SAPS & DPCI Quarter 2 performance

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Police

01 November 2017
Chairperson: Mr F Beukman (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

The South African Police Service (SAPS) and the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (DPCI) briefed the Committee on their Quarter 2 performance.

SAPS said that 73.32% of its targets were achieved, 21.93% were not achieved, while 1.75% of targets were not measured. It had filled more than 99% of its 193 431 approved establishment posts, but the number of people with disabilities represented only 1.28% of the total, instead of the 2% target. It provided details of its performance in areas such as the finalisation of IPID-related disciplinary cases, operational vehicles available for policing in relation to the total vehicle fleet, the number of bullet resistant vests (BRVs) distributed, and the number of legitimate invoices paid within 30 days. There had been a 9.3% reduction in property-related crime, but an increase of 10.6% in reported crimes of unlawful possession of, and dealing in, drugs. SAPS had recovered 8 008 stolen or lost and illegal firearms. It had spent 48.5% of its allocated annual budget after six months, which was similar to previous years. R1.465 billion had been removed from the compensation budget during the previous Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).

The DPCI reported it had achieved 475 trial-ready case dockets for fraud and corruption by individuals within the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) cluster. It provided details of its detection rate for serious commercial crime-related charges, but indicated that no registered serious organised crime project investigations had been successfully terminated.

Members asked about the methodology that was being used in collecting figures, as there seemed to be contradictions between figures by provided by SAPS and TRANSITO. The Committee should be provided with more information about the progress that had been made in the implementation of the firearms amnesty. There had been an indication that there would be a cut of 3 000 SAPS members – would there be any more? It was good that SAPS was focused on strengthening Community Policing Forums (CPFs), but there should also be consequence management so that the CPF members knew how to act within the law. SAPS should be looking at the issue of farm attacks, as this could spark racial tensions, as seen during the recent “Black Monday.” Members were concerned that issues like the use of body cameras and drones were still in the conceptualisation stage, and SAPS seemed not to be catching up with the progress that had been made by the private sector.

Other issues raised were why the DPCI was quiet on “the monumental corruption” by the Guptas, as the veterans who had fought for liberation were complaining about the state of corruption in the country; progress in regard to disciplinary hearings instituted by the SAPS; whether there was any backlog in regard to firearm licences; why SAPS was not delivering BPVs on demand; and whether there was any integrated strategy to deal with the problem of farm attacks in rural areas. 

Meeting report

SAPS on Quarter 2 Performance

Maj Gen Leon Rabie, Head: Strategic Management, SAPS, said that a total of 73.32% of the SAPS targets were achieved, 21.93% were not achieved, while 1.75% of targets were not measured in Quarter 2. In programme 1 (Administration), 24 targets were achieved, three not achieved and one not measured. In programme 2 (Visible Policing), 25 targets were achieved and eight targets were not achieved. In programme 3 (Detective Service), 24 targets were achieved, six targets not achieved and one target was not measured. In programme 4 (Crime Intelligence), a total of 12 targets were achieved and three were not achieved. In programme 5 (Protection and Security Services), six targets were used, and one was not achieved.

There had been a 98% target for filling posts in terms of the approved establishment, and SAPS had achieved 99,34% -- 192 162 against the approved establishment of 193 431. It had achieved 100% against the target of filling 90% of vacant funded posts within the prescribed time frame from the date of advertisement. SAPS had obtained 1.28% of the 2% target for the employment of people with disabilities.

SAPS had achieved 100% for the initiation within 30 days of Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) recommendations. A total of 343 from a total of 373 recommendations had been initiated. Seven recommendations were not initiated, due to service terminations. 23 recommendations were still pending within the 30 calendar days. SAPS had obtained 85.29% out of the target of 90% for the finalisation of IPID-related disciplinary cases. A total of 10 cases were still pending within 60 calendar days. It had obtained 84.6% out of the target of 85% for operational vehicles available for policing in relation to the total vehicle fleet. A total number of 7 394 vehicles were booked in for repairs or services at the end of September 2017. SAPS procured and distributed 621 firearms out of the annual target of 3 000, and 2 126 bullet-resistant vests (BRVs) against the annual target of 15 132. A total of 760 457 legitimate invoices, from a total of 762 269, were paid within 30 days.

Maj Gen Rabie reported that in the Visible Policing programme, there had been a target of a 3.14% reduction in priority crime, and SAPS had recorded a 6.9% reduction -- from 442 140 reported serious crimes during Quarter 2 in 2016/2017, to 411 640 during the same quarter this year. It had obtained 3.1% out of the targeted 3.14% reduction in the number of contact crimes, but only 2.9% of the targeted 8.16% in reducing the number of reported crimes against women. SAPS had been able to reduce the number of reported contact-related crime by 4.6%, from 30 487 during the 2nd quarter of 2016/2017, to 29 084 during same quarter this year. It had reduced number of property-related crimes by 9,3%, from 138 624 to 125 705. It had recorded an increase of 10.6% in reported crimes of unlawful possession of, and dealing in, drugs, from 75 779 to 83 819. SAPS had recovered 8 008 stolen/ lost and illegal firearms against the target of 5 297, while a total of 5 721 identified, 1 467 unidentified stolen or lost vehicles, and 57 vehicles from cross-border operations, had been recovered. 37 195 applications for new firearms licences were received, and 46 166 were finalised within 90 working days.

The average national police reaction time to Alpha complaints was 17:51 minutes (target of 19:05 minutes), while the reaction time to Bravo complaints averaged 21:54 minutes (target of 24:33 minutes). SAPS implemented 1 140 functional community policing forums (CPFs) from a total of 1 146 police stations. 19 awareness campaigns were conducted, one at the national level and 18 at the provincial level. 340 schools were identified for implementation of the School Safety Programme from an annual target of 1 250. SAPS reacted to 699 hits relating to wanted persons.

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of SAPS said that although indicative in nature, the expenditures of each quarter in a financial year would not be precisely equal, caused by reasons such as the delivery of vehicles and other equipment, because of pay progressions. The total cumulative spending of the Department’s vote amounted to 48,5% of allocated annual budget after six months, which was similar to previous years. Cumulative spending per programme for the second quarter was also on track compared to the linear benchmark, and was similar to 2016/2017. The compensation of employees for the period comprised 51,1% of allocated budget, and was slightly above the ideal spending. R1.465 billion had been removed from the SAPS 2017/2018 compensation budget during the previous Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
 

DPCI on Quarter 2 Performance
Lt Gen Yoliosa Matakata, Acting National Head: DPCI, said that the Directorate had achieved 66,81% of its target for trial-ready case dockets for fraud and corruption by individuals within the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) cluster measured against the total fraud and corruption cases not finalised in court. This was a total of 475, from a total of 711. It had achieved 82.57% (target of 80%) for its detection rate for serious commercial crime-related charges, or 25 974 from a total of 31 456 detected cases. It had achieved 66.87% (target of 53%) for trial-ready case dockets for serious commercial crime-related charges -- 2 259 of trial-ready case dockets from a total of 3 378. No registered serious organised crime project investigations were successfully terminated (target of 43%). The DPCI had been able to dismantle 22 of the identified 22 clandestine laboratories. There were 23 cases of serious corruption-related trial-ready case dockets where officials were involved, including procurement fraud and corruption.

Discussion

The Chairperson asked about the methodology that was being used in collecting figures, as there seemed to be contradictions between figures of SAPS and SABRIC. The Committee should be provided with more information around the firearm amnesty, especially around the progress that had been made in the implementation of the amnesty, as SAPS was yet to brief the Committee on the issue of the amnesty since the last engagement. There had been an indication that there would be a cut of 3 000 SAPS members, but it would be important to know if there are any additional SAPS members that would be included. What was the strategy to ensure that there were enough personnel within SAPS? In relation to DPCI, the Committee should be briefed as to whether there were high profile cases being investigated. Was there any capacity to deal with cyber crime?

Mr P Mhlongo (EFF) said that at the last meeting, the DPCI had provided an update on the unit to be established by the President to deal specifically with the proliferation of illegal firearms. There were a number of reported cases of illegal firearms in the Western Cape. There was also a unit within SAPS that was dealing with the prevention of illegal firearms. The important question was whether there was any amalgamation between these two units in the fight against the proliferation of illegal firearms. There should be a working relationship between these two units.

It was good that SAPS was focused on strengthening the CPFs, but there should also be consequence management in this regard so that the members of CPFs knew how to act within the law. Was there any cooperation with the Civil Secretariat of Police (CSP) on strengthening CPFs? SAPS should be looking at the issue of farm attacks, as this could spike racial war, as was observed during the recent Black Monday. It was shocking to see that the Guptas were ruling the county while the DPCI was not investigating any of the issues related to monumental corruption involving the Guptas. Why was DPCI quiet on this? The veterans who fought for liberation were complaining about the state of corruption in the county. He made it clear that SAPS and DPCI should play a meaningful role in the fight against corruption, as he did not want to be part of a failed state.

Ms D Kohler Barnard (DA) pointed out a fluctuation in the figures that had been provided by SAPS between the targets and the achievements. The Committee should be provided with comparative figures from the previous year. SAPS was doing really badly in terms of contact crimes, especially with convictions, despite the arrests that had been made. The Committee should be provided with a progress report in regard to disciplinary hearings instituted by the SAPS. It was unclear if the figures on firearms licences were based on the semester of firearm licensing. Was there any backlog in regard to firearm licences? What was the number of new licences? The Committee should be briefed on the firearms that had been disposed of. What was the progress in regard to the stolen/lost firearms that were being sold by SAPS members? In relation to the planned faculty programme, when would the construction of this begin?

Mr Z Mbhele (DA) indicated that the presentation referred to a number of disciplinary cases, and it had been revealed that 100% of the recommendations by IPID had been initiated within 30 days. However, it was unclear whether this included investigations that were still under review by SAPS. It would be important to ascertain if the target for bullet-resistant vests was dependent on the demand and the requests that had been made. There were also reported cases where some SAPS members were complaining that they sometimes had to operate in damaged vests. Why was SAPS not delivering these vests on the demand? What was the reason for the decline in audits that had been completed? It was good to note that SAPS had met the target on the School Safety Programme. It would be important to know if the schools which were included in the previous financial year had stayed in the same programme, to ensure that there was consistency in promoting safety in schools. The degree of non-performance within the crime intelligence unit was rather concerning, as there had been a drop in network operations conducted. The Committee should be briefed as to why SAPS was not meeting its target on information communication technology (ICT) security assessments.

Mr L Ramatlakane (ANC) asked about the progress in regard to the killing of the former Orlando Pirates goalkeeper, Senzo Meyiwa. There should be an assurance that the case would be resolved, as the father of the late Meyiwa was panicking. Was there any integrated strategy in terms of dealing with the problem of farm attacks happening in rural areas, especially in relation to the recent Black Monday? It was also unclear if the rural strategy, integrated with farms, was yielding any results. The plan should be to increase the targets on crime awareness programmes, as this was another way of involving all the stakeholders in the fight against crime. There had been mention of the police vehicles that were operational and those that were not operational. Why were those police vehicles not operational? What had been the target for the detection rate of serious crime? Why was there only an annual target of 37% in reducing serious crime? Was this target different from the previous year?

Mr J Maake (ANC) wanted to know if there was any specific reason why there was a target of 50% instead of 100% in addressing the Auditor General’s (AG’s) findings. Why was SAPS not meeting the 2% target for the employment of people with disabilities? The Committee should be briefed on the visited areas for awareness programmes, like schools and various communities. There was a general belief out there that crime intelligence under the apartheid was more effective than in the democratic South Africa. What could be the reasons for this lack of effectiveness of crime intelligence agencies?

Ms M Mmola (ANC) also asked if there was any specific reason why SAPS was not achieving the 2% target for the employment of people with disabilities. Why not increase the target of 34% for cybercrime? It was concerning to note that the crime intelligence agencies were underperforming in a number of areas. Who were the crime intelligence units reporting to?

Ms M Molebatsi (ANC) wanted to be provided with some explanation in regard to the non-routine exhibits, as this had not been clear from the presentation. It was unclear whether the rural strategy to deal with crime was in any way effective, considering the surge in crime and violence in rural areas. The Committee should be provided with more information on the target for public order policing. Was there any assurance that the leasing of buildings would come to an end?

SAPS response

Lt Gen Mothiba said that there were regular engagements with SABRIC in regard to figures on crime, but there were different classifications of crime between SAPS and SABRIC. For example, the latter did not classify a case as a cash-in transit heist if money was not stolen, while SAPS was classifying the case as a cash-in transit heist even if money was not taken away. The Committee could be provided with detailed information in this regard. There was no detailed information on the firearm amnesty, but the Committee could be briefed on the issue by next week.

Lt Gen Bonang Mgwenya, Head: Human Resource Management, SAPS, said that when one looked at the historical establishment of SAPS between 1995 and 2012, its personnel was growing by 199 000 active members. The addition of staff members had been based on the needs analysis referred to as the Resource Allocation Guide (RAG). The number of SAPS personnel had been dwindling since 2011 as although the posts were required, there were no allocated funds. There was a problem of a fixed establishment while there was a limited addition of personnel.

There were currently about 3 500 trainees who would graduate this November, and also the recruitment of 2 600 reserves that was aimed at capacitating various police stations. There were still issues with the payment of pensions, and SAPS was looking into this matter. The focus at the moment was on re-enlistment of 500 SAPS members at a productive level, while the target was 1 000 members. The budget that had been allocated was for 500 re-enlistments. It was still unclear if SAPS would have the funds for 500 additional re-enlistments, and the decision was likely to be taken during the rationalisation process. The impact of the number of SAPS members had no impact on the operation of SAPS, but there was a need to have an additional staff especially when looking at the population growth in various places. SAPS had already advertised critical posts, as these were essential for the performance of the organisation.

Lt Gen Mothiba responded that SAPS had a close relationship with the DPCI on priority crime, like commercial crime. SAPS was able to identify on a daily basis, crimes that should be transferred to DPCI. It was indeed true that there should be close cooperation with the Police Secretariat on the management of CPFs. Currently, CPFs were located under the Members of Executive Committees (MECs) and there were CPFs that were paid stipends while in other places this was not the case. CPFs were generally provided with transport and sometimes with accommodation, in cases where they had to travel outside the province to attend important meetings or conferences.

Lt Gen J Nkomo, Divisional Commissioner: Detective Service, SAPS, said that serious crimes involved cybercrime, and these crimes were usually transferred to the DPCI or IPID.

Maj Gen Rabie explained that the detection rate was still based on crimes committed in the previous financial year, as there was consideration of the 12 months’ counting period. The two million detected cases included cases that were detected in the previous financial year, as well as the new cases that had been detected. 766 912 cases had been investigated, and others were classified as unfounded. There were two million detected cases in Quarter 1 and over two million cases in Quarter 2, and the two million detected cases in Quarter 2 included some of the cases from the previous financial year. There was consideration of guilty and not-guilty in all the cases being investigated by SAPS and the DPCI.

Lt Gen Mgwenya responded that in relation to disciplinary cases in the situation of escapees, the station commander was compelled to appoint a police officer to ascertain whether the escape was as a result of another SAPS member, or negligence. The disciplinary action was based on the findings conducted in the investigation.

Ms Kohler Barnard asked if the police officer appointed to investigate the case was given the responsibility to investigate his/her colleague.

Lt Gen Mgwenya replied that the person appointed had to come from outside the environment.

Lt Gen Mokwena, Divisional Commissioner: Supply Chain Management, SAPS, said that the firearms that had been procured were based on a needs assessment. SAPS had distributed 31.0% of the annual target for firearms in Quarter 2 and this had been based on the 20.7% of the total demand for firearms. It was difficult to say at the moment whether the counting of the firearms had taken into consideration those lost or stolen. There was a budget of R56 million for bullet-resistant vests. There was consideration of the demand for BRVs in every financial year. There were some orders that had been made after the submission of the demand list to the supply chain. The amount paid for BRVs was R66 million. The distribution BRVs was based primarily on the demand, and this was also the case with firearms.

Ms Kohler Barnard commented that SAPS was doing much better in ensuring that all SAPS members were provided with quality BRVs.

Lt Gen Mokwena said that the life span of a BRV was 10 years, and it had to be made clear that there were no SAPS members that had ever suffered a fatality because of the lack of a BRV.

Lt Gen Schutte said there had been an assessment carried out on the need for BRVs, and there was a methodology in place that was used for their distribution. SAPS was working based on the demand in place and SAPS members should wait before the vests were damaged before making a request for a replacement.

Lt Gen Mokwenya said there was a system in place for the allocation of the number of police vehicles a day, and those that were in operation. There was a huge shortage of police vehicles at the moment.

Lt Gen Mgwenya said that it was easy to initiate recommendations to the IPID, and that was why SAPS had been able to achieve 100% in this regard. There were sometimes delays in cases investigated, and this was because of the litigation involved and also consideration of the Labour Relations Act. Unfounded cases were mainly related to allegations of assault

Maj Gen Rabie said that there had been a failure to meet the demands in regard to the audit findings. The planning had been primarily based on the personnel available. SAPS undertook to review the audit processes and look at whether they had had an impact on the targets in place.

Lt Gen Mothiba said that regarding its rural strategy, rural areas still had challenges with the location of, and distances from, police stations. It was critically important for SAPS to rely on the cooperation and partnership of different stakeholders. The police stations in rural areas were also “bleeding” in terms of resources. The relationship between local communities and SAPS was very important. The reduction in staff would have a major impact in rural areas. The farmer organisations were part of the rural safety strategy in fighting crime in rural areas.

The Chairperson asked if there was still a plan to have the rural safety summit, as promised.

Lt Gen Mothiba replied that the summit had been put on hold and that every province had held their own provincial summit. It had to be taken into consideration that if there was a quarrel between a farmer and another person, and the farmer ended up being killed, then this case would be classified as farm murder. SAPS was also considering taking the fingerprints of farm workers so that they could be traceable in cases where they were involved in murder.

Mr Mhlongo said that the farming communities had limited access to security and technology. SAPS should have a strategy in place to recruit existing personnel to assist farmers who were under attack. Something should be done to prevent these farm attacks, instead of saying that there was a working relationship between SAPS and farmers.
 
Ms Kohler Barnard commented that it was illegal to force farm workers to provide their fingerprints, as the legislation did not favour SAPS in this regard.

Lt Gen Nkomo said that SAPS had engaged with Afri-Forum in 2016 regarding the strategy in place to deal with farm attacks, but it was unclear whether this strategy was working. The taking of farm workers’ fingerprints could be allowed, according to the law, and this would make it easy for SAPS to identify farm workers.

Lt Gen Mothiba added that the distance between police stations and where farmers were located was making it difficult for SAPS to address the problem of farm attacks, and that was why it was important to have a partnership within the farming communities. The partnership between SAPS and farming communities was effective at addressing these attacks.

Maj Gen Rabie said that the target of 37% for reducing serious crime had been lower in the previous financial year. There had been a downward trend previously in reducing serious crime. SAPS was being realistic about the target of 50% in addressing audit findings, and therefore did not want to sound overambitious. It was working towards a clean audit. The “guilty” and “not guilty” was based on the forensic investigations conducted. The routine case exhibits were classified as exhibits that were sent for forensic examination one by one, rather than in bulk entries of evidence. There was a problem of water and electricity in forensic labs, and this had contributed to the failure to achieve the targets.

Lt Mgwenya said that there were very few disabled members involved in policing, and those who were disabled were usually previous SAPS members. The disabled members fell under the Public Sector Employees. There was a plan to attract people living with disabilities within SAPS. It needed 800 employees to achieve the 2% target for the employment of people with disabilities.

Lt Gen Schutte said that SAPS was not engaging directly with landlords on the lease of buildings, and therefore there was a heavy reliance on the Department of Public Works.

Lt Gen Mgwenya said that the appointment of a permanent head of the DPCI was outside the scope of SAPS, as there was still a pending case against Richard Mdluli. The former acting national commissioner had challenged the suspension of the provincial commissioner in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) and therefore SAPS was unable to appoint a permanent provincial commissioner in KZN because of the pending litigation.

Lt Gen Nkomo said that a needs assessment for the laboratory in Pinetown had been conducted and handed over to the Department of Public Works in July 2017. The building process had been ongoing for nine years and the reasons for the delays in the completion of the building could be submitted in writing. The issue of leases would receive proper attention from SAPS.

Lt Gen Mothiba explained that the crime intelligence agencies were reporting to the commissioners. SAPS had mobilised all role players on the issue of Senzo Meyiwa, but the scene of the crime had been contaminated by the people who were with Meyiwa during his death. The eye witnesses in the case were not being open to the investigators. The eye witnesses had taken polygraph tests, and SAPS was not happy with the results. The crime scene had been recreated three times. There was an increase in violence against women and children, but there was also an increase in awareness programmes dealing with gender-based violence and children.

Ms Mmola requested that the head of intelligence should attend all the meetings, as it was important to be abreast of all the issues being discussed by the Committee.

The Chairperson said that there should be prioritisation of critical equipment, like the installation of CCTV cameras at police stations, the use of body cameras by SAPS members, and the use of drones in policing against poaching.

Ms Molebatsi asked about the number of trained dog handlers within SAPS.

Ms Mmola wanted to know about why the spending on the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) was lower than anticipated. It would be important for the Committee to know why there had been 52% expenditure on protection and security services.

Mr Mbhele commented that it seemed like the appointments in crime intelligence positions were given to cronies and cadres, and this was not helpful in the fight against crime.

Ms KohlerBarnard expressed concern about investigations of serious crime, as this was important for SAPS to focus on. She asked what usually happened when a learner was deemed incompetent or failed the course of public order policing. It had been indicated that 5 800 SAPS members were incompetent in the use of a firearm. What was being done if the firearm was being used by the member deemed incompetent to use it? The Committee should be briefed as to why the planned maintenance was low. How much of that was being paid to the station commanders?

Mr Mhlongo asked if the external deployment included the appointment of foreign services and police representatives abroad. It was unclear why South Africa was not represented abroad on crime intelligence under BRICS.

Lt Gen Matakata said that the DPCI and the National Prosecuting Agency (NPA) were investigating cases of corruption. The DPCI was interacting with international prosecuting agencies in order to strengthen investigations and to deal with cybercrime. It also trained officers that were offered by other countries. There was a relationship between the two units within SAPS and DPCI dealing with illegal firearms. However, there was a meeting to discuss DPCI taking over the responsibility of investigating illegal firearms. It was reporting to SAPS on operations to be undertaken, and those that had been undertaken. There were indeed challenges identified within the DPCI, and these would be addressed in the next financial year.

Lt Gen Adeline Shezi, Divisional Commissioner: Technology Management Service, SAPS, said an assessment had been done on the installation of CCTV in all police stations, but the priority was in other areas because of the limited budget. There were a number of considerations for the use of drones in policing, as there were regulations to be considered. SAPS was in discussion with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) in regard to the use of drones. SAPS had visited China in order to get a better understanding on the use of body cameras and the research in this regard was still under way. SAPS was impressed by how China was able to match the use of body cameras by SAPS members to the existing laws in that country. SAPS would provide a detailed written response on the issue related to SITA.

The Chairperson expressed concern that many of the issues mentioned by SAPS were still in the conceptualisation stage, and it seemed not to be catching up with the progress that had been made by the private sector. The Committee would need to be provided with an update on the use of body cameras and drones, as there seemed to be lack of movement on those issues. The police service would not be able to deal with crime if it was unable to embrace digital policing.

Lt Gen Mgwenya said that there were 1 427 trained dog handlers, and there were 1 922 trained dogs. The figures on trained dogs changed continuously because of deaths.
 
Lt Gen Mothiba said that the challenge facing the crime intelligence unit was leadership and management. Lt Gen Mdluli had been suspended since 2011, and this meant that the DPCI could not make a permanent appointment in this position. There were different sets of rules that applied to provincial commissioners, and this was making it difficult to finalise the appointment of the KZN provincial commissioner.

The meeting was adjourned.
 

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