ATC110606: Report on Budget Vote 24: Justice and Constitutional Development

Justice and Correctional Services

Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development on Budget Vote 24: Justice and Constitutional Development, dated 2 June 2011


The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development, having considered Budget Vote 24: Justice and Constitutional Development, reports as follows:


1.                   Introduction


1.1.                   The Budget Vote 24: Justice and Constitutional Development has five programmes: The Department is directly responsible for the Administration, Court Services and State Legal Services programmes; Programme 4 is the allocation to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), which accounts separately for its spending, although the Director-General: Justice and Constitutional Development is the accounting officer; and Programme 5 contains the allocation to auxiliary services, including transfer payments to Legal Aid South Africa (LASA), the Special Investigating Unit (SIU), the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the Public Protector (PP).


1.2.                   The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, the National Prosecuting Authority, Legal Aid South Africa, the Special Investigating Unit, the South African Human Rights Commission and the Public Protector each presented their revised strategic plans for the MTEF and their budget for 2011/12. The briefings took place as follows:

·               Department of Justice and Constitutional Development – 29 March 2011.

·               National Prosecuting Authority – 30 March 2011.

·               Legal Aid South Africa – 31 March

·               Special Investigating Unit – 30 March 2011.

·               South African Human Rights Commission – 16 March 2011.

·               Public Protector – 13 April


1.3.                   Those who appeared before the Committee for the briefings included:

·               Department of Justice and Constitutional Development: Ms N Sindane (Director General); Dr K De Wee (COO) and Mr G Hollamby. 

·               National Prosecuting Authority: Adv. M Simelane (NDPP);Adv N Jiba (DNDDP); Adv N Mokhatla (DNDDP).

·               Legal Aid South Africa: Judge D Mlamblo (Chairperson); Ms M Naido (Board Member) and Ms V Vedalankar (CEO).

·               Special Investigating Unit: Mr W Hofmeyr (Head); Mr S Sokupa (Portfolio Manager) and Ms S Muller (Head: Communications).


1.4.                   With the exception of the Special Investigating Unit, the Committee engaged extensively, in October 2010, with all the bodies on their budgetary needs for the 2011/12 financial year, as well as on their performance for 2009/10 and for the first quarter of 2010/11: The Committee’s response to what it heard then are contained in its budgetary review and recommendation report, dated 26 October 2010. The concerns expressed by Committee then should be regarded as integral to the Committee’s evaluation of this process.


1.5.                   This report is divided in four parts:

·               Part 1 provides an overview of the overall appropriation to the Vote for the medium term and notes additional amounts allocated as a result of the recommendations in the budgetary review and recommendation report.

·               Part 2 outlines the Department’s presentation to the Committee, focussing mostly on its achievements in the previous financial year, the key planned activities for 2011/12 and its challenges.

·               Part 3 summarises the NPA’s presentation to the Committee on its strategic and annual plans and on its budget.

·               Part 4 contains a summary of the presentations of LASA, the SIU, the SAHRC and the PP.

·               Part 5 provides a summary of key reporting requirements.

·               All the presentations referred to in Parts 1-4 can be obtained from the Committee secretary.


Part I Vote 24: Justice and Constitutional Development


2.       Overview of the Vote


Table 1: Overall programme allocation for the MTEF: 2010/11 – 2013/14


Budget 2010/11 – 2013/14


R thousand






1 427.4

1 625.2

1 728.9

1 833.1

Court Services

3 994.2

4 341.7

5 096.1

5 408.7

State Legal Services





National Prosecuting Authority

2 684.3


2 770.7

2 914.6

Auxiliary and Associated Services

1 959.5

2 055.7

2 296.4

2 446.7


10 787.5

11 413.6


13 409.2

Direct charge for Judges and Magistrates’ salaries

1 929.8

2 104.1

2 401.8

2 575.7


12 717.2

13 517.6

15 076.1

15 984.9


2.1.                   The main appropriation increases from R10.8 billion in the 2010/11 financial year to R11.4 billion in 2011/12. This amount does not include a direct charge against the National Revenue Fund of R2.1 billion for judges and magistrates’ salaries, which brings the overall appropriation for 2011/12 to R13.5 billion.


2.2.                   Although the overall allocation to the programmes within the Vote increases in 2011/12 by a nominal 5.8% compared to 2010/11, real growth is 0.96%.


2.3.                   An amount of R245 million is added to the baseline for 2011/12. Additional amounts are for the Presidential Initiative (R30 million); OSD Phase 2 - NPA and Justice (R45 million and R5 million respectively); improved conditions of service (R247 million); and municipal services (R64.4 million).


2.4.                   The baseline, however, is reduced by R114 million and R33.2 million as a consequence of the cancellation of the Third Party Fund Public Private Partnership initiative and further savings effected by Cabinet, respectively.


2.5.                   The Committee recommended in the budgetary review and recommendation report that the Department receive additional funds. As a result, additional funds were allocated to the Department for:

·               Accommodation, specifically to build a high court in Mpumalanga at Nelspruit and to address related infrastructure issues, such as maintenance. The Department reported that it needed R224 million for the new courts and for additional accommodation. Additional amounts of R240 million in 2012/13 and R250 million in 2013/14 are allocated for the construction of new courts.

·               Information Communication Technology. The Department had asked for R150 million for ICT to replace obsolete equipment and to expand its network. Additional amounts of R100 million in 2012/13 and R110 million in 2012/13 are allocated for this.


2.6.             The Department did not receive additional funds for improved security at courts, despite the Committee’s recommendation in this regard, as this item could be accommodated within the baseline if prioritised.


2.7.             LASA also received additional funds to improve its practitioner per court ratio, accommodate OSD funding and increase its civil work. Additional amounts of R44.6 million, R90.8 million and R106.3 million are allocated to LASA for increased capacity, improved conditions of service and the implementation of phase 2 of the OSD for legally qualified professionals.


2.8.             The PP and the SAHRC received additional funds to support their mandate: The PP is allocated additional amounts of R18.3 million, R24.1 million and R27.8 million for increased investigative capacity, improved conditions of service and municipal and accommodation charges; The SAHRC has additional funds in the amount of R6.2 million and R13 million for increased legal capacity, improved conditions of service and municipal and accommodation charges.




Part 2 Department of Justice and Constitutional Development


3.       Overview of Strategic Plan 2011 – 2016


3.1.             The Director-General presented the Department’s strategic plan for the period 2011-2016. The Department has revised its strategic plan 2011-2016 to comply with the National Treasury Framework for Strategic Plans and Annual Performance Plans, which focuses on outcomes-based planning. The Department is in the process of finalising its annual performance plan, which will include targets that adhere to SMART principles.


3.2.             A number of challenges relating to financial management, internal processes, customers and people-related issues were identified:

·               Financial management - In past years, the Auditor General has expressed qualified opinions relating to financial management and non-compliance with procedures. Although there has been progress, indications are that the Department may have a repeat finding on Third Party Funds for 2011/12.

·               Internal Processes - There has been an increase in the number of fraud and corruption cases compared to previous years. The Department is implementing the Minimum Anti-Corruption Capacity Requirements (MACC) set as a public service anti-corruption standard, and is involved in various public service anti-corruption forums and interventions driven by the Justice Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) Cluster. The Department is also increasing capacity in enterprise risk management.

·               Customers - In the Master’s Office, the Department has concluded a co-operation agreement with LASA to assist in the administration of the estates of minors. The Master’s Office MOVIT project is using the Home Affairs National Identification System (HANIS) to verify clients so that the turnaround time for payments is reduced. In addition, the Integrated Management System (ICMS Master) has been deployed to all 402 magistrate’s offices that deal with deceased estates. A Master’s turnaround project is receiving attention. In addition, the Department will maximise the information technology systems that have been implemented and initiate disciplinary action where members of staff have committed fraud, as well as refer matters to SAPS.

·               Service delivery - A turnaround strategy for maintenance services will be implemented in 2011/12, including expediting application procedures and processing, payments and punitive measures against defaulters; Case backlog interventions are continuing in 2011/12.

·               People issues – These include the shortage of skills in key areas; an oversupply of personnel in certain areas; under-representation of women and people with disabilities, particularly at senior management level; and low productivity and low morale.


3.3.             The strategic plan identifies four strategic goals for the Department:

·               Goal 1: To increase the Department’s accountability, effectiveness and efficiency. (Improved compliance with legal and good practice requirements in respect of governance across all branches and structures towards an unqualified audit.)

·               Goal 2: To improve the effectiveness and efficiency in the delivery of justice service.(Courts and justice service points are supported to improve finalisation rates, efficiencies and backlogs in respect of all criminal, civil and family matters.)

·               Goal 3: To transform legal services to protect and advance the interests of government and citizens and to promote constitutional development. (The exposure of government to legal risk is reduced, citizens have access to quality guardian and probate services, the state has access to legal advice and services and constitutional development is promoted.)

·               Goal 4: To effectively coordinate the JPCS Cluster in the delivery of Outcome 3. (The provision of effective coordination of the cluster to enable the achievement of the 8 outputs that will result in the successful delivery of Outcome 3: All people in South Africa are and feel safe.)


3.4.             Seventeen strategic objectives give effect to these goals and are related to the three programmes that the Department administers directly (Administration, Court Services and State Legal Services). These are set out in greater detail below.


3.5.                   The strategic plan refers to three (3) projects that have been prioritised for 2011/12. These are to:

·               Achieve a ‘no audit qualification’ in 2012/13.

·               Service turnaround in maintenance services.

·               Service turnaround in the Masters’ Branch.


3.6.                   Key activities planned for 2011/12 that will give effect to these priority projects are as follows:


3.6.1.      Activities to achieve a ‘no audit qualification’ in 2012/13 include-


·               The implementation of accounting systems that will enable the Department to produce more credible financial statements.

·               The implementation of human resources systems that will improve the management of leave, performance, etc.

·               The implementation of policies, processes and procedures to improve controls across the Department.

·               The appointment of staff to implement financial processes

·               The implementation of internal audit processes that will provide early warning and carefully monitor high risk areas.

·               The full use of the support from National Treasury to improve the Department’s financial maturity.


3.6.2.      Maintenance service turnaround project-related activities prioritised for the MTSF include -


·               Investigating Saturday courts for maintenance and other family related matters.

·               Introducing mediation services for maintenance matters.

·               Facilitating skills training for maintenance line managers and front line staff on maintenance norms and standards and the Maintenance Act.

·               Appointing additional maintenance investigators over 3 years.

·               Facilitating the appointment of maintenance complaints managers to fast track maintenance complaints received from the Presidential Hotline and other sources.

·               Launching an improved media and awareness campaign.

·               Launching maintenance guidelines for the judiciary.

·               Introducing initiatives to address delays in the service of maintenance process documents.

·               Facilitating proposals to urgently amend the Maintenance Act to make provision for future maintenance, role clarification of maintenance officers and maintenance prosecutors and a more effective way of enforcing maintenance orders.


3.6.3.      Prioritised activities to turnaround service in the Master’s branch during 2011/12 include:


·               Online databases to address the credibility of the administration of insolvent estates.

·               Automation of master’s services completed with appropriate delegations to allow the approval of assistant masters in different locations.

·               Appointment of frontline staff who can resolve enquiries without escalations.

·               Implementation of training and the entrenchment of a client-driven approach.

·               Improved professionalism.

·               Implementation of a communication strategy that will help change perceptions of master’s offices, such as the negative impression around fraud and corruption.


3.7.                   The Department has the following major infrastructure projects planned:

·               The Limpopo High Court in Polokwane (R417 million) and the Mpumalanga High Court in Nelspruit (R407 million).

·               Building both courts will contribute to the creation of jobs in the local construction industry and, once operational, will need judicial officers and administrators.


3.8.                   According to the Department, spending pressures have affected the following areas adversely:


·               The Department has identified investment in information technology as a key enabler. However, budget cuts have affected the IT maintenance plan with the following consequences: Ageing servers and other infrastructure; out of warranty servers that are a high operational risk; an inadequate business continuity plan; and a slow network that impacts negatively on turn-around in service delivery.

·               There have been incidents of serious crime against staff members and the public (such as intimidation, murder, theft of state assets, theft of dockets and court records, escapes and robberies with aggravating circumstances.) To curb the costs of increasing security at service delivery points, the Department is exploring the possibility of using the South African National Defence Force to secure service delivery points.

·               The Department has a major challenge in addressing the historical imbalances of the court infrastructure: prior to 1994, most court services were not situated in townships or in rural areas. When the Department decided to increase its services to previously excluded areas; facilities were unsuitable, requiring major refurbishment. Unfortunately, addressing the problem is complicated by the: Escalation of infrastructure costs above inflation, which means the cash flow for building new courts is often insufficient and results in construction being postponed; the need to take into account the maintenance and accessibility programmes of existing facilities; the use of the infrastructure budget for additional accommodation where necessary; the growth in establishment and new services delivered.

·               There has been a significant increase in litigation against the state that requires interventions such as the development of a policy to manage state litigation and increased resources to the Office of the State Attorney.

·               Other areas affected by budgetary constraints are: Increasing the establishment of the lower courts and providing the judiciary with adequate ‘tools of trade’; expansion of support personnel establishment (interpreters, finance and supply chain management personnel) as well as personnel performing quasi-legal functions; implementation costs of new and proposed legislation; document and record management; adequate provision of library services to the various courts; and the enhancement of constitutional development programmes.


4.       Programme 1: Administration


4.1.                   The Administration programme provides strategic leadership and improves internal control systems. Its objectives are linked to Goal 1: Improved Governance.


4.2.                   Performance is linked to the following objectives: Improved corporate governance to achieve an unqualified audit for 2012/13; improved management of fraud and corruption cases and improved human resource delivery. Since the requirement that strategic and annual performance plans have SMART indicators is new, not all objectives are measurable at present. This will be corrected during 2011/12. All indicators, in the annual plan will be SMART.




1.       Increased compliance with prescripts to achieve and sustain an unqualified audit.

Unqualified audit.

2.       Improved management of fraud and corruption cases

Increased finalisation of fraud and corruption cases (Specific target to be finalised after review of definitions).

3.       Improved human resources service delivery.

Percentage of human resources services that meet full service standards (Specific target to be finalised after baseline established).

4.       Increased optimisation of systems (automated and manual).

Implementation of 11 systems identified in Information Technology Plan.

5.       Increased percentage of outstanding TRC victims with access to reparations per TRC recommendations.

Complete 90% of outstanding cases of living beneficiaries and 40% of deceased beneficiaries by the end of five years.


4.3.                   Administration is allocated R1.6 billion for its Ministry, Management, Corporate Services and Office Accommodation sub-programmes. The programme grows in real terms by 8.64% in 2011/12 and receives 14.2% of the overall allocation to programmes.


4.4.                   Corporate Services, consisting of the Department’s Human Resources, Finance and Information Technology branches, is allocated the largest portion of the programme’s budget (R893 million or 55% of the programme’s budget).


5.       Programme 2: Court Services


5.1.                   The Court Services programme provides for the resolution of criminal, civil and family law disputes by providing courts with administrative support and managing court facilities.


5.2.                   Overall, Court Services accounts for 38% of the allocation to programmes. The Programme receives R4.3 billion in 2011/12, growing by 3.72% in real terms from R3.9 billion in 2010/11. Within the programme, spending is prioritised towards the Lower Courts sub-programme, which receives 60% (R2.6 billion) of the programme’s allocation.


5.3.                   For 2012/13, Court Services has been allocated additional amounts of R187 million for the appointment of more judges and administrative support; R240 million to build new courts; R80 million to increase court capacity and R85 million for the implementation of legislation for vulnerable groups.


5.4.                   Strategic objectives for the five-year period are:




6.       Improved co-ordination of the JCPS Cluster towards the delivery of Outcome 3.

Meetings are held as per agreed schedule and ad hoc meetings as per demand.

7.       Improve finalisation of activities in support of the outputs of Outcome 3.

Achievement of all targets against each activity in the delivery agreement.

8.       Improved delivery of maintenance services.

All maintenance service points meet service standards stipulated (Service standards to be signed off).

9.       Increased protection of the rights of vulnerable groups.

100% of policies and initiatives relating to legislation affecting vulnerable groups finalised (See indicator definition).

10.   Increased access to justice services by underserviced communities.

Increased utilisation of justice services by underserviced communities (5-year target to determined).

11.   Improved functionality of justice service points.

Percentage of justice service points meeting functionality standards (Baseline study will determine targets).

12.   Improved delivery of services at courts.

Percentage of courts meeting the stipulated turnaround times in quasi-judicial services (Baseline study will determine targets).


6.       Programme 3: State Legal Services


6.1.                   The State Legal Services programme aims to improve legal services and to promote constitutional democracy. It is the smallest of the Department’s three programmes, receiving R750.7 million or 6.6% of the allocation to programmes.


6.2.                   The major spending area for the programme is the Masters of the High Court sub-programme, which receives R324 million or 43% of the programme’s budget for 2011/12. A new focus is that of the Constitutional Development sub-programme, which receives R 64.6 million or 9% of the Programme’s allocation.


6.3.             Strategic objectives for the five-year period are:




13.   Improved delivery at the Master’s service points.

100% of Master’s service points fully capacitated and automated by 2015/16.

14.   Increased efficiency in the provision of services to beneficiaries of the Guardian’s Fund, trusts, as well as insolvent and deceased estates.

100% of Guardian’s Fund, trusts, insolvency and deceased estates matters finalised within timeframes stipulated.

15.   Promote constitutional development and strengthen participatory democracy to ensure respect of fundamental human rights.

Completion of the five-year programme on constitutional development.

16.   Provision of legal services to state organs.

Level of capacitating of legal service branches (Target depends on the baseline study to be determined in 2011/12).

17.   Improved policy and legislative framework for effective and efficient delivery of justice services.

Submission of all stipulated policy frameworks, legislation, regulations, rules and research publications.


7.       Committee’s response


7.1.                   Strategic Planning


7.1.1.      The Committee has previously voiced its frustration at the quality of the Department’s planning. Given that the Department’s operational budget has been reduced over the MTEF from 2009/10 onwards and it is experiencing spending pressures, careful planning with the necessary prioritisation of what needs to be done, becomes even more important. Again, this year, the Committee has had trouble in fairly assessing the Department’s strategic plan for 2011/12 and beyond, which the Department conceded differs substantially from previous plans as a result of the new National Treasury guidelines for strategic and annual performance plans. The absence of an operational plan, which clearly sets out the Department’s planned activities, targets and projected spending, exacerbates the Committee’s difficulties in this regard. Issues of continuity are a concern to the Committee and the Committee questioned what has become of several of the key performance indicators contained in the previous strategic plan. Also, many of the indictors are not measurable at present, as the relevant baselines are still being established. For now, this will hinder the Committee’s ability to methodically monitor and evaluate the Department’s performance.


7.1.2.      As mentioned above, the Department’s annual performance plan for 2011/12 was not presented with its strategic plan and budget - it was still being finalised. The Committee, therefore, was not presented with details of the Department’s planned activities and targets for the year, nor was projected spending for the year matched to operations. The annual performance plan has since been tabled but the Department has not briefed the Committee on its contents. The Committee would like the Department to do so at the next quarterly meeting in July or August 2011.


7.1.3.      The Committee is disappointed that the Department did not specifically address its concerns and recommendations contained in the budgetary review and recommendation report for 2010. The Committee requests that, in future, the Department ensure that it not only provide written reports on specific issues requested by the Committee but also ensure that it routinely addresses these when reporting quarterly.


7.2.                   Governance and operational issues


7.2.1.      The management of the Third Party Funds has led to the Department receiving a qualified audit opinion since 2005/06. Unless the Department is able to resolve its problems relating to Third party Funds it will not meet its first priority which is receive a ‘no audit qualification in 2012/13’. The Committee is concerned that the Department appears to have made little progress in clarifying the legal status of the Third Party Funds or in finding a convincing solution to their management. At the Budgetary Review and Recommendation proceedings, in 2010, the Committee learnt that the Department no longer intended to go ahead with the public private partnership (PPP), which that it had been pursuing for several years, opting instead for an ‘in-house’ solution to manage the funds. Also, the Committee had been told before that there was a need for legislation to clarify the status of these funds to allow the Department to report them separately; then the Committee was informed that the National Treasury had advised the Department that it should establish the Funds as a trading entity. It is apparent that there has been little progress since towards clarifying the Fund’s status: As the Department has not received further advice from the National Treasury it has decided in the meantime to proceed with drafting legislation. This legislation, the Committee was told, would be similar to that establishing the Guardian’s Fund.


7.2.2.      The budgetary review and recommendation report for 2010 recommended that the Department, with the National Treasury, present its plan to resolve the management of these Funds, and that details of wasted costs relating to the mothballed PPP initiative are provided (The Committee learnt from the Department that its baseline has been reduced by R114 million for 2011/12; R119 million for 2012/13 and R126 million as a consequence of the cancellation of the private-public partnership initiative but is unclear whether these amounts have been in fact been reallocated to priority projects within the Department). The Committee has been unable to hold this meeting because of work pressures but regards it as a priority. The Committee intends to schedule a meeting with both the Department and the National Treasury on this issue in the next quarter, July - September 2011. At the meeting, the Department should also ensure that it addresses the relevant resolutions of the Standing Committee on Appropriations.


7.2.3.      ‘Improved human resource service delivery to all of the Department’s customers’ is an objective. The Department admits that it is struggling to address personnel issues: It is short of skills in critical areas (especially, finance, risk management, internal audit and strategy); is not sufficiently representative of women and persons with disabilities; and struggles with low productivity and poor morale. For some time, the Committee has expressed its concern at the high vacancy rate within the Department, although it acknowledges that overall there has been progress – the vacancy rate is 9.2% and 8.5%, if the judiciary is excluded. However, unacceptably high vacancy rates at the senior management level and in critical occupations remain. Given the Department’s focus on achieving a ‘no qualification’ audit opinion by 2012/13, the Committee is especially concerned at the high vacancy rate in the Chief Financial Officer’s office, which was 24% at the end of February 2011. It welcomes the appointment of three Chief Directors to that office in April 2011. The position of the Chief Master of the High Court, however, is unfilled after several years. The Committee believes that, unless the vacancies in management are filled, the Department’s effective running is likely to be compromised. Again, the Committee cannot help but make comparisons with LASA, which has a recruitment rate of 94% and has made considerable effort to attract and retain staff. The Committee requests that the Department provides a written plan with targets and timeframes by 15 July 2011 and brief it at the next quarterly meeting on how it intends filling all vacancies at senior management level. The other human resource challenges identified by the Department should also be addressed. The Committee, once more, specifically requests that the appointment of a Chief Master of the High Court is prioritised.


7.2.4.      The Department informed the Committee the improved management (and speedy conclusion) of fraud and corruption cases is an objective. It intends to address outstanding disciplinary and grievance cases and to increase capacity so that the time taken to resolve these matters is reduced. It is focussing especially on addressing instances of fraud and corruption in the Master’s office and at courts. The Committee previously expressed its dissatisfaction at the delays in finalising these matters, as well as its concern at the impact that the lack of capacity in the Department has on its ability to prevent and combat financial and other misconduct. Given the focus on tackling instances of fraud and corruption within the JCPS cluster, the Committee is dismayed that the Department appears to be in the very early stages of establishing a baseline, still reviewing its definitions of ‘forensic investigations’, ‘fraud’, ‘corruption’ and ‘financial misconduct’. It is only once the baseline has been established that improvements in the Department’s performance in managing fraud and corruption cases can be assessed. Still, the Department is asked to provide the Committee with a comprehensive written report on the progress of its disciplinary and grievance matters, including a section that deals specifically with cases of financial misconduct, by 30 June 2011. The Committee also notes, with interest, the Public Service Commission (PSC) findings that the most common forms of alleged corruption in the Department involve fraud and bribery, mismanagement of government funds, abuse of government resources and procurement irregularities. The PSC also found that the Department’s dedicated Forensic Audit Unit faces capacity constraints.


7.2.5.      Adequately securing courts and justice centres is a recurring challenge for the Department. Incidents include arson, intimidation and theft of assets and information. In its BRRR report, the Committee supported the Department’s bid for additional funding to provide increased security at courts and justice offices. The Committee could not establish with any certainty whether the Department’s motivation for additional funding had been submitted to the National Treasury. The Department, however, did not receive specific funds for 2010/11 for security, and will need to accommodate escalating security costs within its baseline allocation. The Committee was also informed that the Department is exploring the use of SAPS officers and SANDF members to provide additional security at courts. Given the seriousness of the problem and the attendant risks, the Committee is of the view that the Department should prioritise this item in its budget and plan accordingly. In addition, the Committee requests that the Department provide it with a written report by 15 July 2011 that provides full details of the extent of the problem; its plan with targets and timeframes to address security problems at identified high risk courts; as well as its plan to ensure adequate security at all courts and other facilities in future. The Committee would also like to be briefed on this matter at the next quarterly meeting in July or August 2011.


7.2.6.      The Department informed the Committee that budget cuts have severely affected the maintenance plan of its Information Technology infrastructure. This has led to ageing servers and other infrastructure; out of warranty servers that pose a high operational risk; an inadequate business continuity plan; and slow networks impacting on turn-around in service delivery. Through the Committee’s intervention, the Department will receive an additional R210 million for improvements to its IT systems over the MTEF. The Committee, however, is unclear - given the key role that IT plays in strategies to improve service delivery – regarding the extent to which the Department has as a matter of course addressed the maintenance and upgrading of its IT infrastructure when planning for expenditure.


7.2.7.      The Committee requires further clarity regarding the nature of the difficulties that the Department is experiencing in managing improvements to ICT within the JCPS cluster. The need for improved co-ordination of cluster-departments’ IT systems has been identified as being key to reducing crime. The Department mentioned that the relationship between the Integrated Justice System (IJS) and the State Information Technology Agency is especially challenging. The Committee requests the Department to provide a written report with targets and timeframes to address the difficulties it is experiencing by 15 July 2011 and brief the Committee at the next quarterly meeting in July or August 2011.


7.3.                   Court performance


7.3.1.      The Committee noted that the Office of the Chief Justice has been proclaimed a government Department. The Committee is unclear regarding the accounting lines but wishes to emphasise the need to respect judicial independence. It intends to invite the Chief Justice and heads of court to meet with it in the near future to learn more of this new Department, as well as any difficulties that may have emerged in its establishment.


7.3.2.      The Committee has for some years expressed its dissatisfaction at ongoing poor court performance despite many initiatives to improve the situation, including projects to reduce case backlogs and to ensure more efficient case management. It learnt that the Judiciary has agreed to the introduction of performance targets in courts and that the Chief Justice has taken on the responsibility of monitoring performance in all courts, including the magistrates’ courts. The intention, this year, is to ensure that performance standards are established. The Committee welcomes this and looks forward to receiving regular progress reports. It asks that the Department includes a progress report when it reports quarterly to the Committee, beginning at the next meeting in July or August 2011. Before the meeting, the Committee would like to have a written report by 15 July 2011 that gives details of the strategy and actions planned to address this matter.


7.4.                   Truth and Reconciliation Commission process


7.4.1.      Parliament approved assistance measures for victims identified in terms of the Truth and Reconciliation process. The Committee, however, is extremely disappointed at the Department’s ongoing delay in giving effect to those assistance measures which it must implement. The Committee was told that there has been some progress in identifying and locating the descendants of beneficiaries: The Department of Home Affairs and the Independent Electoral Commission have assisted the Department in this regard. The Committee also learnt that some regulations are close to being finalised. The Committee, however, finds the lack of finality - after so long - unacceptable. It fails to understand how it can be that the Department did not think before now to make use of existing databases within government to locate beneficiaries. The Committee requests that the Department provide it by 15 July 2011 with a comprehensive written report providing details of the plan with targets and timeframes to resolve the outstanding recommendations. The Department should also be prepared to brief the Committee on progress at the next quarterly meeting in July or August 2011.



7.5.                   State litigation and briefing patterns


7.5.1.      The services of the Office of the State Attorney are of great importance to national and provincial departments. Litigation against the state has increased significantly recently as a result of citizens being more aware of their rights; opportunism; a fragmented approach to the management of state litigation and the absence of a framework making use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. The strategic plan intends to curb the costs of litigation by, among developing a framework for the efficient management for state litigation; increasing the resources allocated to the office to improve its capacity; preparing and implementing a standardised fee structure for paying private counsel; and developing an alternative dispute resolution mechanism process. The Committee also leant that the Department has difficulty in collecting monies it disburses on behalf of client departments in legal proceedings and is extremely concerned at the negative effect this has on its budget. The Committee believes a policy framework that provides a uniform approach to state litigation is long overdue and in its absence it is difficult to redress the matter of briefing patterns to ensure representivity and encourage the passing of knowledge and skills to less experienced practitioners. In addition, the Committee specifically requests that the Department, by 15 July 2011, give the details in writing of the practitioners it briefs.


7.6.                   Vulnerable groups


7.6.1.      The increased access to justice of women, children and persons with disabilities is a priority of government and of the Department. The Committee welcomes initiatives such as the agreement with LASA to assist in the administration of child-headed households. The Committee also notes that the Child Justice Act has been in operation now for a year and the related national policy framework is being implemented. There are also challenges of which the Committee is acutely aware, for example, while part of the national Register of Sex Offenders is complete, there are difficulties capturing the particulars of those convicted of sexual crimes in the past. However, while there are several such initiatives that are intended to improve access to justice for vulnerable groups, it is difficult for the Committee to methodically evaluate how much money is being spent or its impact. The Committee requests that the Department report quarterly on its spending plan for vulnerable groups, starting at the next quarterly meeting in July or August 2011.


7.6.2.      The Committee welcomes the prioritisation of maintenance matters in the Department’s strategic plan and the many planned initiatives to ensure improvement in the delivery of maintenance services. The turnaround project envisages the development of service standards. The Committee is firmly of the view that more frequent and structured communication, possibly a forum, between the Department and the NPA would assist greatly in addressing the many systemic challenges that emerge relating to maintenance matters and in formulating the required service standards.


Part 3 National Prosecuting Authority


8.       Programme 4: National Prosecuting Authority


8.1.                   The National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Adv M Simelane, presented the NPA’s strategic plan 2016 and annual performance plan 2011. The JCPS Service deliver agreement forms the basis for the NPA’s planning. The NPA has identified relevant outputs and has adopted the following strategic objectives:


JCPS Outcome 3: All people of South Africa are and feel safe

Relevant JCPS Outputs

NPA’s strategic objectives

Reduce overall levels of serious crime and specifically the levels of contact and trio crime (OUTPUT 1)

1.      Increased successful prosecution of serious crime.

Improve CJS efficiency (OUTPUT 2)

2.       Improved collaboration with JCPS partners.

Eradicate corruption, including bribery, by officials within the CJS (OUTPUT 3)

3.       Improved prosecutions of JCPS officials charged with corruption.

Manage the perception of crime (OUTPUT 4)

4.       Improved justice services for the victims of crime.

Improve investor confidence (OUTPUT 5)

5.       Increased successful prosecutions of serious corruption.

Address cyber crime (OUTPUT 8)

6.       Increased prosecution of cyber crime.


8.2.                   The annual performance plan provides details of the indicators for each strategic objective, as well as the activities. Specific activities planned to give effect to the objectives include:

·               Re-engineering and modernising business processes in and around courts to allow for a more efficient use of court time.

·               Finalising more criminal cases (by 2% each year).

·               Reducing case backlogs by 10% by 2014.

·               Increasing the number of cases finalised by diversion and alternative ways by 20% by 2014.

·               Co-ordinating anti-corruption activities across the CJS and the prosecution of corruption cases in the Cluster.

·               Successfully convicting 100 people with assets of more than R5 million restrained.

·               Increasing the number of Thuthuzela Care Centres from the current 25 to 30 in 2011/12; 35 in 2012/13 and 40 in 2013/14.


8.3.                   The NPA’s budget 2011/12 is as follows:


R thousand



Public Prosecutions

1 972.7

1 900.8

Witness Protection Programme



Asset Forfeiture Unit



Support Services




2 684.3*

2 640.3

*This includes the additional allocation for the OSD-Phase II.


8.3.1.      The NPA is allocated R2.64 billion for the 2011/12 financial year. Overall, this is a decrease, in real terms, of 6.14%. Spending for 2011/12 is prioritised to prosecution services.


8.3.2.      The Public Prosecutions sub-programme provides for general prosecutions and several specialised prosecution units, including priority crimes litigation, sexual offences and community affairs and specialised commercial crime. The sub-programme receives R1.9 billion for 2011/12. This is the NPA’s largest sub-programme and makes up 73.5 % of its total allocation for 2011/12. In real terms, the sub-programme receives 8.06% less than in 2010/11.


8.3.3.      The Witness Protection sub-programme provides for protection, support and related services to vulnerable witnesses and related people in judicial proceedings. The sub-programme is allocated R137. 8 million for 2011/12. This is 5 % of the NPA’s budget. In real terms, the sub-programme receives 0.6 % more than in 2010/11.


8.3.4.      The Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) sub-programme is responsible for seizing assets that are the proceeds of crime or have been part of an offence through a criminal or civil process. The AFU receives R106 million for 2011/12, which is 4% of the NPA’s overall budget. The amount the sub-programme is allocated decreases in real terms by 5.04% compared to 2010/11.


8.3.5.      The Support Services sub-programme provides corporate support services in terms of finance, human resources, ICT, supply chain and risk management to the NPA. It receives R495 million, or 19% of the overall budget, which is 0.29 % less in real terms compared with 2010/11.


8.4.                   Key risks identified include:


·               Since the 2006/07 financial year, the NPA has received three qualified audit opinions and a disclaimer. Poor financial controls and a culture of non-compliance with policies and procedures, as well as a lack of guidelines on budget management have contributed to the qualifications. Another factor is a weak control environment.

·               The NPA’s ability to fulfil its mandate effectively is undermined by a lack of, or poor, co-ordination and co-operation across the JCPS Cluster.

·               An inadequate budget to support delivery, specifically in the lower courts, may greatly impact on the NPA’s ability to provide quality prosecutorial services and on the resources available to staff. This includes the provision of reasonable accommodation, minimum standards of furniture and equipment and even stationary.

·               The shortage of suitably qualified, skilled and competent personnel across most, if not all disciplines is a risk. The NPA has struggled to attract staff in all disciplines and has struggled to reduce its prosecutorial vacancy rate. The aspirant prosecutor programme has been the key strategy to fill vacancies but has not had the desired result. Suitable external candidates have not been found largely because of a lack of required experience at higher levels. Although Justice College is the main provider of prosecutorial skills, it has not been associated with a marked improvement in output.

·               The prosecutorial function is linked to high levels of autonomous decision-making that can be abused if not monitored. A culture of non-compliance can crate an environment in which corruption flourishes, especially in critical processes such as supply chain management, The NPA has not been good at addressing non-compliance or for disciplining speedily.


8.5.                   Committee’s response


8.5.1.      The Committee notes that the NPA has received a significantly reduced budget for 2011/12, receiving almost 7% less in real terms than in 2010/11. The NPA told the Committee that this may impact on service delivery. Budget constraints also result in prosecutorial staff not having the required resources (this includes the provision of reasonable accommodation, minimum standards of furniture and equipment and even stationary), which creates stress within the working place and affects morale. However, the Committee notes that the NPA, for its part, has failed to spend 9% of the funds allocated to it in the 2010/11 financial year. The Committee is not clear at this stage as to all the reason(s) for the underspending but understands that it is largely the result of vacancies and the failure to disburse all funds relating to the implementation of Phase II of the OSD. The Committee has previously expressed its concern at the perceived complacency of management. It intends to closely monitor actual spending against the projections for the year as part of its quarterly reviews. The NPA will need to put measures in place to address any potential negative effect as a result of its reduced budget.


8.5.2.      The Committee is also displeased that almost half of the amount allocated in 2010/11 for the implementation of Phase II of the OSD has still to be disbursed, despite the relatively small amounts concerned. However, the Committee learnt that some money would have to be surrendered and individuals, who had not been paid, will need to be accommodated from the baseline. Given the reduced budget, this, in the Committee’s view, is undesirable.


8.5.3.      The Committee is concerned that the vacancy rate in the NPA remains high (12% among prosecutors and 15% in corporate services). The NPA conceded that its operation to recruit more prosecutors has not had the intended results and that it will need to do more to fill vacancies. In some areas there is a lack of expertise amongst the prosecutors, which is exacerbated by an inability to retain skilled staff. The NPA will need to do more in order to fill its vacancies. Again the Committee cannot but compare unfavourably the NPA with LASA, which has a very high recruitment rate and aims to be an employer of choice.


8.5.4.      The Committee is concerned at the large number of informal mediations being used to resolve cases, albeit that informal mediation typically occurs in domestic violence matters and in less serious offences. As informal mediation is unregulated, there is potential for the process to be abused. The NPA told the Committee that it is monitoring the use of informal mediation to detect patterns that may suggest abuse of prosecutorial discretion. The Department is finalising policy guidelines but the Committee believes that there may be need for legislation to regulate alternate dispute resolution methods that include both diversion and informal mediation.


8.5.5.      At present, sexual offence cases are heard in both dedicated and the mainstream courts. Thuthuzela Care Centres are one-stop centres for rape care and also hear sexual offence cases. The Committee welcomes the intention to build more Thuthuzela Care Centres, is keenly interested in the project plans and would like to be informed of progress at the quarterly reviews. Previous statistics presented to the Committee indicated higher conviction rates at dedicated courts. However, the NPA’s research suggests that these figures were skewed as these courts were hearing other matters. Regardless, the statistics reveal significantly lower conviction rates for sexual offence cases than for other criminal matters. The Committee remains of the view that sexual offence cases require special/dedicated skills but has been told that the judiciary is not in favour of specialist/dedicated sexual offence courts, as it can lead to unequal services and for reasons of career-pathing. The Committee feels that it needs to look at the management of sexual offence cases in a more focused way. The Committee intends to invite all relevant roleplayers – the Department, the NPA, LASA and the judiciary – to meet with it in the next quarter, in July or August 2011, for this purpose.






Part 4 Auxiliary and Associated Services


9.       Legal Aid South Africa (LASA)


9.1.                   LASA is allocated R1.15 billion for 2011/12, which includes OSD funding. Its total budget for 2011/12 is R1.2 billion, of which R867.8 million is for salaries; R30 million is for case backlogs; R96.6 million is direct expenditure on Judicare, co-operation agreements and impact litigation; R195.8 million is for operating expenses; and R17.7 million is for capital expenditure.


9.2.                   LASA has allocated its budget for 2011/12 as follows:


Component of the balanced scorecard


Budget 2011/12

R’ 000

Client, community, stakeholder and shareholder

1.       To deliver client focused and quality legal services.

2.       To educate/ inform communities about the Constitution and legal aid services.

3.       To contribute to building an efficient and effective justice system, JCPS Cluster and to implement actions flowing from the Criminal Justice System Review.

4.       To account timeously to Parliament and to the Executive Authority.

R833 268

Finance and sustainability

5.       To maintain a sustainable and financially stable LASA.

6.       To ensure good governance.

7.       To develop a strong and recognised LASA brand.

R9 758

Business processes (internal)

8.       To review business processes and ensure that the efficient, effective, economic, client-centred, professional and independent.

9.       To develop accurate, relevant and timely management information to inform business planning and decisions.

10.   To ensure sound financial management and sustainable business processes.

R2 535

Employee and organisational strategy

11.   To expand the national footprint to increase the capacity to deliver services and to support the delivery of legal services. Staffing in support of delivery.

12.   To develop appropriate competencies.

13.   To implement people-centred resource management with LASA an employer of choice.

14.   To maintain a positive organisational culture.

15.   To enhance the LASA IT platform.

16.   To build a learning and innovative organisation.

R205 646

Additional programmes

Depreciation; insurance (short term); municipal services; office rental; telephone; travel and subsistence; other

R156 927


R1 208 136



9.3.                   LASA highlighted that it has the following key finance and sustainability challenges:

·               The annual salary increases that were higher than the government grant macro increase of 6% (70% of its budget goes to salaries).

·               Contract escalations were on average 12% which were higher than the government grant macro increase of 6%.

·               Overall, its budget shows negative growth in real terms.

·               It has been allocated inadequate funding to implement new legislation, for example, the Child Justice Act, 2008.


9.4.                   Committee’s response


9.4.1.      LASA’s presentation of its strategic and annual performance plan has, as in previous years, greatly impressed the Committee. The work it does is laudable and, in the Committee’s view, merits wider attention. It suggests that LASA be proactive in seeking out opportunities to promote what it does.


9.4.2.      The Committee is encouraged at the strong emphasis that has emerged on the ‘quality’ of the services LASA provides. It is impressive that LASA engages in a process of auditing the quality of the work done by its practitioners.


9.4.3.      The Committee supports LASA’s goal of expanding its civil work and impact litigation; is aware of the financial constraints that it faces in this regard; and believes that LASA should be allocated more financial resources for this purpose.


9.4.4.      Farm dwellers receive legal support from the Department of Rural Development and Land Affairs through a judicare system. The Committee intends to look into this more closely as it is unclear to it whether it would not be better to make use of LASA’s services.


9.4.5.      LASA has been extremely innovative in expanding its reach. It has launched a call centre with toll free number, which provides free legal advice to everyone, regardless of means. The Committee welcomes this, and would like to be kept informed of the impact that the call centre is having, as well as any challenges that the LASA may experience, if any.


9.4.6.      The Committee supports the LASA’s aim to reach to the rural poor. LASA has entered into co-operation agreements to expand its national footprints. The Committee is interested in how effective these are and would like to be informed of developments at quarterly meetings.


9.4.7.      The Committee notes the potential overlaps between LASA and other entities in promoting and educating the public of their rights: The SAHRC and the Justice Department are already running education campaigns about the Constitution. The Committee suggests that public awareness or education campaigns are co-ordinated to ensure that resources are used efficiently and effectively. LASA reassured the Committee that it is aware educating the public about the Constitution was not its direct responsibility and is considering how best to cooperate with the SAHRC and others on specific programmes.


10.    Special Investigating Unit (SIU)


10.1.                The SIU is an independent, statutory body that investigates corruption and maladministration and can institute civil legal action to correct any wrongdoing. Each investigation it conducts is mandated by a proclamation from the President.


10.2.                The SIU is funded by way of a transfer payment from the Vote. In 2011/12, the SIU receives R193.6 million, a 7.9% increase in real terms compared to 2010/11. The additional allocations for the MTEF provide for investigative capacity and inflation.


10.3.                The SIU also generates income by charging client departments for its investigations. In 2006/07, its projects accounted for 60% of its total income. This has decreased to 44% in 2010/11: In 2010/11, it generated revenue in the amount of R143.2 million. The SIU expects that its self-generated revenue in 2011/12 will be approximately R151.6 million.


10.4.                The SIU’s strategic objectives have both an external and an internal focus. The intended impact of its external objectives is to strengthen strategic partnerships; increase the scope of operations; and contribute directly to Outcome 3 (South Africans are and feel safe) and 12 (Efficient, effective and development-orientated state). Specifically, its external objectives are to:

·               Increase the impact of the SIU’s forensic services in the public sector.

·               Achieve optimum institutional form.

·               Ensure excellent co-operation with law enforcement partners and stakeholders.


10.5.                For the SIU to be able to achieve its external objectives, the SIU’s internal strategic objectives are to:

·               Secure appropriate capacity and funding.

·               Align and improve systems and processes.

·               Invest in appropriate technology capacity.

·               Build an engaged, diverse and competent SIU.

·               Develop effective, accountable, and engaging leadership.


10.6.                The SIU’s strategic environment takes into account the following:

·               In 2009/10, the SIU found itself largely dependent on partner funding. Given the global recession, this was risky. The SIU concluded an intensive organisational development process to better capacitate it and adopted a 3-5 year approach to strategic planning. A key focus was to position the SIU as the forensic service provider to the state and to increase projects and funding.

·               In 2010/11, the SIU formed part of the new government initiatives to combat corruption. This has had a significant impact, increasing its workload and funding. The SIU has also aligned its strategic plan with outcomes-based approach of government and linked its work to Outcome 3 (Output 3) and Outcome 12 (Output 4).

·               A major focus has been to build more capacity through recruitment and development initiatives to deal with investigations of corruption. It also sources additional forensic investigators from the private sector as a short t term interventions and skills transfer initiative.


10.7.                Overall, regarding performance, there has been a significant change in the SIU’s focus from small, multiple cases to fewer, complex, long term investigations into procurement. This coincides with government’s new focus on procurement irregularities. The SIU is participating in initiatives like the Anti-Corruption Task Team (ACTT), Multi Agency Working Group on Procurement (MAWG) and the Special Anti-corruption Unit in the Department of Public Service and Administration (Wasps).


10.8.                Government has set a target of successfully convicting 100 people who have assets of more than R5 million obtained through illicit means. This is a difficult target to achieve as there have been approximately 5 such cases in the past 10 years. In 2010/11, there were 16 new proclamations – the most ever in a single year. Two proclamations relating to ongoing investigations were also extended.


10.9.                The following were identified as challenges to dealing with corruption:

·               The PFMA provides accounting officers with control of the investigation, disciplinary action, possible civil action or referral for criminal actions, and the implementation of recommendations. This can be a problem where the accounting officer fails to take action or is even implicated.

·               Questions could be raised about the sustainability and effectiveness of the SIU funding model. A possible solution is to adopt the AGSA model where departments pay for the work done. Also, funding is always raised as an excuse when departments did not want to investigated.

·               Delays in amendments to the SIU’s enabling legislation that address, among others, the issue of the SIU’s locus standi in pursuing civil litigation, restricts the SIU’s overall impact.


10.10.            Committee’s response


10.10.1.    The Committee commends the SIU for the exceptional work it is doing in tackling fraud and corruption within government.


10.10.2.    The Committee is concerned at the levels of fraud and corruption in government departments and other bodies, suggested by the SIU’s workload. It agrees with the SIU that it is encouraging that the government has accepted that corruption is a problem. The fact that targets were set for the JCPS cluster reveal determination to root out this problem.


10.10.3.    The Committee understands that the Justice Department is bringing legislation to amend the SIU’s enabling legislation to address any challenges when it pursues civil litigation to make recoveries. It intends to follow up with the Department precisely when the amending legislation will be tabled.


11.    South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)


11.1.                The Commission is allocated R89 million for 2011/12, which it receives in the form of a transfer payment from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. The allocation is reflected under the Vote’s Programme 5: Auxiliary and Associated Services. The allocation for 2011/12 has grown in real terms by 14.27% from R73 million in 2010/11.


11.2.                Despite the increased allocation of R89 million for 2011/12, the CEO highlighted that the Commission had identified an ideal budget of R115 million. Still, within the budget allocated, its priorities are to:

·               Align its resources with its objectives.

·               Reduce personnel (Identified posts have been suspended until restructuring process has taken place).

·               Ensure rental savings (the new Head office will save approximately the Commission approximately R1.5 million each year.

·               Increase its capital expenditure, especially for information technology infrastructure.

·               Continue with the trend of shifting spending overall from corporate services to operations.


11.3.          The pressure of a limited budget and other resource constraints has led the Commission to review its strategic plan. The latest plan, encompassing the period 2011-2014, identifies five strategic outcome-orientated goals. They are to:

·               Improve the quality of complaints handling mechanism to enable greater access to and protection of rights, particularly by the most vulnerable.

·               Improve the quality of monitoring, evaluation of and reporting on the realisation of human rights by streamlining the monitoring, evaluation and reporting processes to effectively measure the realisation of human rights.

·               Inculcate a culture of human rights through human rights advocacy by developing and implementing an effective and efficient human rights advocacy plan.

·               Strengthen organisational efficiency to ensure the effective and efficient utilisation of human and financial resources.

·               Improve communication and stakeholder engagement by developing communication tools and key stakeholder relationships.


11.4.          There are six strategic objectives that flow from the strategic outcome-orientated goals mentioned above. They are to:

·               Promote compliance with international obligations.

·               Position the Commission as the focal point for human rights in South Africa.

·               Strengthen advocacy and human rights awareness training.

·               Advance the realisation of human rights.

·               Advance the right to equality and access to information.

·               Improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the Commission.


11.5.          All programmes relate to a particular strategic objective, although the Commissioners’ and the Office of the CEO’s programmes are cross-cutting.


11.6.          Programme expenditure for 2011/12





Real % Change

R million



Human Rights Advocacy Programme (Education and Training)

6 477

14 562

114.53 %

Legal Services Programme

15 346

14 400

-10.46 %

Research Programme

6 467

7 494

10.57 %

Parliamentary and International Affairs Programme

1 646

2 361

36.87 %


5 886

12 713

106.09 %

Strategic Management

3 042

7 473

134.41 %

Financial Management

4 976

4 674

-10.37 %

Internal Audit

1 218

2 550

99.77 %

Human Resources

9 280

5 118

-47.38 %

Administration and SCM

12 374

14 167

9.25 %

Information and Communication

7 656

3 554

-55.71 %

Special Programmes





74 368

89 066



11.6.1.  The Commissioners set the strategic direction and the Secretariat (headed by the CEO) implements this. The Secretariat’s operational component consists of the Human Rights Advocacy Programme (Education and Training); Legal Services Programme; Research Programme and Parliamentary and International Programme. Including the Commissioners, these programmes account for 46% of the Commission’s budget. In 2010/11, operations received 22% of the overall budget.

11.6.2.  Corporate programmes make up the rest (Financial Management; Administration and Supply Chain Management; Human Resources; Information and Communications and Internal Audit). These programmes receive a smaller share of the overall budget than in previous years: In 2010/11, corporate programmes were allocated 78.3% of the Commission’s resources but receive only 54% in this financial year.


11.7.                Committee’s response


11.7.1.  The Committee is very appreciative of the Commission’s valuable work in promoting and protecting human rights. It notes that the Commission’s co-operation with similar bodies elsewhere in the world and, especially, in Africa.


11.7.2.  The Committee congratulates the Commission on the quality of its plans; it acknowledges that there is a large difference between the Commission’s ideal budget of R115 million, and its allocation for 2011/12. However, the Commission’s allocation has increased by 14% in real terms from 2010/11, which is a significant amount. The Committee is pleased to learn that the Commission’s planning has taken into account the need to adjust its priorities to ensure that its budget is sufficient and that it has put in place the necessary strategies to this effect. It notes the Commission efforts to save costs, such as travelling economy class instead of business class, centralised printers and fewer meetings over lunchtime to reduce catering costs.


11.7.3.  The Committee agrees that the amendments to the Commission’s enabling legislation and outdated staff regulations are long overdue. The Committee understands that Commission has commented on the proposed amendments and will to follow up with the Department on its progress in drafting the amending legislation.


11.7.4.  The Committee would like the Commission to brief it specifically on its complaints mechanism at the next quarterly meeting in July or August 2011.


11.7.5.  The Committee supports efforts to strengthen the Commission’s relationship with Parliament. It is of the view that Parliament would benefit if, as a matter of course, the Commission’s work was to be brought to the attention of committees with a specific interest in the subject matter. The Committee also suggests that in future the Commission not only table its reports but notify it routinely of its publications.


11.7.6.  Furthermore, the Committee believes that the new parliamentary unit dedicated to supporting the Chapter 9 and related institutions can play a vital role in ensuring that the Commission’s work is more widely disseminated. The Committee intends to meet with the unit to learn more regarding its role.


11.7.7.  The Commission received an unqualified audit report in 2009/10 but the Auditor-General raised certain issues regarding performance management. The Commission has acknowledged that it did not have sound performance management systems in place to monitor organisational performance and that the Commission’s risk management processes continue to pose a challenge. Budget constraints, however, have meant the Commission is unable to appoint a Risk Manager. The Committee would like the Commission to include a report on its progress in addressing the Auditor-General’s concerns when it meets with the Committee in the next quarter.


12.    Public Protector (PP)


12.1.                The PP is allocated R142 million in 2011/12. The increase in its allocation from R120 million in 2010/11 (an increase in real terms of 19%) is partly to fund what it is owed to the Department of Public Works for leases. The bulk of the PP’s budget (70%) goes to personnel costs.


12.2.                The PP presented a revised Strategic Plan. The vision, mission and mandate are unchanged.


12.3.                The PP has identified five strategic outcomes:

·               Accessibility to and trustworthiness by all persons and communities.

·               Responsiveness to all complaints through accountability and prompt remedial action.

·               Promoting good governance in the conduct of all State affairs (through systemic transformation).

·               Effective and efficient business and support systems and operations.

·               Optimal performance and service focused culture with committed people.


12.4.                The strategic objectives that will guide the PP’s operations for the next three-to-five years are:

·               Accessible to and trusted by all persons and communities.

·               Prompt remedial action

·               Promotion of good governance in the conduct of all state affairs.

·               An efficient and effective organisation.

·               Optimal performance and service focused culture.


12.5.                The PP indicated that it has the following challenges:

·               The PP is still struggling to obtain the co-operation of State institutions. It asked that Parliament consider requiring that Ministers indicate in their annual reports any recommendations that the Public Protector has made recommendations concerning their Ministries/Departments and the action that has been taken to address the recommendations.

·               The PP does not have adequate investigative capacity, and there is a need to improve case management systems.

·               The need for improved/enhanced accessibility to all persons and communities. A fully fledged call centre is also required.


12.6.                The PP appealed to the Committee to approve its new structure and to direct National Treasury to fund the new posts.


12.7.                The PP deals with approximately 15 000 cases each year. The resources available to it are inadequate. In terms of the provincial split, the North West province receives more money than any other province.


12.8.                The PP specifically asked Parliament to consider the following:

·               Recommending an increased allocation to the Public Protector for resources primarily to increase accessibility and address capacity constraints in investigations.

·               Providing continued support in the area of remedial action.

·               Reviewing the determination of the remuneration and other terms and conditions of the Deputy Public Protector.

·               Continuing to play a more visible role with regard to monitoring State compliance and encourage respect for the Constitution, the status of the PP and the rule of law.

·               Endorsing the new organisational structure of the office and direct Treasury to immediately fund the structure.


12.9.                Committee’s response


12.9.1.  The Committee notes that the Public Protector’s budget has increased in real terms by 19%, although the allocation may not be as much as the Public Protector would have liked. The Public Protector told the Committee that a large part of the increased allocation was for the implementation of the Occupational Special Dispensation and to settle outstanding amounts owed to the Department of Public Works. There was only R3 million available to increase investigative capacity at the Office. While the Committee supports the work of the Public Protector and is sympathetic to the pressures of the mandate, all who account to the Committee have to plan carefully and look to ways to save as they have been asked to do more with less.


12.9.2.  The Committee remains of the view that the allocation to the North West office is disproportionately large. The Committee understands that this is primarily a legacy of the former Bophutatswana ombudsman. Still, something needs to be done: The Committee suggests that some members of staff could be retrenched or moved to other offices. The Public Protector told the Committee that it is addressing the problem – the North West office is not receiving any increase in its allocation over the medium term. The Public Protector assured the Committee that positions are also not been filled when vacated to bring the office to a reasonable size.


12.9.3.  The Committee learnt that the Public Protector is developing an accessibility framework, which will be presented once complete. This is a most welcome initiative. The Committee had previously suggested that the Public Protector look into using municipal facilities and Thusong Centres on agreed dates to expand its reach and save on rental costs. The Public Protector told the Committee that while the office is looking into the suggestions, it is concerned at the possible blurring of boundaries between government structures and the Public Protector. For this reason, the Public Protector is also looking into the possibility of using post offices to increase its accessibility. The Committee is also puzzled at the location of regional offices in Kuruman, Vryburg and Upington, which are in close proximity. The Committee suggested that the Public Protector look into relocating its regional offices to ensure the most efficient and effective distribution of its resources.


12.9.4.  The Committee would like to see communications with the Public Protector strengthened: The quarterly meetings should assist. The Committee is keenly interested in the Public Protector’s work and would like to be notified of any reports or other publications that the Public Protector produces.


12.9.5.  The Committee suggested that the Public Protector should also compile a report, before the annual report process, indicating which departments or ministries had not responded to its recommendations to assist Parliament in bringing those who do not comply to account.


12.9.6.  The Committee would like the Public Protector to provide more information on the proposed new organogram, as well as on the proposed adjustment to the remuneration of the Deputy Public Protector.


Part 5 Summary of reporting requirements


13.    The Committee requests that the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development report to/brief it specifically on the following:


Reporting matter

Action required


Presentation of annual performance plan 2011/12 (see paragraph 7.1.1.)


At next quarterly meeting – July or August 2011 (refer to Committee programme)

Strategy and action plan to address the management of Third Party Funds (see paragraph 7.2.2.)


Briefing together with National Treasury

July or August 2011 (refer to Committee programme)

Action plan to address vacancies at senior management level, as well as other human resource challenges identified by the Department (see paragraph 7.2.3.)

Written report with targets and timeframes


15 July 2011



At next quarterly meeting – July or August 2011 (refer to Committee programme)

Progress made on disciplinary and grievance matters, with special reference to cases of financial misconduct (paragraph 7.2.4.)

Written report with actions taken


15 July 2011

Strategy and action plan to address security at courts (see paragraph 7.2.5.)

Written report with targets and timeframes

15 July 2011


At next quarterly meeting – July or August 2011 (refer to Committee programme)

Strategy and action plan to address problems relating to management of information technology in the JCPS Cluster (see paragraph 7.2.7.)

Written report with targets and timeframes

15 July 2011


At next quarterly meeting – July or August 2011 (refer to Committee programme)

Strategy and action plan to address improved court performance, with special reference to establishment of performance standards (see paragraph 7.3.2.)

Written report with targets and timeframes

15 July 2011

Quarterly briefings

At next quarterly meeting – July or August 2011 and quarterly thereafter (refer to Committee programme).


Strategy and action plan to address the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (see paragraph 7.4.1.)

Written report

15 July 2011


At next quarterly meeting – July or August 2011 (refer to Committee programme)

Details of legal practitioners briefed by the Department in state litigation (see paragraph 7.5.1.)

Written report

15 July 2011

Provide detailed spending plan for vulnerable groups (women, children and persons with disabilities) (see paragraph 7.6.2.)

Quarterly briefings

At next quarterly meeting – July or August 2011 and quarterly thereafter (refer to Committee programme).

Strategy and action plan for improved management of sexual offence cases (see paragraph 8.5.5)

Briefing together with role-players

July or August 2011 (refer to Committee programme)



14.      Recommendations


The Committee, having considered the Budget Vote 24: Justice and Constitutional Development, supports it and recommends its approval.


15.    Appreciation


15.1.                The Committee thanks the Minister and the Director General and all officials who appeared before the Committee for their co-operation.


15.2.                The Committee also thanks the National Director of Public Prosecutions and his staff for their co-operation in this process.


15.3.                The Committee also wishes to thank the Public Protector, the Chairperson and Commissioners of the South African Human Rights Commission, the Chairperson of Legal Aid South Africa and the head of the Special Investigating Unit, as well as all respective staff members who appeared before the Committee, for their co-operation.


15.4.                The Committee regrets that the Law Society of South Africa and General Bar Council did not make use of the opportunity afforded to them to make submissions on the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development’s budget.


Report to be considered



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