Committee Programme & Key Priorities

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16 August 2016
Chairperson: Mr F Beukman (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

With its first meeting for the third term, the Committee met to consider a number of draft Committee minutes, a draft oversight report and the programme and key priorities for the Committee for the third term. The Chairperson took Members through the Committee programme for the coming term highlighting key meeting agendas including meeting with the SA Police Service (SAPS) and the entities on their first quarterly expenditure, matters of rural safety and filling of vacancies. The Committee also planned to hear a number of update briefings on recruitment and training, interaction between SAPS and the metro police and specialised SAPS units. Tying in with this, the Committee Content Adviser took Members through the key priorities of the Committee for the term where legislation took centre stage along with the budget of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations, rural safety, turnaround of the Central Firearm Registry, issues of leadership, SAPS specialised units and implementation of the recommendations of the Farlam Commission.

Although Members present did not form a quorum, the Committee proceeded to consider and amend a number of draft Committee minutes as well as a draft report on an oversight visit to the Manenverg Police Station. The Committee would formally adopt the revised and amended report and minutes once there was a quorum and it was re-circulated to Members.  

Meeting report

Committee Programme

The Chairperson noted that this meeting would be the only one for the Committee for the week. Next week, however, the Committee would have three meetings. These meetings would include an interaction with the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (DPCI) on the issue of vacancies, buildings, budgets and high-profile investigations. The Committee would also meet with the National Commissioner for Police on election issues and matters of rural safety next Friday.

On Wednesday, 31 August 2016, the Committee would meet on the issue of public order policing. With today being the four-year anniversary of Marikana, the Chairperson outlined that the Committee would have to look at recruitment and training, following the recommendations from the Farlam Commission, and the important procurement of equipment and specialised vehicles – this was previously raised by the Committee with Police management and an update was required. During this meeting, the SA Police Service (SAPS) would also brief Members on the first quarterly expenditure of the Department.

On 1 September 2016, the Committee would meet with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) on its first quarterly expenditure for 2016/17 as well as implementation of the IPID Act and output of the consultative forum and other IPID reports in terms of the IPID Act.

On Wednesday, 7 September,   the Committee would meet with the metro police on its mandate, training, conduct of members and relationship with SAPS. IPID would also provide a briefing on the conduct of metro police –there were many allegations in the media of bribes etc so an update was needed on whether IPID was investigating such cases.

On 13 September, the Committee would meet with the Civilian Secretariat of Police (CSP) on its first quarterly report, implementation of the CSP Act and output of the consultative forum.

The Committee would maintain its focus on specialised units of SAPS – on 14 September, SAPS would brief Members on the railway specialised unit. Recently, many incidents of crime were seen on trains and the Committee needed to know what this unit was doing and its relationship with the Passenger Road Agency of SA (PRASA). An update was also required on the SAPS gang units along with the issue of radio control.

On 20 September, the Committee would hear a number of proclamations from SAPS and adopt Committee reports.

Issues which might come before the Committee, dependent on the Executive, were the crime stats and the Claassen Commission Report looking at the fitness of the suspended National Commissioner. If Members wished to add any other urgent issues to the agenda, this could be done. The Committee also had an oversight visit planned to Port Elizabeth from 21 – 23 September 2016 with the focus on specialised areas and rural-orientated stations – should Members wish to add any specific areas, this could be added to the programme.  

Portfolio Committee on Police Third Term Priorities

Mr Irvin Kinnes, Committee Content Adviser, took the Members through the document which outlined the key priorities and focus areas for the Committee over the coming term. At the close of the second term, the Committee was able to conduct hearings on:

-SAPS budget reports

-firearms licences disputes with the Hunters Association

-new basic training programme and deployment of new police recruits

-SAPS Back to Basics approach

-DPCI budget issues

-enhanced Firearm Registration system

-Farlam Commission recommendations

For the third term, the priorities of the Committee would be legislation, tabling oversight reports before new oversight visits were approved and submission of Annual Reports as part of the Budgetary Review and Recommendation Report (BRRR) process.

Mr Kinnes highlighted that the legislation to be prioritised by the Committee in the current term included:

 -White Paper on Police and White Paper on Safety and Security (currently before Cabinet)

-Firearms Amendment Bill

-Critical Infrastructure Bill

-The Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Amendment Bill

-IPID Amendment Bill

-SAPS Amendment Bill

-Animal Movement and Related Matters Bill

-Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority (PSIRA) Bill (awaiting Presidential assent)

-regulations of the CSP

-SAPS Proclamations

Priorities of the Committee included:

-SAPS provincial appointments and restructuring

-DPCI filling of vacancies and budget

-Central Firearms Registry Turnaround Strategy

-Constitutional Court decision in relation to IPID

-Rural safety

-BRRR recommendations

-Eastern Cape oversight visit

-release process for the crime stats

-IPID and CSP leadership (both institutions have acting heads)


-regulations of the CSP

-SAPS specialised units

-report back of the Regional Management Intervention Teams

-implementation of the Farlam Commission recommendations

-SAPS research unit (the Committee did not get to this last term)

-SAPS supply chain management

-Integrated Justice System/Criminal Justice System ICT challenges and budget (along with radio control)

-Border Management Authority Bill (implications for SAPS)

-Metro police cooperation with SAPS

Mr Kinnes noted that although SAPS responded to most of the Committee’s BRRR recommendations, recommendations not responded to included the workshop for senior management on the Constitution – the Committee recommended that the SAPS national and provincial senior management should attend a workshop on the Constitution, with special reference to civilian oversight, rule of law and the separation of powers by the end of the current financial year. Other recommendations outstanding included demilitarisation in line with the National Development Plan and the Rural Safety Plan.

Mr Z Mbhele (DA) questioned what the SAPS proclamations referred to specifically. He asked if the Committee would request that the Acting National Commissioner and Minister present the crime stats to the Committee as happened last year –this was very helpful for Committee engagement. At the beginning of the 2015/16 financial year, the issue of resource allocation in SAPS was raised and it was still a wide-spread issue country-wide. He recently did an oversight in Durban and saw issues the station commander dealt with and it raised the fact that the provincial management did not seem to be responsive and allocate extra resources to assist – this might be another issue for the Committee to look into.

The Chairperson agreed with the last point as it tied into the issue of new recruits in the provinces and for the Committee to look at the spread and vacancy position currently. The preference would be for the crime stats to be presented to the Committee.

With the proclamations, Mr Kinnes explained it was done every year in compliance with international instruments which SA signed in relation to protecting constitutional democracy. The UN usually provided a list of international terror suspects. SAPS would then brief the Committee on whether there were any South Africans on the UN lists.

Mr J Maake (ANC) asked what the “SAPS provincial appointments and restructuring” entailed in reference to the Committee priorities.  

Mr Kinnes said the issue related to appointments and change of positions in provincial management and the need for the Committee to be informed of such changes.

Mr Maake asked what powers the Committee had over such processes in terms of the law.

Mr Kinnes responded that the Committee could not change processes but it should be informed of changes in leadership.

The Chairperson added that next week, it should be added in the agenda that SAPS update the Committee on national and provincial appointments and leadership change by the Acting National Commissioner since the Committee’s last engagement on the issue. Members were free to add to the list of priorities and if anything of national importance arose, it would be added and the programme amended accordingly.

Adoption of Draft Committee Minutes and Reports

The Chairperson noted that some Members were absent and so there was no quorum for adoption. Members present would however go through the minutes and report and make corrections and amendments for adoption at a later date when there was a quorum. 

Draft Committee Minutes Dated 7 April 2016

Going through the draft minutes, the Committee noted minor amendments relating to grammar, spelling and editing.

There were also certain points in the draft minutes that Members felt required more context to allow for better reading.

Draft Committee Minutes Dated 8 April 2016

Members pointed out that some parties and Member’s names were incorrectly spelt in the attendance record.

Numbering on some of the pages also required correction along with grammar.

Draft Committee Minutes 19 April 2016

Members pointed out that some parties and Member’s names were incorrectly spelt in the attendance record.

Draft Committee Minutes 20 May 2016

Members again pointed out that some parties and Member’s names were incorrectly spelt in the attendance record. This accompanied minor corrections to be made to grammar and editing

Rephrasing was also needed a few points to provide context and prevent it from being too vague.

Draft Committee Minutes Dated 20 April 2016

The Committee noted that “seconded the move for adoption” was incorrect and should be amended to “seconded the motion for adoption”. The minutes also needed to detail the building of the meeting venue.

Draft Committee Minutes Dated 24 May 2016

The Committee noted that building in which the meeting was held needed to be included in the draft minutes. Further amendments were required for Members whose surnames were incorrectly spelt and other grammatical issues.

Questions were also raised about the relevance of reference to the National Development Plan in the minutes – the Committee secretariat was to look at this. 

Draft Committee Minutes Dated 25 May 2016

Ms M Mmola (ANC) noted that in this set of minutes, and the previous set, she was marked as absent when she was in fact present. Further amendments were required for Members whose surnames were incorrectly spelt and other grammatical issues.

Members questioned the context behind the point related to statistics environment – the secretariat needed to relook at this.

Draft Report on the Oversight Visit to Manenberg Police Station on 22 April 2016, dated 3 May

Members felt the need for minor amendments relating to grammar and to improve the reading of certain points.

The Committee would formally adopt these draft minutes and draft report at a later stage.

The meeting was adjourned.


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