The Committee met with the South African Police Service (SAPS) to receive briefings firstly on fourth and first quarterly expenditure for the 2015/16 and 2016/17 financial years respectively. The Committee first received a preparatory briefing by the Committee researcher in terms of the budget cycle and in-year monitoring and the 2015/16 fourth quarter financial performance of SAPS.
In terms of the financial performance of the Department for 2015/16, Members were briefed by the Department on their programme (and sub-programme) spending as it stood as 31 March 2016 for the following programmes:
- Visible Policing (VISPOL)
- Detective Services
- Crime Intelligence
- Protection and Security Services (PSS)
The presentation also covered spending performance for the quarter against the budget, an overview of spending performance and cumulative trends in actual monthly spending since 2012/13.
Members then engaged in methodical discussion by questioning the number of reenlistments SAPS made and what the criteria for reenlistment was, reasons for increased spending on civil claims and if the claims were processed or actually originated in the fourth quarter, the balance between spending and desired outcomes/results and why there was overspending in some programmes while there was under spending in others. The Committee was particularly concerned about the high number of vacancies as a result of personnel losses despite increases in the expenditure on compensation especially in critical programmes like VISPOL and detective services– it questioned what steps were taken in the fourth quarter to ensure the vacancies were filled because this would also impact on the Department’s Back to Basics approach. Other matters discussed included reasons for increased spending on municipal services, network upgrades and the expenditure on the Criminal Justice System (CJS), the expenditure ratio between compensation and operations, strategic shifts in procurement to match shifts in policing environments and the advantages of owning property vs. leasing it.
SAPS then presented its 2016/17 first quarter financial performance to the Committee which looked at the budget process and outcomes thereof for the 2016/17 financial year, an expenditure analysis for the first quarter and the total spending rate for 2016/17. The presentation also provided a comparison of cumulative monthly spending with previous financial years, monthly spending vs. estimates (drawings), programme (and sub-programme) spending as at 30 June 2016 before concluding with an overview of spending performance for the quarter.
The Committee raised the matter of funding for the 2016 Local Government Elections and how it impacted the Department, reductions in the VISPOL environment, why there was intense scrutiny by National Treasury on some programmes and the bulk procurement of critical items. Members were again concerned by the increased expenditure on compensation in the quarter despite the high number of vacancies and the fact that the presentation spoke both to reductions and increases in funding – Members found this did not quite make sense. Other questions centred around why there was lower spending on the CJS in Detective Services impacting the Criminal Records Centre and the Forensic Science Laboratory and creative innovative and lateral thinking of ways to navigate the medium term in light of spending limitations and baseline reductions. Members also discussed leasing vs. purchasing property, bargaining councils and if the funding for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation was earmarked and used independently by the unit.
SAPS then briefed the Committee on the status of Public Order Policing (POP) reform and progress made with the implementation of the recommendations of the Farlam Commission. The presentation looked at the recommendations made by the Commission which pertained to POP and the progress made by the Department on each recommendation, other reforms implemented, capacitation of POP and funding for the 2016/17 financial year.
The Committee questioned the status of vehicles especially the nyalas because no mention was made of it in the presentation, if first aid basic training would be included in the basic training curriculum of the new recruits at entry level and how the needs of provinces were identified. The matter of command and control was discussed because Members thought there was no certainty on who was ultimately in control in the event of situations – this was one of the key issues emanating from Marikana and it was important for the Committee that it was thrashed out by SAPS management. Further questions were asked which probed adequate capacity for the 2019 elections, training on specialised equipment, training and deployment of additional members in Limpopo and mitigating risk around live recordings in the event of equipment damage, loss of data or tampering thereof.
In closing, the Committee took note of the financial performance of SAPS for the 2015/16 fourth quarter and 2016/17 first quarter but felt that the matter of vacancies required further attention particularly in critical programmes like VISPOL and detective services – this would be a priority of the Committee. With the POP, the Committee would still need to receive a briefing by the Minister and Deputy Minister to update Members on the task team and panel of experts. Within the POP environment, the Committee felt the matter of equipment needed to be fast tracked along with ensuring that units were equipped with sufficient manpower.
Meeting Announcement: Release of 2015/16 Annual Crime Statistics
The Chairperson outlined that the Committee would have another meeting on Friday, 2 September 2016, to hear the release of the annual crime statistics in the presence of the Minister of Police. This meeting would be held at 0900 in the Old Assembly Chamber. The meeting was not on the Z-List yet but he wanted to inform Members early to make arrangements as Friday was often a difficult meeting day for those Members staying in the rural provinces.
The Chairperson then outlined the agenda for the Committee for today’s meeting. Next week, the Committee would hear the first quarterly report of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) along with input on the IPID Act and follow up on the consultative forum. On Wednesday 7 September, the Committee would be briefed by the metro police in terms of their mandate, training and relationship with the SA Police Service (SAPS). IPID would also be present to brief the Committee on any cases involving the metro police.
Briefing by Committee Researcher on SAPS Quarterly Expenditure
Ms Nicolette Van Zyl-Gous, Committee Researcher, took Members through the preparatory briefing noting that when conducting fiscal oversight over Departmental budgets, it was important for the Committee to scrutinise the entire budget progression from the main appropriation at the beginning of the 2015/16 financial year to the final appropriation at the end of the financial year, taking into account adjustments made to the budget. This allowed the Committee to compose a comprehensive view of how voted funds were utilised by the Department during the financial year. The Department of Police showed positive expenditure at the end of the 2015/16 financial year (FY) and managed to spend 99.9 % of its allocated budget of R76 billion, leaving an insignificant amount of R47 000.00 unspent. However, 100% expenditure at year-end was not necessarily good, when considering the manner in which it was attained. The Department made various adjustments to the 2015/16 budget through shifts and virements during the adjustments period, as reflected in the Adjusted Estimates of National Expenditure (AENE), coupled with post-AENE adjustments to budget allocations in quarter four. It was important to note that the adjustments made to the appropriated budget were in-line with legislative requirements of the Public Finance Management Act (1999). There was a concern that there could be a misalignment between initial budget allocations and performance priorities and/or expenditure trends, which could impact negatively on service delivery.
After taking Members through the budget cycle and in-year monitoring, the presentation looked at 2015/16 fourth quarter financial performance of SAPS. In total, the budget allocation of the SAPS shifted as follows during the 2015/16 financial year:
- The budget of the Administration Programme increased by R672 million overall during the 2015/16 financial year. After the second quarter, the Department increased the Administration Programme’s budget by R345.1 million and increased the allocation again by R326.9 million in the fourth quarter.
- The budget of the Visible Policing Programme decreased by R533.8 million overall during the 2015/16 financial year. After the second quarter, the Department decreased the Vispol Programme’s budget by R410.5 million and reduced it again by R123.2 million in the fourth quarter.
- The budget of the Detective Services Programme increased by R131.2 million overall during the 2015/16 financial year. After the second quarter, the Department increased the Detective Services budget by R276.4 million but reduced it again by R145.1 million in the fourth quarter leaving a net increase.
- The budget of the Crime Intelligence Programme decreased by R8.3 million overall during the 2015/16 financial year. After the second quarter, the Department increased the budget allocation of the Crime Intelligence Programme by R36.5 million but reduced it again in the fourth quarter by R44.8 million leaving a net decrease.
- The budget of the Protection and Security Services (PSS) increased by R82.5 million overall during the 2015/16 financial year. After the second quarter, the Department increased the PSS Programme’s budget by R96.2 million, but reduced it again by R13.6 million in the fourth quarter leaving a net increase.
Ms Van Zyl-Gous outlined that at the end of the first quarter of 2016/17, the Department had spent R19.4 billion or 24% of its main appropriation budget of R81 billion. Overall, spending was in-line with projections as well as the 25% linear benchmark set by Treasury. Higher than planned spending in the Administration and Crime Intelligence programmes, which was mainly driven by higher than planned spending on goods and services, specifically on the items: computer services (R392.2 million deviation), legal services (R13.4 million deviation) and agency and support services (R25.2 million deviation). There was under spending on the Criminal Justice System Revamp and Modernisation Programme in the Administration and Detective Services Programmes. In the Visible Policing Programme, spending on compensation for employees was higher than planned by R279.6 million during the period under review. Despite the high spending recorded on compensation of employees, 3 302 posts remained vacant in the programme as at the end of the quarter. There was an overall misalignment between spending on compensation of employees and the number of vacant posts in the Department. The Department recorded spending on compensation of employees that was higher than projections by R279.5 million. However, despite the high spending on compensation of employees, there were 5 247 vacant posts as at the end of the first quarter, mainly in the two core service delivery programmes, Vispol (3 302) and Detective Services (1 281). Given the expenditure ceiling set on compensation of employees for the 2016/17 financial year, the Department should ensure that only critical posts for service delivery were filled.
SAPS Briefing: 4th Quarter Financial Report 2015/16
Lt. Gen. Stefan Schutte, SAPS Deputy National Commissioner: Asset and Legal Management, before going into the presentation, highlighted that the adjustments estimates included the figures of the ENE, as always. This was also the template provided to the Department in preparing monthly reporting.
Lt. Gen. P Ramikosi, SAPS Divisional Commissioner: Financial and Administration Services, took the Committee through the presentation first looking at programme spending as at 31 March 2016 which stood as follows for the Department programmes:
- Administration: 101.9%
- Visible Policing: 99.7%
- Detective Services: 99.1%
- Crime Intelligence: 98.6%
- Protection and Security Services: 99.4%
- Total: 100.0%
In terms of the spending performance against the budget, there was full utilisation of funds i.e 100% expended. Virements for all programmes were well within the 8% PFMA estimate (in fact on average across all programmes 0.2%). There was an expenditure ratio of not more than 76%/24% for compensation / operational expenditures maintained (the threshold amount set aside for compensation was also not exceeded). Capacity building (critical items) was procured such as vehicles, clothing, ammunition, information technology, training, etc.
Looking at an overview of spending performance, the variances per programme were essentially as a result of the following:
- Compensation of employees spending due to the later implementation of grade progression, entry level constables, re-grading of salaries, housing and rental allowances amongst others
- Increased spending in the buildings and other capital infrastructure allocation
- Levies payable to SASSETA as a result of higher salary adjustments awarded in the PSCBC
- Increased spending on civil claims
- Increased spending in municipal services and leasehold contracts
- Capital equipment for specialised interventions
- Transport equipment and X-ray equipment in the Protection and Security Services
- Overall an increased tendency of personnel losses being experienced
Lt. Gen. Ramikosi said that compensation of employees actual spending for the period comprised 98, 6% of the allocated budget. Spending on Goods and Services comprised 104, 2% of the allocated budget (items less than R5000 were classified as capital). Transfers and subsidies comprised 104, 0% of the allocated budget mainly as a result of increased payments towards retirement benefits (leave gratuity) and the civil claim environment. Payments for capital assets comprised 104, 8 % of the allocated budget.
Members were then taken through cumulative trends in actual monthly spending since 2012/13 up to 2015/16 and spending performance of each sub-programme of the main programmes of the Department.
Lt. Gen. Schutte, in conclusion, felt it important to provide further context to variances outlined– he reiterated that the AENE was used and not the initial estimate as that was changed by Parliament through the adjusted estimates. Apart from this, computer services did increase significantly in the last quarter especially as occurred in other financial years. SAPS pushed along significantly to upgrade station and location networks. SITA approval only came through in February. One would also find that vehicles usually came in at bulk at the latter part of the financial year which contributed to higher capital expenditure during beginning of the new financial year. Capital increase was also due to the purchase of the Telkom Towers building through a cash purchase – this was a very important aspect to note. There was also a transition in September/October 2015 in the Accounting Officer of the Department. There was also an increase in the expenditure on compensation in the fourth quarter of 2015/16 due to new arrangements and plans of the Acting National Commissioner with enlistments and reenlistments – this was also a very important aspect to consider. Rental allowances also increased which also pushed up fourth quarter expenditure. This was also linked to the home owner’s allowance payments. In summary, the specific aspects increasing expenditure in the fourth quarter included, the network upgrade, compensation, vehicle deliveries (in excess of 5 000 vehicles) etc as intended. Personnel losses were also slightly more than what was usually encountered and as VISPOL was the biggest programme of the Department, it was obvious that most of the losses would come from this programme.
The Chairperson understood the Back to Basics Approach to mean more visible police and much more focus on detective services – his concern was the number of vacancies as a result of more personnel losses and he questioned if the recruitment of former members was just a flash in the pan. He was interested in what steps were taken in the fourth quarter to ensure vacancies were filled or if the posts were left open to have more funds available for other priorities. It was important for the Committee that detectives and VISPOL were fully resourced and vacant posts filled in this programmes because this was the crux of Back to Basics. The high visibility of police as seen during the Local Government Elections should be seen all the time.
Lt. Gen. Ramikosi explained that with the personnel losses, analysis on the past three financial years showed that, on average, 6 000 personnel were being lost per annum – this was informed by varying factors like retirement, being killed on duty, resignations etc. and this impacted the budget. When personnel resigned, the immediate impact was an expenditure increase in terms of leave gratuity to be paid. Going forward however, a saving of cost was registered. In the current financial year, re-enlistment remained very much a priority and the process was still ongoing. An amount of 1 500 re-enlistments was estimated for the current financial year to replace those personnel lost. There were also 5 000 new recruits to replace the lost. The problem was that the intake per annum was usually less than what was being loss. In the first quarter of 2016/17, there was already a loss of over 1 000. There was also a time gap where personnel lost could not be replaced immediately so at any point in time there would always be gaps. The aim was for the intake to keep the organisation afloat. 20% of personnel were also currently almost at the point of retirement and this also would have an impact on expenditure. Personnel losses and vacancies remained a key priority of the Department in terms of budget.
Maj. Gen. J Nelson, SAPS Head: Expenditure and Accounting Services (Financial and Administration Division) added that for the previous and current financial year, there was a total staff establishment of 198 062 initially planned.
Ms A Molebatsi (ANC) followed up and asked if the resignations alluded to by Lt. Gen. Ramikosi included section 335 terminations.
Mr P Groenewald (FF+) also had a follow up question on the reenlistments – he asked how many reenlistments there were annually and what the criteria was for reenlistment as he received enquiries from a number of people who applied for enlistment but received no response on their application.
Lt. Gen. Schutte indicated that with personnel, to a certain extent, numbers needed to be decreased while at the same time feeding the organisation to maintain a balance. Looking at any organisation as a triangle, it needed to be fed by enlistments at the bottom. Upward mobility in the organisation came through promotions and because appointments at the high levels were few, they did not really feed the organisation. Levels of staff establishment were then sustained through inflow, upward mobility and exit. With the enlistments, this needed to occur every year – last year SAPS made 5 000 enlistments. Reenlistments were easy gains but more specific figures and criteria could be provided to the Committee. While plans were not concrete, there would be enlistments in the vicinity of 1 200 for the current financial year given that a number of people had applied. He emphasised that this figure was subject to change but the intention was to play open cards with the Committee for Members to get a sense of what was being planned for 2016/17.
Ms Molebatsi thought the fourth quarter budget did not sound quite right, for example, with vehicles delivered so late into the financial year. She questioned what the increased spending on civil claims was attributed to. Did it mean communities were becoming more aware of their rights or were SAPS members becoming more negligent?
Lt. Gen. Schutte said there was no intention of splashing out especially with the amount of expenditure under discussion. Simplistically speaking, the equipment needed could not just be bought off the shelf from Makro – it was impossible to spend that kind of money under such a scenario. On the civil claims, he could not say if it was attributed to negligence or ignorance. Management intervention was looking at the matter – the Committee should wait to see what came out of the management intervention.
Mr A Shaik Emam (NFP), having also sat on the Standing Committee on Appropriations, found that there appeared to be a lot of fiscal dumping in the last quarter of a financial year to generally please Parliament that funds were spent. The question then was how balance was maintained between expenditure and spending vs. desired outcomes and results. Often there was more emphasis on spending money than on the services received in return for this spend. He also had a problem with overspending in some programmes while others were under-spent. He was concerned that compensation of employees increased while there was still a large vacancy rate – he did not understand this.
Lt. Gen. Schutte replied that the vehicles were definitely intended to be purchased with a marginal amount of unintended purchases when it was seen that some money was left over at the end of the financial year. However, 99.9% of purchases were intended. These purchases were big amounts so they had to have been planned for. These big aspects of spending like vehicles, compensation, purchase of the Telkom Towers building and network upgrade could not be reconciled with fiscal dumping – this expenditure was always intended although it happened in the fourth quarter. The critical items for SAPS members were vehicles, bulletproof vests, weapons and ammunition – this critical equipment was there and would always be needed. These critical items were also substantial in terms of their requirements. On the desired results, SAPS received what it wanted from the purchases but qualitatively, he had to trust, and was quite confident, that the expenditure would provide the desired results. It was very difficult to, qualitatively, say absolutely yes or no but what SAPS wanted to purchase was received.
Ms M Mmola (ANC) questioned what was meant by “overall an increase tendency of personnel losses being experienced”.
Mr Z Mbhele (DA), on the issue of civil claims, asked if most claims were historical cases and were now only being processed and finalised or if these claims originated during the financial year itself. He asked what the reasons were for increased spending on municipal services – was this because of arrears in accounts or increased tariffs?
Lt. Gen. Schutte responded that civil claims could only be budgeted for by looking at previous trends. SAPS worked through letters of demand in terms of the claims and a sliding scale of diminishing amounts to see which categories had the most volumes – the most volume was usually in the smaller categories. Claims were not all current year claims and there were claims coming from previous years but in essence, the claims were not that old. At the end of the Annual Report would be a schedule of claims received and claims cancelled in the financial year. Legal services also cancelled a number of claims in the smaller categories.
Mr Groenewald sought more explanation on what exactly was meant by network upgrade – did this mean there was a new service provider or that physical equipment was upgraded? He questioned the real expenditure ratio for compensation vs. operations and wanted more clarity on civil claims – were these claims finalised by court or were they still outstanding and if so, how were these claims budgeted for.
Lt. Gen. Schutte spoke to the upgrading of the networks noting that it implied increasing the capacity of the data lines and network equipment like switches – there was always an equipment side and a data line side.
On the expenditure ratio split, Gen. Ramikosi said with the split of 76:24, SAPS was in the range. The trend was for the ratio to increase more towards compensation of employees so the split was in line with the trend.
Mr P Mhlongo (EFF) noted the visit of the Committee to the Free State last year where observations were made, in relation to POP, that almost all nyalas were completely grounded. The explanation for this was budget constraints and unavailability of parts. He was concerned to see that the presentation made no reference to repair costs in the case of vehicle breakdowns.
The Chairperson noted that last year on numerous occasions, the Committee raised concerns around the changing environment in which SAPS operated also in light of increased police killings– in terms of the profile of vehicles, was there a strategic shift in terms of vehicle procurement plans to take into consideration this changing environment? If there was no strategic shift, what were the reasons? This was a very important priority for the Committee.
Lt. Gen. S Masemola, SAPS Deputy National Commissioner: Policing, said that the Acting National Commissioner directed orders from provinces be gone through by the various divisional heads. The emphasis was on quality and not quantity to prevent the wrong vehicles landing up in the wrong terrain. It was also important to ensure there were repair centres for specific vehicles near to towns and cities.
The Chairperson clarified that there were strategic shifts in environments where, for example, VISPOL patrolled in dangerous areas and situations but was this matched by a change in the specifications for vehicles for VISPOL or was everything still the same?
Lt. Gen. Masemola responded that SAPS currently still used the bakkie but the possibility of changing to get vehicles which could accommodate more than two people still needed to be discussed. The sedan was considered but SAPS thought the double-cab could accommodate more police officers and still have an area for detained person – the intention was to move into this direction.
The Chairperson thought this was an issue for the Committee to take up in the fourth term because it was vital for SAPS to adopt a new strategy to match the change in environments. Looking at the next five years, it was important to consider the environments changing even further and to look at what other jurisdictions were doing. He welcomed the fact that discussions were currently underway but thought it could not be business as usual buying in bulk from the same service providers. A new approach needed to be adopted for the long term.
Lt. Gen. Ramikosi agreed – from a finance perspective, if quantity was chosen over quality, in the long run, this would cost the Department more. In communicating their requirements, provinces were to consider those vehicles which were suited for their own terrain and environment to last for a longer time. This would equate to a saving in terms of the budget.
Mr Shaik Emam asked if SAPS did a study on the advantages of owning properties rather than leasing them over a period of time. On the issue of vehicles, he understood that the Department had a strategic plan on which the budget was based but if the vehicles were only received at the end of the financial year, those plans and strategies could not have been realised before then. He also understood vehicles to be planned for years in advance – if this was so, one should know when they would be received and for their purposes to be planned around that.
Lt. Gen. Schutte indicated that the Department received technical guidelines from Treasury during the budget process – the Department would prefer a CPI scenario in terms of lease agreements. If an average CPI of 7 was utilised but there 1 200 leases, the average of the actual portfolio might be more, at the end of the day, than what was available. A CPI of between 8 and 12 was the current going rate of annual rental cases. SAPS did not sign or engage in leases – that was an out and out function of the Department of Public Works although the funds were with SAPS.
The Chairperson questioned the expenditure on ICT where the presentation made reference to this expenditure being primarily on the Criminal Justice System (CJS). Information the Committee had seen showed that only R7 million of that R45 million went to CJS while the other funds went to other matters of expenditure. On the vehicles, they were planned for quite in advance but they could not be ordered prior to the beginning of a new financial year because it would balloon commitments. The Department was also subject to RT-57 which was only released around June i.e. no orders could be placed before then. This was a constant battle and it would remain as such. Luckily, the current RT-57 had been awarded for two years and no longer annually – this would make it easier to place orders earlier.
Maj. Gen. Nelson responded that in programme three: detective services and its two sub-programmes, forensic science laboratory and criminal record centre, the provision for the IJS/CJS programme costing was provided and budgeted for. Under computer services, the actual expenditure was R573, 002 million. An additional focus was also directed to computer services where an additional amount of R79 million was moved to the forensic science lab and criminal record centre environment in accordance with the programme management plan to achieve the desired outcomes in the IJS/CJS programme.
Mr Shaik Emam thought the issue of employees would always be there in terms of the number almost at the point of retirement – what was the long term plan to reduce this or ensure the right kind of people would be attracted to the organisation? He often remarked that a policing curriculum should be started at school level to encourage a passion – was there such a long term plan or consideration to prevent such personnel losses?
SAPS Briefing: 4th Quarter Financial Report 2015/16
Lt. Gen. Schutte found it important to note that SAPS will, in all probability, approach Parliament in the adjustment estimates process because of the local government election which was not additionally funded – policing of the elections came from SAPS existing budget.
Lt. Gen. Ramikosi proceeded to take Members through the presentation beginning with an overview of the budget process and outcome of the 2016/17 budget process where the police received R80.985 billion for the 2016/17 financial year. Cabinet approved reductions to the baseline of the Department over the medium term period as follows:
- R1.152 billion in 2016/17, R1.791 billion in 2017/18 and R1.792 billion in 2018/19.
- These reductions were effected from compensation of employees comprised of R799.9 million in 2016/17, R1.465 billion in 2017/18 and R1.366 billion in 2018/19.
- R302, 1 million in 2016/17, R225.9 million in 2017/18 and R275.1 million in 2018/19 were also removed from goods and services.
- R50 million in 2016/17, R100 million in 2017/18 and R150 million in 2018/19 were removed from the Integrated Justice System project.
The Department also received additional funding as follows:
- R1.321 billion in 2016/17, R2.424 billion in 2017/18 and R3.000 billion in 2018/19 to provide for higher personnel remuneration costs as a result of the public sector wage settlement.
- R241.9 million in 2017/18 and R355.8 million in 2018/19 to provide for the capacitation of existing Public Order Policing (POP) units.
Looking at the first quarter expenditure analysis for the total vote 2016/17, the linear indication was for 25% expenditure but the Department was currently at 24.0% thus just slightly under the linear indication projection as at 30 June 2016 (remainder of the budget stood at 76.0%).
Lt. Gen. Ramikosi then took Members through the monthly spending vs. estimates (drawings) for the current financial year. In terms of the programme spending as at 30 June 2016, the picture currernly presented:
- Administration: 24.8%
- Visible Policing: 24.1%
- Detective Services: 22.5%
- Crime Intelligence: 24.7%
- Protection and Security Services: 24.2%
- Total: 24.0%
Although indicative of nature, the expenditures of each quarter in a financial year will not be precisely equal caused by reasons such as delivery of vehicles and other equipment, salary increases, payment of pay progression, etc. The procurement of critical items such as uniform, ammunition,
weapons etc. had been planned and was taking place. Vehicles procurement of R1 billion for the Department was also in process and starting to take place (RT57 approved by Treasury on 2 August
2016). Personnel employment and enlistments continued. Salary increases as negotiated in the PSCBC were paid in April 2016. Total cumulative spending in the Vote comprised 24, 0% of the allocated budget after three3 months which was approximately similar to previous years. Compensation of Employees actual spending for the period comprised 25, 0% of the allocated budget and was fairly on course. Higher than anticipated salary increases as signed in the PSCBC (7, 0% - 7, 6%, levels 1 – 12) for all Departments were paid). Spending on Goods and Services comprised 22, 3% of the allocated budget, e.g. Criminal Justice System Revamp spending was below linear benchmark (detail clarification and interaction with the National Treasury took place in the first quarter). Spending on Sita SLA’s were lower (signed on 26 July 2016), transfers and subsidies were in line with the linear benchmark, payments for capital assets comprised 8, 6 % of the allocated budget, buildings and infrastructure were a bit lower than expected, machinery and equipment were historical spending tendencies and reflect increased spending during the latter part of the financial year as delivery of vehicles (major portion) took place (this was a normal trend and under expenditure of this item was not a real risk). Previous delivery trends endorsed this inference.
Lt. Gen. Ramikosi then took the Committee through the first quarter expenditure for sub-programmes within the Department’s main programmes.
Lt. Gen. Schutte added that the Service Level Agreements (SLA) between SAPS and SITA was an annual process and was signed on 26 July 2016. The SLA was approximately R1.8 billion and currently, more than 100 orders had already been placed with SITA to the value of R900 million. The process was being monitored closely. Referring to the CJS environment, SAPS was subject, in recent years, to very in-depth analysis and scrutiny by National Treasury. On 8 June 2016, National Treasury indicated their satisfaction with the projects and gave the go ahead. Processes being subject to approval aided in explaining why expenditure was slightly behind for some programmes in the first quarter of 2016/17.
Mr Shaik Emam noted that the Department would have known there was a local government election and that there would be extreme pressure to deliver – why did SAPS not request more money? Despite this, the police did a fantastic job during the elections and they should be commended for that but how did the Department manage with no additional funds? The budget of the Department was not quarterly so it was to be understood that there was slight under spending in the first quarter because of long term projects. He was concerned about the slight over expenditure in the administration programme and how this would impact the rest of the financial year.
Maj. Gen. Nelson explained the reason for the current spending trend was due to flight and accommodation arrangements in terms of commitments incurred with a travel agency and delays in invoices from the agency dating back to almost a year. Arrangements were made, with the cooperation of National Treasury, to deal with the outstanding commitments and for a proper process to structure the new claims – the matter was being monitored very closely to stay within the current budget of the financial year.
Ms Molebatsi sought an explanation on the high number of vacancies in detective services despite increased expenditure in the programme. Mention was made of intense scrutiny by National Treasury – was there a specific reason for this? VISPOL had a number of reductions – why was this?
Lt. Gen. Schutte explained that because the CJS project was so important and earmarked, it meant it was natural for the process to face close monitoring. Projects were scrutinised but this was just intensified in the case of the CJS.
Ms Mmola requested that abbreviations be written in full in future presentations.
Lt. Gen. Schutte took note of this.
Mr J Maake (ANC) asked if additional funding came from outside the budget or if it was factored into the budget itself. Under the detective services programme, he asked why there was lower spending on the CJS impacting the forensic science laboratory and the criminal records centre.
Lt. Gen. Schutte stated that, as the Committee knew, the CJS programme was a very big one. CJS spanned over different environments to cover IT in the Technology Management Services (TMS), forensic services, general detective work and training of general detectives. The two big CJS components were with the criminal records centre and TMS. It was also important to remember that only on 8 June 2016 did Treasury indicate it was happy with the projects and provided the go ahead.
Maj. Gen. Nelson added that a total of R730 million of the CJS environment sat within the forensics/criminal record centre and detective services. At the end of June 2016, the spending was at 16.5% because the Treasury approval only came through in June. There were some recurring commitments that emanated from a contractual agreement in the previous year. The equipment being procured was also highly technical which required time to develop the specifications the majority of which were new. The R730 million would realise as anticipated.
Mr M Redelinghuis (DA) also commended the police for the excellent job done during the elections but he agreed that the Department would have known that 2016 was an election year while being unaware of the exact date. He further asked about which programmes were impacted by the elections.
Lt. Gen. Schutte confirmed the Department did know about the local elections and additional funding was requested in the MTEF application but the Department was not successful. The precise number of voting stations was not known in advance, where the hotspots would be or all the functions which would need to be performed. There were however overtime allowances.
Mr Mbhele was interested in the picture SAPS faced in the medium term in terms of baseline reductions and the fact that it would impact on service delivery compared to if the normal trend continued. He asked if there was some creativity, innovation and lateral thinking on the part of top management to look at having work augmented by the private sector. An example was a recent police station opened in Mpumalanga through a public-private partnership. He also felt the Department was not maximising the reservists to boost numbers. How would spending limitations be navigated in the medium term by leveraging other resources and contributions from other stakeholders including the private sector?
Maj. Gen. Nelson replied that with the baseline reductions, Treasury followed a two-pronged approach with (1) reductions on goods and services and (2) reductions on compensation in order to ensure compensation increases, in the long term, did not exceed the inflationary adjustments and provisions. SAPS were obliged to honour these reductions and they were implemented. Transversal contracts were also in the process of being transferred to reduce the costs in terms of goods and services.
Mr M Mncwango (IFP) appreciated that spending on compensation of employees was well on trend in terms of the linear benchmark for the 2016/17 first quarter at 25% but he was concerned about the higher than anticipated salaries – how would SAPS factor for this which was not factored into the budget? On the contracts of buildings, he found the fact that SAPS did not sign the contracts but paid for the leases a very strange arrangement as the Department was not able to negotiate themselves.
Lt. Gen. Schutte answered that this was the model received and the model SAPS followed. SAPS did provide inputs as to needs and requirements but the Department of Public Works (DPW) ultimately made the decisions. It was also the prerogative of DPW to sign leases or not.
Mr Groenewald did not understand why the presentation spoke to reductions while on the next page, reference was made to additional funding – an explanation was needed for this. On detective services, he also asked why there was lower spending on CJS.
Lt. Gen. Ramikosi explained that the reductions spoke to employees which the Department projected to hire and which Cabinet did not agree. The additional funding spoke to existing employees. Great appeals were made to Treasury not to subject SAPS to reductions but to allow employees to be replaced as they left or retired.
Mr Groenewald did not accept the response as it did not make sense to him – he found the additional funding to undermine the principle of austerity measures put in place by the Minister of Finance. He did not think more personnel were necessarily needed. The emphasis was more on having better trained members for more effective policing.
Maj. Gen. Nelson responded that Treasury had a specific budget allocation for compensation of employees with regard to salary adjustments – this particular adjustment was as a result of the public service bargaining council agreement which could not be planned for the MTF.
Mr Groenewald asked what SAPS was doing then in terms of austerity measures with personnel.
Lt. Gen. Schutte replied that SAPS had taken reductions in certain categories, namely compensation and goods and services, but there were also increases in other environments. Treasury was chiefly concerned about an upper limit – in order to balance, SAPS would have to look at a number of aspects in the compensation environment like overtime and the number of people the organisation could afford. Treasury had now looked at a headcount based on the upper limit and although he could not make predictions, the probability was that there would be a decrease in the headcount to a certain extent – it might not be massive but a reduction, slow increase or stabilisation would be seen similar to any other department. Increases, as seen in the past, seemed to be over nor would previous growth rates be seen.
Mr Mncwango could not reconcile the high spending on compensation and the high amount of vacant posts most of which were in critical police programmes like VISPOL and detective services – how was this explained?
Mr Mhlongo wanted to find out if SAPS had a three or four year cycle in the bargaining councils which various public sector bargaining councils agreed to in order to avoid this kind of discrepancy in the main. He was concerned with the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) budgetary requirements and if funding for the unit was ring fenced in the current budget.
A Member noted that with the procurement of critical items, a uniform could be procured annually but he asked if the ammunition and weapons could not be bought in bulk in advance.
Lt. Gen. Schutte said SAPS worked on a model regarding the average issuing utilisation rate in the SEM environment over the past three years. There were different methodologies to use when determining stock levels but it all depended on availability, accessibility and disaster stock. If the equipment was readily available it was not necessary for SAPS to carry it on the shelves. Ammunition also had a shelf life. Buying in bulk was a valid point but SAPS was constantly revising its model regarding the stock hold. It was not ideal to have such a large stockholding that translated to money in crates or in stores because this also implied the incurrence of a loss i.e. more stock meant more guarding against losses.
The Chairperson outlined that with the current financial year, the new structure had been implemented but asked if the new structure would be more expensive, less expensive or the same.
Lt. Gen. Schutte had not seen figures in this regard yet but it was a matter the Department could return to the Committee on at some point.
Mr Shaik Emam noted that his previous question on leasing was not answered and if SAPS was considering purchasing. The perception was that the state was a cash cow and that when business was done, the price would be three or four times higher. How much was SAPS paying for leases and was a study ever conducted on the benefits of rather purchasing because those premises would always be needed.
The Chairperson thought these detailed questions could be responded to in writing.
Mr Mhlongo asked if SAPS had adopted for a three or four year cycle in their bargaining council in order to avoid discrepancies discussed today being repeated with compensation. He questioned the ring fencing of the DPCI budget within the detective services programme – ultimately the Committee and Department would be held responsible for meeting reasonable requests made by DPCI. Did SAPS take into account the DPCI requests in terms of the current presented budget so that costs did not balloon?
The Chairperson noted that the requests DPCI made to the Committee were additional in terms of the October process and the matter was already with Treasury.
Lt. Gen. Schutte explained that with certain subject matters, including the police, issues were negotiated in the public service bargaining council which also negotiated for all departments. Other specific matters were only dealt with in the SSSBC. To a certain extent what happened in the public service bargaining council was enforced on the Department. With SSSBC matters, departments also had to stay within the labour law but there was slightly more room for discretion on some aspects. In terms of the presentation and discussion today, those matters were all related to the public service bargaining council and which the Department had to accept. Turning to the Hawks, SAPS could not touch the DPCI budget and, as highlighted in the presentation, “specialised investigations are earmarked” i.e. the R1 431 077 billion DPCI budget could not be touched. What happened going forward was left however in the hands of the Committee. If the DPCI requested any additional needs it would have to be communicated with Treasury.
Mr Maake wanted to understand to the DPCI funds to be earmarked but he asked if the Directorate still needed the approval of SAPS to utilise the funds.
Lt. Gen. Schutte highlighted that the DPCI was still within the broader vote and like any other independent department; it still had to comply with certain processes. The DPCI was independent in terms of functional mandate but there were still certain dependencies like having their vehicles repaired in SAPS workshops.
SAPS: Reform and progress on implementation of Farlam Commission recommendations: division operational response services
The Chairperson outlined that the presentation today would focus on operational matters. The Minister and Deputy Minister would still need to update the Committee on the task team and other broad policy matters. It had been four years since Marikana so it was important for the Committee to be updated on the issues in terms of oversight.
Maj. Gen. Z Mhkwanazi, SAPS Divisional Commissioner: Public Order Policing, took the Committee through the presentation which covered the status of the implementation of the Farlam Commission of Inquiry recommendations and any other reform brought about in the POP environment since its re-establishment in 2011. Going through each Farlam Commission recommendation beginning with:
-equipment, the presentation outlined that a submission had been forwarded to Division Technology Management Services (TMS) for the development of a integrated Riot Helmet with radio communication capabilities. Procurement of these items was planned for the 2017/2018 financial year. Protocol formed part of the Joint Operational Centre (JOC) structure of the operational plan of every deployment and was enforced by the Operational Commander. In case of radio communication failure, the Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRAD - 26) had been purchased. National Instruction 4 of 2014, paragraph 11 and 12, made provision for preplanning of operations and briefing of members as well as commanders with procedures to be followed to minimise gaps and grey areas including radio channels to be used and line of communication with other stakeholders. 53 Video Cameras had been procured for the POP Units. In support of evidence preservation, 200 external hard drives, 65 voice recorders and 238 still cameras were procured. POP had standardised the list of equipment to be procured. Each unit was allocated equipment based on the model (size) of the unit ensuring that all units had the same type of equipment (e.g. video equipment). Procurement was now centralised. Training was provided on the use of all specialised equipment procured. Maintenance of specialised equipment (e.g. water cannons) was in the process of being finalised and all other specialised equipment will be procured with service level agreements / maintenance contracts and training. The number of POP members trained and retrained on the use of specialised equipment stood at:
- water cannon: 33
-40mm grenade launchers: 62
-video operators: 60
Still on equipment, the Air Wing identified the removal of eight cameras from the old BO 105 Helicopters to re-install on the AS350 B3 Helicopters. Four additional cameras were planned to be procured in the 2017/18 financial year and ten aircraft were currently fitted with cameras (three X AS 350 B3, six X R 44 and one X PC 6 Aeroplane).
-First aid: the Division Human Resource Development (HRD) had put in place a project to accelerate first aid training for all SAPS members. First Aid Level I, II and III were currently part of the NIU and STF Training Curriculum.
Looking at additional recommendations, Maj. Gen. Mhkwanazi outlined that National Instruction 4 of 2014, paragraph 13 and 14, made exclusive provision for the execution of Public Order restoration operations to only POP trained members and commanders. The following POP members were trained and retrained on:
• Crowd Management for Platoon Commanders: 124
• Crowd Management for Platoon Commanders Train the Trainer: 23
• Operational Commanders Training: 546
• Operational Commanders Training Re-Assessment: 12
• POP Refresher Training: 3569
• French Crowd Management Train the Trainer: 28
National Instruction 4 of 2014, paragraph 10, made provision for the following levels of command and control and planning:
• Level 1: The specific Station Commander or Visible Policing Commander of the relevant station area must act as the Overall Commander.
• Level 2: The specific Station Commander or Visible Policing Commander of the relevant station area must act as the Overall Commander unless otherwise determined by the relevant Provincial Commissioner or functionary designated by him or her (POP commander on standby)
• Level 3: The Provincial Commissioner or the Divisional Commissioner: ORS, or an officer designated by him or her, must ensure that an overall commander was designated by him or her (POP Commander was the overall commander)
National Instruction 4 of 2014 also made provision to ensure that planning was done in a systematic manner.
Maj. Gen. Mkhwanazi noted other reforms implemented included the introduction of the Policy and Guidelines: Policing of Public Protest, Gatherings and Major Events, approval of National Instruction 4 of 2014 to operationalise the Policy and Guidelines and approval of the POP Enhancement Strategy which sought to build POP capacity and modernise its equipment. There was also the review of the Municipal Standard for Metropolitan Police to clarify roles and responsibilities, reviewing of the training curriculum, review of the Use of Force Directive, review of the Police Basic Training Curriculum to include full Crowd Management Course and introduction of the Joint Exercise of Specialised Units
In terms of capacitation of POP, appointments were made, namely:
- Component Head: POP - Major General Z Mkhwanazi appointed in June 2016.
- Section Head: Planning and Evaluation: Brigadier Fazel Ally appointed in July 2016.
- Section Head: POP Operations: Post currently advertised and to be filled before the end October 2016.
Members were also informed of staffing of POP and training of existing units. In terms of funding, there was R31.1 million for personal protective equipment for POP members, R16.5 million for the removal and refitting of aircraft camera systems for Airwing in support of the recommendation of the Farlam Commission and R2.4 million suspended to the HRD division for training of POP personnel. ESS ON FARLAM COMMISSION
The Chairperson reiterated that the Minister and Deputy Minister still needed to brief the Committee on updates relating to the panel and task team while the purpose of today’s meeting was to ascertain where operational issues were. Looking at the National Instruction, upon reading it the Chairperson thought it should be strengthened to fully make reference to POP throughout the whole chain of operations. The issue of vehicles was consistently raised by the Committee especially in relating to the aging nyalas – where was this matter currently? There was no mention of it in the presentation.
Lt. Gen. E Mawela, SAPS Divisional Commissioner: Operational Response Services, indicated that SAPS was in discussion with the CSIR and these discussions were actually at an advanced stage where the specifications for all equipment requested were already worked out. These matters would be ready for procurement in the next financial year. The list for all other capital equipment the Department wanted to buy was also worked out – this was referred to as “Project 75” because there were 75 items the Operational Response Services division requested for procurement.
Ms Molebatsi congratulated Lt. Gen. N Mkhwanazi on being appointed as the Component Head for POP. On the presentation, she asked if the basic first aid training would be included in the basic training curriculum of the new recruits at entry level. In the past, the Committee was informed of how expensive each nayala was but was research done as to how the fight against the expensive nyalas could be fought?
On the point of Nyalas, the Chairperson noted that Denel was also involved in the manufacturing of vehicles and exporting them to other countries. He was concerned that SAPS was not moving fast enough on this issue.
Lt. Gen. Mawela said that strong consideration was given to buying nyalas locally – CSIR and supply chain were working on the specs. Once there was funding procurement would be looked into.
Mr Shaik Emam questioned how SAPS identified the needs of provinces in respect of allocations especially with regard to the number of officers deployed. Looking ahead at the next election in 2019, did SAPS believe it had the adequate capacity in light of unrest? With the video cameras, which provinces were they allocated to in terms of needs?
Lt. Gen. Mawela responded that the intention was to capacitate those units with fewer members and to push all units to operate on at least 80%. Those units with less were given more and visa versa – this was the criteria being used.
Ms Mmola asked if POP members would also be trained on other specialised equipment most notably the LRAD. What was the timeframe for the training of all SAPS members on basic first aid?
Lt. Gen. Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, SAPS Divisional Commissioner: Human Resource Management, said that with the revised basic training programme presented to members earlier in the year, 18 sessions on first aid training was included on level one. Members finished with training on this level would also be trained on crowd management for a period of three weeks which translated to 18 sessions. This would ensure officers were quite conversant with the management of crowds at the different levels. It was possible that the Department would venture into training members on the different types of equipment. In the past financial year, a total of 2 163 members were trained on first aid in SAPS as a whole. There was a plan for further training of members in this regard.
Mr Maake wanted to understand the recommendation relating to overall command – National Instruction Four already made provision for this so was the recommendation calling for something additional? He noted that there were no additional members trained and deployed in Limpopo and asked the reason for this. He was interested in the LRAD and how it was used etc.
Lt. Gen. Mawela replied that LRAD stood for the Long Range Acoustic Device - it was a portable megaphone or hailing device to communicate with members at a distance. It also emitted a funny sound which made people drowsy. It could also record what was being said to feed the information back to the operator on the other side. It could also emit pre-recorded messages to participants. Luckily enough, yesterday SAPS received a report from the CSIR indicating that the device was safe for use in terms of health if it was operated correctly and at the right distance. With the provinces, Limpopo would be covered in the remainder of training which would be prioritised and included in the 2016/17 allocation as the presentation outlined. 80 members would be trained and deployed in Limpopo in 2016/17.
Mr Maake did not know what a “funny” sound was referring to – did this mean a high-pitched sound?
The Chairperson asked if the device was used in other jurisdictions.
Lt. Gen. Mawela answered that the sound was similar to a siren or an alarm which was an irritation to the ears of the participants. In terms of jurisdictions, the device could not be used in a very built up area and should be used 5m from the participants. All the do’s and don’t’s would be further developed in the training of the equipment.
Mr Mbhele noted that one of the risks around live recording of POP incidents was damage to the recording devices, damage to storage devices and the risk of tampering at some stage. One of the ways to mitigate this was to have a backup live stream of the feed to cloud storage – was this part of the planning and feasibility study?
Lt. Gen. Mawela said these were matters being looked at also by the CSIR. With the helicopters, it was hoped that it footage captured was down-linked to the joint operational centres.
Mr Groenewald felt that one of the main issues with Marikana was uncertainty it terms of who was ultimately in control in terms of overall command. The presentation was still not clear on who was ultimately in control in a situation at level two. Level three was also unclear on control because it spoke of various designations. He was concerned that this would cause more confusion.
Maj. Gen. Mkhwanazi explained that National Instruction 4 of 2014 spoke to levels – level one referred to a situation where there was a clear analysis that the situation would not cause any problems – anyone could take care of such a situation including the Metro Police Service. Level two was similar but POP had to be on standby. Level three applied to a situation where it was clear that there would be a problem and an Overall Commander must be appointed. Marikana was an example of where there was not clarity in terms of who was in control. Perhaps the National Instruction should be further enhanced to further expand and give more information that the Overall Commander must have knowledge in crowd control and must be the person to take charge in a situation. The emphasis was on POP taking the lead and taking control of the situation to avoid the wrong person taking control and to be in line with National Instruction 4 of 2014.
Mr Groenewald asked who was in charge of identifying the situation as level one, two or three. If for example the situation was declared level two, who decided if the Station Commander or VISPOL Commander would be in charge?
Maj. Gen. Mkhwanazi replied that SAPS worked with the organiser of the march or the protest to decide on where the situation would be a problem or not. A decision would then be taken on who would take charge.
Mr Groenewald then asked who took the final decision on who would be in charge.
Mr Mhlongo understood that the matter could still be in the infancy stage of development and it could still have many gaps as those raised by Mr Groenewald. One could organise a march and outlined that it would be peaceful but when it actually happened the situation could, intentionally or unintentionally, be totally different which would change the situation from level one to three. This would often result in police acting in a very brutal manner because they would be completely unprepared. There should be well worked out mechanisms in terms of command and control, who took decisions and how the decision was arisen at.
Lt. Gen. Mawela said the current prescripts were under review by the panel of experts so all the gaps identified by Members were being taken care of by the panel of experts.
The Committee understood this.
In closing, the Chairperson outlined that the Committee took note of the spending patterns presented in the fourth and first quarter briefings. The emphasis was on filling vacancies in the critical programmes like detective services and VISPOL as soon as possible – this was a priority of the Committee because visible policing in communities helped in building confidence and safety which was quite vital. It was also important to improve detective rates and the Committee would be monitoring these environments moving forward along with other expenditure. The POP presentation was noted – a lot remained to be done and the role of panel in revising National Instructions would be vital. It was important that the issue of equipment was fast tracked along with ensuring units were equipped with manpower. The Committee acknowledged that the POP unit did very well during the elections and there was indeed an improvement in the doctrine approach – this was the way to go.
The meeting was adjourned.
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