Department of Community Safety & Western Cape Liquor Authority 2020/21 Annual Reports
Community Safety, Cultural Affairs and Sport (WCPP)
01 February 2022
Chairperson: Mr R Allen (DA)
Western Cape Annual Reports 2020/21
The Chairperson addressed the recent suspension of the Community Safety MEC and acknowledged Members concerns but reassured them once the investigative report had been tabled before the Western Cape Premier, a meeting would be held with the Premier.
The Western Cape Liquor Authority indicated it faced enormous challenges but that the funding it received from the Department resulted in some key initiatives that supported the Alcohol Harms Reduction (AHR) programme. The pandemic required a review of some of its indicators as it had to be much more responsive going forward. The Authority welcomed its clean audit for 2020/21.
The Authority gave feedback on the legislative amendment process under which a Task Team had been established in terms of the AHR Strategy. The amendments were aimed at making it easier for the Authority to regulate more effectively and those amendments had been fast tracked to be published and implemented within the next 12 months.
Members addressed the compliance enforcement of licenced and unlicenced outlets and asked why it seemed that unlicensed outlets faced no law enforcement while the licensed outlets felt targeted. What challenges did the Authority face when enforcing the law with SAPS at unlicenced outlets? The Authority primarily regulated licenced outlets. Any enforcement powers of inspectors or of the Authority was derived by operation of law and only covered licenced outlets. The granting of licences and the continued renewal of those licences on the basis of compliance related to licenced outlets. Unlicensed outlets fell beyond the scope of the legislation and therefore outside the Authority’s powers.
Members also asked about the policy interventions to strengthen the Liquor Enforcement Units to increase manpower. The Authority said it was fully participant in the Area Based Team methodology of the Department and provincial government and increased its capacity threefold from 11 to 33. This was in line with the Safety Plan of the Western Cape government. The Committee noted it had received regular quarterly statements about activities conducted by the Authority.
In deliberations on the Western Cape Department of Community Safety (DCS) Annual Report, Members asked what caused the late tabling of the report; how Safety Ambassadors were trained and how they contributed towards the fight against crime; how the Department considered elements like spatial planning in addressing root causes of crime; where the Chrysalis graduates had been placed; why the Expanded Partnership Programme (EPP) with the Community Policing Forums had been discontinued; how the Committee should play an oversight role over the LEAP law enforcement officers and their autonomous operations; how the non-reporting of GBV cases would be addressed and how many GBV cases had been monitored by the Department's court watching brief; the accreditation of neighbourhood watches and if they there active in all crime hotspots; upgrading of CCTV software; and the Area Based Teams (ABT) approach.
Opening remarks by Chairperson
In a virtual meeting, the Chairperson welcomed Ms Anroux Marais, Acting Community Safety MEC; Adv. Yashina Pillay, DCS Head of Department and Mr Simion George, Chief Executive Officer: Western Cape Liquor Authority. She restated the virtual meeting protocols given it was the first meeting of 2022.
The Chairperson said the Committee was considering the Department Annual Reports only now as an audit dispute had delayed the tabling of the Annual Reports.
The Chairperson said he had received multiple requests from Members about media articles that had a direct impact on the Department following the 24 January media statement by the Western Cape Premier Winde. He had written to Members the previous day stating the Committee was in the process of scheduling a meeting for a briefing by the Premier on the suspension of Mr Albert Fritz, MEC for Community Safety. Once the investigation report had been tabled before the Premier, the date for that meeting would be confirmed as soon as possible.
The Chairperson asked that Members followed due process when interrogating the Annual Reports before them that day so effective oversight could be exercised.
Mr M Kama (ANC) asked if the Committee would only be able to convene a meeting once Mr Winde had received the initial report from the investigator. He asked why the Committee had to wait for the report before being told about the serious allegations involving “sexual misconduct”. Mr Kama asked if the Committee could be told what the allegations were while respecting the anonymity of the complainants. It would assist the Committee in exercising its oversight over the Department and the report. He had concerns and questions which would emanate from the report and that would be in the interest of ensuring accountability.
The Chairperson acknowledged Mr Kama’s remarks. Mr Winde’s media statement highlighted the nature of the allegations, and that information was in the public domain. As a result, there was a process Mr Winde undertook when the allegations were presented to him. Thus, it was important for the Committee to interrogate and engage Mr Winde on that process at the opportune time which would be once the initial report had been tabled by the independent investigator. Mr Winde had indicated that would happen within the next two weeks. The steps taken detailed in the media statement from Mr Winde showed swift action but that action had to be interrogated to hold the executive accountable. The way forward would be discussed after the Annual Reports. He appreciated Mr Kama’s concerns as Members had always taken their oversight role very seriously.
The Chairperson acknowledged all the Members present on the virtual platform meeting and hoped for an amazing year ahead as the Committee continued to move forward in fostering relationships with all stakeholders as the Committee exercised its oversight function in holding them accountable.
Mr Kama agreed with the Chairperson’s directions.
Opening remarks by Western Cape Acting Community Safety MEC
Ms Anroux Marais said it was a privilege to be the acting MEC for Community Safety in the Western Cape. She had met with the Department’s Senior Management team and was briefed on the status of the safety programmes across the province. To ensure the continuity and stability of the programmes, Ms Marais would actively be involved in meeting the imperatives of the provincial safety plan while she is the acting MEC. Safety was a key priority of the Western Cape government,and she was honoured to have been entrusted with that significant role to ensure continuity of those important pivotal programmes. The lack of safety within communities was one of the foremost challenges faced. While at a provincial level the Department did not have control over the South African Police Service (SAPS), the Department had played an instrumental role in improving safety for residents. She looked forward to providing the required support to Adv Pillay and the wonderful team to further promote professional policing through effective oversight as legislated. That would also capacitate safety partnerships with communities and other stakeholders. Together with Adv Pillay, Ms Marais had adopted an open door policy for staff that required their support or advice in confidence. She trusted they would be professional in the current deliberations.
Opening remarks by Head of Department
Adv Pillay said her humble opinion was that the Department had done very well during the previous year. It had continued its journey to achieve its vision to beat the deliverables of the Western Cape Safety Plan and to be more service delivery orientated in its operations that were beyond police oversight. Area Based Teams had been established in priority areas within the Western Cape province with a focus on areas with the highest rates of murder and the five areas within the district municipal space. Law enforcement, violence prevention and urban design interventions would be brought together. The Department was proud of its 13th consecutive clean audit which displayed the ability for increased service delivery paired with clean audit outcomes.
Opening remarks by Liquor Board Chairperson
Mr Ronald Kingwill, Liquor Board Chairperson, reminded the Committee that the Liquor Board was the accounting officer to the Liquor Authority and as such the Liquor Board was accountable to the Committee. Although, the Board was dependent on its parent Department for leadership and guidance it still had an accountability role. He was therefore appreciative for the opportunity to appear before the Committee and welcomed the open and frank questioning that the Committee provided for good governance. Highlighting the challenges faced during the year under review, he said they were enormous but presented a funding opportunity provided by the Department which resulted in some key initiatives that supported the Alcohol Harms Reduction (AHR) programme. On supporting the Western Cape government VIP initiatives, Mr Kingwill said the investment into the Liquor Authority had shown good results for its first year and the details would be shared by the team. The Authority was very dependent on the support from the Department and he thanked Ms Marais for taking on the role of Acting MEC under difficult circumstances. He thanked Adv Pillay for her leadership over the year which was open and frank which allowed the Authority to progress. The Liquor Board had been privileged to have a stable, strong, and competent management team in the Liquor Authority which reflected in the Annual Report and clean audit.
Opening Remarks by Western Cape Liquor Authority CEO
Mr Simion George said he began his service with the Authority at the end of the 2020/21 financial year which was currently under review. As indicated in the report it was the beginning of the pandemic and like all other institutions the Authority had to adjust and adapt. What was key to accept and understand under the circumstances was that the disruption required a review of some of the indicators which required the organisation to be much more responsive going forward.He was pleased to report the clean audit and more importantly the Authority understood its role and played a meaningful one during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Discussion on Liquor Authority Annual Report
Mr Kama began with Mr Kingwill’s Foreword and asked for details of the initiatives that were implemented under the AHR programme as well as the areas in which they were implemented.
On page 9, Mr Kama asked for an update on the passing of the Alcohol Harms Reduction White Paper into law. He asked for the details of the relevant engagements that had been held with the provincial government on that. He asked about the collaborative interventions with the Western Cape government and related agencies detailed on the same page and wanted the details of the number of interventions implemented in affluent areas. Were any of the interventions implemented in those areas? Mr Kama turned to the last paragraph and said the Department had not used up all its funding. The report said those funds related to additional enforcement capacity and a rollover would be requested. Mr Kama therefore wanted to know why the funds had not been spent.
Mr George said the funds were availed to the Authority by the Department because of savings by the Department. That was to implement additional capacity within compliance and enforcement. The reason there had been a rollover was because the funds for additional capacity had been made available late in the financial year which required implementation in the new financial year.
The Chairperson acknowledged the information received via the Differentiated Pricing Model (DPM) but asked for a status update. How far was the implementation of the legislative process? What was the additional feedback on stakeholder engagement with the DPM?
Mr George replied that when the Authority spoke to that aspect a year or two ago it was mindful that the Liquor Act 59 of 2003 required amendments in order for the Authority to pursue it successfully. The reality was that it had taken longer but the Authority had also taken heed when the Western Cape Provincial Treasury said a differentiation was required before it would consider a substantial increase in the fees requested. Upon exploring its legislation, the Authority realized that differentiation was possible based on the level or degree of regulation that each outlet or licensee brought to bear on the Authority. The Authority’s argument was that a requirement of more of the Authority’s resources meant a higher contribution to regulation. That would make the Authority less dependent on the review of the Act, but it ultimately meant a utilisation of the available avenues within the legislation. That was commonly referred to as the ‘section 64’ which suggested that automatic licence renewals would no longer be possible. That meant that where the Authority found that a relationship with it was not ideal and involved challenges around compliance then it would not automatically renew a licence. The licence holder would have to apply for a renewal of the licence. Mr George believed that was a gamechanger for the Authority which had been adopted in its new Annual Performance Plan (APP) for the new year.
On the legislative amendment process, Mr George said there were two structures that looked at it. The first was the Task Team which had been established in terms of the AHR Strategy. It dealt with the significant changes to policy and legislation. Some changes dealt with the hours, minimum unit pricing, trading hours and trading days. That was an ongoing process which would take slightly longer. The others spoke to the aspects that would make it easier for the Authority to regulate more effectively and those had been fast tracked which would be published within the next few months and implemented within the next 12 months.
Mr George said the Alcohol Harms Reduction Policy White Paper developed a strategic imperative that informed how alcohol regulation should be approached. That was the specific area of focus of the Authority. Numerous interventions were adopted to support those outcomes. The White Paper was compiled after a consideration of all the relevant research and documentation contained in the World Health Organisation (WHO) report on the impact of alcohol generally. The White Paper meant the Authority had to become increasingly more effective which was being pursued on many levels which happened during the year under review. An example of that was to ensure that all licence holders were reached. The White Paper gave a specific directive that spoke to compliance and enforcement capacity. Towards the end of 2020/21, clear proposals were drawn up to motivate funds for that which found full expression in the year that followed.
Mr Kama asked about compliance and enforcement detailed on page 22 that referenced a reduction of unlicenced liquor outlets with a focus on problematic outlets. He asked if progress had been made to get unlicenced outlets to obtain licences. He wanted to know if it had conducted an analysis to understand the correlation between licenced outlets that lost their licences and those unlicenced ones that became licensed. Was there a relation? His raised concerns held by licenced outlets about enforcement. It appeared that unlicensed outlets faced no law enforcement while the licensed outlets felt targeted. What challenges did the Authority face when enforcing the law with SAPS on unlicenced outlets? Those contributed much greater social ills in communities. He also asked if the Authority played any role on unlicenced outlets. Were search warrants obtained by SAPS when conducting inspections to enforce the law?
Mr George said the questions were loaded and it was critical for the Authority to understand the roles and responsibilities of the various role players and how effective collaboration should happen. He said the processes within government must exist for the benefit of communities and that was an area of future focus. That was a people-centric approach.
On licenced and unlicenced outlets, Mr George said the Authority existed primarily in relation to the regulated space which covered licenced outlets. Any powers of inspectors or of the Authority derived by operation of law dealt with the granting of licences and the continued renewal of those licences on the basis they were compliant with the rules and conditions imposed. The unlicensed outlets fell outside the domain of the legislation and outside the Authority’s powers. However, it was still important to understand unlicenced spaces because those outlets would exist regardless. Ultimately, it was a question of how to facilitate regulation in those spaces which would empower communities to control them. In future, public interest may require a type of licencing for those outlets to be regulated. Mr George believed that every business would like to operate within the confines of the law. However, the resources of the Authority were currently focused on licenced outlets and the applications of outlets that wanted to be licenced.
On the outlets that did not have licences, Mr George said the Authority heavily relied on the support and interventions of other law enforcement agencies such as those of the City and SAPS. What the Authority accepted was that within the space of liquor and its trading, it would like to participate with licenced and unlicenced. It believed its expertise around that could aid the importance and understanding of regulating but more importantly policing unlicenced outlets. If the Authority could convince law enforcement agencies that policing unlicenced outlets was good policing practice because crime and criminality generally overlaid the consumption of liquor and its abuse. The message had to be that the curtailment of liquor from communities would also curtail crime and criminality. The Prosecuting Authority and SAPS had to be communicated with to demonstrate that trading in liquor should not be viewed as a petty offence.
The Chairperson said from page 22 he understood that the Western Cape government would remain committed to the policy interventions. Part of the capacitation and strengthening of the Liquor Enforcement Units was to increase human resources and manpower. He asked for an understanding as to where the need rested. Where would the various districts require strengthening? He understood the figures of valid licences in the districts depicted in the pie chart, but he asked where those valid licences were actually located within the districts.
On capacity, Mr George said the Authority was fully participant in the Area Based Team methodology of the Department and provincial government. It was a key role player within that space and the capacity that had been brought on had multiplied threefold. The Authority had been in the region of 11 and were currently at 33. That was indication that considerable capacity had been brought on board by the Authority and was in line with the Safey Plan of the Western Cape government. As a stakeholder, the Authority had laid claim to being considered the same as other agencies within that space which were capable of delivering. At a higher level the systems had to be consolidated to develop and produce more. He suggested that by following the Area Based Team methodology throughout the province meant that the Authority had to speak to leadership within local government, the regional leadership within other agencies such as SAPS and commonly define a problem statement that would allow them to combine their resources to address the problem statement. That was were the true value of consolidated efforts lay and where most value would be extracted from the available resources. The Authority was ideally positioned in terms of enforcement capacity but the capacity had required a renewal of old systems in a manner that the systems also generate additional licences compliantly which was where section 64 applied where outlets were forced into compliance by threat of non-renewal. There was also a demonstration of value of the additional capacity that had been added. Mr George said the leadership would do its best to maintain that capacity going forward.
On capacity across the districts, Mr Kingwill requested that the management team submit those details in writing to the Committee.
The Chairperson accepted this.
The Chairperson thanked Mr George for the detailed responses. He asked about complaints lodged against licenced establishments. He commended the Authority on keeping the Committee informed when complaints were investigated. He requested a document that detailed the number of complaints lodged and steps taken by the Authority in response to those complaints. It was acknowledged that when establishments violated their licence agreements, the complaints posed an inconvenience to residents and stakeholders within the province.
Mr George appreciated the opportunity to engage and explain the challenges faced. On the complaints received, he said there was an indicator under which the Authority committed to addressing a certain percentage of complaints received within a certain time period. He said the information on the numbers within the different districts could be made available. That information would also indicate the status of regulation within the different areas.
Mr Kama said Mr George responded to his question on enforcement very well. He raised the question because of the concern of licenced outlets becoming unlicenced establishments. The objective was to licence as many outlets as possible. However, Mr Kama wanted a better understanding of the relationship between the Authority and SAPS. Had SAPS been given a list of unlicenced outlets? He raised the point because of the frustrations faced by outlets in poor areas. Those outlets were subjected to fines when contravening their licences but unlicenced outlets faced no accountability. The Committee should engage SAPS to understand what operations it ran to target unlicenced outlets. He could bet that was linked to the high crimes rates within the province. SAPS needed to explain what challenges it faced in enforcing the law within this space.
Mr George replied saying that a value for SAPS had to be demonstrated. The leadership had to engage one another to reach the desired impact. The liquor flowing through illegal outlets could stem from licenced outlets. Licenced outlets in certain areas ran volumes they could not explain under their own trading capacity, so it was likely that they were supplying the illegal outlets. That meant non-compliance so they Authority will step up on clamping down on those outlets. Central to that was the understanding that communities would be relied upon for information and complaints on outlets. Structurally the process on complaints led to a realisation that compliance could only be enhanced if communities were enabled to own their spaces and if their complaints about licenced outlets were responded to. It also had to be understood that community members living with the problem could not always be forthright with complaints because of the existing power dynamics within those communities. The Authority had to be responsive in countering the illicit trading outside of existing conditions.
The Chairperson thanked Mr George for the responses and for the information that will be shared.
The Chairperson said Part C and E would be dealt with by the Standing Committee on Public Accounts. He asked if Members had any burning questions but there were none.
The Chairperson noted that the Committee had received regular quarterly financial statements about activities conducted by the Authority. He asked Mr George for closing remarks.
Mr George thanked the Committee and said the Authority was extremely appreciative of the opportunity to present. It was grateful to the Department and the Board’s guidance. The Authority would be pursing its mandate from the perspective that it was solely responsible for regulating licenced outlets which required effective leadership. That leadership had to display to the Committee a better understanding and change within communities. Key to having safe spaces was recognising that communities could choose whether to allow those activities or not. The regulator had to assist the tribunal to determine public interest which ultimately determines if a licence holder should obtain the licence and that the licence is used legally.
In the spirit of transparency and openness the Chairperson confirmed that no questions or inputs were received from members of the public.
Discussion on Department of Community Safety Annual Report
Mr Kama welcome the opening remarks by Ms Marais and Adv Pillay. He commented about the late tabling and noted the Chairperson’s attempt to explain it. He asked the Department what caused the delay and what the dispute was about.
The Chairperson referred back to his opening remarks and said the dispute with the Auditor General South Africa had caused a delay. It was the Chairperson’s view that the Annual Report was not necessarily late but delayed.
On the late tabling of the Annual Report, Adv Pillay confirmed that it was caused by a dispute with the Auditor-General. It was a query about the process followed the award of a contract by the Department. The Department followed a process the AG felt should have been widened. The EPW was outsourced so that Departmental officials could focus not on the administration of timesheets and EPW payments but on service delivery and the establishment of Area Based Teams. The background was that before proceeding with the EPWP outsourcing, advice was sought from Legal Services and Provincial Treasury. After extensive consultation with both, the process advised was followed as it was the first time DCS had outsourced EPWP. The AG made a finding on this which DCS had not agreed with. DCS and the AG agreed to refer the matter to National Treasury for consideration as the policy custodian. National Treasury indicated that Provincial Treasury and the Central Procurement Advisory Committee (CPAC) had to provide assurance that DCS had complied with the requirements set out by Provincial Treasury in the awarding of the contract and the process followed. The issue was not about to whom the contract had been awarded but rather the process that had been followed. After considering the matter and documentation submitted, CPAC confirmed DCS had been compliant. Thereafter the AG withdrew its finding based on the evidence provided and input from Provincial Treasury and DCS achieved its clean audit.
On the Youth Safety Ambassador Programme which had seen the appointment of 1 000 Safety Ambassadors , Mr Kama asked for a breakdown of the age, gender, and race of the ambassadors as well as the areas in which they were deployed. What was their monthly stipend and what was the duration of the programme? He noted the programme was perceived as an opportunity for the ambassadors, but he wanted to know what they contributed towards the fight against crime in the province.
Ms L Botha (DA) also asked about the Safety Ambassadors. What training had the ambassadors received and what money had been spent on that in 2020/21? Had the training been accredited?
Adv Pillay said the Department could provide written details on the age, race, gender and areas of the Safety Ambassador programme.
Mr David Coetzee, Chief Director: Secretarial for Safety and Security, added that the Department wanted to establish a law enforcement learnership in the current year of 2022. That would enable placed learners to leave the programme with something meaningful to improve their employability.
Mr Kama turned referred to page seven that detailed the Department's alignment of its programmes to a public health approach that aimed to address the root causes of crime and violence. What was the understanding of the root causes of crime taking into consideration spatial planning and other aspects mentioned within the Committee about the root causes of crime? In addressing the root causes of crime, what was the Department doing as law enforcement could not be the response to addressing the root cause of crime.
Adv Pillay explained that DCS and the Department of Health utilised the emergency services data which was based on the Cardiff Model which had shown great results in dealing with crime. The Emergency Medical Services (EMS) data provided details about the time and location of the incident. That information assisted with the interventions to be put in place in specific areas. Some interventions were law enforcement interventions which used the EMS and SAPS data at a station level which informed the Department on the deployment of the Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officers who were under the command and control of SAPS. It also provided detailed information on the areas that had to be prioritised for the violence prevention interventions. A life course approach was also followed that looked at how these interventions would have an impact on a person before birth through to adulthood. The Western Cape considered how its interventions from various departments came together as a whole to positively impact people's lives. There was also a Safety Steering Committee that initially met every week but currently meet every two weeks. The Committee had the participation of the relevant departments as well as the City of Cape Town and SAPS. The Committee considered violence prevention interventions and law enforcement interventions that incorporated health data and urban design information. Looking at the City of Cape Town as an example, it uses the data from the top 11 murder police station areas, the data from the City’s Urban Management Team also informed some interventions. Ultimately, law enforcement could result in the stabilisation of an area but violence prevention interventions, urban design interventions and crime prevention through environmental design were the things to change the trajectory of a vulnerable person's life in those communities.
On the Youth Work Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) on page 8, Mr Kama asked for the number of interns in the DCS. How were they distributed in the Department and had any of them been deployed to the Office of the MEC or Senior Manager in the Department.
Adv Pillay replied that the EPWP had always consisted of the Chrysalis graduates who were placed on a work placement for up to 24 months by the Department after completing their three month residential training. They were placed at courts and municipalities and so on and it all depended on what that Chrysalis graduate trained in. An example was of a person who trained as a hairdresser and preferred that career path then the Department looked at options that unleashed the person's potential in that field. The same would apply for some who was trained in law enforcement.
However in the Safey Ambassador Programme, DCS received a once off amount from Provincial Treasury which led to the appointment of over 1000 Safety Ambassadors. They were placed at schools throughout the province the details of which would be provided to the Committee. Some of the ambassadors remained in the office to manage administration of the Safety Ambassador contracts which was due to the Auditor-General finding. When the AG raised the finding even though DCS felt it had followed all due processes, it immediately stopped the outsourcing of the EPWP and began paying the Safety Ambassadors in-house. It was a burden that had been extremely difficult to bear because over 1700 contracts and payments had to be administered but DCS did not want to risk perpetuating a wrong should the audit finding not be in its favour after the dispute was heard. The Safety Ambassadors were currently paid in-house until end March and the advertisement to outsource had been put out. DCS had not received an additional allocation for Safety Ambassadors in the new financial year so there will only be between 80 – 100 Safety Ambassadors who would be linked to the Area Based Teams (ABT). They will report to either the Chrysalis instructor, youth hubs or the area based coordinators of DCS managing those areas. The placement of the ambassadors in schools was a temporary measure until the ABT were fully functional.
Mr Kama noted on page 9 the Expanded Partnership Programme (EPP) which was a project with the Community Policing Forums (CPFs) had been discontinued based on the DCS repurposing and implementation of the Area Based Teams (ABT) approach. He asked for clarity. Why had DCS stopped funding CPF and had legal advice been sought? What process and consultations had been followed between DCS, CPF and SAPS? What impact would the decision have given the crucial role CPFs had to play in the fight against crime.
Adv Pillay replied that DCS had discontinued the EPP due to feedback from the CPFs who were not in favour of the Expanded Partnership Programme as a funding model. CPFs had continued during the current financial year and could access once-off funding on provision that they had a valid AGM. In future there would not be a specialised funding model specifically for CPFs. DCS would fund the initiatives in an area based space that would be inclusive of all stakeholders in that space. If the data and evidence indicated that a particular area faced challenges with its youth, then DCS would fund a youth focused intervention. DCS will not fund initiatives that may not have the desired impacts within the areas – so it will be guided by the data and evidence in future. That would ensure alignment with its life course and public health approaches to change things on the ground in disadvantaged areas to have long-term effects on young people specifically.
Mr Coetzee added that all 16 ABTs had been established and DCS wanted to unite not only the law enforcement but the social and urban design as well. DCS realised that law enforcement was a stabilisation but that it required the violence and social interventions to maintain the safety in that space which was the objective of the 16 ABTs. In future each area would develop a profile and list of interventions to be implemented in the coming year.
The Chairperson noted that after the meeting in the last quarter of 2021 a DCS presentation was delivered on the various programmes it was rolling out.
Mr Kama requested an explanation on the new CPF funding model be sent to the Committee.
Mr Coetzee replied that Adv Han-Marie Marshall, DCS Director: Community Police Relations had spoken with all CPFs on how the new funding would work at the start of the year and that information could be shared with the Committee. A service provider had been procured to support CPS with training which had similarly been done with the neighbourhood watches. SAPS together with the CPFs had been meeting on what training should be provided and as such the CPFs had been provided with meeting skills. The new request under the new financial year had been for project management and implementation.
Adv Marshall confirmed that the 151 CPFs had successful certified AGMs which were all facilitated by DCS. The project funding had been communicated to the CPFs multiple times. 91% of them applied for the project funding, 78 of which could be approved and 65 of them had been paid. The rollout was underway with four clusters having received funding thus far. The CPFs were receiving training to capacitate the newly elected executives. The training was in meeting skills, roles and responsibilities and conflict resolution. The training had been outsourced to a service provider. There had been good participation and support from SAPS. The DCS decision to stop the EPP had also been timeously communicated and was in consultation with SAPS partners at the provincial office. The impending changes and new focus was communicated over the course of a year as well as the fact that CPF will remain a DCS safety partners with a focus in the 16 ABT areas.
Mr Kama asked about the placement of the Chrysalis graduates for a certain period, and noted concerns about what happened beyond that period. Had support for the placements who wished to consider an academic route been considered so training institutions could further train the graduates in their fields.
Adv Pillay said DCS placed the graduates and paid the stipend not for 12 months but for 24 months. In the past, it paid the stipend when there had been a request from the placement institution, but DCS had decided to pay the stipend for the full 24 months. On employment opportunities, the Department of Economic Development and Tourism had a strategic indicator where it focused on the term beyond the placement of the graduates and resultant employment opportunities. DCS expected the placement institutions also to play a role in further training and granting employment opportunities as it had funded the stipend for 24 months. An example was the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had employed the Chrysalis graduates placed with it.
On the urban redesign, Mr Kama asked if there were approved projects emanating from the DCS engagements with the City of Cape Town that ensured the prevention of crime. He asked for that information so Members could measure the progress.
The Chairperson asked for an update on the vacancies on page 16 and specifically the Chief Director position which was a critical post. The Annual Report was a document of the previous year and he asked if Adv Pillay could speak on the DCS new initiatives under the Safety Plan. He asked about progress in the K-9 Unit, ABTs and law enforcement deployment so as to keep track.
Adv Pillay replied DCS was in the process of establishing a reaction unit in the Overstrand and Swartland municipalities to complement what the City of Cape Town K-9 Unit was doing. It was not only about ensuring capacity in the City but also ensuring capacity in the district and local municipal spaces as well as in rural areas.
Adv Pillay said the Office of the Chief Director: Secretarial for Safety and Security was filled by Mr Coetzee. The Office of the Director: Monitoring and Evaluation had been filled by Mr Bheki Simelane and it was his first day in that position.
Mr F Christians (ACDP) had awaited the opportunity to say the only oversight that existed was over the police and not the LEAP officers. Since crime was so rife, the province had taken the proactive measure to get LEAP officers, K-9 Unit and other measures. The province had funded these initiatives through the municipalities. Mr Christians had previously raised a concern about oversight. He pointed to the recent shooting of a police officer by a City law enforcement officer. The training was questionable and was too quick. Adv Pillay would remember he had previously raised this concern. He would like the Committee to have an oversight role like it had over the Metro Police who had to account to the Committee. More interaction was required because the public had approached the Members and Members did not have the answers as they were not aware of what was happening. He commended the K-9 Unit which was doing well but pointed out that they reported to the municipalities. He asked what oversight role the province and Committee played.
Mr Coetzee replied it had been acknowledged that oversight over the municipal K-9 units and Reaction Teams was critical. However, since DCS currently transferred funding with a Transfer Payment Agreement (TPA), it held monthly meetings with the K-9 Unit and Reaction Team to ensure compliance with the business plan stipulations. This was a form of oversight although it was not ideal. Submission of quarterly reports also helped in keeping projects efficient and effective.
Adv Pillay agreed with Mr Christians and said DCS also wanted to see more oversight over the LEAP officers. A meeting was held the previous Monday with Mr Bheki Cele, Minister of Police, his Senior Management team, Legal Advisors, Premier Winde, Adv Pillay and the City. It was agreed that DCS would coordinate the coordination of a high level task team which would include SAPS, provincial government, and the City. It would consider the oversight gap which was a country wide problem of a lack of oversight over law enforcement. A change to the Criminal Procedure Act would be considered as well as having some of the LEAP officers becoming municipal police officers. She emphasised that the incidents of the two shootings in Rondebosch and Foreshore were not LEAP officers but law enforcement personnel under the City. It was however an area that had to be addressed as the LEAP officers worked under the control of SAPS and DCS was adamant that the LEAP officers had to report to the Station Commander where they were placed. That was a way to minimise incidents of that nature. She emphasised that the LEAP officers received the exact same firearm training as SAPS officers.
Part B of DCS Annual Report
The Chairperson noted that the meeting was live on Youtube. Once Members had fully engaged the report, he would give members of the public an opportunity to engage DCS and ask questions.
Mr Kama referred to the gender-based violence (GBV) reporting on page 23. SAPS crime statistics showed a national and provincial decrease in the number of sexual offences recorded. He said that the Commission for Gender Equity (CGE) had mentioned the non-reporting of cases was a challenge.
Western Cape Police Ombudsman Johan Brandt agreed that GBV was a huge problem in the province. It had been identified as one of the key actions to focus on in the ABT areas. The Department of Social Development (DSD) and other departments were assisting DCS in addressing this. DSD had struggled to get to and assist victims in areas such as Khayelitsha. As a result DSD was asked to request law enforcement officials to assist the victims. That was an example of the stabilisation Mr Coetzee had referred which enabled DSD to carry out its work.
Mr Kama said GBV was a serious challenge to society and he asked if Adv Pillay had received any GBV allegations within DCS in its totality. If such cases had occurred, what were the internal reporting mechanisms? Would that be the same process to be followed in criminal cases?
Adv Pillay replied that she had not received any allegations until Sunday 23 January. She suspended four staff members in the Office of the Ministry and that action had been reported in the media. Prior to that Sunday evening there had been no reports of allegations. There was a policy in place with a Sexual Harassment Officer that DCS had appointed, and the details were widely available in DCS. If there were incidents or allegations brought to her attention, she would immediately act on them as she had done in the past week. DCS was fully cooperating with Employee Relations in the Department of the Premier investigating the current allegations.
Mr Kama said that eight of the top ten police precincts with the most sexual assault cases in the fourth quarter were in the Western Cape. What strategies were in place to address GBV? What focused interventions were in place in these eight precincts?
The Chairperson referred to page 22 about substance abuse. Through its oversight role the Committee established there were over 1 557 known drug houses in the province. It was directly linked to gangsterism and crime where drugs were sold in communities. He noted the SAPS-DCS engagement on measures to close the drug houses and asked what the steering committee had discussed with SAPS and the role DCS played. He noted the DCS engagement with CoCT on the deployment of LEAP officers to hotspot areas with high levels of gangsterism and drug abuse. What role had DCS played in decreasing the number of drug houses?
Adv Pillay replied that DCS worked very closely with SAPS and the LEAP officers in the priority areas. The LEAP officers were given information on what DCS required of them. There had been many incidents such as firearms, ammunition and drugs confiscated with arrests made. A weekly report was submitted to DCS on successes achieved with LEAP officers working with SAPS.
Police Ombudsman Brandt said DCS had noted an increase in the recovery of illegal firearms by LEAP officers. It began with 22 firearms in the first year of LEAP moving to 125 in the second year. That was 147 firearms recovered in two years. That was a 350% increase in firearm recovery. There were similar successes with drugs. A weekly progress report was submitted by officials that detailed the successes. That was what DCS felt could be done from a law enforcement perspective to address safety on the Cape Flats ultimately reducing the murders in those areas.
The Chairperson requested the Committee obtain a monthly report on that. It would enable to Committee to remain up to date and give meaningful input.
Adv Pillay agreed to submit a consolidated report on a monthly basis.
The Chairperson expressed appreciation for the engagement which was open and transparent. He encouraged Members to deal with the Annual Report as there would be an opportunity in the near future to deal with the last week and half which involved DCS and the various media statements about MEC Fritz.
Mr Kama appreciated the responses. He turned to page 32 and asked about Outcome 3.1 on crime reduction and what 'autonomous operation' meant. He noted Adv Pillay had said the operations of LEAP officers were conducted through the command of SAPS.
Mr Brandt reminded Members that the LEAP officers were also law enforcement officers and had those powers. They thus had the power to perform autonomous operations in terms of their law enforcement duties, the issuing of section 56 notices, the issuing of notices and inspections conducted at on and off-consumption liquor premises as they also worked closely with the Liquor Authority. The LEAP officers had to conduct autonomous operations but DCS also measured them in terms of integrated operations conducted with other forces in the city such as the Metro Police. The weekly report submitted would include all these actions and statistics. He read from such a report before him which indicated that the LEAP officers had 134 autonomous operations and 126 joint operations with SAPS. The autonomous and joint operations were at a 50:50 ratio.
Mr Kama asked if there were active neighbourhood watches in all the crime hotspots. If not, why not. Which areas were not equipped with this intervention? He asked for a breakdown of the expenditure on neighbourhood watches during 2020/21.
Mr Fred Watkins, DCS Acting Chief Director: Security Risk Management, confirmed that accredited neighbourhood watches had been established in all hotspot areas. A total of R7.7 million had been spent on neighbourhood watch support funding and starter kits that were issued on accreditation. A breakdown of the different years could be sent to the Committee.
The Chairperson appreciated that.
Mr Kama asked about the Court Watching Brief programme detailed on page 43. He asked how many DCS officials were responsible for the programme. How many GBV cases had been monitored during the year under review. Information could be submitted later if DCS did not have the figures before it. What monitoring had it done – was the sexual assault case against the Provincial Treasury official part of the cases monitored by the Court Watching Brief?
Mr Coetzee said the Court Watching Brief currently had three active members with two vacancies remaining. The vacancies would be addressed when DCS did its repurposing in the last part of the current financial year. DCS would monitor the case involving the Provincial Treasury official if it was referred to DCS and a specific procedure would be implemented.
Mr Kama referred to page 58 that stated DCS had created 941 work opportunities for youth by placing them at the Western Cape government, in municipalities and in non-governmental organisations (NGOs). He asked for a breakdown of the statistics on race and gender. What type of work were the young people doing and how long did it last?
Adv Pillay said the breakdown about the work opportunities could be provided. These were the Chrysalis Academy graduates that were placed for 12-24 months.
The Chairperson noted he had drafted a parliamentary question on neighbourhood watches. He however asked what steps DCS took once the accreditation of neighbourhood watch expired.
Adv Pillay informed the Committee that the Western Cape Community Safety Act had onerous regulations for neighbourhood watches to get accreditation. DCS was reviewing the Act and regulations to simplify the accreditation process.
Mr Watkins reported that DCS was in the process of automating accreditation of neighbourhood watches which included an alert three months before the expiration of the accreditation. DCS maintained contact with the watches to ensure accreditation was re-applied for. Accreditation of neighbourhood watches was voluntary under the Western Cape Community Safety Act and there were instances where some watches did not respond. DCS nevertheless continued to follow up with them because of the important role they played.
The Chairperson said it was important to ensure that the accreditation of the neighbourhood watches was always up to date.
Mr Kama asked about the visibility of upgrading the CCTV software used by the Western Cape government that was explored to ensure best picture quality. How much had been spent on the upgrade? What was the total number of CCTVs installed in government including the number per department? The information could be provided later if the details were not readily available.
Adv Pillay said the details could be provided in writing but asked Mr Watkins to provide some detail
Mr Watkins clarified that the report stated that DCS was exploring the feasibility of replacing the CCTVs. He could provide a detailed breakdown of the current system after the meeting.
Part D of DCS Annual Report
Mr Kama turned to page 120 which listed the reasons staff resigned. He referenced the category where staff did not provide a reason for resigning and asked if DCS was not concerned about those high figures. He asked what could be contributing to people resigning without reason. What was staff morale like?
Adv Pillay replied that all staff members were afforded an exit interview and to provide reasons. Some declined both. She gave the example of two personnel that resigned the previous day. One told Adv Pillay she was pursing other opportunities but declined an exit interview. The second staff member took early retirement but choose not to have an exit interview. She felt that despite the most recent developments staff morale was high. It was the first time in the Department's history that all staff members had been involved in providing input into the strategic direction of DCS. Many staff members who were passionate about community work embraced the ABT approach.
The Chairperson noted the annual leave taken from 1 January to 31 December on page 137. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and life’s difficulties he asked if staff members were making use of their leave days to recuperate and enjoy their family time.
Adv Pillay said all leave days not taken during a particular period only rolled over up to June the following year. Personnel were encouraged to take leave and 10 days consecutive leave to refresh themselves and spend time with their families.
Ms Linde Govender, DCS Chief Director: Management Support, added that an analysis had been conducted on sick leave and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the result was that the average number of leave days remained the same as the previous cycle. Staff were encouraged to take their leave.
The Chairperson noted that Part E would be dealt with in SCOPA that afternoon.
Acting MEC Marais thanked the Committee for how the meeting had been conducted.
The Chairperson reminded Members about the letter Mr Winde sent the Committee about the appointment date for Ms Marais.
Adv Pillay thanked Members for their support, guidance, and accountability. She thanked Ms Marais for her tremendous support during the difficult time. Lastly, she thanked the team.
The Chairperson acknowledged the difficulty of the last nine days. He thanked Members for their engagement and diligence in sticking to Annual Report as Members would get an opportunity to address the issue that had been in the media over the past nine days.
No request for public input had been received.
The Chairperson excused the Department.
The Committee requested a breakdown of the race, gender, deployment locations and stipend of the Safety Ambassadors. The Chairperson noted a monthly report was to be submitted that detailed the statistics on the LEAP officers.
Members were requested to submit their questions to the Committee Secretary by 5pm Thursdays.
Ms Botha requested the Chairperson to extend the deadline to Friday.
The Chairperson thanked Members for their input and thanked Mr Kama for exercising restraint.
Mr G Bosman (DA) asked if feedback had been received from SAPS on the DNA visit.
The Chairperson had a bi-weekly check-in and had communicated with a certain Captain Stein and no feedback had been received. The Chairperson would send another request.
Mr Bosman suggested a meeting with SAPS to ask how it would deal with the amendment to the Criminal Procedure Act that required all people processed for offences up to a certain schedule to give a DNA sample.
The Chairperson agreed and he would communicate with Mr Bosman directly on that.
The meeting was adjourned.
Allen, Mr R
Bosman, Mr G
Botha, Ms L
Christians, Mr F
Kama, Mr M
Marais, Ms A
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