The South African Police Service (SAPS) presentation on Community Policing Forums (CPF) in the Western Cape provided an overview on: legislative and policy framework; objectives of the CPF; functions of CPF and Boards; structure and location of the CPF; current status of CPF; neighbourhood watches (NHW) per cluster; CPF relationship with NHW; enhancing the functioning of the CPF; and challenges.
The CPF Clusters of Beaufort West, Da Gamaskop, Eden, Overberg, Vredenburg, Vredendal, Worcester, Blue Downs, Cape Town Central, Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain, Nyanga, Tygerberg, Winelands, Milnerton and Wynberg presented the successes and challenges within their clusters.
The Committee made observations based on the CPF cluster inputs to take forward and discuss with the Community Safety MEC, Department of Community Safety, Western Cape SAPS Commissioner, Minister, Civilian Secretariat and relevant stakeholders to find the necessary solutions. Resources were required to build and renovate police stations. A plan had to be put in place before the SANDF left certain areas. Funding from DCS on the EPP was required. The Committee needed to get other departments to play their role and investigate why cell visits were stopped. Training was very important. There were gangsters, gangs, and drugs moving into rural areas. The changing of bylaws and business operating hours needed to be looked at. There was concern about the relationship between DCS, CPFs and NHWs and that ward councillors and their relationship with the CPFs and NHWs. These relationships needed to be restored. The Committee needed to investigate where the relationship had broken down with SAPS and restore that. The SAPS Act governing CPFs needed to be looked at and if needed be amended. The national policy guidelines for CPFs and NHWs needed to be looked at. The CPF AGM process and timeline and the DCS directives on this needed was another item. The Committee had to speak to the police, Minister of Labour and Minister of Agriculture on the farm attacks and the rural safety plan should be disseminated to show that SAPS was proactive. The Committee wanted to keep CPFs and NHWs empowered to do what they so desperately wanted to do, which was to keep communities safe. Other topics also raised were the granting of bail and reoffending population; victimisation of CPF members; station capacity and replacement of deployed police officials; trust between SAPS and CPF; provision of information to CPFs; money for campaigns; inter-governmental approach to crime.
The DCS gave a short response about the CPF funding model, payouts, and the directives. The Committee concluded that there would be a follow up meeting with relevant stakeholders in 2020 to address the matters raised.
The Chairperson pointed out to the Committee that, by the large presence at the meeting, Community Policing Forums was a matter of serious interest. So many people in the Western Cape, and Cape Town in particular, were concerned about gender-based violence (GBV), murder, rape, theft, and other crimes – the list was endless. A moment of silence was observed to ask the Almighty to guide the meeting, and for there to be fruitful and peaceful deliberations. The Chairperson said the Committee had done an oversight visit in Cape Town and the Western Cape where there was a genuine plea for the Committee to listen, which was exactly what was going to be done. More than 90% of committee members were present. The Minister and Deputy Minister had received a briefing about the meeting and were represented by the Deputy National Commissioner and the Acting Provincial Commissioner.
The Civilian Secretariat for Police Services (CSPS), Cluster Commanders, CPF Chairpersons, NHW Chairpersons and delegations were welcomed to take forward the issues raised in engagement on 12 August 2019 at the committee oversight visit in Nyanga, Delft, Lentegeur and other areas. A commitment was made on the 12 August that the Department of Police would be called in and the CPF and NHW delegates would have an opportunity to raise their concerns. This promise had been kept. It was clear that this exercise would need to be done in other provinces and possibly more often.
This meeting was not just talking – but moving forward and acting collectively on how to harness energies to protect the people of South Africa. The army was assisting the police in protection. The Committee had been told that there were problems with the Department and the manner in which the CPF and NHW were being managed and the interaction with the police. Delegates were not to be afraid to say so. No one was to be apologetic as the Committee would be listening carefully. The Committee wanted to encourage all cluster chairpersons to make their input about matters within their communities so that these could be responded to. Committee members were urged to engage with the CPF chairpersons in a responsible manner so that common solutions could be found to the problems of crime.
SAPS and CSPS were invited to ensure that CPFs were strong, well managed and not run by corrupt people. During the budget speech the Committee had called for the vetting of CPF and NHW members. The Committee was aware that CPFs were provided for in the SAPS Act, so they were legal, legitimate structures. The Committee will amend the SAPS Act when the Amendment Bill is tabled in Parliament. This engagement is critical so that Members understand what the problems are. Cluster chairpersons were asked to express themselves. The Committee was not only speaking to CPFs or NHWs but were speaking to them as structures all committed to the fight against crime. The Committee knew that CPF elections were supposed to be taking place. The Committee supported that the elections should rather take place once the Provincial Commissioner is appointed. The Committee urged the National Commissioner and the Minister to hasten the process of appointing a permanent Provincial Commissioner. She asked if the cluster chairpersons rather speak and not the other delegates as there were time constraints. This was agreed to.
The number of people present was a historic record and good advantage was taken of this opportunity. People had come from very far and this was appreciated. Attendees were asked to introduce themselves. She then asked the CSPS to introduce themselves and provide cell numbers if the delegates needed to speak to them. The Chairperson noted that the cell numbers were for WhatsApp or messaging purposes, not for phone calls.
Mr Alvin Rapea, Secretary, CSPS, introduced himself and gave his cell number to the delegates.
Mr Benjamin Ntuli, Chief Director: Partnerships, CSPS, introduced himself and gave his cell number.
Mr A Shaik Emam (NFP) was concerned that the Lavender Hill and Hanover Park CPF clusters and some of the most affected areas in the City of Cape Town were not present.
The Chairperson said that she had heard that Hanover Park and Lavender Hill were represented by Philippi. She asked if Mr Shaik Emam was satisfied.
Mr Shaik Emam replied that he was not entirely happy as the NHW would surely be in Hanover Park, not in Philippi. Nonetheless it was fine.
The Chairperson noted this and proceeded as Lavender Hill had been invited.
Western Cape SAPS briefing on Community Policing Forums
Colonel Dirk Vosloo, SAPS Western Cape Provincial Head: Visible Policing, provided the legislative and policy framework which included: Constitution; South African Police Service (SAPS) Act; Western Cape Community Safety Act, 2013; Civilian Secretariat for Police Service Act, 2011; SAPS Interim Regulations for Community Police Forums and Boards, 2001 and White Paper on Policing, 2016.
The objectives of CPFs are found in: Section 219, of the Interim Constitution Act 200 of 1993, which introduced the development of CPFs (This section has been carried over into Schedule 6: Traditional arrangements at item 24 of the Constitution, Act 108 of 1996); The SAPS Act, Section(s) 18(1) states that: “The Service shall, in order to achieve the objectives contemplated in s 215 of the Constitution, liaise with the community through community police forums and provincial community police boards, in accordance with Sections 19, 20 and 21”; and Section 19 of the SAPS Act which states that the Provincial Commissioner shall be responsible for establishing CPF’s at police station level.
The functions of CPFs and Boards are: Establishing and maintaining a partnership between the community and SAPS; Promoting communication between the SAPS and the community; Promoting cooperation between the SAPS and the community, in fulfilling the needs of the community, with regard to policing; Improving the rendering of SAPS services to the community at national, provincial, and local levels; Improving transparency in the SAPS and accountability of the SAPS to the community; Promoting joint problem identification and problem solving byte SAPS and the community.
The CPF structure consists of a Provincial CPF Board, Cluster CPF Boards; Station CPF Forums, and CPF Sub-Forums. The Provincial Board comprises of 16 Cluster Boards with their own executive appointments. The 16 Cluster Boards comprises of chairpersons from police stations within the cluster and from whom a chairperson is appointed. There are 151 Station Forums which are established by a station commander and is a representative of the community in the station area. The Sub-Forums are established in respect of any part of a station area and is dependent on the station.
The criteria for active status of CPF structures requires: an existing CPF/Boards prescribed file; elected executive; minutes of monthly meetings (with an agenda and attendance register); available Community Safety Plan (CSP) which includes an action plan for implementation; programmes/projects supporting the action plan; and appointment of a coordinator. In light of this, the Provincial Board and all Cluster Boards, Station Forums and Station Sub-Forums are active.
In total there are 320 NHW. The NHW per cluster are: Mitchells Plain Cluster – 45; Nyanga Cluster – 42; Eden Cluster – 33; Blue Downs Cluster – 31; Winelands Cluster – 28; Tygerberg Cluster – 28; Khayelitsha Cluster – 23; Worcester Cluster – 21; Milnerton Cluster – 17; Wynberg Cluster – 16; Da Gamaskop Cluster – 13; Overberg Cluster – 10; Cape Town Cluster – 6; Vredenburg Cluster – 6; and Beaufort West Cluster – 1.
The CPF relationship with NHW is such that in terms of Section 6 of the WCCSA, organisations should apply voluntarily to be accredited to DCS. This makes it easy for both SAPS and DCS to have data for all NHWs. The accreditation is determined by both SAPS and DCS. However, there are other NHW, which elect not to be accredited. The station, therefore, is responsible for the management and cooperation of all such NHW. The SAPS, through CPFs, is working hand in hand with NHW, in all the police precincts. In instances where any conflict arises between NHW or community representatives, SAPS intervenes for amicable solutions.
Enhancing the functioning of CPFs can be seen in the engagement with the Provincial CPF Board by the Minister and the Acting Provincial Commissioner: Western Cape. In addition, there had been recent engagements at the Western Cape Crime Summit and monthly meetings. SAPS also provides transport to and from the meeting venues and the attendees from clusters, outside the metropole, travel the day before to the meeting and are accommodated overnight in a hotel.
The challenges include:
• Lack of office space at police stations to accommodate the CPFs.
• There are no cell phones for CPF Chairpersons.
• Non-acceptance of directives, issued by the Community Safety MEC in terms of the WCCSA. This includes where the directives were meant to guide the AGM elective process; CPFs are using the guidelines of the CPF Uniform Constitution; and the DCS is not officiating elective AGMs.
Provincial CPF Board and Beaufort West
The Acting CPF Provincial Board chairperson, Ms Fransina Lukas, provided a provincial perspective as the Beaufort West Cluster chairperson could not attend the meeting. There was also an apology from the Wynberg Cluster chairperson. Beaufort West input would be touched on from a provincial level. The current Provincial CPF Board was elected at its AGM in March 2014 and its term was to end in March 2019. The vision of the Provincial CPF Board was to build strong, resilient community policing structures that would respond to the needs of communities and serve their communities in the fight against crime. The Board defined the role of each layer or level of CPFs to function optimally. For example, at Station level emphasis is placed on implementation, at Cluster level on coordination, and at Provincial level on strategy and policy development. It was believed that this role and structure would pave the way for a natural and harmonious relationship at the different levels of community policing structures.
Externally, the Provincial CPF Board had adopted a policy of engagement with strategic role players and stakeholders to strengthen CPFs in its operations. The Board had established meaningful partnership with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) of the Western Cape and has played a role in independent monitoring prior and during the 2016 local government elections. The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) had also enlightened the Board about its operations for the Board to understand and give guidance to communities on disputes, grievances and litigation processes. The Board was also fortunate to have an advocate at one of its meetings to present legislation governing the CPF structure.
On support given to CPFs, the funding model called the Expanded Partnership Programme (EPP) was used as a tool to determine functionality and as a funding model to CPFs in the Western Cape. It was marketing as a funding model but was forcing CPFs to participate daily, weekly and monthly with a carrot-and-stick approach to earn money for programmes. On the other hand, CPFs were not provided with feedback and action on information provided through the EPP to the DCS. DCS was of the view that it would spend money on community initiatives to counter crime only as it deemed fit. This was problematic as it was believed that a one-shoe-fits-all approach would not work in a province with high levels of crime, inequality and unemployment as one cannot invest the same amount of money for community initiatives in Wynberg and Bothasig on crime. This showed a demise in poverty-stricken communities such as Nyanga, Mitchells Plain, Khayelitsha and Manenberg, as a mere R3500 was provided to initiate new programmes such as on vulnerable children, domestic violence, drug awareness and prevention programmes. Yet results of a positive change were expected to be seen. The Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry had noted its concerns about the distorted allocation of resources in the province. As a programme to determine the functionality of CPFs, the EPP had not risen to the occasion. Since its inception in 2011, the programme had been implemented with much controversy.
He stood to be corrected but no CPF in the province had earned the maximum of R3500 on a continuous monthly basis. Only a few CPFs were participating continuously on a monthly basis as reported by Cluster chairpersons who were also members of the Provincial Board. DCS had also raised the EPP to Cluster level. Clusters were supposed to comply with all levels by firstly reporting on its own actions and secondly in compliance with all CPFs in the Cluster. Taking into account that a Cluster was three Executive Boards of members, this task was enormous for members to meet from different towns. DCS was not taking into account that CPF members were volunteers who had permanent jobs, careers and other engagements, and were in the employment of DCS to be able to do oversight and fill in all reports on a daily basis. This was really problematic. The Provincial Board had requested that DCS review its funding model. It was also worth noting that the Provincial Board had received no support or funding from DCS for the duration of the term.
The Annual Policing Needs and Priorities (APNAP) for all Clusters were being viewed as another talk shop in the sense that DCS promises support and resources but lacked the ability to lead and assist with the implementation of the safety plans. For the past five years the CPF had identified a number of challenges in these sessions, which remained challenges year on year. DCS was identified as the lead department to sign agreements with sister departments but lacks the capability to do so. In that regard, CPFs needed the commitment of other provincial departments such as the Departments of Social Development (DSD), Local Government (DLG), Basic Education (DBE) and national departments to give cooperation and support. The disjuncture between the Provincial Board and DCS has been seen as a serious concern. The formation of the team for the amendments to the CPF Constitution without the Board was later corrected after intervention by the Board. The formation of the team consisting of SAPS and DCS to draft directives for CPF elective AGMs, was again done without the input of the Provincial CPF Board as one of the strategic partners. These directives versus the CPF Uniform Constitution was still a contentious item between the Board and DCS and the Board wanted to resolve this. The DCS MEC was called on to come to the party so that the matter could be resolved by sitting around a table. The unfair and illegal suspension of the Board Chairperson, Secretary and other members at station level, who were suspended without following due process or acknowledging the Provincial Board, was a further challenge. The recommendations included further interventions by the MEC.
The challenges between CPF and NHW structures were addressed next. The major challenge in all areas within the Western Cape was that implementation of the WCCSA had the detrimental effect of alienating CPF and NHW structures. The Provincial Board had heard complaints from various Clusters about NHW accreditation process. In essence, DCS was attempting to de-Board the CPF from the NHW and control these organisations through funding. On the political interference with NHW structures, politicians and ward Councillors became more involved in NHWs and their input had received feedback from NHWs. In some instances, certain NHW functioned as vigilante groups with no input from SAPS and local CPF structures. Beaufort West had raised this with the Provincial Board and it was also raised in a report from Mitchells Plain. CPFs and NHWs were the first line of civilian crime prevention and should not be seen as different entities in the fight against crime. Despite the political interference with NHW structures, the majority of CPFs and NHWs generally had a good working relationship. The harmonious relations between CPFs and NHWs could be attributed to the coexistence within the framework of the CPF Uniform Constitution, which spoke about NHWs being part of the CPF structure.
The Board noted the highlighted police shortages in the Western Cape, as well as the massive increase in housing projects in all areas within the metro and rural districts. Their populations had expanded dramatically, placing restraints on road infrastructure, electricity, water, basic services and policing resources. The police had not grown with the population increase, hence the ratios were becoming greater as development took place. The City of Cape Town and the Western Cape province should be sensitive in the development, planning and construction of new housing projects, and should keep policing and safety in mind. The environmental design of township areas and the growing number of informal settlements without proper spatial planning made policing in these areas a very difficult task to perform. Areas in the Western Cape had over the years consistently raised the need for police stations. Areas which had grown exponentially included Macassar in Khayelitsha, Rusthof in Strand and Kwanonqaba in Mossel Bay. Kwanonqaba was the only area that did not have a police station within its Cluster. The standard of resourcing of police needed to improve. Serious and violent crimes continue to plague the Western Cape. Recent crime statistics once again indicated that 7 out of the top 10 police stations with the highest numbers of murders came from the Western Cape.
SAPS had responded positively with a number of interventions which yielded positive results in the safety of areas. This included Operation Thunder, Operation Lockdown and the appointment of the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). In summary, there needed to be a uniform policy change for NHWs.
Ms P Faku (ANC) pointed out that there was someone who while the Provincial presentation was made, had been making a noise. The Committee would not want to tolerate such behaviour.
The Chairperson indicated that if people were going to be making a noise or misbehave while a speaker was on the floor, they would be asked to leave. When someone was speaking there was to be no howling. She asked if Ms Faku recognised anyone who needed to leave.
Ms Faku said that she just wanted to mention the point.
The Chairperson agreed that it was very disruptive. If there was no order then the meeting would be adjourned.
The Da Gamaskop Cluster said it would not go through its presentation but would submit it to the Committee. A Kwanonqaba police station was urgently needed in Da Gamaskop as a lot was happening in the area. Mossel Bay had provided four inputs saying a lot of things which would also be handed to the Committee. Da Gamaskop had 11 stations, but presentations had only been received from five. It was uncertain why presentations had not been received from the other six stations.
Mr Shaik Emam noted that the Chairperson had clearly said that a report would be received from each Cluster. There was an impression that the presentations were duplicating themselves if they came from individual CPFs and there were to be no preambles. The Committee was interested in strengths, weaknesses and challenges of the Clusters so they could find common ground and solutions to effect change – otherwise time would run out and the Committee would not be able to do justice. Delegates had come from far and wanted to achieve something.
The Chairperson was pleased that the Da Gamaskop Cluster was not reading the presentation but asked that they highlight what they expected from SAPS only. The Committee did not want a long introduction as there had already been an introduction from the Provincial Board. There were 16 Clusters and the Committee wanted to give them all time to speak. All documents would be taken from the Da Gamaskop Cluster as what was important was receiving the documents and getting SAPS to respond.
Ms Z Majozi (IFP) understood that the Committee would receive the presentation but said that they would love to know the challenges. Da Gamaskop Cluster had highlighted only five stations had submitted reports. The Committee wanted to hear the Da Gamaskop challenges and what they expected as they had not said anything.
The Chairperson asked the Da Gamaskop Cluster for their challenges.
The Da Gamaskop Cluster replied that they had a lot of challenges. The working relationship between the police, CPFs and NHWs was such that SAPS members did not want to work with some of the NHWs. There were thus a lot of problems with the police stations and this would be provided to the Committee.
The Eden Cluster did not want to bore the Committee with concerns which had been spoken about for many years and which the Committee's predecessors had already been informed about. With all due respect, no one had come back to the Eden Cluster after the Committee oversight visit – there had even been no decency of a report. This time around it was hoped that there would be some sort of outcome after this very important session. The Eden Cluster highlighted some concerns. More meat needed to be put to the bone. With the upcoming local government elections, there was an increased concerted effort to politicise NHWs, the formation thereof, and the rise of vigilante groups. In many instances this was spearheaded by ward councillors who had done nothing over the past years, but now saw safety as a common cause to make themselves known to communities. They were thus jumping to the next best thing, which was starting NHWs. The WCCSA was making everyone feel that they could form some sort of group and apply for accreditation. What happens is that a group applies for accreditation whilst there is already an existing accredited body of which the jurisdiction is specifically a part of their jurisdiction and 15 members of the NHW are already a part of it. Why can they not just become a part of the existing group?
It was accepted that political parties should have crime high on the agenda, but there were CPFs, established bodies and protocols that needed to be followed. The Committee, with its powers, needed to come up with a programme to seriously investigate if the EPP was still working and if Clusters were getting the correct information and such information was not being distorted somewhere else. For instance, taking away cell visits was taking away a part of community evaluation, because most problems came from being put in cells where there were a lot of human rights infringements. Clusters have been instructed not to visit cells anymore, which took away a big part of the EPP process. This should be revisited.
On the reenlistment of reservists, it was understood that there was a process to get reservists back into the police. There were trained reservists who had left the police for some or other reason, who were now forced to write an exam and who for many reasons do not pass. This meant that people with 16 years’ experience as a reservist were being left out in the cold because they could not answer a 200 multiple choice questionnaire. This needed to be revisited.
The other programme that needed to be visited was if the 50-50 partnership was really working. It was understood there was a constitutional obligation, but sometimes under the guise of this obligation a lot of other things were happening. In a 50-50 relationship, there should not be junior partners and senior partners as the Clusters sometimes felt like junior partners. An investigation was needed from the Committee. When the Minister visited George, a group who called themselves the NHW, but were not accredited, took the starter pack of an existing historical NHW Eden Cluster in Calitzdorp, one of the best performing stations in the Cluster. Under the guidance of a councillor of George municipality, the starter pack was stolen. A case was opened at the George police station three months ago but nothing had happened. The action of that councillor needed to be investigated because it was a worry.
The Overberg population was growing by the day. Police officers were being promoted, leaving their positions but are never replaced. Resources and vehicles had been taken away from the rural areas to the metro. This became a problem when policing could not be done. The shortage of members was a huge problem and more police officers were needed in rural areas. This was especially since the SANDF started assisting in the metro, as criminals were now running to the rural areas. In the last two or three months a lot of suspects from the metro areas had been recovered from the rural areas where they had come to live. More units were needed to assist police stations. The Overberg Cluster wanted the Committee or SAPS to think about implementing more Crime Prevention Units (CPU) that could assist all police stations, as some police stations only had one or two members on duty. This made it difficult where there were more than 1000 farms and a lot of communities. If these units were in place it would thus make a huge difference. To assist the farmers there should also be a farm unit that could assist with protecting farm owners and those staying on farms. There needed to be more and better partnerships, programmes that could assist with crime prevention, building the self-esteem of farm workers, and tackling the causes of crime. Overberg was currently the capital of unrest and needed people that would be available to assist in minutes, because those seconds and minutes were very important to stop unrest. The requirements for reservists needed to be revisited. These requirements included being under the age of 35 and a need to have matric and be working. There were a lot of good people out there that did not have matric and were older than 35 but who actually wanted to make a difference in their communities and assist. Reservists were doing very well in some communities. If there were no police officers in the rural areas then assistance needed to be provided through reservists or the requirements needed to be changed a little bit. When it came to DCS and NHWs, there needed to be more training. There was a lack of training NHWs, especially in rural areas. If DCS could look at this, there would be a winning NHW in the area.
The Chairperson said that the Overberg Cluster presentation was exemplary. The presentation was on time and on point. All concerns were raised and there was a clear picture of what was happening. Could all other Clusters follow this example? It was known what was expected of the Committee and time was used effectively. This was a once in a lifetime opportunity and Clusters would not be coming back anytime soon. Problems and solutions were to be given in a point form, not in a long story. The Overberg Cluster had set the bar very high.
The Vredenburg Cluster comprised of five stations along the West Coast. The relationship between NHWs and CPFs was good overall. CPFs were prominent in establishing NHWs and promoting them in the area. The challenge for NHWs was that the accreditation took very long. The relationship between NHWs and CPFs had deteriorated since the time it was announced that NHWs were on their own. The support provided by police in the area was very good – even excellent. The challenges in the execution of CPF duties were there was a lack of office space for administration and CPFs did not receive timely communication from police. There were some individuals within the police that did not provide full cooperation, but overall the relationship was very good.
It was a historical moment for the Vredendal Cluster chairperson to represent his community in Parliament. One of their challenges was they were having problems with recruiting committed community members to serve on structures like CPFs and NHWs. This was not a concern of clever or graduated people but committed people. Farm owners had a social responsibility, on their farms, to educate their workers and those living on the farms because there was a lot of things occurring – especially on weekends. For example, farm owners had to assist them with savings plans for the future of their families. Drug lords were also moving to the Vredendal Cluster. It started with guards coming into the area and doing observations, money laundering then occurred and they started observing what could be done in the area. Community members were not worried about the drug lords because the mindset was that drug lords were the only people who had money in South Africa. This was why drug lords were the most welcome people within the community. However, at the end of the day there would be a knock on one’s door as a CPF member to come and have a look where things went wrong. Gangsters in the community became children’s role models. The bylaws of municipalities created a lot of problems. For example, business hours became 00:00-04:00 in the morning and spaza shops had unfixed hours. The Vredendal Cluster Chairperson was proud to serve his community with dignity.
Worcester was the biggest Cluster in the Western Cape with 14 stations, where all CPF chairpersons, CPFs and station commanders worked very closely. The Cluster had regular monthly meetings. There were a lot of challenges in the rural area because it consisted of a lot of farms. There was also the problem of a lot of gangsters running from the Cape Flats and hiding in the rural areas. This was being dealt with together with the police. The opportunity was taken to salute and applaud the Cluster Commander as she was the kind of lady who definitely had a backbone and it was believed that she was the one person who had done the right thing and set the record straight. The Station Commanders were thanked for their availability at all times to assist CPFs and NHWs. All CPF and NHW chairpersons were also thanked for their contribution.
The Chairperson asked Worcester to stop thanking people and raise their problems as time was running out.
The Worcester Cluster explained that it was the way things worked in Worcester. The challenges faced in Worcester were being faced at a Cluster level. There had been a lot of imbizos by CPFs within the Cluster where challenges were raised and dealt with. The Cluster had a lot of safety plans to put in place for the festive season and the coming school holidays. A lot of meetings had been initiated with the municipalities where the municipalities were engaged with, especially on traffic and law enforcement, and the Cluster was working very closely on this as well.
Blue Downs Cluster consisted of seven stations: Belhar, Bellville South, Delft, Kleinvlei, Kuils River, Mfuleni, and Ravensmead. The Cluster was active and thanks were extended to the Cluster Commander for the role that he played. There were challenges within the Cluster but there would be a roundtable to address the concerns and challenges. There were challenges in Delft, which was one of the biggest areas. The General in Delft was thanked for putting all of the resources into Delft, the SANDF and systems. It was known that the General was always fighting to get resources into Delft because Delft was an undeveloped area. Delft consisted of various races, so crime also differed in the area. Due to the activeness of the Cluster Commander with the other stations, there were challenges at the station.
CPFs were faced with various challenges at station level, surrounding the confusion around DCS. Listening to what the Provincial Chairperson said, most Clusters were facing challenges about confusions with NHWs; disrespect by DCS of Cluster chairpersons and DCS working directly with NHWs and CPFs and contacting them and offering them money. The challenge was that DCS wanted to divorce CPFs. CPFs, SAPS and DCS were supposed to be three partners but they could no longer sleep in one bed as there was always a challenge. This partnership needed to be worked on. The partnership was needed as it was confusing the community. A lot of politicians and members were saying that NHWs were now working with the councillors in the area. There was thus confusion between DCS and the City of Cape Town on the NHW issue. The Committee was urged to look into this. The need for a police station in Belhar was long overdue as there was only a small police station. All other stations were active.
Cape Town Central
To put the hard facts on the table, Cape Town itself covered a long space as it stretched from Langa to Camps Bay. Nine stations fell under this Cluster. The SAPS presentation indicated there were six neighbourhood watches, which was incorrect information showing how the information was gathered and corrected. There were almost 200 modes of transport coming into Cape Town on a daily basis from Monday to Friday, this meant almost 1 000 000 people were coming into Cape Town on a weekly basis. In addition, Cape Town Central Cluster serviced all 44 courts and all events. There was a shift of 30-35 SAPS members trying to secure public safety. If it was not for their partners such as the NHWs and city improvement districts, there would have been a very different result for the crime statistics and what Cape Town faces on a daily basis. Resources were a big challenge. Attempts had been made with the Committee, MEC from national and local etc. For the SAPS presentation to state that a challenge faced by CPFs is not having cell phones, then this was a waste of time as this was not a challenge. On the 50-50 Partnerships, with respect, there was no partnership. Clusters consisted of volunteers who were expected to jump through hoops and be part of a meeting at a moment’s notice with no preparation at all. People knew about meetings weeks in advance but Clusters were only informed a day or two before. How could one then call on a volunteer partner that has other responsibilities to be there? To balance the presentation, the Clusters were present to raise challenges, not pat themselves on the back and talk about successes. It was borne in mind that the Cape Town Central Cluster was very aware that there were many dedicated men and women in SAPS, in all policing agencies at all levels of government doing what they needed to do. However, the Cape Town Central Cluster would be raising what was not working.
Mr Shaik Emam remarked that Cape Town Central Cluster has said something important. Both the successes and challenges should be mentioned.
The Chairperson said that the Cape Town Central Cluster would be given extra time.
The Cape Town Central Cluster said there were five points concerning challenges. It could be said of all NHWs and CPFs from Nyanga to Camps Bay and from Hanover Park to Hout Bay, that they were a bunch of unselfish, voluntary, dedicated ground fighters, striving as decent productive citizens to make their suburbs safer for fellow residents and visitors alike. What was required up front was equal commitment and dedication from the partners that were to assist in this arduous task. One needed to look at undoing the fractured policing approach in place in South Africa and the Western Cape at the moment. The approach needed to be changed to zero-tolerance, there needed to be a greater focus on enforcement and real, meaningful repercussions for perpetrators. This would thereby drive a change in criminal attitudes within the country.
Given the unwavering support, commitment and dedication of the NHW and CPF volunteer, it was soul destroying when the NHW and CPF volunteer had taken great risk to themselves to bring perpetrators to book, only to find that some police are uninterested or lethargic in either receiving, reacting or assisting in their struggle to open cases. This dissuaded complainants from opening cases which aided and abetted criminals and was sometimes even tantamount to the failure of the police to carry out their duties. This was an obstruction of justice. When instances like this occurred, the Cape Town Central Cluster wanted to see the police take it so seriously that they in fact charge those SAPS members with obstructing or defeating the ends of justice so that their true commitment could be realised equal to that of the NHWs and CPFs.
The other partner was the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA); it was disheartening when criminals were granted bail and where offenders out on bail continue to perpetrate crimes only to get bail again. Time was being wasted re-arresting and apprehending the same criminals time after time. The way witnesses were then treated in court was shocking. There were many factors that needed to be given in a report to the Committee on how to improve the treatment of witnesses, to encourage them to go and do the right thing in court.
In terms of the fractured and disjointed policy, there was policing across multiple agencies, law enforcement, SAPS, metro police, traffic police etc. There was so much disjointedness in how they worked together, that this fractured approach was debilitating to the fight against crime. The criminals out there were very well organised and worked as a team. There needed to be a zero tolerance. The bad reputation that South Africa had gotten in being a high crime country was also because of the way in which crime was approached. From red lines to robbery and from jay-walking to murder, there should be the same zero-tolerance approach. This was what the broken window policy was about. Greater enforcement and meaningful repercussions were needed to get these results. To use traffic as an example, one spoke of the worst road accident death rates and murder rates in the world, but when looking at the approach to reckless driving and the seeming unwillingness of SAPS to assist in charging reckless and negligent driving. There had been serious incidents where the SAPS responses was to ask if someone had been injured, but this was not the criteria for opening up a legitimate case of reckless and negligent driving.
When talking about behaviour and attitudes of a criminal mindset, and talking about jay-walking, Cape Town was given the terrible title of the most congested city in the world. One only has to study peak-hour traffic to see that when the traffic light goes green only two or three go through instead of 12 or 15 cars because jay-walkers are crossing and disrupting traffic. If the behaviour and attitude of the public is changed, there would be more of a law-abiding citizen mindset. It was important that the attitudes of these offenders are challenged. Deaths on the roads cost South Africa billions and more millions are wasted on Arrive Alive campaigns, but this was not the best use of money. All that was looked at was alcohol and speeding, when the funds could rather be used to put more officers on the street so there could be a greater enforcement policy. The attitude of traffic offenders was no different to other criminals – they felt emboldened as they got away with it. There were not enough punitive damages at the end of the day. It was only through consistent performance with proper repercussions that the behavioural and criminal mindset can be changed. Only then could the war against crime be won and only then would the province and State demonstrate themselves to be as committed as NHWs and CPFs.
The Khayelitsha Cluster consisted of eight stations: Strand, Macassar, Gordons Bay, Harare, Khayelitsha, Lingelethu West, and Lwandle. When looking at the makeup of the stations, the Gordons Bay and Somerset West stations were more affluent and mostly had property-related crimes. When looking at Strand and Macassar, which were low-income areas, these were gang stations. When looking at the stations in Harare and Khayelitsha, the crimes consisted mostly of contact crimes and murder because of the large number of people living in those areas and the fact that policing was made very difficult because of large informal settlements. The relationship with the Cluster Commander was very good as she was available 24/7 and one could call her at any time of the night. At Station level the relationship between the CPF Executive and SAPS management was also generally very good.
The Macassar station had outgrown itself over the years and has been on the national priority list for nearly 20 years – people in this area were still waiting for a police station. Lwandle had also grown. Hence, the community had called on government to assist with the building of a new police station. In Strand the majority of the community lived away from the police station and had to commute back and forth to the police station. Hence, there was a request over the years for a police station contact point. If one opened Die Son one would see articles about shooting thus, a contact point or satellite station was needed in the area. The challenges being faced were SAPS members were being taken away from police stations and not replaced. It was observed that a large number of officers did not want to work shifts but wanted to work from 08:00 to 16:00. It was requested that SAPS relook at this and see how more people could be placed on the shift system. The relationship between the NHW and CPF was generally very good. Gordons Bay and Somerset West were also really struggling with personnel, but what made it better in these areas was that there were security companies that boosted the numbers in the fight against crime and assisted a lot. Otherwise the Khayelitsha Cluster was active and functioning very well.
The Mitchells Plain Cluster was known as one of the gang clusters and was probably one of the most outspoken clusters that one would find – therefore they were always in trouble. Relationships were generally very good across stations with NHWs. However, it had to be reported that some NHWs were seriously misinformed and seemed to be captured by a politically motivated undertone. In some areas there were strained relationships and it was hoped that there would be some intervention to address this. There were also street and block committees who were not recognised by DCS and SAPS, at one station in particular. When it was heard that the "accreditation was voluntary", this was thought to be a myth. Initially it was voluntary but it was not thought to be so anymore because without accreditation there is no funding, training or equipment and committees are left out in the cold. Previously all NHWs were treated equally. This divide has led to real challenges on the ground.
Support from SAPS was generally good – noting that there were very limited resources. There were problems experienced at Strandfontein and Philippi where relationships were fairly strained between CPFs and SAPS. A further challenge was that due to a lack of SAPS resources, especially in Strandfontein, one would find that there are perhaps two persons on a shift which did not match the growth of gangs in the area. Another challenge that needed addressing was the lack of experience in SAPS especially at the gang stations.
The EPP funding by DCS stopped for Mitchells Plain in 2018 and for a few other stations within the Cluster since September 2019, so there was very little support from them. Unapologetically the sentiment had to be shared that the Mitchells Plain Cluster was quite fed up with the wing tactics used by DCS. No oversight was done at Philippi, Hanover Park and Strandfontein because of the strained relationship. It was limited everywhere because clusters were no longer allowed to do cell visits and were no longer welcomed at Station Crime-Combating Forum (SCCF) meetings. The Committee needed to be more aware of these kinds of developments.
The Mitchells Plain Cluster complained about the "tick box" approach by DCS and SAPS. There was a checklist and the Mitchells Plain Cluster was just there to tick their checklist with very little interest about other issues. The question they had was what would happen when the SANDF left. Was there something in place? What was the impact of district-based model on service delivery once the clusters were done with? DCS did not seem to be familiar with the CPF role in terms of the Constitution and needed to familiarise themselves with it.
The strength of the Mitchells Plain Cluster was believed to be the commitment of volunteers, without which the statistics on crime would be very different. Tafelsig had been waiting for five years for a police station to be built there. This has not happened. Mitchells Plain had two stations with an excess of 1.2 million people living in the area and this was certainly a concern. The lack of infrastructure and service in informal settlements generally led to a loss of lives and impacted on the safety of SAPS members that need to go into these areas with the continually escalating crime, attacks on SAPS, and no real protection for volunteers. There were trust issues between CPFs and SAPS. The growth in gangs had doubled in the last three years. Criminals always seemed to be three or four steps ahead and were more organised than anyone else. Stations needed legal case officers to make absolutely sure that the documents for cases that go to court are done correctly and not thrown out on technicalities. The gaps between SAPS, the NPA and Department of Justice seemed to allow cases to get away. There was no input from the NPA and DOJ, allowing cases to fall by the wayside. The biggest concern was the growth of crime at schools, which was being ignored but seriously needed to be addressed. South African Airways (SAA) received funding every year but civilians received condolences. Condolences were not needed. What was needed were support, assistance and recognition that civilian lives matter.
The Chairperson said that she had listened to the Mitchells Plain Cluster carefully and hoped that by coming to the Committee, they had the affirmation that they did matter and were being taken seriously.
Nyanga Cluster consisted of seven stations: Nyanga, Bishop Lavis, Elsies River, Gugulethu, Manenberg, Phillipi East, and Samora Machel. The main concern was that all stations were gang stations. When the stations were clustered from 25 to 16, it was unsure who did this. If all seven gang stations were clustered together in this way, nothing more could be expected. All Nyanga Cluster stations had a good relationship with the policemen but the relationship with DCS was not good because of the EPP that had been introduced in 2011. The EPP did not work for communities at all because reports were just being compiled and submitted. This started at R2000 and was now almost R3000-3500 for funding. What could be done with R3000? The venue alone cost R1600. For example, on the EPP, clusters were to note the issues affecting their communities. In Nyanga there was a problem with lights, street names and numbering of housing so vehicles could get to where they needed to be when called. It was unfortunate that the DCS Head of Department was not present. When these issues were written down, submitted and taken to the Provincial Commissioner and the City of Cape Town, no feedback is received. The DCS HOD had responded straight in the meeting that DCS was not a postman – they were not supposed to take issues and bring them back to the clusters.
There was a good relationship with NHWs. The only problem was that created by DCS and the City of Cape Town, who had divided the NHWs and this challenge they still sat with. The problems faced within the communities were the other departments not taking part in the communities. There were cases going to SAPS that did not belong there. For example, the DSD and Department of Correctional Services were not coming to the party in communities. Most of the people who were killing were those coming from jail. Most people selling drugs came from jail. The other departments not coming to the party included the Department of Health (DOH), Department of Human Settlements (DHS) and DBE. There was a programme at schools called Safe Schools, but when sitting down with Safe School they tell you one thing: there is no budget. Who was supposed to watch these school children from 07:00 when they came in until 14:00 when they go home without getting paid even a cent? Nyanga station had 19 squatter camps. The problem with these squatter camps was that vehicles could not go through the squatter camps. Police had to get out and walk and they cannot police there because their lives are at risk. The various departments thus needed to come on board and make known what their plan was for all of the squatter camps. Law enforcement agencies were also not coming together. In the Nyanga Cluster there was a problem of "amaphelas". One would never drive in Nyanga if you had never driven there before. Amaphelas drive around, can make a u-turn just in front of you and you can say nothing – if you speak, they shoot you. There were amaphelas doing robberies. There was a problem about white Avanza vehicles committing crimes, but there are a lot of white Avanzas. Law enforcement and the traffic department were not coming to the party because they only appear when they are called to come in. The area that contributed to the most crime in Nyanga was Browns Farm in Philippi. A police station for Browns Farm was still being waited on. If there was a station in Browns Farm, there would not be the problem of Nyanga being the murder capital of the country. Come the end of the financial year, it was hoped that things would change.
Tygerberg Cluster commended the Acting Provincial Commissioner as over the last few months the General had been an absolute pillar and rock to the provincial structures and clusters. The Tygerberg Cluster Commander was commended for the partnership he had established with local CPFs and for his continuation in providing support to local NHWs within the cluster. As a point of correction, Tygerberg Cluster did not have 28 NHWs, but 94 registered NHWs with the local CPFs. This provided an idea on the multitude of force multipliers that the Tygerberg Cluster had. This was similarly seen throughout the province. The challenges that NHWs had was that without proper crime reporting from communities and detailed crime analysis being provided to NHWs, they were not able to function correctly on being armed with deployment strategies for crime in the respective precincts. This was a great concern. Even DCS had gone and presented imbizos, had crime summits, and talked about crime statistics that were two and a half years old and had no relevance to what was being dealt with at present. CPF functionality was derived from Section 18(1)(a)-(f), not Section 19, 20 and 21 of SAPS Act. Section 22 of SAPS Act was not included in the SAPS presentation, which was the objective mandate for CPFs. It was empowered by Section 221 of the Constitution, not 219. There were a couple of challenges within the Tygerberg Cluster that needed to be addressed. For the past nine years Fisantekraal had been in desperate need of a police station. There was a satellite station. There were currently 25 to 30 000 residents, with 5000 new homes being developed with no foresight of a police station in the area. This was even though the proposal for Kraaifontein North was put forward nine years ago. Kraaifontein had been on the list since that time and was only number 14 in the country. This created massive resources having to be deployed to Fisantekraal from Kraaifontein and Durbanville instead of focusing on their own policing needs in their precincts.
The Provincial Board had specifically referred to environmental design when it came to communities, and it was thought that it was up to the province and national legislature to start taking cognisance of crime and the location of police stations, prior to establishing developments of RDP houses. The control of shebeens and taverns was a major issue as it was where the most violent crimes occurred within the Kraaifontein Cluster and Voortrekker Road corridor. The provincial legislature was required to really start acting in terms of their oversight role over the Liquor Act and the Liquor Board itself. This has been the cause of a massive influx of crime within these areas, to such an extent that there would be two shebeens opposite each other on either side of the road. This did not make sense.
The Cluster chairpersons had made many references to DCS. Tygerberg Cluster agreed with every single one of them as they were speaking from the heart. It believed that there was an influence and the effect of trying to establish a difference between working as a provincial and national legislature. NHWs were established under National Instruction 3 of 2013 and ever since then it had been a police priority to establish partnerships through the CPF with those NHWs. However, there was the influence of the provincial legislature through DCS who had influence on this, creating massive amounts of politics and inter-political fighting. DCS had released a media statement that reflected the importance of getting a NHW member over a CPF registered member. The fact that an accredited NHW would have far higher significance in a voting count than a CPF registered member created major inter-politics – especially in the lower income areas.
Under the guidance of the Acting Cluster Chairperson, the Tygerberg Cluster had enjoyed a wonderful relationship with police and looked forward to many more. The Minister was asked to pay attention to the minutes of the 20 July 2019, and the meeting that had been held the previous Sunday.
The Chairperson thought that clusters were beginning to repeat themselves. If something had already been said, clusters were asked not to go into detail due to time constraints.
The Winelands Cluster had a good partnership with the police at all nine stations. CPFs and the police were working very well, held meetings once a month and had functional cluster meetings. To highlight some successes, there had been a meeting with the municipalities of Stellenbosch and Drakenstein to assist the Winelands Cluster in joint operations with SAP law enforcement and private security companies working together to ensure that everyone was united in the fight against crime. Assistance was also provided through Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) monitorisation to ensure that the police were reported to. As for challenges, everyone understood that Winelands, especially Paarl, was an entrance to Cape Town, allowing crime to enter from other provinces. The changing police system left clusters damaged when forming, for instance, gang units and having no replacements for deployed police or. If there were problems in the metro, police were being taken from rural areas and deployed to the metro areas. This produced the challenge of not having manpower, resulting in crime escalating as gangsters looked for by SAPS in metro areas moved to the rural areas.
In terms of DCS, there was no active and efficient communication system – DCS was working undercover. Sometimes information was just heard from the CPF and this information was not relevant. Farm attacks in rural areas were becoming a problem, especially in Klapmuts and Stellenbosch. It was hoped that SAPS would set up a good plan for rural safety and that more police would be deployed in rural areas. Most stations in the cluster did not have resources and there were only four police per Community Service Centre (CSC). The police had to review the statistics of the areas and check if those stations could not be upgraded to fully-fledged police stations. In Klapmuts there was a problem in 2015 where two police were attacked and two police inside the Community Service Centre (CSC). Klapmuts station was outside of the community, which was why people could not attend the police station. Crime was also increasing in Mbekweni because more police were needed as the population increased through RDP housing and informal settlements. Police needed to feel safe and comfortable so that they do not take sick leave because their CSCs are not safe. There was also a problem with gang stations. They had appealed to provincial SAPS to deploy the SANDF and gang unit to Paarl East, Cloetesville and Mbekweni. This was because foreigners were moving into these areas to sell drugs after being chased away from the metro.
The Chairperson said that the Winelands Cluster presentation provided good input. After the presentations, Members would not be allowed to ask questions. Members were to make observations on what the Committee needed to do with the police. Members had to prepare a summary and would be given five minutes to provide inputs and comments.
Milnerton Cluster was made up of nine stations: Milnerton, Table View, Malmesbury, Melkbosstrand, Atlantis, Darling, Philadelphia, Moorreesburg and Riebeek-Wes. All stations had good relations with SAPS. There was also a good relationship with and support from the Cluster Commander. Community partnerships were working well with NHWs with the exception of Melkbosstrand whose NHW refused to recognise the CPF. This was in the process of being attended to and with the new CPF Committee this would be a priority for attention. Another issue was found in Riebeek-Wes where the CPF was not recognised by the Swartberg council, creating huge problems in operations. Despite communication with the Premier and MEC, nothing was being done about this. The Milnerton Cluster encouraged and emphasised strong community partnership. For example, in Table View there was a strong relationship with NHWs, armed response, SAPS and law enforcement, all which had regular meetings to address problems experienced in the area. There was also a very strong street committee team, with over 600 street committees – this was initiated by Colonel Vosloo when he was the Table View SAPS Commander. Since 2013 when the street committees came into being, housebreaking and burglaries dropped from an average of 120 per month to below 35 because of community participation. A common problem within the cluster was the lack of SAPS resources in terms of human resources and equipment. For example, Table View had the worse SAPS-to-resident ratio in the Western Cape with 1:950 – this was three times the national average. Resources were needed for all stations in the Western Cape, but particularly for stations like Table View where there was such great disparity.
The Wynberg Cluster was big as it ran from Mowbray right up to Simons Town. There were some nice areas such as the vineyards and Constantia but there were also gang-ridden areas such as Ocean View and areas such as Wynberg where drugs were freely available. The issue on foreigners was not to be addressed as Wynberg Cluster had good relations with Immigration and SAPS, and this had already been spoken to. Two concerns were raised by Wynberg Cluster. The Cluster had come to the Committee with a purpose and it was uncertain if this would be achieved. CPFs were not being respected. DCS was playing mind games and the question that needed to be asked was why the DCS HOD had not yet been suspended and investigated. As an HOD one did not send out emails dictating how CPFs were to do things and threatening them. The second concern was the Provincial Board. It seemed as though CPFs were puppies just accepting what people said to them. The Provincial Board needed to be reviewed and people found who could really manage the Provincial Board. Most delegates were capable and had the skill to do it. Right now, there was either the Provincial Department or SAPS and the DCS. The DCS letters did not even make sense but problems were being created on the ground. In the past NHWs had reported to the CPFs. DCS made the biggest mistake three years ago and this had to be rectified as CPFs dealt with this on the ground. Relationships with all law enforcements agencies were good and there was no issue with them. Where do CPFs fit in? NHWs fit in with the DCS. CPFs were clearly not an organisation. The Wynberg Cluster apologised for not coming with a presentation, but these were the challenges not being addressed. Clusters had come to the Committee to say all of the good things, which were exemplary, because everyone did a good job. However, CPFs did not get paid – members joined CPFs because they had a passion. Clusters had 24 hours notice to get to the Committee and the meeting was filled. The question was how can what had been happening on the ground be changed to allow CPFs do their job?
The Chairperson said that DCS also needed to be given a chance to speak.
Department of Community and Safety (DCS) comments
Adv Han-Marié Marshall-Van Zyl, Director: Community Police Relations, Western Cape DCS, from the outset DCS wanted to state that it regarded the CPFs and NHWs highly capable – without them there could be no safety within the community. She would not be doing a presentation but her documents would be handed out.
The EPP was a payment-for-performance model. If CPFs fulfilled their functions as set out in Section 18 of the SAPS Act, they would be funded for fulfilling those functions. For 2018/19 DCS paid out R2 822 000 directly into the hands of CPFs to spend on projects or expenses. For this financial year, year on year, the EPP grew.
Ms Faku interrupted saying Members did not have the presentation document.
The Chairperson noted Adv Marshall had said that she was not going to do a presentation but was just going to respond. Adv Marshall was asked to respond to two matters only. Members would be given her presentation.
Mr A Whitfield (DA) thought that it would be fruitful to get feedback from DCS based on the very serious allegations that had been made. The Committee had to be able to assess the input of CPFs. He did not think that it would be productive to ask Adv Marshall to stick to two points only. The Committee would have to develop a report and discuss it, with the key to the report being input from DCS.
The Chairperson explained that after Members gave their input, she would direct the meeting in terms of structure once all inputs had been listened to. At a follow up meeting the Committee would have to bring all stakeholders in, including the Community Safety MEC, but not all CPFs again. The budget used to bring the CPFs to the meeting was quite substantial. Adv Marshall had said that the presentation would be handed out and Members had now received this. The presentation was very good and detailed as she had seen it herself. She asked if DCS could respond to some of the challenges. Communities had had their chance to speak and were now required to sit and listen to the Members. This was the serious part of the meeting and the only non-parliamentarian allowed to speak was from DCS.
Adv Marshall continued that the presentation dealt with the EPP funding that was expended to date. There was a growth in the number of reports submitted and participation within the programme. The matching grant funding was pointed out. Grants were being matched for CPF projects and money paid out. An amount of R10 000 could be paid out in addition to the EPP money per CPF project. The directives for the CPF AGMs were issued by the MEC in terms of Section 19, 20 and 21 of SAPS Act as well as Sections 3(f) and 5 of the WCCSA. This legislation mandated the MEC to issue those directives, which were issued after a long consultation process started on 8 June 2019 at the Western Cape Provincial Board Expo.
Due to matters in the Provincial Board the full Board had not sat for eight months at that stage. After the consultation, the Acting Chairperson sent out a message on 10 June 2019 asking all cluster chairpersons to consult widely in their structures and provide feedback to DCS on 8 July 2019. After that, numerous consultations via email were done and much input on the directives was received, taken into account, and included in the directives. On 25 July and 21 August 2019, DCS had also consulted with the National Secretariat who gave its input and approved the directives. Their inputs were incorporated into the directives. The DCS had also consulted and invited cluster chairpersons and the Board to be part of this. The SAPS provincial office consulted with the IEC on the directives. Subsequently, the IEC, after their input was also incorporated, ratified the directives. Thus, it was widely consulted and approved on 22 August 2019 by the Acting Provincial Chairperson in a letter to the HOD. He stated that the office was in agreement with the contents of the directives as discussed with the SAPS officials during their development. After getting SAPS agreement to the directives on 25 August, it was issued by the MEC after the long consulting process.
However, subsequently many disputes arose about the directives despite the consultation process followed. As it was already issued by the MEC after the consultation process, DCS viewpoint was that it needed to be implemented and that the AGMs needed to be handled in accordance with the directives. The main reason for the directives was to ensure inclusive meetings with all stakeholders each having one vote. The way that the current CPF Constitution was written, it excluded some groupings from having their one vote. If one looked at Section 11(5) of the CPF Constitution it said that victim structures grouped together would have one vote. For purposes of voting, community-based organisations, institutions and bodies, except political parties, would as far as possible be clustered and have one vote. The Directives made CPF structures more inclusive by allowing each organisation registered with the CPF to have one vote. It was clear that the Western Cape supported CPFs in a monetary fashion as well as with other resources such as field workers, regional managers and engaging with CPFs by assisting them with various issues. The EPP programme had withstood nine audits. One could not pay money to an organisation if it was not a functional organisation. The EPP was not a perfect model but was a model that had been devised with the input of SAPS and the CPF Board that spoke to the functionality of CPFs as it spoke to Section 18 of SAPS Act.
The Chairperson noted that a CPF member wanted to ask a question but she had made a ruling. All clusters had been given time and there were now only time for Members to comment and to provide a summary herself. It was known from the beginning of the meeting that only those who had been indicated would be given a chance to speak. The meeting had gone very well and CPFs now wanted to hear what the Committee was going to do for them. The Committee had come to listen to the CPFs, which was why there was no focus on the province. Further questions and noise would not be allowed. The meeting was not to be collapsed at this point.
The Chairperson said she would like to guide the meeting. The CPFs were to listen carefully to her observations. These points would be taken up in future by the Committee with the Minister. Resources were required to build and renovate police stations. A plan had to be put in place before the SANDF left certain areas. Funding from DCS on the EPP was required. The Committee needed to get other departments to play their role and investigate why cell visits were stopped. The Chairperson was not saying that CPFs were going to get their funding as these were matters that the Committee was merely going to investigate. No promises were being made – matters for consideration which would be taken forward with the Minister, SAPS and different departments were only being listed. Training was very important. There were the issues of gangsters, gangs, and drugs moving into rural areas. The changing of bylaws and business operating hours needed to be looked at. There was concern about the relationship between DCS, CPFs and NHWs, as well as the relationship between cities, towns, dorpies, municipalities, and councillors and their relationship with the CPFs and NHWs. These relationships needed to be restored. The Committee needed to investigate where the relationship had broken down and make suggestions on how to restore the relationship with SAPS. The SAPS Act needed to be looked at and if it needed to be amended – this had to be discussed within the Committee. The national policy guidelines for CPFs and NHWs needed to be looked at. The Committee had to speak to the police, Minister of Labour and Minister of Agriculture on the farm attacks. Mr Terblanche was asked to make the farm attacks one of the key areas to follow up on and it was to be permanently on the agenda. The Committee needed to look at the relationship between the HOD of DCS, CPFs and NHWs. The Chairperson believed that the HOD first had to be given a chance to respond. All of the matters would be taken to the Community Safety MEC, DCS, SAPS Commissioner, Minister, Civilian Secretariat and relevant stakeholders. The Committee would meet these stakeholders at the next meeting as well as the cluster chairpersons – all delegates would not be called into the next meeting. If any items were omitted, she asked Members to capture the areas that they wanted the Committee to note in its report. Apologies were extended for any omissions or misrepresentations, but she had summarised 15 points. Reports would go to the various stakeholders.
Ms Majozi believed the Chairperson has raised everything spoken about in the meeting. She thought that the Chairperson was going to give Members a chance to speak. Nonetheless, the Chairperson had identified all of the points that Members had jotted down. There was a challenge in the partnership between CPFs, NHWs and DCS. There were resource challenges faced by CPFs. The Committee needed to look at standard training as well as funding. The Committee needed to attend to police stations missing from communities – especially those communities that had highlighted that criminals were now moving into their area. The Committee needed to ensure that something was done about it. DCS should be afforded another chance to come and present, with all the cluster chairpersons, so it could be seen how they worked together. There could not be a situation where clusters were unable to work with leadership because leadership had to work with the clusters. The Committee needed find the differences here. DCS should be invited back before taking the Committee recommendations to the Minister. The Committee should find a solution to these problems. There was a lot of clapping when challenges were raised in the meeting. On the complaint about ward councillors intruding into the space of CPFs, the Committee needed to establish the role of the ward committee. The ward committee was to be part and parcel of working with the CPF as ward committee was part and parcel of the community.
The Chairperson thought that it could be agreed that when the Committee had had their last meeting with the provincial commissioners, the MECs of provinces were not called in. So, when calling in the provincial commissioners, the Committee should have the HODs and MECs present in the Committees. Provincial commissioners had to speak for themselves as the Committee would not want the National Commissioner to present. This would then provide a balanced perspective. The chairpersons of the clusters, the HOD, MECs and the Commissioner had to be in one room. She asked if Ms Majozi was happy with this.
Ms Majozi agreed. The attitude of criminals was also mentioned. Perhaps when this meeting was held, there could be a brief on this. This would allow the Committee to make sense of this when making recommendations.
Mr O Terblanche (DA) thanked the Chairperson for being progressive as she had made the summary before Members had even spoken. He was really encouraged to see the interest in the meeting and had not witnessed anything like it at Parliament as yet. This showed that crime was a very serious issue. Lately it had become evident that the Committee ended up in meetings like this where people did not agree with one another. There was a lot of interest, capacity and energy but they did not speak to each other. It was obvious that the issues had not been sorted out. A recommendation was that the police facilitate and organise this group of people in a proper fashion so that they come back with a proper implementation strategy and action plan. Parliamentarians could not do that work – as a Committee as they had a different responsibility. The Committee expected to be informed and issues were to be filtered through to top management, such as the police, to compile a proper implementation plan. The Committee could not go on in this manner as crime was too important.
On the need for new police stations, it was important for the Committee to escalate this to a higher authority. Then again, the Committee had to be mindful that the country was facing serious financial problems. One had to think what would need to be done if the new police stations could not be built in the near future.
Mr Whitfield echoed Mr Terblanche in saying that this was one of the most remarkable gatherings of delegated South Africans that had ever been seen in Parliament. The Chairperson and her team were thanked for arranging the meeting. If there were differences amongst CPFs, NHWs, DCS and SAPS, they could all be overcome because everyone in the room had one common enemy. The common enemy was crime. The common aim was ensuring productive partnerships that are effective, efficient and able to combat crime without the interference of politics or patronage. It was sensed that no one had spoken in detail about this because it was sometimes not convenient to raise.
The Committee needed to look at where critical resources needed to go, assess the allegations against the facts presented, look at the budget commitment of the Western Cape government and if the money was finding its way to where it needed to go, and what its reasons for not going there were if this was the case. There were two actors in the room. The Committee needed to ensure a permanent Provincial Commissioner was appointed and he was delighted with the commendations that the Acting Provincial Commissioner had received from the CPFs. It was always good to have positive feedback. There appeared to be a lack of a permanent way forward. There was an Acting Board and Acting Commissioner, which needed to be resolved if there was to be any sustainable working relationship with the provincial government, SAPS or the communities themselves. The Committee needed to get on with the business of ensuring that there were permanent structures that could move the ship forward.
One item that could be added to the Chairperson’s list of observations was the AGM process. It was important that the Committee receive an update from the Acting Provincial Commissioner on specific details not contained in the SAPS presentation about the directives, what the AGM timeline was, and when it was believed that the process would be concluded so that the business of keeping communities safe could continue. An additional observation, which dovetailed the observation on rural safety, was the fact that SAPS had launched a rural safety plan in October and it appeared the sectors responsible for the rural areas had not been briefed or received the plan because it was raised twice. It was requested that this plan be disseminated to all areas, whether urban or rural, to show that SAPS was proactive in dealing with rural safety. The Committee would perhaps also get some transparency on what resources would now be deployed to those rural areas in terms of the rural safety plan.
Mr Whitfield said the Committee welcomed the inputs that had been made at the meeting, some of which had been said verbally and some had been submitted through reports, which would be synthesised into the Committee Report. The Committee should then deal with all the unanswered questions in the Committee meeting with stakeholders who did not have an opportunity to make representations in detail – in particular the Community Safety MEC. It could be seen that some of the allegations versus the comprehensive report detailing funding and conditions of funding told a different story. The Committee needed to find out what the facts were and move away from fiction. This would keep CPFs and NHWs empowered to do what they so desperately wanted to do, which was to keep communities safe.
The Chairperson asked Mr Whitfield if he agreed that at the next meeting the Committee would have the MEC, DCS HOD and Provincial Commissioner. Mr Whitfield had said, and this was agreed to some time ago, that a permanent commissioner needed to be appointed in the Western Cape. The Committee had also recommended that a permanent CPF Provincial Board be appointed, the AGM processes be responded to, and that the Committee raise its concern with the Minister that the Community Safety Plan (CSP) had not yet reached all provinces and stakeholders. SAPS was asked if they could send the report to and communicate with the National Commissioner. The CSP had to involve all provinces and all provinces needed to have a plan. The Chairperson had not heard about the safety festive season plan. She asked if the delegates had heard about it as they had not commented much on it. The Committee wanted to know if there was to be a safe festive season. Crime was a common enemy and the Committee had long decided that it was not politicising crime. It would be seen in this Committee that all political parties spoke with one voice. Members agreed to differ and had their different political parties that they reported to and from whom they received their mandates, but when in a meeting Members sat as a united committee. Crime was fought on the basis that it affected everyone irrespective of race, gender or class. Mr Whitfield was the most challenging in terms of the Chairperson’s time. If he only took time in the Committee it would be marvellous, but the time he needed for all of his meetings caused the Chairperson to run out of ideas. Mr Whitfield had wanted a meeting with IPID this week, but that could not be done because 150 delegates had been invited to the current meeting – the logistics of which were a nightmare. Apologies were extended to Mr Whitfield.
Mr Whitfield accepted the apology as there were only 24 hours in a day.
The Chairperson said that Mr Shaik Emam had missed out on a lot of important dates.
Mr Shaik Emam started off by highlighting the need for new police stations but not forgetting those that needed renovating. He had visited the Woodstock police station and could say that it was an absolute shame. Disappointment was expressed particularly at DCS as it was expected to respond to all of the allegations made by CPF members and cluster chairpersons. Going through the DCS document, what it provided was poor and went back to value for money. It was a disgrace to give only R2.5 million with the serious crime challenges faced in the Western Cape – what could be done with R2.5 million? How could one then ask why compliance performance was so low? In a discussion recently in Parliament it was heard that there was a whole lot of money being made available by the province, but this was not being seen. What was clear was there was a deep level of interference by the DCS and it was time that the Committee intervened.
The Chairperson repeated that everyone was to behave themselves, as delegates were clapping. Members in the gallery were not to participate in the debate as Members of Parliament were speaking now. Delegates had been allowed to clap hands but were requested to stop clapping hands now.
Mr Shaik Emam did not see why the Chairperson had alluded to the limited number of women representation as he did not see any youth. The Committee needed to take youth involvement in community safety more seriously. He asked if there was a need for separate NHWs and CPFs or if they could not be combined into one solid organisation or structure. A response to this could perhaps be given at the next meeting. The migration was a serious problem as he was told that the criminals and gangsters were now going to Durban. Criminals were migrating once pressure was put on them. SAPS was removing police officers from rural areas, in particular, which was depleting their human resources and had a great impact. This needed to be addressed. One thing needed to be admitted: this was not a SAPS problem but it was becoming a SAPS problem. There were various departments contributing to why SAPS was in the position it was today in being unable to win the war on crime due to the high unemployment rate, poor housing, informal settlements, migration, Home Affairs not performing – there was a whole host of contributing factors. The Committee needed to call in Home Affairs as only initiative and passion was needed.
He raised school safety. It was a criminal offence for a child not to go to school. However, today, when going to Mitchells Plain, one would see hundreds of children aged 11-13 who had never seen the inside of a school. The NHWs and CPFs working with DBE and DSD needed to address this. Avanzas were the most commonly used vehicle for taxis and to camouflage crime, criminals were using these vehicles. Another problem was the Department of Justice granting people bail. Most crime was committed by re-offenders and parolees. This was because there was no reintegration process. What was clear was that the relationships had to be in order for everyone to function properly, which was something that everyone needed to be honest about. This needed the intervention of the Provincial Board and SAPS. There were so many challenges. The Committee had observed the challenges and knew what the problems were now. The Committee now needed to find solutions. Someone from the Eden Cluster had expressed disappointment in the previous Committee as apparently there had been a lot of correspondence. What had happened in the past was the past. The current Committee under the present Chairperson was taking matters very seriously. The Committee would deal with the matters that had been brought to their attention.
The Chairperson agreed that he was correct about correspondence. The Committee would deal with petitions in their last meeting. A list was being compiled of correspondence received. If letters were being written to the Committee, she was figuring out a system to track and trace every letter sent to the Committee and if it was forwarded and responded to by SAPS. The turnaround time was needed so that SAPS could send responses and the Committee could reply to the letters with the responses from SAPS.
Mr H Shembeni (EFF) mentioned that he was concerned about the CPF members that were being threatened. Most CPF members needed protection to move forward as there was a lot that went unheard. The victimisation had to stop and CPF members needed to be protected. This protection was needed for the Committee to receive information from CPF members and for them to work effectively. Police stations in the whole of South Africa needed to be capacitated to receive reports. If police were transferred or given a higher rank at another station, they were not replaced. This pipeline between police stations and CPFs was needed. The Committee needed a quarterly report on what was happening at police stations so that the stations all worked and were capacitated. On the involvement of other entities, this was most crucial as that could help because of the change in trends and modus operandi by criminals. This meant that intelligence also needed to be more aligned because it seemed as though criminals were always one step ahead.
The Chairperson noted that the 19 November joint meeting with other portfolio committees and departments on the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide had been postponed the previous day. Was it agreed that the joint meeting would occur next year as there was no time in the current year?
Ms Majozi agreed.
Ms S Patrein (ANC) said that she was covered as she was going to talk about the rural safety plan, the relationship between SAPS and CPFs, and the joint meeting with the other departments.
Ms Faku agreed with the summary that the Chairperson had provided and thanked the CPFs and NHWs as they were dealing with a difficult task, especially in the Western Cape. The Western Cape had the second highest incidence of crime. CPFs and NHWs were doing a sterling job and more than what was expected of them. This was appreciated as without them, communities would not be safe. It was important for the Committee not to take this lightly. The Minister of Transport had to be engaged as some issues related to traffic, especially the white Avanzas. Transport Month was launch in October and perhaps there could be roadblocks in the Western Cape. The Committee was worried by the Western Cape crime statistics, especially in Khayelitsha, Nyanga and Delft. The Chairperson had alluded to some of the questions that she had about police stations and the serious crime rates over the past 20 years. Ms Faku was not happy with the DCS report because it provided only figures. DCS needed to provide a narrative on the CPF allegations. People could not just be given money without giving them the skills and resources to perform what was required of them. It was important for the Committee to have a meeting with the MEC, DCS HOD and cluster chairpersons. The Committee also needed to check the matter raised by Mitchells Plain about the trust issues between SAPS and the CPF. The Committee wanted to thank everyone who had come to the meeting. At the end of the day, everyone was fighting crime together. The Committee never politicised issues. If there were any political motives this was very wrong and unacceptable. Those people who did not have the opportunity to speak and wanted to make a point could perhaps write a note to the Committee and give it to the Chairperson.
The Chairperson repeated that delegates who did not speak could write down their comment and bring it to her.
Ms N Peacock (ANC) welcomed the presentations and appreciated the time and effort taken by the CPFs at the meeting. The best way of managing the relationship between CPFs and NHWs needed to be looked into even though most clusters said that there was a good relationship. When the Committee had visited the different police stations they had heard there were challenges even though today it seemed as though there were not. The Committee needed to ensure that a relationship was built so that it could be strengthened. On the DCS presentation on the EPP, Ms Faku said that there were just figures and no narrative report for the Committee to reflect on. While the presentation was given it could be seen that most cluster chairpersons were shocked as they were not aware or had no clue about what was being said. The best way to operate was for the information to be given to everyone and shared and there should be proper consultation on the allocation of funds. The internal processes had to be looked into. The Committee needed to look at emphasising the point that provinces should start to have an inter-environmental relationship when dealing with crime factors. It was not an issue for SAPS or the Department of Community Safety only as there were elements within departments that were actually affecting the high crime rate.
Mr T Mafanya (EFF) said that the reality was that when you were branded as the second highest crime province, it told you so much about yourself. Taking into consideration the things that the Committee was being told, such as there being no proper relationship with SAPS etc., it told you that there was someone dying somewhere, someone being raped and that there was a lot of criminality happening as a result. The observation on the budget given to the CPFs was concurred with, as it was too little and one could not make heads or tails from it in as much as there were deliberations to explain what had happened. When looking at the money awarded to campaigns, it was so little and told you that in rural areas there were no crime awareness campaigns taking place. This was equally agreed upon because a large number of issues had been discussed in terms of an inter-governmental approach to crime. It was agreed that the Minister would be engaged and that there would be a cluster summit dealing with crime. He was mindful of whether clusters filed their cases because it was found that one cluster went to another and that there were similarities. Crime could be capped but, in some areas, crimes were contributed to by alcohol abuse whilst in other areas it was car hijacking. This would allow for the profiling of different kinds of criminals and their movements. The police had to be in a position to communicate with lower structures, such as CPFs, because once information was capped at a particular area and other areas did not know, it could be found that people were set up for failure and even death at some point. CPFs were the first call to crime but were not capacitated and at some points were not even armed because they were volunteers. SAPS needed to take into cognisance such factors. In a nutshell, the Committee was with the CPFs, wanted to support CPFs, and were there to listen so that they could come up with solutions and engage the Minister. The current Committee was made up of doers and had to be held accountable if they did not give results. The failure of the Committee was the failure of the CPFs and NHWs which would also cause communities at large to suffer.
The Chairperson said that she made light jokes not to be funny but because she saw that everyone was quite tense. When the meeting was called, she was told that people were going to fight but the delegates had proven all the critics wrong by showing they could work together. The notion was demystified that in the Western Cape there was fighting as today there was no such thing. This was the highlight of the committee meetings this Committee had had since the start of the Sixth Parliament. This was how important the Committee considered the meeting to be. As a sign of the importance of the meeting, the Chairperson jokingly said that she would have to have her own CPF and NHW since she took the Committee’s budget to pay for the meeting and needed protection from the Members. There was thus no money left, meaning the budget for the oversight visit to Gauteng was taken to put into the meeting. The Committee would therefore not be able to do the oversight visit in the current year, but only next year. However, the Committee had now learnt lessons and when they went to Gauteng, they would call a meeting with the MEC, HOD, Provincial Commissioner and all the different entities. The Committee committed to a follow up meeting in the Western Cape in the next year. Members had also requested that the Security Cluster arrange a security cluster supper. Requests would be sent to SAPS and the DOJ for the funding of such a supper next year. Mr Groeneweld also requested that there be a firearm summit for which the Chairperson would also submit a funding request. Members were requested to have their list of outstanding matters that needed to be prioritised for next year’s agenda ready for the following week.
In conclusion, a warm round of applause was extended to the Mitchells Plain CPF Secretary, Ms Lynne Phillips, who received an award from the Chinese government for fighting crime. In closing, the Chairperson implored everyone to form a united front and that NHWs and CPFs work together with the MEC, HOD, Provincial Commissioner, Acting Provincial Commissioner and the Minister. It was not easy to work as a unit, and community structures had the most difficult task as stakeholders. Community structures faced more difficult challenges than social services. Delegates were thanked for the extra effort that they had put into their work and it remained the Committee’s responsibility to harness the good will of CPFs and NHWs. The Committee would look at those partnerships, respect the partnerships with the CPFs and NHWs, and walk with them side by side to fight the scourge of GBV, drug abuse and all forms of violent crime. The delegates’ work as leaders was saluted and the work, they did in their communities commended. A warm round of applause was extended for everyone who had coordinated the meeting, the staff, Members of the Committee, and every member who attended the meeting. Meeting adjourned.
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