The Deputy Minister provided a very brief overview confirming that the Department aims to carry out its constitutional mandate of keeping South Africans safe.
SAPS confirmed that they would focus on priorities raised in the President’s State of the Nation Address. These include halving violent crimes, protecting vulnerable groups, creating safer cities, increasing police visibility, and developing strategies to end drugs, gangs, femicide and gender-based violence. SAPS aims to reduce serious crimes, contact crime, and property related crime by 2%. The top five high crime rate stations are Johannesburg Central (Gauteng), Nyanga (Western Cape), Hillbrow (Gauteng), Mitchells Plain (Western Cape) and Khayelitsha (Western Cape).
For 2019/20, R97.5 billion had been allocated to SAPS with an average annual increase of 6.4% from 2018/19. The breakdown per programme was Administration (R20.4bn); Visible Policing (R49.9bn); Detective Services (19.9bn); Crime Intelligence (R4bn); Protection and Security Services (R3.1bn).
SAPS addressed previously raised questions by the Committee on the Community Policing Strategy, Youth Crime Prevention Strategy, Rural Safety Strategy, establishment of Anti-Gang Units, strategies to address domestic violence and violent crimes as well as resource distribution amongst police stations.
The Head of the Directorate on Priority Crimes Investigation (DPCI) spoke of its numerous challenges calling for a re-engineering of the Directorate. These challenges include high employee turnover rate, stagnation in investigations, accommodation as some offices are dilapidated, poor performance management, inadequate exhibit storage facilities, and nepotistic appointments. The re-engineering process was outlined.
Committee members welcomed the implementation of the SAPS Rural Safety Programme but expressed their concern on its implementation as SAPS was experiencing shortages in staff of 62 000, technological resources and vehicles. Approximately 4000 vehicles will be boarded soon. In one province, only one vehicle was available but could not be used after a police officer used it to go home during his lunch break. In addition to this, the garages storing vehicles are incapable of accommodating all the vehicles. The SAPS air fleet has deteriorated severely as 13 helicopters were grounded recently. Unfortunately, some provinces do not have helicopters.
SAPS conceded that criminals have better technological resources than it does. SAPS cannot procure technology on its own but must do so via the State Information Technology Agency (SITA). When doing so SAPS must provide SITA with confidential information to which the latter is not entitled. Given this dilemma there has been stagnation in obtaining effective technological resources. In addition, the contract governing the vehicle monitoring systems used by SAPS has expired and SAPS is still waiting on SITA to assist.
SAPS has received a request from National Treasury that it cut its budget by R6 billion. This entails a R2.7 billion cut in compensation which essentially destroys the SONA objectives for policing. There cannot be a decrease in personnel whilst the population increases. SAPS already has a shortage of 62 000 police officials and with the budget cut this would become even more disastrous.
Whilst some members commended SAPS for deploying the army into gang infested areas other members viewed it as an indication that SAPS is incapable of protecting its citizens.
Members requested that SAPS provide province-centred information during NCOP briefings as the information provided gave the holistic, national overview of SAPS, making it difficult for the NCOP members to exercise their provincial oversight role.
Members requested that DPCI engage in serious deliberation with Department of Public Works as DPCI had been raising concerns about its accommodation in every APP for the past five years.
It was brought to SAPS’s attention that there was no reference to murder in its presentation at all. Approximately 49 people are murdered daily in South Africa however their presentation failed to indicate how this will be addressed. Why was R200 million more allocated to VIP Protection Services rather than keeping ordinary citizens safe?
Due to time constraints, Deputy Minister Bongani Mkongi said that he would not provide the political overview he prepared for the meeting. Much of the sentiments and plans he intended to raise in the political overview would in any way become apparent during the Annual Performance Plan presentation.
Nonetheless he confirmed that SAPS aims to carry out the constitutional mandate of keeping South Africans safe. In addition to safety of persons, SAPS is serious about protecting state and citizens’ property. SAPS has developed a multidisciplinary approach to reach these two key objectives over the next five years. This approach places emphasis on the community and its role in attaining the key objectives of SAPS.
SAPS Annual Performance Plan
Maj Gen Leon Rabie, Head: Strategic Management, said SAPS will focus on priorities raised in the President’s State of the Nation’s Address earlier this year. These priorities include halving violent crimes, protecting vulnerable groups, creating safer cities, increasing police visibility, and developing strategies to end drugs, gangs, femicide and gender-based violence.
Five programmes will assist in meeting these priorities, including: Administration, Visible Policing, Detective Services, Crime Intelligence, Protection and Security Services.
The Administration Programme regulates the overall management of SAPS and provides centralised support services. The three sub-programmes are Management, Corporate Services and the Civilian Secretariat.
SAPS aims to have at least 2% of its posts occupied by persons with disabilities and to have 90% of its disciplinary cases finalised within 60 days.
The Visible Policing Programme aims to discourage all crimes by providing a proactive and responsive policing service that will reduce the levels of priority crimes. It has four sub programmes: Crime Prevention, Border Security, Specialised Interventions, and Facilities. One target is to reduce serious crimes, contact crime, and property related crime by 2%. The top five high crime rate stations are Johannesburg Central (Gauteng), Nyanga (Western Cape), Hillbrow (Gauteng), Mitchells Plain (Western Cape) and Khayelitsha (Western Cape).
The Detective Services Programme aims to contribute to the successful prosecution of offenders by investigating, gathering and analysing evidence. Its sub-programmes are Crime Investigation, Criminal Record Centre, Forensic Science Laboratory, and specialised investigation – the DPCI. Key performance areas include reducing fraud and corruption in the public and private sectors, reducing organised crime and enhancing the processing of forensic evidence case exhibits.
The Crime Intelligence Programme gathers crime intelligence to prevent, combat and investigate crime; coordinates intelligence for the purpose of tactical, and strategic utilisation; institutes counterintelligence measures within SAPS; and prevents crime through enhanced international cooperation and innovation on police and security measures. The programme has two sub-programmes: Crime Intelligence Operations and Intelligence and Information Management.
The Protection and Security Services aims to minimise security violations by protecting foreign and local prominent persons as well as securing strategic interests. There are four sub-programmes: VIP Protection, Static Protection, Government Security Regulator and Physical Security Compliance. It aims to provide in transit protection without security breaches.
Matters previously raised by the Select Committee
Maj Gen Leon Rabie replied to questions previously by the Select Committee on the Community Policing Strategy, Youth Crime Prevention Strategy, Rural Safety Strategy, establishment of Anti-Gang Units, strategies to address domestic violence and violent crimes as well as the distribution of resources at police stations.
The Community Policing Strategy is intended to operationalise the concept of community policing and to stimulate active citizenry and participation in the fight against crime. It will focus on community police forums, building community resilience to crime and multidisciplinary collaboration.
The Youth Crime Prevention Strategy aims to respond to the policing needs of the youth, reduce the number of youth committing crimes and encourage stakeholders to create intern programmes for the youth.
The Rural Safety Strategy aims to ensure optimal service delivery to rural communities including farms and small holdings. 883 rural and rural/urban police stations have been identified for the implementation of the programme. This will extend the strategy to 87 000 farms and small holdings of which 33 000 are commercial farms.
The Western Cape has been prioritised for the implementation of the Anti-Gang Unit and has been capacitated to 78% of the allocated personnel strength. Further capacitation of the Eastern Cape and Gauteng anti-gang capabilities will take place during 2020/21
To address domestic violence, SAPS members attend training and capacity building programmes to equip them to better deal with domestic violence cases. SAPS will monitor non-compliance by police officials when dealing with domestic violence cases.
To address violent crimes the following goals were identified: asserting the authority of the state, thorough investigation of all crimes, and building a professional and capable SAPS.
A business case has been submitted to National Treasury to appropriate funds to increase capacity by means of an additional 62 000 police officers to ensure the police/public ratio of 1:220. In addition, the installation of CCTV has been planned for 126 police stations. Unfortunately, SAPS is facing a vehicle shortage as 4000 will be boarded.
SAPS Budget 2019/2020
Lt Gen Puleng Dimpane, SAPS CFO, said R97.5 billion had been allocated to SAPS, and that was an average annual increase of 6.4% from 2018/19. The breakdown per programme was Administration (R20.4 billion); Visible Policing (R49.9 billion); Detective Services (19.9 billion); Crime Intelligence (R4 billion); and Protection and Security Services (R3.1 billion).
The spending focus over the medium term includes professionalising the police service through skills development; continued strengthening of the criminal justice system by contributing to the modernisation programme; investing in capital assets; capacitating existing Public Order Policing (POP) units; policing of major events; and sustaining personnel within the compensation budget ceiling.
Compensation will remain the largest driver of spending, constituting 78% of the total budget for 2019/20. Operational expenditure, including goods and services, transfer payments and payments for capital assets total the remaining 22% of the budget.
Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation APP 2019/2020
Dr Godfrey Lebeya, DPCI Head, spoke to the numerous challenges plaguing DPCI which call for a re-engineering of the Directorate. These include high employee turnover rate, stagnation in investigations, accommodation as some offices are dilapidated, poor performance management, inadequate exhibit storage facilities, and nepotistic appointments.
Dr Lebeya described the process of re-engineering the Directorate which includes the setting of clear strategy, designing a responsive structure, securing suitable accommodation, enhancing skills levels and retaining personnel who are beyond reproach.
Dr Lebeya provided an overview of the workforce numbers since 2009. Currently DPCI has 1 817 cases referred to the NPA. Since 2009, it has dealt with 18 086 dockets of which already 17 338 accused have already been identified.
The Anti-Corruption Task Team, an implementation leg of the Operational Committee, will continue to be enhanced by mobilising of stakeholders to support the mandate of DPCI and the priorities of government. The Operational Committee will support the newly established NPA Investigating Directorate, through a continued multi-disciplinary approach to fight corruption.
Committee members expressed their dissatisfaction with the Minister’s non-attendance at the meeting and requested that he furnish a written apology as his conduct was disrespectful. However, the Chairperson confirmed that an apology had been received but that she expected SAPS to mention this before their presentation as a courtesy to the Committee.
In response, Deputy Minister Mkongi said that the Minister was in Zambia for a SADC meeting but that he had nonetheless tendered his apologies. The Minister respects the Committee and because this is the first engagement between the Committee and SAPS, it is too early for Committee members to form an opinion of others especially the Minister.
Mr K Motsamai (EFF, Gauteng) vehemently raised his dissatisfaction at the proceedings only being in English and that no provision is made for translators.
The Chairperson explained that translation would be addressed but confirmed that English is the language of choice because more people understand it and can hold deliberations in it. Nonetheless, Parliament is working on this.
The Deputy Minister acknowledged the right of persons to communicate in the language of their choice but that persons should not be condescending or disrespectful when conveying their frustrations.
The Chairperson asked that all persons present at the meeting be respectful.
Mr Motsamai proceeded to inform SAPS that citizens have lost confidence in SAPS. Hence, the need for the Minister to request the SANDF to address the problem of gangs on the Cape Flats. This indicates that police members are not serious about their role and are incapable of protecting citizens. The shortage of police vehicles highlights that citizens are not safe.
He asked why the presentation failed to mention safety of commuters, especially since there is a high incidence of rape on trains.
Ms M Mmola (ANC: Mpumalanga) asked if Lt Gen Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi is the appointed KZN Police Commissioner or merely the Acting Police Commissioner.
Gen Khehla Sitole, SAPS National Commissioner, confirmed that Lt Gen Mkhwanazi is the Acting KZN Police Commissioner and his term will end soon.
Ms Mmola noted that the heads of Crime Intelligence and Protection and Security Services (CIPS) were not present before raising her concerns about the budget allocations. The budget allocated to Northern Cape and Limpopo is lower than other provinces. She asked about the selection criteria used when allocating funds to the provinces.
Ms Mmola noted that the presentation referred to 129 sites that would receive CCTV but there was no provincial breakdown to illustrate what each province, especially Mpumalanga, would receive. Without these provincial breakdowns it becomes difficult for the Select Committee to exercise its oversight role effectively.
She requested that references to percentages be accompanied by numbers as well so that the Committee can determine how much 99% equates.
Ms Mmola told SAPS that their 1% target for recovering stolen and illegal firearms and 26% reduction in outstanding forensic investigative leads target were too low.
She requested more information on informers in the Crime Intelligence programme, specifically the budget allocated for informers. She asked if SAPS had a list of their informers to avoid “policemen paying their wives as informers”.
She asked for confirmation on the number of police vehicles parked in garages.
Lt Gen Ntombenhle Vuma, Deputy National Commissioner: Asset and Legal Management, confirmed that of the 48 000 vehicles, 8 712 are in garages and approximately 4 000 vehicles will be boarded soon. Prior to 1994, there were 96 garages accommodating 16 000. These garages have not been able to contain the current number of vehicles. SAPS has engaged with the Department of Public Works to assist in extending the garages to accommodate the vehicles.
Ms Mmola requested that Lt Gen Lebeya be part of the team negotiating with the Department of Public Works to sort out the accommodation because for the past five years, without fail, he has been speaking about accommodation challenges.
Mr G Michalakis (DA: Free State) asked for the criteria used to allocate funding to the various provinces.
He expressed his lack of confidence in the implementation of the Rural Safety Unit. Currently, the ratio of police officers to vehicles is five officers to one vehicle. SAPS simply does not have the funds to implement this programme effectively.
Mr Michalakis asked the Deputy Minister to explain why R200 million more was allocated to VIP Protection Services. “What makes you more important than a farmer or single mother in my constituency? Please give me a frank answer as to why you are more important”.
Mr Michalakis brought the attention of SAPS to the lack of reference to murder in the presentation at all. Approximately 49 people are murdered daily in South Africa however the presentation does not indicate how this will be addressed. Murders affect the economy; parents must bury their children and families lose their breadwinners. Although the Deputy Minister’s opening remarks referred to a constitutional mandate to protect citizens, there was nothing in the budget indicating how this mandate will be met. “With the second biggest budget in the State, you don’t have anything to address murder. I have been here for five years and I haven’t seen anything different”.
In response, the Deputy Minister confirmed that two to three weeks before, SAPS discussed the issue of murder in South Africa. The Minister, police generals and leadership discussed the matter in depth and shared the same sentiments as Committee Members. SAPS is committed to addressing murder and will elaborate on what it is doing. He added, “We are all human beings. Anything that shouldn’t be done to a politician, should not be done to vulnerable persons. Therefore, there is nothing more special about me”.
Gen Sitole added that the Committee should note that the APP is a strategic plan and not an operational plan which is what the Committee seems to want. SAPS is willing to present its operational plan but would do so in a closed session as it contains information that cannot be made publicly available.
He confirmed that not only politicians are protected under the VIP protection programme. Others person include Directors General. As more threats are received, the need to increase security resources rises.
Given that SAPS is battling with limited resources, Mr Michalakis suggested that it consider the decriminalisation of petty crimes. Instead of arresting persons smoking cannabis in their homes, police should focus on arresting murderers.
Mr A Gxoyiya (ANC: Northern Cape) said that he appreciated the presentation and encouraged the Committee to liaise with Treasury about the SAPS underfunding. The funding for Health and Education never have budget cuts but there is failure to appreciate the interrelatedness of SAPS and these departments. For example, hospitals must treat the victims of crime but if crime prevention strategies were properly funded its optimal performance would limit the number of victims needing treatment at hospitals.
He questioned what SAPS is doing with the intelligence they receive. Given that the intelligence is generally reliable, it should be used to prevent crimes. SAPS should not only be responding to crime but should use their intelligence to prevent crimes.
He cited limited career progression as a reason for the mass exodus of police members from the force. He asked for clarity on the SAPS mechanism to filter prank calls from legitimate calls on the 10 111 line.
He narrated an incident in Philipstown where there was only one police vehicle available at the police station. When one officer used the vehicle to go home for lunch, the police station was left without a vehicle and could not attend to a crime. Given this, he questioned SAPS vehicle usage monitoring measures.
Lt Gen Vuma explained that SAPS utilises an automotive vehicle monitoring systems organised by SITA. The contract however expired, and SAPS is awaiting SITA to install more monitoring systems.
She added that there are at least nine police vehicles available in Philipstown.
Mr Gxoyiya responded that his narration of the incident with only one vehicle available concerned a point in time which is not necessarily current.
Like other Committee Members he queried the factors affecting provincial budget allocations specifically as Northern Cape received the lowest portion of the budget.
Lt Gen Dimpane referred Committee Members to the factors on slide 19 of the presentation but added that the criteria have been placed under review.
Mr Gxoyiya questioned whether border control is effective given that numerous illegal firearms are brought in from neighbouring countries.
Mr T Dodovu (ANC: North West) commended the SAPS decision to deploy the SANDF to the Cape Flats. He asked if SAPS disciplines senior members as the APP refers to 345 disciplinary cases dealing with sergeants and constables but there is no mention of higher-ranking officials. He believes that the R7 billion used in litigation is partly due to the rogue elements in SAPS giving it a poor reputation.
He queried the status of the “Adopt-a-Cop” programme before telling DPCI Head, Lt Gen Godfrey Lebeya, that South Africans will not be satisfied until arrests of high-ranking officials such as parliament members and mayors are effected.
General Sitole confirmed that the Adopt-a-Cop programme has been reinstated and that SAPS has acted against high ranking officials. Currently six high ranking officials have been charged.
Mr S Zandamela (EFF: Mpumalanga) said that the presentation creates the impression that “things are fine” but requested that SAPS be honest about the challenges it is facing.
General Sitole explained that there are four key challenges facing SAPS. After budgets were allocated, SAPS was told to work on a R6 billion cut. This means that there would have to be a R2.7 billion cut in compensation. This essentially destroys the SONA objectives for policing. There cannot be a decrease in personnel whilst the population increases. SAPS already has a shortage of 62 000 police officials and with the budget cut this would become even more disastrous.
The Crime Intelligence Units utilise rented buildings which is problematic especially since they house crucial and confidential information. Meetings with the Minister of Public Works have been taking place concerning this. The Department of Public Works is responsible for building police stations. Therefore, if it does not perform, SAPS cannot perform.
SAPS cannot procure technology on its own. It must do so via the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) but when doing so it must provide SITA with confidential information to which SITA is not entitled. Given this dilemma there has been stagnation in obtaining effective technological resources. The effect of this is that criminals have more advanced technology than SAPS. It should be recommended that SAPS be exempted from the SITA Act.
The SAPS air fleet deteriorated severely as 13 helicopters have been grounded recently. Unfortunately, there are some provinces that do not have helicopters.
Mr Zandamela requested that SAPS present per province. Currently, the presentation gives a holistic overview whilst the Select Committee is interested in each province.
Mr Mthethwa (ANC: KZN) reiterated Mr Zandamela’s request that the focus should be on provinces specifically. He requested more information on provincial funding. He specifically wanted to know if the funding allocated by Treasury is the only funding the provinces receive.
Lt Gen Dimpane explained that the allocations given to the provinces are only for direct operations, fleet maintenance and deployments whereas salaries are centrally managed.
Ms C Visser (DA: North West) commended the implementation of the Rural Safety Strategy and requested a list of police stations identified in this programme so that the Committee could monitor the progress.
She lamented the police’s response time during violent protests in the North West. “Police only arrive after the infrastructure has been burnt down”. She requested that the police analyse the number of cases opened in comparison to the number prosecuted. In the North West only 8% of opened cases are prosecuted.
Gen Sitole confirmed that due to time constraints, unanswered questions will be responded to in writing by the relevant Department officials.
Before adjourning the meeting, the Chairperson requested that SAPS provide an addendum to the APP detailing breakdowns of all acronyms and how the APP affects the provinces. Failure to place emphasis on the provinces would result in the Committee merely duplicating the work of the National Assembly.