High Crime Areas: SAPS strategy, Community Policing Forums, CSP research; with the Minister

This premium content has been made freely available


30 October 2018
Chairperson: Mr F Beukman (ANC)
Share this page:

Meeting Summary

The five police stations in areas with the highest crime rates in the country came under the spotlight when the Committee was briefed by the South African Police Service, the heads of the local community policing forums (CPFs) and the Civilian Secretariat for Police Service (CSPS).

The five police stations were identified as Johannesburg Central, Hillbrow, Kagiso, Nyanga and Mitchells Plain. SAPS reported that though crime in general had decreased, contact crimes such as murder, attempted murder, assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm and sexual offences such as rape and sexual assault were the problematic cases in these areas. The most common causes for the high crime rate included drug and substance abuse, overcrowding in residential areas, the influx of foreign nationals, and the growth in gang activities.

The chairpersons of the CPFs from these high crime areas shared their experiences on how crime was tackled by their organisations. Johannesburg Central, for instance, described how they encouraged the community to work with SAPS by providing information that would help in reducing crime, by exposing the perpetrators. Mitchells Plain said their major focus was on children, women, youth, people with disabilities and the elderly, as these were the most vulnerable groups. Kagiso had given elderly people MeMeZa connected community safety technology, so that whenever there was a problem they would be able to use it. Hillbrow focused on getting the various taxi associations to communicate with each other to resolve their issues. Nyanga acknowledged the work that SAPS had done at the Samora Machel station and other developments in the area, but was disappointed that there was no working partnership between the national, provincial and local law enforcement entities.

The CSPS reported on the socio-economic factors that contributed to crime and violence in these areas, based on oversight reports over the past two years. The crimes in these five areas were found to be caused by alcohol abuse, overcrowding in residential areas, unemployment, domestic violence, gang activities, language barriers with foreign nationals and second hand goods stores. The main issues identified at the police stations were the high utilisation of sick leave by the police officers, and the high proportion of police vehicles languishing in garages, and not serviceable. They emphasised the need for more resources in the police stations, and presented a study that showed that that 43% of SAPS members were deployed to administrative functions, while only 57% were deployed to the street level for operations.

Members asked whose responsibility it was to carry out the coordinating function between the various entities involved. Why had the five police stations regarded as high priority still have a shortage of personnel, and why had they stayed top of the list for so long?  The Minister responded that the police stations were in an unchanging situation forever, and if the conditions were not going to change, then the problems would also remain the same. Members also asked why some detectives were operating without registered informants, yet were still claiming the informants’ money, which was regarded as fraud. It was also suggested that due to the environment of violence in which the police operated, some of them could be suffering from a syndrome, and were really doing their best.

Meeting report

Opening Remarks

The Chairperson welcomed the Minister, Mr Bheki Cele, the National Commissioner of Police, General Kehla Sitole, and his delegates, and representatives of the Civilian Secretariat of Police (CSP) and the Community Police Forum (CPF). The individual members of the delegations were introduced.

The Chairperson welcomed the special commanders of the relevant stations and stressed the importance of the meeting. He said contact crime was an issue that concerned communities and therefore it was important to look at the root causes. This was why the top five high crime stations in terms of the previous crime statistics had been called to look at the current approach, what was being done, and also to get feedback from the CPF chairpersons. The Portfolio Committee recognised that the police dealt only with the law and order issues, but the root causes in a lot of the issues in those areas were related to the local and provincial government and civil society. This was why the civilian secretariat were present to look at what could be done to intervene and ensure that the situation improved in these areas.


SAPS on the five high crime stations

Major-General Leon Rabie, Head: Strategic Management, South African Police Service (SAPS), said the presentation would cover the five stations in the following order: Johannesburg (JHB) central station, Hillbrow SAPS, Kagiso SAPS, Nyanga station, and lastly Mitchell’s Plain.

The Johannesburg Central police precinct covered an area of 13 square kilometers. According to Statistics SA’s 2017 mid-year estimates, Johannesburg Central had a population of approximately 59 838 people with a daily influx of 1.5 million commuters. The release of the 2017/2018 financial year crime statistics revealed a reduction in aggravated robbery and robbery with a weapon other than a firearm. Bad/ hijacked buildings caused a serious problem for policing because none of the buildings had services such as electricity, water, sanitation and lifts. The crimes were caused by the socio-economic factors -- unemployment and substance abuse. The environmental factors included bad lighting, dilapidated/ abandoned/ hijacked buildings, and the daily influx of commuters, including an influx of undocumented foreign nationals.

The Hillbrow police precinct covered an area of 10 square kilometers. According to Statistics SA 2017 mid-year estimates, Hillbrow had a population of approximately 163 000 people. Bad and hi-jacked buildings were a cause for concern, as most did not have any basic services such as electricity, water, sanitation and elevators. One of the most challenging aspects facing the inner-city was the high number of homeless people. However, the Hillbrow SAPS continued to mobilise all other relevant government departments to deal with challenges affecting the community.

The Kagiso SAPS precinct covered an area of 78 square kilometers. According to Statistics SA 2017 mid-year estimates, Kagiso had a population of approximately 272 000 people. The police precinct was divided into six fully implemented sectors with a minimum deployment of one vehicle per sector. Some of the contributing factors to the crimes in the area were overcrowding of residential areas, illegal / informal traders, the influx of undocumented foreign nationals and poor and / or outdated essential services such as electricity, sewerage etc. The most challenging aspect facing Kagiso SAPS was the high incidence of crime reported from Tshepisong, Sector 6. However the station was continuing with operations to reduce the crime levels in that sector. Operations conducted included Zamalek, Fiela, Buya Mthetho, and weekly cordon and search operations.

Nyanga had four sectors, and the crime rate had decreased by 3.5% in 2017/2018. It had a total of 4 784 contact crimes reported in the 2017/18 financial year. Contact-related crime had shown an increase of 7.9%. Although contact crime had decreased, there were two problematic categories -- murder and robbery with aggravated circumstances – which had increased. Murder had increased by 9.6% and robbery with aggravated circumstances by 9.9%. The Department had established that the motives for these problematic categories were arguments (20.5%), retaliation/revenge (17.5%) and robbery (24.7%), which had the highest rate. Robberies were the most common cause of murders in Nyanga, with 90% being street robberies. Arguments referred to those resulting in an immediate reaction which led to murder. Community retaliation/vigilantism included instances where large groups of community members retaliated against a confirmed or alleged crime, and also where a person(s) acted alone. In these incidents, the suspects were seldom identified. Most of these crimes were committed by using firearms. An analysis of the days of the week on which crimes were most prevalent was also done, and these were Saturdays (23.9%), Sundays (32.7%) and Mondays (11.7%). The crime hotspots in Nyanga included Sithandatu Avenue, Siyahlala Settlement, Siyanyanzela Settlement and Kosovo Settlement. The Department was working with other departments to sort the problems out. Some of the things that it was doing to address these situations was deploying additional intervention capacities, such as tactical response teams and the provincial intervention team, enhancing community mobilisation through neighbourhood watches and CPF projects and interventions. It also engaged with other government Departments such as Health, Education, and Transport, to play a more supportive role.

The last station among the five high crime stations was Mitchells Plain. It had been granted 570 police members, but was still 119 members short. They had been granted 116 vehicles, but had only 90 vehicles. The crime overview of Mitchell’s Plain was as follows: contact crime (-7.7%), contact related crime (15%), property crime (-8.2%), other crimes (-11.7%) and crimes dependent on police action for detection (3%). Although there had been a decrease in some crimes, murder (35.9%), attempted murder (70.8%), assault with intent to inflict grievous bodily harm (4.6%) and sexual offences had increased (3.6%) in the area.  These were found to be caused by gang violence, arguments/misunderstandings and robberies. The days that these crimes were most prevalent were Saturdays (18.6), Sundays (27.1%) and Wednesdays (16.4%) at times between 18:00 to 00:59. The weapons used were 77% firearms, 11% knife and 1.4% hands. The areas that were prone to these crimes were Tafelsig East, Eastridge, Beacon Valley and the town centre (CBD). The contributing factors were an increase in gang activity, repeat offenders, unemployment, the high school dropout rate and public transport challenges (Metro Rail). Measures put in place to deal with these crimes included enhancing community mobilisation through faith-based organisations, CPF and other community structures, engaging other government departments – the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Health, Education, Transport, Home Affairs and Social Development -- to play a more supportive role, and executing the operational plan focused on reducing contact crime.

Presentations by CPF chairpersons of the five high crime areas

Johannesburg Central

Mr M S Thokan, Chairperson: CPF, described the challenges that the forum in Johannesburg faced. Committee members had problems meeting, as they did not reside in the area but commuted to work every day. Although they had to commute, they made sure they met frequently with the residents as well as the business people in the area. They had regular executive meetings on the crimes and how these were to be addressed, as well as the communication challenges with SAPS and the community. They encouraged the community to work with SAPS by providing information that would help in reducing crime by exposing the perpetrators. They had established 20 block watch groups and developed relationships with banks, such that they had offered 150 patrols starting on 1 November, and in some areas they had 45 patrol lists.

Socio-economic crimes were a challenge as they were related to unemployment, moral degradation and overcrowding in residential areas. He observed that there were communities of foreign diaspora in the area, and thought there was a need to collaborate with their leaders in fighting crime in the area. Apart from that, they had social forums and community leaflets in order to keep in touch with the community. He encouraged the Johannesburg SAPS to work with the CPF structures.


Mr Denzel Goldstone, Chairperson: CPF, said he would not waste time by repeating what Mr Thokan had said in his presentation because Johannesburg Central and Hillbrow were one area but had two policing stations. What they had done was get the taxi associations to start talking to each other. They had a big problem between Taxify, Uber and metered taxis, so they had got them together. They were currently in the process of bringing up the remaining taxis and the illegal taxis which were all over the place, and this was a major problem. Help had been received from Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department (JMPD) and the SAPS station, but it was a work in progress.

Hillbrow had six sections, all functioning, three sub-sectors, a legal forum, a men’s network, and a very strong patroller programme. In the next few weeks they would be launching a mobile kiosk patroller-driven programme. These kiosks would be staffed by patrollers and would be put in crime hotspots. These will be moveable from four to six pm, and from six to eight pm, to try and cover as much of the territory as they can in order to alleviate some of the contact crimes in the hotspots.

One of things they wanted to see as a CPF and the community was a sector vehicle to patrol a sector. They would like to see two sector vehicles on duty at any given time, because if one sector vehicle attended to a complaint then the rest of the area would be without protection until the vehicle had finished dealing with the complaint. This meant that with serious crimes, such as domestic violence or murder of a woman or a child, the sector vehicle would be stuck there. He would like to see a quicker reaction from the support services of SAPS. The forensic investigators could not to leave until they had done their job. Sometimes it took them six to eight hours to finish off. The CPF understood the nature of their job but sometimes it took them forever. This became a problem for them.


Ms Maria Ramatsie, Chairperson: CPF, described the area in which she worked and said there were 350 patrollers in the area. In 2016, some of the patrollers had gone to Tempe in Bloemfontein for training, and others to Pretoria. In 2017 some of them had gone to Number 17 SAPS. They were located close to Kagiso Mall, and in this area they had a neighborhood watch in sector two. This community was working together with all the sectors, and they had regular monthly meetings with the police station. The forum would establish a kiosk that would work between the community and the police station.

Currently, eight patrollers had been deployed at Kagiso Mall, as they had seen that the number of rape cases was very high in their location. Because of this, they had added both men and women as safety promoters in the CPF executive so that they reached out to the community on these matters. They had added the Induna, as it was close to sector five, to the committee, as there would be war whenever there was an electricity cut off. Now the hostel dwellers and the community were working hand-in-hand, and had had their first meeting on 13 October. The elderly people were also provided with MeMeZa connected community safety technology, so that whenever there was a problem they would be able to use them. There were six sector vehicles, as the location was growing bigger and sometimes one vehicle could not manage the influx of people. Since the location was growing, the resources must match the standard.


Mr Dumisani Qwebe, Secretary: Nyanga CPF, acknowledged the work that SAPS was doing at the Samora Machel station, after a long time of telling them about it. He also acknowledged the deployment of members of other areas into their area and the extra van that they had got for sector managers. He also acknowledged the police station that was now operational with 60 members. As for the neighbourhood watch, these were available in all sectors, with 45 in Sector 1, and 104 recent recruits who were still waiting for training. Sector 3 was the most problematic sector, with more than 120 000 people, where the 40 members were inactive. The last sector had 50 members in Samora and 70 in Kosovo.

Some of the problems they had faced were that it took long to form partnerships with some of the communities, as they said that they belonged to the City of Cape Town. They said that they belonged to the provincial government and not SAPS, and these matters needed to be rectified, as they challenged the CPF in its efforts to address crime. He complained about the delay in deploying officers that they had requested in 2016, while Westbury had made the same request and the officers had been deployed the next day. Mr Qwebe hoped that the Minister would take this matter seriously.

He said that they were very diplomatic in Nyanga, as evidenced by the lack protests, since they tried to manage them in the knowledge that if they were to be allowed, then a critical situation would be created for their station commander. This was because other departments were not found in Nyanga. He said that the law enforcement of Cape Town and the provincial traffic did not play their role. He complained that when the City of Cape Town was invited they came on only selected issues and did not do what they were meant to do, and this offended him. The same applied to the traffic department. He added that there were no traffic laws in Nyanga, as taxi drivers would hoot at one when stopped at the robots, even though they were red. These issues had to be sorted in a strategic manner. The major problem was the taxis in Nyanga. He stressed that the City of Cape Town did not own the ranks, and that the provincial Department of Traffic, led by Minister Donald Grant, was not visible. The Transport Minister was very quiet when it came to addressing those things.

Mr Qwebe described how on Friday the previous week, when the Minister was there, three murders had taken place, were one of the men shot dead had been arrested by SAPS for possession of two illegal firearms, a spear and a bone. The system had had to release him in Nyanga, as it was failing, and unfortunately the victim was no more. He said that the government was working in parallel, as there was a working partnership with the government at the national, provincial and local level. As such, he was very disappointed that the public representatives were not visible in the community. These people were deployed to Parliament, but did not come to the communities to develop a strategy for fighting crime. He requested that Philippi be made into a fully-fledged station, as there were new developments, and that the specialised Full Protection and Security (FPS) units be stationed there. He also requested a review of the sector policing, because it was failing.

Mitchells Plain

Mr Abie Isaacs, Chairperson: CPF, said that when he entered the leadership of the Forum they had agreed on five key things that would guide them, and these were women, youth, children, people with disabilities and the elderly. These were chosen because they were the most vulnerable to crime. He acknowledged that they had 400 volunteers that were comprised of three committees, block committees, neighbourhood watches and chaperons. They had eight chaperons in their precinct -- seven residential based and one business based.

They had a number of key projects in his area. One was a with radio station in the province, where one of their disc jockeys (DJs) looked at pointing youth in the right direction. They also had a programme called “the safer roads,” as the festive season approached, and this used youths to be ambassadors of the campaign. They also had hiking projects, as Mitchells Plain was surrounded by two mountains. This tool was used to reach out to youths through hikes. They had a child rapid response unit which had volunteers that worked 24 hours and stand by in the event that a child goes missing, so they can respond. Another project was launched last week, which was an schools’ drill competition that they had been running for 11 years which focused particularly on discipline and other ills that existed.

The challenges they were facing were political interference, because they had a new act which was creating massive conflict. This new act regulated the neighborhood watches and gave them accreditation. So now the volunteers that used to work under the guidance of the CPFs were saying that they were no longer answerable to the forums, yet the forums were accountable to the Committee.

Implementation by SAPS of key strategic and operational focus areas

According to the crime statistics released by the Minister of Police recently, the contact crime category was showing some stubbornness in responding to the current day to day policing strategy in some policing areas. The purpose of the presentation was to highlight some of the key strategic and operational focus areas to be implemented in the five identified police stations that were topping the list of high incidents of violent contact crimes. T

he contact crime category included the following types of crime: murder, attempted murders, assault with the intent to inflict grievous bodily harm, common assault, common robbery, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and sexual offences. The approach was based on the premise of integrating operational processes, resources and intelligence across all operational environments of SAPS at all levels in the Operational Command Centre, in order to address the identified threat in a result driven and holistic manner. The pillars supporting this approach were:

  • Pillar 1: Intelligence gathering, analysis & coordination
  • Pillar 2: Pro-active approach,
  • Pillar 3: Combat approach,
  • Pillar 4: Reactive through detection approach,
  • Pillar 5: Community Policing and
  • Pillar 6: Communication & liaison (full details in attached document).


Socio-economic factors: Civilian Secretariat of Police Service (CSPS)

The CSPS had identified the socio-economic factors that contributed to crime and violence in these areas, based on oversight reports from the 2016/17 and 2017/18 financial years, generated through the National Monitoring Tool (NMT), domestic violence statistics and other reports. Analysis of these areas showed a decrease in overall contact crime but an increase in murder, common robbery, assault, sexual offences, attempted murder and grievous bodily harm (GBH). The crimes in these five areas were found to be caused by alcohol abuse, overcrowding in residential areas, unemployment, domestic violence, gang activities, language barriers with foreign nationals, and second hand goods stores. The main issues identified at the police stations were high utilisation of sick leave by the police officers, and many of the police vehicles were in the garage.

Ms Bilkis Omar, Chief Director: CSPS, referred to the departments responsible for addressing the socio-economic issues that caused the crimes. She said there was a need to revisit the allocation of additional resources at the police stations to ensure that appropriate and adequate human and physical resource capacity existed. She quoted a CSPS Resource Allocation Guide (RAG) study that showed that 43% of SAPS members were deployed to administrative functions, while only 57% were deployed to street level operations. She concluded that the CPFs must be strengthened as they played an important role in the collaborative nature of addressing crime and violence and promoting active community participation.


The Chairperson asked why the five police stations that were regarded as a priority still had a huge gap in terms of personnel, most of which were invisible.  Whose responsibility was it to play the coordinating role at the local level, since the issues that were before the Committee did not fall under the responsibility of SAPS? With regard to the deployment of specialised units, what was the decision “tree” that had been created?

Ms M Molebatsi (ANC) asked the presenter to provide a plan to reduce crimes in the listed police stations. What was the analysis of the crime division, explaining the reasons why some of the police stations still persisted on being on the list?  In the last five years, had any station commander been disciplined for non-performance? During one of the Committee visits to the police stations, one of the police officers had said that during the weekends, the detainees gave money to the officers to let them go home, and then in the evening the police officers would go into the streets to pick up people for the head count -- how true was that? When the police officers went to the second hand shops, they did not know what to do when they found unregistered second hand goods -- was she then supposed to show them what to do?

Ms M Mmola (ANC) referred to the Nyanga presentation that had indicated that in some of the stations there was insufficient or no proper lighting. Had the SAPS management met with the municipality in order to fix the lighting? What was the SAPS strategy for dealing with station commanders who saw repeated increases in crime statistics, and whose stations did not show progress? How had the police stations that have been presented on, changed of over the past 10 years?  Could SAPS provide a provincial plan that aimed to reduce crimes in the stations? Addressing the CSPS, she said some of the issues identified were that there were lots of vehicles in the garages. How long had they been in the garages, and what was the plan? It had also been mentioned that about 73 detectives worked without registered informants -- how was it possible for a detective to work without informants? In addition, the detectives were also claiming the informants’ money, which was fraud. What was the penalty for the detectives who conducted poor investigations, because when some of the cases went to court they would be withdrawn due to poor investigation?

Mr P Mhlongo (EFF) asked if the police management had considered equally announcing the absolute best station in the country. For the areas that had a high crime rate, but were not getting the same attention as the areas covered by the stations on the list, did management have a plan for them? For example, Mlazi was ranked the second highest in terms of murder, third in terms of attempted murder, and third in terms of sexual offences, but it had not made the top five list, yet the police stations that had been on the list for the past five to ten years had remained the same and they had registered no improvement. Billions of rands in budget allocations had been invested in them, but the names had not changed.  With regard to station management, were there station commanders who had been removed from the stations due to non-performance? In their analysis, did a crime in a specific area speak to the lack of resources at a specific local station? Many of the police stations that were visited had very few personnel, and some of them did not know how to drive. How could multiple offenders remain on the streets?  Was it that they were released on bail, or did they pay the officers to release them? Why were they out there? Finally, was the wanted suspects’ database linked to the DNA database?

Mr J Maake (ANC) asked if all stations were allocated funds to pay informants, and if there was a record to show how these funds were utilized, since some detectives had no attached informants. At an executive level, was there a collective responsibility where government departments entered into a collective effort to ensure that justice was carried out, as the burden was overwhelming for the police force alone? Statistics showed that most murders occurred through the use of firearms, and the people who used the firearms resided right within the community so, from their experience, where did the guns come from?

Mr A Shaik Emam (NFP) was concerned that the police stations in the top five or to ten remained the same. How did that happen when they were getting extra resources, as they were in the “hot spots”? How did detectives work without informants? As a point of interest, how had 76 bullet-proof vests been stolen in Johannesburg? Why was the central business district in Johannesburg predominantly occupied by foreign nationals?  How did the police officers collect data in such an area? The peak crime days were usually Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, but in Mitchells Plain it was Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays -- what was happening in Mitchells Plain on Wednesdays? He said that the situation looked hopeless. Statistics showed that only 57% of police officers were in operation at a given time. Out of that percentage, a great number of them were on sick leave and others were attending to family matters, so what was the force left with?

The problems of high unemployment rates, poor correction facilities and informal settlements were not problems that should be dealt with by SAPS only, but rather required a holistic approach. Statistics also showed that there was a big difference between the number of people who were arrested and those who were convicted. What was the reason for this -- was it poor police work, poor detective work or a shortage of detectives? How many detectives were present at any given time? Or was the difference a product of collusion?

Mr Z Mbhele (DA) asked how long the vacancies in the police stations had existed. Why had the police stations on the top ten list remained there for so long? In the presentation, commercial sex workers were referred to as a causal or contributing factor to crime. How were they a contributing factor, as they were mostly regarded as victims due to their circumstance? The intervention plan for the stations that was presented sounded like the basics of policing. That pointed to the fact that either the basics of policing were not being implemented to begin with, or they were being implemented but to a lesser degree due to inadequate resources, so which one was it? What was being done to deal with the persistent complaints of corruption at the Hillbrow police station?  

Ms L Mabija (ANC) said that when it came to sick leave, it would help if the issue was looked at from the police officers’ side. They were human beings, and could be affected by the conditions under which they worked. Their environment involved of a lot of violence. The police officers were really doing their best. To deal with the problem successfully, the political parties needed to come and work together. Instead, they were focusing a lot on money. If the various government departments, such as the municipalities, local stations, local magistrate courts and so on, did not do their jobs properly it was the police that would keep carrying the blame. The mindsets of the people had to be changed if the problem was to be solved.


Minister Cele started his response by saying that it would be better if one day they appeared before the Committee to speak only of the good things that the police did, because it looked like when people thought of the police, they only thought of them as punch bags. Police officers needed to be understood better. A Member of the Committee had referred to the prisons, but no one marched to the prisons voluntarily. All prisoners were sent there by the police. They were actually apprehended under very difficult circumstances. In Westbury, people were now able to walk at night without any fear of being attacked. In addition, there was a time when it was abnormal not to have a cash heist. They used to be a daily occurrence, but because of the work of the police, people had forgotten about them. It was all the work of the police. Actually, the clusters should be asked to present before the Committee so that they would get a better appreciation of the work that the police were doing. If security was not present, the economy would be struggling. An economy would not be improved where women and children were not safe and there was rampant corruption.

To reply to the question of why the same police stations had remained on the list when it came to crime, it was because they were in an unchanging situation forever. If the conditions did not change, the problems would not change also. The people who used the bucket system in the townships would be expected to act normally, as compared to those who lived in suburbs. Therefore, the problem that had to be dealt with was the conditions that were closely attached to politics, geography and many other aspects.

The mMinister then made a formal invitation to the Chairperson to attend a cluster meeting to get an in-depth appreciation of what the police did.

General Sitole said that he would not be able to respond to all the questions, but he would try to give a strategic response. Adding to the Minister and board secretariat`s response, he referred to Chapter 12 of the National Development Plan (NDP), which stated that due to the collapse of the national crime prevention Strategy, SAPS had become an agency with a mandate that was overstretched and impossible to fulfil. Adding to the proposal made by the Secretariat, the Commissioner said that they needed a master strategy that they could follow and approach the root problem holistically.

Regarding the proposal made by the Minister that there was to be a cluster meeting, the he proposed an inter-cluster coordinated approach, because the majority of the issues that affected the police stations did not fall outside the cluster. He also proposed an inter-committee interaction. This was because the other departments that were overseen by the Parliamentary committees on the same issues that affected them negatively, were not held as accountable as they were, hence the proposal.

In reply to the question of gaps in the SAPS personnel, the Commissioner said that his office had issued a directive to fill the gaps.  All the vacancies in the force were to be filled by the end of December. A total review of all the SAPS personnel plans had also been issued by his office.

The profiles that the police stations operated under had significantly outgrown them. The profiles were meant for two stations, but only one had been placed in it. Categorization of the stations was based on the stabilisation criteria. This entailed carrying out a crime weight analysis as well as the modus operandi, which was then inputted into the database from which the crime weight reduction intervention was developed. The police were able to do only 10% of the intervention developed by a profile that was largely beyond their control. The Commissioner then proposed a crime prevention intervention strategy based largely on environmental design.

General Sitole replied to the question of coordination, and said that there were two coordinating functions in the national crime prevention strategy. There was the strategic function that ran from the President all the way through to the local government. The line function was coordinated from the Ministry of Police all the way to the public safety components of the municipality. However most of the municipalities did not have a safety component.

The Commissioner also said that there was a national plan for stabilising the top 30 police stations, following a geographical approach. Apart from this, there was also a plan to incorporate all the police stations in the country, including those that were not on the list.

In response to the question regarding the station commanders, the Commissioner said that there had been no performance management system in place before. However, his office had put one in place that was to be used to assess their performance, as well as deployment. The system would also include consequences should the station commanders fail to deliver on their performance. There would also be training to equip the station commanders with the tools necessary for them to reach their targets.

In response to the question of why some detectives did not have any informers, the National Commissioner said that for a detective not to have informers would be a matter of gross misconduct. Each and every detective had to have a minimum of three informants.

The meeting was adjourned.

Share this page: