SAPS 2015/16 Annual Performance Plan: Programme 1: Administration, with Deputy Minister

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15 April 2015
Chairperson: Mr F Beukman (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The Committee met with the top management of the SA Police Service (SAPS), in the presence of the SAPS National Commissioner and the Police Deputy Minister,  for a presentation on SAPS 2014-2019 Strategic Plan and 2015/16 Annual Performance Plan and Budget specifically for programme one (Administration) of the Department.

Following the National Commissioner taking the Committee through the main aspects relating to programme one, Members then entered into robust discussion on various matters relating to SAPS programme one such as concrete plans to achieve professionalisation and demilitarisation and the fact that certain policies, for example, the “war on crime”, were not aligned to those objectives, the establishment of a board of commissioners and a national policing board, refining the concept of clusters, aligning SAPS APP and Strategic Plan to that of the CJS business plan and strategies to prevent corruption through public servants doing business with the state – on this particular point, Members welcomed the initiative to begin this process at entry-level but asked about those vast numbers already in the Service. Other questions centred on why the Gauteng Aggravated Robberies Strategy was disbanded, why the target for trail ready dockets was reduced, how research that 33% of the public feared the police would be dealt with in strategic planning, if SAPS was re-employing ex-members who had left the service and prospects of promoting minority groups. Discussion was also held on why the categories of reservists was reduced from four to two, having cameras in police cars, if grooming camps were yielding the envisaged results and reasons for reducing the target of a reduction in crimes from 7% to 2%. 

It was during the briefing and discussion on the budget of programme one that Members heard the position of the CFO was still vacant for more than a year and no process were instituted to even advertise the post. With SAPS having second largest national allocation of the budget, the Committee found this emphatically unacceptable. After a closed session, the Committee decided the matter was so critical that the meeting would be adjourned until the National Commissioner could provide the Committee with solid input on how she intended moving forward on filling this vacancy. This would take place at the Committee’s next engagement on Friday morning before continuing with the presentation on the budget of programme one: administration. 

Meeting report

Chairperson's Opening Comments
The Chairperson opened the second day of proceedings on the budget vote of the SA Police Service (SAPS). Yesterday the Committee received input on the SAPS Budget, Annual Performance Plan (APP) and Strategic Plan by civil society and today the Members would be briefed by SAPS on programme one and two of the Department – Administration and Visible Policing. If the Committee did not complete going through programme two, it would be picked up again in the Committee’s next meeting on Friday along with other programmes, namely, detective services and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (DPCI). Next Tuesday, the Committee would look at Crime Intelligence and Protection and Security Services while on Wednesday the Committee would look at the Civilian Secretariat for Police (CSP), Thursday, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) and Friday, the Private Security Industry Regulator (PSIRA). The aim was to finalise the Committee’s Budgetary Review and Recommendations Report by 6 May 2015.

Part of the approach of the Committee this year was to look especially at the issue of leadership of the institutions and of the divisions in terms of stability and achievement of set out goals and challenges. It was important to note that 11% of the budget of SA went to SAPS – this was a huge amount of money and one needed to know what the outcomes of this budget were. Another big question was if leadership cascaded to the lowest levels – to the stations because this was where the biggest need was for service delivery. Listening to his colleagues from other parties, most of the complaints involved police stations. The challenges of resources for police stations was mentioned in the introduction to the APP but another big issue to debate going forward was that of leadership especially at cluster level. Last week, the Chairperson was invited by community leaders to go to an unannounced stations visit in Ashton in the Boland, which fell under the Worcester cluster, well it was a well-resourced police station with a captain and full complement of 58 members, the question of equality of services was a big issue in the community. The main question was if the SAPS budget was spent right across the board correctly. He noted that Ashton police station serviced the town and there was a satellite stations in the nearby township but sometimes this station was not opened, only police members of a certain language group was delegated to this police station and over the last two weeks, the key of the satellite station was lost, the security gate was not working and since 2012 there was no fixed landline. He looked through the visitor’s book and for this year, the station commander only visited the satellite station twice and there was no signature of the cluster commander let alone the inspectorate or provincial management. To spend the budget effectively it was not only about resources but leadership – it needed to come from provincial commissioners to ensure the cluster commanders did their jobs. It did not help if there was no monitoring. Looking through the report of the Inspectorate from December 2014, there were a lot of outstanding matters which needed to be followed up on. All citizens should receive the same level of service- one community could not get second-class service and the rest of the stations were properly resourced with vehicles etc. This needed to change and after 20 years of democracy, much more needed to be done with the available budget to ensure there was an equitable spread otherwise the communities were the most crime was taking place would not have the necessary resources. In yesterday’s meeting, the Committee received ample evidence from the Khayelitsha community and other institutions indicated the skewed resources and this was why leadership in the provinces were needed. The provinces must ensure that all communities were effectively resourced for all citizens to be prioritised correctly. This was what the Committee would be looking at while considering the budgets to ensure the spread of funds was done across the board effectively – this was the most important issue for the Committee.

SA Police Service (SAPS) on 2014-2019 Strategic Plan, 2015/16 Annual Performance Plan and Budget
Ms Riah Phiyega, SAPS National Commissioner, said the SAPS budget and resources allocated from the state, tied in with the challenges faced by the Service. The Minister of Finance, delivering the 2015 budget, spent some time talking about issues of safety and security and emphasised the focus of the allocation of resources. The SAPS task was a complex one but leadership was the game changer in performance. Leaders needed to know what they were supposed to do, do it and account equally in that fashion. Issues of access were crucial across all departments and ensuring access was an enormous one involving many resources. SAPS were looking at increasing access, for example, through mobile policing and other advances which would be discussed. Building police stations in all areas would still take many years so it was important to look to alternative methods so that citizens accessed police services. Equitable spread was also a preoccupying issue.

Nat. Comm. Phiyega then proceeded to take the Committee through Programme One: Administration, by looking at how the Department incorporated the long-term 2030 vision of the National Development Plan (NDP) including its vision to build safer communities, build a capable state, promote accountability and fight corruption. The four pillars of the NDO were to strengthen the Criminal Justice System (CJS), professionalise the police service, demilitarise the police service and build safety using an integrated approach.

The 14 outcomes linked to the NDP were then highlighted in particular, SAPS’ responsibilities in terms of these outcomes. The four responsibilities included that all people in SA were and felt safe, an efficient and effective and development orientated public service, creating better SA, better Africa and better world and nation building and social cohesion. These outcomes also had a number of sub-outcomes which were also outlined.

Nat. Comm. Phiyega informed Members that the plans of SAPS were informed by constitutional and legislative mandates. SAPS derived its mandate from section 205 of the Constitution where the objectives of policing was to prevent, combat and investigate crime, maintain public order, protect and secure the inhabitants of the Republic and their property and uphold and enforce the law. Strategic planning was then done through a number of processes and forums.

The Chairperson interjected and asked what sort of net or security policy there was in terms of planning if decisions taken fell through the cracks making its way from national through to station level. How was assurance created that messages and policies filtered down through to stations?

Nat. Comm. Phiyega responded that SAPS was structured like all other government departments where there were national and provincial offices the clusters and stations. A certain number of stations formed a cluster where the cluster was like an inspectors office using an education analogy. The emphasis was on standardisation and oversight over the quality of outcomes where the cluster was responsible for the stations within it. The station commander was there for localised management to ensure that all commanding areas in the unit in the stations functioned. This was a layered type of responsibility but the Department was structured for strategic planning and operational delivery. Over the past two and half years, quality assurance had been instituted through a number of levers to ensure there was delivery on the strategy. There was also the Auditor-General (AG) who acted as an external assurer and the internal auditor for internal assurance through generalised findings. All stations had dedicated oversight in any given year through a common framework of what to look for and compile reports based on those findings. The inspectorate covered over 700 stations so through all the levers outlined, ground was covered. Anything that remained fell under factory visits. All of the levers came together under the combined assurance committee.  

The Chairperson heard this macro-approach but he was concerned with decisions that fell through the cracks and how it was then picked up that people were not doing what they were supposed to. For example, if there was not a functioning Community Policing Forum (CPF), it would not be heard about until the inspectorate picked it up six months later and this was a challenge. He emphasised the need for closer management because this was the complaints Members were getting from their constituencies – what could be done to improve closer management by station and cluster commanders? For the Committee this was vital because there was a lot of high-level strategic planning but no on the ground day-to-day management. There must be repercussions if cluster commanders did not do factory visits or provincial commissioners must do their jobs.

Nat. Comm. Phiyega said performance management covered such leaks and there was a workshop next week to deal with this issue of performance management which was not very well developed. This would heighten sanctions and individualised responsibility and accountability so she agreed with the Chairperson. The Committee would be taken along in the process to strengthen the arm of individualised performance management and those failing at the individual capacity.

Nat. Comm. Phiyega continued with the presentation looking at the organisational and strategic priorities and the organisational support priorities. The strategic outcome orientated goals were then outlined along with their focus areas.

The Chairperson asked about the approach in terms of the strategic process. The President and the Minister indicted the NDP was the aim to be achieved but professionalisation was not discussed that much in the presentation with just a few activities listed under professionalisation priorities for example, the Paarl academy and the executive management training, the cluster commander course, induction etc but in an engagement last year, the Committee indicated what was needed was full implementation plan, of the NDP, with timelines of what SAPS would be doing to achieve professionalisation - the activities listed needed to be part of a broader approach and implementation plan and this was missing in the presentation. It needed special attention.

Nat. Comm. Phiyega responded that issues of demilitarisation and professionalisation were sitting in various SAPS programmes. It would be coordinated and Members would be provided with the coordinated plan with timelines because a lot was being done on this issue.

Ms A Molebatsi (ANC) wanted to know if the Constitution referred to the establishment of a board of commissioners and if it did, where did it say so. How would the concept of clusters be refined? Did SAPS intend to establish a national policing board?

Nat. Comm. Phiyega said the board of commissioners was sanctioned in section 10 of the SAPS Act to promote cooperation and coordination in the organisation so it was a legislatively sanctioned process. The board of commissioners was very helpful as it was the strategic and operational interface so this Act was spot on. The national policing board was in the remit of the CSP. SAPS needed to ensure it worked with the board once it was established and provide support in doing certain things. When it came to issue of clusters, there was a project by the Department of Justice in the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster moving from magisterial areas to municipal area demarcation so the courts would be shifted accordingly. All others in the JCPS needed to align to this process so there would be refining of clusters moving from magisterial areas. When the clusters and regions were established there was no standardisation in terms of the number of stations within a cluster. So as the clusters moved in line with municipal areas, the process would also take on board standardisation and this was currently being worked on.

Ms P Mmola (ANC) asked SAPS to indicate why various internationally accepted policing standards, such as the use of force, was not included in SAPS code of conduct and ethics. Was the APP and strategic plan of SAPS aligned to CJS business plan and what was the role of SAPS in the development of this business plan? How would SAPS ensure its public servants were not doing business with the state and was there a strategy involved?

Nat. Comm. Phiyega outlined the key parameters of the CJS was strengthening the criminal justice system, professionalising the police service, demilitarising the police service, building safety using an integrated approach, building community participation and community service – these were a few of the parameters affecting SAPS directly and were addressed in SAPS strategies. SAPS had established an integrity unit with the first 20 ethics commissioners trained so this process was on course.

Mr P Groenewald (FF+) agreed with the National Commissioner that strategic planning was important as it determined the operation of the entire SAPS. Yesterday, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) discussed with Members the Gauteng Aggravated Robberies Strategy established towards the 2010 Fifa World Cup. The strategy was very effective and consisted of 22 specialised investigating units focused on aggravated robberies and the stats showed a big decline in the crime. Why was this unit disbanded if it was effective? He asked why the target for trial ready dockets was reduced. Research was done determining that 33% of the public said they were scared or feared the police and this was also seen in the stats related to the pay out of civil claims which increased by 137% over the last three financial years – how would SAPS deal with this matter through strategic planning specifically looking at the fear of the police by the public and civil claims. Most of the civil claims involved unlawful arrests and appointed to members not being well trained or having an attitude problem. Was SAPS still re-employing ex-members who left the Service or was this stopped and if so why? He asked about vetting of members and asked for an update on how many of those members with a criminal record was disciplined and left the Service. What was the prospect of promotion of minority groups and there were court cases on this. What were the clear reasons why the number of categories of reservists was reduced from four to two? Now there were only functional and specialised reservists when the NDP referred specifically to specialised attention needed for rural safety. How would SAPS be demilitarised?

Nat. Comm. Phiyega emphasised that it was the Gauteng Aggravated Robberies Strategy and not a SAPS one – the Strategy was developed by the MEC in the province and disbanded by the province but she was keen to look at the Strategy to see what could be taken from it. There were many other sub-processes taking place in Gauteng dealing with aggravated robberies, for example, collaboration between SAPS and he Consumer Goods Council and active work done with the South Africa Banking Risk Information Centre (SABRIC) in terms of aggravated robberies where some good process was seen in some of these initiatives. The target for trial ready dockets had increased. With the research that the 33% of the public feared the police, the flip side to this was that 67% of the population did not fear the police and this was a positive statement. To ensure an optimal number of citizens not fearing the police, work was being done on community outreach because it was important. Rather than being reactive, SAPS was running the schools safety programme with the Deputy Minister to ensure that each school was linked to a police station to form part of the safety committee made up of many role-players in the community. It was important to build awareness programmes with police being present at schools at least four times a year to engage students and give lectures. There were various other programmes like violence against women and children, use of dangerous weapons, second-hand goods etc undertaken with communities to get people crime savvy to work with the police to push back crime. SAPS was battling was civil claims but a lot of internal processes were happening to analyse the causes of the claims and possible remedies in SAPS itself to reduce such claims. SAPS were turning into a Road Accident Fund with lawyers touting outside the gates. At times there was collusion between the victims, lawyers and some of the police but this matter was being looked at seriously to avoid money-making schemes. A monthly litigation report was introduced with forensic auditors looking into the claims. SAPS did participate in re-enlistment but it was only for good people because it took time to train officers. Often these members left because of deaths or financial challenges and not because they did not like policing. There was a structured process of re-enlisting with serious vetting so as not to absorb people who would not be helpful to the organisation. Vetting of staff was very high up on SAPS list of priorities and there was a re-engineered and accelerated vetting programme – the high level staff of the Department was vetted by the State Security Agency (SSA) with vetting also prioritised in critical areas like procurement. There were challenges, for example, SSA vetted other organisations as well but the area was accelerated with more people trained so the Department was on course and would continue to give feedback to the Committee. With demographics in recruitment and promotions, yes there were cases in courts but rational processes were followed in dealing with promotions and SAPS was not deliberate in denying any members promotion – all races were promoted and the stats on this could be shared. With the reduction of the categories of reservists, this was already presented to the Committee, the Member asked the same question and the answer had not changed – the reservist policy was revised but none of the focus had been lost from the previous categories.

Lt. Gen. KJ Sitole, SAPS Deputy National Commissioner: Policing, added the reservist’s categories were merged as soon as the Minister signed off on it. All the functional categories were still addressed and were fully aligned to the Rural Safety Strategy – tomorrow there was a rural safety summit in the Northern Cape where this subject was active on the agenda.

Nat. Comm. Phiyega said rigorous assessments were done to ensure, through audits of all the current reservists, criminal and integrity issues were taken into account so that people assisted in dealing with issues of crime.

Mr Groenewald heard everything with vetting sound good in theory but he wanted the numbers of people vetted and how far was SAPS in dealing with the members found to have criminal records after the criminal audit was conducted. He also sought the demographic figures for each and every rank in SAPS on national and provincial levels as well as for non-commissioned officers because it was normally at the lower ranks where the problem was found. With the reservist categories, he did not get the real reasons why the number of categories was reduced from two to four. He emphasised the need for the real reasons.

Nat. Comm. Phiyega stated that the audit was a voluntary process and she thanked the informed leadership of the previous Minister and current Deputy Minister for ensuring the audit took place. The process was not stunted by legal processes instituted by the unions. SAPS did fight this when interdicted but then it was appealed so now they waited on the courts to resolve the matter. The information on demographics would be shared because it was taken very seriously. It was also displayed in the SAPS Annual Report. For example, of the 553 Brigadiers in SAPS, 143 were white.

Mr L Twala (EFF) asked if SAPS was moving in the direction of having cameras on police cars as was done in other countries to assist in deterring crimes against the police or served as evidence against perpetrators. He said this in light of the murder of SAPS members and that kind of criminality. The Chairperson had highlighted such a briefing was given to the Committee before so maybe the Committee’s secretary could distribute it to Members again.

Nat. Comm. Phiyega noted the system used by British American Tobacco where their cars were able to tell one everything happening in the car through CCTV cameras recording everything similar to the black box of an aeroplane. SAPS had the Automated Vehicle Locator (AVL) but this could be improved in terms of exact location, speed, linking to crime incidents. Other technologies were also seen in other policing environments that could be used for assistance. SAPS were looking into some of these matters with the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) where the AVL system review was prioritised.

Ms Molebatsi wanted to know if the grooming camps were yielding the envisaged results and for the findings of the camps to be shared with Members. There was a huge bottleneck in the inspector’s ranks – how was this being addressed?

Lt. Gen. Mbekela, SAPS Corporate Service Management, said the grooming camps were part of a big safety net in terms of recruitment processes. The objectives of the camps were to improve quality, ensure community involvement in recruitment and curb corruption. The grooming camps were the second last leg of the recruitment process, where, inter alia, driving skills were tested to prove licences were not bought, integrity testing and to take fingerprints again so that people were not able to use falsified fingerprints in the initial phase of recruitment. The camps were yielding fruits.

Mr L Ramatlakane (ANC) valued the work SAPS was doing as it was a very important constitutional function so engagement needed to understand this context. He wanted to understand the broad policing perspective – the Minister spoke to a people-orientated policing plan which was different to militarisation. Some of SAPS objectives spoke to a declaration of a war on crime which did not align to a people-orientated policing to solve problems. He wanted to know if this use of “war” was a slippage of language, short hand or was it really the plan. Such language did not differ to that of militarisation – it was two sides of the same coin. The National Crime Prevention Strategy, however, spoke differently to this. Priorities and objectives informed operations and language played a role. He complimented the strategy to combat corruption in the police through new recruiting strategies but the major problem of corruption involved those already in the Service – plans for recruitment or introduction only touched the problem. Was the CJS business plan already incorporated in the SAPS APP? The Plan also spoke to a 2% reduction in crimes when the target was usually 7% so what informed the reduced 2% target? Did this indicate the ability to achieve the target or combat the crime? Was this target good enough given the capacity of SAPS? On the budget, he wanted to understand how the budget of the DPCI (Hawks) would be dealt with as the legislation spoke to ring-fencing.

Nat. Comm. Phiyega replied about combating corruption of those already in the system. Crimes by police was now a reportable matter with deaths of citizens dealt with by IPID and other crimes committed by SAPS members like beating his wife or stealing, these matters were reported on a weekly basis. From there, concomitant disciplinary processes would take place through Human Resources. Quarterly reports were then compiled to look at the numbers of criminal acts committed and what steps were taken to develop trends for analysis. The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) also submitted reports from the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) and municipalities where the reports were looked at. Secondary reports came from the Public Protector or the Presidential Hotline to deal with internal matters. There was also the internal investigating unit within the detectives programme to investigate corruption in SAPS. There were a lot of forums to use but the emphasis was on concluding internal and criminal processes so headway was being made in this space. With the integration of the CJS business plan, there was a deliberate move to include the seven objectives of the CJS into SAPS through the JCPS and other committees. Various programmes were in place, for example, work with Home Affairs to combine fingerprinting databases. With the reduction in the target on combating crimes, the old plan spoke to a reduction of 7% over a period five years but now the target was looking at two years aiming for a reduction of 2% each year. On the Hawks, Treasury still saw the unit was a part of the SAPS, although independent, so the unit fell under Programme 6 of the Department. On the use of the word “war”, it was not used in the SAPS Strategic Plan although it might be used in other documents. In this Strategy, what was referred to was a “fight” against crime. One heard of the “war on poverty” where poverty was seen as the enemy and the nation was to fight the enemy. One heard of “cyber warfare” where cyber crime was dangerous. If there was reference to the “war” against crime it was not war against the citizens but war against an illicit practice and ill in society. SAPS could not be kind to criminals who were not kind to the nation. The nation should be resolute in saying it did not want crime and this was an important standpoint. The “war” against crime was not a slippage of language but a resolve against that which was bedevilling society and needed to be fought unequivocally because SA wanted to be peaceful to ensure people were and felt safe.

Mr Ramatlakane said the Strategy did refer to a “war” on crime. The context of a “war against poverty” was different to a “war” against crime – it was not the same thing and it was an issue of a mindful perspective. He felt the “war” on crime presented the wrong emphasis when there should be a “combat” of crime. Crime was committed by citizens, members of society and the youth so “war” was the wrong choice of words, in his view.

Nat. Comm. Phiyega felt the issue was bigger and criminals could not be wrapped up in cotton wool. SAPS resolved to handle criminals professionally but they would fight crime. One should not confuse this with the  criminal and there should be resolve to not give the criminal space.

Lt. Gen. Sitole added government strategic policies, endorsed by Parliament and the Committee, in the opening statements of the National Crime Prevention Strategy, it clearly stated “let us declare war on crime”. The police never started a war against criminals – the criminals were fighting a war against the citizens and the police defended the citizens. When a war was in progress, peace could not be fought against but the war was fought.

Mr Groenewald did not have a problem declaring war on criminals but one must be sure the individual was a criminal – the problem was that SAPS already assumed those arrested were criminals. He also thought the use of the word grooming “camps” should change because there were military camps. It should be called a grooming course or something.

Mr Ramatlakane understood what was being said but the use of “war against” crime went contrary to the aim of demilitarising the SAPS. Different language could be found to say the same thing. Whoever committed crime belonged to society who deserved the appropriate punishment and rehabilitation to be brought back into society – these were human beings. Any argument that criminals were falling from heaven was wrong. With the target to reduce crimes, he always thought the process took place over one year and not five years also because the crime stats were released annually. He still wanted to know what informed the current target of 2% - was this the best that could be done?

Nat. Comm. Phiyega said that the target was informed by global benchmarking and looking at SAPS performance. It came about when dealing with the statistics policy and working with Stats SA to assist the Service in rationally communicating performance in a manner which was consumable, achievable and progressive in reducing crime.

Mr Groenewald said the Gauteng Aggravated Robbery Strategy was a joint operation with the SAPS and the MEC but it was disbanded by the then SAPS General Petros.

Deputy Minister Maggie Sotyu [and former Police Portfolio Committee Chairperson] said that when people, like the Committee, were outside of SAPS but then got inside, like herself, there was a lot happening in SAPS that those outside might not be aware of. Fortunately for her she had been outside previously – she knew exactly what was supposed to be done and she knew exactly what Members wanted, unfortunately these things were not happening in SAPS. Some of the National Instructions were outdated as were some of the policies being used. An example was the repairing of SAPS vehicles where things were not going as they were supposed to. Management should be creative where, if a policy was not working, the strategy needed to change. She recently visited the SAPS barracks where most of the members stayed but the place was a pig sty. Here again a policy stated a certain department was responsible for one thing and another department responsible for another thing. Why did not SAPS, who were responsible, change policies and make it their business to change things where these were not correct? In 1995, President Mandela, addressing increased levels of crime, said the war must be taken to the criminals and there was no problem with such language that time. Even in certain departments there were “war rooms” but no one was fighting in those rooms - instead challenges were attended to and strategies developed. There was also no problem with school camps but now there was a problem with use of the term grooming camps – it depended on what was being done in these camps but she supported the concept. If a cluster contained more than five police stations, it was no longer a cluster but an area – a cluster must not exceed more than five stations in order to monitor them effectively. The demilitarisation of SAPS was also contained in the White Paper on Safety and Security. In future, she advised the Committee brought together the police unions with the SAPS management so that the unions raised their issues in front of management and then management could respond. One of the issues raised by the unions in yesterday’s engagement with the Committee, was the top-heaviness of SAPS management nationally. Another issue raised was that the rank of Lt. Gen. was abolished by the regulation in 1995 and the issue of communication in the Department where the spokesperson was always a Maj. Gen. but this time around it was a DDG. These were some of the issues she could not address. The other problem raised was the vacancy of the CFO and why it could not be filled. Parliament had every right to scrutinise all these matters and the Committee had a huge role to play in getting the SAPS structures right. Today she was on the side of the Members instead of responding as part of SAPS but no one had brought her the presentation document even though she was responsible for Programme 1 and 2 to explain what Members would be presented. Had this happened, she could have responded to Members better but unfortunately she was not taken on board.  

Financial Programmes
Lt. Gen. SJP Schutte, SAPS Deputy National Commissioner: Resource Management, proceeded to take the Committee through an overview of the 2015/16 budget for SAPS.

The Chairperson asked if an area like Sea Point, which had much more police deployed per capita, compared to an area like Khayelitsha, was a provincial decision.

Lt. Gen. Schutte responded that national was the principal decision maker at the end of the day but the provincial commissioners did have some discretion.

The Chairperson asked if the decision making model for the allocation of resources took adequate note of crime stats. Was such information used to update the decision making model? Members knew what was happening in stations in terms of the Resource Allocation Guide (RAG) where last year’s guide was simply used even though the policing environment might have changed dramatically over a mere 18 months. Did the decision making model take into effect these rapid changes?

Lt. Gen. Schutte indicated it would not be correct to say in that in all instances SAPS kept abreast of all recent developments – it was just not possible with all the police stations. In general, SAPS stayed abreast of developments. New polices would take on board a host of new factors. There was continuous improvement, for instance, where months of higher crime rates would correlate with more overtime and where some stations, like in Rondebosch, might have more vehicles than was needed and the vehicles could then be moved to Langa – this should be happening and formed part of provincial discretion.

Lt. Gen. Sitole added that with problem-orientated policing, hotspots were zoomed into and stations profiles were developed along with policing demands. These reports were shared so that it influenced the strategic deployment of resources.

Nat. Comm. Phiyega said the area could be further improved to make SAPS more responsive to the current needs of particular environments and specific resourcing requirements. It would not be easy because SAPS did not have a bag full of money but at least it should be able to prioritise the strongest burning platforms for the provincial commissioner to take into account. This was also the role of the finance committee to engage in the portioning and allocation of resources.

The Chairperson received feedback on the last BRRR process but there was still the question of the CFO. The situation now was that SAPS had 11% of the national budget but the organisation had not had a CFO for more than a year. The Committee raised this problem in various engagements. Was the post advertised and on what date? Did short-listing take place? When will the appointment be made? This feedback was needed

Nat. Comm. Phiyega explained the Lt. Gen. Schutte used to be the old CFO. The post had not yet been advertised but it would be and she committed to this. The timelines would then be communicated to the Committee – she could not do so now.

The Chairperson found this totally unacceptable. The Committee would have to write to the Minister. The Members wanted to Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) to be successful especially in terms of the risk assessment. From a governance point of view the Committee could not accept that there was still no process to appoint a new CFO - more than year later.

Mr Groenewald completely agreed with the Chairperson. Why had the process to appoint a new CFO not even started or been advertised at this point?

Nat. Comm. Phiyega said it was not like SAPS was not doing anything. With a number of the risks identified last year, posts had been filled and she would commit to the Committee, in writing, that the CFO post would be filled. There were no challenges in terms of managing resources from an audit point of view.

Mr Ramatlakane noted that the matter of the CFO was not a new one and the concern of the Committee around this vacant post was not new either. He found it difficult to accept that management had not applied its mind to filling this position knowing full well that the budget would be discussed with the Committee today. Parliament was required to comply with the legislation, particularly, the PFMA, which governed budgets so this presented a difficulty going forward unless there was a clear indication. Accountability of the CFO was critical. Management and the Committee needed to take each other seriously because the Committee approved the budget. The response given to the Committee did not covey this seriousness.

Ms Molebatsi asked why the advertisement of the post did not take place.

Nat. Comm. Phiyega explained to the Committee that the CFO of the Department had always been Lt. Gen. Schutte but with the revision of the structure, Lt. Gen. Schutte was asked to fulfil the role of the Deputy National Commissioner of other areas. Lt. Gen. Schutte was still sitting as CFO while playing other roles i.e. there was still someone playing the role of CFO with extended responsibilities. To ensure Lt. Gen. Schutte played the role of Deputy National Commissioner optimally, a new CFO appointment was needed. She would commit to the Committee, in writing, how she intended dealing with filling this CFO post in terms of timelines. She was not undermining the importance of the matter.

The Chairperson requested the Members met privately.

[The Committee decided the matter was so critical that the meeting should be adjourned until the National Commissioner could provide the Committee with solid input on how she intended moving forward on filling this vacancy. This would take place at the Committee’s next engagement on Friday morning before continuing with the presentation on Programme 1: Administration].

The meeting was adjourned.

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