Department Budget: briefing by South African Police Services

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26 May 2004
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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report

26 May 2004

Chairperson: Ms M Sotyu (ANC)

Relevant Documents:
SAPS presentation on Safety and Security Budget
Safety and Security Budget: Vote 25
Summary of the key priorities of SAPS

The South African Police Service gave a strategic overview of the 2004/2005 Budget. Commissioner Selebi gave a contextual background to the Budget presentation and shared with the Committee how the department was pleased with the budget vote because it had exceeded their expectations. Some questions were asked around the department's cluster approach, borderline duties, the relationship between SANDF and the department, the railway and municipal police and death benefits for off-duty police personnel. The budget objectives were linked to the goals of national government. Many questions were left unanswered because the meeting ran out of time.

Mr J S Selebi (National Commissioner of Police) outlined the challenges facing the police force. He touched on the mammoth task given by the National Assembly, which was not to arrest 200 people but to unravel 200 syndicates, which could have 200 people or more. This had to be done within a space of 300 months. The Constitution and the South African Police Act require the South African Police Services are required to investigate, prevent, protect and maintain public order. The amounts spent on each programme vote are a reflection of the broad aims and functions of the department. The policy and expenditure of SAPS were aligned to the government's strategic goal of reducing poverty, increasing employment and investment, lowering the cost of economic activity and strengthening safety and security.

The priorities were categorised into six focus areas: organised crime, serious and violent crimes, crimes against women and children, improving basic service delivery to all communities, proper human resource management and budget and resource management. These focus areas were the frames for the budget vote. These initiatives would be enhanced by the appointment of additional personnel and deployment of more personnel in priority geographical areas to increase visibility, reduce contact crime by 7 to 10% for the next ten years, restructuring of the departmental units for effective service delivery, investment in capital and basic equipment, building and maintaining of policing structures, modernisation of information technology and continue to establish a division of protection and security services.

The Justice, Crime Prevent and Security Cluster (JCPS) launched a comprehensive inter-departmental strategy three years ago, which still remains. The strategy was divided into programs. The areas were: the development and transformation of cluster departments such as justice, correctional services and home affairs, crime prevention as opposed to arrests,
giving South Africa security by ensuring better transformation of the prosecution and judiciary and the humane treatment of those detained. Issues raised were the prevention of children being put in prisons with adults and the emphasis on reform to prevent repeat offending. Currently 60% of prison populations are repeat offenders.

In closing the National Commissioner stated that the police had been given a good deal because the budget was much more than was expected. An example was the department's expectation to spend R600 million on vehicles but instead they were given R719. Personnel resources had also benefited.

SAPS briefing on Budget Vote 25
Commissioner K L Craemer (DIV Commissioner) explained that the money allocated for 2003/2004 amounted to R21 967 926 000. At the end of the financial year the amount spent was R21 967 924 881 which leaves a remainder of R1 119 which was surrendered to the National Treasury as funds not spent by the department. The allocation across the six programs was administration 21.65%, crime prevention 42%, operational and response services 5.9%, detective services 17.08%, crime intelligence 2.96% and protection services 1.93% which totalled 100% of allocation. Personnel expenditure took 75% of total spending whilst the remainder of 25% was spent on all other operational expenditures.

Mr Stefan Schutte (Head Financial Services) spoke on the department's strategic overview and the figures and facts of the 2004/2005 budget. He outlined the policing priorities, the organisational priorities and the aims of the Strategy. He also explained the cluster priorities, which were organised crime, border security, corruption, contact crimes, firearms and cooperation in the region and on the continent.

Linkages were made by the National Commissioner about the growth of arrests. The number of arrests would grow unless causes of crime were dealt with. The strategy of using profiles assisted in implementing developmental programs with other departments. Sixty-three had been highlighted so far.

Mr Schutte explained the budget process and the terms used and went through the Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF). [See presentation for full details]

Ms Sotyu pointed out that there were serious time constraints, which would affect the time for question of clarity and debate.

Ms J E Sosibo (ANC) reminded the department that the committee had made a request that if the department was going to make a presentation then the relevant documents should be made available prior to the meeting in order to ensure full participation and understanding.

Ms D G Nhlengethwa (ANC) asked for clarity on border security on slide 10 of the presentation. International airports were mentioned but border posts going to other countries had been left out.

Commissioner Selebi explained that border control covered all border posts but that priorities had been picked out for 2004 in relation to clusters. Currently Beit Bridge was priority number one as part of this project along with the Home Affairs turnaround strategy, Johannesburg International Airport and Durban Harbour. The general policy was to have police at all border posts but the emphasis would be on these highlighted projects. Over a period of six years the South African Defence Forces would move away from borderline duties. Another priority for 2004/5 was to increase the division of protection and security personnel to guard borderlines.

Ms Nhlengethwa pointed out that she was from Mpumalanga, which had many borders posts to other countries. Car thefts in order to sell them across the border were common.

Mr V B Ndlovu (IFP) asked what the Home Affair turnaround strategy was.

Commissioner Selebi explained that this turnaround strategy dealt with the shortfall of employees and also with the different levels of corruption such as identity document fraud which was common. Things had to be put right in the departments.

Mr R Jankielsohn (DA) questioned borderline control. What was happening if the police were not doing it because the defence force had already started scaling down? He also wanted to know about payment of territorial reservists, what the police would do in the interim and what would happen to reservists in the future.

Commissioner Selebi stated that the department could not afford to pay reservists. The agreements between the police force and the defence force were still in the early stages. What had been agreed was that 7000 defence force personnel would be transferred to the police force. Part of the personnel transferred would be for security and protection for borderline duties. Funds were still expected for this transfer. The police would use the vehicles and camps used by the South African National Defence Force (SANDF). An issue that still had to be resolved was the salary structure of the transferred personnel because some were generals and brigadiers and the salary had to be fair.

Mr G Mngomezulu (ANC) asked what SAPS and Home Affairs were doing about Pakistani men marrying young girls without their consent. For example in Mpumalanga some Pakistani men had employed young women who were being exploited. A case had been taken to the police but nothing had been done.

Commissioner Selebi agreed that this was a major and common problem. He placed the blame on the current law which allowed the middle-men who were facilitators of this wrongdoing to get away. Lawyers were representing these perpetrators making it difficult for the police because they were unable to hold them beyond a certain number of days. A discussion was needed in Parliament about legislation to catch the middle-men.

Mr O E Monareng (ANC) asked if there was a budget for CCTVs because there was no reflection in the budget. He also asked how the records were integrated in terms of IT because transport traffic control used NATIS (National Traffic Information System) and Home Affairs had HANIS (Home Affairs National Identification System) to capture data about people. Which method did the police use to capture data and what connection did they make between the home affairs and transport department? The member mentioned the technical complications that the SAPS presenters faced using overhead instead of PowerPoint.

Commissioner Selebi explained that a PowerPoint presentation had been designed but the movement of venues prevented the use of it. He pointed out the costs of housing each member of the delegation at R700 per night and R82 for breakfast which was money wasted. The long term plan was to have teleconferences so that personnel would not have to leave their boardrooms for presentations and discussions.

Mr Mngomezulu referred to Slide 21(a) and said that the presenter had mentioned a special fund that was controlled by SAPS on behalf of other departments. He wanted to know why SAPS controlled this fund and not any other departments mentioned under the cluster.

Mr R Jankielsohn asked if there were any plans to expand the death grant to off-duty officers as well. He linked that to Members of Parliament still being covered if they were at home. He also asked about the Firearms Control Act and the R36 million made available for the implementation of that. Would the amount be enough to cover the backlogs currently experienced. He also wanted to know what the provincial and local subsidies were and what they were used for.

Commissioner Selebi said that they could not extend the burial benefits to off-duty police mainly because of the financial implications. Currently R30 million was allocated. The ones who would die on duty would be the first priority. The aim was to work towards a provident fund for the police, which would encompass everyone.

Ms Sosibo asked about day to day maintenance and whether it was not the responsibility of Public Works. If this was the case what had to be maintained by the police as indicated in the budget? She also asked if the Gauteng radio system was only for Gauteng. If so, what about other the provinces?

Commissioner Hlela explained day to day maintenance as the repairing of broken windows, broken handles and the like at police stations and official buildings.

Commissioner Selebi explained that the Gauteng radio is there because the radio system had collapsed. It had been renewed. If any other area indicated that the radio system was dilapidated they would have to budget for that and continue to improve that.

Ms A Van Wyk questioned the item Protection and Security Services in Slide 21(a). The increases included the railway police coming in and would they not have an impact on visible policing? If so, should it not be taken as part of Visible Policing? Secondly she asked about the separation of the police service packages from public sector service in terms of dispensation. This was a debate that had been going on for the last few years. The media and the Minister have discussed the issue so how would provision be made for that if it did happen.

Commissioner Selebi agreed that railway police should be taken as part and parcel of visible policing. It is part of crime prevention and reducing contact crimes.

Mr F T Maserumule (ANC) asked if there was growth in the number of detectives. Was there growth in funding and skills to match the growth in personnel? Where would control, training and contact lie in terms of railway and municipal police? Further, what was the relationship with security companies particularly after the Ellis Park disaster?

Commissioner Selebi said that as additional people were recruited efforts were made after the initial training for indications of how many wanted to do detective training. The same would happen with crime intelligence. This year 9 050 people went through initial training. Alongside the growth in personnel was a growth in vehicles to match the personnel. The growth that was wanted which is more important is the growth in crime prevention. If crimes are prevented there are fewer dockets to investigate. There must be a balance.

Rev K Meshoe (ACDP) referred to Visible Policing in Slide 21(a) and asked about the exact figure spent on border policing in comparison to the SANDF. He also asked why there was a separate item for Port of Entry Security. It seemed to overlap with Border Policing.

Commissioner Hlela (Deputy National Commissioner) explained that the amount reflected there was the amount being used by members doing border policing. The ports of entry were referring to international airports and harbours.

Mr Selebi explained that what was called border line duties which meant personnel who were on the border patrolling the border line which was the SANDF. Border duties include checking of cargo going in and out which is done by the police. This is called border policing. At Johannesburg International Airport there are border police as opposed to ordinary police. They look at cargo that arrives, etc. Ports of Entry are personnel who check passports, registration of vehicles, visas etc. These include harbours, airports and borders. This is different to border line. The money that had been used was for border police.

Ms Sotyu noted that the budget for 2004/5 had an item for Medical Support which had a budget for R2 500 000. Did that include HIV/AIDS programs in the department? Further, what steps was the department taking to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS? The Chair added that this a serious issue and that more time was needed to really look at what the department was doing in relation to HIV/AIDS.

Commissioner Singh (Deputy National Commissioner) said that there was not enough time to fully engage with these questions. There is an extensive program that had been implemented over the last five years. Last year there was a budget of R10 million to cater for the roll out on the implementation of HIV/AIDS programs. The Commissioner offered to return at a later stage to brief the Committee on the programs. There was also collaboration with medical schemes.

Ms Sotyu closed the meeting by reminding the Commissioner Selebi that the 2010 World Cup was another issue that needed to be discussed. She also highlighted that more meetings with the police needed to take place so that the portfolio committee could start their work. The meeting was closed.


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