SAPS Budget vote hearings: follow-up discussion

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16 May 2000
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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report

16 April 2000

Document handed out
SAPS Comments on Technikon SA's Submission (attached to end of minutes)

Committee Chairperson: Mr M George
SAPS delegation: Deputy National Commissioner Pruis, Divisional Commissioner Singh (Career Management), Assistant Commissioner Terblanche, Commissioner Prinsloo (Personnel).
POPCRU delegation: Vice President, B Matyetoyi, and Provincial Chairperson, Greg Goss.
SAPU delegation: President A Nel, its Negotiator, Andy Miller, and its General Secretary, Celezt van Niekerk.

Although South African Police Service management feels their budget allocation is sufficient to meet the Service's requirements, POPCRU and SAPU do not share that view. They argue that the budget does not take inflation into account nor is it not linked to the Strategic Plan of the SAPS. The unions seem most concerned by the budget's lack of clarity as to where amounts would come from to cover promotions, overtime pay, improvement of conditions of work and training requirements of SAPS.

The Committee remained unsatisfied about the actual numbers of staff needed by the SAPS as the different parties pointed to conflicting figures. SAPS management said it is not so much the numbers that matter but better strategies and morale which would effectively fight crime. The operational plans would dictate SAPS other requirements such as training. Management pointed out that SAPS exceeds the 0.5% requirement of funds to be allocated for training in terms of the Skills Development Act.

The meeting was a continuation of the one held on 5 April 2000, where it was felt that the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU), South African Police Union (SAPU) and Technikon SA and SAPS management should return to clarify certain issues in their respective submissions on the budget.

In answer to a query by Dr Geldenhuys (NNP) on when the Firearms Control Bill will be tabled, the Chairperson said that the Bill is with the State Law Advisors because of certain misunderstandings arising from Sections 15 and 16. It is hoped that it will be back in the process [Ed note:
Firearms Control Bill tabled 19/5/2000]. In reply to his question on when a debate on farm killings would be held, Mr George said that he could not deal with the farm killings in this meeting, adding that it is the responsibility of all the parties to look at farm killings and not that of the ruling party alone.

Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (POPCRU) Comments
Mr Matyetoyi of POPCRU said they would not be dealing specifically with administration details, but principles. The SAPS management in the 5 April 2000 meeting had said the budget is more than enough to deal with SAPS requirements. In POPCRU's view, the 9% increase is not enough.

The budget does not indicate increase in areas such as logistics. It has been stated that SAPS runs at a shortage of 31 000 staff members and plans are under way to employ about 2 500 employees. The budget does not explain how this planned intake is to be covered.

Administration seems to be prioritised over detective services. Yet allocations for detective and intelligence work is far less than that for administration services. Based on the level of crime, there is no indication that the budget is aimed at dealing with it. In the previous financial year there was an increase for training. The current budget does not appear to be aimed at dealing with training requirements facing SAPS at the moment. In mid 1999 about R6 million was needed to deal with backlogs in promotions and basic conditions of employment but up to now these have not been tackled.

POPCRU congratulates the Strategic Plan of the SAPS. However, it is disturbing to notice that the budget was not drawn with the aim of making the Strategic Plan practical.

South African Police Union (SAPU) Comments
Mr Miller said SAPU agrees with POPCRU that it is strange that SAPS management said the budget is sufficient. The budget does not take inflation into account. In real terms there is no increase. The budget does not take into account clothing allowances under benefits and allowances. Line items do not include provision for overtime. From 1 June 2000 overtime would be a requirement of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and the amount allocated would fall short by R300 million. An example of the situation in Nyanga Police Station was given. Here there are 14 detectives with 3 cars, 3 700 case dockets to deal with (1200 of which are court dockets), and they have to work around the clock to solve these cases.

A system is in place in the SAPS to reward police for good work but it is not budgeted for. There is no budget for recruitment, and no line item for promotions. The SAPS is bound by law to promote its employees. Currently there are 40 000 people waiting for promotions. The management has said that promotions are automatic in the SAPS. SAPU's view is that this is not so; people study in their own time and at own expense but are told at the end of the day that they cannot be promoted because that has not been budgeted for. It is believed R600 million would be needed to address promotions. This amount would bring promotions up to date.

Ms van Niekerk of SAPU pointed out that improvement of conditions of service had to be seriously looked at. Discipline is a serious concern; about 2000 members are on paid suspension on any given day at a cost of R23 million to SAPS.

SAPU has been involved in campaigns to show the public poor conditions SAPS members work under. The Department of Public Works has to be pressured to deliver on building facilities. Another concern is the large numbers of police who die in the line of duty, and this has negative implications for the morale of members.

Questions and comments
The Chairperson noted that SAPS management had said it would redirect its spending patterns and that the budget is enough to implement its requirements. However, it keeps being pointed out that overtime, training and promotions are not budgeted for. The budget is not linked to the Strategic Plan, but yet is said to be sufficient.

He went on to say that at some stage a discussion is needed to determine whether SAPS should be removed from the Public Service. Another debate that is needed concerns the claim by SANDF that they should also be accorded policing powers.

Advocate Swart (DP) noted that SAPU said SAPS has a shortfall of 37 000 staff members, the Minister said 7 000; the total staff complement is said to be 161 000, whilst management said about 124 000. He asked that these figures be clarified.

The Chairperson said in the last five years SAPS had said it is bringing down its numbers and his understanding is that 161 000 is the old number.

Deputy National Commissioner Pruis agreed that 161 000 was the figure arrived at after amalgamation of all forces after 1994. He thinks the total number of police should stand at 120 000. Functional police should do work for which they were trained and civilians brought in to do administration work. The view is that it is not so much the numbers that matter - rather a better strategy and improved morale. For instance, in an earlier operation SAPS had deployed some 5 100 members in comparison to the this year's 3 100 members in Operation Crackdown and the latter operation had yielded improved results, which points to a better strategy and morale. For the high morale, a compliment also goes to the unions. The strategy is such that all units (detective services, intelligence, special investigation units) complement each other work together.

All the departments in the Safety and Security cluster work together, thus the budget of SAPS should not be looked at in isolation. The budgets of the clustered departments overlap and work in an integrated approach such that SAPS receives support from other departments such as Intelligence. In response to SAPU's comments on suspensions, he said that this issue is currently receiving the attention of SAPS management.

The national Combating Forum is to develop an operational plan. Operations dictate everything. The type of training that management for instance received does not meet operational requirements. Operational training is needed.

Divisional Commissioner Singh said she agrees that the area of personnel needs to be worked on. There are many pressing needs in the SAPS, amongst which, human resources and improved conditions of service are prioritised for this year.

The Skills Development Act requires that 0.5% be budgeted for training but SAPS exceeds this requirement. The focus is currently on operational training. SAPS is evaluating whether it is getting value for money by sponsoring tertiary education or if it should be focussing on short courses aimed at operational requirements of the SAPS. Peer educators are trained in a HIV/AIDS program. An HIV/AIDS policy is being finalised and work is on implementation of the plan. The 2 400 people in categories of functional personnel, guards and civilians are to be trained at an estimate of R103 million which is contained as a subdivision in the budget for personnel expenditure.

Advocate Swart noted that in the 5 April meeting, it had been said that amounts are allocated for the improvement of conditions of service. What are management's plans regarding the 40 000 promotions and overtime pay?

Reverend Meshoe (ACDP) said the amount R1 billion for overtime seems a lot. He wanted to know if there is no shift system in the SAPS.

Mr Miller of SAPU pointed to SAPS assertion that promotions are morale boosters, saying this is not accurate as this is a right and provided for by the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

Divisional Commissioner Craman said the amount for improvement of conditions of service is about R1 billion. Consultation with the unions is to be undertaken, and guidelines are awaited from the Public Service after which a decision will be taken on how much goes to promotions and meeting the requirements of the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.

He said that plans are underway to recruit the 2 400 civilian personnel in the current year. SAPS is currently completing an audit of those police engaged in administration work. A task team will then effect voluntary transfers and these would be replaced by civil servants.

He pointed out that as of 1 April 2000 the outstanding number of promotions was 23 000 (the figure of 40 000 was last year's projection). Promotions are divided into post promotions and rank and leg promotions. The first phase of post promotions is to be finalised by 1 July 2000. A backlog in the rank and leg promotions is not possible to meet because of budget constraints. The issue of morale boosters needs to be looked at in a historical perspective. It involves a nurturing work environment such as putting in place performance management systems and fair job appraisals.

The Chairperson said the Personnel Department would need to return to the Committee to say how many people are needed in the SAPS. He said the SAPS management should improve its communication with the unions, pointing out that some of the issues raised in the meeting pointed to poor communication and not budget issues as such.

The meeting was adjourned.

Appendix 1:

The following comments are provided herewith:

1. Lack of detail.
It quite often is evident that outside institutions are not familiar with budgeting methodology even more so when it relates to the financial planning and budgeting system of the State as prescribed by the Treasury.

In view of the aforementioned it is necessary to provide more information in this regard as to promote clarity.

1.1 Budgeting system
As far as expenditure is concerned the basis of the budgeting system can be summarised in a few main points. The system:

- Identifies the aims and objectives of departments in broad outline and subject these policy objectives to close scrutiny with a view to the allocation of means.
- Identifies the executive programmes by which these objectives are being pursued or to be pursued.
- Integrates objectives and their executive programmes into the budget - it therefore associates and connects specific policy aims directly with their financing by means of a separate budget for the executive programme associated with each objective.
- Strives for multi-term financial planning of executive programmes.

1.2 Budget data

1.2.1 Budget information
The needs for detailed budget information, whether for internal departmental purposes or for submission to the Treasury, Cabinet or Parliament at various levels of decision making are not identical. Details are therefore collected and submitted in accordance with each decision-maker's needs. As an example it could be stated that the amount spent on stationary may be important for internal decision making in the Department but not for Cabinet or Parliament.

1.2.2 Purpose of the expenditure (objective structure)- Programmes
The decisive consideration when deciding on the allocation of means is the purpose for which funds are being requested. A department will then compile an estimate of expenditure per objective to be pursued. This results in the cost of departmental functions/activities being determined and made available to decision makers within the framework of a suitable objective or programme structure i.e. a structure reflecting the programmes and sub-programmes. Lower subdivisions into elements and activities for the achievement of each objective also exist. The intention is, as much as possible, to connect and integrate each departmental policy objective/function directly with an own executive programme with an own budget.

1.2.3 Expenditure items - Standard items
Departments compile an estimate according to the above-mentioned programme structure (which is related to aims and objectives) simultaneously with budgets for specific goods and services, that is expenditure items or inputs such as salaries, transport, equipment and stores in respect of the aims to be pursued (i.e. executive programmes). The classification according to standard items is prescribed by the Treasury and consists of personnel expenditure, administrative expenditure, inventories, equipment, land and buildings, professional and special services, transfer payments and miscellaneous expenditure. Each one of these standard items are subdivided in small items such as clothing, fuel and oil, telephone expenditure etc.

1.2.4 Centres of financial responsibility
Organizational units entrusted with the task of submitting estimates of expenditure and accounting therefor against each estimate.

The budget system therefore consists of these basic structures namely objective, item and responsibility and the preceding approach therefore offers various combinations such as programmes and sub-programmes for the Vote: SAPS, standard items per programme, standard item per centre of financial responsibility etc. (Read jointly with item 1.2.1).

1.3 Forms of the parliamentary budget document
The form in which votes are submitted to Parliament has been determined by the Minister of Finance in consultation with the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA). It is obvious that not all the information which may be required for departmental purposes can be included in parliamentary documents i.e. Main Estimates of Expenditure.

1.4 Should an assessment of the SAPS budget as included in the Main Estimates of Expenditure to be defrayed from the National Revenue Fund during the financial year ending 31 March 2001 be made, it complies in all aspects. The presentation made to the Portfolio Committee had to be based on the same classifications but included more information regarding the budget. Should the content be considered one would note information in respect of the following:

The programme structure was aligned against the strategic focus in order to illustrate the multidisciplinary approach in pursuing aims and objectives.
* Funds for specific objectives were highlighted.
* Multiyear comparisons between programmes and standard items were presented.
* The Vote: SAPS was presented according to programmes, sub-programmes and elements as well as standard items and specific small items to indicate cost drivers (sub-division)
* Specific matters such as personnel expenditure vis-a-vis other expenditure, apportioning methodology and Polmed were indicated.
* Various other matters were also replied to.

It is evident that more information that is included in the Main Estimates of Expenditure was provided.

1.4 Notwithstanding the above it should be noted that various other information also exists. Be that as it may, it should be noted that a specific component in the SAPS is responsible for the compilation of a budget planning submission (submitted to the Treasury for evaluation) during the planning phase of the budgetary process. The compilation of a budget planning submission is performed according to the following main steps as contained in the Manual on the Financial Planning and Budgeting System of the State

* Alignment of departmental goals with the goals/policies of Government.
* Identification of activities which can be afforded within the MTEF
* Examination of the rationale for activities / establishing new activities
* Prioritisation of activities where possible on costing from zero
* Determination of outputs to deliver the aim of the department
* Implications of the MTEF allocation
* Consequences of a reduction in the MTEF allocations

(A number of schedules in the above regard is being provided to the Treasury for evaluation.)

2. Proportion of budget allocated for personnel costs
In this regard a number of broad statements are made and comment is as follows:

2.1 In respect of the proportion of personnel expenditure in the budget i.e. ratio of personnel expenditure against other expenditure it should be noted that the matter has been illustrated very prominently and has also been addressed comprehensively by means of a plan. In respect of the 2000/01 financial year the ratio applicable to the budgeted amount is 78 /22% which represents significant progress according to the plan as envisaged some time ago by the

2.2 Without commenting on the viability of an increase in remuneration for police members it should be brought to attention that such an increase as proportion of the total budgeted amount will impact on the personnel/operational ratio except if operational expenditure is also to be increased. It reflects a bit of a conflicting statement.

2.3 Outsourcing of services are being proposed in a generalised manner without qualification and could in many instances be more costly than current services. Various problems could be encountered with such an approach but the SAPS is nevertheless involved in partnerships such as the SITA model and fingerprint identification system.

3. New recruitment
Recruitment has been specifically budgeted for in a comprehensive costing model and reflects additional appointees of 2400 persons divided into categories of civilians, functional personnel and guards at an envisaged cost of R103 million for 2000/01 taking part year planning and carry through costs of R208 million into account. It is contained as a subdivision within the budget for personnel expenditure.

4. Training
Training should in the first instance be assessed in terms of the amount that was spent in the previous (1999/2000) financial year as well as the newly introduced Skills Development Act, 1998. The amount spent in the previous financial year was R227 million.

The situation in the SAPS is the following:
According to the Skills Development Act, departments must make 0,5% (2000/2001) and 1% (2001/02) of it's payroll available for training. Currently the amount allocated and budgeted for training exceeds this minimum requirement.

Specific types of training are small items and are not usually included in a budget document to Parliament. The details however are as follows:
K53 - Driver training
Human Rights Education
Management Development
Public Order Policing
Basic Training
Border Policing
Dive and Task Force Training
Other Training
Dog Training
Detective Training

5. Lack of a R & D budget and investment in new technology
In respect of research and development various aspects should be taken into account. Apart from certain issues which are uniquely to the SAPS environment, a number of new developments especially in the field of capital infrastructure are available in the market place or can be purchased should the priority arise taking affordability into account. In the case of the defence industry most of the research and development was aimed at the development of armaments (weaponry) to fulfil the specific needs for equipment in respect of the SANDF. Spending in this regard simultaneously fulfilled the purpose of maintaining an industry for economic purposes such as prevention of job losses, maintaining technological capabilities etc. The situation of the SAPS obviously differs in this regard.

With specific reference to the information technology environment it can be stated that any new developments are being performed via the State Information Technology Agency (SITA) and is not visible being classified as "research and development" per se'. The statement regarding the small budget amount allocated to technology cannot be concurred with as R611, 956 million reflects a significant amount of spending within the Vote especially as proportion of operational expenditure (± 18%). It should be remembered that financial discipline must be maintained within the framework of availability of funds. The IT function to a large extent has been "outsourced" and maintenance of existing systems, new equipment and technology are the main cost drivers. It has also been indicated in the presentation that a number of programmes and additional information technology projects are being pursued.

6. General budgetary provisions
Statements in this regard once again emphasise statements as indicated throughout the text.
* "Admin costs takes up a significant portion." It will be noted from the presentation that travel and subsistence for various reasons, communication and data-lines are the main cost drivers.
* As also indicated in the presentation professional and special services consist mainly of payments to SITA (outsourcing), medical/nutrition for detained persons and legal costs. The hiring of consultants in the true sense is not a factor and medical support does not refer to medically boarded personnel.
* Outsourcing has already been addressed but it should once again be reiterated that it is not merely an action to be performed but dependant upon capacity, unique circumstances and eventually costs as it will always incorporates an element of risk and profit. Infrastructural development refers to the erection and purchase of structures and is only part of a large amount vesting on the PWD budget for accommodation purposes. The amount as indicated does not include provision for rentals, maintenance and even small works.
* The increase relating to the programmes Crime Prevention and Operational Response Services, and Detective Services and Crime intelligence are as follows:

Programme Actual 1999/2000 Estimate 2000/01 %
R000 R000
Programme 2 7287721 8 192547 12,42
Programme 3 2 922 650 3 034 199 3,82

Voted 1999/2000 Estimate 2000/01
R000 R000
Programme 2 7 919269 8 192 547 3,45
Programme 3 2 557 400 3034 199 18,64

(Please note that a lesser percentage increase on a larger amount reflects a significant increase in monetary terms.)

7. It is trusted that the above information will contribute to a sound understanding of the budget methodology and the Vote: SAPS


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