Correctional Services A/B: adoption; Judicial Matters A/B: public comment; Ministers of Police & Home Affairs Executive Undertakings

NCOP Security and Justice

22 November 2023
Chairperson: Ms S Shaikh (ANC,Limpopo)
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Meeting Summary


In the virtual meeting, the Minister of Police provided a progress report on the six Executive Undertakings made at the Taking Parliament to the People in the Ugu District in KZN in November 2022. These included items such as the provision of a police station and a mobile community service centre.

In the update by the Minister of Home Affairs on the eight Executive Undertakings, one of these was that Home Affairs officials had been instructed not to limit the number of people getting services daily at Home Affairs offices. Officials at all offices have been informed not to send away clients.

Members noted that the Ministry response to these Executive Undertakings was generalised. Minister Motsoaledi replied that the undertakings are based on concerns raised by the people of Ugu. However, these concerns are not only specific to Ugu, so when these undertakings get solved, it is not only for Ugu, but for other areas as well.

Meeting report

Opening remarks by Chairperson
The Chairperson noted the presence of the Deputy Minister of Justice and the Minister of Police. The Minister of Home Affairs would be joining the meeting at a later stage.

Correctional Services Amendment Bill: consideration and adoption
The Chairperson said that the Committee had not proposed amendments to the Bill. The floor was open to Members who had any comments, if not, the Bill would be tabled without amendments.

Committee members had no objections to the Bill being tabled without amendments.

The Committee adopted the Bill without amendment. The Committee Report on the Correctional Services Amendment Bill had been sent to members beforehand and the Committee adopted the report with no changes made to it.

Judicial Matters and Amendment Bill
The Committee received only one public submission supporting Clause 10 on the expungement of criminal records of persons whose name appears in records of the Criminal Record Centre of South African Police Service after having paid an admission of guilt fine for offences determined in terms of section 57B(1). This included offences in terms of the regulations of the Disaster Management Act.

The Chairperson invited the Deputy Minister and Department of Justice to comment on the submission.

Deputy Minister of Justice, John Jeffery, said that the Department had already submitted a response and that the official response was that the comment was noted.

The Deputy Minister referred to the agenda item on the executive undertakings made in the Ugu District in KZN during the Taking People to Parliament Programme in November 2022. Undertakings were made by both the Ministers of Police and Home Affairs. The Committee has been requested to follow-up on these undertakings to understand what both of these departments have done.

The Chairperson then handed over to the Minister of Police.

Police Update on Executive Undertakings during NCOP Taking Parliament To The People
Minister of Police, Bheki Cele advised that the presentation was going to be given by Lieutenant General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, KZN Provincial Commissioner. All members had received the presentation. After having connectivity issues, General Mkhwanazi could not give the presentation and Minister Cele took over to report on the executive undertakings made in the Ugu District during the Taking People to Parliament Programme in November 2022.

Executive Undertaking 1
There was an agreement that the National Department, Speaker of the Provincial Legislature and MEC for Transport and Community Safety would visit Umuziwabantu Local Municipality on 28 November 2022 to attend to taxi violence that had engulfed the area. The implementation is that:

• The task team was established and is still active in addressing murder cases in the area.
• South African Police Service (SAPS) Employee, Health and Wellness (EHW) members visited some of victims of crime to provide support and counselling.
• The task team is still in place and functional.

Executive Undertaking 2
Moving the Msinsini Police Station as it was operating in the middle of nowhere. A discussion has been ongoing to move it either to Qwabe or Xoloxolo area. There are engagements with traditional leaders to move the police station. The implementation is that:
• The construction of the Msinsini Police Station is part of the Deep Rural Programme and is currently operating from a farm house that is in a process of re-establishment on a new site, which has already been cleared.
• Professional services were appointed and are currently busy with the planning and design phase, which will be completed by 31 March 2024.
• The bid for the appointment of the contractor will be advertised during April 2024 for award before July 2024.
• It is envisaged that the site will be handed over to the appointed contractor during September 2024, after the Department of Labour has provided the construction permit.

Executive Undertaking 3
The Minister noted that a mobile SAPS station for KwaMgaye was finalised and he undertook that it will be introduced shortly. The Implementation is that the placement of a mobile Community Service Centre (CSC) at the Sawoti Police Station will be addressed and allocated as soon as it becomes available.

Executive Undertaking 4
The Minister said that the Gamalakhe Station handover was supposed to have happened, but the launch could not happen due to heavy rains. He further stated that the station should not be closed at night and it should be staffed at all times. The Department will open the Station officially. The Gamalakhe Police Station was constructed by the Department of Public Works and Infrastructure (DPWI) and completed on 30 August 2019. The process is underway to set a date for the official opening of the police station.

Executive Undertaking 5
The Minister undertook to investigate options for stipends for Community Policing Forums (CPFs) and related structures. The implementation is that:
• The Minister, through SAPS and CSPS, is still investigating viable and affordable options to address the requests from communities for stipends, equipment, meeting fees and other resources
necessary to carry out their functions.
• Options, such as the utilisation of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and engagements with the private sector to facilitate the resourcing of CPFs are also being explored.
• A draft resourcing model will be developed to provide for minimum standards for the provision of resources for CPFs, as a collaborative exercise between CSPS, SAPS and Provincial Departments of Community Safety.
• The proposed solution/s that will be presented in due course will have to take into account the current fiscal constraints and the struggling local and international economic climate.

Executive Undertaking 6
On internal discipline, the Minister stated that SAPS will work hard to root out police officials who do not serve the people and become involved in criminality. The implementation is that all members of SAPS who are involved in criminal activities are subject to a disciplinary process, in terms of the SAPS Discipline Regulations.
• To this end, a total number of 12 SAPS members from the Ugu District Municipality were subject to a disciplinary process after it was found that they had been involved in criminal activities.
• The status of the disciplinary proceedings against the 12 SAPS members are as follows:
- One member was dismissed from SAPS.
- One member was given a written warning.
- One member was found not guilty.
- One member was found guilty and sanctioned to two months suspension without salary.
- Disciplinary proceedings were provisionally withdrawn against six Members.
- The disciplinary hearing against two Members is still in progress.

Mr R Badenhorst (DA, Western Cape) asked what has been done to assist the people on the ground in the Ugu District Municipality. Seeing as there is a task team in place, how many arrests have translated into convictions? When will the mobile community centre be put into place? Has the CPF received any equipment on the ground? Why does it take members of the public to sift out criminal behaviour in SAPS when it is the job of the police? The undertakings presented have not translated into anything tangible.

Mr T Dodovu (ANC, North West) said that CPF funding is what is needed across the country. CPF needs to be provided with the necessary support, equipment, material, and transport. This is so that in the fight against crime, it is able to assist the Police.

On discipline, Mr Dodovu said he was happy to hear that police officers who are out of line are dealt with.

The Chairperson asked for clarity on the time frames for the placement of the mobile community centre and the Gamalakhe station handover. Is there a date for when the station will officially be opened?

Police Minister’s response
Minister Cele said that he has not heard yet of arrests that have translated into convictions however, most of them are court-going. He is in constant communication with the Mayor and the task force on the ground. He will have to check again on the time frames. Gamalakhe police station handover is not a priority as there are 13 police stations that still need to be handed over in the KZN province. It falls at the end of January and that is when it will be formally handed over. The area’s crime rate has improved with the sending of extra vans, policemen and a station commander.

The Chairperson thanked the Minister for his response.

 and mentioned that should he and his team want to remain on the platform they were more than welcome to, however, if they wished to leave, that would also be fine. The next set of Executive undertakings was presented by the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Pakishe Aaron Motsoaledi.

Update on Home Affairs Undertakings during Taking Parliament to the People
Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, provided the progress report:

Executive Undertaking 1
Home Affairs officials have no right to limit the number of people getting services daily. This is taken very seriously and the Minister undertook to address staff behaviour.

The progress is that officials at all offices have been informed not to send away clients. The roll out of the Branch Booking Appointment System (BABS) has been instrumental in addressing the challenge of clients having to return as offices are attending to fewer walk-ins as most clients utilise BABS.

Executive Undertaking 2
Department of Home Affairs (DHA) will increase the number of mobile offices and will acquire another 120 mobile offices in the next financial year. There are 14 mobile offices in KZN and the Department will add 40 more mobile offices to service the province. The progress is that:
• KZN has received three trucks out of 20 mobile trucks DHA procured in 2022/23. The three allocated to KZN have been allocated to the Umngeni office in the eThekwini Metro, Pongola Office in the Zululand District Municipality and to Ixopo Office in the Harry Gwala District Municipality. These offices are now able to do outreach programmes and participate in programs as requested by stakeholders within these Districts.
• A further 100 mobile offices are in the production stage with the suppliers. Fifteen of these will be allocated to KZN which will make a total of 32 allocated. The introduction of self-service kiosks will also cover the mobile units as DHA is planning to conceptualise virtual interactive self-service machines for mobile trucks.

Executive Undertaking 3
Department will acquire mobile offices with satellite dishes to minimise disruption during load shedding. The progress and implementation is that:

The procurement process to procure nine flat panel satellite dishes which will be fitted to the trucks to improve connectivity is still underway with SITA. In November 2023 a proposal was received and Home Affairs requested SITA to revise the proposal due to financial implications, but the current MTN and Vodacom routers are working well in mobile trucks when there is load shedding.

Executive Undertaking 4
Guard against identity theft with new births to be registered within 30 days of birth and a birth certificate issued.

The progress is that as part of the strategy to move birth registration from Home Affairs offices to where births occur, DHA in collaboration with the National Department of Health has an MOU to facilitate the allocation of office space in health facilities with the intention of bringing services to the people at 346 health facilities across the country. Currently, DHA is represented at 161 health facilities that can register births and print them on the spot which represent 68.35% of births delivered in South Africa. DHA is in the process of connecting an additional 91 health facilities by the end of 2023/24.

[See document for remaining Executive Undertakings]

Mr Badenhorst said that there was a reason why the Committee took Parliament to the People of Ugu. The people had raised specific concerns and it feels as if those concerns were not addressed. The Executive response to these Undertakings are generalised and could be applied anywhere in the country.

Mr Dodovu said he was happy that mobile support is available in rural areas. He requested the Department to ensure that rural areas are targeted because they need these services the most.

Mr Dodovu said that in the last six months, there has been improvement in how quickly children get registered after birth by government officials. The only problem is that they often get the names of the newborn babies spelled incorrectly on the official forms which is something they need to pay attention to. He once had to return these forms himself when a name was spelled incorrectly.

Mr K Motsamai (EFF, Gauteng) asked the Home Affairs Minister what is being done with non-African foreigners that are in South Africa illegally. Some are being arrested while some with money and firearms are able to apply for visas with a mere birth certificate. It appears that Home Affairs know that this is illegal however officials are too scared to make arrests.

Home Affairs Minister’s response
Minister Motsoaledi replied to Mr Badenhorst that the eight undertakings discussed are based on concerns raised by the people of Ugu. However, he had mentioned before that these concerns are not only specific to Ugu, so when these undertakings get solved, it is not only for Ugu, but for any other area as well.

On registering births, in bigger hospitals where more than 5000 babies are born per annum, a permanent office is set up that specifically deals with registration. In hospitals where 500 or fewer babies are delivered per annum, officials are sent to register babies. The incorrect spelling of names could likely be human error, and not just on the officials' side but on the civilians’ side too. Incorrect names can easily be changed.

The Minister asked that Mr Motsamai bring the matter to Home Affairs to be dealt with. The Department is not scared to tackle foreigners who are not African, just last year a gentleman from Pakistan was arrested for fraud in full view of the public. Moreover, 67 Pakistani people were arrested at OR Tambo International Airport, and a week later, 11 more at Cape Town International Airport.

Closing remarks by Chairperson
The Chairperson thanked the Ministers for providing the Committee with the progress on the Executive Undertakings. The Committee will consider the progress as well as any issues that arose from the engagement and will compile a report with recommendations for the National Council of Provinces.

The meeting was adjourned.

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