A summary of this committee meeting is not yet available.
Meeting reportSAFETY AND SECURITY PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
24 October 2007
PROBLEMS WITH COMMITTEE’S OVERSIGHT VISIT: BRIEFING BY SAPS EASTERN CAPE & WORSHOP ON DEPARTMENT’S ANNUAL REPORT
Chairperson: Ms M Sotyu (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Analysis of the 2006\07 Annual Report on South African Police Service
Summary and Analysis of the Annual Report of the Independent Complaints Directorate for 2006\2007
The Secretariat for Safety RSA, Business Plan
Annual Report Secretariat for Safety and Security. Financial Year 2006\2007
Audio recording of meeting
The Committee Researcher briefed the Portfolio Committee on the extent to which the South African Police Service (SAPS) had complied with its targets for Safety and Security, as reported upon in the Annual Report for 2006\07. The research results revealed that the South African Police Service had met the targets for training and had reported a lower number of escapes from prison, more efficient mechanisms for re-arrest and crime intelligence and reporting of crime.
It had not met targets for recruitment and employment equity, although there had been an increase in the participation of women. The Visible Policing Programme received the highest allocation, although some funds had been re-allocated away from this Department to the Department of Health. The target on control of firearms was not implemented and firearm control registers were not properly maintained in six provinces. 3 856 firearms were lost or stolen from personnel.
The Committee then noted that during an oversight visit in May, the SAPS Commissioners, despite being aware of the visit, had failed to receive the Members. Furthermore, many of the sectional commissioners were not at work, and those who were had been unable to give answers to the Committee. Other discrepancies noted included shortage of operational equipment, insufficient implementation of Domestic Violence legislation, inaccessibility, lack of road signs, one station without electricity, shortage of personnel and generally a lack of confidence by the public in SAPS services. The Commissioner of the Eastern Cape explained that the failure to receive the delegation was caused by a communication problem around the date, and said that the sectional commissioners were new in their jobs. The SAPS was attempting to address all the issues. The Committee expressed their disapproval over the situation and charged the Provincial Commissioner and his deputies to improve. The Provincial Commissioner promised to do so and stated that most of the issues raised by the Committee were being dealt with.
Workshop on findings of Annual Report of Department of Safety and Security (DSS)
Ms Nadia Dollie, Committee Researcher, briefed the Portfolio Committee on the main points of the Annual Report of the Department of Safety and Security (DSS) in preparation for the Committee’s discussions with the Department. She informed the Committee that the South African Police Service (SAPS) target on Recruitment and Employment Equity was not met but that the target on training was met. A total of 34, 312 employees received training, and the figures also showed an increase in women’s participation.
The SAPS’s target for crime and common assaults were not met.
The number of escapes from prisons had decreased and efficient mechanisms had been employed to rearrest criminals who escaped. She said that Crime Intelligence and reports of crime had also increased.
In regard to the financial statements, the Visible Policing Programme received the highest allocation of R14 billion but the amount was reduced from its original allocation, and a figure of R36.5 million had been shifted to the Department of Health.
Ms Dollie also brought to the attention of the Committee the fact that the SAPS target on Control of Firearms was not implemented. Firearm control registers were not properly maintained in six provinces. Bi-annual firearms inspections were not always performed. According to departmental statistics, 3 856 firearms were reported as lost, stolen or robbed from personnel.
Insufficient preparation by SAPS for Committee’s oversight visit to Eastern Cape: Meeting with Eastern Cape Police Commissioners
The Chairperson indicated that on 7 to 9 May a delegation of Members of this Committee had been sent on an oversight visit to the Eastern Cape, to visit five police stations. Although the Provincial Commissioner and Deputies were officially informed of this visit, no preparation was made to receive the delegation. The Chairperson asked firstly that the South African Police Service (SAPS) Provincial Commissioner for the Eastern Cape explain to the Committee why no preparations had been made.
Secondly, the Chairperson listed the observations that were made during the visit, which included the fact that most of the police stations had a shortage of operational equipment, there was no proper implementation of the Domestic Violence Act (DVA), most of the sectional police commissioners were not at work, and those that were present were uncertain of how many vehicles they had, and what population they were attempting to police. Further observations were that some of the police stations were inaccessible, with no road signs, and one of the five stations did not have electricity, that there was a shortage of personnel to meet the security needs of the masses, and that there was a general lack of confidence by the public in the Eastern Cape about the police service, with the result that they would generally not call the police during emergencies. She suggested that the Members and the SAPS should further interrogate these issues
Ms J Sosibo (ANC) asked the SAPS why it did not prepare itself to receive the Members and asked if this was not done because the Chairperson was not part of the delegation.
Comm Mpumelelo Landu, Provincial Commissioner. Eastern Cape SAPS, apologised, explaining that this was due to communication problems. The Commissioners had been told that the meeting was to be re-scheduled, but had been unaware that no rescheduling had in fact taken place. He had not known that the chairperson was not part of the delegation, and certainly no disrespect was meant on this front.
Ms A Van Wyk (ANC) asked why the sectional commissioners were unable to brief the Committee properly.
Comm Landu responded that some of the sectional police commissioners were new in office at the time. He went further to assure the Members that all efforts were being made to address the issues and complaints raised as a result of the oversight.
The Chairperson seriously reprimanded the Provincial Commissioner, charging him to deal with all the complaints about the management of Eastern Cape police stations.
Mr V Ndlovu (IFP) asked the police delegation if the management of Eastern Cape Police was under control.
The Chairperson responded that if this question was directed to the Commissioner, he would be bound to answer that it was. However another oversight visit would be arranged soon to find out if the changes Comm. Landu claimed were taking place had in fact happened. Despite his explanations, she was of the view that the management of the police in Eastern Cape was not under control.
The Chairperson noted that this meeting was not called to attack the Commissioner, but to encourage him and his team to be more responsible.
Mr Ndlovu thanked the Commissioner and his team for attending, reiterating the fact that the Committee had invited them to the meeting in order to correct matters and assist them to do their jobs better. The Committee wanted to stress that they must take proper charge of the area, because if they failed, they would be failing their entire community and this Committee.
The meeting was adjourned.