.
Actions to address cross border crime included a bilateral security strategy to address stock theft on the borderline. This strategy provides for the following:
- The evaluation of the various stock theft units to improve service delivery, the rate of recovery, the rate of detection and the rate of conviction. This was done by involving livestock owners (complainants) in stock theft operations (inland and internationally), as well as in other operational functions.
- Regular bilateral meetings were held with the police in neighbouring states to address cross-border crime. Meetings were also held with peace committees and District Liaison Committees involving communities on both sides of the border.
- All cross-border stock theft-related issues (operations and meetings) were reported to the Sub-regional Bureau of the Southern African Regional Police Chiefs Cooperation Organisation (SARPCCO) in Harare on a monthly basis. This Organisation was responsible for coordinating such actions between the various member countries.
Stock theft reduced by 3.4% from 2011/2012 to 2012/2013 and reduced by 6.2% from 2012/2013 to
Brig. Le Roux discussed Operation Sizanani (“help each other”) which was a national multi-faceted and integrated rural safety operation involving all Government Departments and other role players was implemented in all provinces to address the safety of the rural community and to address stock theft. The purpose of the operation was to:
- enhance education and awareness in respect of legislation relating to stock theft;
- enhance community involvement, trust and confidence;
- enhance availability of intelligence to support an intelligence driven approach
- combat and prevent serious crimes in the rural areas;
- stabilise hot-spot areas in the rural areas;
- address stock theft;
- improve cooperation and coordination amongst all internal and external role players;
- prioritise investigations for finalisation.
There was a collaborative partnership between the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs and the SAPS to involve and empower Traditional Leaders in safety and security in order to give effect to government policies, strategies and legislative principles was established and approved by the
Directors General to:
- enhance inter-departmental collaboration;
- facilitate the involvement of Traditional Leadership Structures in safety and security; and
- promote an integrated and multi-disciplinary approach
In terms of challenges with the NRSS, these included the remoteness of areas and locations of rural community to ensure access to policing and service delivery, inadequate and suitable resources (human and logistical) at some rural police stations, lack of effective and efficient shared utilization of available resources, lack of advanced technological support and development, lack of infrastructural development and maintenance in rural areas that hampered service delivery, responsibility and accountability by all role players and stakeholders, migration to urban areas and loss of skills, lack of adequate support and assistance to emerging farmers, lack of inter- and intra Departmental cooperation, coordination, communication and accountability, ineffective communication mechanisms and networks and poor community involvement.
Brig. Le Roux stated the proposed areas for improvement included further alignment of the Rural Safety Strategy to existing Government and SAPS Strategies, development of a rural accessibility model, development of a Rural Support Strategy to strengthen the operational approach as defined in the Rural Safety Strategy, resource needs analysis, resource and staffing plan for minimum resource requirements, a communication and technology plan, including an early warning system, communication and marketing, o revisit rural safety definition and classification of police stations, including average response times to rural, urban and urban-rural-mix police stations and to ensure buy-in and accountability by all internal and external role players and stakeholders including government, traditional leadership structures, CPFs, NGOs, civil society and the broader community.
With the review of the SAPS rural strategy (2011 – 2014), the NDP set the basis for the SAPS to review its Rural Strategy to be in line with the commission’s recommendations. These included that:
- Rural and farming communities demand special attention
- Rural and farming communities were far from national and provincial government, businesses and non-governmental resources which exposed them to crime and safety risks
- Rural police stations were often isolated and responsible for vast areas
- Attendance to domestic violence complaints and child protection were affected by distance and availability of resources
- Infrastructure, telephony and poor road conditions impact on police response times which increased risks to potential victims.
- Distances from courts imposed a burden on witnesses and availability of legal aid which could compromise administration of justice, as well as readily availability of services from criminal justice.
The Chairperson noted the NDP provided for each farm in SA to have a safety plan especially aimed at the most vulnerable in cooperation with sector commanders i.e. sector policing was the philosophy. He asked how many of these safety plans were developed and if they were in operation. He sought real information on this matter. Turning to communication technology, he questioned the capability of SAPS in this regard in terms of rural communities. Listening to the challenges highlighted in the presentation, he was not convinced that there were currently effective mechanisms in the Strategy to deal with these challenges. He was concerned about what was being done to address the immediate issues in rural communities.
Ms Riah Phiyega, SAPS National Commissioner, replied that the NDP and recommendations were embraced as part of the current review. At this point in time the individualised safety plans had not yet been implemented but it was hoped this would form part of the next round of rolling out. The Committee would be kept informed of this progress. With communication technology, the national network upgrade programme was being implemented but there were delays because in terms of legislation, the programme must be rolled out by the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA). The challenges of SETA were an Achilles Heel on the part of SAPS – there were negotiations when SETA decided to cancel the rolling out of a part of this programme. She highlighted the rural stations that were included as part of the national network upgrade. e-policing was prioritised in the last Cabinet Lekgotla and she hoped for better acceleration in this space.
Mr L Ramatlakane (ANC) thought the presentation was good and clear; however he noted that a good presentation did not necessarily make the plan work. He thought the presentation was not very clear on resource allocation for the Strategy. Bodies were needed to make a plan work and this was critical at provincial and local level – who was driving this strategy? When would be the capacitation of CPFs be finalised? Such a cooperative relationship was needed but this was the subject of a long debate and seemed to be a moving target.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega responded that the budget was allocated to all stations and so were resources and employees to ensure there was an equal spread. Thus rural stations were not treated as separate but all stations were looked at equally. SAPS was looking at mobile resourcing and mobile facilities in rural areas – SAPS’s infrastructure had a significant urban bias but part of transformation was to attend to rural stations. With the relationship between SAPS and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), the development of a mobile facility was very advanced. SAPS were also talking to other departments like the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and traditional authorities because rural access was not only the responsibility of SAPS. The idea was for the mobile facilitates to come out to the far-flung areas on a certain day of the week. Some villages were quite far from stations and there was a need to reduce the number of kilometres walked. Building stations would take a lot of time and resources so the mobile facilities would ensure there was better reach until the sustained roll out of infrastructure. On the issue of CPFs, these were outfits handled by the CSP but SAPS embraced their active involvement and use of CPFs. She had seen good support and uptake for these CPFs in the rural areas.
Ms A Steyn (DA) (visiting Member) said a date was needed for the implementation of the NRSS for all rural stations. Linked to this she asked what was difference between a station which had an implementing plan and one which did not? She lived in an area where the plan had been implemented at the station but she had seen no difference – this was not helpful. With the stats on the reduction of stock theft, she asked if the stats were based on the number of cases and not the number of stock stolen – this could then be that there was a reduction in cases reported and not the actual theft and value of stock. Was this the correct impression? She highlighted a massive problem at the Vereeniging stock theft station but nothing was happening to assist the station.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega noted that if one talked to communities, they would tell one there was a reduction in stock theft in the area and there was increased police visibility. Where SAPS was intervening, people were seeing a difference. The pilot had been extended and she was confident the matter was on the right track and people were starting to see the difference. For many years, access to police stations for people in the rural areas was a dream but this was no longer a dream and a change was experienced. She would look into the issue of Vereeniging and engage the Member to better understand this issue and dynamics at play.
Ms D Kohler Barnard (DA) was impressed to hear serious crime had decreased from previous years, as shown in the presentation, but the Transvaalse Landbou Unie (TLU) had said murders and attacks had increased. She was confused as to this disconnect and the difference in what was being measured. She reiterated the case she highlighted in the House yesterday where a 73 year old farmer and his wife were attacked in their home, tortured for hours on end while the wife was gang-raped, told to lie on her dead husband’s body before she was then shot. Furthermore commercial farming in SA had dropped by at least 50% and this was raising major global concerns that SA for the first time was importing food which was, economically speaking, a catastrophe. The SA Chamber of Commerce and Industry estimated that each farm attack and murder costed the SA economy R2 mil per annum. There were other predications that the number of farmers in SA would drop dramatically but the cure lied in this room. She got the sense that the top structure of SAPS was very organised and meeting regularly while there was a disconnect with what was happening on the ground while people were dying very ugly deaths. Reported stock theft losses were currently costing the country R421 mil a year – she knew of emerging farmers who stood in tears as their entire wealth was driven out the country while SAPS knocked off at 5 o’clock, turned around and went home or there was no equipment to pursue the issue. This was known as the Cinderella unit where people were dumped. She did not think the stock theft units were given what they needed or had the correct status while people went bankrupt.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega replied that there was a reduction in stock theft as well as with issues of murders. She added that she could not vouch for the methodology of other people but only that of SAPS and in terms of the Service’s methodology, there was a reduction.
Ms Kohler Barnard asked for clarification on the SAPS methodology – if a couple was murdered on a farm, was this treated as one case? She was confused by this because the detail on annual farm murders and assaults had showed they increased massively. This incongruence needed to be sorted out right now.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega explained that in such a case, there was one case but two counts of murder – this was how SAPS worked. With commercial farming, as a member of the DGs forum, she was aware safety and security was one of the issues in agriculture. This was also the case with emerging and small-scale farmers. Other issues included support by other departments for those participating in this area. From a policing point of view and the NRSS, the focus on rural communities as well as farming communities was heightened and taken care of. The pilots and figures show that interventions taken could continue to reduce issues of stock theft.
Mr Z Mbhele (DA) was concerned about what was happening in the meantime. While there was this review, were structures still operating or was the Strategy in operational limbo while people waited for the next instruction to come cascading down? He did not see any mention of border safety and stock theft and the long awaited border management agency (BMA) – was there any preparation for SAPS role in such an agency? Was there a firm deadline for when the review would be complete to filter into a proper performance plan for this Strategy?
Nat. Comm. Phiyega replied that since 2011, there were visible improvements and good ground was created going forward. The review would assess if any gaps were missed and along with the NDP, there was a plan to go to all provinces. Various stakeholders were engaged and nothing was in limbo. Stations continued to serve people and rural safety continued. Border safety and stock would be integrated into the BMA and SAPS was actively participating in this area as stock was one of the greatest cross border crimes to address.
Ms A Molebatsi (ANC) asked what happened to stock after they were recovered? She asked this because when the Committee visited Mpumalanga, Members were told of the illegal auctioning of stock theft by SAPS members. How did SAPS ensure the recovered stock was safe? What happened in the event of a police station not having a stock theft unit but the crime was reported?
Nat. Comm. Phiyega stated SAPS dealt with all crime by anyone and if a member was involved, that member would be arrested and charged with an internal and criminal process to take place. It was saddening that members were involved in such crimes because it took away from the hard working police but she assured the Committee she would not hesitate to take action to deal with criminal members. There was a cluster system because not all stations had stock theft units and resources in the cluster were shared among stations. Stock theft was a priority crime in rural areas.
Ms M Mmola (ANC) questioned the role of reservists in this rural safety strategy and further asked if they were effective?
Nat. Com. Phiyega indicated there was a new reservist strategy but SAPS welcomed those volunteers and they were given training and made space for participation in assistance of policing communities.
Mr J Maake (ANC) wanted more information on the challenge of a “lack of inter- and intra Departmental cooperation, coordination, communication and accountability”,
Nat. Comm. Phiyega answered that a number of initiatives were being undertaken from a number of priority committees. These were structured and deliberate platforms to engage with departments which dealt with rural areas for cooperation and collaboration. Such inter-departmental cooperation platforms ensured there was alignment in programmes. More could be done which was why it was still raised as a challenge. It was important not to work in silos.
Mr P Groenewald (FF+) was a bit worried that the NRSS was only a theory and the presentation was actually saying the NRSS was actually not working. This was seen in the challenges highlighted in the presentation which stated there was a “lack of adequate support and assistance to emerging farmers”, “lack of inter- and intra Departmental cooperation, coordination, communication and accountability”, “ineffective communication mechanisms and networks” and “poor community involvement”. What would be done in practice to address these challenges? There was also a history of rural safety. On the reservists, he heard a separate category for rural areas did not exist anymore – if such a category did exist, he requested the figures. In the National Commissioner’s submission to the Human Rights Commission (HRC), she said stats on farm murders could not be separated because “murder was murder”. He asked the National Commissioner why there were then categories for robbery and robbery with aggravated circumstances and assault and assault with the intent to do bodily harm. Farm murder stats were available – why could they not just be released like they were up to 2007 so that people knew?
Nat. Comm. Phiyega stated SAPS was indeed working and it was not theory – units existed today which previously did not and this could not be theory. In the village she grew up in, she had never seen a police van but today she did because of better capacity and resources. This was no theory – work was taking place. Although rolling-out could be speeded up, SAPS did the best to stretch resources and these were used to the best capacity. There were different types of crime and with farm murders, the HRC wanted the regions sectioned out. This information could be provided but they were not reported as such – the norm was to report by cluster.
Mr Mmola felt his question on reservists was not adequately addressed.
Maj. Gen MM Motlhala, SAPS Acting Divisional Commissioner: Visible Policing, explained SAPS had Category A-D for reservists which covered the different environments dependent on need. This included the rural ennvironment. SAPS was currently working on the communication strategy to explain this new policy to future reservists. The figures could be provided to the Committee in writing.
Mr B Joseph (EFF) noted that the challenge pertaining to the safety plans for each farm was that the data was not released annually or biannually. For real impact, the data should be released on a regular basis. Did the stats being released have integrity? Were the stakeholders, through the CPFs, involved in the planning process or more specifically, the farm workers within the rural areas? The perception was that such consultation would take too long or that people on the farms were not educated enough. He wanted an improved safety plan which could be assessed on a regular basis but such a plan could only work with regular data releases which had integrity.
Nat. Comm.Phiyega explained the data was based on reported cases and SAPS continued to ensure issues of quality and integrity were worked on, for example, through Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with Statistics SA (Stats SA).
Ms Steyn wanted information on what was being done on border control. She had witnessed the ease with which people and vehicles crossed the border where no one was stopped. How many of the SAPS vehicles used at the border were actually still in use? When would the Strategy be implemented everywhere because criminals moved? She again questioned the disconnect between a decrease in actual cases but an increase in figures in terms of stock theft – her information was that there was definitely an increase in the crime to where syndicates were now involved staling hundreds of cattle. Were there stats on farm evictions and was there communication between SAPS and the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform or the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries?
Brig. le Roux clarified that the stats dealt with two separate issues – the one dealt with serious and violent crimes at rural areas in general while the other dealt with incidents specifically on farms and smallholdings. This was an important distinction. Completing an analysis of the 477 rural stations, there were 218 stations were identified where serious and violent crime was the highest. This was compared year-on-year at these stations and the serious and violent crimes came down by 21%. This did not deal with murder on farms and smallholdings. In terms of farms and smallholdings, SAPS designed a definition to monitor incidents on farms and smallholdings. Intelligence and incident reports on farms and smallholdings from the stations, media stories and a database on murders on farms and smallholdings were collected and shared at the national rural safety priority committee. At the committee there was a concurrence on figures along with modus operandi, threats etc. The provincial priority committees followed a similar process so all provinces had a database on incidents on farms and smallholdings. In the early 2000s, farm and smallholding incidents were at the highest – 144 murders and 906 incidents but ever since 2003, to date, there had been a constant decrease in the number of murders and incidents at farms and smallholdings with the exception of 2011/12 and 2012/13 where there was an increase in murders. She trusted the integrity of the information as it was not questioned in the priority committee.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega, on border control, said the BMA was highly prioritised and work had already started with some functions migrated to the agency along with looking at integrated border management. Cabinet required a lot of progress to be seen in this area by the end of 2016. Issues of border control were of concern to this country which explained the haste for integrated border management.
Ms Kohler Barnard thought the National Commissioner was under the impression that the reinstating of the figure of farm murders in the Annual Report was her own decision to make or that it was a matter of debate. It was not. The Committee had determined that the figure would be reinstated and she failed to understand why it had not been. Perhaps the Committee needed to meet on its own to determine what recourse could be taken when a Committee decision was simply brushed aside as irrelevant even when it had the legislative power to give decisions. She wanted assurance from the National Commissioner that the figure, as instructed by the Committee, would be reinstated in the Annual Report. She wanted to know what SAPS was doing to ensure there were 4x4s and other equipment at all of the rural stations. There were always plans and strategies but she wanted to know what was being done on the ground. SAPS had a reputation for handing the wrong vehicles to the wrong stations in terms of terrain but the worse case was vehicles sitting for months in garages and at mechanics with some stations and specialised units operating with a single vehicle. Where were the actual rural reaction units which could be dispatched at short notice to identify crime hotspots? Did these units have specialised vehicles and equipment to deal with rural areas? Were there plans to support these units aimed at saving the lives and livelihoods of people in the rural areas?
Nat. Comm. Phiyega indicated SAPS had embarked on a major turnaround strategy in terms of the management of vehicles through the centralisation of garages for standardisation and quality control in reducing models in the fleet in collaboration with Treasury for vehicles suited to particular policing environments. With the maintenance of cars, SAPS was targeting 80 – 85% availability of vehicles and in this regard there was a new transversal tender where vehicles now purchased came with maintenance plans – this was across government. This eased the pressure on the SAPS garages to only deal with cars without a maintenance plan and ensure the garages ran efficiently. With the evictions, SAPS did not deal with this unless it was a criminal matter or involved public order issues. She said stats on murders were reported on and she was not aware of a decision for SAPS to report on farm murders in each case and smallholding.
Ms Kohler Barnard interjected that the National Commissioner could be sent the minutes to remind her of this decision that the Committee instructed under the two previous Chairpersons. This decision was repeated each time the stats were not included in the Annual Report.
The Chairperson said not all Members were part of the previous Committee but the issue would be followed up.
Mr Mbhele did not receive a reply to his question of when the review would be completed. How were the CSIR designed and researched project for mobile police facilities be different from the “trailers” currently used as satellite stations. He was concerned about looking into new areas before getting the basics right. He wanted to know the thinking and rationale behind designing new facilities without being sure that the implementation of the next stage of the strategy was going to be fundamentally sound?
Nat. Comm. Phiyega answered that after various steps, consolidation and consultation, SAPS would go back to the drawing board to factor in some of the feedback received from various inputs. With the mobile facilities, building police stations may take much longer but looking, for instance, at the mobile facility of DHA, this was a self-contained office which was well equipped with all the needed technology and system. Whatever one could do at a normal DHA office could be done in the mobile facility. SAPS was also looking at the mobile facilities having the Crime Administration System (CAS) system and where DNA testing and buccal swabs could be conducted so that people did not have to travel far to do this. The emphasis was on taking the mobile units to the people and making it accessible. The trailers had some functionality but were not quite optimal in terms of functioning.
Ms Molebatsi asked from where the mounted services were being controlled?
Maj. Gen. Motlhala explained sector capacity was sitting at rural stations dedicated to the implementation of the NRSS but there were mounted and canine units which had about 11 disciplines and dogs assisting in shepherding stolen stock. There were also rural dedicated flying squads with special vehicles to police the rural communities. There was also tactical response team along with crime intelligence offices at a station level. There were also dedicated stock theft units and dedicated detectives.
Ms Mmola asked if reservists were prioritised when vacancies arose because it seemed as if they were doing a lot.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega responded that the new policy was very clear – all advertisements were open to anybody and everybody so there was no prioritisation. The policy actually also said the volunteers should not use the position as a stepping stone. If reservists were commissioned to do additional work, there was a stipend paid but otherwise volunteers were not paid.
Mr Maake asked what “all force multipliers” meant as referred to in the presentation.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega explained this meant not only reservists were used but there was also a reliance on community participation and NGOs to work together with SAPS on safety work in the communities.
Mr Groenewald wanted to be clear, for no misunderstanding, on the categories of reservists. According to the CSP, there was an update on the national instructions to only provide for two categories – functional policing and specialised functional policing. Were there only these two categories or were there four categories for reservists?
Maj. Gen. Motlhala clarified that four categories had been collapsed into two focused areas – one functional and one specialised. The functional category focused on the rural communities.
Mr Groenewald asked if he would be allowed to attend the priority national committee meetings.
Nat Comm. Phiyega indicated these were operational meetings.
Ms Steyn asked if reservists were still being taken in currently as people were turned away where she lived.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega said the policy was adopted so reservists were being taken in currently and the adverts would be sent out.
The Chairperson wanted to know if there would be, from a strategic aspect, a review of the targets and indicators because many of the Members raised questions which were not currently in the reporting and may be for inclusion in the Annual Performance Plans (APP) in future years.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega agreed especially looking at response times for standardisation between rural and urban areas. The indicators for prioritised areas would then need to be incorporated in the plans.
The Chairperson's Closing Comments
The Chairperson said it was clear the Committee needed to do more work on rural policing and would need to conduct an oversight visit looking at the various situations. It was also important to meet with SETA and the CSIR to look at issues of technology and developments with the mobile policing facilities. He welcomed the indication by the National Commissioner that additional targets would be considered with response times and implementation of the NRSS. He requested a copy of the revised reservist strategy, pocketbook referred to and national instructions. The Committee needed to come back to the issue of CPFs looking at rural buy-in and effective feed-in. The Committee awaited the development of the new plan and perhaps there could be another engagement on this issue on the third quarter.
Nat. Comm. Phiyega asked that the Committee consider a briefing by the Minister of Home Affairs to brief it on the Border Management Agency (BMA). This would help in clearing some of the issues raised today.
The Chairperson noted this.
PSIRA Progress on Matters Raised by the Committee on 2013/14 Annual Report Hearing
Chairperson's Introductory Comments
The Chairperson provided context to this meeting where the Committee did not have the time to meet with PSIRA at the end of last year because of a busy schedule. This meeting was just to get general feedback on progress, challenges and how the Committee could assist.
Mr Sam Chauke, PSIRA: Director, began by looking at the progress on two matters, namely,
1. Head Office Lease: the feasibility study was still not completed by National Treasury. The Head Office Centurion Lease lapsed in July 2016. A letter written for the Minister’s final determination on PSIRA Arcadia premises was completed.
2. Appointment of CFO: the Council appointed another CFO on a six month contract and the recruitment position was to commence next month.
With the governance framework, the former Chairperson’s (Mr Thula Bopela) contract lapsed in December 2014. Mr DCM (Joy Rathebe) was thereafter appointed acting Chairperson of the Council. The process to appoint a permanent Chairperson was underway with the Ministry of Police. The Council undertook a review of the entire governance framework with specific focus on:
- The development of a Council Charter guided by the King III principles
- Segregation of roles between Council and Executive Management
- Review of Delegation of Powers
- Development of Council Members
The Council was committed to attend all Committee meetings
Ms Mpho Mofikoe, PSIRA Deputy Director: Communication and Training, looked at what was being done to increase awareness around the role of PSIRA. The Authority had segmented a target market and had developed a clearly defined awareness programmes and messages for each segment. The Authority was using an integrated approach to create awareness about the role of PSIRA and this included:
- Compliance Forums
- Radio interviews
- Industry Circulars
- Information brochures in relations to Registrations, Training and Law Enforcements
- Promotional items
- Trade Exhibitions
- Community outreach programme
- Consumer education workshops
- Capacity Building Workshops
- Social media platforms
Some of the highlights for 2014/15 financial year, in relation to awareness creating included:
- Securing partnership with the SA Broadcasting Authority (SABC) (i.e regular interviews with Lesedi FM)
- Conducted over 25 awareness workshops with Security Service Providers in all nine provinces (this included Security Officers and Businesses)
- Conducted 18 Compliance Forums across the country
- Conducted workshops on Sectorial Determination
- Conducted Capacity Building workshops with Training Providers
- Establishment of National Training Compliance Forum
- Conducted consumer education workshops with the National Association of Managing Agents
- Participated in community outreach programmes
- Participated in Industry Trade Exhibitions
- Conducted Youth Empowerment Awareness programmes
- Advertorials and regular press releases
Some of the planned initiatives for 2015/16 financial year included:
- Provincial Industry Compliance Forums
- Intensive media engagements (radio and TV interviews, advertorials etc.)
- Trade Exhibitions
- More community outreach programmes
- More consumer education workshops
- Capacity Building Workshops
- Youth Empowerment initiatives
- Strengthen our Social media platforms
Mr Chauke moved to present on the Security Industry Alliance (SIA) annual fees court case explaining the Supreme Court of Appeal upheld the Appeal by the SIA to set aside the Annual Fees Regulations introduced in 2012. New proposed Annual Fees Regulations for 2015 were published for comment on 20 February 2015. New proposed regulations took on board comments and arguments by the SCA and the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act (PAJA). Consultations were open for four weeks including consultative workshops across all nine provinces. All stakeholders including the SIA were to be consulted extensively. The final new Annual fees regulations were to be effective from April or May 2015. Refunds and credits notes were to be adjudicated after the finalisation of the proposed new annual fees.
On the backlog on criminal investigations, SAPS requested an update on status of all PSIRA criminal cases registered countrywide. The Detective Branch reviewed the status of criminal cases on the CAS register and confirmed that the project was almost completed – PSIRA was now still awaiting the final report on the list of finalised cases from SAPS.
In terms of intelligence gathering activities by security service providers, the State Security Agency (SSA) was in collaboration with PSIRA to conduct an audit of service providers with interception and monitoring capabilities. The SSA was to provide the PSIRA Inspectorate with training on the identification and monitoring of security service providers with interception and monitoring capabilities. Surveys and research projects were to be commissioned to inform future policy development and legislation around the misuse and or contraventions of laws governing interception and monitoring with the private security industry
Mr Chauke concluded the briefing by looking at risk management exercise for PSIRA. The Authority conducted a comprehensive operating risk analysis process with all the programmes in November 2014 and compiled a risk register. Risks were identified and each was rated in terms of impact and likelihood to determine the inherent risk level. Risk mitigation strategies were identified for each risk to rate each risk with the controls in place to determine the residual risk level. If the risk required a further reduction, future controls were identified to be implemented. The risk register was a living document which will be reviewed continuously. Strategic risks were identified during the Strategic Planning sessions held in January 2015.
The Chairperson wanted to know what the progress on the PSIRA Act was in terms of implementation. He also questioned the relationships between PSIRA and the SIA – were there efforts to ensure this relationship was more sustainable moving forward? What was PSIRA’s capacity in terms of research to say or estimate how many unregistered or unlicensed operators there were currently in SA?
Mr Daniel Rathebe, Acting Council Chairperson, PSIRA, replied that the PSIRA Act was awaiting Presidential assent. He gathered representations were made to the President on the possible unconstitutionality of some of the provisions of the Act.
Mr Chauke responded to the issue of the relationship with the alliance noting it was a bad relationship between the two in the beginning (around 2010/11) but the environment had since been salvaged quite tremendously and the relationship was now healthy. Last week he addressed the entire board of the alliance explaining how PSIRA would be moving forward on key issues like fees. There was a decision for PSIRA to have quarterly meetings with the alliance to look at issues of regulation and compliance. The alliance had also attended and been very helpful in the compliance forums. With unregistered security companies, PSIRA did not have this research and currently relied on the numbers from prosecution. In this way trends were identified.
Ms Mofikoe added the renewal of certificates, with effect from 1 December 2014, would help with unregistered companies. All individual security officers would now be required to renew their certificate every 18 months and businesses would be required to renew the certificate every 12 months. The result was that no one could do business with a security business which did not have a valid certificate. This would help to address the problem of fly-by nights in the industry. Over 32 000 individuals have come on board to renew certificates.
Ms Kohler Barnard wanted to know about status of the collection of revenue which was always a catastrophe – was this now all on track to be audited? She asked about the situation with the PSIRA building. It was previously found that members of PSIRA were found to have criminal records – was PSIRA now in a position to say there were background checks on all members? She wanted to know the numbers in this regard.
Mr Chauke responded that PSIRA was in the process of reviewing fines specifically the regulations which dealt with payments of fees. The fine was initially R1000 which was nothing for a company turning over close to R60 billion. The fine was now increased to R50 000– R100 000 per fine for non-payment.
Mr Chauke addressed the issue of the building noting two buildings were being referred to – one was the building in Arcadia which PSIRA vacated and the other building was occupied through a lease. The Authority awaited the go-ahead from the Minister as to what should happen with the first building. Adjoining the building in Arcadia were two houses used as satellite offices to deliver some services to the industry and deal with registration. With criminal records, there were no such records in the industry except those records allowed for in terms for the schedule of the Act. There was a regulatory and registration sub-committee to deal with such issues.
Mr Mbhele sought clarity on what it meant when the presentation made reference to the “current classification of security service providers within PSIRA hindering effective regulation” in terms of the research project outcomes and findings into the guarding sector. He also wanted a status update on the criminal cases flowing from SAPS – what was the length of this delay because it was a key issue around PSIRAs inspections and compliance monitoring. If SAPS was not being cooperative, the Committee could assist in this regard so the work of PSIRA was not undermined.
Adv Philani Mthethwa, PSIRA Deputy Director: Law Enforcement, said this was quite a lengthy delay but he was positive it would not be before the end of the financial year.
Ms Mofikoe added all the different classifications existing in the industry had been segmented and some of the recommendations made by the research were being implemented.
Ms Molebatsi appreciated the full Council attending the meeting. She asked if there was a specific reason the CFO was employed on a six-month contract.
Mr Rathebe explained the post of CFO was advertised for and people were short-listed after which interviews were conducted. There were successful candidates ready for appointment but qualifications first needed to be checked and then it was discovered these qualifications were not beyond question. Obviously these people were not appointed and the process started again. A CFO was temporarily appointed to act for six months when the other temporary CFO indicated he was leaving. The issue of re-advertisement was being finalised and the CFO might need to be kept beyond the six months.
The Chairperson followed up by asking if there was a deadline or assurance that everything was being done to finalise the process to ensure financial stability. He did not want a situation where the position was still in limbo when the Authority presented its Annual Report.
Mr Rathebe said the route of head-hunting would be considered but it was not that PSIRA was not doing everything it could. One of the candidates was no longer interested in the position.
Mr Mbhele asked if there was an obligation for public entities to report fake qualifications as a sort of insurance so these individuals could get blacklisted and not slip back into the system.
Mr Chauke was not aware of any such obligation but there was some sort of intention to develop a national list of all people who presented fake or forged qualifications. There were also commercial fraud units which the issue could be reported to. PSIRA took steps to ensure the candidate did not move forward at all and reported the matter to the police.
Ms Mmola congratulated the Council for being in full attendance. She asked if the contract of the chairperson was separate to the contract of other Council members. Did PSIRA have offices in all nine provinces?
Mr Chauke explained that previously the chairperson was on a five year contract and this was why his contract lapsed while other members were appointed recently. With the visibility in provinces, all were covered in terms of operation with inspectors and investigators allocated in all nine provinces. If all went with the Authority’s financial woes, establishments could be developed where there currently were none.
The Chairperson wanted an update on the audit committee and contingency plans for PSIRA’s bottom line not to be affected too much by refunds. He also wanted to get a sense of the numbers and growth trends in the industry
Mr Chauke did not think the refunds would affect the bottom line. The Authority structured the renewal of fees in such a way – the renewal would be done on an application basis and would be phased out in two years. With the current fees, PSIRA was expecting between R80 – R100 million with around R68 million to be collected upfront, a year in advance and the other R44 million also upfront.
From a growth point of view, there was growth in the industry in terms of individuals although there had been a slight decline in the number of active companies but growth was still average as seen in registration.
Mr Rathebe was pleased to say the five members of the audit committee had been appointed on 9 February and the Auditor-General was looking at audits so the matter had now been addressed.
Mr Benjamin Ntuli, PSIRA Councillor, added the issue of remuneration had been looked into for review especially in terms of attendance.
Chairperson's Closing Comments
The Chairperson asked that the Committee be provided, in due course, with a copy of the new tariff and fee regulations. He thought today’s interaction was fruitful because the Committee got a glimpse into the progress with issues but also noted the outstanding issues but this would be monitored and there would be future engagement like on the Annual Report presentation. It was critical that PSIRA functioned optimally as they represented a wide and important part of the environment.
The Chairperson noted that the Department would only table the APP on 11 March so Members would be informed on plans for next week.
The meeting was adjourned.
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