The Portfolio Committee on Police arranged for hearings on the South African Police Service (SAPS) budget and Annual Performance Plan (APP) over a period of three days, beginning with input from National Treasury, the South African Policing Union and a specialist in international policing.
National Treasury noted that the key issue was that there was no one-to-one link between the SAPS budget and performance in the SAPS. That would make it difficult to measure whether the funding was being spent to achieve the strategic goals of SAPS. The bulk of the budget went to Visible Policing while Personnel costs accounted for 76% of the SAPS budget.
SAPU began by asking that SAPU be given an opportunity to be involved in the budget process prior to the finalisation of the budget. The Union believed that the Police Act was wanting because it had preceded the Constitution but the necessary amendments had not been made. The Union emphasised the need to finalise the appointment of the National Commissioner. SAPU objected to the unreasonable delays in finalising cases against senior officers. There were concerns about the process of replacing or deploying people at the 10111 centres and at O R Tambo Airport. Finally, the Union addressed the matter of the mishandling of funds at PolMed but the Chairperson informed the Union that they would be invited to a Portfolio Committee meeting with PolMed to discuss the matter.
A specialist in policing from Africa Analysis provided an analysis of the SAPS Annual Performance Plan (APP). He looked at the alignment between budget allocation and performance. More was being spent on personnel than on the business of policing. SAPS had not involved stakeholders in the budget process. The budget details were not deep enough for the Committee to understand fully what was being paid for. The SAPS “Back to basics towards a safer tomorrow” slogan suggested a romantic vision of the past which ignored the reality of the past. It also did not address the advent of modern crimes. He was of the opinion that SAPS had no understanding of risks experienced by citizens and so was unable to manage contact crimes in concord with citizens. Crime analysis and trends did not talk about the obligation to prevent crime. He expressed concern about leadership and management.
The Minister of Police attended briefly, announcing that the President’s marching orders were that they had to end criminality by skilful manoeuvring or by brute force. He made reference to the White Papers on Policing and on Safety and Security and gave an indication of the expected outcomes of the two White Papers. He asserted that it was in the interest of society that they expose and root out corrupt elements in the police service through zero tolerance of corruption and mismanagement. He expressed concern about the state’s approach to organised crime and introduced various priorities to be added to the plethora of existing initiatives.
SAPS reported on its Strategic Management Process, the APP, the Annual Operation Plans, 2017 National Expenses and Spending Plan documents, and gave a detailed analysis of the SAPS budget. The budget of R87 billion was an increase of 6.9% on the budget of 2016/17. The largest increase in funding had gone to Visible Policing, which also received the largest portion of the budget. 76.4 % of the budget was spent on personnel costs as the department was labour-intensive but efforts were being made to better utilise the personnel budget and available personnel. Issues raised by the Committee included the link to the MTEF, the need to use technology as a multiplier, spending on new generation armoured vehicles, and the upgrade and building of new police facilities. The proposed upgrade of Muizenberg police station received detailed attention. The Acting National Commissioner reported closer collaboration between the police and Home Affairs, especially in the sharing of fingerprint information.
The Chairperson noted that the South African Police Service (SAPS) budget briefing would be preceded by National Treasury and civil society submissions. The presentation and interrogation of the SAPS Budget and Annual Performance Plan would continue over three days.
National Treasury input on SAPS budget
Ms Nompumelelo Radebe, Director: National Treasury, explained that her presentation was one that she had presented at the Research Colloquium at the University of Cape Town in February 2017 where National Treasury had received input, which had been incorporated, where appropriate. The key issue was that there was no one-to-one link between the budget and performance.
In October, Treasury would assess whether a department would be able to spend its budget and achieve its goals. Monthly and quarterly reports attempt to keep departments on track. At the end of the year, Treasury would assess how the funds had been spent and whether goals had been achieved.
Ms Radebe described how budgets were allocated and introduced the theory and practicalities behind the budgeting process, highlighted the changes in budgeting from single year to a three-year budgeting to assist planning. The second critical aspect of the budget was that the budget should be a mechanism for assessing the performance of the Department. She noted that there had been no additional funding beyond the baseline funding. Funding included inflation but there was no additional funding.
The Annual Performance Plan shows how the department will achieve its strategic plan and is funded by the budget.
The presentation indicated that the bulk of the budget went to Visible Policing and that this was more than 50% of the budget. 21% of the budget went to Detective Services for Crime Investigation, which is equal to the budget for Administration. Although an Administration budget should not exceed 10% of the total budget, in the SAPS budget Administration included nationalised and specialised units such as Crime Intelligence. In a number of cases, the majority of personnel were based in the provinces, even though they were paid from the national Administration budget. Computer services swallowed a large percentage of the Administration budget. Another high percentage of the budget went to fleet management. Clearly transport was a key feature of policing operations and with that came high expenditure on maintenance etc.
Personnel costs would account for 76% of the SAPS budget. Treasury had introduced a ceiling on how much departments could spend on personnel. Departments had to determine which positions to fund. For example, support positions could be reduced in order to gain more operational personnel. Any new aspects included in the White Paper on Policing would have to be funded by re-prioritising.
Treasury had also issued Instruction Notes to guide cost saving measures.
The Chairperson noted that in August 2010, National Treasury had adopted a document requiring departments to provide descriptions of technical indicators and evaluate this but SAPS had not provided the Committee with their descriptions of technical indicators, making it difficult for the Committee to assess the Annual Performance Plan (APP). What was the role of National Treasury in managing the technical indicator descriptions of the budget? Secondly, National Treasury gave SAPS approval to reprioritise R153 million to Home Affairs. However, in the previous budget, when one of the agencies needed R5 million, they were not given permission to re-prioritise that money. Why and how was funding being re-prioritised?
Ms M Molebatsi (ANC) queried the absence of a one-on-one link between the budget and expenditure. How could this be addressed? Why had SAPS approached National Treasury in the middle of the financial year for extra funding?
Ms M Mmola (ANC) was concerned that the targets for Programme 3 Detective Services were low yet even those low targets had not been achieved. What could the Committee do? If 76% of the budget was spent on personnel, why was crime still out there? Why was 76% too much for compensation of employees?
Mr P Mhlongo (EFF) noted that National Treasury had stated that there was a lack of alignment between expenditure and performance. Treasury had allocated the budget without the yardstick of technical indicator descriptions so how did SAPS know that it was achieving the required performance levels? How was police management developing the toolkit for managing the budget? When would SAPS get the budget and performance aligned? Secondly, he was worried about secrecy in the policing budget. SAPS would never achieve transformation if so much money was going into administration, especially if the Police Service was budgeting on their own without input from the recipients of the service. Mr Mhlongo was of the opinion that the Administration budget was dumping by National Treasury. He was sure that SAPS would go back to Treasury mid-term, asking for re-prioritising. It was necessary to fund programs that would address policing directly.
Dr P Groenewald (FF+) referred to Slides no 19 and 21 of the Treasury presentation: all figures on the slide referred to millions of Rand. This was incorrect as it should have been billions of Rand. This was a common mistake in presentations to the Committee. He asked in what way Treasury had checked the austerity measures in the budget, in accordance with the austerity measures announced by the Finance Minister.
Mr Z Mbhele (DA) noted a tenuous link between the budget allocation and performance that had been ongoing for the past three years. SAPS had reported near 100% expenditure annually, with minimal fruitless and wasteful expenditure. But at station level there is understaffing, under-equipping, undertraining and lack of vehicles. Was it possible for SAPS to be spending so accurately? The 76% expenditure on employees suggested that there was a problem with the performance management of personnel. He raised the use of past performance to inform the budget and the APP to prevent repeat mistakes. Could the Committee receive clarity on who was responsible for managing the process of past evaluations? Was it a Department of public Service and Administration (DPSA) function, or was it National Treasury? He was curious to find out the role of the Minister in the budget. Most Ministers did not have a clue about their departments. Ms Molebatsi objected to the statement but Mr Mbhele indicated that it was his opinion and his right in terms of free speech to make the statement. He asked whether the Minister was playing a political supervision role. Did National Treasury see that the Minister had a handle on the budget and progress towards attainment of goals?
Ms L Mabija (ANC) asked what criteria National Treasury had used to identify “dignitaries and government interests” when allocating funds to Programme 5.
Ms Radebe indicated that National Treasury made inputs to the draft APP. Treasury was also involved in planning. Ms Radebe noted that that the departments did not always submit the Technical Indicator Descriptions (TIDs) and so Treasury was unable to utilise them. SAPS had not submitted the TIDS. Reprioritisation of funds had been agreed upon between Policing and Home Affairs in the previous year because the Department of Home Affairs had not previously been a member of the Security Cluster. Since SAPS benefitted from the work done by Department of Home Affairs in the policing of borders, they had re-allocated funding. This was part of the functional approach. Previously the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) had had regular underspending and therefore the R5 million had not been transferred to IPID. IPID had therefore requested to reprioritise the budget. However, over the last two years there had been an improvement in spending in IPID.
Ms Radebe confirmed that there was no one-on-one link between budget expenditure and performance management in SAPS. The new approach by Treasury was to ask the Department to provide evidence of the impact on performance if there was a request for increased funding. Treasury was constantly working on the matter so that ultimately there could be a scientific analysis of the impact of the spending.
The 76% spending on personnel was because policing was labour intensive but when aligned to priorities and goals, it was difficult to manage as someone employed in Visible Policing could be redeployed to Crime Intelligence, for example, and a different priority would be addressed.
In response to the question about SAPS approaching National Treasury for additional funding, she pointed out that only in very few instances could there be later approval as it was possible only in prescribed instances. The only time SAPS had had additional funding was following the labour agreements on salaries which had required additional funding. Any other additional funding was due to a Cabinet decision such as a result of the Commission of Inquiry. National Treasury had, however, helped SAPS to re-prioritise funding that had already been allocated to SAPS.
Ms Radebe informed the Committee that National Treasury had attached conditions to SAPS in respect of the budget, i.e. plans for spending of the budget had to be in place before the beginning of the financial year. If there was no plan, there could be no spending. Plans had been submitted for 2017/18 but there were discussions underway to improve certain aspects of the plans.
On the non-achievement of Detective Services, National Treasury looked at the achievement of targets as well as funds allocated to achieve those targets. Treasury had asked whether the targets for Detective Services were too high or too low. Was it practicable for them to achieve the targets? She suggested that the Committee should also engage with the Department on the targets.
In respect of the 76% of budget spent on personnel compensation, National Treasury had not questioned the 76% but had asked questions as to whether the 76% was appropriate. Policing was a labour-intensive function but the Department had determined that the percentage of funding for personnel was appropriate. It was possible SAPS might have to restructure the budget in the future.
Using achievement as a yardstick was always a challenge as some of the indicators were impact indicators and it was difficult to measure impact. Nevertheless, templates had been given to guide planning.
“Other” in the budget lumped together everything that had not been specifically identified as receiving a high percentage of the budget. “Other” therefore shows all the smaller items lumped together for purposes of the presentation but the budget unpacked all the details of the expenditure.
Ms Radebe apologised to Dr Groenewald for the fact that Slide 19 & 21 did not clearly indicate billions but asked the Committee to put a ‘000”, as in slide 20, to indicate billions. She promised to revise and resend the presentation. Instruction Notes from Treasury required that Departments had to report according to specific austerity measures. This was also the case with general monthly reports.
In respect of the use of past evaluation, formal expenditure reviews were done by National Treasury but recommendations by DPSA on performance evaluations were not received timeously to inform the budget. Treasury had discussed the need to receive these evaluations earlier.
The involvement of authorities needed to be addressed by the Department but it had to be noted that Treasury communicated regularly with the head of Department and arranged meetings when necessary. It had to be remembered that the role of Treasury was to advise a Department and that role was taken into account when reviewing a budget.
South African Policing Union submission
The National Office bearers, as well as a large number of the SAPU members, attended the presentation by Mr Mpho Kwinika, SAPU president. He began by asking that SAPU be given an opportunity to be involved in the budget process prior to the finalisation of the budget.
Mr Kwinika explained that the Police Act was wanting because it had preceded the Constitution but the necessary amendments had not been made. One of the provisions that needed to be corrected was the appointment of the National Commissioner, both in an acting and permanent capacity. He emphasised the need to finalise the appointment of the National Commissioner. He noted that some ranks awarded to senior police officials did not exist and that junior officials had been promoted over more senior ranks. This was problematic as a junior should salute his senior in rank. The Union had seen a Major-General being appointed to act as the National Commissioner above twenty-nine of his seniors. He had to be irregularly promoted to a rank that did not exist to enable him to command his seniors. That unhealthy state of affairs could be remedied by amending section 6 of the Police Act to make similar provisions as section 17CA(12)(a)-(e) that guided appointment in DPCI. Police regulations require that no one may jump a rank.
In the previous year, SAPU had reported that there were fifteen cases that had been swept under the carpet. The cases related to fifteen convicts who had misrepresented their criminal convictions and were appointed to SAPS. Instead of discharging them for their dishonesty, management had kept them on in SAPS.
Finally, there were unreasonable delays in finalising cases against senior officers. Most of them were closer to retirement and it would appear that the cases were deliberately being delayed, allowing the retirement to set in. There were the cases of Generals Phiyega, Mbekela, Mdluli and Makgale that were moving at a snail’s pace. Junior members were treated much more harshly than senior managers.
10111 centres had appointed non-police officials although they were rendering an essential service. These civilian appointees could go on strike and SAPU believed that the process was incorrect. The other issue was the illegal transfer of 800 police officials from O R Tambo following the recent robbery. This cast aspersions on innocent people. The Union had been to Court on the matter and there was a moratorium on the matter. The medical aid, PolMed, had been found wanting as the Board of Trustees and Executors had been mishandling the funds, according to the Registrar of Medical Aid Schemes. This was a result of poor leadership.
The Chairperson interrupted to indicate that there was to be a meeting with PolMed in four weeks’ time and SAPU was welcome to make a presentation. There were no questions as SAPU had been invited simply to give input.
Africa Analysis submission
Mr Elred de Klerk, senior policing and global security specialist at Africa Analysis, looked at the alignment between budget allocation and performance. SAPS was a public service undertaking, a public enterprise – they were not a business. There have been too many MBAs in the past ten years and not enough policing skills. Policing had moved to a position where they thought that only they knew how to manage policing. More was being spent on personnel than on the business of policing.
The main indicator was a consultative, collaborative process, but SAPS had not involved stakeholders in the budget process nor made the budget clear. The budget was not deep enough for the Committee to understand fully what was being paid for. Fiscal constraint was a global reality and there was a need to indicate how the available, albeit limited, funds were utilised. Mr de Klerk indicated that the nearly 100% expenditure of the police budget each year was highly unusual and not attained by most policing departments globally. The almost 100% expenditure, and without irregularities, had been achieved despite a lack of achievement of goals. It was not possible to identify fiscal dumping. The Committee had not seen a plan as to how they would get from the target to the achievement of the target via expenditure of their budget. Quantitative reduction in crime did not show how funds were spent. There was a need for a plan as to how funds would be spent to achieve goals. For example, there was an emphasis on Detective Services but poor results in crime detection and arrests.
The SAPS “Back to basics towards a safer tomorrow” slogan suggested a romantic vision of the past in SAPS which ignored the reality of the past. How did the intended expenditure of the budget align to the goals? Had SAPS considered the advent of modern crimes that could not be considered basic? The lack of computer literacy and use of IT meant that SAPS could not manage the level of information available in the current time. An analysis of challenges did not relate to the budget spend. The public confidence in SAPS had decreased over the years.
The management (re)structure of SAPS in February 2016 had come too late and management did not seem to be able to manage optimally. Visible policing was to be enhanced but it was seen largely as police driving around in a vehicle, albeit uncomfortable, unsafe and inadequate. Visible policing on foot was, in fact, more effective.
The strategic plan indicated that every crime had to be investigated, but the budget indicated that SAPS would be supporting strategised crimes. There was consequently a misalignment. Crime intelligence was impossible because crime intelligence (CI) police officials had not been trained to undertake analysis. SAPS members cannot even write an analysis. They are inappropriately placed in CI. The finalisation of arrests was only a small proportion of those arrested, resulting in claims against the police, which cost the department large sums of money, it could little afford. SAPS had no understanding of risks experienced by citizens so was unable to manage contact crimes in concord with citizens. Crime analysis and trends did not talk about the obligation to prevent crime.
Police brutality had cost far too much and was the result of poor leadership. A large part of the budget was going to increased claims against the police.
Public governance of the police had to have a more regular and deeper engagement with the police and the budget spend.
Presentation by Committee Content Adviser
Mr Irvin Kinnes, Committee Content Advisor, presented on the focus areas of the 2017/18 SAPS Annual Performance Plan. MTEF goals had to be achieved by 2018/19. SAPS had to stay out of the political terrain and keep it professional.
Leadership, ethics and integrity was key to police officials and all senior managers in government service should have made, and submitted to Parliament, their declarations regarding income etc. However, SAPS had not submitted the forms of their senior managers. Command and control of stations and cluster management is a problem.
The investigation of the Marikana incident raised concerns about disciplinary methods. The lack of alignment to strategic objectives was a concern, as was the lack of informants and accommodation in Free State. The issue of vetting and the presidential protection afforded to a former head of the African Union should be addressed. Detective vehicles and ratio of detectives to vehicles was a point to consider. Members of the Committee could query where the 500 additional detectives had been deployed. Border management was another area for the Committee to probe? The leadership of the Crime Intelligence division, the status of killings in KwaZulu-Natal, national priority offences, wellness of SAPS members and the treatment of senior officials needed attention, as did reservist recruitments. The firearms issue was problematic. The Committee needed information on the status of legislation coming to the Committee. The details of crime prevention had not been revealed. The allocation of crime indicators and outcomes of actions had not been aligned. The changes in indicators in the Annual Performance Plan (APP) needed to be investigated.
South African Police Service presentation
The Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula, was accompanied by the Deputy Minister of Police, Bongani Mkongi. The Acting National Commissioner, Lt. gen. Khomotso Phahlane, the Acting Deputy National Commissioner and a large delegation of SAPS senior management were in attendance.
The Minister of Police addressed the Portfolio Committee. He noted that he was now known as “Minister Vasbyt”. It was a month since he had been appointed to the position of Minister of Police by President Zuma. The President’s marching orders were that they had to end criminality by skilful manoeuvring or by brute force. They had to crush the head of the serpent. They had to seize illegal weapons and silence all the guns in 2020. They were there to reclaim their streets and to restore the dignity of the citizenry and the pride of the men and women in blue. They were mindful of the road traversed by the South African Police Service in the pre- and post-1994 era. Their forebearers had understood the urgency to transform the South African Police as it was known then because of its bad track record in the area of human rights and the violence visited upon the majority of the people of South Africa. They, who had opposed the crimes against humanity and had been victims of the same apartheid system, embraced the principle of National Development Plan.
The Minister referred to the role that SAPS needed to play in society. He referred to the sunset clause that spoke to the visionary leadership of the ruling party to address continuity and change as a pre-condition for normalcy and stability, changing under any circumstances in the new way of understanding things. The size of the task for the Minister of Police, arising from the sunset clause and the related compromises as a result of the negotiations for a non-sexist, non-racial and democratic society, were well encapsulated in the Constitution. At the risk of preaching to the converted, lest it was forgotten, he suggested that the collective memories of his audience should reflect on the mandate issued to them by the 1996 Constitution. He quoted from the Constitution: “The object of the Police Service is to prevent, combat and investigate crime; to maintain public order; to protect and secure the inhabitants of the Republic of South Africa and their property; and to uphold and enforce the law.” That was a towering challenge they had been grappling with. The Police, the Secretariat, the Deputy Minister and Minister were there to provide impetus to the realisation of the objectives as enjoined by the Constitution and as a demonstration of civic duty.
He was aware that the Ministry of Police, through the Civilian Secretariat for the Police, had developed the White Paper on Policing and the White Paper on Safety and Security which was meant to address the gaps identified by the 53rd Conference of the African National Congress and as a way of ensuring the implementation of the National Development Plan. Some of the expected outcomes of the White Paper on Policing were the following:
- Locating community police forums
- Establishment of a division for management of traffic police in support of the implementation of a single national police service
- Re-organising the role and function of the Civilian Secretariat
- Developing a two-stream system to support the recruitment and enlistment of high calibre officers
- Enhanced Public Order Policing through added focus on command and control.
The Minister was further informed that the proposed White Paper on Safety and Security placed an emphasis amongst others, on the following key aspects:
- The institutionalisation of inter-departmental cooperation
- The establishment of the Directorate for Safety and Crime
- Endorsement of the requirements for the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME). The structures would be reciprocated in the sphere of the provinces in the offices of the premiers and within the representative municipalities.
The South African Police Service occupied a place of pride in the eyes of the South African citizenry and it was their unremitting mission to take the police service to new heights. Much as there were men and women within the police with high ethical standards and moral values in the conduct of their daily duties, there were, however, rotten apples in the system that had to be unearthed and uprooted. It was in the interest of society that they expose and root out corrupt elements in the police service through zero tolerance of corruption and mismanagement. They needed all hands on deck as they embarked on the fight to combat crime and corruption and reclaim the streets and communities from criminals as they restored peace and order.
The Minister noted that the greatest requirement for investment was safety as well as political stability. Crime was a form of economic sabotage; hence it had to be tackled head on. Dr Phil Williams, Director of the University of Pittsburgh’s Ridgeway Centre of International Security Studies, explained that criminal organisations added turbulence to domestic politics and challenged the normal function of government and law. He made the point that the uncontrolled and unregulated flow of light weapons, liberated from political settings as a result of peace, had found an eager client base amongst dishonest international criminals and corrupt security personnel. It was therefore necessary to ask what the orientation of the state was towards the international criminals.
Dr Phil Williams cited examples of countries such as Brazil, Cambodia, Japan and Italy and how they had responded to transnational criminal organisations. He provided chilling examples of how countries under siege responded to those challenges and the Minister suggested that his listeners could decide where to place South Africa. The first response was confrontation where the state struggled vigorously against activities of the criminal organisation and appeared to control, disrupt or destroy the organisations through a mix of law enforcement and other methods. The second response was a reluctant acquiescence where the state accepted that it was unable to do much about organised crime activity in its territory and therefore resigned itself to the continuation of those activities. The third was classic connivance which occurred if the state lacked the power to confront organised crime and acknowledge that there were real benefits to the economy, to society or to state officials themselves. In that case government policy tended to be limited to denunciation of criminal activity which was primarily symbolic but helped to disguise the operational passivity of the law enforcement. The fourth response was active encouragement, which the state tended to adopt, where key members benefitted directly from the enterprises of the criminals and were therefore willing to take steps to protect those organisations, either preventing or sabotaging initiatives to counter their activities. The fifth response was collusion, which occurred when the state apparatus became enmeshed in a symbiotic relationship with criminal organisations, becoming a full partner in those activities rather than merely a relative passive beneficiary. In collusive relationships, high level representatives of the state went beyond protecting the organisations to working closely with them in the furtherance of their criminal enterprise. Post-Cold War Italy and Japan were good examples of such.
The moral of the story was that everyone had to be vigilant of the gains of their freedoms. There were lessons to be learnt and one had to sharpen one’s perspective of the world in which one lived and operated. The debate over the next two years had to take into account both domestic and international experience to inform the programme of action against crime.
In conclusion, the Minister reminded his audience that the following priorities had to find expression in the program of action alongside the plethora of existing initiatives: school safety and safety at institutions of higher learning and further education and training; save children and protect women and the senior citizens; citizen safety on and off the trains and buses; engaging out-of-school youth and children; transformation of the police service through a multi-dimensional approach that took into account access, equity, demographics, culture, funding and resources.
The Chairperson thanked the Minister and moved on to the presentation of the APP by SAPS.
Major-General Leon Rabie, Head of Strategic Management, made a presentation on SAPS in its entirety, and the budget, priorities and plans for Programme 1: Administration specifically. He stated that the initial focus would be on what had been done and where SAPS was in respect of achievements. The presentation would also address the Strategic Management Process, the APP and the Annual Operation Plans. Maj. Gen. Rabie presented the Medium Term Expenditure Framework and the 2017 National Expenses and Spending Plan documents and gave a detailed analysis of the SAPS budget.
Programme 1: Administration included Corporate Services, inter alia Human Resource Development, Technology Management Services and Supply Chain Management, including Capital Works, Human Resource Management, Financial Services and Corporate Support.
It was noted that significant funding had been allocated for the Criminal Justice System (CJS) Revamp initiative, Detective Services, Integrated Justice System (IJS) projects, and network infrastructure upgrades.
The R87 billion budget was an increase of 6.9% on the 2016/17budget. The largest increase in funding had gone to Visible Policing, which also received the largest portion of the budget. Focus of spending was on:
- Sustaining actual personnel numbers
- Professionalising SAPS through skills development
- Forensic Science Services and Detective Services to enhance crime investigations
- Provision for equipment and training for detectives
- Upgrading of IT network and hosting services
- Capital investment in vehicles
- Purchase of critical equipment, such as bullet resistant vests, firearms, ammunition, mobile police stations.
- Strengthening the resource capacity of Public Order Policing Units
- Community Outreach Programmes.
The Auditor-General had advised SAPS to revise its key performance indicators and performance targets to ensure that they added value to the service delivery of the Department and were aligned with the Medium-Term Strategic Framework document.
On Programme 1: Administration, Maj. Gen. Rabie reported on the period April 2016 to the end of December as the figures for the fourth quarter were only in draft and had to be checked. There were both new and revised indicators for 2017/18 and the Department now had 114 indicators of performance. New targets had been added in respect of transforming and professionalising SAPS, the improvement of infrastructure development and public access to policing service and vehicle availability.
In respect of staffing, the fixed establishment of station, provincial and national levels would provide structure to ensure capacity. Crime patterns would direct the deployment of personnel by provincial and divisional commissioners. During 2017/18, SAPS would enlist 5 000 new entry-level personnel.
The Chairperson began by pointing out that the leadership of all entities in the cluster, including SAPS, were under scrutiny but SAPS had not supplied the requested copies of the Disclosure of Interests forms from senior management. The Chairperson requested the Acting National Commissioner to ensure that the forms were submitted without delay as the Committee could not approve the budget without those. He asked when the Technical Indicator Descriptions would be made available to the Committee as there had been several requests for them. He noted that the Auditor-General believed the APP was not fully aligned to the Strategic Plan or to the MTEF. That was a major issue. The approach regarding strategic risk and medium term strategic focus areas needed clarity. Technology needed further intervention, especially in protecting police officers. The APP presented a conventional approach while the Committee wanted to see a forward-looking approach where technology was fully utilised as a multiplier.
Ms Molebatsi noted that there was no link between the budget and expenditure and asked how SAPS intended to address this. She also wanted to know if the fleet included motor bikes etc. Did SAPS have insurance on its vehicles? What about the new generation Nyalas? Were these included in the budget?
Ms Mmola queried whether 76% of the budget being spent on Personnel compensation was too much. Why could the money not be used to fight crimes? Why had the performance indicator for trauma debriefing of police members been removed?
Mr Mhlongo asked if management had developed a toolkit to control the budgetary cycle process and expenditure. What was the cycle of SAPS budget? The country was burning but he could not see rapid intervention. Life in KwaZulu-Natal was cheap. What was the grievance part of policing versus expenditure? Was there any monitoring of expenditure? The Auditor-General had complained about low targets outcomes but serious and violent crime targets had been reduced despite high national levels of crime. Could these targets manage the grievances of the community? What was the level of stakeholder involvement, such as unions, in the budget process? SAPU had indicated that there were serious problems impacting on the morale of SAPS. Mr Mhlongo asked the Acting National Commissioner about the issues raised by SAPU in respect of invalid policing ranks. Was there a need for an amendment to the Police Act to legitimate ranks? Was it so and, if so, had it been done?
Dr Groenewald said the presentation indicated that only 92% of personnel had to be trained and competent in the use of handguns. Why was this not 100%? Why were certain indicators removed? Was it because they were difficult to monitor? Exactly how many police stations were there in the country? The slides provided contradictory information. There seemed to be a discrepancy between the total number of personnel and the numbers of learners required to be competent in respect of training. How did the target of 195 000 personnel in 2020 fit into the austerity measures? How would SAPS comply with that target?
Mr Mbhele noted that the financial information provided at the beginning of the presentation had not mentioned Crime Intelligence (CI) as a focal area, especially in relation to organised crime. Why had CI received the smallest budget increase? Referring to the planning of infrastructure and facilities, he asked what impact that had on enhancing policing. Why was so much money to be spent on a police station in Muizenberg and not in Nyanga or Vrygrond? Infrastructure was not meeting the needs of the community. The indicator in respect of vehicles spoke to a personnel-to-vehicle ratio but how did that link to sectors? What was the target regarding vehicles-to-sector?
The Chairperson highlighted the need for a toolkit for management as it was said that managers needed 20 to 30 years’ experience to be able to manage a station. On visiting police stations, the Committee had noted the best stations had the best station commanders. Were there plans in place to deal with management issues?
Ms Molebatsi raised the question of the disciplining of senior police officers. She noted that cases were subject to long delays and asked why that was so.
Acting National Commissioner, Khomotso Phahlane, responded to the questions and comments. He informed the Committee that CI would not be neglected as the CI budget was clearly defined. CI played a critical role in enabling SAPS to be proactive. Preventive policing required less funding than reactive policing. It had not been mentioned, but it certainly was not forgotten.
As regards infrastructure, SAPS was not able to build in all areas. It had targeted 44 mobile contact points for communities that did not have access to police stations. These contact centres would have an impact by increasing access to police. Renovations had to take place to prevent facilities becoming dilapidated and losing value. The choice of infrastructure to be renovated or built was highly dependent on Public Works. Muizenberg Police Station was placed on the list for upgrading by Public Works in 2000 and in 2013, they put it on the implementation list. The focus on Muizenberg did not mean that other areas were neglected. SAPS was waiting for Public Works to find a site for a police station in Nyanga. The Acting National Commissioner indicated that he would discuss the cost of the Muizenberg upgrade with Public Works.
The personnel-to-vehicle ratio provided in the presentation was the national picture. This would differ in the case of Detective Services and CI. The actual ratio took into account the terrain so different types of vehicles would be used in urban and rural areas. For example, Land Cruisers went into areas on 1 May 2017 that could not be accessed by ordinary vehicles. The indicator was that 85% of police vehicles had to be on the road and roadworthy.
Major-General Rabie responded to questions about the target rates, stating that the Auditor-General had suggested that the targets should be more realistic. SAPS had been asked to revise certain Technical Indicator Descriptions (TIDs) and these would be available by the end of May.
The Chairperson informed SAPS that that date was problematic as the Committee could not approve the APP without the TIDs and the budget had to be presented on 23 May 2017.
Maj. Gen. Rabie indicated that the Auditor General required the removal of indicators where there was no system to monitor the indicators. Only when such a system was ready could SAPS include those indicators. SAPS had, however, included those indicators in the Operational Level Plans.
In response to the Chairperson noting that the cybercrime indicator had been removed, the Acting National Commissioner explained that without a way of measuring it, it could not be elevated to APP level. However, the indicator would not disappear and he would advise the Committee on progress regarding measurability.
The Chairperson said that the Committee report would have to deal with it as the Auditor-General had requested the technical indicator in 2010.
The Acting National Commissioner informed the Committee that insurance companies had indicated that the risk to SAPS vehicles was too high to warrant the cost of insurance. Motorbikes as well as second generation armoured vehicles were included in the fleet maintenance plan.
The one-to-one link between budget and performance was very difficult in the case of SAPS. In 2010 Treasury had tried to make the link but it could not reflect the qualitative nature of, for example, an investigation. The IT targets had been consolidated to three but there were various focus areas. The MTEF Master Plan on Technology was intended to ensure the use of technology as a force multiplier.
The Chairperson suggested that there was a need for pilot projects as it was necessary to see progress on a small scale before embarking on new programmes.
The Acting National Commissioner agreed that there seemed to be inordinate delay with the cases against certain senior managers but that was partially because SAPS was dependent on advocates or senior managers from other departments to engage in the hearings. The hearings of Makgale and Mbekela had been finalised. The officers had been dismissed but they had launched an appeal. In the case of Mdluli, the Department was subject to external dependency but there was a legal process on the go.
Additional funding had been provided for the purchase of new generation Nyalas over the next three years. SAPS and National Treasury considered the 76% spend on personnel as normal for government as the most expensive resource was people. Although SAPS was restricted to 195 000 personnel, management was manoeuvring to get more out of this allocation. There was an attempt to re-enlist ex-police officers and to cut costs at higher levels. SAPS was also asking whether it was necessary to appoint according to the Police Act. Instead of appointing a Brigadier, a Director could be appointed at a lower cost. SAPS needed to stretch resources as the population was growing fast and residential areas were mushrooming. There were currently 1 144 police stations in South Africa. There was 100% compliance and submission of Disclosure forms by senior officials in 2016 but the Acting National Commissioner would ensure that the Committee received the disclosures for 2017.
The budgetary toolkit was developed following National Treasury guidelines and called for input from station level up but SAPS was re-looking at the budget process. Unions had not been involved in determining the budget as it was provided by Treasury. The change in ranks amongst senior police officers had followed all processes and had been gazetted. It was possible that SAPU was confusing rank and post title. For example, National Commissioner was a post title, not a rank.
Mr Mhlongo made reference to the SAPU document on ranks that took a different approach. The budget could not be measured because things like Muizenberg happened. There were imbalances in the North. Some poor areas had services but other areas had no services.
The Chairperson requested information about the shift in allocation of vehicles. As regards facilities, he wanted a list of the top ten facilities to be upgraded in each province and the date of the decisions so that the Committee could ensure that there was no wasteful expenditure. What criteria were used for making decisions for the selection of sites? He asked whether the police barracks were part of the upgrade.
Mr Mbhele sought clarity on the slides dealing with the breakdown of the staff establishment, especially national versus provincial staffing, and, in particular, Protection Services.
Dr Groenewald noted that IT systems were in the development phase but he knew that the Automated Finger Identification System (AFIS) did not work because it was not compatible. He asked when the SAPS IT systems would be linked to Home Affairs fingerprint database as SAPS currently only had the fingerprints of criminals.
The Chairperson commented on the problems in getting approvals from the Accounting Officer of SAPS through the system as the process was slow and involved. The National Commissioner requested that that question be dealt with later in the week when DPCI would be available.
The Acting National Commissioner supported closer collaboration between Police and Home Affairs. The Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Acts had been enacted. The first one compelled a number of departments to work together. SAPS had the AFIS system but it contained only the fingerprints of criminals. However, they could check fingerprints against the Home Affairs system but Home Affairs did not always have 10 fingerprints per person. The AFIS system would be upgraded in the current financial year. He noted that SAPS had worked for years with Home Affairs to check fingerprints. Even foreign nationals had their fingerprints stored on the Home Affairs system. It was work in progress but should be completed by the end of the year. Home Affairs would never access the police criminal records but SAPS would have a window on the fingerprints of the population.
Dr Groenewald requested further clarity on how the system worked as he was of the opinion that there was a delay on the Home Affairs side.
In response, the Acting National Commissioner stated that the issue would be dealt with in detail in Programme 3. SAPS had minimised the number of days taken to process fingerprints as prints would be taken to the local cluster centre where they would be captured and processed. If they were not found in the SAPS system, Home Affairs would be contacted.
The matter of national versus provincial employees was explained – some divisions were located at national level but they had personnel physically located at the local level. They were accountable to their supervisors at national level, not to station or provincial commanders. CI was a national competency but CI personnel were largely located in the provinces. The Public Order Policing Unit and Protection Units operated in a similar way.
A decision had been taken, in agreement with the Portfolio Committee, that priorities were not to be changed as it took too long to arrange and there would be fruitless expenditure if projects in progress were halted.
The meeting was adjourned.
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