SAPS Transformation Process & Budget; draft Committee programme

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03 September 1999
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Meeting Summary

A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.

Meeting report

3 September 1999


Documents handed out:
Draft Committee Programme (see below)
Policing priorities and objectives
SAPS Budget
Representivity in SAPS
Transformation in SAPS
Summary of standard items
'Blue Book' - Policing Priorities and Objectives for 1999-2000


The Minister of Safety and Security Mr Steve Tshwete briefed the committee on general security priorities, including an adamant denial that a bill on gun control policy had already been drawn up. The committee program was adopted with two proposed additions (unknown). A briefing from the South African Police Service (SAPS) followed. This was divided into four parts, (i) policing priorities and objectives presented by Commissioner Fivaz, (ii) the budget strategy presented by Mr Schutte, (iii) a transformation overview presented by Assistant Commissioner Ngobeni and (iv) the issue of representivity presented by Assistant Commissioner Stander.


The chairman opened the meeting by expressing the need of the committee to work together to combat crime. He said that argument and disagreement would only serve to aid the criminal. He then called on the Minister Mr Tshwete to address the committee. Mr Tshwete talked about the priorities of the department and SAPS. He expressed the need for a more united security service. This could be done by consolidating the relationship with other security minded departments such as Justice and Home Affairs. There should be a united approach to the entire criminal justice system to ensure that criminals are effectively dealt with.

The Minister spoke of various SAPS issues that need to be addressed especially those relating to the transformation process and provision of a better community service. The poor state of the criminal justice infrastructure must be resolved. Crime must be challenged. It has become such a menace throughout the country that it is affecting both community and business life. There is no government in the world that would wish to contend with such a bad situation. The gender balance must be further improved. Women cannot become an endangered species within the service, they must be encouraged and they must exist in all levels of the service. Many of these pressing issues can be aided through partnership with others. In fact the Minister stated that this would be the only way to address the problems within the service. Partnerships are possible both with other departments and the private sector. This would aid training and provide the conditions in which workers would be encouraged to succeed. The service must aim to compare with the best in the world and to this end the Minister said that overseas experience for officers would be crucial.

Most importantly the Minister expressed the urgent need for the government to apply its mind to the gun problem. The problem is great for both citizens, business and visitors. The Minister vehemently denied that a gun control bill had been presented to him or the cabinet or even that a 'bill' existed. He insisted that currently the issue of gun control existed only as a draft policy that was still being worked on. He indicated the importance of this draft policy saying gun control was a matter of life and death affecting the whole country. He believed that it was crucial that parliament spoke with one voice when trying to implement a gun control policy and to this end he was meeting today with the MECs concerned with safety and security to share ideas on the draft policy. A position must be developed on this draft which will then proceed to cabinet for consideration. The Minister made it clear that only then would a definite policy leading to a gun control bill develop.

Finally the Minister stated that he has a specific position on the issue of police officers signing in their weapons when they go off duty. He will never consider a situation where police officers are disarmed when off duty. This is simply not the proper approach with regard to people who put themselves in the firing line for the sake of their country. Equally however, he said that a hard line would be taken over police gun loss through negligence. There must be proper management of guns.

Questions after the Minister's presentation

Mr M Pheko (PAC) commended the Minister for the levels of crime that he claimed have come down for the three months Mr Tshwete had been the Minister. He however raised concerns about the wide spread taxi violence and the lack of infrastructure in some police stations. Sometimes when a crime is reported there are no police vehicles available to investigate. He pleaded that this issue be addressed. Mr GP Mngomezulu requested that the Minister not respond to that question, as it will be dealt with the next Wednesday in a specially prepared agenda.

An NNP Committee member stated that he was glad the Minister mentioned Section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act and, he asked for clarity on the matter. The Minister said he will not allow any impediment to the police services.


Committee Programme
Mr McIntosh proposed two items to be added to the programme. The two items were added as proposed.

The ANC moved for the adoption of the draft committee programme and was seconded by the NNP. The committee adopted the programme.


Questions to Commissioner Fivaz
Mr P Zondo (ANC): Given the police priorities and objectives what impact does this have on crime in South Africa?

Response: On each objective and priority we will be in a position, next month, to tell you what progress was made. We have succeeded in stabilising the rate of most crimes and are satisfied that this is the right approach. Furthermore we have made inroads in to absenteeism of staff. The new approach has managed to cut down by 80% the total number of absenteeism through illness. This document gives senior management the platform to make sure that progressive plans are implemented to show that problem areas are dealt with.

Mr M Booi (ANC): You have mentioned that there is an increase of detection of corruption. What exactly is meant by this and what infrastructure is in place?

Response: With increase of detection I meant to say that the rate of detection is becoming better and not that corruption itself is on the increase. There is a definite increase in sentences and dismissals of police officers found to be involved in corruption.

Mr G Mngomezulu (ANC): Daily we are told and read about crime against women and children. What mechanisms are in place to ensure that these matters are resolved?

Response: The Minister said that one must be very careful when looking at the whole question of crime against women. Many of these women complain about their husbands, but when action is taken against the husbands they are the first people to ask for the charges to be dropped. Many of these men are aware and take advantage of the fact that they are the breadwinners in the family and that their wives depend very much on them. Therefore in most instances these women must firstly consider the financial implications should they take action against their husbands for abuse.

Mr Solomon (ANC): What is the situation and policy regarding police brutality and torture?

Response: The policy is in place for these matters to be dealt with seriously and officers are instructed to investigate properly. We have a serious responsibility as police management to make sure that such investigations take place.

Another member remarked that 300 000 criminals are at large in South Africa and this creates the perception that there is an increase in crime. He then asked for an indication of the state of Affairs. Commissioner Fivaz responded that the SAPS have a black list system in Pretoria, where all criminals nationally are registered. This is a continuous system, which is updated regularly. The Deputy Minister said that one must be careful and not see all 300 000 criminals as serious criminal offenders, for example people who fail to pay their traffic fines on time become 'wanted'. He then advised the Commissioner to be more specific and detailed in giving these numbers, by creating different categories of offenders.

Appendix 1:



Friday 03 September 1999

1. Consideration of Committee Program

2. Briefing - Transformation Process in the SAPS

3. Briefing - SAPS budget

4. Police Priorities

NB: It is envisaged that the above mentioned items will be linked to the new

vision of the Minister.

Wednesday 08 September 1999

Briefing - by SAPS and Security Officers Board (SOB)

Monday 13 September 1999

1.Briefing by National Secretariat on National Crime Prevention Strategy


2.Briefing by Banking Council of South Africa (BCSA)

Wednesday 15 September 1999

1.Consideration of Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD)

2.Briefing by the National House of Traditional Leaders (NHTL)

Wednesday 22 September 1999

1.Briefing - Border Policing

2 Taxi Violence _______________


Current indications are that the Arms and Ammunition Bill will be introduced in Parliament towards the end of September. And it will bit referred to this Committee for consideration. It will be at this point that the Committee will embark on the legislative process such as arranging public hearings and effecting amendments where necessary.


After the Committee has finalised the Arms and Ammunition Bill, the following

provinces will have to be visited:

1.Gauteng (flash Points areas)

2.Western Cape (Flash Points areas)

3 KwaZulu Natal (Flash Points areas)

NB: The Committee will have to constantly interact with the Minister and the National Secretariat whenever possible. In this regard, the Committee will be notified about possible dates on which the Minister will be available.

Mr. M E George (Chairperson)

Contact Person: Lungisile Pakati



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