The Committee received briefings from the South African Police Service (SAPS), Social Justice Coalition (SJC), South African Police Union (SAPU) and Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) on processes regarding the fixed establishment of the police stations.
SAPS said an organisational development accessibility study had been conducted, which had looked into issues of population trends like migration, and socio-economic and political factors. Classification of police stations, based on whether they were located in rural or urban areas, or a mixture of the two, had also been considered. Other aspects covered included station infrastructure and funding, and the patterns of demand for their services. The organisational structure for police stations had been approved on 29 February 2012. The minimum requirement was that no station commander could be at a level lower than a Captain, and that stations were required to function 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The approved structure had to be implemented and capacitated in terms of available funded posts.
The Civilian Secretariat of Police (CSP) reported on the Theoretical Human Resource Requirement (THRR) findings. It proposed that the recommended model for the future should be based on the funding. Resource allocations at the station level could be determined by cluster and station commanders, as per the demands and requirements of each police station, based on proper assessments.
The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) highlighted that almost without exception, relatively rich, predominantly white areas with very low contact rates, had far more police officers for every 100 000 people than poor, predominantly black areas with high contact crime rates. Given that the THRR broadly guided the actual allocations throughout the country, there could be little doubt that the system perpetuated this pattern of discrimination nationally. The SAPS failed to factor in the incidence of under-reporting, which was not uniform across police precincts, when allocating human resources. It believed there was a need to overhaul the THRR, and give substance to the right to life for poor and working class black Africans.
The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) said it was an undisputable fact that the unequal allocation of human resources continued to impinge on the various constitutional rights of the dedicated men and women in blue, particularly their right to safety and life, as attested by various appalling incidences of police killings nationwide. They were continuously terrorised and killed by cold-blooded criminals due to inadequate human and physical resources. It pointed out the current SAPS top structure was composed of 25.25% of the total SAPS workforce, with another 14.44% deployed to the cluster and provincial level, leaving a limited human resource of 60.31% on the ground. This top-heavy structure created a duplication of functions, weak command and control, and subsequently poor service delivery at the police station level. It recommended a flatter organisational structure for better service delivery rather than the current several layers of command and control.
The South African Police Union (SAPU) strongly supported the tried and tested process highlighted in determining the SAPS human resource requirements. The structure had been approved in December 2015, and there was no other approved replacement structure where the unions had been consulted, as required by agreements. It called on the National Commissioner to correct some of the anomalies in the current ranking system.
Members asked why SAPS had not made any reference to the use of modern technology to address the challenges it was facing. They agreed with the CSP that resource allocation was complicated and dependent on a number of variables. They also agreed with POPCRU that there should be a focus on reducing the provincial and national structures, and completely dissolving the clusters to improve co-ordination. It was unconvincing to hear from SAPS management the reasons for resource limitation within the police stations, because this was primarily about having the right priorities as opposed to the skewed priorities that had tended to characterise SAPS’s budgeting and spending over the past couple of years. It did not make sense for SAPS to spend 99.97% of the allocated budget every year while there were police stations that were under-resourced.
Chairperson’s opening remarks
The Chairperson said the Committee had received a petition last year from the Social Justice Coalition (SJC), where the issue of resources within police stations had been flagged as a real challenge. The President had indicated in the State of the Nation Address (SONA) that the key focus this year would be on the distribution of resources at police stations, and this would include personnel and other resources to ensure that there was enough capacity to deal with crime. The Committee had also recommended last year that the policing model should make provision for equity of police services in deep rural and urban areas, and this would be a point of reference for today’s meeting.
Concern over police killings
The Chairperson noted with sadness the news of a police officer in Ocean View who had shot and killed his partner and himself. This seemed to be cyclical, as there had been another similar incident just a week ago. There was a consideration that this was a societal problem, but this was a major concern when it involved police officers. There was an indication from previous interactions that there was a wellness programme that was available for South African Police Service (SAPS) members, and the police management should be able to provide support to police members in distress. Family members should assist the SAPS in identifying and reporting those police officers who might be in distress. It had been noted previously that more SAPS members were killed off duty than on duty. There were also challenges because of the availability of firearms for SAPS members at their homes, and this was something that needed to be addressed.
There had also been a couple of incidents of cash-in-transit heists throughout the country, and the Committee had been calling for a specialised unit to to deal specifically with this organised crime.
Ms D Kohler Barnard (DA) suggested that SAPS should make it compulsory for police officers to attend any form of psychological debriefing, as they faced horrific incidents, including dealing with body parts or having to shoot someone, and other incidents that were likely to cause trauma. It was concerning that some SAPS members were allowed to take firearms home, as there were cases where police officers were attacked for the purpose of stealing the firearms. The reality was that some police officers lived in dangerous areas and therefore there should be transport provided to prevent a situation where they ended up being the victims of criminals.
Mr Z Mbhele (DA) said there was an online article reporting that there had been domestic violence reported before the shooting involving a SAPS officer, and it had even been mentioned that the firearm was removed from the SAPS member involved. The key question was to how it was possible for this SAPS member to end up with a firearm, despite the reported domestic violence case.
Mr P Mhlongo (EFF) indicated that there should be a support mechanism provided by management for junior officials so that they were able to report any misconduct within the SAPS. There were SAPS members who were involved in criminal activities, like the abuse of SAPS female officers. The Committee would need to take a decision on what to do about the involvement of SAPS officials in criminal activities. It seemed like acts of criminality were promoted within SAPS. One could not run away from the reality that some SAPS officials ended up getting killed because of their own dirty actions. The fact was that some of the SAPS officers who were being killed were involved in criminal activities, and were often get killed by the criminals and gangsters they were working together with. There were SAPS officers who were protecting criminals at the expense of the communities. The people knew and could identify SAPS members who were heavily involved in the trafficking of drugs in places like Khayelitsha, but the unions seemed to be completely quiet about these cases.
Mr P Groenewald (FF+) also supported the provision of psychological support to SAPS members. It had previously been stated that there was a problem with the medical team and psychiatrists at SAPS, and it would be important for Members to hear about progress in this regard.
The Chairperson asked about the rationale behind the shifting of personnel within SAPS management, as this had not been explained to the Committee
Gen Khehla Sitole, National Commissioner: SAPS; responded that there had been a rotation in terms of the functions, with Lt Gen S Mfazi shifted from Management Services to Management Advisory Services, and Lt Gen S Schutte moving from Asset Management to Deputy National Commissioner: Management Intervention. Lt Gen F Vuma had taken over the previous position of Lt Gen Schutte in Asset and Legal Management. The first reason for these changes was that the organisation had formally introduced a succession plan. This was to ensure that all SAPS members were able to master multi-functional orientation, and they needed to master all the functions. It was also important to stabilise the organisation by encouraging the team to work together. This shift of personnel would also be done to divisional commissioners and all other levels.
SAPS had started designing a special combating plan for cash-in-transit heists. This included a high-level response team able to deal successfully with this problem. The nature of the modus operandi was a bit militaristic in nature. He had attended a meeting with the banks, security companies, the consumer goods council and other stakeholders, and there was an agreement to have an integrated partnership plan to combat cash-in-transit heists. There would be a cash management strategy in place, including one activation centre that was able to respond to the problem of cash-in-transit heists. SAPS was targeting syndicates involved in these heists, and there had been an emphasis at a meeting with the Minister yesterday on having a hard combative approach.
Gen Sitole added that SAPS would certainly consider the issue of providing psychological debriefing to police officers. This had been one of the issues that had come out in discussions with the Minister yesterday. The National Commissioner and the Minister would be going to all nine provinces, talking to SAPS officials and listening to their concerns. This would be followed by responses to those questions, and planning the way forward. There was consideration of providing transport to some of the SAPS members, especially those living in conditions that were extremely dangerous. The general public should be able to come forward with the names of SAPS officials who were involved in criminal activities.
SAPS Briefing: Fixed Establishment at Station Level
Maj Gen Jack Makgato, Component Head: Organisational Development: SAPS; said that currently the SAPS service points included 1 144 police stations, satellite police stations, contact points and mobile contact points. It had 120 000 police officers posts at police stations in terms of its fixed establishment, with specialised units as force multipliers, such as Public Order Policing (POP), canine (K9) units, family violence, child protection and sexual offences (Family and Child Support - FCS) units. There were also the Tactical Response Teams (TRTs).
An organisational development accessibility study had been conducted. The study was to look into issues of population trends like migration, and socio-economic and political factors. There had also been consideration of the classification of police stations, based on whether they were located in rural or urban areas, or a mixture of the two. The look into the police station infrastructure had focused on the location of a police station, and whether it was a suitable location with enough equipment like radio, vehicles and closed circuit television (CCTV) cameras. The resource allocation methodology focused on determining the functions of the police stations, the pattern of its demand -- variables which were population demands, police demands, crime patterns and other factors. There was also a focus on funding, especially on the sufficiency of the budget allocated for resources. There were categories of police stations, with the upper and lower limits of assigned station commander levels.
On 29 February 2012, the organisational structure for police stations had been approved. The classification of the level of the station commander was determined according to the job weight range, which was calculated in relation to the theoretically ideal number of posts associated with the post. In terms of the approved structure, the minimum requirement was that no station commander could be on a level lower than a captain, and that stations were required to function 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The approved structure had to be implemented and capacitated in terms of available funded posts.
In respect of the rationalisation initiative phases, phase 1 focused on the Division: Visible Policing (VISPOL) being completed, pending approval of the report. The ports of entry Divisional Commissioner: Operational Response Services (ORS) had reverted back for inputs (finalisation approximately six months). Crime Intelligence was pending a meeting with the Divisional Commissioner.
Phase 2 prioritised Personnel Management (PM), Supply Chain Management (SCM),
Technology Management Services (TMS) and Management Intervention (MI).
Phase 3 focused on national and provincial units.
The expected outcome of the rationalisation for the 2017/2018 financial year was starting with police stations at 62.78% to 65% of capacitation. The Vulindlela Human Resource (HR) tables had been finalised and submitted to strategic management for inclusion in the annual report.
Maj Gen Makgato said that there was one position for provincial commissioner that was vacant, as well as the position for the permanent head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI). There were three vacant posts for the position of divisional commissioners. The draft rationalisation process approach had been formalised and authorised. The expected outcomes and time lines were to be agreed upon. There was an impact assessment to be conducted. The consultation with labour was currently in process. The priority area outcomes were still being looked into.
Civilian Secretariat for Police briefing: Fixed Establishment at Station Level
Ms Bilkis Omar, Chief Director: Policy Development and Research, Civilian Secretariat for Police (CSP); said the CSP would report on the Theoretical Human Resource Requirement (THRR) findings. The report provided the study findings, taking into consideration of a number of objectives. These included the need to provide an analysis of the allocation of resources at selected police stations by comparing the allocation of human resources against the fixed establishment (granted) at police stations to that proposed by the THRR (ideal), and to identify problematic areas pertaining to input/audit sheets. There had also been a need to determine the process for distributing human resources at the provincial level, and to identify the constraints that impacted on the optimal use of human resources.
The findings had been structured according to the following thematic areas: the discrepancies with the THRR, the fixed establishment, and the actual human resource allocation. All provinces felt that the THRR model had never been fully implemented, so a proper assessment of the model could not be conducted. Provincial commissioners retained the discretion to move personnel as per Section 12(3) of the South African Police Service Act. This was based on a needs analysis, as determined by the Provincial Commissioner and the management team. The redistribution of resources by Provincial Commissioners must, however, be within the provincial budget parameters.
Ms Omar said that the findings also showed that duty arrangements reflected member/s on the duty list. However, they were not physically available at the stations. Transferring members from Station A to Station B resulted in vacancies at Station A. In some instances of transfers, the budget allocated to a post in Station C was transferred with the post to Station D. All provinces reported shortages of personnel within police stations, and it was reported that stations had posts that were vacant.
The other challenge related to the filling of vacant posts, which police stations had little control over, as this was a provincial competency. The filling of posts took a long period -- particularly junior level posts. Sector policing and other policing operations were also not fully functional due to resource constraints. Given that the THRR allocations had never been implemented to their full potential, 10% of police stations across the country had to be capacitated fully to determine the value of the THRR. The performance of these stations must then be monitored on a continuous basis over a period of three years, to determine effectiveness.
In order to address the imbalance of more management as opposed to fewer frontline operational members, the administrative and management posts had to be re-examined, as operational members were critical for service delivery. An intensive investigation should be undertaken to standardise and automate administrative functions. Station management should be actively involved in all of the THRR processes, to better understand the process, and detailed training on the THRR had to be conducted with managers.
The performance management system had to be reviewed to determine the adequacy of performance. For example, high crime reports should not be regarded as a poor police station performance. Alternative policies and strategies must be formulated and clearly outlined to address the challenge of the police having to play roles additional to their scope of work, which added to the burden of policing.
The CSP proposed the following recommendations:
- The proposed recommended model for the future should be based on the funding allocation model as used by England and Wales. In this way, resource allocations at the station level could be determined by cluster and station commanders according to the demands and requirements of each police station, based on proper assessments.
- Any new approach should be implemented alongside a change management process to get the buy-in of employees.
- In the absence of a fully adequate model for allocating resources, alternative policing operating approaches must be executed by SAPS, for more effective policing,.
- The obligation to embrace SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timebound) policing must reside and be driven by the Minister of Police and the provincial Members of Executive Councils (MECs) for Safety.
In conclusion, Ms Omar emphasised that it was evident by the above review, that challenges pertaining to police resource allocation were a global issue, and models guiding resource allocation were continuously evolving. The New Zealand model was based on national level resource allocation, similar to the South African model. The rest of the models provided for local station level resource adjustments, and were flexible as contexts differed. Most of the countries under review utilised the workload and demographic variables in calculating the police population. For SAPS, while the THRR was not without its challenges, the model had been benchmarked internationally and was facing similar challenges as other police agencies. The funding resource allocation model of England and Wales should be explored as an option for South Africa, given fiscal constraints. Currently, SAPS did resource allocation at a national level, based on various variables for human resource distribution. Provinces then adjusted these, and police stations were still without critical resources.
Social Justice Coalition briefing: Fixed Establishment at Station Level
Mr Dalli Weyers, Co-Head of Programmes: Social Justice Coalition (SJC) described the Coalition as a democratic, public benefit, membership-based social movement. The majority of its members were working-class and poor individuals. The SJC had more than 2 000 members in informal settlements across Cape Town. In March 2016, the SJC, represented by the Legal Resource Centre (LRC), along with its partner organization, Equal Education (EE), had launched an application in terms of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 4 of 2000 against the Minister of Police and the acting National Commissioner on the issue of the allocation of police resources. The court application aimed to compel the SAPS to review and change the inequitable and irrational allocation of police resources in poor and working class areas. The Nyanga Community Police Forum (CPF) was given leave to intervene and was a third applicant in the case.
Central to the court case that was heard on 28, 29, 30 November 2017, and again on 14 and 15 February 2018, was the applicants’ arguments that:
- Almost without exception, relatively rich, predominantly white areas with very low contact rates have far more police officers for every 100 000 people than poor, predominantly black areas with high contact crime rates.
- Given that the Theoretical Human Resource Requirement broadly guided the actual allocations throughout the country, there could be little doubt that the system perpetuates this pattern of discrimination nationally.
- The SAPS failed to factor in the incidence of under-reporting, which was not uniform across police precincts, when allocating human resources.
- The Section 12 (3) powers of the SAPS Act afforded to Provincial Commissioners was misunderstood, limited in practice and seldom used.
Mr Weyers said that the President indicated during SONA that a key focus this year would be the distribution of resources at police station level. This would include personnel and other resources, to restore capacity and experience at the level at which crime was most effectively combated. Maj Gen Makgato believed that the explanation given for the differences in the allocation of police personnel was rational. They included the fact that policing resources deployed in each area had to be done in the light of the existing infrastructure. Most of the policing areas where resources were lower than average, were areas where police stations were built after 1994 to respond to the increase in informal settlements and the housing developments undertaken by the government. Maj Gen Sekhukhune, of Crime Research within SAPS, indicated that SAPS counted only recorded crimes – either crimes which were reported to SAPS or detected by SAPS. The inclusion of any other data would be a mere hypothesis which was unsound statistically and at odds with the South African Statistical Quality Assessment Framework (SASQAF) model.
Section 12 (3) of the SAPS Act was clear that a provincial commissioner shall determine the distribution of the strength of the Service under his or her jurisdiction in the province among the different areas, station areas, offices and units. Regulation 3(3) of the Regulations of the SAPS states that the distribution of the strength of the force among the different divisions, police districts, station areas, offices, units or other institutions of any nature whatsoever, shall, subject to the provisions of this regulation, be determined by the [National] Commissioner. The SJC believed that there was a need to overhaul the Theoretical Human Resource Requirement, and to clarify Section 12 (3) of the SAPS Act and how it must be used in rational and strategic ways. There was also a need to deal with the complexity of under-reporting, and give substance to the right to life for poor and working class black Africans.
Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) briefing: Fixed Establishment at Station Level
Mr Nkosinathi Theledi, General Secretary: POPCRU, indicated that the Union had on numerous occasions raised a grave concern over the fact that SAPS human and physical resource allocation had been, and continued to be, a deep-seated challenge with severe adverse effects to both the police officers and the community at large. It was therefore pleased that the Committee had afforded an opportunity to once more fully elaborate on this crucial matter, as the challenge related to the fixed establishment at police stations had manifested itself into a national dilemma.
It was an undisputable fact that the issue of unequal allocation of human resources continued to impinge on various constitutional rights of the dedicated men and women in blue -- more especially their right to safety and life as attested by various appalling incidences of police killings nationwide, including the recent brutal attacks at Engcobo police station. POPCRU’s members were continuously terrorised and killed by cold-blooded criminals due to the long standing impasse of inadequate human and physical resources, as they worked under unsafe and understaffed conditions, often in dilapidated buildings.
Mr Theledi said that police stations, especially in townships and rural areas, did not have basic equipment such as well-functional CCTV cameras, bullet-proof windows and burglar doors, while members did not have adequate protective gear. It was on this premise that POPCRU had witnessed cases such as Engcobo, where criminals stormed into a poorly resourced police station and brutally killed police officers and stole firearms. POPCRU condemned similar cases of this nature and further reiterated that they must be prevented at all costs. This kind of a vicious circle could not be tolerated 24 years following the advent of democracy in the country, because the discussions on resource allocation were not new to this House. Nevertheless, progress on improving resource allocation for effective policing had been sluggish, regardless of several inputs presented at this Committee. It was further disheartening to witness the majority of the beneficiaries of police services, mostly within the previously disadvantaged communities, continuously reporting serious concerns about the lack of police resources and consequent lack of police visibility in their police precincts, while police visibility should instil a sense of safety to ordinary members of the community.
It was even more disturbing when one took a glimpse at the current composition of the SAPS top structure, which was composed of 25.25% of the total SAPS workforce, with another 14.44% deployed to the cluster and provincial level, leaving a limited human resource of 60.31% on the ground. This top-heavy structure created a duplication of functions, weak command and control, and subsequently poor service delivery at the police station level. It was evident that the current establishment needed to be reviewed, with the key objective of improving working conditions of POPCRU’s members, enhanced productivity and morale, and increased effectiveness and efficiency in the provision of policing services. The review process should take into cognisance the size of the population vis-a-vis the capacity and strength of the SAPS to effectively deliver on its mandate. The union believes that through these fundamentals, the improvement and functioning of different components could easily complement each other in the best interest of serving the people.
Mr Theledi said that the fruitless expenditure emanating from this bloated structure could be used to build and renovate police stations and capacitate them with the required human and other resources, thereby improving working conditions for its members. The current senior positions created at the pinnacle of the structure at the level of Deputy Director General, Chief Directors and a lot of directors, needed to be reviewed as a matter of urgency. Over and above such positions, there were 17 Divisional Commissioners reporting directly to five super-DDGs named Deputy National Commissioners. Based on the presented facts, POPCRU recommended the following:
- A flatter organisational structure was required for better service delivery, rather than the current several layers of command and control;
- Restructuring the service was necessary as a way forward to better policing and improved services, using the local police stations as the crucible of such service.
- Redeployment of specialised operational policing functions to the station level should be prioritised, to ensure effective investigation of crime. This would increase the leadership, management, decision making and skill levels at stations to deal with the stations’ unique crime challenges.
- Station Commanders should be well-capacitated to efficiently provide a comprehensive service and manage all resources, with improved systems of monitoring and evaluation in-place.
Mr Theledi concluded that an increased personnel establishment where the actual policing took place would enhance the implementation of sector policing, thereby enabling a more direct and personal link between police officials and the public at grassroots level, and subsequently improving the relationship between the police and the community they served. This notion should be a key feature of the SAPS’ medium term planning, with the emphasis on recruiting quality over quantity, thus realising the effective, disciplined and professionalised service such as stipulated by the 2016 White Paper on Policing, and the National Development Plan (NDP).
South African Police Union (SAPU) briefing: Fixed Establishment at Station Level
Mr Mpho Kwinika, President: SAPU; started by paying respect to the members of the SAPS who had lost their lives in the line of duty, including the five ambushed at Engcobo. As a point of departure, SAPU supported the tried and tested process highlighted in determining the human resources in the South African Police Service (SAPS). As indicated previously, SAPU would always support management in order to ensure success. The structure that had been presented in slide 8 of the SAPS document, had been approved on 31 December 2015. There was no other approved replacement structure that had been consulted with the unions, as required by agreements.
Regulation 8 of the regulations had been amended by the substitution of the following: "The ranks in the Service, in order of precedence, were as follows: General (appointed as National Commissioner); Lieutenant General (appointed as Deputy National Commissioner, Divisional Commissioner, Regional Commissioner or Provincial Commissioner); Major General, Brigadier, Colonel, Lieutenant Colonel, Captain, Warrant Officer, Sergeant, Constable. The National Commissioner may, in individual cases, determine a rank which was not included in sub-regulation (1) and provide that a particular member shall hold such rank: Provided that the National Commissioner shall simultaneously determine that the rank shall for all purposes be equivalent to a rank included in sub-regulation (1).
Mr Kwinika said that section 24 of the South African Police Service Act 68 of 1995 (Police Act), empowered the Minister to make regulations. Regulation 8(1) of the South African Police Service Regulations, 1964, determined the ranks in the SAPS. The structures in the SAPS must follow the regulations. The current structure was approved on 31 December 2015, and the regulations on which the new ranks were established had been promulgated on 24 May 2016, and had come into effect on 1 June 2016. Surprisingly, the regulations had followed the ranks, which was totally wrong.
In this structure, the post of National Head: Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) was not allocated any rank, but only salary level 15. Section 17C(2)(a) of the Police Act, as amended by the South African Police Service Amendment Act 57 of 2008, reads: The Directorate comprises of the Head of the Directorate, who shall be a Deputy National Commissioner appointed by the Minister in concurrence with Cabinet. The result was that the appointment of Anwa Dramat as Deputy National Commissioner, a clearly regulated rank, was within the law.
Mr Kwinika indicated that there were an excessive number of police officials at the national Head Office. Some posts were unnecessary and could be phased out, which would release the much needed resources at the operations level. SAPU was of the view that the post of Deputy National Commissioner: Management Interventions, was unnecessary. There were five posts at salary level 15, and many other senior managers who could be better placed elsewhere.
It was clear from several misnomers that top management was not familiar with the names of its structures. The name of the DPCI was repeatedly cited incorrectly as Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations, instead of Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation. Similarly, top management refers t
ro its Detective Service as Detective Services, a practice that exacerbates the confusion. It was important that the number of satellites police stations and contact points be reflected, as they competed for the 120 000 posts at police stations.
Mr Kwinika urged the National Commissioner to refrain from unscientifically elevating the post of Component Head to the level of Deputy National Commissioner. SAPU had specifically pointed out that the post of National Head: Management Advisory Services, which was created on 31 December 2015 with a non-existing rank of Lieutenant General -- and unilaterally and irregularly elevated to Deputy National Commissioner -- should be de-elevated to Divisional Commissioner. This act had created a post of DNC which, unlike all others, did not have a Divisional Commissioner under it. This abnormality indicated that the post should at least have been elevated from Component Head to Divisional Commissioner, and the National Commissioner was called upon to correct that error.
Management should urgently fill the gaps in salary level 6, as this was a production level. Top management should advise the Minister to amend section 6 of the Police Act and align it with the NDP, as well as section 17CA(12)(a), which directs that the Deputy National Head of the DPCI shall be appointed to act in the absence of the Head. Never, and never again, should we be subjected to an experiment where a Divisional Commissioner was appointed as acting National Commissioner in the presence of Deputy National Commissioners.
The Chairperson asked about the use of technology within SAPS, as there had been no information in that regard. It was not going to be able to address its existing challenges if it was unable to use technology wisely. What was the total number of personnel at cluster levels?
Ms M Molebatsi (ANC) wanted an update on the use of CCTV cameras, body-worn cameras and metal detectors, as this needed to be fast-tracked considering the recent incident in Engcobo. There was an indication in the past of taking generals to the cluster level to enhance the capacity in that environment. What was the progress in this regard?
Ms M Mmola (ANC) said there was a concern that some of the provinces felt like the THRR model had never been fully implemented. It would be important to be briefed about the year in which the THRR had been implemented. It was unclear as to how it was possible for the position of the Divisional Commissioner: Crime Intelligence, to be assumed by someone in an acting position while the post was “unfunded,” as reflected in slide 26 of the SAPS presentation.
Mr J Maake (ANC) agreed with the sentiment of the CSP that resource allocation was complicated and dependent on a number of variables. It would important to ascertain what measures were being used for resource allocation, especially taking into consideration the very complicated variables. He agreed with POPCRU that the focus on restricting expenditure should be directed towards reducing the provincial and national structures and completely dissolving the clusters to improve co-ordination. It looked like this debate had been based on the necessity of involving provinces, as the allocation of resources was based on the existence of provinces. Regarding the suggestion by CSP that 10% of police stations across the country needed to be capacitated, the Committee should be briefed on whether this 10% was enough. What was the criterion that was being used for arriving at the 10%?
Mr Mhlongo felt that there had not been enough consultation by SAPS with relevant stakeholders on the fixed establishment, as it was quite clear that there was a lot of confusion among the Members and unions. One could not expect SAPS to transform itself, considering all the challenges in the past, including the weaknesses witnessed at the political and leadership level. The fact that General Sitole had just taken over the permanent role of National Commissioner after years and years of having acting National Commissioners was a concern. The issues raised by POPCRU and SAPU needed to be noted, especially the issue of Generals, where each one who took the role of command created his/her own command to defend his/her territory at material cost, and sometimes at the expense of service delivery. The Committee should note and take on board the comments that had been made by these unions. The fact was that SAPS had remained as it was when it was inherited in 1994, and absolutely nothing had changed.
Mr Mbhele commended the recommendations that had been made by the CSP, as these were insightful and pointed in the right direction. The Committee should be provided with a copy of the full report on the recommendations that had been made by the CSP, as it was starting to hear recommendations that would point it in the right direction. It was unconvincing to hear from the SAPS management that the reason for resource limitations within the police stations in the country was because of the lack of resources, as this was primarily about having the right priorities as opposed to the skewed priorities that had tended to characterise SAPS’s budgeting and spending over the past couple of years. It did not make sense for SAPS to spend 99.97% of the allocated budget every year while there were police stations that were under-resourced on the ground. It was clear that there was something fundamentally, structurally and systematically wrong in how SAPS was using its allocation budget.
In relation to the figure of 3 981 for post establishment, the Committee should be briefed on the functions of these personnel. It was difficult to consider how SAPS had arrived at that figure, when one considered that the other Human Resource (HR) functions like personnel and management stood at at 647 for the same period. The figure of 462 for the detective service division was certainly not the number of detectives in the country. What was this figure referring to? In reference to the station level post allocation, what was the number and percentage that had been allocated to the detective service division for the investigators at station level who were driving the investigations? What was the total number of detectives at station level?
Ms Kohler Barnard asked about the census that was used by SAPS to determine the population of the country in relation to the resources to be allocated. The use of outdated census figures was problematic, as the resource allocation in these situations did not usually keep up with the pace of population growth in many places, and this had also been revealed in the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry. There should be communication with the Treasury on those police stations that were not operational because of limited personnel. The reality was that most of the stations did not have enough personnel, and therefore the SAPS plan was once again good on paper. The country could not afford to have a situation where farmers, farm workers and visitors to farms were literally being slaughtered, and there should be something done to address this problem. What was the current situation on the use of reservists, as they had been used during the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It was good to hear CPS saying that police stations should not be rewarded for arresting fewer people. The Committee should reiterate once again that it was incredibly ridiculous to reward police officials for having arrested fewer people, as this was defeating the whole purpose.
The Chairperson said that the Committee had been posing questions on the lack of finalisation of the structure of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), as this was important to ensure that the entity was able to operate efficiently. The DPCI had indicated to the Committee that the reason for the delay was because they had been waiting for the unions. The Committee should get a response directly from the unions in this regard.
Gen Sitole responded that he had commissioned a scientific work study that was going to be an independent work study, and this would enhance the migration of resources. The work study team had already started with its work on the ground, and this process would be done through scientific work study. The organisation did not have a full-blown resource management strategy, and this would be presented to the Committee by the end of this month. SAPS was going to work strictly based on the resource management strategy, including the resource matrix.
The question about the use of reservists was a priority of the new Minister, and had been on the agenda at the meeting yesterday. SAPS had recruited 2 600 reservists already, and this was an important move. It had prioritised the use of neighborhood watches, and this was part of involving communities, including traditional leaders, in the fight against crime.
There was a plan in place to work on the SAPS use of technology. The reality was that SAPS’s technology was outdated, and this problem would be reviewed. There was a concerted effort to ensure that police stations were provided with security measures, including CCTV, and this would require the organisation to conduct a physical security assessment at all police stations. There were currently very few police stations in the country with CCTV cameras, but visible policing was working with Technology Management Service (TMS) on the installation of CCTV at station levels.
Ms Molebatsi wanted to know the exact timeline for SAPS to complete the installation of CCTV at all police stations in the country.
Gen Sitole replied that by the end of the quarter, the first group of police stations that had been reported as hotspots would be equipped, and SAPS would report this to the Committee when completed. There would be another group of police stations to be taken for physical security assessments. Regarding the taking of Generals down to cluster, or even station level, SAPS had introduced regionalization. This was under the discussion, and SAPS would follow all the processes. A work study had already been completed for four provinces including Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), the Western Cape and Eastern Cape. SAPS was now moving the work study to the labour platform, and had also engaged the provinces at the top management level. The intention of SAPS was to start with the implementation at the latest by the second quarter.
The whole structure of Crime Intelligence now reported to the Divisional National Commissioner: Crime Intelligence, and there was no section of Crime Intelligence that reported to the office of the National Commissioner. The post of Counter Intelligence was not at Divisional Commissioner level -- it was at Major General level, and there was no one acting in that position.
Ms Kohler Barnard asked if the National Commissioner was aware of the allegations that former Commissioner Phiyega had downgraded the educational requirement for Crime Intelligence to just a matric in order to get certain people into those positions.
Gen Sitole responded that he was not aware of this, and would therefore have to look into the matter.
Maj Gen Makgato responded that SAPS had acknowledged from the beginning that the THRR was a very complicated system that was being utilized, and it was taking on board all the inputs that had been made to make adjustments or review. It was also taking note of the complexity of the THRR even from station management’s point of view. The demand for the THRR was very high, but what could be afforded was very low.
Maj Gen Leon Rabie, Component Head: Strategic Management, SAPS, said that the figures that were being used were updated on an annual basis, based on the mid-year estimates that were issued by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA). The mid-year estimates were based on the last census that had been done, and then incorporated into the mid-year estimates.
Gen Sitole explained that SAPS had already worked on a business case, and this would be presented to the National Treasury and the Minister. The business case was talking about the deficit out of the whole distribution and redistribution, and the rural safety plan was part and parcel of the calculation.
Mr Theledi said he had been surprised to hear that the DPCI was waiting for the unions before moving forward with a decision on the finalisation of its structure. POPCRU was just a stakeholder who had to make sure that things were done correctly. There were processes that obviously needed to be followed in terms of doing things, and issue of the structure should be put in the forum for engagement. POPCRU was aware that there were issues that were currently in litigation, and this was playing a part in the delay in the implementation of the structure. POPCRU was willing to engage on the issue.
Mr Kwinika said that the issue raised by the DPCI was new to SAPU, and it was unclear what was being expected from the management. SAPU knew nothing about the DPCI. The DPCI had currently presented an organisatioal development that was legally in existence. The existing structure was the one that had been approved in 2015.
Ms Omar said that THRR had been introduced and implemented in 2011-12. 10% was 114 police stations, and this was quite a large number of police stations for benchmarking. There was a consideration of both urban and rural areas, including the high priority stations where, for example, murder or contact crime was high.
The Chairperson concluded that the Committee should get clarity on the existing structure, as this issue had been raised by the unions. The Committee was clear that resources should be directed at stations, especially in those areas that were traditionally under-resourced. The frontline policing should receive the necessary priority. The top-heavy structure needed to be reviewed and the Committee welcomed the inputs by the unions. The Committee should still get a briefing on regional commissioners and clusters.
The meeting was adjourned.
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