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SAFETY AND SECURITY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
10 November 2005
RESTRUCTURING OF INDEPENDENT COMPLAINTS DIRECTORATE AND SECRETARIAT: BRIEFING BY MINISTER
Documents handed out:
Minister of Safety and Security (ICD) Restructuring Briefing
The Committee heard a briefing from the Minister of Safety and Security on the restructuring of the Independent Complaints Directorate and the Secretariat. He noted that every police area would now have ICD investigators. The Secretariat would also be restructured to ensure that it was effective in executing its duties.
The Committee's concerns included the source of the budget to fund the restructuring process and the time it would take to complete this, the huge workload at the provincial level of the ICD that impacted on the quality of work of the Directorate and what would happen to ICD's policy section. They complained that the rural areas were largely neglected by the Directorate.
The Minister, Mr C Nqakula, said that the restructuring of the Independent Complaints Directorate would not result in job losses but instead, there would be more vacancies that needed filling. He said that there was aware that there were challenges facing the Directorate. The key components of the Secretariat was monitoring and evaluation, communication and legal services. The ICD on the other hand was mainly focussed on investigating. Previously most of the ICD investigators were concentrated in the head office. Changes would mean that the co-ordinating structure would be at the head office and investigators would be located in the provinces. All the 43 police areas in South Africa would have the ICD investigators. He emphasised that the pending restructuring process would not result in job losses. The Secretariat used to have 45 people at the head office, but only 21 people would be left at head office. the rest of the personnel would be redeployed to other areas such as the department's communications and parliamentary services. He added that the communications department would need more funds and the Ministry would provide those funds. He said that even though the Secretariat would be moved from the Ministry, it would continue to interact with the Minister.
Mr V Ndlovu (IFP) asked about the availability of funding for the restructuring process especially for the new posts that had been created.
The Minister replied that a report would be presented to the Committee when all the restructuring was completed. The whole restructuring was expected to be finished by the beginning of 2006.
Mr R Jankielson (DA) noted that in the North West the average caseload for the ICD was 200 cases and the ICD was overwhelmed by the work. In response to his asking for timeframes for finishing the restructuring process, Mr Nqakula said that the process would be finished in early 2006.
Rev K Meshoe asked whether the distribution of personnel in the ICD was according to geographic size or population size. He asked what was the average number of hours that the ICD took to reach the crime scene.
Mr Nqakula replied that the police force was over-stretched, and some areas were so big that ICD officials would take up to three days to reach them. By that time the evidence could be contaminated. The restructuring of the ICD would mean less distances for the ICD and cases could be resolved much faster. He said that personnel would be redistributed according to the size of the police area. He added that private investigators were interfering with the work of the police.
Ms A Van Wyk asked whether the policy formulation work would be done by the ICD or the Secretariat.
Mr Nqakula replied that the work of the ICD was to deal with misconduct and the Secretariat would deal with policy issues.
Mr L Diale asked what arrangements had been made for rural areas because crime syndicates were infiltrating the rural areas. Organised crime bosses had realised that police had little or no resources at all.
Mr Nqakula replied that rural areas were part of the policing areas and organised crime was everywhere and in every country. Organised crime had had people within the police services.
The Chairperson thanked the Private Security Regulation Authority delegation for being present even though they did not take part in the discussion. He commented that they were working very hard to clean up the security industry.
The meeting was adjourned.
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