The Portfolio Committee met to receive briefings by the South African Police Service on their First Quarterly Report. The Deputy Minister of Police attended the meeting.
The SAPS Management reported that although the expenditures of each quarter in a financial year was indicative of nature, it would not be precisely equal. This was caused by reasons such as late signing of salary agreements, delivery of vehicles and other equipment, payment of pay progression, etc.
The SAPS explained that the presentation related to the first three months of the year. The spending focus over the medium term included sustaining actual personnel numbers, professionalising the police service through skills development, continued strengthening of the Criminal Justice System revamp and modernisation programme to focusing on funding for Forensic Services and broader Detective Service in SAPS to enhance crime investigation; provision for equipment and training for detectives to enhance the process of investigation of crime and to sustain the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation baseline allocation.
It also included investment in capital equipment consisting of machinery and equipment but essentially vehicles and critical items; purchasing of critical equipment such as bullet resistant vests, firearms, ammunition, clothing, mobile police stations; strengthening the resource capacity of Public Order Policing Units in order to police incidents of public disorder; maintaining a capacity that allows for interventions through internal and external deployments; and Community Outreach Programmes; Imbizo and Community-based recruitment programmes.
Total cumulative spending comprised 22,4% of allocated budget after 3 months. Cumulative spending per programme for the first quarter was also on track compared to the linear benchmark. Compensation of employees (actual spending) for the period comprised 24,1% of allocated budget.
Higher than anticipated salary increases were signed in the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council. A 1,5% pay progression was to be paid annually. In addition, housing allowance to spouses was extended.
National Treasury anticipated that SAPS would require R800 million in the current year, R1 billion next year and R1,4 billion in 2021. An amount of R1,367 billion that was removed from SAPS 2018/19 compensation budget during a previous Medium-Term Expenditure Framework.
Spending on Goods and Services comprises 18,3% of allocated budget
Payments for Capital Assets comprise 7,8 % of allocated budget. Spending on buildings and infrastructure was lower than expected.
Machinery and equipment historical spending tendencies reflect increased spending during the latter part of the financial year as delivery of vehicles (major portion) takes place.
SAPS’s budget remains under pressure after various budget reductions were introduced in recent financial years as well as the carry through effect on outer year baseline
Spending on Administration was fairly in line with a linear benchmark, discounting for wage agreement on salary increases that had not been finalised.
Spending on Visible Policing was also fairly in line with a linear benchmark, discounting for the wage agreements that had not been finalised, the increased baseline for Public Order Policing Units, the spending in the facilities environment in line with invoicing arrangements and vehicle deliveries as usual to realise mainly in the latter part of the financial year.
Spending on Detective Services was marginally below a linear benchmark mainly as the result of expenditure slightly lower than planned as wage agreement on salary increases was not yet finalised; lower spending on Criminal Justice System impacted mostly at Forensic Science Laboratory sub programme, and vehicle deliveries as usual were still to be realised mainly in the latter part of the financial year.
Spending on Crime Intelligence was in line with a linear benchmark considering salary agreements and vehicle deliveries.
Expenditure on Protection and Security Services was slightly lower than planned. Restructuring arrangements impacted on Government Security Regulator.
The Committee was unimpressed with progress and handling of commercial crimes and finances by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation and the quality of information it had provided before the Joint Committee of Parliament.
Members asked what progress had been made with regard to the life style audits as a commitment that had been made to the Committee. Members asked for a progress report of the commitments that had been made by SAPS to the Committee, what had been dealt with, what was still outstanding, what was the overall state of the new Nyala procurement? In terms of the roll out of training and command control across the provinces, what is in place to ensure that there is the same level of performance across the same units and members in all provinces? Members asked what was being done to fast track the filling of those posts in light of the shortages in the SAPS, to ensure that the stations were filled with the necessary amount of staff members. What was the current progress with station safety, the installations of Closed Circuit television and safety kits?
Some Members asked how SAPS was measuring the money it was spending against the value for it. What was being done to improve the service on the ground? Was there a budget for the challenges SAPS faced?
Members were concerned about the Hawks not having the capacity to investigate prominent cases.
The Committee noted that SAPS was having challenges with the Department of Public Works, which seemed to be an ongoing problem. What were the real problems at the Department of Public Works? What was SAPS doing about them? How could the Committee help to alleviate these challenges?
Members asked if SAPS vehicles were fitted with first aid kits, and could the kits be utilised in the vehicles?
Some Members wanted to know how far SAPS was with the compensation process to the widows of the Marikana victims.
The Committee thought that the delivery of vehicles at the latter part of the financial year sounded like fiscal dumping. They asked whether there was no other creative and feasible approach to ensure staggered deliveries of vehicles. What policy, process or system was in place for ensuring alignment between that procurement process and having batches match the station and cluster level needs? The Committee was concerned that some communities had different kinds of terrains and required different types of vehicles.
Committee Members also asked if Operation Buya Mthethwa was yielding results.
The Committee was concerned with the underspending on forensic labs given the challenges in these labs. It requested an update on the procurement of DNA kits. The Committee required progress on the matter of collecting DNA from convicted criminals; asked whether the DNA legislation and its implementation was working.
The Committee requested Cabinet stance on quarterly crime statistics from the Deputy Minister.
The Committee raised the matter of the Department of Public Works which gave the SAPS buildings and facilities that were not suited for it. Members asked why SAPS accepted the buildings that the Department of Public Works dumps on them. Was SAPS locked in? Was it now paying rent to the Department of Public works for useless buildings? What was the exact relationship between SAPS and the useless buildings provided by the Department of Public Works?
The Committee was concerned with the underspending on the Compensation, Goods and Services projects. It was concerned that there was no feasible outcome for the money already spent on the projects.
Deputy Minister Bongani Mkongi raised three fundamental factors that influence effective policing. The first factor was the visibility of police and skills to investigate crime. He explained that the ratio of police officers to the population was decreasing and posed challenges for South Africa.
The Deputy Minister thought that the question of the impact of policing should be seen in terms of the commitment of government to budget for the South Africa Police Service. There was an increasing number of shacks around the country which supersedes the number of old townships. These areas are congested, have no electricity and roads. They do not have police stations and police officers cannot enter these areas and people who master the areas are the criminals who were born in them. This was a challenge of policing in South Africa which feeds into the issue of vehicles in the SAPS.
Laws passed by Parliament have given SITA the power to deal with matters that deal with Information Communication Technology matters in government. The SAPS cannot procure things without SITA. Police cannot change the laws. The law for police to procure its own ICT as police can only be passed by Parliament. Parliament must take that responsibility.
The laws of the country constrain the police in terms of ability and capacity and need to be changed by Parliament.
The Deputy Minister said he and the Minister had decided that they were going to recruit. There were a number of students who had passed courses of policing in Technical and Vocational Education and Training colleges but were not employed. These cohorts of students need to be integrated into the shortage of police staff in the country.
The Chairperson welcomed the Deputy Minister, Members and all present.
The purpose of the meeting was to receive a briefing on the 1st Quarterly Report and the Contract Management Strategy from the South African Police Services.
Briefing on the 1st Quarterly Financial Report 2018/2019
Major General SJ Nelson, Acting Divisional Commissioner: Financial Management and Administration, SAPS, commenced the presentation by giving a definition of an expenditure analysis.
Performing an expenditure analysis (based on past expenditure) is an evaluation of expenditures (series of values over a time series) for instance multi-year comparisons of baseline expenditures. It implies thus, the evaluation in terms of past performance. When time series are analysed the interest vests in the components or movements in the time series which give rise to variations.
Although indicative of nature, the expenditures of each quarter in a financial year, would not be precisely equal. This was caused by reasons such as late signing of salary agreements, delivery of vehicles and other equipment, payment of pay progression, etc.
The following presentation related to the first 3 months of the year; the second quarter ends 30 September 2018.
The spending focus over the medium term included sustaining actual personnel numbers, professionalising the police service through skills development, continued strengthening of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) revamp and modernisation programme to focusing on funding for Forensic Services and broader Detective Service in SAPS to enhance crime investigations, provision for equipment and training for detectives to enhance the process of investigation of crime and to sustain the Directorate for Priority Criminal Investigation (DPCI) baseline allocation.
It also includes investment in capital equipment consisting of machinery and equipment but essentially vehicles and critical items; purchasing of critical equipment such as bullet resistant vests, firearms, ammunition, clothing, mobile police stations; strengthening the resource capacity of Public Order Policing Units (POPS) in order to police incidents of public disorder; maintaining a capacity that allows for interventions through internal and external deployments; and Community Outreach Programmes; Imbizo and Community-based recruitment programmes.
Total cumulative spending comprised 22,4% of allocated budget after 3 months which is fairly similar to previous years.
Cumulative spending per programme for the first quarter are also on track compared to the linear benchmark. This was similar to 2017/18 as well.
Compensation of Employees actual spending for period comprised 24,1% of allocated budget and was fairly on course.
Higher than anticipated salary increases were signed in the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council (PSCBC) (Compensation budget grows with 6,9% whilst 7%, 6.5% and 6% was agreed to for levels 1 – 12 in all Departments. A 1,5% pay progression is also to be paid annually. In addition, housing allowance to spouses has been extended). The delayed payment was due to the agreement being signed late and only implemented in July 2018 (in the 2nd quarter). From National Treasury’s own calculations, SAPS would require R800 million, R1 billion next year and R1,4 billion in the year 2021.
An amount of R1,367 billion was removed from SAPS 2018/19 compensation budget during a previous Medium-Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF).
Spending on Goods and Services comprises 18,3% of allocated budget. An example of such goods and services would be the Criminal Justice System Revamp spending (which was below linear benchmark) and the Spending on SITA which is also lower than anticipated.
Transfers and subsidies are in line with the linear benchmark.
Payments for Capital Assets comprise 7,8 % of allocated budget. The spending on buildings and infrastructure was lower than expected.
On Machinery and equipment, historical spending tendencies reflect increased spending during the latter part of the financial year as delivery of vehicles (major portion) takes place. (This is a normal trend and under expenditure of this item is not a real risk). The previous delivery trends underwrite this inference.
SAPS’s budget remains under pressure after various budget reductions were introduced in recent financial years as well as the carry through effect on outer year baseline.
Programme 1: Administration Spending performance
The spending on the first programme was fairly in line with the linear benchmark, discounting for the following: Expenditure slightly lower than planned as wage agreement on salary increases was not yet finalised (With effect from 1 April 2018), The Civilian Secretariat for Police (specifically and exclusively allocated) as a designated department is reflected as a transfer payment on the Vote (Police) and the lower spending on Capital Works in the building environment.
Programme 2: Visible Policing Spending performance
The expenditure was fairly in line with the linear benchmark, discounting for the following: The expenditure was slightly lower than planned as a wage agreement on salary increases was not yet finalised (With effect from 1 April 2018), The increased baseline for POPS (R355 million included and procurement in progress), the spending in the facilities environment in line with invoicing arrangements (Leases invoices from the Department of Public Works (DPW one month in arrears) and vehicle deliveries as usual to realise mainly in the latter part of the financial year.
Programme 3: Detective Services Spending performance
The spending for programme 3 was marginally below a linear benchmark mainly as the result of expenditure slightly lower than planned as wage agreement on salary increases was not yet finalised (With effect from 1 April 2018), there as lower spending on CJS impacted mostly at Forensic Science Laboratory sub programme; vehicle deliveries as usual were still to be realised mainly in the latter part of the financial year.
The DPCI exclusive amount was adequately on course.
Programme 4: Crime Intelligence
The total programme is in line with a linear benchmark considering that the wage agreement on salary increases was not yet finalised and paid at the time (With effect from 1 April 2018).
Programme 5: Protection and Security Services Spending performance
The expenditure was slightly lower than planned as wage agreement on salary increases was not yet finalised (With effect from 1 April 2018). Restructuring arrangements impacted on Government Security Regulator.
Spending was relatively in line with a linear benchmark, but vehicle deliveries as usual are to be realised mainly in the latter part of the financial year. t
The Chairperson gave an opportunity to Members to ask five questions. There was a lot to be covered and thus the process was to be made swiftly. He was glad that the Deputy Minister was present and would be able to respond to some of the matters raised.
The Chairperson said he would appreciate it if the Deputy Minister would specifically refer to the following matter. In the previous week the DPCI appeared before the Joint Committee of Parliament regarding commercial crimes and its finance matter. There was also a statement by three committee Chairpersons indicating their unhappiness about the quality of the information. He indicated that he had spoken to a SAPS member about the matter over the weekend. He had also spoken to the Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry and had had a long conversation with the Chairperson of Finance. These Chairpersons were strongly unimpressed about the progress and the handling of the matter. He requested that the Committee get an update from the DPCI and maybe the matter of importance of dealing with commercial crime on a strict basis.
He expressed that he could see that the spending was intact, however, if a case dragged for more than nine months with no movement- should the outlook not be to spread that team, or maybe change some of the role players?
On life style audits, the Committee had raised the matter in March/April with the National Commissioner who was not present at the meeting. He requested that the Committee receives an update in terms of the commitments that the National Committee had made. What was the current status? How many members in management had gone through the audits?
The Chairperson indicated that he could see in the additional funding on compensation packages in presentation. He asked for an indication with regard to the recommendations by Parliament. What had been dealt with? What was still outstanding?
It was unfortunate that some Nyalas were torched by certain communities. What was the overall state of the new Nyala procurement?
In terms of the roll out of training and command control across the provinces, what is in place to ensure that there is the same level of performance across the same units and members in all provinces? In some provinces there was no discipline, no command control and no organisation.
The Chairperson said his final question would be on the issue of vacancies. The Minister had firmly put on the table the fact that there was a shortage across all the provinces, he thought there were around 900 vacancies now. What was being done to fast track the filling of those posts and to ensure that the stations were filled with the necessary amount of staff members?
Ms M Mmola (ANC) asked how SAPS intend to rectify the patterns of underspending in the provinces in view of the fact that violent crimes against children and women require more resources.
Secondly, she requested that SAPS should inform the Committee on whether it had concluded the negotiations on the Microsoft contract which was scheduled for July 2018.
She asked for information on what plans SAPS had to increase the spending on programmes in facilities in the provinces given that some provinces were underspending by huge amounts.
What was current progress with station safety, the installations of CCTV and safety kits?
Mr A Shaik Emam (NFP) asked how SAPS measured the money that it was spending and the value for it? Clearly the value of what was visible on the ground did not match the spending. He was aware of the challenges that had been identified in the SAPS. He wanted to know what SAPS management was doing about them, whether it was shortage of staff, capacity or whatever the problem was. What was being done to improve the service on the ground? Was there a budget for the challenges SAPS faced?
With regard to Intelligence and the Hawks, it appeared that the Hawks do not have the capacity to investigate prominent or big cases. He was not sure that the budget allocated to them was going to the right place.
Cases of kidnappings and missing children seemed to be increasing at an alarming rate. He asked if there were any particular interventions in that regard, particularly in the Western Cape, as it had an increasing proportion of girls and children who were being reported as missing.
He stated that SAPS had mentioned that they were having challenges with the Department of Public Works which seemed to be an ongoing problem. He asked what the real problems were at Public Works. What are SAPS doing about them? How could the Committee help to alleviate these challenges?
Ms M Molebatsi (ANC) said one of the recommendations of the Parliamentary committee was that the vehicles be fitted with first aid kits. She asked if all the vehicles were fitted with first aid kits, and could the kit be actually utilised in the vehicles.
Secondly, the presenter had spoken of compensation. Six years down the line after the Marikana tragedy, how far was SAPS with the compensation for the widows of Marikana victims?
She remarked that the delivery of vehicles at the latter part of the financial year sounded like fiscal dumping to her. She requested that SAPS try and convince her otherwise.
She asked why the respective programmes did not reach their financial targets as promised to the Committee.
She also asked if the Operation Buya Mthethwa was yielding the expected results so far.
Mr Z Mbhele (DA) acknowledged and appreciated the inclusion of the economic classification breakdown on the presentation.
His first question related to vehicle expenditure. He shared Ms Molebatsi’s concern around the acceptance of the default pattern when it comes to the delivery of vehicles in the last part of the year. He was not familiar with the intricacies and details as to what made that the case. He asked whether there was a rethink in that regard, that was a feasible and more creative approach to ensure that there was some way of planning and having foresight for having a staggered delivery process throughout the year. He understood that this might take a lot of engagement and renegotiation with suppliers, but he was thinking in the long term. In the future, SAPS could be sure that there would not be a massive vehicle fleet dropping on it, but rather proportional deliveries. If this was not going to be possible because of issues like time lines, the Committee should receive those details. It was insufficient for SAPS to state that “as usual, year on year, they were underspending on vehicles only to come to the Committee like Santa Clause with a bag full of presents.”
Also linked to vehicle delivery and procurement, Mr Mbhele asked what policy, process or system was in place for ensuring alignment between that procurement process and having batches match the station and cluster level needs. The matter had come up in a number of environments, for example with regard to safety strategies. Some communities have different terrain operational needs because they may either have to drive longer distances or drive on gravel roads with more wear and tear. He had heard many station managers mention that they have a number of vehicles but would be more efficient if they had a certain type of vehicle. The issue seemed to be a chronic matter from the station oversights.
He asked what remedies SAPS was pursuing to engage with Public Works to address the challenges identified. Was there no creative approach that could be piloted to try and bypass the structural bottlenecks, barriers, and blockages. For example, it was a conversion that leases and revamps works, when it came to building and facilities by policy have to go via the Department of Public Works, unless one tried lobbying and advocacy at the JCPS cluster heads to get some more competencies and functions evolved at SAPS. Without trying to sound in contravention with the PFMA and other regulations, he asked whether there was a way where at least in priority facilities there could be engagements and to seek out a service provider where the procurement process would then go through SCM. There would be a service provider who provides a needed good or service as a package of goods and services that includes the use of physical space and facilities. This would achieve the ends the SAPS needs concerning the service of facilities, buildings and infrastructure indirectly by bundling it into a package that is obtained through a service provider through the SCM process. This would bypass the Department of Public Works in that way, in compliance with financial controls and all the usual regulatory stuff.
Finally, on the breakdown of programme 3, he expressed that the underspending on Forensic labs sub programme was concerning given the continued challenges in the forensic labs regarding the equipment in the programme’s science labs. In particular, he requested an update from the SAPS management on the collection of DNA kit procurements. He had picked up that the procurement of DNA kits might have been finalised whereas the Committee had not received an update on that. He also asked if the Committee could be assured that the forensic department would now be able to do what they need with regard to the collection of DNA samples.
Mr Mbhele asked the Deputy Minister for an update on the Cabinet stance on the quarterly crime statistics release. Was it as the Committee understood it to be since from 2016? If so, an explanation and clarity is needed as to why the statistics had not been fully complied with the first quarterly report. This was particularly aligned to the kinds of quarterly reports the Committee was receiving today where spending was linked to the performance and whether targets were reached or not.
Ms D Kohler- Barnard (DA) raised the matter of the Department of Public Works which gave the SAPS buildings and facilities that were not suited for them. The SAPS could not make any changes to these buildings. She asked why it was that SAPS accepted these buildings when the Department of Public Works dumps these buildings on them. Was SAPS locked in? Was it now paying rent to the Department of Public works for useless buildings? She asked what the exact relationship was between SAPS and the useless buildings provided by the Department of Public Works.
Secondly, it was concerning that there was underspending on the CGS projects. She asked what the SAPS could show for the millions of Rands that had already been spent on the programme as it had not produced any of its promises.
To add on the forensic labs, the DNA programme included the collection of the DNA from convicted criminals before they were released. From all her visits, there were no DNA kits anywhere. At one stage in the Committee it was stated that the kits were taken away from the training areas and ditched out at stations which means nobody is able to be trained. She asked what was happening at the correctional services as she had heard that there were not enough people to take the DNA. Was any part of the DNA legislature and the implementation thereof working?
Response by Deputy Minister
The Deputy Minister thanked the Chairperson and welcomed the opportunity for the SAPS management to present the quarterly report to the Portfolio Committee of Police.
He raised three fundamental factors of what makes effective policing in any nation.
The first factor was the visibility of police and skills to investigate crime. The question of visibility refers to the number of officers on the ground to mitigate and combat crime. The number of these officers was important and regulated by the United Nations - the ratio of police officers to the population of a country. South Africa has a population of over 60 million people while the numbers of police officers continue to decline. This raises serious challenges in the Republic of South Africa. Because when the nation grows, it means that localities and communities also expand. The Committee is continuously speaking about the Nyanga police station while forgetting that Nyanga is no longer just Nyanga East. It is also New Cross Roads, Old Cross Roads, Philippi and Samora. There are six townships that the Nyanga police station is supposed to service. The population in Nyanga alone has tripled since the Nyanga police station was established. The Nyanga police station is also next to a bottle store and a taxi rank.
The question of the impact of policing should be seen in terms of the commitment of government to budget for South Africa Police Service. The number of police stations influences the number of police officers. The number of stations creates challenges for the SAPS.
There was an increasing number of shacks around the country which supersedes the number of old townships. These areas are congested, have no electricity and roads. They do not have police stations and police officers cannot enter these areas and people who master the areas are the criminals who were born in them. This was a challenge to policing in South Africa which feeds into the issue of vehicles in the SAPS.
He agreed with the complaint about the timing of the distribution of vehicles which is at the end of the year. This needed to be changed and fixed because vehicles are needed timelessly. However, he thought he should raise the matter of the strain on the policing in South Africa which also speaks to the laws that Parliament had passed.
The laws passed by the Parliament have given SITA the power to deal with matters that deal with ICT matters in government. The SAPS cannot procure things without SITA. Police cannot change the laws. The law for police to procure its own ICT can only be passed by Parliament. Parliament must take that responsibility.
The Deputy Minister said the question of depending on the Department of Public Works was a nightmare. He had visited police barracks all over the country. These barracks were dirty and chaotic. He was concerned about the health of children of police officers who stayed in these barracks. Applications for departmental buildings are made to the Department of Public Works every year but it does not respond.
The laws of the country constrain the police in terms of ability and capacity and need to be changed by Parliament.
The matter of DPCI appearing in Parliament was a matter that he raised in other committees when he was still active in Parliament. He did not understand why state entities in the police matters would appear in any other committee in parliament without the consultation of the Portfolio Committee of Police. These entities were saying things in other committees that they had not mentioned in the Portfolio Committee of Police. This was the only Portfolio of Police that Parliament had. One cannot be an activist in the portfolio and yet hear news and other things from other portfolios. He suggested that it should be written directly to the Minister that there was no other entity that should present to Parliament without the Portfolio Committee of Police being made aware and to understand the matter. The question of white collar crimes and illicit cash flows is a huge problem in the country. The matter of the State Capture was being investigated by one of the committees in Parliament and there was news that some of the matters were blocked by police management. Corruption was something the police management needed to deal with effectively. He was raising the matter to communicate the message that there was no other entity. People from SCOPA were representing the Committee and the committee was unaware. The Committee only learned about them in the ATC of parliament. This was wrong behaviour which was against accountability and needed to be dealt with.
He urged Members to put time lines with regard to when the Committee required the report of life style audits and put penalties in place.
On quarterly reports on crime statistics, Cabinet had not yet decided on the matter. The reports were still annual reports until further considerations.
The Deputy Minister said he and the Minister were going to recruit. There were a number of students who had passed courses of policing in TVET colleges but were not employed. This cohort of students need to be integrated into the shortage of police staff in the country.
The Generals would deal with operational matters.
Responses by the SAPS Management
Lt General FN Vuma, Deputy National Commissioner: Asset and Legal Services, stated that the process of life style audits had already started however, she was going to hand over to General Jacobs for further details. She would request General Mokwena to respond to the question of the procurement of Nyala vehicles. General Ngwenya would respond to the question regarding the rolling out of the training and the question of the shortages of personnel and the fast tracking if the filling of posts. General Nelson would respond to the matter of rectifying underspending while General Masiya would respond to the question on concluding the Microsoft contract.
Lt General Peter Jacobs, Divisional Commissioner: Crime Intelligence, indicated that life style audits were part of a broader vetting process. He stated that SAPS had indicated previously that it had a list of 9000 members it would perform life style audits on. As per the instructions of the committee, the list included the whole Crime Intelligence, all the people of the supply chain of the BID committees, the SMS management, which consists of 934 people, and the OTR staff. Life style audits are a study of a person’s lifestyle standards compared to the amount of income they earn.
In terms of a dead line, SAPS anticipated that it would finish about 50% of the 9000 audits at the end of October and would complete all the audits by the end of the year.
The SAPS also found that doing individual audits would not be viable. It was agreed that it was a lot cheaper to access the data base as a whole.
The Chairperson asked whether the top management and the provincial commissions were included and what the status was regarding them.
Lt General Jacobs stated that the whole Senior Management Staff (SMS) portfolio is part of the 934 that was submitted to be audited.
Mr Shaik Emam said the specific question was whether top management and the commission would be included in the life style audits that would be submitted at the end of October.
Lt General Jacobs requested to confirm and get back to the Committee regarding Mr Shaik Emam’s question. He thought that the OTR was prioritised by the JCI and the Supply Chain BID Committee. The SAPS had decided to prioritise the whole Crime Intelligence. Within the Crime Intelligence, specific sections were also then prioritised.
Ms Molebatsi enquired about who declared which life style audits must be done first at the police station level.
Lt General Jacobs stated that in the vetting process of the life style audits, HR was engaged. The SAPS realised that all the other processes where people were making declarations would be used as indicators. Some of the service delivery complaints are complaints against corruption. The SAPS use those complaints as an indication to activate other type of investigations, amongst which would be life style audits and the complete vetting process. Also, individuals and areas which have had allegations of corruption have been prioritised.
Particular units that have been prioritised by the parliamentary committees have also been prioritised.
Lt General Vuma added that Station Commanders are also empowered to utilise basic matters such as observations of alarming expenditures like expensive cars from employees to point out areas and people that should be prioritised. In the case of station commander for example, provincial commanders would be those observing.
SAPS also have a responsibility to prioritise environments that are prone to corruption in terms of the nature of their environment such as the procurement environment centres.
Mr Shaik Emam said he was not sure he followed the process. SAPS stated that it “intends to focus on certain people”. There are lots of complaints from the ground to the station. If the SAPS was already in the process, what the Committee wanted to know was while SAPS commenced the process, has it commenced and prioritised those people that have been alleged to be involved in corruption, specifically police officers?
Given the fact that many people complain on the ground, what process was SAPS following in communication with the stations which the people suspected to be involved in corruption? Did it put a process in place? Who are these people SAPS was going to identify and in which police station were they in? Top management should be the first priority. If SAPS had not done the aforementioned, there was a great chance that it was leaving out the very people whose life style audits are needed.
Lt General Vuma stated that General Ngwenya and Schutte would add to the question of complaints against police.
Lt General BC Ngwenya, Deputy National Commissioner: Human Resource Management sad the organisation had decided that it would be prioritising the top management in the first audits, and those environments where it would have already seen challenges of corruption which were in the public arena. Also, it would prioritise environments where it would have gathered information from within the organisation. For example, the Forensic Department and the Technology Management Services (TMS) department would be prioritised in the first phase.
In line with the organisation’s ethics and anti-corruption strategy that empowers members at all various levels to be able to pick up matters of corruption and bring them to the attention of management, reported cases would be prioritised.
SAPS would be able to come back in October give feedback on those prioritised to be in the top three phases prioritised.
Lt General SJP Schutte, Deputy Commissioner: Management Intervention, SAPS, stated that the complaints section which was vested in MI dealt with approximately 60 complaint files a day which can range from prospecting compliance to very serious aspects. In terms of the system and process, the SAPS were engaging with the Performance Management System (PMS) in efforts to look for a complaints system, but certain aspects would be addressed on a case by case basis. The system would provide a systematic interaction for the crime intelligence officer – this was where the interphases would come in. You interphase to a number of systems in order to obtain data in order to make certain inferences about a person’s lifestyles. This could be from salary to other aspects in the systems. This was in the pipeline in order to have it on a recurring basis.
Ms Mmola asked what process would be followed if there were no complaints however, there were corrupt officials in the stations.
The last time Crime Intelligence was with the Committee, there was an Acting Deputy. Later, the Crime Intelligent stated that it did not have capacity and the Brigadier could not vet the Lieutenant general. She asked what the progress with regards to the capacity of the Crime Intelligence was because there were some Lieutenant Generals who are corrupt but could not be vetted by the lower ranked officers. Does the Crime Intelligence currently have the capacity to do everything?
Ms Mabija was bothered about the pace that the SAPS were moving at. The load was big however the SAPS were moving very slowly. It would put her at ease if the Committee received an assurance that the SAPS would pick up their pace.
Ms Kohler-Barnard asked whether there was a toll-free line that civilians and also officers who were uncomfortable could channel information in. She suggested that maybe an effort should be made to get the number out.
Ms Mabija understood that the life style audits could be started at the national level going down, but she wanted to indicate that there was no national structure without the local structure. Probable things that have a negative impact on our communities were happening at local level. The most important structure was the local structure. This is where the people live and deserve a clean service. People were highly dissatisfied at the local level with the service of officers.
The mandate of Parliament was that people should live free of fear, however, fear was very high on the ground. There needs to be a change in the modus operandi to focus on the local stations.
The Chairperson agreed with Ms Mabija stating that the dilemma the Committee was facing was that there was a lot of corruption at the local level. However, there appeared to be no plan from the SAPS to focus on that matter.
Ms Mmola stated that communities were observing all the corruption by the police officers but were afraid of reporting to the station commanders. The station commanders protected the officers and warned them about the reports against them. She asked where people should report.
The Committee kept receiving reports about the corruption happening but what must it do? The Committee has been requesting life style audits of the top management since last year, but they had not been done. The Committee had not received any reports regarding the matters of corrupt officials. She requested that SAPS should send a report by the end of October and stop making promises that they do not fulfil.
Mr P Mhlongo (EFF) stated that he was not satisfied with the report and progress of SAPS. He said the order of the priority list of the life style audits was motivated by what was already in the public domain. There were a lot of other things happening.
He had just found out that there was a container detained at Namibia from Durban which was full drugs under the help of a senior officer who had never been reported to the Committee. The officer had been working at the Durban Port for more than years. There is information that the person is connected to some people at a national level because the Port is a national entity.
Mr Mhlongo assured the committee that if Crime Intelligence was given sole power of the life style audits, it would not receive any reports by the end of October. The various agencies in the SAPS need to work together to come up with a systematic process of nailing the problematic areas otherwise the problem would not be solved.
In the Durban Port case, some members of Crime Intelligence have been co-opted by that particular office such that they would bypass even the head of Crime Intelligence in the province. This kind of parallelism creates a type of terror whereby some police officers cannot report. Senior police members are the ones who protect the same criminals who disgrace men and women in uniform.
If everyone was honest to the flag of the Republic of South Africa, the country would not be faced with the current problem. He asked what the roles of the various police agencies were in order to assist the Crime Intelligence in the matter.
The Chairperson stated that he wanted to move on from the topic as there were still more topics to be covered. He asked for the response from the Deputy Minister and the SAPS delegation.
Response from the Deputy Minister and the SAPS delegation
The Deputy Minister said there was no need to philosophy the debate. There was a commitment on the table that at the end of October a report of 50% of the audits would be tabled. The report should include top management as suggested by the Committee, OR Tambo Airport, the supply chain management and other strategic police units. Further, the role of the IP and DPCI in terms of the matter should be identified.
He thought that SAPS should be very serious about the matter of life style audits as it would break or make the police service of South Africa. If it is finished at the top management level and examples were made, it would deter corruption at lower levels.
There was a toll-free number that people could use. He requested that when SAPS present in October, it should also present the capacity of the toll-free number. What are the volumes and issues reported on the toll-free line? What was the progress on the cases reported on the line from its inception to the end of September?
Lt General Vuma confirmed that the SAPS would be able to present in October and that it had taken note of the concerns raised by Members. The delegation would proceed in responding to the questions.
Response by the SAPS delegation members
Lt General RJ Mokwena, Divisional Commissioner: Supply Chain Management, stated that in terms of the Farlam Commission recommendation the Department of Police had already put in place a three year contract pertaining to the acquisition of second generation Nyalas. In the previous financial year, 25 Nyalas were ordered and delivered while an order of 36 Nyalas was placed for this financial year. The total of Nyalas over the three-year period was 75 Nyalas.
The Chairperson expressed that the Committee needed reports on the other Commission’s recommendation as well with regards to other technical matters like CCT cameras.
Ms Mmola asked how many vehicles were in garages.
Lt General Mokwena responded that SAPS did not have the number of vehicles currently in garages, but it could find out about it. Of the new vehicles, none were in garages.
Major General MJ Nelson, Acting Divisional Commissioner: Financial Management and administration stated that the second generation Nyala seemed to have started with the Parliament recommendations. The items recommended by the commission were the second generation Nyala, mini buses, LTDs, blue light sirens and public address system, fire extinguishers for the vehicles, medical kits, vehicle markings, spotlight, road block trailers complete, telescoping light, the body armour, two-way radios, the smoke grenade trailers, wire trailers, chemicals and so on.
The Chairperson asked if the Committee could presume and get assurance that the distribution was in all the units in the country.
Major General Z Mkhwanazi, Acting Divisional Commissioner: Operational Response Services, SAPS, stated that the SAPS delegation had a presentation that spoke on the Farlam matters and it was hoping that it would present a quick rundown on it. The SAPS had procured, received and distributed 1800 video cameras in 2017/2018.
There were 137 two way radios distributed to the provinces as well. Presently, SAPS was working with TMS as a division looking to the matters of working on a plan because there was a problem of communication if members were deployed from one province to the other.
The matter of the protocol, when it came to operations had been implemented, wherein only a person with the knowledge of public order policing management would handle matters of public of public violence.
With regards to the training programme, 22 members had been trained in the use of water cannons. There were 71 video operators trained. There were 10 drivers trained for the new generation if Nyalas who were going to train others as well in the 9 provinces. In 2017/2018 SAPS had received 23 new generation Nyalas. Out of the 23, 21 Nyalas had been distributed to the provinces. Two Nyalas were being going through the process of registration.
On the matter of the choppers, R16.5 million had been reserved. Some of the eight video polarised helicopters were removed. The SAPS had managed to replace 4 helicopters because the other 4 were not obtainable because of the parts that are not available. Other aircrafts as well had been restored.
With regard to first aid, there was first aid provided at the generic divisional training. In public order policy, 107 people were trained in first aid.
In this financial year, SAPS had a course called Platoon Commander Training (PCT) on crowd management order training and 90 people had been trained on that. There 438 members trained on refresher courses. On the PMT, there were 3640 trained members.
32 members were trained on the conflict negotiation crowd management programme. On the OCT programme, 50 members had been trained. There was also a new programme that had been approved and finalised that would kick in very soon as a renewed one.
The national instruction of 2014 was still indicating for SAPS as to how it should do its jobs with regard to operations.
Three newly formed national units that had been finalised in 2018. Originally, there were 28 public order policies but now there were 41 in total nationally. There were 115 members and 83 members in KZN and Mpumalanga respectively in the newly formed units.
Mr Shaik Emam said in one of its oversight visits the Committee found a challenge with the Nyalas. They found that it was easy to procure the Nyalas but once you had received them, they would stay in garages for over 12 months at times. One of the reasons given was that SAPS could not get parts for them. He asked if the problem had been resolved. SAPS could not be buying vehicles to sit in garages. What were the challenges that led to SAPS not being able to procure the parts on time? Have those challenges been dealt with?
Ms Mmola asked how many vehicles were in garages and for how long the vehicles had been in garages.
Major General Mkhwanazi responded that with the new generation Nyalas, SAPS had not experienced any challenges regarding the matter of vehicle parts. When the SAPS received them, there was a slow pace on the marking and the registration. The concern was that if the vehicles were kept for long and the warranty expired that would be a problem. However, there were currently no new generation Nyalas in garages. The vehicles in garages were the old ones which were having problems related to their aging.
He would have a challenge with giving the exact number of vehicles that were in garages because SAPS had set a target that at least 200 Nyalas must be operational at all times. He could find out the answer if it was necessary.
Mr Shaik Emam was not satisfied with the response. Surely the new ones could not be in the garages at this stage. The question asked was, has the matter of experiencing great difficulties when the Nyalas breakdown, mainly because it was hard to get parts, been resolved.
The Committee understood that there was one service provider that was dealing with all the Nyalas in the country. Had the matter been resolved or was there an intent to resolve it? This was important so as to not have a repeated cycle of the new ones sitting in garages for long periods when they breakdown too.
Major General Mkhwanazi expressed that SAPS had allocated R15 million for the servicing of Nyalas. The Nyalas were sitting under operational support and not under the office of order policing even though they were utilised by the office of order policing.
The office works with a company called Catal. The company looks at the servicing and challenges to ensure that the Nyalas do not stay in garages for long periods of time. He believed that SAPS would be able to now deal with the challenge raised by Mr Shaik Emam.
Ms Molebatsi was concerned with whether the SAPS had a way of tracking the distributed procurements to ensure that they were being utilised. Things could be distributed but end up piling up somewhere gathering dust if they were not being followed out.
Major General Mkhwanazi explained that SAPS had a monitoring process where it would track down the equipment being distributed and send monitors to do evaluations on the equipment distributed and to check whether it was being utilised.
Responses by the SAPS delegation members
Training and shortages in work force
Lt General Ngwenya added to the matter of crowd management training. The figures General Mkhwanazi had given exclude the numbers. She reminded Members that SAPS was on record stating that the current basic programme included crowd management funding which takes three weeks. Effective from 2016, all the members who underwent basic training would have done the crowd management training including the 3640 trained members. The total members who have undergone the three-week basic training on crowd management would be over 6000.
On standardising of the Tactical Response Team (TRT) training, there has been a directive expressing the need to upgrade the basic training to the TRT level. Initially, the TRT training was intended for specific officers who deal with the middle density stress. As a result of that, only few officers were trained in TRT. However, after the directive was received from both the Minister and National Commissioner, SAPS had started to analyse the level of training the technical trainers have and to review the curriculum that would be talking to the training to be taught at basic level. The technical trainers will be focusing on fire arms training, vehicle theft training, house penetration and more.
SAPS would come with an implementation plan that would be effective in the next financial year wherein it would have upgraded the basic training to the TRT level.
In terms of the members who are already attached to the visible policing environment, ongoing training is available. The training was previously called street survival but was now called tactical training level 2.
In response to the matter raised where there seemed to be no standards – the lack of command and control in other provinces, those specific provinces where the matter would have been picked up would have to be dealt with because evidently from the part of SAPS there were standards that provinces needed to comply with.
With regards to vacancies, as from the first quarter the vacancy rate was below 2% which was in line with the target rate of the APP. A staffing plan was developed by the human resource department which has been approved and allocated funds.
In this financial year, 3500 trainees would be recruited. There would be 600 Public Act Employees, 200 Forensic Analysts. Additionally, the SAPS had already committed to promoting about 28000 constables to sergeants, and sergeant to warrant officer. The promotions would occur in the current financial year.
In terms of the Public Service Act, the lower grade levels 1-3 would be re-graded in the current financial year.
Also, post promotions 3200 members would be promoted in the current financial year.
In respect of the matter raised by Members regarding capacity in the police stations, through the rationalisation process which had since been started at the Security Sector Skills Development Council (SSSDC), SAPS was able to get a buy in from Organised Labour. Members that were migrated from both the national and provincial headquarters were redeployed to station level to try and assist in the capacity problems at the station level.
SAPS was also looking at the possibility of having a releasement process because it believed that through the process it would be able to get people at lower levels who already had skills that could be able to assist at a competitive level as compared to those being subjected to a basic training which takes longer.
SAPS had recruited reservists in the previous year, some of which had been already utilised while others were still undergoing training.
In terms of the personnel plan, these challenges are mainly in the Western Cape. These provinces would be prioritised especially at the hotspot areas.
The Chairperson asked whether the retention strategy of the SAPS was working. What was the retention strategy?
Lt General Ngwenya thought it was a yes and no in terms of whether the retention strategy of the SAPS was working. When people reach the age of 55 they are tired and want to retire. Those that had applied for early retirement were above the age of 55 and their reasons where mainly due to health problems and being tired.
When one looks at the benefits the SAPS was giving to its employees in comparison to other organisations, it was better off and continuously improving.
Amongst other things, SAPS intended to add to the current benefits. It was looking to add another remuneration model which would ensure that even when people do not get promoted they are able to have an increase in remuneration. SAPS had already done some work through the assistance of the PWC which needed to be presented to the National Forum for adoption and approval.
In response to the question regarding the underspending and proposed rectification plans, Major General Nelson elucidated that SAPS was currently under the cash basis of accounting thus reporting requirements were in accordance to that. When one looks at the level of spending in the first quarter in terms of the commitment of the previous year, there needs to be a balance in terms of balancing those commitments going into the new financial year in order not to over commit the Department. When entering a new year there are different sets of commitment. There are recurring commitments and the specific term contracts.
Regarding facility environments, the actual expenditure was about 24%. At the end of July, spending had increased to almost 57%. At the end of the financial year a reconciliation is performed in terms of the constituency of facilities.
Referring to the leases, this year SAPS had undertaken only two invoices from the DPW. These were R89 million and R155million respectively.
In terms of the capital works, towards the end of the previous financial year, DPW pushes their invoices in order to ensure that the level of accrual of commitment rolls over to supplement the following year in terms of their reporting requirements and to also limit it. In the next financial year slow trend in terms of invoices is then seen.
Interventions and engagement with Public Works had taken place in order to redirect the building programme to those that can generate in terms of other priorities in spending. However, this was a challenge that in the cluster is a problem. It had also been noted by the Minister and the Deputy Minister.
The other aspect referred to in terms of underspending was the ITS/TGS. In this regard National Treasury wrote the Department a letter on Wednesday stating that a business plan should be submitted for the transfer of the funding. It also imposed a condition to the Department which states that “the department’s proposal to shift funding for consumables through the baseline must also be endorsed by Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster (JCPS) and Cabinet before submissions to National Treasury. This is the enforcement as the implication of such a submission is that the funding which was initially intended to be shifted to the rest of the department in the criminal justice system will no longer be available for shifting.” He stated that the department’s argument was that on an annual basis, around R2 billion was being invested in mechanisation so everything could not be a new project, there was a recurring element that should be moved from these allocations to the baseline in order to service the commitments of massive technology in the forensic environment, consumables in a service level agreement.
The previous accounting officer also noted and submitted to National Treasury this particular request. The expectation of National Treasury that all the money can be moved to other departments was unrealistic in terms of servicing recurring commitments on the SAPS side.
SAPS was compiling a team to consolidate the facts and it would be compiling a Cabinet memorandum that would allow for the Ministers in the cluster to acknowledge these facts and move towards solving the matter.
Lt General NP Masiye, Acting Divisional Commissioner: Technology Management stated that SAPS had a contract that they had signed with Microsoft in the previous year. The contract was active, and SAPS had paid R270 million to date.
Ms Mmola asked General Mokwena what was happening with the matter regarding the Generals in his office pertaining to rumours of resignation and someone else acting only for people to come back again.
Also, what was happening with the matter regarding General Phahlane who appeared to be sitting at home doing nothing while getting a salary? There was no disciplinary action or a report regarding the matter.
Lt General Ngwenya stated that Lieutenant-General Shezi was not back at work. She did go into the office last week. This was due to a misunderstanding between the chairperson and the hearing. That matter had been rectified. The Acting National Commissioner at the time did communicate to her that she was not supposed to be at work. According to regulations, her suspension was still within the 90 days and on Friday there would be a meeting to look into the particular case and give direction. It was one of the cases where external functionaries had been appointed to deal with the case.
The Chairperson asked for progress on the disciplinary matter of the CFO.
Lt General (Adv) S Khan, Divisional Commissioner: Legal and Policy Services elucidated that General Phahlane had appeared at the disciplinary enquiry. At the last hearing General Phahlane’s legal team raised certain points relating to preliminary issues. The presiding officer made a ruling on those matters that were raised, and it was not in favour of General Phahlane. He decided to take the decision of the presiding officer on review. The case was now approaching the High Court. The date had not been set. The disciplinary enquiry was postponed until the outcome of the review process.
Lt General Vuma stated that the CFO had appeared twice under the disciplinary committee. The hearing was also postponed at his request because he needed to obtain certain documentation to prepare for the final trial.
Lt General L Ntshiea, Divisional Commissioner: Personnel Management, SAPS, stated that with regard to police safety SAPS had started taking an approach of requiring technology systems that would be at all police stations – this was in relation to the CCTV cameras. It had assigned members in the office to continue to monitor, especially sections at isolated environments without proper fencing. In every side of a station there should be cameras that are used to monitor the outside area.
On station visits, it was ensured that the fences were examined.
On the visits, it was discovered that most members did not wear their vests. They either said it was too heavy or it was not the right size.
The other matter of importance to Personnel Management was communication to TMS, the matter of body cameras. These were body cameras that members should always be wearing so that incidence would be recorded and downloaded for reviewing of how events occurred.
Lt General Vuma added that all stations which did not have fencing, and gates were prioritised together with guard houses and lighting for the current financial year.
In as far as CCTV cameras, it was agreed that three stations per province would be prioritised.
The Chairperson stated that both responses were below par. In the previous meeting, the responses had already been mentioned. What the Committee wanted to know was how many units and stations currently had the CCTV cameras.
Ms Mmola agreed with the Chairperson, stating that the responses from the SAPS team were shocking. Every time it came too present to the Committee it would always state that it was prioritising things without giving time frames. She requested tangible reports from the delegations.
The Chairperson stated that the Management could not come to the Committee unprepared. The Committee was aware of what was going on and it needed facts.
Ms Mabija asked SAPS to tell the Committee what was wrong with them. Since she had been in the Committee (since 2014), the situation in SAPS was deteriorating. Nothing was going right. What was stopping SAPS from implementing the recommendations from the Committee? Was it because there were elements of sabotage amongst the SAPS? Were there implications of wrong doings amongst the SAPS management so much that it could not implement and correct what was wrong? The committee could no longer waste government money on inefficiency.
The responses given by the delegation were not satisfactory. It appeared that there was a discord. She begged the SAPS delegation to tell the Committee what was wrong so that it could assist.
In May 2019, the Committee would be moving out and the SAPS management would continue doing the same thing. There has not been enough implementation since the Fourth Parliament.
If a person was dirty they should come clean because people were dying on the ground, officers were dying, and part of the management was dying too. South Africa was in a mess because of the standard of service delivered by the SAPS.
He warned that people must stop playing hypocrisy, if they were tired they should resign. She stated that the Committee did not want to come to another meeting like the current one. if the SAPS were not going to change their modus operandi of protecting one another SAPS would end up a mafia SAPS.
Ms Mmola requested that SAPS management stop the infighting and start implementation. The Committee cannot be talking about the same things all the time.
Ms Kohler-Barnard asked what action had been taken in terms of the Committee’s recommendations around security. In the previous meeting it was made very clear to the Committee that it was all about DPW. The National Police Commissioner at the time stated that SAPS management would go to DPW and it would say it did not consider the matters raised to be important and thus SAPS should come back in 2 years. What applications had been made to the DPW to upgrade security at various police stations and to address all the issues raised in the previous meeting?
What was the response from Public Works to the response of the SAPS management?
The Chairperson said the Committee wanted a breakdown of what was happening in the country. The stories presented by the SAPS management did not add up to what was previously reported to the Committee. What was the situation per unit?
Lt General Vuma stated that the management had noted all the complaints by the Committee Members. There was a concrete plan to that was under implementation to deal with the challenges.
182 police stations in the country do not have fencing. Police stations without lighting, lockable gates for vehicles and pedestrians were 266, 555, 431 respectively.
Police stations without secured entrances to the building totalled to 605 while those without secured entrances to the community service centre were 674.
The Chairperson stated that secured entrances to community services did not depend on Public Works
Lt General Vuma stated that some did.
The number of Police stations without gutters was 782. The number of police stations with four or less members per shift was 532. These are the challenges where SAPS had a concrete plan in terms of how it was going to address them.
The Chairperson remarked that the Committee had received this briefing. What it wanted to know was what had been implemented since the briefing. What material things had been implemented. It was clear that no one in management could answer the question. He requested the Deputy Minister to come to the rescue of management.
The Deputy Minister said he would like to make a special request to the Committee for the management to come back in October and present a compact, detailed report of the questions the Members had. It was clear that there were no answers to the Member’s questions. He requested that these answers be added in the programme wherein life style audits would be reported.
The Chairperson stated that the SAPS management should continue with the responses, but the meeting would not continue without the other information.
The Deputy Minister stated that in other communities there was no playing around. He understood the pain of being played by officials. If the Committee could see that it was being played, then the SAPS management should be returned to the head office. The Members have constituencies. The questions they ask are from the people on the ground and they need to have responses for the members of society. He suggested that if the management did not perform on the Committee’s request, the Committee could have a parliamentary recourse.
The Chairperson requested that the delegation responds to other requests.
Responses by the delegation
Lt General Vuma confirmed that the SAPS management would produce a detailed report in October in terms of what has been done. It would also provide which duties were under the jurisdiction of the Department of Public Works and what duties were under the authority of the SAPS. It would also provide detail of what had been done in writing.
Major General Arendse, Acting Deputy National Head: Directorate for Prime Crime Investigation, SAPS, stated that the DPCI has acknowledged that there is decline in performance and is currently responding to that. It was currently conducting a situation performance assessment and priority areas were being identified to turn the situation around.
Two particular areas were of relevance to the questions raised regarding the performance and the capacity.
Currently, the focus was on the placement of personnel on required competencies. At the same time, there were systemic vulnerabilities due to corruption. One needs to look at the matter holistically to deal with and rebuild capacity. However, personnel that have the requisite requirements is sought, if not, they would have to do the necessary or other decisions would have to be taken.
Concrete action was being taken with regard to the vulnerability as also evident by the suspension of one in senior managements in relation to the state capture. The matter was being acknowledged and measures were put in place. However, the process needs to be informed.
The Chairperson asked a follow up on Colonel Steyn’s presentation. He asked if there were efforts to strengthen the environment relating to the matter of the Commission Crime Division and the Steinhoff matter. There was a team from the Reserve Bank and all the relevant institutions that are accessing the matter but with regard to the team of the DPCI that is currently driving them what assurance of what will be done can the Committee get to calm the fears of other committees?
Major General Arendse expressed that he could not speak extensively on the particular matter, but he could assure the Committee that they were looking at the people to be drawn into that task that had the requisite competencies and capacity. What was important in the matter was the will to be able to handle the case in a real and decisive manner.
Lt General Ngwenya stated that the National Head and herself had been assigned and were working on a personnel plan. They had been given a deadline of September. They had already identified posts that were vacant, and the posts were advertised externally.
Members that did not have the relevant skills were identified, starting at the highest level. A list had already been drafted. They would be beginning the consultation process. They were also requesting the Provincial Commissioner to assist with the placement. Some of the personnel do not have the relevant skills. The organisation had the responsibility of placing them according to their relevant skills. Their National Head was on the case, but she did not know who to allocate to and did not have the capacity. By the end of September, they would be able to give a more comprehensive report.
Lt General PC Mosikili, Divisional Commission: Detective Services, SAPS, stated that she would respond to the question of the training of investigators in relation to responding to missing persons and missing children due to kidnappings. The Commission includes the training on resolve of crime. The DLP, DCLP and Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) learning programmes include a module that speaks to missing persons.
Over and above the aforementioned, the National Instruction 4 of 2018 was developed and circulated. It assists members with dealing with persons and missing children with a specific directive on who must respond to what. FCS would handle all cases of persons under the age of 18. Subsequently, the Standing Operational Procedure of responding to missing persons was issued.
The reports of missing persons were monitored on a weekly and monthly basis to check for those who had been traced back, cancelled or reunited with families.
There was also a share poll within the Commission’s time stop where reports were communicated. The capacity of the share poll was currently at four provinces at the level of warrant officers and captains that were assisting the commission in facilitation and establishing of the operation centre block at the time that the missing persons are reported.
On kidnapping, the Commission had capacity within the provincial investigation teams and the head office was monitoring the progress of investigations in that regard. The head office had monthly meetings and the Commission was monitoring all incoming kidnappings cases.
Lt General Ngwenya said the matter regarding parliamentary recommendations had been sufficiently responded to except the area pertaining to the remuneration of the Marikana widows.
Lt Gen (Adv) S Khan stated that SAPS was in a position of reporting favourably with regard to the remuneration of the Marikana families. In terms of the loss of support, SAPS had settled and paid R69 million to the families of the 37 deceased workers in the first quarter.
In respect of general damages, offers had been made ranging from R500 000 to R1 million to the families of the deceased miners and the SAPS was waiting for the attorneys to get back on the natter of agreement and the matter would be finalised.
The Chairperson asked whether there were still cases subject to litigation of the Marikana group.
Lt General Khan stated that there were still regarding to the miners that were claiming for unlawful arrests and detention. There was undergoing investigation as far as the particular case was involved.
The Chairperson asked for a round figure for the liability that SAPS had budgeted for with regards to Marikana compensations.
Lt General Khan stated that the contingency budget was over R1 billion.
Major General Mkhwanazi stated that he did not have the actual figures to depict the results of the Buya Mthethwa Operation. He was part of the development of the plan and the start of the operation of the plan. He assured the Committee that the programme was successful. Even through discussions with the Acting Deputy Provincial Commissioner, he was getting information that there was a lot of success.
Ms Molebatsi asked the SAPS management to explain the story around the Provincial Commissioner of Gauteng. At some stage the Committee was told she was gone but now it appeared she was back. What was happening in Gauteng regarding the matter?
Lt General Ngwenya stated that at some stage there were consultations between the provincial officer and the accounting officer. One may not know the details of the consultations. Amongst other things, the matter of redeployment of employees was discussed.
There were three options for the redeployment. The first option was redeployment for her to be the Divisional Commissioner of Human Resource Management given her experience. Before her appointment, she was the Provincial Commissioner for Human Resources. The second option was for her to be redeployed to one of the regional commissioners and the third option was for her to be deployed as a Divisional Officer at Ekurhuleni. She had indicated she would prefer the third option. At some stage she changed her mind to say that she would opt for an exit instead of being redeployed. The exit would have been in a form of section 3(5). At a later stage she changed her mind and decided to stay. The latter was finalised between herself and the Accounting Officer hence she remains the Provisional Commissioner of the Gauteng province.
Ms Mmola asked why there was a decision to deploy the Provincial Commissioner in the first place and why did she take the matter to court. Was she underperforming? She understood that the term for the provincial officer was five years thus she could not understand why she had to be redeployed before her term ended.
Ms Molebatsi stated that what General Ngwenya had explained was not what she had seen. She had seen the South African Policing Union (SAPU) fight for the provincial commissioner. Why did SAPU have to fight for her if there was an agreement?
The Chairperson stated that it was important that SAPS explain the process. He had also seen WhatsApp messages announcing a new provincial commissioner. He asked for an assurance that consultations and requirement were followed properly.
Lt General Ngwenya elucidated that SAPS was never taken to court. There were engagements between the provincial officer and the accounting officer. It happened that during the consultation times the Accounting Officer had to leave the country. She was selected to help the Provincial Commissioner during that time. The PC had stated that she would be leaving and was happy about the decision. She even spoke to people around the offices she thought would not be happy about her leaving. Regarding the process of the selection of new Provincial Officer however, there was no signed letter that said “B Ngwenya you are being appointed at the new PC”. She stated that she would know these things because she was a custodian of HR processes.
Ms Mmola stated that what SAPS was telling the Committee was different from what it knew. People cannot have verbal agreements and then later change them. Who had appointed the person who had sent messages stating that he was the new PC? This was what she meant earlier with regard to the infighting. All the scandals end up in the media and the Committee is caught in between.
Lt General Ngwenya emphasised that there was never an appointment of another Provincial Commissioner. It would have been an irregularity to appoint another provincial officer. She remarked that what she was presenting before the Committee was factual.
Ms Mmola stated that the committee had letters with the emblem of SAPS that were sent by the ‘PC’ who was apparently taking over. How did he write these letters? How did he get to the SAPS offices? Finally, what action was taken against him? Was he charged?
She stated that the Committee knew about things that were happening at the head office.
Lt General Ngwenya remarked that she had not personally seen a letter with a SAPS emblem that had been sent by the former. He was not a member of the SAPS. The allegations could be investigated. SAPS would ask the Provincial Commissioner of Gauteng if there was such a letter and it would seek for legal advice, thereafter.
In response to the question about fiscal dumping, Lt General Mokwena elucidated that the main cause was the result of National Treasury awarding RT57 - which is a net transversal contract. Last year it was awarded very late, hence SAPS had to procure some of the vehicles in the last term.
In response to the question about whether SAPS had a policy regarding purchases of the vehicles because in some stations the terrain would be gravel and thus they would feel like they need a different type of vehicle, the department obviously wishes to buy vehicles that will suit the terrain however it had budget constraints.
Secondly, a terrain which is not tar will wear out a vehicle within 12 months. These are the things that affect not only vehicle availability but also policing as well.
The Chairperson said part of the dilemma in the SAPS was that the face of crime was changing, and it seemed some people did not realise this reality. The SAPS kept buying vehicles that were unfit for purpose. Unless SAPS took the matter of seriously, where the training goes to Tactical Response Teams level, vehicles will keep going for service regularly.
It was clear that there was no plan for high risk incidents from the side of the SAPS. What the general was presenting to the committee was not adding up.
It was the same thing with the matter of police stations. That is why there was no urgency.
He warned that if the SAPS management did not realise that the face of crime was changing and thus the response should also change, it would never see progress.
Lt General Mokwena noted the comments by the Chairperson. His team would try to ask for more money from NT to buy appropriate vehicles. He emphasised that SAPS had a major frustration about the availability of money. However; it would try to resolve the problem.
The Chairperson stated that the matter should also be added to the October topics that SAPS would be making presentations on. He emphasised that the safety of the police members is deteriorating.
Lt General Mokwena continued with his response. With regard to the matter of the Department of Public Works – The National Commissioner mandated the Deputy Commissioner to engage from time to time with the DPW to seek authority in so far as the evolution of infrastructure is concerned so that the SAPS handle it itself.
The problem was that there appeared to be great reluctance from the Department of Public Works to give this because it had indicated in previous correspondence that this was their sole mandate.
SAPS had even engaged the former Minister and the current Minister on the matter. To prove that this was a thorn in the SAPS, the forensic laboratories were not DNA Compatible. Some of the vehicles were built when he was one year old. The garages were built when the total vehicle fleet was around 500. Today the SAPS had about 55 000 vehicle fleet with the same infrastructure. Even if SAPS get enough artisans, where would it place them?
This was the reality that the country was facing. SAPS could not move because of the dependence on the Department of Public Works and the budget constraints. SAPS had recently had to cut some of the money from infrastructure to compensation.
Lt General Vuma responded to the question about why SAPS was accepting the unfit buildings from the DPW. Previously, the DPW was given authority by NT that it could sign contracts on behalf of SAPS without first consulting with SAPS.
SAPS had realised that the process was problematic and had since intervened and were consulting with the DPW. SAPS had currently deployed its members to evaluate the SAPS buildings to check for suitability. The challenge experienced however was that the building had become a contractual obligation. It was not in the power of SAPS to overrule contractual agreements.
LT General (Adv) MD Magadlela, Divisional Commissioner: Forensic Services, SAPS, responded that there was a challenge in terms of the availability of the DNA kits as communicated from previous meetings. In order to substitute the shortages at the stations, the total audit of all the kits in the SAPS reserves was made inclusive of the kits used for training. All the kits were then redistributed.
The quotation that was submitted to the supply chain was still in the process and would be up and running by the end of September. SAPS had communicated with all the provincial commissioners that if at any stage there was a forensic and supply chain, each provincial commissioner should relay the message so that the kits will be shifted to the relevant areas.
Ms Kohler-Barnard stated that she had asked about the matter on taking DNA samples of convicted criminals. Was this happening?
Lt General Magadlela stated that it was not happening because the DNA Act states that it is illegal to go back and collect from a person that had already been released from prison.
Ms Kohler-Barnard explained that she was not referring to criminals that had already been released. Criminals were currently being released without the collection of their DNA in the present day. She needed clarity on the matter as the creation of the DNA Act would have been a waste of time.
Lt General Magadlela stated that the DNA collection may not be water tight. However, SAPS had created a training programme across all provinces to make sure that it attends to the collection of DNA samples of criminals who are currently in prison.
Remarks by the Chairperson
The Chairperson stated that the Contract Management Strategy presentation was outstanding and requested that it should be added to the October presentations.
It was important that when the delegations came for presentations it should be professional and produce quality presentations. There cannot be a lack of information and inadequate reports.
He thanked all Members and the SAPS delegation.
The meeting was adjourned.
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