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SAFETY AND SECURITY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
2 March 2005
SA POLICE SERVICES STRATEGIC PLAN AND BUDGET: DEPARTMENT BRIEFING
Chairperson: Ms M Sotyu (ANC)
Documents handed out:
SA Police Services briefing
The SA Police Services (SAPS) presented their budget to the Committee. Salary increases would be implemented across the board, and they were satisfied with this increase. Committee Members expressed particular concern with the strategy of performance-based salary increases.
SA Police Services Strategic Plan and Budget briefing
Deputy National Commissioner Singh presented that the Strategic Plan comprised of key department objectives, financial objectives and financial programmes that were based on the object of policing in terms of Section 205 of the Constitution (Act 108 of 1996). The strategic priorities were developed taking, inter alia, the following into account: the JCPS cluster priorities; the President’s State of the Nation address and the Government’s programme of action. The strategic priorities as detailed in the strategic plan 2004 to 2007 were identified as the following; organised crime; serious and violent crime; crimes against women and children; improving basic service delivery; human resource management and budget and resource management.
Divisional Commissioner Schutte identified the key initiatives and deliverables to be administration, visible policing, detective services, crime intelligence and protection and security services. The budget was estimated to increase from R21.9 billion in 2003/4 to R33.4 billion in 2007/8. The adjusted baseline was at R33, 4 billion in 2007/8. The MTEF estimates for the replacement of boarded vehicles and the expansion of the fleet was estimated at R903 million in 2007/8.
Spending on personnel, capital infrastructure, IJS priorities, expansion of the vehicle fleet, modernisation of computer technology, firearms control, general equipment and an automated fingerprint identification system would be expanded. Spending on death grants, pay progression, incentives, rewards and scarce skills would be maintained. Improved remuneration and CCTV would be new spending priorities.
Mr A Gaum (NNP) asked if the increases were sufficient incentive to hold the police officers in the service and attract quality recruits to the service and if the increase in physical resources were adequate. The delegation assured the Committee that their equipment was well stocked.
Mr R Jankielsohn (DA) suggested that the detective services should receive increases. He expressed concern with the fact that the SAPS were considering serving as an exit mechanism for the SANDF and the stress experienced by the police due to the implementation of departmental policies. He predicted problems with the implementation of the Firearms Control Act. He asked if the increase in remuneration would decrease the salary gap between senior and junior personal.
Commissioner Singh answered that the salary increase should be considered over a three-year period. This increase would take place across the board especially in the lower salary brackets and would be performance based. The members from the SANDF would have to meet all the Department’s recruitment criteria. The calibre of applicant to the police services had been improved.
Commissioner Schutte stated that the information around the firearms would be made available to the Committee at a later stage. The detective services would receive a generous salary increase.
Ms J Sosibo (ANC) asked if the establishment of the criminal record and forensic sciences division had been helpful to the police and why some officers had complained that they had not received bulletproof vests as yet.
The delegation assured the Committee that the forensic service was indeed helpful and was an important part of their investigative ability.
Commissioner Eloff stated that although the bulletproof vests were heavy they were available to all police members. These vests were considered to be necessary police equipment.
Mr O Monareng (ANC) asked who was responsible for the CPF budget. He expressed concern with the absorption of SANDF members in SAPS. He questioned the relatively small increase in the crime intelligence budget.
Commissioner Schutte explained that the CPF budget was considered to be police operational expenditure and that the growth of crime intelligence had been satisfactory.
Ms A Van Wyk (ANC) asked what the exact cost of SETA was to the SAPS and whether the performance contract had been signed. What had been done to improve the standard of management within the police services? She questioned police access to performance charts and the fact that the most successes with convictions occurred when private arrests for crimes such as shoplifting had been made. She asked if the fingerprinting tool AFIS was being used in investigations.
Commissioner Schutte stated that no agreement had been reached with the Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA) as they were not happy with the service received from the SETA. AFIS was indeed an active tool in investigations.
Commissioner Eloff stated that performance charts were available on the intranet system to persons with access to it. He stated that it had been decided to train all Commandos in management skills.
Commissioner Singh assured the Committee that various policies were in place such as the in-service station management training programme to improve the performance of management.
Mr A Maziya (ANC) asked how it would be possible to implement performance based salary increases considering the role of the unions. Who was responsible for the establishment of trauma centres in police stations? Were all police stations on-line and were police reservists compensated for their role? Were the existing detectives receiving additional training?
Commissioner Singh stated that this salary performance system had been negotiated with the unions.
Commissioner Eloff stated that Social Development was the Department responsible for the establishment of the trauma centres, however, the police and community would assist as much as possible. Police reservists were only compensated if the police called them to active duty.
Mr V Ndlovo (IFP) asked if the current budget would accommodate the transfer of SANDF members to the SAPS.
Commissioner Schutte stated the funds required for these transfers would come from their base line budget.
Mr Ntuli asked what the Department’s strategic objective was with regards to satellite police stations. He expressed concern with the fact that these stations closed at night. Were the fitness standards expected at recruitment only required at that stage or should they be maintained after recruitment? He questioned the logic of using private security to provide security to police stations.
Commissioner Eloff stated that satellite stations was the current plan to spread the police services to all areas. He suggested that these stations be considered an attempt to improve the service. He considered it a cost effective way to utilise private guards as guard duties were extremely limited and did not require all the skill of a police officer. This policy had lead to problems however as police members were on guard elsewhere.
Commissioner Singh assured the Committee that a policy geared towards maintaining police fitness standards after recruitment was being developed.
Mr R King (DA) asked if the policing of the borders had been taken over by the police already.
Commissioner Eloff stated that it was the first year that the police were guarding the borders. Negotiations were taking place to transfer the resources required for this purpose from the SANDF
Mr Jankielsohn had heard that the death grant would not be paid if police members were not wearing a bulletproof vest at the time of death. The delegation assured the Committee that the death grant would not be withheld.
The Chairperson asked that a list of the planned construction of police stations be sent to her office. She questioned if police members on stress leave would receive salary increases as they would not have a performance record to be judged on.
Commissioner Singh stated that a service-enhancing programme had been initiated and that increases would be based on this. She questioned whether a police member on stress leave was contributing to the improvement of police service. She mentioned that sick leave was regularly abused.
The meeting was adjourned.
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