The Portfolio Committee on Safety and Security hosted a visiting delegation from Parliament of the Republic of Kenya, and discussed and compared issues of safety and security within the two countries. Questions and discussions centred around the chief security concerns, how best to address them, and structural management of security. The oversight function was described, and a copy of the monitoring tool would be forwarded to the Kenyan parliament. Specific questions related to monitoring of police stations, appointment of officials and their training, interaction between the police service and the public, the distinction between deployment of the police and the military, levels of crime and the refugee problem.
Members then received a presentation from the South African Police Service on the amendments proposed by the NCOP to the Second Hand Goods Bill. These included a change to the long title, insertion of a new definition for a charity organisation in Clause 1, changes to the Schedule to exclude trade in second hand books and clothing, insertion into that Schedule also of irrigation equipment as an item to be covered by the Bill, an amendment to the definition of pawnbroker, and the changes in respect of foreign owner or investor involvement in second-hand dealerships, through changes to Clauses14 and 39. The changes in respect of the offences and penalties clause, the provision of a further offence in respect of continuing contraventions, technical amendments to Clause 42 and the exclusion of charity organisations who were exempted from the operation of the Bill, and the changes to the Schedules were explained. Some Members were concerned about the regulations on foreign investment into
Safety and security issues: Meeting with Delegation from Parliament of
The Portfolio Committee on Safety and Security hosted a visiting delegation from Parliament of the
Members from both countries asked each other questions regarding issues such as the chief security concerns, the means of addressing them and structural management of security within their respective countries.
Ms A Wan Wyk (ANC) fielded a number of questions on behalf of
Ms Van Wyk noted that the Committee had a broad oversight function with regard to the South African Police Service (SAPS. In particular the Committee was responsible for legislation which directly affected the South African Police Services (SAPS). She pointed out that the SAPS totalled over 160 000 personnel, and was thus a very large organisation for one Committee to oversee. As a means of addressing this issue, the Committee had devised a monitoring tool that was applicable to police stations throughout the country. This tool described what members of the public could expect from police stations by way of service and facilities. Ms Van Wyk indicated that the Committee carried out inspections on police stations as frequently as possible. She indicated that this monitoring tool would be made available to the Kenyan delegation.
A Kenyan delegate asked if police stations were notified prior to inspections.
The Chairperson confirmed that they were not, as this might then enable them to hide their shortcomings prior to inspection.
The Chairperson pointed out that the Committee’s powers allowed it to make recommendations about the adequacy of certain candidates for senior police positions in
Ms D Kohler-Barnard (DA) pointed out that
A question from a Kenyan delegate asked how police officers were chosen in
Mr V Ndlovu (IFP) answered that SAPS recruitment in
Another question related to how
Mr Ndlovu pointed out that the SAPS placed great emphasis on cooperation with the public. In particular, the public are seen as a critical means of intelligence gathering.
Mr S Mahote (ANC) reiterated the cooperative relationship that SAPS was meant to have with communities and members of the public. There had been great progress made in safety and security concerns within the country as a result of this partnership.
A Kenyan delegate asked under what circumstances
Ms Sotyu pointed out that
Mr Mahote pointed out that
Ms Van Wyk indicated that SAPS had seen some major changes during the course of the country’s democratic governance. Whereas there had previously been a police force, this had now been replaced by a police service. The emphasis was now on service as opposed to force, with a particular human rights focus. There were nevertheless challenges, as it was always difficult to gauge how much force was appropriate in policing. There would always be individuals who would use too much force whilst operating, but there were mechanisms in place for dealing with transgressions of this sort. Ms Van Wyk indicated that the military was only deployed very rarely in
Ms Barnard agreed with Ms Van Wyk about the country’s reluctance to call in the defence force. She indicated that it was always a sensitive issue whether to deploy the country’s military, given the international media attention such a step would draw. There was a perception globally that involving the military in domestic issues indicated that the country faced collapse or that there was civil repression.
Ms Barnard asked the Kenyan delegation what the levels of crime in
A member of the delegation responded that in
The delegate also remarked on some general concerns with regards to
Rev K Meshoe (ACDP) thanked the Kenyan delegation for their time and stated that he thought it had been a useful meeting.
The Chairperson also thanked the Kenyan delegation and asked for any closing remarks.
A member of the Kenyan delegation thanked the Committee for their time. He said that the Kenyan delegation had been most impressed with the hospitality they had received as well as the facilities on offer in
Second Hand Goods Bill (the Bill): Proposed NCOP Amendments
Mr Bertus van der Walt, Director, SAPS, briefed the Committee on the proposed amendments to the Second Hand Goods Bill [B2D-2008] that had been suggested by the National Council of provinces (NCOP).
He firstly explained that the Long Title had been amended to change the word “limit” to “combat”.
In Clause 1 a new definition had been inserted for a charity organisation. Mr van der Walt explained the feelings in regard to second hand clothing. Many poor people made their living from selling second-hand clothing, and it was felt that this market should not face significant and potentially hampering regulation. There had also been an appeal by members of trading organisations who dealt in second-hand books to exempt them from increased regulation in the Bill. This was on the grounds that their industry was small, unique and vulnerable in many respects. It was their argument that increased regulation would significantly hurt their prosperity. For this reason amendments had been proposed to line 44, under Clause 1, to stated that “goods” being regulated in Schedule 1 would not include books and clothing.
An amendment was made to the definition of “pawnbroker” by insertion of a new paragraph (c) and there were grammatical changes to make this paragraph then read correctly.
There were technical amendments to Clause 4(1).
Mr van der Walt also discussed the proposed insertion of a new Clause 39 into the Bill. He explained that this linked into Clause 14. This clause related to disqualification of persons being registered as dealers, and one of those disqualifications had applied to a person who did not permanently reside in the
The NCOP had then also made amendments, relating to offences and penalties, in Clause 32(1), and a new subclause 32(3) was to be inserted to provide that a Court may, in addition to any other penalty, impose a further fine or imprisonment in the case of continuing contraventions, suspension or cancellation of any exemption, registration or a forfeiture order.
Mr van der Walt then discussed the technical amendments to Clause 42, as well as insertion of a new subclause (c) into that Clause, excluding charity organisations who were exempted. He also pointed out the changes made to the schedules, indicating in particular the exclusion of clothing and books once again from the Schedule, and the inclusion of irrigation equipment in respect of agricultural implements.
Ms A Van Wyk (ANC) indicated that she was concerned about two main issues; the potential for foreign criminal elements to conduct business in
Ms Van Wyk was of the opinion that the regulations on foreign investment into
Ms Van Wyk also expressed concern about the exemption of second-hand book dealers from the Bill’s regulations. She believed that granting them an exemption would allow for the possibility of crime in this sector as a result of decreased regulation. She pointed out that while their industry might be vulnerable, it was not unlike other smaller industries, and therefore should not merit any special treatment. Furthermore, there were some second-hand books that were extremely valuable, and there was therefore a need for protective regulation. She argued that exempting second-hand book dealers from the requirements of the Bill would send a message to thieves that it was acceptable to steal certain types of goods, but not others. She also questioned whether there was indeed an urgent need to resolve these technicalities within this meeting. The limited time-frame which this meeting involved could result in hasty and poorly considered decisions.
Rev Meshoe indicated that he shared Ms Van Wyk’s concerns. He urged the Committee to ensure that
Ms Kohler-Barnard also took Ms Van Wyk’s opinions very seriously. However, she wondered whether regulating second-hand book stores would not hurt their business. She was of the opinion that second-hand book stores generally dealt in low-value paperbacks, and that requiring proof of identity on the purchase of these books by customers would put unnecessary burdens on transactions. Ms Barnard also questioned how it would be possible to ascertain whether books had been stolen by second-hand dealers. She indicated that books were often unmarked, as marking them lowered their value, so that it was difficult to identify who was the original owner of the book was. This was a matter that should be dealt with by the investigating police officers.
Mr Walt indicated that a possible solution to this issue might be to exclude the word ‘books’ from the Bill. If a more general description were devised this could be interpreted as covering books.
The Chairperson took Members through the Bill, and Members indicated those clauses on which they did not have a problem, and those which elicited differing views.
The Chairperson indicated that there was still some time to deliberate the matter further and proposed that the matter stand over to a future meeting.
The meeting was adjourned.
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