The Committee met with the Minister, Deputy Minister, Acting National Commissioner and senior management of the SA Police Service (SAPS) for a number of briefings and outstanding matters. The Committee first received a briefing by the Civilian Secretariat for Police (CSP) on the White Paper on Policing. This presentation covered the approach to policing, building a proactive police service, a framework for a proactive policing, institutional framework and maintaining momentum for delivery. Members were pleased with the update, and noted in particular the fact that it addressed the appointment of the National Commissioner, dealt with the appointment of a single service but explained that this did not mean the wholesale integration of the Metro Police Service and that progress was made with the reintroduction of some specialised units. However, the Committee thought anti-gang and anti-drug units were still needed. Although Members were pleased with the Paper they urged that the process of implementation must be plotted with timelines and finalised. Discussion was also held on how the Paper tied in with the review of the SAPS Act, training and a new curriculum, capacitation of the cluster structure and localised policing as best international practice which allowed for greater latitude and autonomy for police precincts and stations to innovate, as this was difficult to do under a more centralised setting.
The Committee then considered A Motion of Desirability for the Protection of Critical Infrastructure Bill, a Private Members Bill presented by Mr Z Mbhele (DA). The point was made by Mr Mbhele that although the executive had indicted that it was intending to bring a very similar bill, nothing had as yet been tabled to Parliament. For this reason, he suggested that his Bill proceed until such time as the Committee had received definite indications of progress of the Ministry Bill. Two Members of the Committee voted for the Motion of Desirability but six voted against and there was one abstention.
SAPS and the Minister took the Committee through the newly proposed organisational structure for SAPS and were given a comparative analysis of the organisational structure as it had looked in 2010, under Gen Bheki Cele, and in 2014, under Gen Riah Phiyega. The proposals followed a strategic exercise to implement a structure which took into account what happened over the last number of years, covered national, provincial and cluster levels and took into account the concerns of the Committee and tried to address areas of weakness.
The Committee largely supported and welcomed the proposal for reorganisation, which they felt went back to the core of policing, de-cluttered the office of the National Commissioner and was better streamlined and less complicated than previous structures. Members also were pleased that the previously overloaded Policing division was to be split between policing and crime detection. The Committee sounded a caution to consider whether the proposed structure was top heavy, and asked if any analysis had been done to look at what was gained, improved and lost with each shift in the organisational structure. They asked about the core value add of the proposal and effects on the local level, particularly in terms of resource allocation. Questions were raised about where the anti-corruption unit and specialised units would be located in the new proposed structure, lines of reporting of the national management intervention division and whether the fact that this proposal was presented now implied that the Acting National Commissioner would be appointed permanently, and what might happen if the previous National Commissioner were to return to the SAPS.
SAPS legal division then briefed the Committee on legal expenditure, by looking at the generational dynamic, the amounts claimed for civil claims, litigation and costs, and how national payments were being made. They noted that the main concerns had been the absence of cost visibility, increasing use of correspondents and Counsel, the regulatory framework, protracted processes and rising claims for unlawful arrests. Several Members expressed their concern with arrests being used as one of the performance indicators, since policing tended to attract risk. They asked about the average payout per claim, the relative costs of settlement and court judgments and wondered if it might not be worthwhile to offer higher settlement amounts to allay the possibility of being involved in court actions. The Committee also questioned legal analysis feeding into performance management and HR processes for more direct accountability, asked when the amendment of the Organs of State Act was likely, called for an explanation on how the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development was involved in the instruction and billing process, ,whether the suspended National Commissioner would have her legal fees paid. Members were concerned about the possibility of collusion and opportunism and how this could be addressed.
SAPS Technology Management Services then updated the Committee on TETRA in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape. In Gauteng, the presentation addressed financial allocations, current status, current challenges experienced and network coverage. In the Eastern Cape, the presentation comprehensively covered background, timelines, contracts, financial allocation, a project financial breakdown, a project status summary, equipment in storage and the status quo in SAPS. Due to the lack of time, the presentation was accepted as tabled and questions on this, as well as a further briefing, were deferred.
Chairperson's opening remarks
The Chairperson noted that the recent industrial action by Parliamentary staff may cause some briefings to stand over to the following year.
Civilian Secretariat for Police: Draft White Paper on Policing
Mr Alvin Rapea, Acting Secretary of Police, noted that Members were being briefed on the revised Draft White Paper on Policing, and after comments and input were received, the Secretariat would be going back to Cabinet to get final approval.
Ms Bilkis Omar, Chief Director: Policy and Research, Civilian Secretariat for Police, then took the Committee through the presentation. By way of introduction she said that, in 1994, the democratic government highlighted the inappropriateness of apartheid policing methods and introduced a process of wide ranging reform towards civilian policing, including the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa 1996, the South African Police Services Act of 1995, the National Crime Prevention Strategy of 1996 and the 1998 White Paper on Safety and Security. The past two decades had seen significant shifts in the policing environment, such as the increase in technology-based crime and the growing sophistication amongst international criminal networks, which necessitated a review of policies and legislation. The White Paper on Policing provided a policy framework for achieving the policing vision contained in the National Development Plan (NDP), emphasising the need to
(1) make the police service professional,
(2) demilitarise the police,
(3) build safety using an integrated approach
(4) build community participation in safety.
Strategic shifts in the Paper included the following principles:
- It separated the police focused policy from a broader policy on safety and security
- It placed emphasis on the core areas of policing and law enforcement _ SAPS and Metro Police
- It provided a framework that will regularise the SAPS as part of the broader public service and enhance effective civilian control over SAPS.
In terms of an approach to policing, 21st century policing required a professional, well-resourced and highly skilled police service, as set out in the National Development Plan (NDP). Demilitarisation of the police service should return policing to the ideals of the Constitution and in line with the recommendation of the NDP, a demilitarised police service must display a firm commitment to carrying out its constitutional mandate and embracing a human rights culture. A civilian police service must be responsive to diverse communities and display an approach to policing that was fair and accountable. Emphasis must be placed on ensuring the proper control and management of firearms as a key driver of violent crime. South Africa must adopt a holistic approach to rooting out illegal firearms, while recognising the potential of legal firearms becoming a source for criminal activity. It must recognise also that community-centred policing built sustained community support and participation and was responsive to the vulnerabilities and policing needs of all at local level, including disparate communities. Special emphasis must be placed by police leadership and management on identifying and eradicating barriers to the reporting of sexual abuse and domestic violence to ensure a complete response at all victims of sexual abuse and domestic violence. An active citizenry was vital for sustainable safety delivery, leading to the need for regular communication and information-sharing between the SAPS and Community Police Forums. The private sector must be encouraged to introduce policies that facilitated an environment of volunteerism. Accountability was essential, and police conduct must be subject to regular, independent review and oversight aimed at building legitimacy and trust. The organisational culture must instill the type of mindset needed for delivering citizen-centered policing. The ability of the police to effectively maintain public order necessitated a shift in approach to maintaining and restoring public order. Giving effect to this ‘changed’ mandate would require that the police be properly structured, trained and capacitated.
Ms Omar then discussed building a professional police service. Policing must be based on high standards of integrity including knowledge about the law, and understanding the duty to serve communities. Effectively dealing with and rooting out corruption was a key element of building a professional police service. Rooting out corruption required a coherent organisational response based on an enhanced capacity to investigate corruption. Disciplinary matters must be dealt with timeously, with an emphasis on appropriate sanctions being meted out. Leadership and management must implement a multifaceted approach to integrity management. The development of professional policing would be best supported through the establishment of a National Policing Board which set objective criteria for recruitment, selection and appointment. A two-stream system of recruitment must also be considered as a means to ensure the enlistment of high calibre police officers. Selection and recruitment of the National Commissioner and Deputies must take place against objective criteria determined through a presidential appointment process. A professional police service must reflect the diversity of the South African context and have the necessary skills, knowledge and sensitivities to police communities with their own, unique policing challenges.
Regular exchange of and access to quality and timely information formed the basis of joint problem identification and problem solving for sustainable safety delivery and allowed communities to play a more active role in resolving local policing challenges. 21st century policing must be modernised, information driven and analytically sound. Systems and processes created for generating and sharing information must integrate seamlessly with the Criminal Justice System (CJS) e-docket and case management systems. Capacity development was essential as a new philosophy of policing required transformed curricula and teaching methodologies, and a culture of continuous training and learning must also be built. Regulatory enablers for professional policing included effective communication of Standard Operating Procedures, National Instructions, Operational Policies and Protocols, uncompromised adherence to a professional Code of Conduct and the efficient and effective use of resources.
In terms of a framework for a professional police service, attaining the goals of Vision 2030 required optimal coordination and programmatic alignment across the three spheres of government, and this would be best achieved through a single national police service. The objective was still to maximise capacity and resources for effective, accountable and democratic policing.
This model of integrated policing did not advocate the wholesale integration of the Metro Police Service (MPS) into the SAPS. Section 199(1) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa called for the establishment of a single police service; and Section 206 (7) stated that “National legislation must provide a framework for the establishment, powers, functions and control of municipal police services”.
21st century professional policing required the specialisation with:
- A crime detection capacity supported by dedicated crime and intelligence analysis, which must allow for proper collection, collation and presentation of evidence to secure the prosecution of offenders
- A dedicated capacity to identify, counter and deal with selected organised and transnational crime and corruption within the Detective Service and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI)
- A dedicated capability to provide quality crime analysis and analytical products that will allow for an intelligence driven approach to the detection and deterring of crime
Ms Omar then turned to the institutional arrangements. Institutional mechanisms across three spheres of government must allow for developing and overseeing the effective implementation of policing policy.
- The Minister determined plans, set national policing policy, priorities and budget and ensured their overall execution.
- The National Commissioner oversaw the operational management and control of the police service in line with national policing policy and ensuring effective service delivery which required prudent budgeting, financial management and the proper control of police resources.
- The Civilian Secretariat for Police provided strategic policy advice to the Minister. developed legislation to give effect to policing policies and approaches, exercised civilian oversight over the police, implemented, promoted, aligned the operations of the Secretariat at national and provincial spheres of government and ensured the effective mobilisation of role-players and stakeholders to strengthen service delivery
- The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) was responsible for monitoring the conduct and actions of the SAPS and MPS.
The institutional architecture must continue to provide the necessary means for determining high level policing policy while providing for critical checks and balances. In this way service delivery would be enhanced through the appropriate demarcation of political decision making and operational command. The National Commissioner remained accountable for the performance, management and expenditure of the SAPS operational budget, reporting directly to the Minister on police operations. The Civilian Secretariat for Police (CSP) would, through the Secretary of Police, provide support to the Minister of Police in terms of the proper management of the budget for the Department of Police. The CSP would further monitor the allocation and expenditure of the budget in support of the Minister’s policy priorities.
Ms Omar then noted that, to maintain the momentum for delivery, a phased approach to implementation would be taken, through an audit, review and alignment of the SAPS Act1995 and regulations, then by activating a task team to coordinate integration towards a single police service, and monitor and evaluate implementation supported by the White Paper on Safety and Security.
The Chairperson welcomed the updated White Paper. He said there were significant improvements since the last interaction. The one striking issue was that, for the first time, the White Paper on Policing included what was in the NDP regarding the appointment of the National Commissioner. This was fully supported by the Committee. It was imperative that the discussion document on the issue should come before the Committee as soon as possible.
The NDP envisioned that the National Commissioner and Deputy should be appointed by the President on a competitive basis. A selection panel established by the President should select and interview candidates for this post against objective criteria, to ensure that someone with the necessary skills in terms of policing led SAPS. The NDP also said the President should appoint the National Commissioner and deputies from recommendations and reports received from the selection panel, which should enhance the incumbent’s standing in the eyes of the community and increase the respect accorded to these persons by their peers and subordinates. He asked how the CSP saw this in terms of the development of new legislation? The redrafting of the SAPS Act was on the horizon, and he wanted to know how the White Paper would tie into this process.
Mr Rapea said the NDP also spoke about the appointment of Directors General (DGs) and Head of Department so the appointment of the National Commissioner needed to be aligned to these processes and should not be dealt with in isolation, but aligned to the entire public service.
Ms A Molebatsi (ANC) noted the White Paper spoke of a changing mandate and also touched on training and she asked if this was referring to a new curriculum? Was the CSP also talking about new ranks of some kind? She also wanted to know if capacitation would include the cluster structure with which the Committee identified problems.
Mr Rapea said there must be uniformity with training on all levels. The training SAPS received should be the same training received by the MPS, but the details of curriculum would need to be assessed, although not necessarily for inclusion in the White Paper. What was already there would need to be audited and plans for implementation would be shared with the Committee once the draft White Paper was approved.
Ms Omar added that the issue of assessing the training curriculum would probably be done in the next five years.
Mr Z Mbhele (DA) thought there was a lot of good contained in the proposed framework and reflected his perspective that effective policing essentially came down to two aspects – firstly, systems management (including financial management, human resource management, supply chain management ) which was key to adequate allocations, and secondly, policing expertise and skills in such areas as detectives and intelligence gathering . He welcomed the notion that a single police service did not imply wholesale integration of the Metro Police Service (MPS). He had never liked this suggestion as he was nervous of losing the value of autonomy that the MPS brought to the local sphere. He agreed that national minimum norms and standards were important. Dedicated capacity was also important, although he would advocate that it be extended in the appropriate context to the need for permanent, specialised units. There was progress with the reintroduction of some units such as the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) unit and the stock theft unit, but anti-gang and drug units were still needed. He said that he had been in Ottery and Hanover Park last Friday, and the normal policing set-up with the Operation Combat and task teams had made some progress but it was not enough. Where there was a dire need, there was a need to go all the way and have permanent and specialised units. Some of the international best practice did not seem to be reflected in this version of the draft White Paper. At the most simple level, localised policing was about giving greater autonomy to police stations and police precincts to have the latitude for adaptive, responsive, real-time police action. This did not negate or take away from command-and-control and accountability, but more devolution of authority and decision-making power in some aspects was missing. This devolution provided the opportunity for innovation and for the police to develop approaches which may not occur under a more centralised set up. Once such insights were proven to be effective, they could then be replicated and shared across the whole SAPS. The emphasis was on creating the space to develop innovation, to overall create improvements in SAPS. He asked what the CSP was thinking about the possibility of greater latitude and autonomy for police precincts and station commanders to innovate and possibly come up with insight, which was more difficult to do under a more centralised setting?
Ms Omar noted the comments which were critical to the Paper. The White Paper on Safety and Security was based around the local level. strengthening the role of policing at the local level required action by all role players including municipalities and other sector departments.
Mr L Ramatlakane (ANC) liked what he heard, but he wanted to know when the White Paper would stop being merely in draft. The Committee had been talking about the White Paper for some time now and the longer the White Paper took to be finalised, the longer it would take to review the SAPS Act. He therefore wanted to get some idea of the timeframe that the CSP envisaged and when the Minister would get the final version. He liked the content of the Paper, which went back to basics about policing methodology, methods and operations. Such approaches centralised policing in communities and was mainly about problem solving. The White Paper also really tied in with the perspective of the NDP and he was pleased with this. He agreed that, in terms of the Constitution, there was one police service. The difference was about deployment location, as to where the work happened, but the training was the same. The two could not be seen in isolation even if the services fell under different spheres of government. He agreed with the need for norms and standards and issues of autonomy, but cautioned that “siloism” must be avoided when speaking of units. Policing required an integrated approach, and the units needed to be kept together with a tight handle to ensure professionalism. He felt the phased approach needed to be motivated, because it could also cause a long delay with activities which were supposed to be integrated.
Mr Rapea noted that the Public Administration Management Act spoke to uniformity in public administration. This legislation took into account constitutional sensitivities and obligations in all spheres of government, so the issue of a single policing service would also need to take this into account.
Ms Omar added that this was the last consultation process on the draft White Paper. Both White Papers would be taken to Cabinet in early 2016, and hopefully could be finalised before February.
Mr P Mhlongo (EFF) wanted to find out if the CSP could provide the Committee with exact timelines for what needed to be done in the short, medium and long term, so that Members knew priorities, and timeframes for implementation.
Mr Nkosinathi Nhleko, Minister of Police, said the White Paper would in essence shape and give context to the SAPS Act. There were fundamental policy issues and fundamental policy shifts being discussed in the White Paper, such as demilitarisation and community-centred policing, which both needed to find expression in law in some way or other. There was a need to look at how the White Paper informed and shaped the SAPS Act. The last time this Act was amended was in 1995, and so it was not actually aligned to the 1996 Constitution. The White Paper was important in ensuring that the SAPS became part of the broader public service and for it to be understood in this context. This explained the emphasis on civilian control and oversight over the police. Projects would have to be paced according to timelines. He noted the concerns of Members on this point. Thought needed to be given soon to coordinating and integrating all initiatives and streams, such as the issues raised by Judge Ian Farlam, what was contained in the White Paper, and other issues raised in other forums.
The Chairperson remarked that there was general support for the White Paper and what it envisaged ,but the important issue was the timeframe, because it was critical to deal with the SAPS Act effectively and to implement the measures discussed in the White Paper. The focus on professionalisation, demilitarisation and appointment of the top leadership was welcomed. The White Paper displayed the shift in strengthening civilian oversight, the role of the Executive and Parliament.
Mbhele Private Members' Protection of Critical Infrastructure Bill: Motion of desirability
The Chairperson summarised the progress to date in the Private Member's Bill on Protection of Critical Infrastructure, a section 76 Bill. This Bill was tabled, introduced and referred to the Committee on 31 August 2015. The Bill sought to provide for the establishment, composition, functions, duties, meetings, financing and reporting of the Critical Infrastructure Board, to provide for the suspension and removal of members of the Board, to provide for the determination and declaration of critical infrastructure, to ensure that security measures were implemented at critical infrastructure, to provide a register of areas defined as critical infrastructure. It further aimed to set out the rights and duties on critical infrastructure, to provide for the limitation of liability of the state, to provide for parliamentary oversight over the Board, to create offences and penalties and to repeal the National Key Points Act. The Committee had met with Mr Zakhele Mbhele, MP, the initiator of the Bill, on 6 November 2015 in order to receive a briefing on the Bill.
The Committee was now called upon to deliberate on the motion of desirability.
Mr Mbhele noted a few key points. During the interaction with the Committee, when he presented the Bill, it was clear there was at least near-consensus on the substance of the Bill being appropriate and being desirable. He made the point that it was important to affirm the legislative authority and discretion of Parliament as a law making body. The notion that all legislation had to come from the Executive was not accurate, particularly since Parliament can, through its committees, initiate legislation, as had been the case here. The contention came down to the notion as to whether the Minister, and the Department, would be introducing their Bill on Critical Infrastructure. His point was that until the Committee had a clear and confirmed indication from the Minister and Department as to when the Executive Bill was likely to come to the Committee, after passing through the Cabinet process, there were no grounds to declare his Private Members Bill as undesirable by reason of the fact that it may repeat the substance of another pending Bill. He said that at this stage, there was no notion that the one bill was running parallel to the other. On this basis, he appealed for the Committee to support his bill as being desirable, until new facts emerged. At that point he would be very happy to integrate and dovetail the two bills. There was nothing stopping the Committee from beginning the repeal of the National Key Points Act now and take other processes as they came along.
Mr Ramatlakane did not think the arguments of Mr Mbhele necessarily held water. It was understood that there was already a bill on the table, but it was not correct to say there was sufficient consensus. The Committee did not quite agree with the motivation by Mr Mbhele. Members should now vote on the Motion of Desirability.
The Chairperson said the Committee would not revisit its previous discussion and agreed that the Motion of Desirability must be put to the vote.
Mr M Redelinghuys (DA) noted that technically, nothing had been tabled from the Minister or the Department as yet. Tabling was a very specific Parliament term and it could be said that nothing had been “tabled”.
Motion of Desirability
The Members' vote on the Motion of Desirability resulted in 2 votes declaring the Bill desirable and to proceed, six not in favour of the Motion and one abstention.
The Chairperson concluded therefore that the Motion of Desirability had not been carried.
Committee's draft report on Private Member's Bill
The Chairperson then took the Committee through the draft Committee Report. He thanked Mr Mbhele for sponsoring the Bill and in so doing, giving the Committee the opportunity to engage in continuous debate on critical infrastructure in the country. This was certainly a matter which would receive ongoing attention by the Committee.
The draft report was moved for adoption by Mr Ramatlakane, seconded by Ms M Mmola (ANC) and accepted by the majority of the Committee. The DA noted an objection.
Mr Mbhele thanked the Committee for hearing his presentation and interacting. At the very least, Members now had a comprehensive skeleton framework of the issues to be covered in terms of the repeal of the National Key Points Act and for legislation in line with the Constitution. He was disappointed with the outcome of the vote, although it was not unexpected. He hoped the matter would be dealt with substantively in an executive bill very soon, because he would hate to come to this very date next year and find that the matter was still in limbo. He asked that the objections of the DA be noted in the report of desirability.
Mr Ramatlakane noted that the process initiated by Mr Mbhele ended here and there was no carrying forward or carrying over of processes.
SAPS matters: Ministerial briefing
Minister Nhleko noted that performance objectives were always linked to how well structured and how well positioned an institution was. Management had undertaken a strategic plan of sorts and had begun to identify and zoom into specific areas in SAPS. These areas critically included the government outcomes, particularly that South Africans were and felt safe. This outcome was largely defined by visible policing (VP) and Detective Services and investigation.
VP spoke to issues of deployment, critical areas of operation which must be undertaken and others. Visible policing also spoke to how the festive season would be approached, in terms of Operation Fiela, and then moving into the New Year. The Committee’s displeasure with the under-performance of the Detective section was on record. In terms of docket analysis, complaints were usually around cases not being finalised and being under investigation for many years. This informed negative public sentiment that the police were not doing their job and this was of concern. He was impressed that the strategic plan zoomed into the area of detectives, how the backlog would be attended to and turning around the detective section itself. Another area was to look into what informed under-performance. An emphasis on all these fundamental points would allow for a better image and understanding by members of the public.
Lt Gen Johannes Khomotso Phahlane, Acting National Commissioner of Police, added that certain issues were particularly important to turn around the picture, as far as delivery was concerned. Programme 3was an area where SAPS was underperforming, as had been seen during deliberations with the Committee on the Annual Report last month. This area would receive particular focus. With the new plans, some ground would be covered before the end of the financial year. It was known that there was a long way to go, but serious effort would be made.
He noted that SAPS management had decided to review the current organisational structure in order to make an impact with work being done. Some dysfunction was identified with the current structure and this Committee was regarded as a platform for consultation. The proposed structure would still have to be taken through the process of engaging labour before moving closer to implementation. It was important that SAPS should not leave behind the social partners, especially when dealing with issues of structure. The proposed structure had a serious focus on management intervention to correct matters identified and he noted that service delivery issues at station level would be attended to.
Comparative Analysis – Organisational Structures
Brig Leon Rabie, Section Head: Organisational Design, Component Organisational Development, SAPS, said the aim of the exercise was to come to a specific structure which could be implemented, taking into account what had happened over the last number of years. The structure proposed covered the national, provincial and cluster organisational structure. The presentation also provided a comparative analysis by looking at what was in place in 2010 (under National Commissioner Cele), 2014 (under National Commissioner Phiyega) and the proposed 2015 structure to achieve the objectives as raised by the Minister.
In 2010, the structure, under Gen Bheki Cele, had five deputy national commissioners who dealt with operational services, crime detection, physical resource management, human resource management, with a Chief Operations Officer to deal with internal capacity which related to organisational functioning.
In the 2014 structure, the Chief Operations Officer post was abolished and there was a merger between operational services and crime detection under a single deputy national commissioner responsible for operations. There were also some name changes, including physical resource management and human resource management. Supply chain management was reorganised and split according to supply chain and facility management and financial auxiliary management. In this structure there were three deputy national commissioners – for policing, resource management and corporate service management. There were also a number of entities directly accountable to the National Commissioner, including the head of executive support, the head of presidential services, the head of internal audit, crime registrar, divisional commissioner: crime intelligence, head of research institute and head of communications. This was the structure currently in place as approved by Gen Phiyega in 2014.
A number of changes were now proposed. The number of components directly accountable to the national commissioners was scaled down to include the head of executive support, head of internal audit and a clustered head of advisory services. Challenges were experienced in the operational environment including visible policing and crime detection. The proposal on the table thus was to allow for a deputy national commissioner for policing (VISPOL, operational response services and protection and security services) and a deputy national commissioner for crime detection (detective services, forensic services, crime intelligence). This was different to the 2014 structure where there was one deputy national commissioner responsible for both policing and crime detection. It was also proposed that corporate service management be renamed human resource management, and for the deputy national commissioner here to be responsible for personnel management, human resource development and human resource utilisation. The physical resource management environment was also proposed to undergo a shuffle, to include asset and legal management, supply chain management, financial management and administration, technology management services and legal and policy services. In the 2014 structure, legal support had been scattered all over the structure, but this was now proposed to be centralised into a single division.
In the new structure, it was proposed that capacity be established at national level, called national management interventions, with the aim to deal with certain identified challenges within the organisation, whether in terms of specific areas or specific functional environments within the organisation. The idea was further to have three regional commissioners to each take responsibility for a number of clustered provinces, their problems and challenges experienced, and then intervene by putting actions in place to meet identified objectives. The research department would be linked to the management intervention component.
Brig Rabie then tabled the following comparison of numbers in the structure:
Deputy National Commissioners
Deputy Provincial Commissioners
National competencies in provinces
He explained the provincial structure. In 2010 the structure was very similar to what was seen on the national level – as there were five deputy provincial commissioners for operational services, crime detection, physical resource management, human resource management and then the operations officer who was responsible for the inspectorate, organisational management, strategic development and corporate communications. The national competencies rendering services to the provincial commissioners included internal audit, DPCI and crime intelligence.
In 2014, certain posts were abolished, including the operations officer, while certain responsibilities were nationalised including crime intelligence, protection and security services and the criminal record centre. Other posts were moved down to become accountable to one of the deputy provincial commissioners while certain responsibilities were moved directly up in terms of accountability.
In the proposed new structure, there would be five deputy provincial commissioners, proposed similarly to the national structure – one for policing, crime detection, human resource management, asset management and management intervention.
Brig Rabie then dealt with the cluster structure. Clusters served as an extension of the provincial office and were not a separate organisation or level. Clusters took responsibility for a group of stations with the intention to take operational command closer to police stations. Each cluster was headed by a cluster commander, with operational legs in visible policing and detective services.
The Acting National Commissioner added that in the proposed national organisational structure, emphasis was placed on the national management interventions for serious intervention if a station or province was not doing as expected. That capacity was developed to sustain interventions, and so that the same problems would not be repeated in the same places. The proposed structure was more flat in nature and lessened the lines of communication by streamlining divisions, to ensure the message was not lost. It was also critical to split policing. The current structure meant the deputy national commissioners responsible were loaded with visible policing, operational response services, protection and security services, the inspectorate, detective services and forensic services. This was effectively six divisions, and policing formed the core of the organisation. In this area, performance was not where it should be, primarily because the environment was overloaded. It was important therefore to streamline this environment. SAPS could not only step in where things went wrong. It was important to emphasise proactive and visible policing, along with a thorough investigation service, to complement proactive policing and to ensure that cases went through the courts speedily.
The Chairperson thought the proposal was good because it went back to viewing policing as the core business of the Department. He also thought it was a positive move for the office of the national commissioner to be de-cluttered from a management perspective. One possible criticism could be that the proposed structure was a bit top-heavy and he would like some comment on this point.
Mr Mbhele thought there were some complexities, but nothing jumped out as problematic or fundamentally objectionable. On a higher level, he wanted to know if there had been a longitudinal analysis to look at what was gained, improved and lost with each shift in the organisational structure. He had always been nervous about organisational structural reconfigurations going in a different direction without reflecting sufficiently on what was good or bad about the previous set up. It was important to take forward the positives, and learn how to prevent the negative aspects being replicated. He asked what was seen as the core value-add from the proposed new structure, so that there was a clear indication of what was being aimed for through this change. He wanted elaboration, at the cluster level, on the aim to “take operational command closer to station level”, because it touched on the localisation of policing, responsive to local context. Would this also be accompanied by the localisation of financial, human resource and supply chain management:? He commented that the whole package was needed if there was going to be localisation of the operational command. Stations would also need to have the ability to marshal and allocate resources. He asked where the anti-corruption unit would be located in new organogram? This was a unit which still needed to be strengthened, and needed to operate much better.
Mr J Maake (ANC) was interested in national management intervention and asked at what level, or rank, the person responsible for the division would be. He also wanted to know more about the relationship with the provincial commissioner, as the management intervention division was a national competency He asked if the person responsible would have to respond to both the provincial and national commissioner? He thought the inspectorate should be included in this particular division. Finally, he asked how this process of restructuring the organogram related to the Ministry and Cabinet?
Mr P Groenewald (FF+), said that the way he understood the SAPS Act, restructuring of the organogram was the priority of the national commissioner. Every time there had been a new national commissioner, there was an organisational reshuffle. He asked if the proposals now presented implied that the currently suspended National Commissioner would not be returning and asked what would happen if the commission of inquiry found that Gen Phiyega was not guilty.
Mr Groenewald agreed that there should be a split between policing and crime detection, but apart from this, he thought the current structure of deputy national commissioners could be retained. This would mean four deputy national commissioners and not five.
Ms Molebatsi thought the proposed organogram was very good, especially the proposal to put crime intelligence under crime detection. She wanted to know what would happen with specialised units.
Mr A Mncwango (IFP) agreed with the comment that traditionally every new National Commissioner had reorganised the forces. He was concerned that the Acting National Commissioner was already doing this without actually being confirmed in the position, and asked whether, if the Acting National Commissioner was not appointed, this meant that the proposed structure would be undone again, and whether this was not therefore a premature move. He asked why it could not wait until the issue with Gen Phiyega was finalised. He thought the proposed organogram was more streamlined and uncomplicated, compared to the previous one, but it was not clear how this linked up with the local levels. If these levels were not properly aligned with the national and provincial structures, there could be a disjuncture or disconnect, because the actual work of the police was at station level. He asked how the structure of the station commanders was reconfigured to match the proposed structure. He also wanted an indication of the value add and benefits of the proposed reconfiguration to the current situation.
The Chairperson reminded Members of the unanimous adoption of Committee's Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR) which outlined the need to look into the environment of detectives. This organogram was a response to these issues and to problems in the detectives branch and in dealing with serious crime. These had been core concerns of the Committee. The proposed structure should not be linked to whoever was the National Commissioner for if there was not effective policing and appropriate structures, it had to be addressed by whoever was in place at the time.
Mr Mhlongo sought an explanation on whether the reorganisation, which he found quite user-friendly, was interfaced with the journey towards professionalisation. He found that most problems were happening at the provincial command level. He asked if the organogram would be able to provide quick feedback on what was happening at a local level, with regard to the entire chain of command and levels of responsibility resting with these respective positions. If there was no quick reaction or feedback, the national level might think that things were stabilising when actually more damage was being created at a local level. That seemed to be the problem currently.
Ms Mmola was concerned that the delegation present today was entirely comprised of males, and asked that better representation must be shown next time. She asked if the regions were not overloaded with work.
Mr Ramatlakane thanked the delegation for taking the Committee into its confidence and consulting on the proposed organogram. He thought the value add would be seen when matters were taken to the streets, rather than in exercises in the boardroom, and that this should become apparent particularly in areas where there was currently underperformance. The organogram should be given a chance to move forward, and results could then be evaluated. The Acting National Commissioner had the power and authority of a permanent national commissioner to correct matters, and he did not think that the Acting position was a barrier to action being taken. He liked the proposal for the cluster and thought that its implementation should continue to empower the station in terms of functionality.
Minister Nhleko said a flatter structure introduced the element of efficiency in the sense that, from the lower level to the higher level, the decision making process was relatively easier. This was in contrast to a hierarchy where there were many steps to decision making. Intervention could not only occur in the fourth quarter as ongoing intervention should be emphasised, and similarly interventions should not necessarily only follow a failing. Some of the issues picked up on informed how policing could be strengthened at ground level and how to pick up on operational deficiencies and this was the value in having such a structure. The danger government faced today was the issue of the “personality cult” where an institution was perceived as the person or the individual. This was very dangerous because there was no institution of governance in the world that relied on just one individual. It could not be that pending issues caused a standstill in the rest of the organisation, particularly when deficiencies were identified and there was potential to enhance the performance of the institution. A person in an acting position had all the necessary delegated authority as the originally-delegated person would have had. Intervention was not tied to a particular individual – it followed the institution. The main issue was to identify what needed to be done. He found it contradictory that there could be a process problem whilst it was recognised that development was a good step forward. The Acting National Commissioner had a role to play and could not decide not to fix issues simply because he was not confirmed in his position. Corporate governance would apply and the institution must move on while addressing deficiencies.
The Acting National Commissioner provided an analogy to illustrate the position of an Acting National Commissioner. He suggested that if a person borrowed a car, it was recognised that whilst he was not the owner, he would need to fix a flat tyre himself, and not rely on the owner to do so, in order to reach his destination, and in order to avoid repercussions such as accidents for which the owner could not be responsible. He happened to be part of SAPS, and in his position he and the Minister had taken a position, in a strategic session, that he should review the current situation and identify steps to move to the position that the organisation would like to be in. This structure was aimed at maximising potential in the fight against crime, and making a difference in how South Africans saw themselves as being safe. This was exactly the point of structural change.
He added that the current structure was too expensive. For example, there was no reason for auxiliary services to be a stand alone division, and in the new proposal it was merged with finance and administrative services, where it was originally located. The same applied to facilities management which, to ensure efficiency and effectiveness, was merged with supply chain management. The skills of the current incumbent could be moved to an area where more value could be derived. The proposed change was informed by the need to improve efficiency and effectiveness. He agreed that SAPS management had taken its cue from the resolutions of the Committee as to the functioning of the structure. Some of the structures directly reporting to the National Commissioner were also to be located elsewhere to achieve much more - for example, crime intelligence. The inspectorate would be located in the national management intervention which would enable the unit to develop capacity to actually correct deficiencies instead of just reporting on them, and in this way it could sustain improvements. Value would be derived from the proposal on the ground. Structural change could never happen without engaging with the Minister and ensuring that he approved of what was being proposed. Finance and support issues were located at station or local level. The cluster played a more coordinating role in terms of policing in the particular cluster. Each and every station had all the functionalities required to process supply chain management, finance related issues and others. What was proposed was not encroaching onto his particular area at all.
Mr Mbhele asked if he understood correctly that there was a decision-making authority at station-level on these matters. He understood that up until a certain threshold, decisions could be made, but anything above that went to a higher authority. He wanted to know what was this threshold. He also asked how the SAPS would resolve the issue that had come up during the Mpumalanga oversight visit, where the Committee had learned that when resource and equipment needs were escalated, for such things as vehicles and laptops, the answer was given that there were insufficient funds. He asked if the core issue was inefficient management at station level, or if the problem lay higher up?
The Acting National Commissioner replied that some detail was not necessarily influenced by the structure itself . Financial capacity was present, and there was a delegation of authority as to what the station was and was not allowed.
Lt Gen Stefan Schutte, Deputy National Commissioner: Resource Management, SAPS, added that the proposed structure did not impede at all on the controls currently in place, nor with the authority and powers of accounting stations. Stations were below the clusters and this would remain. There were delegations and thresholds. For instance, tenders were dealt with at national level, whilst quotations up to a certain level could be dealt with by a station or even up to provincial level where there was vertical and horizontal integration with the controls. There were technical processes as to what stations could purchase and what they could not. The point was that the proposed model did not impede at all on the authority that stations currently had.
The Acting National Commissioner continued with the responses. He noted that the anti-corruption unit was a detail which the proposed structure did not go into, but this was located in the DPCI, along with integrity management. The proposed structure was not considered to be top heavy, considering the size of SAPS and the magnitude of the mandate and the function. The structure ensured accountability and consolidated authority at all levels. The numbers also did not depart drastically from the previous numbers, and in fact brought about some improvements. The current structure had a Lt Gen heading communications. That was not necessary and the skills of this incumbent could be relocated to an environment where policing was at the core, which would ensure that strong policing because a reality in the country. Instead, it would be more appropriate to have a Brig or Chief Director for communications, and this was what the proposed new structure would have. The national management intervention was a multidisciplinary team that had the ability to move between provinces. The provinces would be grouped, with a regional commissioner responsible for each grouping. The provincial management intervention was a resource to intervene and create capacity provincially. The provincial management intervention had dual reporting to the National and Provincial Commissioner. The Divisional Commissioner: Detective Services would also become part of the management intervention team, to correct deficiencies, particularly at the station level, to make a greater impact. There was provision also in the proposed structure for crime investigation service and specific crime units, such as stock theft, but linked to specific crimes, and for the FCS unit.
Mr Maake noted that dual reporting usually caused problems. The question was who was in charge, and who was reported to directly.
The Acting National Commissioner replied it was envisaged at there would be a solid line of reporting between Deputy National Commissioner and national management intervention, and then a dotted line to the Deputy Provincial Commissioner. This was similar to the structure in the DPCI, where a service was rendered to the province, but instruction came from the national level.
Mr Groenewald agreed with the analogy provided by the Acting National Commissioner, but took this further to say that whilst a flat tyre would be fixed, it would not be necessary to put on completely new and improved tyres or wheels that the original owner may not like to have. He understood that the Acting National Commissioner did have the same powers, but changes to an organisation as big as SAPS had huge implications for promotions and other benefits. His question still remained, that the SAPS Act determined that the National Commissioner could make changes, and he presumed that this was an indication that the currently Acting National Commissioner would find himself soon in a permanent post.
Mr Mncwango did not see any contradiction in what Members were saying, as the Minister suggested. He maintained the proposed organogram was user friendly and was team-orientated. It had been developed by someone who knew what he wanted to achieve, and his party had always called for a career policeman leading the police. Whilst he was excited about the new organogram, he was still concerned about the timing
Ms L Mabija (ANC) indicated that even if a new permanent National Commissioner was appointed and the present Acting National Commissioner was no longer even with the police, this present structure had been created with the Minister and Deputy and the buck stopped there. The structure would then only change if the Ministers saw a need for change. She quipped that a wise man should always be prepared to change his mind.
Mr Mhlongo highlighted that he had recently visited the police station in Springbok, in the Northern Cape, unannounced, as a public representative. He found a reservist doing very good work and the station was very well managed in terms of hygiene, record keeping and pocketbooks. The station commander supported junior force members to keep morale high. The station showed great progress, even with its close relationship with the community in which it was located. It was important that public representatives should pick up on positive work such as this, so that other SAPS members could also be motivated to be proud representatives of the SAPS. There seemed, in other areas, to be rife examples of hostility between members of the public and police stations, and he was pleased and quite touched to see the close dynamic in Springbok. He hoped this good work continued.
The Chairperson welcomed the fact that SAPS presented this draft proposal to the Committee. Members took note of the strategic thinking and the implementation would be monitored. The bottom line and core issue was effective policing, and the structure at least dealt with this very directly, to bring matters back to basics. The Committee welcomed this approach and would monitor effectiveness, to ensure the proposed changes bore fruit.
Legal Expenditure Briefing
Lt.Gen J Molefe, Divisional Commissioner: Legal and Policy Services, SAPS, began the presentation by noting the “generational dynamic” that legal expenses arose from legal matters, and most of these flowed from civil litigation and motions against SAPS. He noted that the legal costs expenditure comprised the following legal costs paid to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development by SAPS on a monthly basis relating to legal services rendered on behalf of SAPS :
- Civil claims against and by SAPS/ or motion applications
- Criminal cases where members of SAPS were represented by the State Attorney
- Labour law matters
- Commissions of Inquiry
- Legal fees paid to counsel and correspondents appointed by the State Attorney
- Legal costs due to litigants who obtained court orders against SAPS or legal costs due relating to settlements of claims for compensation
The majority of legal costs were linked to civil litigation. Legal costs increased as and when civil litigation figures rose due to escalating civil claims. For instance, in the past three financial years, registered civil claims and compensation payments had shown a progressive rise that was also visible in the dynamic of rising legal costs.
Members were then taken through the payment methods nationally. The majority of payments were for court judgments. There were no frivolous settlements as each matter was considered on its own merits.
Lt Gen Molefe then discussed challenges and solutions. The first was the absence of cost visibility for a breakdown of legal costs paid for various categories was not possible as yet. A Task Team was appointed to ensure cost visibility per civil claim / motion application and for the different categories of legal costs involved. All invoices received from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development for a refund of legal costs paid by State Attorneys on behalf of SAPS were to be, eventually, certified by legal officials who instructed the State Attorney to perform legal work on behalf of SAPS. The main aim of this project was to ensure cost visibility while a case was still in progress, and to be able to monitor ongoing legal costs. This would also monitor the ratio of legal costs to possible capital compensation payments. The POLFIN system had already been enhanced to ensure cost visibility and a pilot project had been implemented prior to rolling out of the project to all the provinces. The intention behind this was to eventually be able to monitor costs of each matter as it progressed, to be able to make more rational decisions on the cost effectiveness and desirability of continuing the litigation.
Another challenge was the increasing use of correspondents and counsel. Inputs had been provided to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on the transformation of State Legal Services. The aim was to achieve quality and cost effective litigation through, amongst others, proper capacitation of the Office of the State Attorney. The regulatory framework was another challenge, as it allowed cost escalation in an unintended fashion. Lawyers often chose to initiate legal proceedings at the principal place of business (Pretoria) rather than where the cause of action arose. The proposal submitted to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development was to amend the practice in regard to service at the defendant's principal place of business in terms of the Institution of Legal Proceedings against certain Organs of State Act , No 40 of 2002.
Protracted processes and red tape also posed a challenge. Court annexed mediation was to be used, the date to be announced before the end of 2015, in order to reduce summonses and minimise the burden of cases on Court rolls. These could help with shortened procedures to reach settlement of uncontested, trivial matters, without intervention of the State Attorney, as well as revised delegation of powers to expedite decision making, implementation performance ratings on investigation of civil claims to expedite decisions whether claims were defendable, and bi-monthly engagement between SAPS and the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on quality management of litigation and in order to reduce legal costs.
Another challenge experienced related to the rising claims for unlawful arrests in category B crimes, as well as collusion, opportunistic litigation, and viewing arrest as a performance target. Solutions proposed included the submission of monthly civil claims or litigation reports to monitor and address trends, consequence management around lack of implementation, a project to finalise the prevention strategy and establishment of ownership and accountability, and implementation of a communication strategy to create awareness amongst members and officials about conduct that leads to unnecessary claims. Informative material would be distributed to support the communications strategy.
An investigation was pending into allegations of collusion and touting between SAPS and a private firm of attorneys. Other measures included the defence of opportunistic litigation and the need to amend the performance assessment tools around arrest. Police work, by nature, carried a risk and invariably attracted litigation, whether justified or not. The solution was to take legal advice prior to operations.
Mr Mbhele welcomed what he saw as the main point – namely that analysis by SAPS' legal services would influence the amendment of the assessment tools around using arrest as a performance indicator. He had always been worried about this since the arrest rates had increased over the years, but there was not concomitant progress with detection or conviction rates. This target created a false impression about performance. He noted that he had made some rough calculations and found the average settlement payout per claim in 2012/13 was R36 000, and R63 000 for each court judgements. In 2013/14, settlement averages were R49 000 and R61 000 for court judgements. In 2014/15 the average for settlements was R49 000 and R64 000 for court judgements. This showed that the court judgement route would always be more expensive for legal services, so it would always be more desirable to settle. This raised questions of how to move towards that more desirable option. He asked what percentage of cases ended up in court either because of a disagreement on the settlement quantum, a miscalculation on whether the case was a good one, or a litigant refusing to consider settlement at all. He wondered if offering higher settlements might still yield better figures than going to court. He asked how, knowing the risk factors, the legal service analysis would feed into the performance management within the HR processes of SAPS. Some remedies had been hinted at, but the analysis needed to identify particular problems, and to then link these trends to performance management, to ensure more direct accountability from the members, units or stations causing a disproportionate problem, and finally to carry over this result to performance review or management. He asked if there was any strong link between analysis and how SAPS HR processes then managed risk factors. This was what accountability boiled down to, where every misconduct identified would be matched by a sanction. He was worried to hear about collusion, as this detracted from the ability of the Service to operate effectively. If there was collusion or opportunism, it must be rooted out .
Lt Gen Schutte said that studies in Britain had shown that when arrests were linked to performance contracts, more police personnel would arrest, but this also increased the risk for these kinds of claims. Everyone had their own opinion on whether arrests should be a performance indicator or not, and he would leave this up to the Members. Measuring legal services was actually retrospective, looking back at how claims were dealt with. Deciding when to settle and when to oppose was the key issue. On the one hand, settlement seemed to be cost effective but on the other the results of opposing had to be seen. The financial statements, taking into account reductions and cancellations, and based on real value, showed that in 2010/11, liability cancalled after letters of demand was R660 million. In 2011/12: R2.7 billion was cancelled, which rose to 2.8 billion reduced in the following year, to R3.46 billion in 2013/14 and to R9.2 billion in 2014/15. This was not to say that everything was opposed in court, but reductions did take place. An interval analysis was also done to see how many claims contributed to what portion. 694 claims contributed to R15.4 billion of the R26 billion. Figures also showed that with some wrongful arrest claims, a person who owned a business might claim loss of income of R200 million, yet might settle for R1 million or less. This was a highly complex matter, which had been analysed and studied for several years.
Lt Gen Molefe added that SAPS attracted a lot of litigation stemming from unlawful arrests, but alternative dispute resolutions and shorter processes presented more opportunity to resolve such cases. The settlement, however, was still dependent on another department. SAPS still was aiming to keep as many matters as possible out of the courts. The litigation process could be managed although police work by its nature attracted risk. Consequence management was in place, but there was now an issue of performance at all levels. Additionally, civil claims, especially unlawful arrests, were identified and highlighted as an organisational risk and the risk owners were being found to take charge of the issues. Collusion and opportunism were indeed being clamped down on, but this was not the main issue, only a dynamic picked up that was being addressed. Settlement was not “a thumb suck exercise” but was driven by issues of liability and possible costs.
Mr Maake sought clarity on what the percentages referred to for civil claims, litigation and costs. He asked what invoices were presented, and whether SAPS paid the State Attorney. He asked what stage the amendment of the Organs of State legislation had reached and what had to be done to bring this before the Committee.
Lt. Gen. Molefe replied that SAPS certainly did not pay the salary of the State Attorney, for this body was effectively the lawyer for SAPS.
Brig W Sutton, Section Head: Loss Management, Division Financial Management, SAPS, added that the percentages were given to show the increase in claims annually and the increase in legal costs in each category of claims. He clarified that the State Attorney rendered a service to all organs of state and when SAPS requested their services, legal costs would be noted but the State Attorneys were paid by the Department of Justice. SAPS would have to pay costs of counsel, correspondents, or service of process. In practice, the State Attorney would, where costs were awarded, pay from its suspense account, and then on a monthly basis would submit claims to the Department of Justice, who would in turn consolidate and submit the summary of costs paid to SAPS, to claim a refund. This was where the cost visibility project would be particularly important.
Lt Gen Schutte added the transfer payment to the Department of Justice was an payment under “household”; no goods were procured but there was compensation if the award was given. If the service was procured from the Department of Justice, it would be reflected under goods and services, as a legal service.
Mr Mncwango asked if it would not work better if there was a communication strategy to create awareness amongst members and officials about conduct that led to unnecessary claims. This should be part of the training curriculum of members at college level.
Lt Gen Molefe answered that policy legal issues were included in the basic training curriculum, but this communication strategy further supported members in the business of policing.
Ms Molebatsi asked if SAPS would be paying the legal fees of the suspended National Commissioner, since she had chosen to follow a legal route. She also asked what the increase in payment of compensation was attributed to and what type of cases ended up in court.
Lt Gen Molefe highlighted Standing Order 109 and said that this did not cover the kind of legal action supposedly undertaken by the suspended National Commissioner. “Compensation” was the term used for payment for liability whether in court or in a settlement.
In relation to the Organs of State legislation, Lt Gen Molefe explained that this Act fell under the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, but there was liaison currently ongoing between the DGs of SAPS and the Department of Justice.
Mr Mhlongo was concerned about the figures in the presentation. He asked if there was any kind of data keeping or whether claims just flooded in and payments were made without checking what was the full background to the claim. If there were not strict checks, he thought that there was potential for great drain on resources. If one person might repeatedly effect unlawful arrests, for instance, this must be followed through so that money was not wasted.
Brig Sutton said it was important to note that once the State Attorney rendered a service to SAPS and there were legal costs to be paid, there was a very strict process of certification to ensure all legal costs were legally due, and that what was paid to successful litigants was properly taxed. There was a huge certification process involved prior to SAPS receiving those invoices for payment and refund. There was already a control mechanism in place, in which the State Attorney was very much involved. He was convinced that no payment, court judgement or out of court settlement was followed without due process and proper accounting for costs eventually paid.
The Chairperson welcomed the move to ensure there was cost visibility. Visible policing was the environment where most of the claims stemmed, and he emphasised the importance of looking at training and interaction with the public, to constantly monitor what was happening. If there were provinces or units where a huge increase in legal risks was noted, then this must be addressed proactively. It was critical that the DPCI look at issues of corruption and collusion because these issues needed to be addressed holistically. While many issues still needed attention, this presentation demonstrated good progress, and the Committee commended the legal unit. It was important that management constantly monitored SAPS controlling and containing its legal liabilities, as these took away a large amount of the budget that could otherwise have been used for service delivery. He suggested that a further briefing should be given in the new year.
TETRA Project Update: Gauteng and Eastern Cape
Lt Gen Adeline Shezi, Divisional Commissioner: Technology Management Services, SAPS, took the Committee through her presentation on the TETRA project. She firstly set out the project in Gauteng, looking firstly at the financial allocations since 2012/13 and current status. The TETRA switch upgrade was approved in March 2015. The order was issued to the supplier in March, with a nine-month implementation process anticipated, and day to day maintenance was ongoing on existing infrastructure. The TETRA MSO version 8.2 upgrade would be cut over at the end of November. The contract would expire in December 2015 and new Service Level Agreement (SLA) specifications would then be drafted. Challenges experienced with TETRA in Gauteng included theft and vandalism at high sites, and reliance on service provider(s) for maintenance and trouble shooting, due to additional resource restraints within SAPS.
She described that the network coverage comprised of:
- 67 high sites (for radio masts)
- 1 x “10111” Centres
- 1 ( Prov JOC) Sub Control Centres
- Coverage of the whole Province
- Coverage on all roads within Province
- Coverage on all Railways with the exception of Gautrain tunnels in Province
- Police stations in Gauteng: 142
Lt. Gen. Shezi then moved to discuss TETRA in the Eastern Cape. Over the past decade, SAPS had embarked on a process to modernise its radio communications infrastructure. SAPS initiated a project in line with internationally accepted best practice for police. The SAPS experienced challenges and the project was delayed. The most difficult challenge was and remained the acquisition of the required radio sites. In view of the time that had lapsed, SAPS recently took stock of the progress and revisited the technology choice to ensure that an optimal and responsible way forward was selected. TETRA Eastern Cape was then submitted to the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) for evaluation and independent assessment.
The Committee was informed of timelines, contracts and financial allocations, along with project financial breakdowns, project status summary and equipment in storage. Two new 10111 Centres were constructed by the Department of Public Works (DPW) at Korsten in Port Elizabeth and Woodbrook in East London. The central control equipment and dispatching equipment that formed the heart of the network had been delivered and was partially installed, but mostly not commissioned, in the 10111 Centres. The third centre, Mthatha, was cancelled due to the building contractor’s non-performance. The equipment was installed completely and configured within the Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage metropolitan areas. The Seaview high site was amongst those still needed to be constructed. The Central Control Centre intended for Woodbrook in East London had been completed and the technical control equipment and dispatch equipment was partially installed but not commissioned yet. In total, for the Eastern Cape, 14 TETRA sites were completed, configured and operationalised, namely, Nelson Mandela University (NMU), Mount Road, PE Stadium, Bristor House, South End Fire Station, Noord Hoek, Lovemore Heights, Blue Horizon Bay, Lady Slipper, Vermaakskop, Uitenhage High Site (HUS), Uitenhage Police Station, Kwadwesi and Coegakop. These sites were in operation for the 2010 World Cup. These 14 sites in Port Elizabeth were operationalised during the late President Nelson Mandela's funeral.
Sites were also operationalised via Telkom Metro Ethernet, to extend the TETRA coverage, at: East London, Mthatha, Bazia, Mount Hope, Sentec, Qunu MTN, Mthatha airport. The contractor had requested mediation in terms of Standard Condition of Contract. SAPS owned a partially installed system of good quality and appropriate technology, in line with the outcomes of the CSIR independent assessment. All equipment not installed was secured and still in good condition. The estimated cost to operationalise the currently installed equipment was estimated at R 2.5m, the estimated outstanding cost for work in progress at contract expiry was R2m and the estimated outstanding payment of retentions was R37m.
In terms of summary/overview of TETRA in the Eastern Cape, the reasons for implementing in Eastern Cape included fragmented and obsolete radio systems due to various police agencies having amalgamated, Similar to most police agencies internationally, SAPS had to migrate to digital radio communications.
The network in the Eastern Cape comprised of:
– 212 high sites (for radio masts)
– 3 new 10111 Centres
– 7 Sub Control Centres
– Coverage of whole province
– Coverage on all roads within Province
– Coverage on all Railways in Province
The network service area included:
• 169 police stations in the Eastern Cape
• Operational members: 14003
In conclusion, the nature of crime and the growing technological competence of criminals made it necessary for SAPS to deploy robust and secure digital technology in its operational communications facilities. SAPS, in co-operation with the Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) and, where applicable, Independent Communications Authority South Africa (ICASA ) would monitor international trends in police communications , including any related technological development/ advancement. SAPS embarked on a national infrastructural development to bring it up to date with modern requirements. These networks also provided secure and high speed data services. The cost effectiveness of the solution should be evaluated amongst others, against the functionality needs.
Lt Gen Schutte added that the Gauteng system dealt with approximately 15 000 incoming calls a day and 10 000 outgoing or dispatching calls a day.
The Chairperson noted that there was insufficient time to take questions, or to accept the PCEM briefing. He commended SAPS on this presentation and said it dealt with all the salient issues raised by Members previously and he complemented SAPS for this.
The Acting National Commissioner thanked the Committee for the opportunity to present these points. He noted that SAPS wanted to curb the growth of the litigation figures, which did not augur well should they continue to rise.
The meeting was adjourned.
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