The State Information Technology Agency noted that it received revenue from the Department of Safety and Security (DSS) and tabled a graph showing the comparative figures from 2006 to 2008, and the proposed revenue from 2008/9. The projects were outlined, with an indication of what revenue would be applied to each. The revenue from the Department of Safety and Security was projected as R1.01 billion, of which 11% would be paid to external suppliers for labour, 44% paid to external suppliers for hardware, and 45% retained by SITA for services rendered. Members commented that some of the budget figures seemed low, and commented that in other instances police stations were unstable and did not seem to be serviced., asked about the problems it was facing, the relationship with the South African Police Service (SAPS), what the needs of stations were and the docket keeping system.
The Secretariat for Safety and Security, structured their presentation around a number of questions raised by the Committee. The programmes for the Secretariat were outlined. The budget allocation for the previous financial year had totalled R13.9 million, and the allocation for 2008/9 would be R19.7 million. The progress in having the Secretariat removed from the SAPS Act to enhance its independence and give it a separate Accounting Officer function and the various options were set out. Members commented that there was no strategic plan which would allow them to engage with the budget and decide whether the Secretariat had achieved what it had set out to do. Questions were, however, asked about the relationship with the Provincial Secretariat, the vacancies, the fact that it was unlikely that 32 projects could be implemented over the next ten months, the movement of allocations from one project to another and the relationship with SAPS. Members commented on weak screening methods, the large allocation to administration, outsourcing, and border patrol.
The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union of SA commented on the budget allocations, indicating that the budget should be a road map to succeeding in the fight against crime. It expressed disapproval on the creation of the super stations, whose functions were to supervise other stations, which was regarded as a waste of resources, and commented that there was a top-heavy Head Office of SAPS. More resources should be allocated instead to the station level. Suggestions were also made to strengthen the Community Policing Forums with a more appropriate budget allocation, better training, and more explicit guiding of the principles of transformation. Members asked about literacy levels in the membership of the Union, training to cater for social welfare of union members, the comment on the head office structure, and expressed the need for more detail on the issues faced and what was being done to address them. Further questions related to access to pensions, and the need for the Union to do “more groundwork”.
The South African Police Union stated that it was encouraged by steps towards revamping the Criminal Justice System, recognized the good work that had been done by the Scorpions, but was concerned that members of SAPS, when being taken into the new Directorate of Priority Crimes, should not be treated as inferior members. The National Crime Prevention Strategy, though good in theory, had failed to address the root causes of crime in the country. Concerns included the increase for the budget for border policing, a need to deal with Community Police Forums, and to give them more resources. The increase of police personnel was welcomed, but should be matched by increasing the management system. SAPS must put in place a system also to deal with corruption in the service. The bottlenecks in promotion from Inspector to Captain were criticised and it was suggested that more captain ranks be created. The closure of the Crime Combating Unit and the xenophobic attacks were of concern. Members asked questions around border security, the issue of the inspectors, and corruption within the police.
State Information Technology Agency (SITA) Strategic Plan and Budget 2008/9
Mr Femke Pienaar, Chief of Business Operations, SITA, explained that SITA received revenue from the Department of Safety and Security (DSS) and tabled a graph showing the comparative figures from 2006 to 2008, and the proposed revenue from 2008/9. There were a number of service level agreements. The key projects were an infrastructure upgrade project, the STRlab project, for the management of DNA analysis at Forensic Science laboratories, the computerisation of a National Criminal Photographic Database (NPIS), the e-docket project for automisation of the Crime Administration System and consultation, operational and implementation support on the automated firearm control system, mobile tracking systems, mobile control devices and others. It was projected that the revenue from DSS in 2008/9 would be R1.01 billion, of which 11% would be paid to external suppliers for labour, 44% paid to external suppliers for hardware, and 45% retained by SITA for services rendered. Detailed explanations were given under each project for revenue growth (see attached presentation for details).
Ms J Sosibo (ANC) made references to slides three and four and stated that the amounts reflected seemed rather very little for the specified purposes.
Assistant Commissioner M Meyer, South African Police Service (SAPS), agreed that the budget was slightly low. She added that SITA had teams usually compiled of two specialised individuals to focus on the development of certain architectures. That was why the area was so low. She added that the focus was to develop a secure network and prevent hacking into the networks.
Mr F Maserumule (ANC) stated that the documentation provided by SITA was biased. He added that though there were projects in place, the police stations were unstable, with few cars or telephones; hence he requested that SITA stated how many projects were dedicated to rural police stations. Furthermore, he sought information on which countries SITA felt shared the same peculiarities which SITA could use as a point of comparison.
A/Comm Meyer responded that there were no countries that SITA could compare itself to, because South Africa had unique characteristics. Other countries did not face the challenge of, for example, infrastructure that South Africa faced. She added that what SITA often did was to take the best practices from various countries and try to implement them in South Africa. She added that GSM tracking devices had been implemented that gave access to the rural areas and service delivery was also improved as an ADL system had already been implemented on 11600 vehicles.
Ms A Van Wyk (ANC) sought information on whether SITA was satisfied with itself with regard to its accomplishments, whether it faced any problems and what those problems were. Furthermore, she sought information on the state of the relationship between SITA and the South African Police Service (SAPS).
A/Comm Meyer responded that over the last few years SITA had had numerous different chief executive officers, and at least five general managers, and so it did have problems. Two years ago the relationship between the two organisations was bad but it had improved in recent times, although it still was not that good.
Mr Moatshe requested information as to where were the police stations with needs, and what those needs were.
A/Comm Meyer responded that there were fourteen police stations with needs to be implemented in the current financial year and they were located in the Eastern Cape. She added, however, that two switching centres were being upgraded in Eastern Cape and that SITA depended on external entities for infrastructure such as Telkom and Eskom to implement the required changes.
Mr V Ndlovu (IFP) sought information on whether SITA had succeeded in making sure that the e-dockets were kept safe.
A/Comm Meyer responded that the problem was with Telkom because they had to increase the bandwidth in order to reduce the bottlenecks of information. She added that in case the dockets were stolen there was always had a copy of each docket.
Secretariat for Safety and Security (SSS or Secretariat): Strategic Plan and Budget 2008-09
Mr Themba Mathe, CEO, Secretariat for Safety and Security, structured his presentation around a number of questions raised by the Committee. He set out the programmes for the Secretariat, which included community participation, establishing Community Safety Forums, systems and operations management, including an integrated electronic document management system, administrative support, including training and development, monitoring evaluation and reporting, advice on civil litigation matters, policy and research, and production and publication. The budget allocation for the previous financial year had totalled R13.9 million, and the allocation for 2008/9 would be R19.7 million. Not all the programmes received equal budget allocations. It was suggested that there was a need to have the Secretariat removed from the SAPS Act so that its independence was increased and its oversight more meaningful. Currently it fell under Vote 23 for the DSS, and the Secretariat was financially dependent on and accountable to the National Commissioner of the Police Service, over whom it also exercised oversight functions. The review of the SAPS Act was under way and it was recommended that the Secretariat be set up under a separate part of the SAPS Act that dealt with oversight structures. It would also have to establish a separate Accounting Officer function and the various options were set out, with a preference for a Schedule 3 organisational component in terms of the Public Service Act.
Ms Van Wyk stated that in the absence of a strategic plan it would be difficult to engage with the budget and to establish whether the Secretariat had achieved what it had set to achieve.
Mr Mathe stated that he did have a strategic plan but forgot to include it in the report and apologised for the lack of diplomacy.
Ms van Wyk sought information on the status of the relationship between SSS and the Provincial Secretariat.
Mr Mathe said that SSS had a very good relationship with the Provincial Secretariat, and they met on a monthly basis, at which meetings the Provincial Secretariat advised and assisted SSS.
Ms van Wyk inquired how many of the 39 positions were vacant and for how long the oldest vacancy had existed.
Mr Mathe responded that there were 9 positions vacant and the oldest had been vacant since 2005. This was the position of the Director of Communications. The reason was that the Ministerial strategy had been changed and that the Minister did not approve that such a position was required. The position was therefore likely to remain vacant until the Minister’s approval was given.
Ms Van Wyk also indicated that she did not envisage how the Secretariat was going to implement 32 projects in the next tem months and felt that the Secretariat was being over ambitious in trying to implement that number of projects, considering the time constraint. She also asked why such high amounts of money had been moved from some projects to others.
Mr Mathe said that because some projects were unfinished certain payments had not been made, hence the money remained unused.
Mr Maserumule sought information on whether the Secretariat had made any progress in their relationship with the South African Police Service, particularly with budgeting.
Mr Mathe stated that the relationship with SAPS had improved. He added that SAPS assisted the Secretariat with the monetary aspects of the operations and that they had met four times in the current year.
Mr Maserumule also inquired how the Secretariat, being such a large organisation, found itself with such weak screening measures.
Mr Mathe stated that part of the problem was delay on the part of SITA, which meant that the Secretariat could not use the money as predicted. He added that the Forensic Science Laboratories were not ready for the Secretariat to evaluate the impact of what they had done; hence they could only evaluate the process, which in turn meant that they could not undertake the projects on time.
Mr Maserumule sought more information on the border patrol operations, and whether they applied to one border line or to all borders in general.
Mr Mathe stated that the Secretariat looked at areas where there was a need for improvement, such as training. Some complaints indicated that police officers were unfit, hence the SSS felt that training was of paramount importance for police at the borders. This would also help them in the terrain, which was often mountainous.
Ms D Kohler-Barnard (DA) sought clarification on why such a large part of the budget was allocated to administration.
Ms Kohler-Barnard also inquired when the completion dates of the 32 projects were and whether the Secretariat made use of outsourcing.
Mr Mathe responded that there was a time frame in which they planned to implement the projects. Regarding the outsourcing, there were established partnerships with research organisations and the Provincial Secretariat. He added that the State of the Nation Address guided the SSS in the development of projects. Furthermore, he stated that because the budget was not as high, SSS were advised by the Committee to outsource and minimise overspending. That was done by having partnerships with external entities.
Ms Sosibo sought information on what SSS was planning to do with such a high budget for communications. She also inquired why the budget for the provision of legal services was so low and what the Secretariat did when they discovered the criminal element of the latter.
Mr Mathe responding that because there would be no further presentations to Parliament, the budget had been reduced. He added that there was a Bill to be presented to Parliament and that drafts were available.
Mr Mahote inquired whether there were people in the directory despite the lack of a Director Communications.
Mr Mathe responded that there were indeed personnel in the directory. He added that SSS was using expertise from various sources. Furthermore, one of the board members present in the meeting was acting as the Director of Communications.
Ms Van Wyk inquired why the budget for Communications was so high in a Secretariat with no Director and hence no leadership. She also sought clarification on how the Secretariat determined those budgets without proper financial planning in line with the strategies. She informed the Secretariat that she was not satisfied with the answer given regarding the shifting of funds.
Mr Maserumule indicated that the Committee was clearly not happy by the Secretariat’s presentation. He himself was shocked at how unprepared the Secretariat was for this presentation. Mr Mathe did not give any concrete answers to the questions raised, and essentially the meeting had now reached a point where a lot of English words were being strung together that made no sense at all.
Mr Mathe asked if he could present the Strategic Plan to the Committee.
The Chairperson ruled that this would constitute a breach of the procedural requirements as required by legislation. Instead the Secretariat was asked to submit the Strategic Plan, as required by legislature, in order for the Portfolio Committee to adopt the budget Report. She further advised that the answers to the follow up questions should be sent to the Committee in writing and that the discussion be discontinued.
Police And Prisons Civil Rights Union Of South Africa (POPCRU) Budget Proposal For The South African Police Services (SAPS)
Mr Nathi Theledi, Deputy General Secretary of POPCRU, commented on the budget for the SAPS. POPCRU noted that what mattered to it was not so much the figures themselves, but the way in which they were applied to achieve success by the SAPS, and therefore the comments would be directed to the allocations to various components as against the achievement of effective service delivery. The budget should be a road map to succeeding in the fight against crime. In considering the 2008/9 budget regard should be had to whether the 2007/08 budget had been applied correctly and had achieved delivery of service.
SAPS was commended for the abolishing of the Area offices, which it had regarded as merely “post offices”. It supported the deployment of specialised units to the station where crime was taking place and which needed attention. POPCRU explicitly expressed its disapproval on the creation of the super stations, whose functions were to supervise other stations. This was regarded as a waste of resources, and would result in effectively re-establishing Area Offices, through the back door.
The Head Office of SAPS was regarded as top-heavy, and Mr Theledi would prefer to see a lean and mean Head Office with bigger personnel where the actual work was taking place, so that it could deliver on the mandate. The Head Office should be confined to policy making and did not need to be so large. More resources should be allocated instead to the station level.
There was a need to strengthen the Community Policing Forums and the budget should be geared to improving the quality here. Sufficient funds should also be invested in training those in positions of responsibility, which would ease industrial tension. There had been progress made on transformation, but Mr Theledi said that the budget should be more explicit in the principles guiding the transformation agenda. There must, finally, be sound adherence to the budget proposal.
Mr Maserumule inquired whether POPCRU had gone the extra mile to ensure that the levels of illiteracy amongst its members (particularly the black members) were reduced, and whether they were now satisfied with the literacy levels amongst the black members.
Mr Theledi said that POPCRU were not satisfied with the literacy levels amongst black members and that much work still needed to be done in the area.
Mr Maserumule queried whether there was training available which catered for the social welfare of the POPCRU members.
Mr Theledi responded that in respect of welfare issues, POPCRU had made a submission to the SAPS but the amount was still not specified. In respect of the training, he stated that there were compulsory programmes in place that all members had to undertake, such as a fitness programme requiring members to attend the gymnasium once a week. He added that there were certificate courses as well, one of which was the Women’s Development Programme, which was implemented through the University of the Western Cape.
Mr Maserumule asked for more detail on the POPCRU comment in their presentation to the effect that the SAPS would do much better with a “lean and mean Head Office with bigger personnel where the actual work takes place so that it can be able to deliver on its mandate.”
Mr Ndlovu also sought clarification on what was meant by this comment, and whether it meant that the SAPS were not performing and hence should not have been there.
Mr Theledi clarified that in 2002 the Union made a submission to the SAPS Head Office to get rid of the area officers, as the personnel structure in that was in excess of what was necessary. It was suggested that instead the personnel be moved to areas where they were needed, such as combating. It was issues such as those that he was referring to in this statement.
Mr Ndlovu enquired whether POPCRU was involved in discussions, and who was involved.
Ms Van Wyk inquired whether POPCRU took daily administration into consideration when making the statements in the presentation.
Mr Theledi responded that POPCRU had taken regard of daily administration when making the statement, and added that few staff were required to run the daily administration. He affirmed that there were problems facing the union and that he was going to take the opportunity to investigate such issues.
Ms van Wyk also expressed her concern in that the presenters should take the meetings with the Committee as a serious matter. She added that POPCRU’s presentation would be more valuable if they engaged on the issues that they were facing, and how they were solving them. She added that there were serious issues such as racism in the police stations that POPCRU did not address in its presentation.
Ms Kohler-Barnard inquired whether POPCRU had any members who were experiencing difficulties in accessing their pensions. She also made reference to a case relating to the death of a member on duty. She stated that the family of the member was compensated very little. She sought information on whether there was anything that the Union had done in relation to the incident.
Mr Theledi responded that POPCRU had not officially received any complaints as an organisation regarding access to members’ pensions.
The Chairperson suggested that POPCRU do more ‘groundwork’ and the discussion was concluded.
South African Police Union (Sapu) Budget Proposal
Mr Mpho Kwinika , President, SAPU, said that SAPU was encouraged by the policy direction in regard to revamping the Criminal Justice System and addressing crime. It welcomed, but with reservation, the disbanding of the Scorpion Unit. It recognised the good work that it had done, but was concerned that members of the SAPS must not be treated as inferior members of the new Directorate of Priority Crimes. The National Crime Prevention Strategy, although good in theory, had failed to address the root causes of crime in the country.
SAPU was concerned that there had been a significant increase for the budget for border policing when it had been made to believe that there would be a scaling down of SAPS operations in favour of the Department of Home Affairs Immigration Unit. There was a need to deal with Community Police Forums, and in particular a need to have a paradigm shift in the way they were operating. They had been hamstrung by lack of resources, and an unclear mandate. Perhaps more resources needed to be given to them.
SAPU welcomed the increase of police personnel, commenting that members were overstretched and overworked, but underpaid. Police officials should be paid more than other public service employees, and the increase in personnel should be matched by increasing the management system. SAPS must put in place a system also to deal with corruption in the service.
SAPU complained of the bottlenecks, particularly in rising of the ranks between Inspector and Captain. About one third of police officials were at Inspector rank. Too few officer posts were being created, and it was recommended that more Captain posts should be created. More needed to be done on the HIV Aids risks, including research as to how it was manifesting itself in the Service.
SAPU finally expressed “disgust” about the recent xenophobic attacks, which had taken South Africa backwards and which required strong action. The closure of the Crime Combating Unit was of concern.
Mr Ndlovu requested information on who informed SAPU that border security should be scaled down.
Mr Kwinika responded that it was generally known that the border security should be scaled down. The police at the border had been given extra work which should have been carried by other departments. He added that there were also migration officers working at the borders, hence he felt that the border policing had already been scaled down.
Mr Ndlovu inquired what SAPU was doing about the 47 000 inspectors and whether they were presenting the issue to the bargaining members.
Mr Kwinika stated that SAPU signed an agreement in 2006 to address the issue of congestion of the 47 000 inspectors. He added that SAPU had been engaging with management to address it, but so far this did not appear to be assisting.
Mr M Moatshe (ANC) indicated that he felt that the Union had contradicted itself. He sought clarification on what the Union meant around inferiority and superiority that police officers could be facing.
Mr Kwinika responded that the programme entailed integration of police officials in the new units and bringing in members of The Scorpions as well. He added that members coming from the SAPS would be receiving an increase in salary. He further stated that the specialised units that would come in would be crime-combating units that had expertise in crime control.
Ms Van Wyk informed SAPU that there was a lot of corruption within the police. She inquired what SAPU as a union was doing to promote morale among its members. She further inquired whether the Union had any programmes in place in which they taught their members about corruption, so that the individuals did not fall victim to corruption.
Mr Kwinika responded that there were various projects throughout the country addressing structural needs. He added that the Union informed its members that they would not assist members involved in corruption and he felt that it had made a considerable impact on the Union’s members.
The meeting was adjourned.
- We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting
Download as PDF
You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.
See detailed instructions for your browser here.