SAPS on its 2017 Annual Performance Plan, with Deputy Minister

NCOP Security and Justice

03 May 2017
Chairperson: Mr D Ximbi (ANC, Western Cape)
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Meeting Summary

A delegation from the South African Police Service (SAPS) presented SAPS’s annual performance plan and strategic management cycle for 2017/2018 to the Select Committee on Security and Justice, covering a number of aspects which related to the implementation of the ‘Back-to-Basics’ policing approach. This approach aimed to focus on every member of the SAPS reverting to the established regulatory framework -- or simply put, “doing right things right, every time”. It also provided the strategic direction of SAPS towards reducing crime and causing the citizens of South Africa to feel safer. The approach included enhancing police visibility, a thorough and responsive investigation of every crime, and the efficient use of resources in support of the police’s work.

In accordance with the National Development Plan, the demilitarisation and professionalisation of SAPS was also a central theme, which suggested that police should be selected and trained to be professional, impartial, responsive to the needs of the community and competent. A transformational team had been formed by the Minister, and included international and local experts as well selected senior SAPS officers. The task team’s mandate included investigating the world’s best practices and measures available for countering micro-criminality and syndicated crime; formulating a proposal regarding the other aspects of SAPS transformation; organisation culture change, professionalism, information communication technology and funding issues.

Members wanted to know why only 85% of SAPS’s vehicles were operational. Why had the protection and security budget been increased more than crime intelligence? Why had the Department decided to spend R100m on the Muizenberg police station upgrade? Why were disciplinary cases taking so long to be finalised? Were enough bullet-proof vests being ordered for the police? How was SAPS addressing the problem of over-crowding in prisons? It was suggested that the police should organise a joint operation with the Defence Force to reduce the number of firearms in the country.

Meeting report

The Chairperson welcomed all who were in attendance, and acknowledged the presence of the newly appointed Deputy Minister of Police, Mr Bongani Mkongi. After noting apologies from absent Members of the Committee, he asked about the absence of the Minister, Mr Fikile Mbalula. Mr Mkongi explained that Mr Mbalula had been delayed at Elsies Rivier in the morning, where there had been an ambush of gang leaders. As a result, he had asked the Deputy Minister to attend the meeting on his behalf.

Annual Performance Plan 2017/2018: South African Police Service

Lt Gen Bonang Mgwetha, Deputy National Commissioner: Human Resource Management, SAPS, said the annual performance plan for 2017/2018 had been prepared before 31 March, 2017, before the Cabinet re-shuffle and the appointment of the new Minister and Deputy Minister, and this would reflect in the presentation. SAPS had also drafted its 100 days of activities in relation to its plan of action, which would be presented. SAPS had developed the strategic plan of the Ministry two weeks ago in order to align its programme of action with all the strategic plans and annual performance plans of all SAPS branches for the coming two years. What would be presented had the “full political support of the Ministry of Police”. The implementation of the plan could help the police to reduce crime and cause South Africans to feel safer.

Brig Craig Mitchell, Acting National Commissioner, SAPS, said that the briefing received from the Select Committee had extended beyond the annual performance plan (APP), and an overview of their ‘back to basics’ approach had also been requested.

Back-to-basics approach

SAPS had identified the need for the introduction of a “Back to Basics” approach to policing. This approach would focus on every member of SAPS reverting to the established regulatory framework, or simply put, “doing right things right, every time.”

SAPS Strategic Direction

The nine ‘back-to-basics’ priorities included: enhancing police visibility; thorough and responsive investigation of every crime; efficient utilisation of resources in support of the investigation of crime; crime intelligence in support of proactive and reactive intelligence; targeted, informed deployment of resources; a collaborative, consultative approach to policing; transformation of the SAPS (professionalisation, demilitarisation, integrity and discipline); and uncompromising compliance with the fundamental principles of policing and the culture of performance management and accountability.

Demilitarisation of SAPS

The National Development Plan (NDP) sought to demilitarise the police. The police should be selected and trained to be professional and impartial; responsive to community needs; competent and inspiring confidence. SAPS had undertaken various initiatives to respond to the call for demilitarisation. An example of such initiatives had been evident in 2014 when the first SAPS research colloquium had been conducted and attended by SAPS members, academics and subject-matter experts to address the themes: “Demilitarization and Policing in a Violent Society”.

The ministerial task team on transformation had been chaired by the Deputy Minister. This team would include international and local experts, as well selected senior officers of the SAPS. The task team’s mandate included investigating the world’s best practices and measures available for micro-criminality and syndicated crime; formulating a proposal regarding the other aspects of SAPS’s transformation; organising culture change, professionalism, information communication technology and funding issues.

Human Resource Development: Basic Training Learning Programme

The basis for professionalism in SAPS from a human resource development (HRD) point of view was the basic training learning programme (BTLP) for new entrants to the SAPS.  The purpose of the BTLP was to enable newly appointed police officials to use a series of legal and policing skills to protect and serve members of communities in accordance with the Constitution of South Africa; to provide a more effective service that would improve community satisfaction; and to position members to fulfil their mission of creating a safe and secure environment for all who live in South Africa.

Promoting Ethics & Integrity

SAPS had established an Integrity Management Service (IMS), in compliance with Chapter 2 of the Public Service Regulations 2016. IMS focus areas were to appoint a designated capacity of ethics officers to address issues related to ethics and integrity, and establish and maintain an ethics committee; to conduct an annual ethics and anti-corruption risk assessment to determine vulnerabilities; to implement  advocacy and  awareness programmes related to ethics; to implement an ethics/anti-corruption strategy and related policies; and to manage conflicts of interest through financial disclosures by all employees in respect of remunerative work approval.

Public Order Police Training Programmes Provided

Training programmes were available for Public Order Policing (POP) and were continuously offered to all POP unit members, visible policing members and metropolitan police service members. Based on the identified need, which was determined annually, these programmes covered crowd management for platoon members (basic), crowd management for platoon commanders, crowd management refresher course (periodically), the dangerous weapons Act 15 of 2013, and a first line operational manager’s course.

Discipline & Consequence Management

Discipline and consequence management was regulated by the SAPS Disciplinary Regulations, 2016.   The 2006 Disciplinary Regulations had been implemented through a collective agreement in the Safety and Security Sectoral Bargaining Council (SSSBC), as well as the promulgation of the 2006 Regulations. In 2012, a new disciplinary code had been agreed upon at the SSSBC.  The code had not been promulgated due to internal discussions at SAPS. The SAPS 2016 Disciplinary Regulations had been promulgated on 1 November 2016.  Pending matters were yet to be finalised in terms of the 2006 Regulations. New matters were to be dealt with in terms of the 2016 Regulations, even if an act of misconduct was committed prior to 1 November 2016.  The key differences between the 2006 and 2016 regulations was that new acts of misconduct had been introduced, such as regulation 3(jj) -- when a member failed to report an act of misconduct committed in his/her presence, and placed responsibility on the employee to report misconduct committed by fellow employees/supervisors.

Spending Policy Direction 2017/2018

The spending focus over the medium term included sustaining actual personnel numbers; professionalising the SAPS through skills development; continued strengthening of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) revamp and modernisation programme to ensure a single coordinated management of criminal justice and performance; provision for equipment and training for detectives to enhance the process of investigation of crime; upgrading of network and hosting services; and sustaining the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) base line allocation.  Other priorities in the spending policy were investment in capital equipment consisting of machinery and equipment, but essentially vehicles and critical items; the purchasing of critical equipment such as bullet-resistant vests, firearms, ammunition, clothing, mobile police stations; and community outreach programmes.

Budget – 2013/2014 to 2019/2020

There was an average annual increase of 5.6% from 2013/2014 to 2016/2017 in the budget. This had been followed by an average annual increase in the budget of 6.9% from 2016/2017 to 2019/2020. For the year 2017/2018 an amount of R18.6 bn for administration was estimated, R44.1 bn for visible policing, and R17.9 bn for crime intelligence.

Areas of under-performance

Programme 1 –Administration

Areas of under-performance against targets included maintenance of workforce levels, employment of people with disabilities, disciplinary cases finalised within 60 calendar days, official SAPS firearms dot-pen marked, planned capital assets and planned maintenance projects, and identified Information Communication Technology (ICT) infrastructure sites modernised, implemented and maintained.

Programme 2: Visible Policing

Areas of under-performance included crime being reduced, but not achieving targets, specifically ‘trio’ (carjacking, house and business robberies) crimes; reducing the number of SAPS-owned firearms stolen or lost; increasing the number of SAPS-owned firearms recovered; cannabis, cocaine and confiscate liquor recovery; the number of vehicles recovered; prisoner escapes; firearm applications not finalised within 90 working days; and implementation of school safety programmes.

Programme 3: Detective Service

Areas of under-performance included the detection rate for different categories of crime; registered organised crime projects successfully terminated; serious corruption related trial-ready case dockets, where officials were involved, including procurement, fraud and corruption; and processing of routine and non-routine case exhibits.

Programme 4: Crime Intelligence

The number of employees vetted fell below the targeted percentage.


Mr J Mthethwa (ANC, KwaZulu-Natal) said that the presentation had been good, even though it was rather long. With regard to operating vehicles available for policing, he asked what had been done to fill the outstanding gap, if there were only 85% operating vehicles.  He recalled the Committee’s oversight visit to Ntambanana police station in KwaZulu-Natal, where there was one police vehicle that had covered 450 000 km and was not in good condition.

Mr G Michalakis (DA, Free State) commented that the protection and security programme had received the second largest nominal budget increase of 10.2%, and asked why there was such a substantial increase in this programme while the crime intelligence programme received the smallest increase. In regard to the maintenance of vehicles, he asked what had sparked the increase in the budget and whether the Department had noted the neglect of this aspect in previous years. Had the 2015/2016 figure for filled vacant posts, increased or not? Concerning crime intervention, he asked why the number of stolen and lost firearms recovered, and the quantity of illicit drugs and liquor confiscated as a result of police action, had been removed.

After the death of Thomas Radebe, who was a farm worker, the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) had made a suggestion to the Minister of Police that these crimes needed to be indicated as a separate crime in SAPS statistics, and listed as a priority crime. He deduced that not much action had come from the Minister in this regard. He asked why the Minister had made no visible indication of yielding to the recommendations of the whole NCOP. He asked if SAPS had access to the Home Affairs national identity system and whether it was fully integrated. If not, he wanted to know if SAPS was in the process of discussing this with Home Affairs. With regard to cyber-crime, he requested more information about the training put in place by SAPS in order to deal with it. Concerning the DPCI, he asked why so many manual data recordings were being used, and how far SAPS was in setting up the National Cyber Crime Centre. An explanation was required for why there was a lower budget allocation for the forensic science laboratory.

Mr Michalakis sought clarity on the allocation of funds for the upgrading and establishment of new police stations. Recently the Deputy Minister had blamed the R100 million being spent on the Muizenburg police station on the DA, when it did not fall under the DA’s authority. Why would the national government spend R100 million on a police station in Muizenburg, which could have been upgraded at a significantly lower price? The rest of the money could have been used in other areas which were in need of improved police services. He asked the Department to explain how these budgets were allocated, and why this money was not being channelled to areas that were in need of a police presence.

Ms B Engelbrecht (DA, Gauteng) said that without a strong administration, there would be no strong police force on the ground. Looking at the target of a minimum workforce of 98% in terms of the approved establishment and the performance indicators, she said that the performance indicators did not link with the identified areas of emphasis. She asked for clarity on this. Concerning the percentage of learners declared competent, there was a Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) target that stated that 98% of the trainees must be declared competent, yet the 2017/2018 target said 96%. Why had the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) recommendations from the objectives statement been removed? Why had the target for the percentage of disciplinary cases finalised within 60 calendar days decreased? She said that SAPS constantly battled with expired leases, and it was important that it did not relinquish its responsibilities regarding the buildings leased on its behalf. Regarding the audit of the SAPS, she asked why there was a discrepancy in the audit and compliance targets found on page 14 and 17 of the presentation. She questioned why the performance indicator to measure trauma debriefing to police members and SAPS firearms had been removed.

Ms Engelbrecht asked why the performance indicator to measure the finalisation rate for complaints against the service in terms of Standing Order 101 had been removed. She sought clarity on the target for the finalisation of service terminations, which had been reduced from 95% to 65%. The figure for the number of internships undertaken had increased by 10%. Was this sufficient? Why had internships been implemented only in the last two quarters of the year, and not the first two quarters? The outcomes of disciplinary cases were a concern. She highlighted the fact that most of the verdicts were guilty. With regard to the availability of bulletproof vests, she argued against the target of 15 000 for distribution in relation to demand, as every police officer should have a bulletproof vest. She asked how the demand had been determined.

Ms G Manopole (ANC, Northern Cape) said that the 99% target for the functionality of the police central processor system (CPS) differed from the narrative of the communities, who claimed it to be non-functional. How would SAPS ensure that there were indicators to determine whether it had been functional or not in order to ensure that the communities had confidence in it? The status of the 90% of invoices to be paid in 30 days was requested, since this ultimately had an effect on service delivery.

Mr M Mhlanga (ANC, Mpumalanga) said that during the financial year, the Cabinet had adopted the white paper on policing, which identified six policing pillars. In light of these pillars -- the effective criminal justice system -- he wanted to know which methods SAPS had been using to address the matter of overcrowding in prisons. With regard to safety through environmental designs, he asked how SAPS achieved its goal of safety through environmental design, as it impacted on how one addressed crimes. If SAPS would work with other local authorities, this goal would be achievable. The issue of active public and community participation was one of the six pillars. He sought more clarity on how SAPS would go about its current APP. The Portfolio and Select Committees had arrived at ten key priorities which they believed would assist in crime prevention, and this was a mandate given to SAPS by Parliament.  The establishment between SAPS and the Hawks management was to ensure stability, but the Minister’s absence from the meeting made it difficult for the Committee to approve the SAPS APP.  He asked SAPS to explain how far it was in fulfilling the second mandate of expediting the appointment of suitable people to head the Crime Intelligence (CI) and Detective Services (DS). How soon would SAPS submit its acts and bills to Parliament?

Mr Mhlanga said he was very interested to know when the transformation programme of SAPS would be concluded, as it had been on the programme since 2010. The culture of performance and accountability within SAPS was good, but he had a problem with the manner in which SAPS came to the Committee only when its annual performance plan and budget were to be approved.  This was a political matter that had to be addressed. He asked what accountability measures SAPS was using to account to the society in general, as they were also the servants of society. How did SAPS manage collaboration and consultation among all clusters? He asked for foresight in the establishment of the integrated crime centre between SAPS, Justice and Correctional Services.  What yardstick was being used to check if the programmes of SAPS were working or not? He said that the APP must also state how it aimed to prevent crime, not only to stop crime. He asked whether the weekly visits to school programmes were still in operation or not. In the community where there were ex-offenders, he sought clarity on the role of SAPS, as it would not be good for these people to commit the same crimes again. What had SAPS been doing in executing ex-offender programmes, such as job creation and other poverty-combating programmes?

Mr Motelani Monakedi (ANC, Limpopo) sought clarity around the ‘back-to-basics’ approach concerning the role of government and municipalities in the planning and implementation of such programmes. In regards to public order and police training, he said that there were provinces benefiting more from the training than others. Why was there this inequity?

Mr Mhlanga said that firearms were dangerous weapons. In 1994, 1995 and 1996 SAPS and the South African National Defense Force (SANDF) had a joint operation to disarm the community, which had proved to be very successful. He wanted to know if SAPS was not planning to initiate such a programme in the community again.

Ms Engelbrecht said that the Department planned to build a total of 66 police stations, and asked how it planned to do so and how many of these would be located in Gauteng.

SAPS Response

Lt Gen Gary Kruser, Deputy National Commissioner: SAPS, referred to the issue of the availability and maintenance of police vehicles. The 85% percentage of availability vehicle target was to allow for a certain number of vehicles to be available at a certain time. In earlier years, the SAPS vehicle budget had been reduced but had recently increased. The essence of how the budget was determined was based on the needs of the Department.

The protective and security measures taken for VIP’s were determined according to the level of threat experienced by the person, which also determined the budget allocated.   

In terms of crime prevention for the recovery of firearms, targets had been set for three sectors, and SAPS did not consider it necessary to indicate all three in the presentation. Concerning the drugs and liquor, he explained that it was difficult to measure the recovery of drugs with a recently recovered amount, as it was not a stationary figure, likewise with liquor during Christmas season. 

He said he could not account for the death of Mr Radebe, and the Minister would have to answer since he could not answer on his behalf.

On SAPS and the Home Affairs database, he said that significant work had been done since there were more linkages between the two Departments which would later be finalised in the next financial year. Regarding cyber-crime, SAPS was in the process of finalising a policy which ought to be complete in September.

Referring to the issue of the upgrade to the police station in Muizenburg, had said SAPS had adopted a five-year plan in Parliament six years ago. The plan and design of the station had been done five years ago by the Department of Public Works, and had been disclosed only this year. He said SAPS did not decide on the budget for the rebuilding of a station, but announced only that a particular station needed to be built or renovated.

Lt Gen Kruser said that every police officer had bullet proof vests, but they became worn out or torn, thus needing to be replaced. The figure of 15 000 reflected the demands in the various provinces in order to replace worn out bullet proof vests.

The IPID recommendations had not been removed and were still in the presentation.

Maj Gen Liziwe Ntshinga, Provincial Commissioner (Eastern Cape), said that when SAPS applied the principle of back-to-basics, foot patrols were part of the home visit programme. In the Eastern Cape, the police were going into the communities. In the rural areas where communities claimed to have never seen the police, SAPS was implementing horse patrols, where they went to talk to the community and gathered what they needed. There were also small mobile stations in order to bring services to the people, so that communities no longer had to travel long distances for services. Based on the demand in schools, police went on problematic school visits to facilitate programmes. Talking to municipal mangers and mayors was important, as SAPS needed to have partnerships. An example was the municipality in Butterworth, where SAPS had partnered with the mayor in order to multiply resources available for the service. In crime prevention operations, the metropolitan areas were part of SAPS. Another example was Port Elizabeth, where they were working with the mayor in order to facilitate meetings for communities to come and express their problems in the presence of municipalities and mayors, thus improving service delivery.

Lt Gen Risimati Shivuri, Provincial Commissioner (Northern Cape) said that community police forums (CPFs) existed after having an election in a particular community, and thereafter the CPFs had to start having meetings where minutes were drafted. These minutes were the yardstick by which SAPS measured their functionality. If a CPF did not have programmes in the community through which community members could be involved in collaboration, SAPS counted them as non-existent. When there were issues arising in particular communities, the CPF must be able to mobilise with the police to address the question of crime. If this was not happening, they were not functional.

The Chairperson asked if the CPF in the Northern Cape was non-functional, and sought clarity on the wanya tsotsi anti-crime group.

Lt Gen Shivuri said he was dealing with a very difficult question. In the Northern Cape, the CPF was functional but there were people who wanted to advance policing on their own -- like the wanya tsotsi group who wanted to patrol the area on their own. That was why he had sat with the group and advised them that they had to be registered with the CPF as a registered body, to which they had agreed. However, at a later stage they had disagreed and said that they wanted to patrol on their own and wanted to search people on the road. When the people stopped them from searching them, the group used sjamboks on them.

Lt Gen Mgwenya referred to the posts that had been advertised, filled and withdrawn over the past three years, and said the reason for withdrawals included the unavailability of suitable candidates, with some applicants guilty of misconduct of some sort. Some of the posts were filled laterally and some were carried over. Concerning the minimum workforce of 98% which had to be maintained, she mentioned that this was an area were SAPS had continually been achieving 98%. The finalisation of the disciplinary cases was still in the annual performance plan.

The reason why the performance indicator that related to trauma debriefing had been removed was that SAPS noticed that they had reached a sense of understanding in regard to what was expected of employees who had experienced traumatic incidents. However, the debriefing of police had not been completely removed; although it had been withdrawn from the APP, it had been included in the annual performance plan of the divisional commissioner. There were programmes in place for the debriefing of police by psychologists.

Regarding the under-performance in service terminations, where previously the target was 95% and had been subsequently changed to 60%, this was the result of a decision made at a meeting in 2015 where non-performance had been identified. The main challenges identified at this meeting were inter-dependence and cases of family disputes, which had resulted in a delay in a number of cases.  However, SAPS had now been working on a memorandum of understanding which would enable SAPS to resolve such cases sooner, and without delay. She said that there had been a big improvement in this regard.

Most of the disciplinary cases were dependent on the evidence placed before the chairperson. SAPS had reviewed its disciplinary regulations and were continuously instilling the importance of discipline within the organisation. This was geared towards ensuring that there was transformation in the SAPS.  An Integrity Unit had also been established last year.

On the issue of a culture of performance and accountability, she said that SAPS did report back to members of the public through an annual report made available to them. There were accounting sessions for each provincial division geared towards accountability.

Lt Gen Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, Divisional Commissioner: Human Resources Management, said that SAPS sets targets on training matters that were different in various fields. In some fields, an overall percentage of 98% was achieved, whilst in others an overall percentage of 50% was achieved, which indicated that there was need for improvement in training. The 96% target for training in 2017/2018 was an overall performance target.

SAPS said that the average increase in budget for protection services was above an average of 7.5%, because this percentage was geared towards goods, services and compensation. As a result, there were requests for additional funding for x-ray machines in order to conduct the work involved. This did not mean that SAPS was prioritising protection services over crime investigations.

Lt Gen Kruser referred to the improvement in service delivery, and commented that there were many initiatives which they were required to execute as a Department. As a result, SAPS had rationalised its priority service delivery initiatives, of which the Service Delivery Charter was central. In terms of the Accessibility and Improvement Planm SAPS aimed to start responding to the geographical norms of how far police stations should be from communities. In front line service delivery programmes, various improvement plans were being developed for stations in different provinces. A citizen-based monitoring programme was geared towards developing service delivery charters in communication with the communities which they served. He clarified that the crime prevention centre was currently busy with an Act in order to deal with the white paper issues.

Ms Engelbrecht repeated her question about the number of police stations that were going to be built in Gauteng.

Lt Gen Kruser said that he did not have this information at his disposal and would later submit a response to Parliament.

The meeting was adjourned. 

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