Discussion of Vote 4: Police Oversight and Community Safety, in the Schedule to the Western Cape Appropriation Bill, 2024

Police Oversight, Community Safety and Cultural Affairs (WCPP)

15 March 2024
Chairperson: Mr G Bosman (DA)
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Meeting Summary


The Committee met to deliberate on budget vote 4: Police Oversight and Community Safety in the schedule to the Western Cape Appropriation Bill. The discussion covered a range of community safety and policing issues, including the effectiveness of neighbourhood watch programs, concerns surrounding budget cuts impacting law enforcement initiatives, and questions regarding the deployment and training of Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP) officers. The Department of Police Oversight and Community Safety (DPOCS) representatives offered insights into budget allocations, recruitment processes, challenges in establishing K9 units, and initiatives supporting the mental well-being of police officers.

The Western Cape Provincial Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety, Mr Reagan Allen, stressed the pressing need for just compensation for officials amidst significant budget constraints, amounting to an R1.1 billion cut within a year. He emphasised the importance of data-driven strategies, focusing interventions on areas with the greatest need while ensuring efficient resource allocation. The meeting aimed to facilitate discussions on key safety concerns, fostering transparency, accountability, and effective collaboration among stakeholders to enhance community policing efforts in the Western Cape.

Meeting report

The Chairperson welcomed Members, representatives from the Department of Police Oversight and Community Safety (DPOCS), and the Western Cape Provincial Minister of Police Oversight and Community Safety, Mr Reagan Allen, to the meeting.

Adv Yashina Pillay, Head of Department (HoD), DPOCS, recalled that the budget for the upcoming year aimed for the 16th clean audit outcome of the DPOCS. She explained that the budget reflected a balance between increased employment costs, due to wage agreements, and funding for ongoing projects. Additionally, she emphasised the importance of funding for presentations, the constitutional and legislative mandate for oversight and the Western Cape Community Safety Act 3 of 2013. She mentioned the significance of watch accreditation and the oversight mandate, including security transversal security services.

The Chairperson asked the Committee if there were any opening remarks about the remarks given by Adv Pillay and Minister Allen.

Ms A Bans (ANC) raised concerns about budget cuts affecting service delivery in various departments. She called attention to the significant impact on service delivery due to these cuts, especially considering the serious crime-related issues in the Western Cape. She questioned the prioritisation process in light of the high crime levels and asked about the focus areas and priorities established based on the unique challenges posed by these problems.

Ms R Windvogel (ANC) expressed appreciation for the Minister's input but emphasised the need to refrain from blaming the wage agreement for the current predicament. She acknowledged that workers in the Western Cape were among the lowest paid and deserved fair compensation. She thanked hardworking officials for their efforts within their limitations and urged against attributing blame to them for the wage agreement aimed at improving their livelihoods.

Minister Allen expressed gratitude for the comments made previously and stressed the importance of just compensation for officials. He delved into the significant impact of a R1.1 billion budget cut within a year, providing a vivid analogy to explain the challenges faced. By likening the budget constraints to having to choose between tea and coffee due to financial limitations, he effectively conveyed the need for prioritisation in allocating resources.

He acknowledged the dedication of the vast workforce in the Western Cape, comprising over 80,000 officials, who strived to deliver services despite the financial constraints. He emphasised the holistic approach of the government in addressing safety priorities, particularly in tackling gender-based violence and engaging youth to prevent their involvement in criminal activities, such as gangsterism.

Highlighting a data-driven strategy, he stressed the importance of focusing interventions on areas with the greatest need, ensuring that resources were allocated efficiently. He emphasised the critical role of oversight in guaranteeing the professionalism of the police service and the effective utilisation of the allocated budget. He provided a comprehensive overview of the challenges and strategies in managing the budget constraints while maintaining effective safety measures in the Western Cape.

Mr F Christians (ACDP) asked if the neighbourhood watches had uniforms or “bibs”. He asked if the term “uniform” was the correct terminology and requested to know if they were wearing uniforms now instead of “bibs” for a period of 36 months. He noted that he had been asking continuously, even in the Standing Committee of Public Accounts (SCOPA), about the benefit of these neighbourhood watches. What was the “carrot” for these individuals? There was a large turnover and people did not get stipends even though there was a large turnover.

He questioned funeral covers for these individuals and said that the Western Cape had less than 15 000 neighbourhood watches. If one were to work out a funeral cover that costs R100.00 for a person, that would mean that it would be R1 500 000.00. He commented that there was a lot of investment being put into these neighbourhood watches, which included training and equipment being given. He considered this unsustainable. A large majority of these individuals were unemployed, and they wanted to “die with dignity”. Would these individuals get funeral cover at least to protect them on duty?

Ms D Baartman (DA) raised her concerns about the extra funding for the Law Enforcement Advancement Plan (LEAP). She asked if the Department was keeping the amount of LEAP offices the same or if the amount of LEAP offices was increasing. If so, what would the difference be for that amount?

Ms Bans focused on the strategic safety partnerships outlined on page 135 of the report. She emphasised the importance of understanding the unique safety and policing challenges faced in the Western Cape, highlighting past effective projects, such as the walking bus initiative, irrespective of political affiliation. Given current resource constraints, she questioned why the Department was not revisiting successful programmes like these. She raised concerns about budget cuts affecting community-police relations and sought clarification on the reasons behind these cuts.

She raised doubts about aligning departmental projects with the Western Cape government's growth priorities. She specifically mentioned the termination of 100 LEAP officers, expressing doubts about their training quality and questioning the logic behind mass terminations without apparent remedial measures or second chances. She sought transparency about the decision-making process behind such actions, expressing discomfort with the lack of prior reports on such large-scale terminations and hinting at potential political motivations amidst ongoing elections.

Ms A Cassiem (EFF) questioned the accessibility and awareness of the Office of the Western Cape Police Ombudsman (WCPO) for lodging service delivery complaints against the South African Police Service (SAPS). She sought assurance from the Minister that every community knew about this office and its functions. She questioned the process following the submission of complaints to the Ombudsman.

She raised concerns about the Department's budget increase of over R49 000 000.00, questioning if this allocation would effectively combat crime, particularly high murder rates. She noted allocations for cost-of-living adjustments and the Western Cape Liquor Authority (WCLA).

She referenced the collaboration between LEAP and the Learner Law Enforcement Office training in Cape Town to reduce murder rates. Had crime rates, specifically murders, increased or decreased since the Minister had assumed office? If there had been an increase, what was the rationale behind continued funding for seemingly ineffective initiatives in reducing crime?

Mr G Pretorius (DA) anticipated a second round of questions and proceeded with three inquiries and observations. He sought confirmation on the appointment status following the closure of the Security Framework Agreement tender on 5 March 2024.

He expressed concern about the supply chain management challenges, particularly the high staff turnover and limited skill availability. Considering the skill shortage, he questioned the Department's strategies to address these issues. Regarding the LEAP offices mentioned by Ms Baartman, he queried the terminology of "earmarked allocation" and its distinction from a standard allocation.

He asked about the WCLA, and sought clarification on implementing public-based alcohol arms reduction strategies and interventions. He questioned the consideration given to e-applications for client services, echoing practices observed in Gauteng as reported in the media over the past week.

Ms P Harris (ANC) stated that the prevalence of firearms as the weapon of choice in communities since 2009 was leading to increased murder rates. She questioned the Department's efforts to mitigate firearm usage within communities and incorporate this into their safety plan.

She questioned the budget allocation for LEAP centres and their effectiveness in combating crime, considering the observed increase in crime rates despite significant investment in safety plans. She expressed her concern about the efficacy of existing safety plans, noting the rise in crime rates despite significant spending. She raised doubts about the impact of these plans and the reduction of LEAP deployments in hot spot areas, emphasising the need for strategic budget prioritisation to achieve desired outcomes.

Minister Allen delivered a comprehensive response to various issues raised during the session. He began by acknowledging the reduction in murder rates in the Western Cape since 2019, highlighting the province's priority status and efforts to combat crime.

He emphasised the importance of data-driven analysis, noting that despite progress, there was still a long way to go to achieve the desired reduction in crime rates. He discussed the proliferation of firearms and strategies to address this issue, including anti-gang and anti-firearm initiatives.

He explained the challenges faced by the province due to discrepancies and inequitable share allocations. He discussed plans for infrastructure development, including establishing new police stations to address community needs.

In response to questions about LEAP officers, he emphasised the importance of maintaining high standards for recruitment and training to ensure the effectiveness of law enforcement efforts. He addressed concerns about budgetary constraints and implementing programmes to support neighbourhood watch initiatives.

He stressed the commitment of the Western Cape government to improving community safety and law enforcement, while also acknowledging the need for continued collaboration and strategic planning to address ongoing challenges.

Adv Pillay thanked the Minister and assured the Chairperson that she would not monopolise the questions and would defer some to her colleagues. In response to the service delivery risks raised by Mr Christians, she emphasised the Department's major concern of unfilled vacancies impacting programs and services due to cost containment measures. The Department had initially had 127 vacancies, and had prioritised 43 posts. However, due to a directive from the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA), they had to further reduce this to nine or ten posts, affecting human resources and operational capabilities.

Despite challenges, she praised staff flexibility in accepting reassignments to meet safety plan objectives. The DPOCS had finalised their service delivery model and macrostructure, which aimed for regionalisation to enhance community responsiveness. She mentioned ongoing efforts, including working closely with organisational development and addressing concerns raised by Mr Christians.

To respond to specific questions and comments, she deferred to Ms Gillian Lutz, Acting Chief Director: Security Risk Management, DPOCS, Mr Moegamat Frizlar, Chief Financial Officer (CFO), DPOCS, for supply chain management issues, and Mr David Coetzee, Chief Director: Secretariat: Safety and Security, DPOCS for additional points, including the firearms reduction strategy and LEAP centres allocation.

She called attention to the impact of reduced government grants on operations and discussed collaborative efforts with the liquor authority to address alcohol-related harm through amendments to the Liquor Act 59 of 2003, including minimum unit pricing and increased operations aligned with safety plans.

Mr Coetzee expressed gratitude to the Chairperson and Mr Christians. He shared his passion for volunteerism, reflecting on his 23-year tenure and the challenges encountered in ensuring volunteers' insurance. He discussed incidents of volunteer deaths, totalling four over his tenure, and the Department's protocol for handling such cases, including donations. He addressed questions about program funding for crime-fighting, detailing the Secretariat's activities in monitoring, safety promotion, and community policing.

In response to the reduction in budget allocation, he clarified that it had affected administrative expenses, not crime-fighting initiatives. He discussed changes in volunteer demographics, transitioning from elderly to youth focus, with initiatives like the Chrysalis program training youth for public works or peace officer roles.

In response to the concerns raised about the LEAP program, he explained the Department’s agreement with the City of Cape Town (CoCT) and the challenges faced, including candidates failing driver competency tests due to COVID-related delays. He emphasised the high demand for trained personnel in private security.

He mentioned the emergence of imitation firearms and collaborative efforts with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to combat their use in crimes. He called attention to LEAP's ongoing efforts in firearm confiscation and clarified that LEAP priority areas had not been reduced despite personnel dismissals.

Minister Allen interjected and shared positive news about recent developments in Mitchells Plain which involved shootings and gang violence. He informed the Committee and officials that two firearms had been confiscated, leading to the arrest of two known gang members. He emphasised the importance of monitoring such cases to ensure that confiscated firearms led to successful prosecutions. He called attention to the collaborative efforts between their strategy, interventions, and engagements with the NPA to ensure cases were pursued effectively.

He stressed the significance of removing illegal firearms from communities, noting that over 500 firearms had been confiscated since the inception of the LEAP programme. He expressed the urgency of a joint commitment with SAPS to eliminate illegal firearms from communities.

Ms Lutz addressed inquiries about the security framework agreement. She clarified that the Department was still in the process of evaluating bids received from service providers, with the aim of finalising appointments by 1 April 2024.

In response to the concerns raised about the WCLA, she confirmed the availability of an e-license portal for online applications. There was a walk-in centre where individuals could receive in-person assistance for registration and profile creation.

She concluded her remarks and deferred to the CFO to address supply chain management issues and provide further information on the turnaround time for filling vacant positions. If there were any omissions about the WCLA, she invited clarification.

Mr Frizlar emphasised the significance of supply chain management, highlighting its stringent regulations within the broader financial management realm of government. He noted that staff working in this area often became highly specialised and sought-after for their expertise, making them valuable assets for recruitment across various government entities.

He outlined the Department's approach to nurturing talent in supply chain management, which included job rotation and mentoring for new recruits, along with providing bursaries for further studies in the field. This investment in staff development aimed to cultivate the next generation of specialists in supply chain management.

Mr Christians stressed the importance of addressing the challenges surrounding funeral cover for neighbourhood watch members, and acknowledging the risks associated with their duties. He expressed his firsthand observations of people's reluctance to join neighbourhood watches due to safety concerns in certain areas.

He suggested conducting a survey among current neighbourhood watch members to assess their views on the benefits of funeral cover and its potential impact on retention rates. He emphasised the importance of providing incentives, such as funeral cover, to encourage members to remain committed to their roles within the community.

He called attention to the valuable contributions of neighbourhood watch members in curbing crime and fostering a sense of community safety, and stressed the need for support and recognition for their efforts, including adequate insurance coverage.

He urged the Department to consider implementing funeral cover as a form of incentive for neighbourhood watch members, potentially reducing turnover rates and enhancing community engagement in crime prevention efforts.

Mr Pretorius expressed his concern about the mental health of police officers and noted the absence of specific references to this issue in the annual report or budget. He emphasised the importance of prioritising mental health support for officers, especially considering the high turnover rate of 770 officers. The Department needed to provide adequate support and services to address mental health challenges among its workforce.

He commented on the issue of poor reaction times by police units during incidents of unrest in Swellendam. He recounted an instance where reaction units had arrived after the damage had been done, indicating the need for improved response mechanisms. He questioned the possibility of establishing a reaction unit closer to Swellendam, potentially in the Overberg region, to enhance response times and effectiveness. He asked if such considerations were being made and if budgetary allocations had been allocated for this purpose.

Ms Windvogel raised several questions about budget cuts and organisational restructuring within the Department. She expressed concern about budget reductions for the Provincial Secretary for Police Service, emphasising that such cuts could weaken the function of this office. She asked what the rationale was behind these reductions and whether any risk assessments had been conducted before implementing the cuts. Have any mitigation strategies been put in place to address potential negative consequences?

She questioned the reasons for budget cuts to Category C municipalities, as outlined in the report. She urged the Department to explain the basis for these cuts and provide insights into any measures to mitigate their impact. She sought clarity on the budget cuts affecting the Office of the HOD. What were the reasons behind these reductions and were there any plans to recruit a new HoD, or would the current Chief Director continue to hold both positions? Had any changes in responsibilities resulted from the HoD's demotion? What was the Department's approach to managing these organisational changes?

Ms Bans raised questions about the Department's strategic partnerships and initiatives outlined in the financial report. She sought clarification on the "rural LEAP officers" mentioned in the report, and requested an explanation of their role and geographical coverage within the Western Cape. What was the budget allocated to this initiative and what was its impact?

She asked about the support provided to municipalities for the development of safety plans. Had all municipalities received funding for safety plans? What outcomes were expected from these plans? She expressed interest in understanding the operational details of this support and its alignment with broader safety objectives.

Mr Christians revisited a previous topic and expressed uncertainty about whether it had been fully addressed. He emphasised the effectiveness of the Chrysalis graduates’ programme, noting its success in various areas. He sought further information on the impact of the programme and the Department's future plans for it, particularly in relation to crime reduction. He called attention to the success of the K9 unit and other related initiatives in combating crime, emphasising the importance of these efforts in preventing illegal activities, such as drug trafficking. He concluded his remarks by expressing appreciation for the ongoing work in this area.

Minister Allen expressed gratitude towards Mr Christians for raising concerns about community safety. He acknowledged the effectiveness of neighbourhood watch initiatives, highlighting how they had helped reduce crime, particularly incidents such as muggings at bus stops. He emphasised the importance of engaging with community members and businesses to enhance safety measures further.

He stressed his commitment to fostering collaboration between government, community, and business sectors to address safety challenges. He shared examples of successful partnerships with companies and emphasised the need for continued engagement to leverage resources effectively.

In response to the mental well-being among SAPS officers, he outlined measures taken to support their health and wellness. There were initiatives, such as providing medical aid and counselling services and efforts to destigmatise seeking help for mental health issues within the SAPS.

In response to the issues raised regarding rural safety units and peace officer training, he discussed their implementation and funding mechanisms. He highlighted the successes in firearm confiscation and emphasised the importance of tailoring interventions to local needs. He addressed concerns about budget cuts and stressed the importance of collaborative funding efforts between government entities and municipalities.

He reaffirmed his commitment to supporting initiatives like the Chrysalis graduates’ programme, which aimed to empower youth and contribute positively to communities. He encouraged businesses to contribute to such programmes and expressed optimism about future collaborations to enhance safety and community development.

Adv Pillay thanked Minister Allen and addressed her upcoming transition within the Department. She clarified that her move to a new position should not be perceived as a demotion but rather as a redeployment she had personally requested. She had served in her current role for five years, including an acting appointment, and felt that it was time for a change.

She detailed her new role, which involved leading occupational health and safety matters for other Western Cape government departments. She highlighted the Department's responsibility for security-related services and mentioned initiatives, such as advising all departments on security matters and assessing the IT platforms of municipalities.

She expressed her commitment to assisting her successor and acknowledged the Department's achievements under her leadership, including consecutive clean audit outcomes and positive culture assessments. She emphasised her excitement about the new role and pledged to continue serving the Western Cape government to the best of her ability.

Responding to the vacancy created by her departure, the position had been advertised and was in the shortlisting stage. Mr Coetzee would act in her role temporarily from 1 April 2024. She noted the vacancy of the HoD post and confirmed that it would be advertised to address staffing needs.

Mr Coetzee addressed Mr Pretorius's inquiry regarding the reaction unit's operations. He explained that although plans had been in place, the implementation had been temporarily halted due to changes in personnel. He elaborated on the Department's efforts to safeguard the entire province's seven million citizens by introducing peace officers. Peace officers were individuals trained briefly by the CoCT before being deployed on a 12-month contract to municipalities for further training in various areas, such as warden and traffic training. He outlined the expansion of this programme across municipalities, emphasising its potential as a pathway for career progression, particularly from neighbourhood watch roles.

He mentioned the rural LEAP programme, which offered advanced training and increased responsibilities to peace officers. He provided details about the programme’s implementation in certain municipalities and the financial contributions required from both the Department and the municipalities involved.

He discussed the importance of safety plans submitted by municipalities to access funding, noting instances where some municipalities had failed to participate or submit plans, resulting in reduced funding allocations. He stressed the need to efficiently utilise allocated funds and mentioned support provided to neighbourhood watches.

On the concerns raised by the Committee regarding training initiatives, he mentioned the Chrysalis programme, which trained individuals for various roles within SAPS and municipal departments. He highlighted successful placements of programme graduates in SAPS and municipal positions, including traffic law enforcement and call centre roles.

On the issue of mental health support for law enforcement officers, he stated that LEAP officers had access to mental health services provided by municipalities and the CoCT. He expressed gratitude and mentioned the ongoing mental health discussions initiated by Mr Pretorius.

The Chairperson thanked the speakers for their responses and noted the absence of further queries from the attendees. He then confirmed with Mr Waseem Matthews, Procedural Officer, Standing Committee on Community Safety, Cultural Affairs and Sport, that there were no members of the public present, expressing a desire to improve public engagement with the Committee in the future.

Ms Bans raised a question about rural safety and the challenges faced in establishing a K9 unit. She expressed concerns about the prolonged difficulties and budget constraints hindering the setup process. She requested further details on the specific challenges encountered, emphasising the importance of understanding the underlying issues to address them effectively.

The Chairperson praised the question, mentioning that Ms Bans was raising a “very good question”. He requested the Department to expand on the two municipalities that had not submitted.

Minister Allen acknowledged Ms Bans’ question but deferred the response to Mr Coetzee, emphasising the importance of clarity and directness in addressing the issue. He highlighted the significance of collaboration and integration in the west district, stressing the need for transparency regarding the challenges faced. He also mentioned the involvement of politicians in the recruitment process for peace officers and the importance of ensuring fairness and transparency in selection. He encouraged Mr Coetzee to provide insights that would assist the Committee in addressing the matter effectively.

Adv Pillay stressed the significance of delving deeper into the contentious matters raised, indicating that Mr Coetzee would provide further insights. She clarified that one of the primary challenges pertained to funding constraints associated with establishing K9 units. Setting up such units incurred substantial expenses, necessitating adequate financial resources. It was important that municipalities possessed the requisite capacity to manage and operate these units effectively. This capacity encompassed not only the financial means but also the necessary expertise and infrastructure to ensure the units' functionality.

She emphasised the specialised nature of the function performed by K9 units, which required specific competencies. Some municipalities might not possess the requisite expertise to handle such specialised functions. This underscored the importance of ensuring that they did so before embarking on establishing K9 units.

Responding to the proposed partnership with the Western Cape Mobility Department, she explained that initially, the idea was to collaborate without directly transferring funds to municipalities. However, funding remained a critical issue in this context. Mr Coetzee would shed more light on this aspect.

On to the topic of peace officers, she delegated the discussion to Mr Coetzee but highlighted the importance of adopting a standardised training methodology across the province. There were inherent risks associated with relying solely on municipalities to provide lists of potential candidates for peace officer training. Such an approach could potentially lead to irregularities. She advocated for an internal process wherein the province actively participated in selecting and vetting peace officer candidates, ensuring a fair and transparent process across all municipalities.

Mr Coetzee delved into the complexities surrounding the establishment of K9 units, particularly focusing on the challenges faced by municipalities for this. He highlighted the significant financial investment required, citing examples such as Beaufort West, which lacked the resources to maintain permanent peace officers within the unit. To address this shortfall, an additional 20 peace officers were being trained to complement the existing workforce, primarily focusing on traffic-related duties.

He emphasised the stringent qualifications necessary for peace officers, and stressed the need for candidates to possess both traffic and police officer qualifications to execute their duties effectively. There were substantial costs associated with procuring and training dogs and handlers for K9 units, with each dog-handler pair requiring an investment of approximately R100 000.00.

He stressed the importance of municipal capacity and sustainability in maintaining K9 units. The Department had a phased funding approach whereby initial support from the province gradually decreased over time, with municipalities expected to assume greater financial responsibility for sustaining the units in the long term.

Addressing the recruitment process for peace officers, he highlighted the politicisation of the selection process in some areas. He lamented that familial or political affiliations should not influence the screening and diagnostic testing conducted by the CoCT. There had to be a fair and transparent selection process, wherein candidates were rigorously evaluated, based on standardised criteria.

He concluded by emphasising the role of the peace officer program as a valuable opportunity for youth, particularly in areas with limited job prospects, such as Beaufort West. The program had the potential to serve as a stepping stone to other employment opportunities. It was thus crucial to ensure fairness and equal opportunity in the selection process.

Minister Allen concluded his remarks by highlighting the need for assistance from the Committee in engaging with municipalities, particularly those reluctant to participate in district safety engagements. He emphasised the importance of transparency and fairness in the selection process for peace officers, recounting an incident where political interference had threatened the integrity of the process. He stressed the Department's commitment to ensuring that candidates underwent rigorous screening and vetting processes to uphold the standards of the peace officer program.

He expressed the Department's openness to collaborating with partners and businesses to enhance their initiatives. He cited an example of offering drones to municipalities for testing purposes, expressing disappointment at the lack of follow-up from some recipients. Accountability and responsibility in utilising donated technology were very important, and municipalities had to uphold their end of the agreement by ensuring proper maintenance of the equipment.

He urged Members to engage in constructive dialogues with stakeholders outside the Committee to address challenges and foster cooperation in advancing the Department's objectives. A collective effort was needed to overcome obstacles and achieve shared goals in promoting safety and security within communities.

The Chairperson, addressing Ms Baartman, acknowledged that there had been hands raised during the previous round of discussions, yet Ms Baartman had not participated during that round. The Chairperson then requested that Ms Baartman make a quick follow-up inquiry.

Ms Baartman asked which municipality or district municipality had declined to accept the drone donation.

Minister Allen stated that the Central Karoo District Municipality had declined the drone donation. In the past, Beaufort West had failed to attend meetings, while Prince Albert and other municipalities had consistently participated. He expressed readiness to engage in difficult discussions to address such issues, emphasising the importance of cooperation.

Closing remarks

Minister Allen expressed gratitude for the input and highlighted the need for ongoing conversations about certain matters discussed during the meeting. He acknowledged the final budget presentation in the current forum and thanked the officials for their contributions. He also expressed confidence in the new role undertaken by some members and officials, emphasising the importance of channelling their energy and expertise to propel the Department forward. He humorously mentioned the possibility of this being his last budget presentation, and thanked everyone for their efforts and support.

Adv Pillay expressed her gratitude to everyone present at the meeting, emphasising her commitment to transparency and accountability. She thanked her colleagues for their support over the years and acknowledged the efforts of every staff member in the Department, especially during challenging times, like the COVID-19 pandemic. She appreciated the opportunity to be part of the discussions and highlighted the importance of accountability in serving the citizens and residents of the Western Cape.

The Chairperson expressed gratitude to the Minister and the HoD, expressing hope for future engagements, whether with the same Minister or a new one. He reflected on past interactions in the Committee, recalling a memorable but frightening incident involving banging on tables during meetings. He humorously noted the absence of such incidents since he became the Chairperson.

The Chairperson also highlighted the importance of having the Department’s personnel during oversight visits, and emphasised the need to ensure their presence in future engagements. He acknowledged the value of their support in ensuring the safety of Committee members during community visits.

Committee Report on Budget Vote 4 in the Schedule to the Western Cape Appropriation Bill, 2024

The Committee voted on the report of the Standing Committee on Police Oversight, Community Safety, and Cultural Affairs and Sport on Vote 4: Police Oversight and Community Safety in Schedule to the Western Cape Appropriation Bill [B1-2024], dated 15 March 2023.

Ms Baartman moved to support the vote and was seconded by Mr Christians.

The African National Congress expressed its minority view in accordance with Standing Rule 90 to not support the report.

The minutes dated 22 February 2024 were supported by Ms Baartman and were seconded by the Chairperson.

The minutes dated 23 February 2024 were supported by Ms Baartman and seconded by the Chairperson.

The Chairperson requested authorisation to sign off on the minutes after the round-robin. He explained that the Procedural Officer would circulate the minutes for everyone to review, but if given authority, he could sign them off as approved without needing another meeting specifically for that purpose. This would prevent the need for additional meetings and minutes.

The Procedural Officer interjected and said that procedurally, there was Standing Rule 24 that supported that the Chairperson could request approval of the minutes.

The Chairperson asked if there were any recommendations or requests for information emanating from this morning’s discussion.

Ms Bans said she had four points and would send it to the Procedural Officer.

The Chairperson expressed his gratitude to everyone and reflected on his experience with the Committee, noting that he had not expected it to be as enjoyable as it turned out to be, especially after his experience with social development. He thanked everyone for their hard work over the last five years and looked forward to the upcoming budget debates, expecting them to be lively given that it would be their last time together.

The Chairperson thanked the Procedural Officer, acknowledging him as the real chair of the Committee due to his continuity and hard work. He humorously referred to the Procedural Officer as the de facto Prime Minister of the Committee and expressed appreciation for his handling of logistical matters. He highlighted the Committee's easy-going nature and minimal requirements compared to others, commending everyone for their efforts. He expressed hope of seeing them again if the Committee reconvened.

The meeting was adjourned.


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