Briefing by SAPS Department on Budget

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18 May 1998
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Meeting Summary

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Meeting report

18 MAY 1998

Document handed out:

Vote 31: South African Police Service, 1998-1999

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The Chairperson, Mr Molekane, welcomed the members to the briefing as well as SAPS managers, notably Commissioner Fivaz and Mr Kahn, CEO of SAPS.

Commissioner Fivaz gave a brief outline of the focus of the briefing. It included what was in the budget, how it was compiled, where the focus was and the limitations of the budget. He said that Mr Kahn would provide a brief overview of the budget and would then hand over to Mr. Bossman , who would present the details of the budget on an overhead projector. This included matters such as allocation to the provinces, percentage increases to the budget from last year, and the issue of an increase to SAPS budget which at present involved the Finance and the Safety and Security ministers.

Mr Kahn: a brief overview.
Mr Kahn began by explaining that SAPS budget was the interpretation of its strategy. Included in SAPS strategy was the transformation of the senior command structure and the re-equipping and resourcing of SAPS, of which R2 billion was currently spent on operating equipment and operating costs. It also included the intention to reduce the head count of the SAPS through restructuring of reservists and reduction of absenteeism, and the enforcing of a Code of Conduct which included empowerment, training and development of police members. The Basic Policing Model included the gradual improvement of service of SAPS and building on the current stabilisation of the crime rate with the long term objective of decreasing the crime rate to the level of international standards.

Mr Kahn continued by saying that SAPS budget was increased by 3.7% in nominal terms for the fiscal year 1998/99, not taking inflation into account. However SAPS was short of approximately R600 million largely due to the formation of the National Crime Prevention Services Department (NCPS) which was a newly formed department. The NCPS has to operate under the existing budget, with no separate funding from the Finance Department. Negotiations were underway for the allocation of approximately R300 million from the Financial Policy Reserves to cover the formation of the NCPS Department. Negotiations were also underway with the Minister of Finance to ensure that the increase of the Budget in nominal terms was extended to approximately 5%. Therefore in total the ideal situation would allow for SAPS budget's increase to be extended to approximately 8% (in nominal terms) and this would ensure that the Basic Policing Model would be able to run.

Mr Mathee (NP) asked Mr Kahn if it was true that the present 3.7 % increase of SAPS budget in nominal terms, was in fact a decrease of 3.7 % in real terms (taking inflation into account). Mr Kahn replied that it was so.

Mr Bossman: budget breakdown
Mr Bossman informed the committee that SAPS budget at present stood at R13,2 billion, of which R10,5 billion went to personnel costs. The balance was R2,5 billion, which would be all that remained for running costs.

Running costs: Four Basic Cost Drivers (an examination):
Fuel and Oil : R400 million
Vechiles : R313 million } Some of these figures are required amounts!
Wear/Tear R150 million
to Vechiles
Post & Telecom. R145 million

Total R1, 008 billion

Therefore approximately 40 % of amount set aside for running costs were used up for only four Basic Cost Drivers. This meant that there was not funds left for the other Cost Drivers. This underlined the serious situation of the SAPS’s ability to pursue the Basic Policing Model.

Questions and Answers on SAPS Budget briefing.
Regarding the question from the ANC about reduction of staffing, Mr Kahn replied that in the next 3-5 years, SAPS hoped to reduce their personnel costs. This implied that they hoped to be paying for 120-123 000 police members instead of 128 000 members. Also SAPS aimed to increase those doing basic policing by 6000 members through removing thousands of personnel from head office and putting them on the streets, freeing up personnel currently doing administration work by replacing them with civilians and restructuring the police reservists. This should result in more finances being available for technology and equipment needed and a more efficient SAPS with highly qualified personnel.

Commissioner Fivaz add that there would be an in-depth scrutiny of prospective students who applied to the police colleges to ensure that only qualified personnel were developed as well as evaluation of present personnel who were under-qualified.

ANC members asked about SAPS Uniforms and Monitoring and Management. In reply to uniforms, it was said that there was an absolute minimum of uniforms provided. As soon as uniforms arrived they were allocated. Only 60% of SAPS members were equipped with new uniforms. The Chairperson cited his experience of the uniform situation in Qwa-Qwa, where money was deducted from the police staff's salary for uniforms but it were never received. He also commented on the lack of management of the uniforms, where the uniforms were manufactured in Cape Town, delivered to Pretoria and then were distributed. Mr Kahn responded by saying that he understood the problems and assured the committee that a new structure of delivery was being presently implemented.

Regarding monitoring and management, Commissioner Fivaz assured the Committee that mechanisms were in place to control the expenditures of the SAPS management staff, to create an environment of cost effectiveness e.g. cell phone call limitations, monitoring of petrol and other accounts etc.

The Chairperson asked about the separation of the Secret Services budget from the SAPS Budget. Mr Bossman said that all Secret Services running costs, including that of payment to informers, fell under the Secret Services budget. Mr Fivaz added that for special crime (organised crime) informers were paid out of Secret Services budget otherwise for normal crime (house robberies etc.) informers were paid out of SAPS Budget.

Mr Matthee (NP) asked whether any studies had been done by SAPS on how much crime costs the country so that an indication could be given on how SAPS budget held up against this loss. Mr Kahn replied that there were no studies available. This would include the cost of the Criminal Justice System, the cost to Tourism, the cost of Emigration and the cost on the Economy.

An ANC member asked about overtime payment. He wanted to know whether the allocation of the budget to personnel overtime referred to the overtime for administration staff or over time for police doing street work. The Chairperson added that he observed through the visiting of various stations around the country, it was clear that overtime was not based on a structured plan and therefore management of overtime needed to be seriously looked at.

Commissioner Fivaz answered that firstly, management was not entitled to overtime i.e. from Directors upwards. Senior Superintendents to Constables were entitled to overtime. Generally overtime was difficult to control from Head Offices. Mr Kahn added that the budget allocation for overtime was only 1 % of the personnel allocation.

An ANC member asked a question concerning severance packages He wanted to know what type of personnel were leaving the SAPS. Commissioner Fivaz responded that there were a number of specific qualifications needed for the qualifications of a Severance Package e.g. must be above 50 years old. He said that a specific report would be compiled on this issue for the Committee.

Mr Chuenyane (NP) wanted to know about the Status of Commercial Crime. Commissioner Fivaz replied that there was a constant brain-drain from this specific unit to the private sector e.g. banks, due to the expertise of the personnel. Commercial crime was a priority and a special program was being implemented to address this problem.

Mr Chuenyane also wanted to know about Psychological Services. What measures were being taken to combat police suicides and violence against police and by police on their families? Mr Bossman said that the issue was budgeted under Human Resource Management. Commissioner Fivaz added that psychologists, social workers, chaplains formed part of the psychological services. He said that SAPS were looking into a program of psychologists as sort of reservists at stations and there were a number of interested volunteers available made up of retired psychologists etc.

The Chairperson concluded the meeting by saying that the budget negotiations for SAPS have not yet been finalized. There was general agreement by the committee that the budget must be increased substantially and this Committee would pressure the Finance Ministry and the Government to do so.


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