A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.
SAFETY AND SECURITY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
7 March 2001
SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE BUDGET: HEARINGS
Documents handed out:
POPCRU submission (Appendix 1)
SAPU submission (Appendix 2)
Technikon SA submission (Appendix 3)
The South African Police Services was confident that their expenditure figures were in line with the appropriation by Parliament. They are concerned with reaching their objectives although the manner in which money is expended is transparent. Technikon South Africa stated that the training allocation in the budget is inadequate. They are not satisfied with the budget. The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union applauded the growth of the Police budget over the past five years. A disturbing factor, however, is that although the money allocated to the Police has increased, so has the rate of crime in the country. The South African Police Union does not think that the budget is adequate to reach the objectives of the Police in terms of visible policing. The Independent Complaints Directorate had indicated an under-expenditure of approximately quarter of a million Rand. The Committee suggested that the National Treasury would think very carefully about providing increased funds for the next financial year to the Independent Complaints Directorate, since they have not used all the funds that had been allocated to them during the present financial year.
South African Police Services (SAPS)
Commissioner Schutte stated that SAPS are focusing on a multi-disciplinary and integrated approach to their national and organisational priorities. The expenditure figures were in line with the money that was allocated to SAPS. SAPS are now responsible for the handling of Land and Buildings; they welcome this. There is also a commitment to ensuring that SAPS will not over-spend in the next financial year. SAPS priorities for the next financial year, remain the same as the last financial year. [See SAPS document for detail].
Mr R Zondo (ANC) stated that SAPS should explain the addition of a Corruption Unit Programme. SAPS replied that they view corruption as a part of organised crime. They are not sure whether the ICD can deal with all cases of corruption. Therefore corruption has been included in the restructuring of SAPS budget. The task of the Police is to investigate all crimes. This is central to their work. Police investigate organised crime until there is a specific problem that requires outside assistance. SAPS deal with corruption within SAPS the same way as they would deal with it in any other department.
Gen C Viljoen (Freedom Front) asked whether there was sufficient internal training for the police. Also how does the budget help? Commissioner Singh replied that there is clearly not enough training. However, at present there are involved in a performance enhancing process that constitutes special training, on the job training, and external training etc. There are tertiary institutions that train the police. One percent of the Wage Bill has been made available for training.
Mr V Ndlovu (IFP) inquired as to whether the training was for everyone within the police, from the National Commissioner to the Constables. Commissioner Singh replied that there were programmes at all levels: Leadership Development Programmes, Middle Management Programmes and Entrance level Programmes.
Mr M Booi (ANC) asked whether there was a budget for INTERPOL. The National Commissioner, Mr J Selebi said that SAPS relationship with INTERPOL was very important and that INTERPOL had assisted SAPS in a number of instances. INTERPOL had been accommodated for within the budget for Detective Services.
Mr Booi was concerned with the safety of the President and wanted to know whether the budget accommodated for this. Mr Selebi stated that there are VIP protectors and Static protectors. The VIP protectors are responsible for the protection of specific individuals. They ensure that no harm is brought to the body of the individual, and accompany the client at all times. The Static protectors work under the VIP protectors. There are sixteen persons protecting former presidents. One hundred and thirteen people protecting National Ministers. Two hundred and seventy nine people protecting provincial VIPs. There are ninety-four people in operational groups that provide assistance when needed. The major problem with such protection is that it requires a lot of over-time work. With SAPS budget, payment for such over-time is not possible. There is, however, a risk assessment system in terms of which SAPS examines the level of danger and decides on the level of protection that would be needed.
Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD)
Ms C Mckenzie, the Chief Executive Director of ICD, said that previously the ICD concentrated only on investigation, however, since they possess unique information they had to look at proactive strategies to make such information known to the National Commissioner of SAPS. Parliament also recognised this and made it possible for the ICD to refer matters to the police and to monitor the progress of these investigations. Thus there is now a shift from only investigation to investigation, monitoring and development. The ICD believe that more of the budget should be allocated to the monitoring component.
Although 535 posts had been approved for the establishment of the ICD in order to fulfil its mandate effectively and efficiently, the ICD considered the budgetary constraints since inception and decided to reprioritise its investigative priorities. In view of the limiting budget and the effect of the carry-through cost of the filling of 32 vacant posts, a decision was taken to make use of contract appointments. All vacant posts will be evaluated according to how necessary it is to fill the post.
Mr S Tiro, the Complaints Registrar, displayed a diagram that indicated that a vast majority of cases that were referred to them were outside the mandate of the ICD.
Ms E Verster, the Acting Director for Finance, confirmed that there had been no unauthorised expenditure by the ICD and that there would not be an over-expenditure of the budget either. Thus far the ICD has only spent 90% of their budget. By the end of the financial year about 99% of their budget would be utilised. This actually indicates under-expenditure. [See submission for detail].
Adv P Swart (DP) said that the ICD always complains that they are not allocated enough money, however, they manage to achieve under-expenditure. Ms McKenzie indicated that there would probably be under-expenditure this year as well. This is due to the fact that not all expenditure has come in for payment yet.
Mr Zondo asked what kind of misconduct cases did the ICD deal with. Mr E Valoyi, the Acting Director of Administration, said that they deal with misconduct related to misrepresentation of qualifications, misuse of State funds and State property, poor performance, insubordination and intoxication.
Mr Booi asked the ICD to indicate what their marketing programme was. Ms McKenzie said that the ICD focuses primarily on its core function. They use the assistance of other organisations such as the Human Rights Commission to market themselves.
Adv Swart asked whether there was a contingency plan to deal with cases that are outside the ICD’s mandate. Ms McKenzie said that the ICD does have a "gate-keeping process". The case analyst would examine the case and determine whether it is outside the ICD’s jurisdiction. Cases cannot be ignored completely. The ICD refers the case, if outside its jurisdiction, to the relevant Department or agency.
An ANC member suggested that the figures relating to cases of racism were inaccurate. The member made specific reference to the Free State. Ms McKenzie stated that the only cases that they can report and record are those that are reported by the public. The figures that the ICD provided were the number of cases that were reported by the public to the ICD.
Gen Viljoen expressed his view that he believes that there is an overlap of the ICD’s work and that of the police. Ms McKenzie replied that although the ICD is mandated to investigate misconduct in the service, they intercede when there is misconduct by the police in relation to the public. They do not have to intercede were there is misconduct within the police towards the police.
Technikon South Africa (Tech SA)
Ms D Mistry a Senior Researcher in the Faculty for Public Safety and Criminal Justice, said that the SAPS budget does not have a "line item for training per se". A specific item within a training budget should be identified to provide the specialised training needed for the handling of domestic violence and crimes against women, children and the elderly.
Second to the lack of a budget allocation for training, is the lack of resources, outdated equipment and vehicles. The budget only has a line item for ‘acquisition of capital assets’ and lacks sufficient detail on how these budgeted capital expenditures will be spent. There is also no prioritisation in terms of what new equipment and technologies are being budgeted for.
There is no specific line item in the budget for the 2001/2 year that makes available funding for new recruitment. There is a need for a separate budget for recruitment purposes.
There is a need to spend on relevant and practical research.
They concluded that generally the budget is not adequate.
The National Commissioner was unhappy with the statements made by Tech SA. He said that most of the information that Tech SA provided was incorrect. Their presentation was baseless. He said that the issue raised about the expensive motor vehicles used by SAPS was false. He informed the Committee that the BMWs used by SAPS were not bought by SAPS but were given to them.
Mr Ndlovu referred to Tech SA’s statement that "the problem of training is compounded in SAPS by the continued refusal to outsource". He asked whether Tech SA had liaised with the Human Resources personnel about this issue. This question did not seem to be answered. However, Tech SA stated that they are concerned with where SAPS money is going. The capacity of trainers within SAPS was questionable. Tech SA offers Diploma’s in Police Practice. SAPS cannot offer advanced training. The Detective Academy only offers specific training.
Commissioner Schutte stated that the information and the figures that were provided in Tech SA’s document were incorrect. He said that there were various flaws in their approach.
Mr Booi suggested that the document be withdrawn as it does not correlate with what was correct. The Chairperson added that Tech SA should first verify their information with SAPS before making a presentation or doing research.
Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU)
Mr B Motjetsi, Vice President of POPCRU, said that they applauded the increase in the police budget over the last five years. A disturbing factor is that despite these growths in the budget, there is an equally constant rise in crime. POPCRU asks whether the budget is enough or whether SAPS priorities are correct. The programmes as prioritised indicated that there had been increased expenditure on administration (58%). The least increment in expenditure was crime prevention. This is an appalling practical situation.
The increase in the allocation to training was welcomed. [See submission for detail].
South African Police Union (SAPU)
Ms C Van Niekerk, the General Secretary of SAPU, stated that the emphasis on SAPS in the budget speech of the Minister of Finance sent a positive note to the public.
SAPS had consistently lost members at an alarming rate over the past years. The R30 million allocated to SAPS to employ more personnel is not enough. It is not enough to curb the losses and increase the number of employees.
There is insufficient budgeting for overtime duties performed in SAPS. Promotion and the backlog of promotions must be catered for in the human resource budget. It is not clear from the budget presented, how these expenses will be catered for and the exact amount of money needed to fund this exercise.
There is also no particular budget allocated in SAPS per se concerning transformation. As a principle entrenched in the Constitution, it is a serious proposal that separate and adequate provision be made to ensure that transformation is speeded up in the Department. [See submission for detail].
Adv Swart asked the Unions whether they thought the allocation of 67 more vehicles by the end of this financial year was sufficient. POPCRU replied that this was definitely not sufficient.
Mr Ndlovu asked SAPU whether they thought the budget was adequate or not. Ms Van Niekerk responded that in SAPU’s view the budget was "not okay". The complement of police that is catered for in the budget is inadequate. POPCRU suggested that they thought the budget was "encouraging"
Two representatives from the National Treasury were present at the meeting and provided a brief comment on the ICD and SAPS budget. They stated that they were satisfied with the expenditure of SAPS and the ICD. The National Treasury is concerned with the issue of salary dispensation in SAPS. Also they are not sure whether SAPS has the technical capacity to deal with the upkeep of their own buildings.
They said that the mandate of the ICD is not clearly understood by the National Treasury. The ICD’s scope has been extended by the Domestic Violence Act. They are not sure whether ICD requires a Chief Financial Officer. The ICD should go back and look at their budget and then make recommendations.
In conclusion the Minister of Safety and Security wanted to clarify the mention by the ICD of 504 deaths in police custody. Amongst the figures that were provided, there were a number of suicides, people who had died of natural causes, people who had died due to injuries incurred prior to custody. The number of people that had died in police custody due to these reasons was 210. He felt it necessary to mention that the number of policemen that had died whilst effecting arrests and during investigations was almost twice the figure of deaths in police custody.
The meeting was adjourned.
POLICE AND PRISONS CIVIL RIGHTS UNION
PARLIAMENT PRESENTATION: POLICE BUDGET FINANCIAL YEAR 2001/02: VOTE 23
The constitutional obligation on Government to ensure safety and security to the South African population. This constitutional right of the inhabitants of the country is a fundamental right worthy of protection and enhancement by the Department of Safety and Security. It is therefore essential to understand that the primary priority in this department should be the prevention of crime. Thus to this end we support the three year strategy plan of the police as a start to eliminate these criminal hurdles for a better life for all. There should be a distinction between servicing crime and ensuring safety and security. Stabilization of crime tendencies should therefore not be regarded as a success but an indication that the battle for safety and security is far from being won.
The budget as well as its utilization should not be like programmatic exercises, it should be a means to directly or indirectly impact positively on the enhancement of the economic situation of the populace.
The key questions that should come to the mind of all of us is:
What are we funding?
Will this process create the necessary capacity to achieve the set goals?
What are our goals and how do they relate to Government obligations?
Is our delivery machinery well lubricated to run the test of time?
It should be born in mind that without the necessary safety and security other essential menial services, alleviation of poverty and human values cannot be guaranteed. Therefore above all other operational areas, patriotism to the service is the key to the operationalization of the budget and strategies.
We appreciate the constant growth of the budgets for the past five years, particularly the 8,9% growth for the 2001/02 budget. We also appreciate and applaud the Governments commitment for the more than R4 billion additional funds allocated for over three years to alleviate the personnel hardship. (Graph - Total Allocations)
A disturbing factor is that despite these constant growths in budget, the population has not enjoyed safety and security because of the equally constant rise in crime. (Graph %
Change in records car ant truck)
The question is therefore whether:
The budget is enough? The police priorities are collect?
The service is transformed and geared to achieve the intended results?
PRIORITIZATION OF PROGRAMMES
Operational response services
Detective services & crime intelligence
The above diagram of summary of expenditure and estimates per programme indicates appalling practical situations. Against the backdrop of the aim of the department and the Government obligation for ensuring safety and security administration enjoys priority.
The position in terms of the priority should be as follows:
· Protection services
· Detective services and crime intelligence
· Operational response services and
TOTAL BUDGET ALLOCATION: [Editor’s note: Graphs not included]
There is still no official determination by management of the envisaged establishment of the service. In the absence of this it therefore militates against the good intention of Government to achieve its constitutional obligation. During the 2000/01 presentation the chairperson requested management to determine this.
The personnel has been reduced by 7.8% between 1997 and 2001, against the outcry of understaff. This practice militates against the aim of the department.
For the past five years, the personnel has increased by 16.69% in administration programme against the 20,99% reduction in the Crime Prevention programme. This shows great concentration by management on administration other than the core business of the department. This practice needs to be changed as a matter of urgency.
It is worth noting that the service delivery indicators listed tinder the Detective service programme is not encouraging. There seems no intention for successful prosecution of offenders. This entrenches the current practice by the department, particularly by the general detective service that conviction is not the intended result. This practice has reduced the detective to administration or processing clerks and contradicts the concept that says "Crime does not pay".
The lack of an effective human resource policy, acknowledged by the department at this junction is also a cause for concern. This does not add any value to what is portrayed in allocation for training.
In the light of the current functional illiteracy in the service, the department should use the larger part of the allocation for affirmative training. The 473,4% increase for detective training is applauded but should not overshadow pro-active policing initiatives.
The allocation of the extra R 4 billion for amongst others the betterment of conditions of services for personnel is also appreciated. If correctly utilized it will for sure reduce moonlighting suicide incidents and corrupt practices in the service.
In the light of the intended increase of personnel to l23 000 the police population will be 1:390. This quota shows the pressure put on members on a 24 hour basis. No wonder the stress level and medical unfit terminations of service.
I want to take this opportunity to extend my organizational gratitude to all of you present here. Chairperson, may this gratitude be extended to the cabinet and the Safety and Security Ministry through you.
As a civil rights union as well, with the understanding that the police personnel are first citizens and secondly public servants we are prepared to collectively work toward the restoration of human dignity for a better life for all.
Believing in the integrated approach in the criminal justice system, it will make good operational sense to re-align the whole budget for criminal justice system for capacity building and eradication of duplication of functions.
SAPS BUDGET 2001/2002 PRESENTED BY: THE SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE UNION
The South African Police Union is the majority union in the South African Police Service representing in excess of 60 000 members of SAPS.
The aims and objectives are:
· To function as a democratic union for employees of the SA Police Service and employees of policing and all other recognized legal law enforcement agencies without limitation as far as race, creed, religion or gender are concerned and to represent and improve the employment, professional, economic, social and cultural interests of such employees
· The Union shall be a non-profit organization and all income to the Union
shall be used to advance and protect the socio-economic and labour interests and rights of the members of the Union.
· The sole purpose of the Union's activities shall be focused on achieving the main objectives of the Union.
SAPU is not affiliated to any federation and functions as an independent organization, with the main strategic focus for 2001 to deliver service. Service delivery to the communities of South Africa and to the country as a whole will be high on our agenda.
2.STRATEGIC FOCUS OF THE SOUTH AFRICAN POLICE SERVICE 2000-2003
The advent of democracy demanded a fundamental reassessment and transformation of the nature and style of policing in South Africa. The Constitution prescribed the establishment of a national police service that is to be representative, legitimate, impartial, transparent and accountable. A police service that upholds and protects the fundamental rights of all people.
SAPU acknowledges that the South African Police Service has set down crime priorities in terms of their strategic focus, these priorities are:
a) Organized Crime
Combating organized crime by focusing on;
· criminal organizations involved in crimes relating to drugs, firearms and vehicles
· commercial crime
b) Serious and Violent Crimes
Combating serious and violent crimes by focusing on:
· the proliferation of firearms and its impact on incidents of murder, armed robberies, heists and hi-jackings
· crime combating strategies developed for identified high crime areas
· intergroup violence, taxi and train violence, gang violence, and faction fighting in identified flashpoint areas
· urban terrorism
· policing of major events
c) Crimes against Women and Children
Crimes against Women and Children is also prioritized by the Presidency, International declarations and protocols, Government strategies such as the Urban, Rural Renewal and the National Crime Prevention strategies.
d) Improving Service Delivery
The Public Service Regulations prescribes the implementation of a service delivery programme to be implemented by all Departments. It also forms an integral part of the Integrated Implementation Programme of the Public Service Regulatory Framework. It was further highlighted in the President's State of the Nation Address.
3. COMMENT ON SAPS BUDGET ALLOCATION
3.1 EMPHASIS ON SAPS
The South African Police Union has long called on government to give specific attention to SAPS. SAPU was therefore pleased to notice the content of the budget speech of the Minister of Finance on 21 February 2001.
Particular attention was given to vehicle shortages, a special dispensation for SAPS employees, R4 billion has been provided to the criminal justice sector over 3 year, these issues are clearly a message that we want to secure a better Police Service and safer country.
The additional R746 million in 2001/2002 and R1.1 billion for 2002 / 2003 will contribute in alleviating current problems being experienced with low salaries, shortage of vehicles and improvement on police infrastructure. We specifically welcome:
· The implementation of a special dispensation for SAPS members;
· Hiring of additional police personnel:
· Purchasing new vehicles for the police fleet;
· Upgrading police facilities and
· Costs to be incurred related to the purchasing of an Automated Fingerprint Identification System.
SAPU therefore anticipates that the SAPS will benefit from the additional infrastructural allocations that will be made during this year. It is of critical importance, and SAPU alluded to this fact last year to the Portfolio Committee, that we need to upgrade the vehicle fleet, and the maintenance and upgrading of police stations.
It is our view that SAPU should be fully briefed on the allocated budget, this will ensure that we fully comprehend the implication of the budget for our sector. The "culture" established in SAPS of not budgeting for or sufficiently budgeting for critical issues such as overtime, promotions, backlogs on promotions should be addressed because it directly affects the morale of our members and therefore service delivery.
3.2 STAFF COMPLIMENT
SAPS has consistently lost members at an alarming rate over the past years. Taking into consideration that 5 101 members left SAPS in 1999 and 4024 members left SAPS in 2000, the recruitment rate should be increased to cater for the losses experienced but also to increase the current staff complement of plus minus 123 000 employees,
As far as could be ascertained only R30 million was allocated to SAPS to employ more personnel for 2001/ 2002, this is indeed not enough to curb the losses and increase the figures.
It is of course noted that we need both an increase in our Police Act and Public Service Act Personnel figures. We maintain the view that an ideal compliment for SAPS is 161 000 members. However we would like to urge the Portfolio Committee to play a pivotal role in this regard, namely to facilitate a session, including all role players, to determine the ideal staff establishment for SAPS. This will not only address current uncertainties but would go a long way in ensuring proper and measurable service delivery and will ensure correct budgeting in regard to Human Resources.
3.3 IMPROVEMENT CONDITIONS OF SERVICE (ICOS)
The ICOS is included in the SAPS budget and therefore pre-determined by government. This raises certain concerns as it would also lead to a predetermined salary increase in the Public Service. SAPU acknowledges the special dispensation awarded to SAPS employees and we believe that it would directly influence the attitudes of our members.
There is insufficient budgeting for overtime duties performed in SAPS. As a 24 hour service organization, SAPU has undertaken to in the spirit of service delivery re-negotiate working hours in SAPS. We need to ensure not only that our citizens feel safe but also that it leads to greater investment in our country which will ultimately lead to economic growth. Therefore overtime must be paid for actual hours worked in accordance with the relevant legislation.
Promotion and the backlog on promotions must be catered for in the human resource budget. All employees who qualified for rank and leg promotions must be promoted and paid the necessary backpay. It is not clear on the budget presented how these expenses will be catered for and the exact amount of money needed to fund this exercise. In terms of resolution 7/2000 signed in the Public Service Co-ordinating Bargaining Council all outstanding promotions must be done.
Government intends to implement a pay progression system in the public service by 01/07/2001, yet formal discussions were only initiated one week ago. The implications and exact features of such a system must be closely researched and evaluated before implementation.
Overall SAPS relies on a general allocation to cover these items with no clear break down of how much money would be allocated to which particular line item.
An amount of R3O million was made available for Transformation Initiatives in SAPS. These amounts were allocated as follows:
Allocation 1 Service Delivery improvement in SAPS
Allocation 2 Employment Equity, Elimination of discrimination awareness programmes and procurement of Software for Employment Equity Plans.
Allocation 3 Joint labour relations training
Allocation 4 Training in discipline management
This allocation was made to the bargaining council in SAPS (SSSBC) and will be managed jointly by the parties to the council. It is however a concern that no particular budget is allocated in SAPS per se concerning transformation. As a fundamental principle entrenched in our country's constitution and other pieces of legislation it is a serious proposal that a separate and adequate provision be made to ensure that transformation is speeded up in the Department.
Positive strides have been made to ensure implementation but it is our belief that it should be done on a continuous basis.
Adequate provision should be ensured to provide training to all member of the South African Police Service. Reskilling of current employees must take place, literacy training should be provided where necessary and a human rights culture must be adopted by our employees.
3.7 PUBLIC WORKS
The horrific state of numerous police stations across the country has urged SAPU to call on government to hand over the total responsibility of managing the budget for the maintenance and upgrading as well as the building of new police stations to the Department. Constant complaints received regarding the conditions our employees work under led to SAPU launching an "Operation Pig Sty" campaign in 2000.
It is totally unacceptable that employees work without telephones, fax machines, no running water or electricity. The Occupational Health and Safety act provisions must be adhered to at all times namely (section 8);
"Every employer shall provide and maintain, as far as is reasonably practicable, a working environment that is safe and without risk to the health of his employees".
4. GENERAL REMARKS
4.1 The rate at which police officials are killed is between 230 - 250 on an annual basis. This to say the least is unacceptable and the highest in the world. Attacks on and murder of police officials show a blatant disrespect for police officials and the government at large. A directorate for Police Safety has been established at SAPS national, they have initiated steps to reduce the attacks and killings, but it is our view that political intervention is needed to ensure this problem is addressed at the highest level.
SAPU would propose measures such as regular information sessions, debriefing, operational training courses, special measures to be implemented in the Criminal Justice System to ensure speedy and effective trials, establishing of special courts, instituting of minimum sentences and special bail conditions amongst others.
We believe that this portfolio committee could assist in advancing this issue.
4.2 There is an unreasonable amount of time, money and human resources allocated to ill disciplined members employed in SAPS. The media are quick to show the world that police officials are guilty of serious crimes including rape, fraud, armed robbery to mention a few. Unprofessional and criminal action have a negative impact on efficient policing, affect the image of the police in the eyes of the public and demoralizes professional police officials maintaining a high standard of policing and who suffer under an increased workload because of these activities.
SAPU has actively launched an Anti corruption and Service delivery campaign and has condemned openly actions that resort in this category We have and will in future deal with our members in terms of our constitution and we have committed ourselves to participate in all government and non government programmes, community policing forums and actions that will ensure that all criminals are exposed and dealt with in accordance with the law.
Corruption and ill discipline will not be tolerated and dealt with severely.
4.3 The impact of HIV / AIDS on SAPS must be taken into consideration as this pandemic is destroying the working force in our country. The disease has serious implications for the employer which includes negative impact on the medical aid, pension and age of the work force amongst others.
The full implications must be assessed and contingency plans must be drawn up to cope with these consequences.
The disease knows no boundaries.
4.4 SAPU strongly proposes that all employees in the SAPS be united under one set of legislation to ensure that one set of rules are applicable to all. We have tabled our position that Public Service Act Personnel must be translated to the Police Act to ensure consistency and standardized measures applicable to all.
5. CLOSING REMARK
In closing SAPU supports the priorities set down for Human Resource Management namely:
· Optimizing personnel utilization
· Developing and implementing human resource policies
· Developing human resources
· Implementing affirmative action
· Institutionalizing performance management
· Institutionalizing a professional service ethos
· Developing and implementing an Employee Assistance Programme
SAPU would like to take this opportunity to thank the portfolio committee for the invitation and opportunity to raise our views and whish to extend an invitation to you to engage us as stakeholder in the South African Police Service. We also urge you to give the necessary attention to all proposals made in our presentation.
Submission on the 2001/2 SAPS and ICD Budgets by the Institute for Human Rights & Criminal Justice Studies, Faculty of Public Safety & Criminal Justice: Technikon SA
The South African Police Service Budget for the Financial Year 2001/2
At the risk of repeating some of the issues and points identified in the Institute's submission to the Portfolio Committee last year we would again like to highlight a number of these for the consideration of the Committee. We would also like to point out that some of these issues raised were identified in a number of research projects undertaken over the last few years by the Institute. Therefore, on the surface, might appear not to be directly linked to the actual budget.
Furthermore, these issues are raised as a central point of the thrust of the SAPS budget namely, improving efficiency, effectiveness and service delivery while maintaining public order, protecting citizens and upholding law and order. Accordingly we hope that our comments will be seen and taken on in this context.
Given the integrated nature of policing it is to be expected that shortcomings and a lack of skills and training in certain areas will impact on others. Therefore, one needs to look at training in a holistic manner. For instance by training police members in driving skills the delivery in terms of dealing with other priority crimes such as violence against women and children can be better implemented, i.e. quicker response to a complaint. However, this again raises the question of multi-skilling so that your first line of policing - uniform branch - who respond to the crime are also, for instance able to deal with domestic violence before handing over the further investigation of the case to the specialists.
Overall this budget does not have a line item for training per se. While the allocation to the Detective Services and Crime Intelligence have a line item for expenditure on the Detective Academy, which is "running numerous courses for detectives" (advanced training programmes), this amount (approx. R66 million per annum) gives no indication of how much of this is spent just on training or staff development and equipment. Furthermore, in the Summary of expenditure on training (Table 23.15) it would appear that R63 million of this amount is being spent on training. The question being: Is that correct and a true reflection of where this money allocated to the Detective academy is being spent? Moreover, Table 23.15 seems to indicate that a sum of approximately R273 million has been allocated to Administration for "training". In the budget item for administration there is no mention of this sum as a line item for training. Again the question arises: 'Why training for administration?' and 'What training is here being funded?' A final question in this regard being: 'Why no training being spent on crime prevention and border policing?'
It has been our experience that while training in theory has been decentralised to each province, with each being provided with a 'training' budget, in reality the 'purse strings' are still being controlled from head office. A recurring refrain from provincial level is that the provinces:
· have great needs for different kinds of training and not only for the specialised courses provided at the Detective Academy
· there appears to be a shortage of funding to provide training for personnel in the provinces
· the provinces simply do not have the training capacity, i.e. sufficient numbers of trained trainers for all their different training needs.
The problem of training has been compounded in the SAPS by the continued refusal to outsource. This determination to keep all training within the SAPS or only to be done by SAPS trainers, would appear to be based on the erroneous assumption that the organisation will only get back money from the 1% skills levy on payrolls if the organisation gives the training itself.
While there is a tender process in place for outsourcing services (or identifying a service provider) the bottom line remains the fact that no specific budget is provided for training or for the outsourcing of trainers in the SAPS 2001/2 Budget.
In conclusion then it cannot be denied that there is a great need for training, retraining and re-skilling of all personnel within the SAPS and not just for specialists at the Detective Academy. In any case the numbers able to be trained at the Academy are limited. Moreover, with the disbanding of the specialised units there is an even greater need for station level detectives to be capacitated by means of further in-service training. Furthermore, there is a great and obvious need for wider training in facets such as driver skills, customer service and even such basic skills as answering telephones and being able to take down statements. This budget, in not identifying and setting aside a specific training budget has, in our opinion, gravely erred in this matter.
The context for calling for a separate training and itemised budget falls within the following:
· there are high levels of 'functional illiteracy’
· this functional illiteracy impacts on a wide range of service delivery problems
· the training provided by SAPS trainers has a number of limitations, among which are lack of capacity, expertise, and manner of presentation (i.e. courses based largely on lecture presentations with no skills transference by means of workshopping, interactive training, case studies, written assignments/worksheets etc.)
· The non- or partial implementation of ABET programmes (this in the context that, depending on what information used the levels of functional illiteracy in the SAPS ranges from 7% (all those below Std 7/Grade 9 level), 11 % (below matric/Grade 12 level) or 30% (those without a valid driver's license).
The issue of provision of further training at all levels has been set back by an apparent agreement between the police unions and SAPS management (this would appear as yet not to have been formalised into policy) that academic qualifications will be completely delinked from any promotions. In other words an assessment for promotion will be based purely on work outcomes and obtaining a further academic (tertiary) qualification will not be taken into account. Where previously outside academic tertiary institutions like the Technikon SA were training police members in a wide range of skills ranging from policing, management, communication, law etc. this motivation to obtain further training via an academic qualification has now been taken away from members. Therefore, if such an agreement has been negotiated, then surely additional onus has devolved on the SAPS to set up a separate training budget of sufficient size so that such training can be provided to its members inside the organisation and by the organisation's own trainers (alternatively that provision be made for this training to be outsourced to those professional trainers available at the various tertiary institutions offering these courses. Obviously the training programmes need to be run under the auspices of the SAPS).
2. Social legislation: further duties and responsibilities
If we turn to the obligations being imposed by a number of pieces of social legislation, namely i) The Aged Persons & Elderly Amendment act; ii) The Childcare Act iii) Domestic Violence Act, these have undoubtedly placed a heavier policing burden on the SAPS. Although they have been given certain responsibilities under these Acts they do not have the capacity nor have received adequate training to fulfil those obligations. The bottom line is that the SAPS currently do not have the operational capacity or facilities (trauma centres, counselling services etc.) to implement the type of policing responses being called for in the specific social legislation mentioned above.
Here it is the responsibility of the legislators themselves to ensure that the resources are made available (training budgets, facilities, special equipment, etc,) so that the police can perform their required functions in terms of these Acts. These obligati6ns have been further compounded by the prioritisation within the SAPS strategic plans and in this budget of "crime(s) against women and children". Hence the Institute is of the view that a specific item within a training budget be identified to provide the specialised training needed for handling domestic violence and crimes against women, children and the elderly. Included in this training budget should be an additional emphasis on victim empowerment. The latter, although contrary to stated intentions by police management, has been sorely neglected and sidelined among all the other identified priorities. It is a widely held assumption that if a police member is confronted by either responding or investigating a case of, for example, vehicle hijacking and one of domestic violence there is no question in their minds to which case they would be likely to respond or investigate/deal with first. The choice is often justified by saying they are better trained to deal with violent crime such as vehicle hijacking than domestic violence. This unfortunately is seen by the public as abrogating their responsibilities for delivering an effective service in these specific matters. The SAPS 2001/2 Budget must not be seen as, once again, ignoring these public needs in favour of the high profile violent crimes. It is important to provide these so-called 'softer' police services within the context of the wider fight against all types and forms of crime. Therefore, all the more reason for formulating specific training budgets to provide for these policing needs.
Second to the lack of training (and a dedicated specific budget for this) has been the issue of the lack of resources, the ageing of outdated equipment and vehicles. Unfortunately this budget (like the 2000/1 budget) only has a line item for 'acquisition of capital assets' and lacks sufficient detail on how these budgeted capital expenditures will be spent. There is no indication of how asset replacement will be prioritised. This submission once again calls for more detail by itemising line items for specific expenditures on assets. While there is provision made for the ubiquitous 'inventories' - this presumably means uniforms and other work equipment, there again, has been no prioritisation in terms of what new equipment, technologies etc. are being budgeted for.
For instance only R55 million has been budgeted for computer equipment. For an organisation the size of the SAPS this is totally inadequate. For a police service needing to equip its patrol cars with computer capabilities, other new technology like electronic fingerprint identification, digital photograph identification, information database integration, docket tracking, electronic and video surveillance, to mention only a few, this amount would not go very far. There are additional needs for basic equipment like cellphones, handheld radios, pepper spray, digital handheld cameras etc. basic needs like updating radio control rooms with more powerful transmitters. One of the pieces of information provided to the Institute's researchers during the series of focus group interviews in early 2001 was that some patrol vehicles are unable to pick up radio signals in certain places of their patrol areas. For a policing service (rapid reaction response units) it is of vital importance to be in radio link with your radio control room at all times.
The ageing vehicle fleet of the SAPS is of particular concern. A capital item of only R328 million has been budgeted for replacing vehicles. Our own observations on the ground and from the focus group interviews have revealed that not all boarded vehicles get replaced. Furthermore, it has been conservatively estimated that to replace all the vehicles that have reached the stage of being boarded would cost upwards of R1 Billion. We have seen vehicles past 200 000 kilometres still being kept on the road. Unit commanders are constantly being told that there is no money either for replacement or servicing. Nor are vehicles, that are in collisions, being repaired. A case in point is the 100 BMW cars donated in 1995 by BMWSA for use by highway patrol and flying squad units. These vehicles remained the 'property' of BMWSA but were initially placed on a five-year or 100 000-km motorplan. The kilometres were later extended to 200 000 km. However, the five-year motorplan on most of these BMWs expired at the beginning of 2001. Furthermore, most of these vehicles are over the 200 000 limit. A service for these BMWs can be anything between R7 000 and R12 000. The SAPS budget does not extend to covering these costs. The SAPS motor services mechanics have not been trained to service the BMWs (they were always done by BMW) so cannot now be serviced internally. Some units have tried to get local BMW dealers to sponsor services but to no avail. So the question here is what will happen when all these BMWs are out of their five-year motorplans or over 200 000 km and are no longer in running condition. Clearly the vehicle budget is inadequate to replace these high performance vehicles especially when so many of the ageing vehicle fleet in fact need to be replaced as well. High-performance vehicles (not necessarily BMWs) are an absolute necessity for the type of work the highway patrols and flying squads perform. This is where a further complication arises for vehicle replacement. Unit commanders are often faced with the dilemma of having to purchase vehicles from their vehicle replacement budgets and to take the following considerations into account:
-should I buy one more expensive but powerful vehicle, or
-maybe buy two cheaper smaller model, less powerful cars?
This dilemma raises the question of where the vehicle budget needs to be spent, as well as the need for much more funds just to replace (not increase numbers) the rapidly ageing vehicle fleet. It must here be acknowledged that in the past year the SAPS have instituted stricter controls over the usage of SAPS vehicles, the requirement to share vehicles and the granting of authorisations to take a SAPS vehicle home. However, in practice we have found a great reluctance to share vehicles between units or from one area to another. While a certain degree of better utilisation has occurred this unfortunately does not obviate from the fact that the whole vehicle fleet is ageing. The vehicle budget is not adequate for just the replacement of boarded vehicles let alone for the replacement of the expensive high powered pursuit vehicles also needed. A question that needs to be put to the SAPS management in this context being that: In the tight of the limitations on the vehicle budget surely the SAPS should be exploring more innovative and proactive ways of funding vehicle purchases, the possibilities of police/private partnerships, local sponsorships for petrol, servicing and repair of vehicles etc.? An additional note in this regard is that there seems to be no line item for the SAPS petrol budget - what amount has been budgeted for this and where has it been 'hidden' in the budget?
2. Proportion of budget allocated for Personnel costs
Like the 2000/1 Budget a worrying percentage (69%) is being spent on personnel costs (i.e. salaries and medical aid fund). While this percentage is disproportional sight must not be lost of the fact that the salaries of police members need to be increased. However, the assumption in bringing down this percentage (i.e. getting the balance right) would be that more funds need to be allocated to resource replacement (i.e. not cutting the personnel budget). However, the SAPS must avoid falling into the trap of replacing equipment but of then allocating it only to specific units where they do not have sufficient members (understaffed) to optimally utilise the new equipment. For example the Institute's researchers have found at some of the units where focus group interviews were held for a specific research project that there were new vehicles made available to a specialised unit but that there were either not sufficient members trained in high speed driving skills or that there was a shortage of staff. Again therefore the corollary to all this being that while salaries should be improved to counteract members leaving the service this needs to be allied to a prioritised resource allocation and training to use the equipment or vehicles properly.
3. New recruitment
Again there is no specific line item in this budget for the 2001/2 year (although there is an indication of new recruitment only as a line item for the 2003/4 year - why so far down the line?), which specifically makes available funding for new recruitment. Whether these costs are hidden within the general personnel costs is unknown. But for the SAPS to recruit new members, re-professionalise and select quality candidates there is a need for a separate budget for recruitment purposes so that the SAPS can plan ahead and know exactly what amount it can spend on recruitment and training.
4. Ancillary queries
a) A specific focus on 'hot spot' areas has unfortunately led to a displacement of crime from these areas to other areas (often areas under policed or rural areas). This policy needs to be embedded within a wider crime prevention programme and cannot be implemented on an ad hoc basis reactively to high crime levels without the root causes of those levels being addressed.
b) The efficacy of Special Operations needs to be questioned. While these operations, like Operation Crackdown and Neptune, often serve short-term goals, they also have a number of unforeseen consequences. Firstly, in terms of short-term goals, yes they do result in an increase in the number of arrests and re-assure the public that something is being done in line with more visible policing but do they really lead to convictions and the 'flushing out' of criminals in certain identified areas? Secondly, in terms of long-term impact what is exactly being achieved in terms of crime prevention and utilising any crime information/intelligence gathered during the operation for investigations and convictions. In terms of other consequences the Institute's researchers have found out from various focus group interviews with police units in Gauteng that apparently these special operations costs come out of each areas' own budget, i.e. no budgeting for special operations is coming from National level. In practical terms this means that budgets for overtime and other equipment are eaten into by the running costs of a special operation. Not only does this make a mockery of the devolution of financial responsibilities to station level but detracts from funding other activities and equipment at station level. Furthermore, that support for special operations has to come from a police station level. This includes detective support from police station detectives. This means that their investigations on their own cases gets delayed and the work piles up even more. Budget-wise the special operations need to be funded from a national budget and not from other station level budgets. Besides the displacement of crime to other areas it has been observed in another Institute research project that gang activity is cyclical in nature. Have the SAPS taken this into account when deploying members to hot spots and taken this into account when rethinking crime prevention strategies i.e. be more proactive rather than reactive. Concentrate on specific identified individuals etc.
c) Has the impact of metropolitan police been factored into crime prevention strategies? Are there any plans to create partnership and co-operative structures, sharing of training and other resources?
d) Implementation of special salary dispensations: Why only implemented by the year 2003/4? The percentage of personnel costs, while an indication of what is being spent out of the total budget should rather point to the fact that salaries must be increased irrespective of the percentage of the budget. Secondly that while spending on equipment is increasing it rather points to the fact that more should be spent in any case on resources and equipment. Finally, that the overall SAPS budget should be increased substantially.
e)Output and service delivery trends: Here the emphasis on service delivery indicators such as 'arrests' is fundamentally flawed. An arrest in fact means nothing in crime prevention terms since a lot can happen between the arrest and securing a conviction (case withdrawn, lack of evidence, witnesses not turning up in court, continual postponements etc.). Only the conviction rate should be taken into account. This should be the only acceptable measurement (performance indicator) of success in the investigation of crime.
f) "Crime statistics will in future be used to report on performance". As in the above crime statistics are never a true reflection of police performance, they in fact tell us other things, for instance about trends in specific crimes, modus operandi, time, location, perpetrator and victim profiles etc. Moreover, changing patterns of crime reporting by the public also influence reported crime statistics. Then again the so-called 'dark figure' of unreported crime can only be ascertained (perceptions of, victimisation patterns, possible trends etc.) by means of other collection methods (community needs analysis, crime victim surveys, media analysis etc.). For instance, if we take the increase in reported violent crime in South Africa for the period 1994-1999 would this indicate that the police are not performing at all well. Crime statistic analysis should be used to assist the police in planning strategies and responses and not performance. Again the emphasis should be on the number of perpetrators convicted. While it is here recognised that there are other problems within the criminal justice system which impact on conviction rates (e.g. quality of investigations, prosecutor workloads, bottlenecks in courts, poor victim support services leading to reluctance to testify, intimidation of witnesses etc.) nevertheless this is a better indicator of performance. Alternatively such work responses as the number of complaints attended, witnesses traced and cases finalised might also serve as a form of performance indicator.
g) The bulk of expenditure on the Administration programme... consists of payments for the medical benefits of SAPS members." Exactly what percentage is this "bulk"? (Further on in the budget a figure of 36,4% is given for "the subsidisation" of Polmed - is this figure 'the bulk"? Is there no estimate based on past expenditure, and what exactly is being done to implement a programme to prevent abuse of the Polmed services?
h) Research: any police service needs to budget, if only for outsourcing, of research needs. Policy and operational decisions are often made on research information. The quality of those decisions sometimes is dependent upon the quality of the information provided to decisionmakers. In turn that information is gleaned from ongoing research on a variety of issues. For any police service to stay 'one step ahead' of the criminals use must be made of the latest available information, research results and technology. It is imperative that money be budgeted for this activity. Whether this activity undertaken by SAPS personnel or outside independent researchers is a moot point. But the principle of research should be acknowledged and accepted by police management. International examples abound. However, for a research budget to be implemented a basic mindset change needs to take place and the utility of crime information and analyses of crime problems needs to be recognised throughout the SAPS. Linked to this is an issue earlier mentioned - that the recognition of and support be given to encouraging members of the SAPS to undertake further their studies, particular higher education at tertiary level. The SAPS is increasingly being faced by the demands of policing and combating crime emanating from international sources, organised crime and well-equipped criminals. All of these challenges need highly-skilled and trained police members making use of and analysing the latest trends and methods of policing and investigation. Hence the need for spending on relevant and practical research.
i) In the Strategic overview there is no mention of the 1999 White Paper on Safety & Security. Surely this is an important policy guideline for policing in South Africa and setting priorities for combating criminals and crime prevention.
j)National Crime Combating Strategy: No mention is made or cognisance taken of local-specific priorities. Local needs often differ from the national priorities. For example in one area there might be a high number of domestic violence cases or child molestation or alternatively drug peddling. Accordingly, crime prevention strategies to serve local needs should be formulated at police station level. A budget to fund local initiatives needs to be instituted. Furthermore, there has been no emphasis on building community relations, private/police partnerships, re-activating and re-motivating CPF structures. Community policing seems to have become a forgotten concept.
k)What impact will the disbanding of the specialised units have on other forms of policing. Has provision been made for better integrating all the different structures into one being based more on co-operation between the different branches?
I) Training for station level detectives? While provision is made at the Detective Academy for specialised courses there is no mention of accommodating the needs of station level detectives for additional training Furthermore, we have found from the focus group interviews that the refresher courses and other training being provided are out-dated, the "same old" training received before. A whole process of relooking and re-curriculating course content should be undertaken.
The Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) Budget: Financial Year 2001/2
1. Overall budget
While there has been an increase in the overall amount budgeted for the ICD it would appear that this amount is still insufficient for the ICD to fulfil its specific mandate. No additional amount has been budgeted for more staff. Surely the ICD will not be able to monitor all cases especially since the number of reported cases of misconduct, complaints etc. against the police continues to increase. Furthermore, the ICD do not have offices in all the provinces. Clearly then this budget has not made adequate provision for the ICD to undertake and effectively fulfil all its obligations, i.e. how can they improve their efficiency if no additional staff are being appointed.
While the White Paper for the ICD has not yet been finalised there a number of policy implications contained in the draft White Paper that will impact not only on the form and functions of the ICD but also on their budgetary requirements in terms of expansion.
Again from the Institute's own researchers' experiences in the field and work on a project for the use of force by SAPS members it became evident that there is a need for the ICD to more closely monitor and track developments in cases of misconduct and the use of excessive force. One specific need is for such cases to be resolved far quicker. Delays of up to and more than three years are occurring. However, to implement a more efficient system and to have serious cases investigated more speedily there is a need for additional special investigators to be appointed to the ICD. This has obvious budgetary implications.
2. Ancillarv issues
-Additional obligations, i.e. monitoring the implementation and police response to the Domestic Violence Act, are being placed on the ICD. No budgetary provisions are being made for this.
-What training programmes are being budgeted for?
-Are they not spreading themselves to thin, especially in the light of the increase in case loads?
-Has provision been made for the computerisation of the complaints register and for the electronic tracking of cases within the SAPS internal disciplinary system.
-Why no provision for research?
-What is the allocation for the National Revenue Fund?
-Is there a need for a specific 'Chief Financial Officer' post
-No mention of funding for a Witness protection Programme. Are these needs met by the Department of Justice programme?
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