SAPS infrastructure development, lease management and maintenance of office accommodation and police stations; Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) A/B: Committee Report; with Ministers

This premium content has been made freely available


18 May 2022
Chairperson: Ms T Joemat-Pettersson (ANC)
Share this page:

Meeting Summary


Tabled Committee Reports

In a virtual meeting, the Committee had a joint meeting with the Minister of Police and the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure to address the infrastructure development of the South African Police Service (SAPS).

The briefing by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) focused on the operational challenges that affected the SAPS infrastructure development programme, and challenges with the lease management and maintenance of office accommodation and police stations.

The Committee considered these matters to be one of the most critical factors affecting the SAPS. A Member said that the presentations were proof of the inability and incompetence of the DPWI, describing this as a complete collapse of the most important department that was meant to ensure that there was proper housing and buildings for the members of the civil service to do their job. The Minister herself conceded that the situation "was a mess."

A Member asked the Minister of DPWI how she intended to address the challenges with the project management, as there were 60% of police station projects behind schedule.

 The DPWI assured the Committee that it had spent significant time looking at interventions that were specific to address each of these projects that were behind schedule, and had rededicated itself to do everything possible to limit itself from becoming a barrier to the service delivery of client departments.

The Committee adopted the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill, 2021, without any amendments. 

Meeting report

The Chairperson said that the meeting had been requested by this Committee. It was humbled and pleased that the Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure had agreed to this meeting. She also thanked the Minister of Police for his presence, because the meeting would be more fruitful with both Ministers in attendance.

Briefing by DPWI: SAPS Infrastructure Development

Mr Alec Moemi, Acting Director-General, Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI), said that the presentation sought to respond to the matters raised and concerns of the Committee. The DPWI had been reviewing its construction and facilities management processes and has been having engagements with the SAPS over the past few months to identify the pressing matters. The DPWI intended to look at immediate interventions to respond to as and when challenges arose, and to be responsive to the long term issues that needed to be addressed.

Mr Batho Mokhothu, Deputy Director-General (DDG): Construction Project Management, said that the DPWI had undertaken a process of diagnosing its ability to implement its projects. It had done an infrastructure audit to identify what was wrong in the value chain and system. There were internal and external challenges that had been identified. The challenges that the DPWI had control over were issues relating to its project managers and their capacity to deliver the projects that had been bestowed upon them; the DPWI also had a higher reliance on the consultants that it worked with. Recently, the consultant that the DPWI had worked with had had challenges with cash flows and poor performance, which affected the timely delivery of the infrastructure projects. Some of the external factors included the community unrest and strikes that happened, and most of the police stations were in areas of high density. Whenever the DPWI did work of a capital nature or repair refurbishment, it always attracted the local communities to have an interest in that particular project, but it had experienced a number of stoppages in its projects due to this particular challenge.

Mr Mokhothu gave an overview of the progress at Telkom Towers. The DPWI had successfully completed stage one so the Telkom Towers North was currently being occupied. The Annex Building also formed part of phase one, but had a water ingress challenge; the DPWI did have a project execution plan to fix the water ingress. The Department of Police had informed the DPWI of the need to expedite the information technology (IT) building, as it formed part of the bigger migration plan. Mr Mokhothu said that after a contractor was on site, it would take eight months for the scope of work to be completed.

The DPWI had conducted a thorough condition assessment on the Annex Building that had identified damaged joints and cracks in the basement and parking area slab which had allowed water to seep through. These were structural issues that were not severe, but repairable. The professional team would be able to finalise this scope of work by quarter four of this year.

Ms Nyeleti Makhubele, DDG: Real Estate Management Services, gave an overview of the SAPS lease management. She said that a total of 1 070 leases were for the exclusive use of SAPS, and constituted 45% of the total lease portfolio of the DPWI.

The DPWI sought to achieve the following:

• Reduce the leasing budget and achieve savings;

• Reduce the over-reliance on private leases and increase utilisation of state-owned facilities;

• Introduce procurement reforms to encourage transparency and competition in procurement of leased accommodation, and improve current procurement processes and forms to improve outcomes;

• Transform the property industry through its property empowerment policy approved in 2018.

Adv Nishi Sharma, DDG: Facilities, gave an overview of the maintenance of office accommodation and police stations. She said that the facilities management had a blend of preventative as well as corrective maintenance for all user departments. Condition-based assessments of the facilities were also conducted to identify the risk areas in a particular facility.

She presented on the scheduled and unscheduled maintenance plan requirements for the SAPS occupied facilities.

Operational challenges:

-Heavy reliance on consultants. The departmental Project Managers (PM’s) are not fully in charge of projects due to capacity constraints

- Project managers not adequately equipped with contract management knowledge

- Appointed contractors including SMMEs do not complete projects on time due to cash-flows during execution of projects.  

- Poor scoping by consultants

- Delayed fund confirmation by clients remains a challenge; as a result projects are delayed

- Community protests during the construction phase of projects are a challenge by most provinces. The stoppages of projects result in increase of project costs and time

- Cumbersome and long process to procure services of a replacement contractor in cases of termination

-Delays in issuing of mandates to renew leases.

-Delays in confirmation of funding.

-Short lease periods: high costs due to diminished bargaining power; diminished bargaining power for upgrades and more intensive maintenance programme and administrative burden.

-Delays in execution of instructions for new and/or alternative accommodation

-Poor maintenance of buildings by landlords: monopolies and poor contract management.

-Old and dilapidated stock in certain towns.

-Lack of accommodation in certain areas.

-Delays in procurement processes.

Strategy to deal with poor condition properties:

-Renegotiate lease rentals to ensure that they are market-related to ensure inclusion of an obligation to maintain and upgrade leased buildings. The ability to achieve this is increased by longer term leases where the landlord has a greater obligation to upgrade the facility and clients may require increased tenant installations,

-Acquisition of the buildings owned by municipalities as a permanent accommodation solution, particularly for police stations.  This is motivated that the municipalities charging DPWI nominal rentals and therefore unwilling to maintain the facilities.

-Enforce maintenance provision of lease contracts by landlords.

(See presentation for detail.)

Briefing by SAPS on Infrastructure Development

The Deputy Minister of Police, Mr Cassel Mathale, said that the Department appreciated the meeting as it would help everyone gain a deeper understanding of the construction that was led by the DPWI. Closer collaboration between SAPS and the DPWI was necessary beyond this joint meeting so that it could address the weakness on either side and respond speedily to avoid delays in the services it must provide to the people. The issues involving the limitations of maintenance had to be addressed because without maintenance the infrastructure became dilapidated and very expensive to resuscitate.

Gen Fannie Masemola, National Commissioner of Police, said that there were currently a few matters that were problematic in the SAPS space. For example, the Park Road police station in Bloemfontein had been under construction for over five years, and its police members were working in a construction site where there was dust etc. In addition, the Protection and Security Service component that was situated in the Free State had been sitting without an office for over two years. It was also well-known that the SAPS should have already been occupying the Telkom Towers building. There were also issues with the police stations that were owned by the municipalities, which was still an ongoing challenge.

Maj Gen C Sithole, Divisional Commissioner: Supply Chain Management, presented on the SAPS Infrastructure Development Programme (capital works and planned maintenance) and the lease management.

Implementation of SAPS Infrastructure Development Programme: Reason for delays

• The continuous change in the procurement strategy, from individual bids to the clustering of projects and back to individual bids, had had a negative impact and created a backlog of close to five years.

• The introduction and the use of the prototype concept created problems, as the uniqueness of each geographical design was ignored, resulting in the police stations not being accessible to the communities.

• The site clearance processes for the deep rural areas were not conducted accurately and adequately due to the urgency of the implementation of the programme which resulted in some sites not being accessible.

• The advertisement and re-advertisement of bids for the appointment of contractors, due to corruption. Maladministration and manipulation of processes resulted in the withdrawal and cancellation of bids and referral for forensic investigations.

• Lack of capacity within the facility management unit (no professionally registered technical staff). For example, the office had operated or functioned without electrical, civil/structural, and mechanical engineers for the last five years.

• The lengthy litigation processes (disputes between SAPS and contractors) taking more than five years to finalise.

• Interference and work stoppages by small business forums and "construction mafias."

• Dependency on external stakeholders, such as municipalities on municipal rezoning, the Department of Labour for construction permits, etc.

• Lack of performance by the contractors leading to the abandonment of sites and lengthy litigation processes as new contractors could not be appointed before the termination of the initial contract.

(See presentation for detail.)

Minister of DPWI's comments

Ms Patricia de Lille, Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure, referred to the background information in the SAPS presentation and observed that it said that on 1 April 2006 the DPWI had devolved its maintenance, property rates, municipal services and leasing budgets to all user departments. In her understanding, this mandate was still with the DPWI and she requested that she may receive a copy of this. The SAPS presentation had also said that on 1 April 2009, the SAPS, National Treasury and the DPWI agreed on the delegation of the custodial responsibilities for functional assets of the 270 police stations with binding conditions, but she had not seen such devolution of powers. She would like to receive a copy of these documents, because when it came to the custodial responsibilities of a department, it must be done in terms of Section 97 of the Constitution by proclamation of the President, such that the President may transfer to a member of the Cabinet the administration of any legislation entrusted to another member and any power or function entrusted by legislation to any member. She would like to ensure that the custodial responsibilities of the DPWI had been transferred in terms of Section 97 of the Constitution. She had also not seen a service level agreement between the DPWI and the Department of Police; she asked that a copy of this also be provided to her.

She said that she would not know how to describe the situation other than it being a mess. She would commit to engaging with the external auditors of the DPWI to appoint an independent service provider to assess all of the documentation and projects that had been referred to, but there was a need to first sort out the legislative framework. She requested that the DPWI may return to the Committee to present this report. She would ensure that this assessment did not take longer than six weeks and that it established the DPWI’s legal commitments to the SAPS.

She acknowledged that the Minister of Police had reported some of these matters to her on several occasions and that she had made some interventions in the past, especially with Telkom Towers which had been started more than nine years ago. After billions of rands and an implementing agency of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA), it was finally able to move the police members into one section of the Telkom Towers. She was aware of the expense and the cost to the SAPS. She said that the DPWI must ensure that the conditions under which the police operate must be conducive for them to carry out their work. This was a serious matter to her, and she wanted to ensure that the DPWI reached solutions as soon as possible.

Ms De Lille said that there were many other problems within the DPWI that it was trying to resolve, but the portfolio of the Construction Project Management was bigger than a private sector portfolio, and with the tendency to take on more work, she had had to start engaging directly with the executive authorities of the user department to say what was doable and what was not doable. In the past 18 months, the DPWI had agreed to delegate some projects to be carried out by various departments. For example, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development had selected projects that it would do itself, where there DPWI assists with the technical help of engineers or architects etc. The DPWI had also handed back two projects for the Department of Sports, Arts and Culture to do itself. Without referring to Section 97 of the Constitution, there was room for the executive authorities to agree on which of the projects would be done by the relevant departments.

She would commit to working with the Minister of the Police to get to the bottom of all of the concerns raised by SAPS, because she would like to see the National Commissioner and his team concentrate on what they were supposed to be doing, which was to provide the service of police to the country, rather than being seized with all of these problems.

Chairperson's comments

The Chairperson said that she was sure that Minister De Lille could see the extent of the frustration that the Committee and SAPS had had. The Committee had requested this meeting in an attempt to get to the bottom of these problems since it received regular complaints from the public.

Minister of Police's comments

Gen Bheki Cele, Minister of Police, said that every meeting he had had with the police management and the Deputy Minister regarding the infrastructure of SAPS had ended with the question of whether SAPS could be given the opportunity to do these projects for themselves. Yesterday, he had a big meeting with the team that deals with the issues in the Western Cape, and they had this meeting in his house. This had become a personal budget issue for him because the meeting was not held in an office. He questioned when the Ministry of Police would have its office. The offices had cost billions of rands, but it had been years and they were not ready to be occupied.

He had been informed that the SAPS head office, Wachthuis Building, had no electricity and had been shut down on notice. In addition to the problems of its backlog, the SAPS forensic science laboratory (FSL) in Amanzimtoti had been flooded four times due to the rain, which had affected the chemicals, equipment and the whole system. The DPWI was supposed to build a laboratory in Pinetown ten years ago, but this had not happened and the plans had been changed to find an alternative in Durban Central, which had seen no progress at all. However, it was the SAPS that got lambasted for not having working laboratories.

He questioned why there were 42 leases that had been signed without the mandate of the SAPS. He made an example of the Wachthuis Building, which had been condemned -- the SAPS had been told that the lease would not be extended, but he was later informed that the lease for this building had been extended for another ten years. He expressed dismay that a lease had been extended for a building that had been condemned.

He said that one would sympathise with the police that was stationed in rotten police stations -- for example, the Umlazi police station which was in one of the biggest townships of South Africa and had the highest prevalence of crime. The SAPS should either be capacitated to do these projects on its own or be taken seriously for the work that it had to deliver.

He said that the DPWI presentation had mentioned the community unrest as one of the external challenges that delayed progress on the projects. Some of these problems were self-generated. For example, there was a project to build a police station in Gqeberha and the communities had the right to rise and complain that none of the workforce or materials was from Gqeberha, but everything was imported.

He said the problems with infrastructure had become a huge frustration for the SAPS.


The Chairperson said that the Committee shared the same frustrations that the Minister had expressed. It realised that it could not have a silo approach to this, but needed a joint approach to solving problems at hand. She thanked the Minister of DPWI for her cooperation and her personal commitment to resolving these matters. The Committee was at its wits’ end and was receiving complaints from the public on a daily basis. The Central Firearms Registry (CFR) was packed up in boxes because its members did not have accommodation. It had become more than a mess -- it was a catastrophe and a disaster and must be sorted out as soon as possible. The police could not fight crime if they had no basis from which to fight crime. There were police staff in the Free State who were working from home because they did not have an office. Everyone could now understand how enormous these problems were.

Mr A Whitfield (DA) said that it had been an informative meeting. This was one of the most critical factors affecting the SAPS and the Committee had personally seen the state of the buildings that were under the management of the DPWI, which was completely unacceptable. He referred to the DPWI, and asked how many creditors related to the SAPS were on their books and what the total outstanding payments owed for 30, 60 and 90 days were respectively. He said that this question related primarily to rentals, rates and tariffs. He asked this question because the municipality had threatened to disconnect the Eben Donges Building in Nelson Mandela Bay that housed the FSL because it owed the municipality R21 million or more in electricity tariffs. He suspected that this was a problem across the country, because it was also a problem with the Criminal Records Centre in Pretoria, which had led to the doors being locked when the landlord disputed the rental payment from the DPWI. He was concerned about the complete failure to manage creditors and cash flow. It was assumed that the SAPS paid these monies over to the DPWI, but the DPWI failed to pay those monies to the landlord or relevant authority, such as the municipality. It was important to understand who they owed, how much they owed, for how long they owed, and what the risks were of premises like the FSL being shut down.

He referred to the Excelsior Court building in eThekwini, which had received significant negative coverage in the media. This was a building that was housing SAPS members, but was now predominantly run by vagrants. The community was outraged and nothing was being done by the DPWI that anyone was aware of. He asked what steps were being taken in respect of the Excelsior Court building, as well as the Walmer township satellite police station in Nelson Mandela Bay which was a municipal building that had ultimately become uninhabitable for the SAPS members.

Mr O Terblanche (DA) said that this meeting was very much overdue, and the reaction from both Ministers portrayed the seriousness of the situation. He was pleased that the Committee had brought the two departments together. In the SAPS presentation, Maj Gen Sithole had apparently said that for the last five years the SAPS could not manage to have a meeting with DPWI. He asked if the Veritas Building was still being occupied by the police. He asked if the SAPS and DPWI knew that it was a criminal offence to accommodate people in a condemned building. He questioned why it took the DPWI more than 14 years for the construction of police stations that were still not finalised. He asked if the DPWI had done a condition assessment on all police stations.

Dr P Groenewald (FF+) said that he agreed with the remarks from both Ministers. The frustrations expressed by the Minister of Police were known because the Committee had shared these frustrations for years. 60% of the projects, in terms of the construction of police stations, had not been completed for more than five years, and something needed to be speedily done to solve this problem. He also agreed with the Minister of DPWI, because she had been honest and said that it was a mess. The presentations were proof of the inability and incompetence of the DPWI; this was a complete collapse of the most important department that was meant to ensure that there was proper housing and buildings for the members of the civil service to do their jobs. One could not expect people to do their jobs if they were not given the tools to do that, and a police station was part of the tools of the trade, to ensure that the police function properly to fight crime.

He referred to the overview of challenges listed in the DPWI presentation, and said that it suggested that for all projects, the DPWI did not have competent project managers. He asked why it was possible for the DPWI to enter into agreements without having consequence management -- for instance, that there were certain fines that were issued to contractors if there was a time delay. If there were consequence management, he questioned why the DPWI did not comply to it. In terms of the challenge of the disputes during the execution stages of the contract, he asked why there were disputes and what those disputes were. He said that the core of the problem was that there was no proper project management, and asked the Minister of the DPWI how she would address this problem. He asked that the Committee receive more detail on slide five of the DPWI presentation which addressed the overview of the challenges.

Mr H Shembeni (EFF) asked if the DPWI knew the exact number of buildings or properties that it owned nationwide, and why it had buildings that had been hijacked by foreign nationals. He asked if the DPWI had buildings that were unattended. He asked SAPS about the average buffer radius for the communities to access the police services. If the access to police stations was more difficult in rural areas, he asked the SAPS what measures it had to increase the safety and security of the rural communities. He agreed that the conditions of the police stations were a frustration. He recalled that he had contacted the Minister of Police about the conditions at the Bridge Camp police station which had no water or electricity, and the police station was also situated far from the communities. He suggested that the SAPS should look into having its own artisans so it could service its own buildings and build its own police stations.

Ms B Marekwa (ANC) said that it was important for departments to consider and pay more attention to the working conditions of their employees. In any environment, the working conditions were a very important aspect as they impacted the employees’ morale and execution of daily tasks, including health and safety. The Minister of Police and the National Commissioner had mentioned several examples of police members working in health hazards. It was also important to pay attention to the continuous and timely maintenance of police stations and other workspaces, as well as the cleanliness thereof. One could not expect members to be on duty in a workspace that was not conducive.

She asked what the total cost of the leases operated on behalf of the SAPS was. She asked about the reasons for the termination of the 15 leases and which buildings these referred to. In terms of the 258 expired leases, she asked if any of these buildings were still utilised by the SAPS.

Mr A Seabi (ANC) said that the reason why the Committee had requested this meeting was because it was also frustrated, and both Ministers shared these frustrations. The presentation by the DPWI had been too general and did not respond to what the Committee had requested. The intrinsic challenges were a result of the lack of planning. He supported the suggestion by the Minister of the DPWI, that she complete her assessment and returns to the Committee with a way forward. He asked the DPWI about the disputes that had delayed the completion of projects. He asked if it was necessary for the DPWI to oversee the leases -- was it possible for the management of leases to be done by the user department itself, because this would avoid the problems of the DPWI that extends leases without the mandate from SAPS or not paying rentals. He suggested that the leases should allow the responsibility of maintenance to be with the user department.

The Chairperson said that if schools or hospitals were in a dilapidated state, then there would be a huge outcry from the public. Police stations were the first line of defence for all citizens. To fight crime there needed to be police stations.

DPWI's response

Mr Moemi said that the question about the number of creditors that the DPWI had in respect of the SAPS portfolio would be responded to in writing, because this would need to be broken down for 30, 60 and 90 days as requested. Due to the ministerial directive, the DPWI had to stop the month-to-month payment on the leases that the Auditor-General (AG) had deemed as irregular expenditure in the books of the DPWI. The DPWI had immediately communicated with all other landlords to work towards a solution of renewal of contracts and having long-term contracts in place, and this had resulted in a backlog particularly with some of the big landlords. The negotiations had been ongoing and with the directive in place -- the DPWI was not able to pay over because of the fear of causing irregular expenditure in its books. Some landlords had resorted to illegal action and self-help by locking the buildings. There had been work to address the payment of rates and taxes; permission was requested from National Treasury that DPWI may pay the municipalities directly, and it was for this reason that the DPWI had been able to circumvent some of the difficult challenges related thereto. The matter was now before the courts. In November last year, the DPWI had 1 700 leases on a month-to-month basis, and this number had been whittled down to 340 leases. It was still working on finalisation, particularly with the big landlords like SKG Properties. Once the DPWI was able to finalise the long-term leases, it would then significantly reduce the number of month-to-month leases, which would be reflected in the creditors' book.

On the buildings that were vandalised and invaded by vagrants, he said that this was a matter which the DPWI had been seized with for the past three months. It had finally completed its asset register and was now in the process of profiling this register, amongst which was to record all of the properties and their state, which included a condition assessment of all properties. This would affect the total value of what the DPWI posits in its asset register and what was put forward on the balance sheet. The biggest priority was to immediately be responsive in stopping further invasions of buildings. The law required the DPWI to follow specific steps to legally evict those who were invading the buildings, and it had commenced these eviction processes in all of the regions and stopped further invasions in the most troublesome buildings, including the lengthy process of finding alternative accommodation for those who had invaded the buildings.

There had been a significant number of condition assessments done at the police stations. There was a challenge with the police stations that were not yet vested in the DPWI’s asset register and were still owned by the municipalities. In some instances, there was reluctance from the municipalities to hand over these police stations, so the DPWI was legally not able to make an investment in these police stations and not even able to do condition assessments. There ha been engagements with those municipalities to have the police stations handed over to the DPWI.

Mr Moemi agreed with Dr Groenewald’s observations about the DPWI’s intrinsic challenges. The DPWI acknowledged that it had huge challenges and there had been failure in what needed to be done. If a project manager did not do what he was expected to do, there must be consequent management. The DPWI had painstakingly begun to identify all of the failures that had been highlighted in the presentations. It had begun the consequence management process and the arduous task of laying the foundations for the future management of projects.

He reiterated what the Minister of DPWI had pointed out about the premise from which the DPWI would depart -- the DPWI would not accept more projects if it did not have the capacity to implement them. Some projects would be handed over to implementing agents, or the client departments would manage those specific projects themselves.

The DPWI would provide additional information on the key challenges that vary from project to project. Regarding the 60% of police station projects that were behind schedule, he assured the Members that in the past three months, the DPWI had spent significant time looking at interventions that were specific to address each of these projects that were behind schedule. In order to address the root causes of its challenges, the DPWI was reviewing its contract relationships and acknowledging that its capacity was not sufficient in some key areas.

The first intervention was for the DPWI to in-source capacity and support from the state agencies that could act as the implementing agents and project managers. The second intervention was related to consequence management, to ensure that the DPWI avoids repeat findings. The third intervention was to enforce the terms and conditions of the contracts and to ensure that they permeated across all officials who were tasked with the delivery of construction sites. The Minister of the DPWI had also requested the extension of services and investigative capacity internally in the government risk compliance (GRC) branch -- a number of contracts had been placed under review and investigation, and a number of employees were going through disciplinary processes. The DPWI had also enlisted the support of the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to look into particular contracts where contractors were demanding more money and where they had not managed their cash flow properly, so that construction projects had come to a halt. The DPWI did what was necessary to recover monies, but there were also interventions of getting new contractors to finish off projects and to take the projects to practical completion.

In response to the issues raised by Ms Marekwa, he replied that the DPWI was sensitive to its inability to provide effective service and support to its client departments, because it had had a negative impact on service delivery. The DPWI had rededicated itself to doing everything possible to limit itself from becoming a barrier to the service delivery of client departments. It had increased the threshold from R100 000 to R1 million, which would make it easier for the client departments to do day-to-day maintenance on some of the key things that they required, and this would also allow for some of the key interventions that were necessary, such as getting things to be functional or repaired timeously.

He clarified that there had been meetings between the DPWI and SAPS, as it had incorrectly been stated that the SAPS had not had engagements with DPWI in the last five years. There had been meetings to address the key issues, allocations of budgets and the matter of unfinished police stations. The DPWI had taken note of the concern of the conditions under which the police members work, and it was ensuring that interventions were in place to be responsive in this regard.

Minister of DPWI's response

Minister De Lille said that she would like to be held accountable for her oversight role. For her to play this oversight role, she would need to acquire the necessary information. She agreed with the Members that the presentation by the DPWI had been very general. She would commit to meet with the Minister of Police and the National Commissioner as soon as possible, to look at the priority requirements of the SAPS and what needed to be addressed immediately.

She would seek clarity on the devolving of functions and interrogate the current service level agreement that was signed ahead of her term of office. She would invite the SAPS and Committee to make inputs on the terms of reference for an independent audit and assessment of what the DPWI and SAPS were dealing with. In the meantime, the DPWI would look into the projects where it had failed the SAPS -- it was working on a programme of solutions that could be applied to these projects.

She assured the Members that her staff had taken note of all of their concerns and she would attend to them.

SAPS' response

Gen Masemola referred to the average distance from the community to police stations, and said the standard was a minimum of 4km to a maximum of 26km. In certain areas where there was no access, the SAPS budgeted for a number of vehicles that it could afford and distributed mobile Community Service Centres (CSCs). He said that the state of the SAPS buildings and police stations created an impression among the public that the SAPS could not repair or renovate its own buildings.

Deputy Minister Mathale said that he wanted to emphasise some of the experiences that the Minister of Police had raised with regard to the facilities that SAPS were supposed to use and the time that it took for the DPWI to ensure that the facilities were made available. He agreed to the approach that the Minister of DPWI had committed to. He referred to the example of the Telkom Towers, and said that it was a 24-floor building, and when there was no electricity, it became very difficult to reach the offices and be functional in the facility, which needed serious backup from generators. It was expected that there would be more delays with Telkom Towers because there were other matters that had also not been fixed.

He had taken note of the operational challenges that the DPWI was confronted with. The challenge of the disruptions or community unrest which caused delays was because the project managers did not follow through with the laws that were passed. For example, there was legislation that regulated the professionals within the construction environment and there was also legislation that enabled community participation in the construction processes of these buildings.

In some instances, the working environment, including the sleeping environment of police officers, was completely unacceptable because the services that were supposed to be rendered were not rendered.

Minister of Police response  

Minister Cele said that he hoped that this meeting would take the SAPS forward. He was concerned that the term of this government might end without the police ministry having an office. He agreed with the Minister of the DPWI that there was a need to refer back to the service level agreements and he agreed with the suggestion that SAPS could have its own capacity to work on its projects. He gave examples of police stations that were functioning without water or electricity, but their members were expected to do their jobs. He stressed that such problems should be addressed immediately, because there should be no police station without water and electricity.

Adoption of minutes and Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill report

The Committee considered and adopted its minutes of 11 May 2022.

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Police on the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill [B25 – 2021] (National Assembly – sec 75)

The Committee adopted its report on the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill, 2021, without any amendments.

Closing remarks

The Chairperson thanked the Members for the positive way in which they had united to get the Criminal Law (Forensic Procedures) Amendment Bill passed. The Bill would now be processed in the National Assembly. She said that the Committee could consider this as one of its achievements.

The meeting was adjourned. 


No related

Download as PDF

You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.

See detailed instructions for your browser here.

Share this page: